Domestic Housekeeper Duties – Dos & Dont’s

Published on December 28, 2019

A domestic housekeeper duties are varied and help you take a load off but there's a limit to what you should expect your housekeeper to do. Here's a list of dos and don'ts. Click To TweetHiring a domestic housekeeper frees you up from all those mundane jobs around the house that you hate or don’t have time to do. In fact, a housekeeper can help you with a wide range of house management tasks far beyond tidying and cleaning. But there is a limit to what you can expect them to do.

Read on to see a breakdown of a typical housekeeper’s duties dos and don’ts.

Duties you can expect a domestic housekeeper to do

Housekeepers typically ensure the house is always clean and tidy; ready to welcome family and guests.

Most important is that your expectations are clear from the outset and that your housekeeper knows exactly what their duties include.

Below is a list of duties you can reasonably expect your domestic housekeeper to do:

  • Dusting
  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping floors
  • Laundry, ironing and wardrobe management
  • House management, organisation and running errands
  • Daily cleaning and deep cleaning
  • Pet care
  • Light cooking
  • Light gardening
  • Polishing brass, silver and looking after antiques
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Stock inventory
  • Cleaning the oven, refrigerator and other appliances
  • Cleaning the inside windows
  • Watering plants
  • Occasional housesitting/pet sitting
  • Dealing with contractors and tradesmen
  • Any other reasonable tasks associated with their role

Duties you should not expect your housekeeper to do

There are some things that you cannot reasonably expect your housekeeper to do.

You might want to have a housekeeper and a nanny in one with your housekeeper also doing childcare.

Such an arrangement may be fine if your children are school-aged. Your housekeeper can do most housekeeping duties in the day while the kids are at school. However, don’t expect all housekeepers to be willing or able to look after your kids, too.

Make sure you clearly outline any childcare duties in the housekeeper’s job description beforehand. Besides that, here’s a list of things you should never expect your housekeeper to do:

  • Heavy lifting can be dangerous and put unnecessary strain on your housekeeper. If something heavy needs moving, make sure it’s done properly and does not put your housekeeper in danger.
  • Climbing ladders or leaning out of high-rise windows is a risk your housekeeper shouldn’t be expected to take. If you need the outside of your 30th-floor apartment windows cleaned, don’t expect your housekeeper to shimmy out on to the ledge with a rag and bottle of Windowlene. Call in a professional window cleaner.
    The same goes for climbing ladders. Find ways that don’t put your housekeeper in danger of falling.
  • Cleaning up human or pet faeces should not be part of a domestic housekeeper’s job so don’t expect it of them. Your housekeeper’s health and safety is important here. Most housekeepers won’t be comfortable dealing with excrement. Your housekeeper may be fine managing a one-off mishap but you should never assume this is part of their role as faeces can cause disease.
  • Personal care is not among a housekeeper’s duties, which should be carried out by a trained and qualified carer. This is especially prominent for elderly clients that often need more support in their home, such as administering medication, which you should not expect a regular housekeeper to do.
  • Illegal activities aren’t in the job description and you certainly shouldn’t expect your housekeeper to break the law, even if they are working in your private household, and even if you make your own choices to break the law.
    Keep employment laws in mind as they vary from country to country. Be aware of the laws applying to you and your housekeeper, wherever you are.

 How can Polo & Tweed Help?

Polo & Tweed specialises in housekeeper recruitment to help match home and property owners with professional domestic housekeepers.

We’ll help you make the right decision out of a range of qualified housekeeper candidates from around the world, giving you flexibility and professional recruitment management.

Get in touch with us here to discuss your needs with one of our consultants.

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