The True Cost of Help at Home – Housekeeper’s Salary


Published on August 2, 2019

A housekeeper salary is more affordable these days but there are many legal obligations you have to know about. Learn about the true cost of home help. Click To TweetDid Bruce Wayne worry about paying his butler Alfred and sorting out his payroll?  Probably not. He would have had a team to manage his staff’s payments.

Housekeepers are not just reserved for the super-rich. More working families are now looking to outsource their home tasks such as housekeeping and childcare to professionals.  Housekeepers get the job done more quickly. And the individual or family has peace of mind that their home, children, and pets are well cared for.

In fact recent surveys have revealed that there is now more housekeeping staff living in Mayfair than there were in Victorian times!

But do you know the true cost of help at home and a housekeeper’s salary? But what do you need to know about the housekeeper’s salary? And why should you be empowered with this knowledge before you hire a housekeeper?

What you need to know about housekeeper salaries

As an employer or contractor of a self-employed person, you have the legal responsibility to know what you are doing.  Claiming ignorance in a court of law just won’t cut it.  You have to know:

  • Your employer/employee rights
  • Your responsibilities if you take on a self-employed person

Both come with their challenges and demands, and both have different structures that you must adhere to.  Why?  Because you are protecting yourself from any future messy situations and also ensuring you get what you need from the situation. This handy guide from the UK government about hiring people might help you get started too.

How has the housekeeper cost fluctuated recently?

Salaries for domestic staff in the UK have steadily increased over the past 10 years. The highest increases can be found in London and the surrounding areas. Salaries and hourly rates for domestic staff have also grown steadily in other countries.

However, the home help market in Great Britain has seen a decline since Brexit. With less European and non-European staff coming to work in the country. And some clients are being more stringent with their outgoings.

Even high-income earners have suffered from a 20% decline in salaries. There are also fewer foreign housekeeping staff seeking employment in the UK. This shift has resulted in lower salaries being offered. However, market rates are still strong. And domestic staff in the UK are among the highest earners compared to their counterparts in other countries.

How much should you pay a full-time housekeeper?

Packages vary depending on whether the role is live-in or live-out housekeeper, as well as the overall conditions of the job.  Expect to pay between 10 – 20% less than the rates below if you’re paying for a live-in housekeeper.

  • Entry Level/Less Experienced Live-in Housekeepers: £350 – £450 net per week – £21K – £30K gross per year
  • Mid Level/More Experienced Live-in Housekeepers: £450 – £600 net per week – £31 – £40K gross per year
  • High Level/Very Experienced Live-in Housekeepers: £600+ net per week – £41K+ gross per year

What do salaries include?

The gross (full) annual salary comprises the following:

Net salary.

The money that the employee keeps after deductions.

National Insurance.

National Insurance contributions are paid to the government out of the housekeeper’s gross salary. The employer makes those deductions, unless the housekeeper is self-employed. In which case they pay their contributions directly.


The employer also pays tax to the government out of the gross salary. Self-employed housekeepers pay their tax at the end of the year. So they have to manage their own accounts and tax submission.

Holiday, sickness and maternity pay.

As an employer, you are legally obligated to pay holiday pay to your employees. Full-time workers in the UK are entitled to 20 days holiday plus 8 days for bank holidays. You can offer more (not less) if you choose.  For sickness, again there is a statutory rate set by the government. Which over a long period you may be able to claim back. If an employee becomes pregnant after a year of employment, she is entitled to six weeks’ pay at 90% of her salary. Followed by up to 33 weeks at the government standard pregnancy pay.

There are additional costs such as:


If you employ staff in the UK, even in domestic settings, you are legally obliged to pay into a pension fund for them. Unless your employee chooses to opt-out. This adds up to between £500 – £750 a year in pension contributions for a full-time housekeeper.


Before hiring anyone for your home, you should check that your household insurance covers you. If it doesn’t, you should take out a separate policy to cover anyone working in your property.

Redundancy pay.

After more than two years’ service, staff is entitled to one week’s pay for every year worked. This rises to one-and-a-half weeks for the over-forties. This is not reclaimable.

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Polo & Tweed take the stress out of hiring a full-time housekeeper!  We can help you with the entire recruitment process. As well as advise you on current market rates of pay. And also to make sure you get the best deal and best housekeeper for your home.  We can advise you on the best payroll services and ways to manage contracts and employment taxes. It can be complicated, but we are here to remove the worry from the process!

If you would like to know more about how we can help, please do get in touch with us here and one of our experienced recruitment consultants will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

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