Housekeeping Contracts

by John Philip Green

Clarity around the details/terms of employment is essential for job satisfaction for both the employer and employer. Employers should write their own contracts and usually have these in place before the candidate's interview. This contract can form the base for the interview questions and gives the potential employee a good idea of your expectations before any decisions are made.

Having said this, the initial contract written by the employer should not be written in stone. If you find that you want to offer the job to this employee, the written contract should be reviewed by both parties, and massaged where fair and acceptable.

The Good Contract will outline the following:

  • Hours of employment
  • Payment: the amount, method for paying (cash or check) and frequency of payment (daily, weekly etc.)
  • Job description (duties) -- wash floors, vacuum, clean hardwood, etc. Extra services, such as laundry, ironing, inside window washing that you want to be included on a regular basis should be listed (possibly an additional fee considered here).
  • Together you can include what the housekeeper expects from you. For example, no dirty dishes in the sink, the floors in the bedrooms clear of clothes, easy access to home in winter months and so on…Are they willing to work when there no one is home or only a male family member is home (if the cleaner is female). As well they will want to know if they are receiving a key and the code if a home alarm is present?
  • Who will provide cleaning equipment, such as the vacuum cleaner, rags etc.
  • What cleaning products will be used…green or regular and who will supply them?
  • Are there areas that are off-limits to the employee?
  • Pet Policies/allergies/duties -- should dogs should be placed in restricted areas during cleaning, are you allergic to cats? Are you willing to let the dog out/ feed the animals?
  • Expectations regarding rescheduling, sick days and vacations
  • The how and terms of termination of work/Will there be a trial period of employment?
  • Home or renter's insurance usually covers any accidents or injuries that might occur during work time, but this needs to be checked by the employer.
  • How will you stay in touch and keep up two way feedback regarding the job?