Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to tell my cleaner not to come tomorrow?

(86 Posts)
reddwarf Thu 03-Jan-13 08:05:29

I've had a cleaner for a few months. Tomorrow is the last day of the school holidays. My dc are all still in bed and likely to be there for quite some time. As is dh. My cleaner normally comes at 7.45.

So not only are 5 people going to be in bed, but as everyone is here, the house is a tip.

I feel guilty for cancelling, but otoh, it#s not exactly ideal.

What to other people do re cleaners in school holidays, and AIBU to tell her not to come? ( WHich I did last week )

Should I just make it a blanket rule not to come during any school holiday?

malteserzz Thu 03-Jan-13 10:26:43

I cancelled my cleaner today for the same reason, we are all getting up late in the holidays. I did tell her before Christmas but even if I'd only given her 24 hours notice I wouldn't pay her ! She sometimes texts me on the day to say she can't come as the children are I'll etc and we re arrange, it's very flexible. That'd the advantage of having someone local rather than an agency

whois Thu 03-Jan-13 10:32:20

Wow OP you can't just cancel like that.

If everyone is in bed she can deep clean the kitchen and do the oven if your got oven cleaning stuff in. Or do a proper go on the sitting room and move all the furniture.

Can't believe you we're going to cancel and not pay her with so little notice. Shows v llittle respect.

WhateverTrevor Thu 03-Jan-13 10:39:04

You must go out at some point in the holidays? So book her on one of the days you are out of the house.

EuroShagmore Thu 03-Jan-13 10:45:08

Why not ask her if she can come later?

My cleaner comes at any time during the working day when we are at work, but in the holidays I ask for a precise time so that we can go out while she works.

If you want her only in term time, you need to discuss that with her. She might agree, she might not. But as others have said, it's not on to cancel at less than 24 hours' notice.

I would ask her to deep clean one room downstairs, or do the windows and blinds for example.

But I also would consider kicking the carcasses upstairs into touch to let her get on with it. She could start downstairs while they get up, then swap while they get breakfast surely?

DontmindifIdo Thu 03-Jan-13 11:08:51

Btw, it's the lack of notice that's the problem really, you have given her no time/ warning. My beauticians charge you 50% if you cancel within less than 24 hours, but then wave it if you reschedule, it's normal practice for most businesses to expect to be paid if you cancel (rather than rearrange) with short notice. Ask her about coming in the afternoon instead, if her other clients are out at work they might not actually care what time she cleans their house - worth finding out how flexible she is.

Also worth having a chat with dh about cancelling altogether if you really don't like having a cleaner.

schoolgovernor Thu 03-Jan-13 11:29:28

I used to work self-employed as a cleaner. I didn't expect to get paid for time I took off (with fair notice obviously, unless ill). My customers paid me if they went on holiday, and sometimes that was their chance to get me in to give the place a good going over while they were away. Of course I'd have expected to be paid if someone gave less than 24 hours notice of cancellation, or probably if they gave less than a week's notice. I didn't have a load of casual people waiting on a call from me to go in and work for them instead, so if someone decided on a whim they didn't want me, I didn't get paid. Most people were very fair without any prompting, it's obvious to anyone when they have caused another person to lose income. I did have a couple of customers who weren't quite so fair, and those were the ones I dropped as soon as another job came along to replace them.
So op, if you value your cleaner and she does a good job, I'd suggest that you put yourself in her shoes and think about how you'd feel about suddenly discovering you won't be earning anything after all today.

Autumnalis Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:06

I think £20 is a lot of money for lots of people. I don't know where all these magnanimous people live who fork out twenties and not expect work in return. Does the cleaner come to the door and get handed the money and just go? I've seen wealthy people haggle over less than that amount of money, I don't really see how it's widespread practice to pay and not expect work done. Re-schedule!

Autumn but they have an arrangement that she will come and the op will pay her. Presumably she relies on those waggled twenties to pay her bills. If the op wants to cancel fine, but why should the cleanr, who presumably was willing to keep to her end of the deal, lose out?

cantspel Thu 03-Jan-13 11:45:18

But if the kids and husband are still in bed then it leaves it clear for her to deep clean the important areas like kitchen, lounge and bathroom so i dont see the problem. Let her come as normal but just tell her to leave the bedrooms.

mrsshackleton Thu 03-Jan-13 11:54:44

If you want a good relationship with your cleaner, you pay weekly no matter what, unless discussed in advance. We pay our cleaner always when we go on holiday and give her time off then. She's been with us for years as a result. If you can't afford such an arrangement, you can't afford a cleaner.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 03-Jan-13 11:56:05

I have a friend who cleans and she has a rota for clients, she has school age children herself so appreciates organising things in advance so she can arrange her own childcare. If a client prefers not to have her round during school holidays there is sometimes an arrangement by which my friend takes home ironing to do instead. If my friend has to cancel at short notice she will try her best to arrange an agreed alternative date or even introduce a back up cleaner to ensure the client is not inconvenienced. It seems only reasonable to expect the same level of consideration in return. Ideally this is sorted out at the beginning of employment.

