Finding a Housekeeper that Fits with Families

Housekeeper, house cleaner, charwoman, maid, nanny, au pair, or skivvy. Different names for people employed in homes, often doing diverse tasks, but finding that person who fits the job and who fits into the family’s schedules and preferences can be daunting. Key to the name is the tasks that they are expected to perform.

What is The Difference between a Housekeeper and a House Cleaner? Is a Housekeeper the Same as a Cleaning Lady?

Housekeepers are often people employed in hotels, but in homes, they may do some light cleaning tasks. House cleaners do the deep cleaning services. Both may have additional skills such as child-minding or gardening skills, but it’s important to find the right person for the job.

Find the right cleaner for the right job: cleaning work isn’t child’s play

Cleaners have different skills. Leather wipes, floor mat cleaners, and glass cleaners for showers are things that most are familiar with. Operating a fire extinguisher may take some health and safety training. There are house cleaners who have diverse skills and they are likely looking for a new job on CleaningNZ- the preferred forum for most of Auckland’s house cleaners and housekeepers.

What is Included in Basic House Cleaning?

Basic house cleaning is the cleaning tasks performed regularly to keep a home clean and hygienic. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping, are the basics but most house cleaners also do extra tasks such as making beds, washing dishes, and cleaning wherever there’s dirt. A good job specification would also include spring cleaning chores which can be performed monthly. Washing curtains, cleaning windows, and other more labour-intensive tasks are usually part of what house cleaners offer.

Being clear on what is required is essential to a harmonious relationship with a cleaner, and will help avoid the unpleasantness of miscommunication. When placing a job post on CleaningNZ, it’s a good opportunity to give a thought to what your expectations are.

Can Cleaners do Babysitting?

Many cleaners are also parents, and others have been trained to look after children. But it takes a special kind of person to tend to the needs of the children while also cleaning the house. Often cleaners can do babysitting but bear in mind that these are two jobs and the pay and perks must fairly compensate the cleaner for the extra work.

If babysitting isn’t on the job description, whose fault is it if a child does things they shouldn’t?

Before employing anyone, have a look at their skills and credentials. From your short list of candidates, pick who to interview, and don’t forget to get references- and verify them. At CleaningNZ, some candidates can do both, posting a job ad will be the first step to finding a cleaner who does babysitting.

What Does The Law Say About Employing Cleaners in New Zealand?

It’s easy to get into trouble by ignoring the law. Give some thought to what can go wrong and make sure that the law is on your side. These are a few things that must be implemented:

  • Pay particular attention to work permits, as childminders are often foreign workers. At CleaningNZ, work permits are a registration requirement for workers seeking jobs.
  • Understand what the law says, including details of the minimum wage.
  • Get a contract listing benefits and duties and make sure you both sign.
  • Implement an induction. This also helps you get a better communication system flowing.
  • Obtain documentation including tax papers.
  • Make sure that you select the right ACC code.
  • Give the cleaner a payslip every time wages are paid

Should You Trust a Letter of Reference?

Recommendation letters usually give limited information and are sometimes quite vague. While it’s important that previous employers did take the trouble to write, bear in mind that there are times that letters of recommendation are only written to meet statutory requirements or, worse still- are occasionally exchanged for withdrawal of claims against the employer when the working relationship has ended badly.

While there are no guarantees, making a telephone call to the person giving the reference is a good confirmation and an opportunity to verify the contents. But make sure you have permission from the candidate to make the call, be alert and ask for clarity when answers sound fudged or too good to be true.

“Mrs. X is just fabulous!” is less meaningful than an answer to the specific question, “What makes Mrs. X fabulous?” It’s often in detail that we find answers.

How much do house cleaners make?

While it depends on the level and amount of work required, generally the pay in Auckland is $45,000 – $50,000 per year, averaging at around $23.15 per hour.

Determine what the cleaner’s job will be by defining the tasks, then decide on the skill level you need. Finding a cleaner who will be happy to work at a particular rate is a win-win.

A happy cleaner is a good cleaner

In closing, we suggest that you learn about the culture and the home environment of your employee. At CleaningNZ we think it’s important that cleaners get to work without too many difficulties so our job board helps you locate cleaners nearby. They are always looking for “jobs nearby me.”

And if all else fails, there are new cleaners to choose from that are actively scouring our ads to find jobs.

TAKEAWAYS: Finding a Housekeeper that Fits With Your Family

  • Figure out what tasks you need to be done by the house cleaner
  • Determine the hours- total hours required as well as the actual times they need to be on duty
  • Decide on the pay rate
  • Post an advertisement on CleaningNZ
  • Get and verify references
  • Meet the people who you think are most suitable and clarify any answers which aren’t clear
  • Learn about their backgrounds