I am self employed and it's standard in my particular industry to have a cancellation policy (less than 5 working days notice = full fee, between 6-9 days = half fee, 10 days or more = no charge). This is to take account of the fact it would be difficult for the person to pick up other work within 5 days to "replace" the cancelled assignment.

Unless your cleaner is likely to be able to find another client to fill your slot tomorrow, it would be most unreasonable to cancel her at this late stage without pay because your family want a lie in. This is this woman's livelihood - she may be depending on this money.

I think the old principle "do unto others" applies here. smile

myfirstkitchen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:57:01

If you can afford a cleaner you can afford to pay then when you cancel at short notice.
If you work as a cleaner I doubt you can afford to loose money (especially just after Christmas and with a child!) because your employer doesn't want to get out of bed

It probably hits her hard if she cancels because her or dc are ill too but that's her decision.

If you don't want her to work at least give enough notice so she can make up the shortfall by taking on extra work etc. for all you know another client could of asked for more hours due to having relatives stay in usually unused spare rooms etc but she turned it down because you already booked her.

middleagedspread Thu 03-Jan-13 12:04:18

It's a tricky one. On one hand you want the house to be clean but you also need the space & time to tidy up so that she can do her job.
Why not blitz down stairs tonight & get her to just do the rooms she can tomorrow?
IME most cleaners are flexible & used to homes with sleeping children.
I would definitely pay her if you decide to cancel though.

Autumnalis Thu 03-Jan-13 12:05:43

If the cleaner can't make it she will surely re-schedule rather than send someone else in at the same time etc. I can afford the money for work done but not for no work. As mentioned above, it's give and take on both sides, whatever works for each pair.

If the cleaner can't make it she will surely re-schedule rather than send someone else in at the same time etc.

Maybe the cleaner is very busy and no other time would suit? (As is the case in my line of work). If client wanted to cancel me and rebook at some other time, they would be looking at paying 2 charges.

i would get her to deep clean downstairs (will make you tidy it up today so she can get a good go at it)

thats what i plan to do smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 03-Jan-13 12:19:42

The issue here is not the cleaner cancelling it's that it doesn't suit the OP. Give and take is 2 way. Of course nobody expects to be handed money for nothing. The cleaner has a booking so is ready to honour it and be paid accordingly.

Revelsarethebest Thu 03-Jan-13 12:23:47

Its fine to have her term time only providing that you clean when shes not there.

It would be very unfair to not clean when shes not there and then when she comes back when its term time she then has double/triple the amount of dirt to deal with

ImaginateMum Thu 03-Jan-13 12:25:28

Maybe I am not quite with it, but it seems to me that "I can afford the money for work done but not for no work" doesn't actually make any sense unless you are going to pay a different cleaner to then do the work?

I am with the others that think cancelling at short notice because you don't want to get out of bed is not really on and that you should pay.

Booyhoo Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:12

"She costs loads and I can't afford to pay her for nothing."

bullshit!

if you can afford to pay her when she does come then you can afford it if she doesn't as you had that money set aside for her anyway.

Adversecamber Thu 03-Jan-13 12:34:10

I decided to give my cleaner holiday pay this Christmas, I am not obliged to but she only has a week off at Christmas every year and takes no other leave. In the school holidays quite a few people drop her but mainly because they are away on hols and do not need her. I get my cleaner to come and do other stuff like clean the fridge out and wash the windows in the school holidays.

I prefer being out when she comes but she is only in one room at a time so we just keep out of her way.

Sounds like you need a discussion on what is acceptable to both of you and not just about this occasion I do think it is simply not cricket to cancel and not pay at such short notice though and hope she can switch her time.

Autumnalis Thu 03-Jan-13 12:35:22

People manage their money in different ways. Some people prefer the PAYG option rather than lifetime membership!

Ephiny Thu 03-Jan-13 12:43:56

I agree with what most people have said. You would be unreasonable to cancel at such short notice, unless it was a real/unavoidable emergency. Not just because you/your children don't want to get out of bed.

For future school holidays, maybe you could make different arrangements. She might be able to come later in the day, for example. Or term-time only might be a possibility, but I would have thought you'd need more cleaning not less with the children at home full-time!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now