Have you ever been asked to remove your shoes when working?

(48 Posts)
Ldnmum2015 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:19:16

I am a cleaner, today on a new booking a customer asked me to remove my shoes, I told her I didn't usually do that as my shoes are covered and they are to protect my feet from product spillages and from banging my toes (new flat don't know the layout, more prone to do this) after she showed me the bathroom which had a walk-in shower, I point blankly refused to clean and cancelled, I had another job straight after hers and I didn't want to be walking around with wet socks or dirty feet. She said that her old cleaner never saw it as a problem which I found a bit shocking. I was just wondering has anyone else encountered this?

RainyMornings Wed 01-Jun-16 19:25:38

Look up employment h&s, I'm pretty sure shoes count as personal safety items and are therefore non-negotiable

mayhew Wed 01-Jun-16 19:29:45

In my job I go into private homes and am asked to remove shoes.
Options
Refuse and cause offence
Barefoot and risk injury
Shoe covers CSI style
Indoor slippers in bag.

I manage!

redexpat Wed 01-Jun-16 19:36:07

SIL is a carer for the elderly in their own homes. She has an indoor pair of shoes and outdoor. Worth a try?

whattheseithakasmean Wed 01-Jun-16 19:38:53

I used to interview people in their homes for magazines. Only once was I ever asked to remove my shoes. I visited many houses, often very splendid and beautiful. It was a very ordinary house with pretty tasteless decor that asked me to remove my shoes. They offered manky towelling slippers. I was tempted to not bother with the job, but I did remove by shoes (didn't use the slippers). It was a one off, if it was to be more than that, like you, I would refuse.

ilovesooty Wed 01-Jun-16 19:42:39

Yes but I was about to remove them anyway - matter of cultural / religious respect.

Ldnmum2015 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:49:45

thanks rainymornings, I haven't looked it up as I think its commonsense, she said her old cleaner never saw it as a problem, I asked her if she was sure he was qualified, as on our course we were told to keep our feet covered to protect our feet, but she just shrugged it of and said he never had a problem (prob cos they needed the money), she actually said she didn't want my shoes on her bathroom floor! It had a walk in shower ffs. I get the mayhew comment about taking my own shoes, would of been ok with that if she had forwarned me, but she hadn't, really fed up, am I still in my rights to bill her for the cancellation as I still had to travel to get to hers

Badbadbunny Wed 01-Jun-16 19:50:22

We bought some plastic slip-on shoe covers from Ebay and leave some in the front porch. Solves your problem. They just slip over the shoes. But many people are just as happy to take off their shoes. In my job, I often go into peoples' houses and offer to take off my shoes - solves the problem of the householder feeling embarrassed about asking. When you go into someone else's house, you have to respect THEIR property. If you don't want to do that, then you were right to walk away - it's your loss though.

Balletgirlmum Wed 01-Jun-16 19:53:55

Shoes are definately PPE & you shouldn't remove them

Ldnmum2015 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:53:57

I do have a customer, who I do take my shoes of for, but she brought me brand new fluffy slippers plastic wrapped, and is ok with shoes in the bathroom, she is respectful though and made the effort to buy me something to put on, she also puts my jacket on the radiator and offers me a drink! So I don't mind, but its the not being forwarned that got me, and expecting me to clean a walk in shower in just me socks, I could of fallen and broken my neck, feel so sorry for her old cleaner and other cleaners for that matter

Balletgirlmum Wed 01-Jun-16 19:54:53

Considering good cleaners are like gold dust I'd say it's her loss not the OP's

Ldnmum2015 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:55:18

actually badbunny, good idea, I can easily carry those plastic covers in my bag, plus can keep protection o my feet, thanks will get a few for next time

Badbadbunny Wed 01-Jun-16 19:56:26

Health & safety executive gives the example of plastic shoe covers as being a satisfactory solution and that "Simply trotting out "health and safety" as the reason for rejecting the slippers is not helpful."

www.hse.gov.uk/myth/myth-busting/2013/case131-carer-footwear.htm

Ldnmum2015 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:57:43

sorry badbunny, I thought you meant the plastic bag type ones you get in swimming pools, am going to try a just keep a few in my bag as not to big to carry

daftbesom Wed 01-Jun-16 20:01:31

Swimming-pool type covers would be fine I am sure.

Make sure the ones you bring aren't slippy on any of the floor surfaces. They should be OK but check!

LunaLoveg00d Thu 02-Jun-16 08:27:07

Look up employment h&s,

Which is fine, except the OP isn't employed, she's self-employed. I don't insist my cleaner takes her shoes off, and agree that the swimming pool style covers are a good alternative.

deepdarkwood Thu 02-Jun-16 08:32:33

Our cleaners bring 'house shoes' with them (unasked) - which I have to admit I really like as we are a shoes off household so the idea of cleaning in outdoor shoes just feels all wrong to me! I hi into people's houses as part of my (self employed) job all the time and always offer to remove shoes immediately/if my host isn't wearing shoes.

FrikkaDilla Thu 02-Jun-16 08:36:56

Anyone else get fed up of "HSE" being recited again and again? I'm surprised no one has used "Data Protection Act" yet.

OurBlanche Thu 02-Jun-16 08:42:49

I am in and out of other people's houses all the time... I wear the blue shoe protectors all the time. Sometimes it is to protect the carpets, other times to protect my shoes... I may have been in some seriosuly disgusting houses smile

Artistic Thu 02-Jun-16 09:07:43

My cleaner brings indoor shoes. All of them always have. I never thought anything else was even an option? hmm

Badbadbunny Thu 02-Jun-16 13:21:57

I think it's more strange that a cleaner would think it's ok to clean a walk-in shower whilst wearing outdoor shoes! That's going to leave muck, bacteria, etc., from the pavement outside onto the shower/bathroom floor where people will be bare-foot.

Marsquared Thu 02-Jun-16 13:23:54

My cleaner has indoor slipper style shoes she wears. We don't wear shoes in our house and don't allow anyone else to either.

Ldnmum2015 Thu 02-Jun-16 17:42:45

Badbunny, that's because I clean the floor last, and clean it from the end wall to the door, so basically I am cleaning up behind myself and sanitising as I exit the room. For me to thoroughly clean the shower screen I would of had to sanitise with boiling water, where I would be standing. If I was bare foot I would be exposing my feet to the customers filthy floor and could catch athletes foot and other nasties, in my socks I could slip, also there was no provision to clean my feet after or dry them.

Ldnmum2015 Thu 02-Jun-16 17:51:24

I totally respect the shoe rule with the carpets, i have offered to one or two in the past, and have a lovely lady who brought me slippers. I am lucky as I am self employed I can simply dump customers but it is annoying as i am very busy, and slotted her in around my schedule, i really feel for her previous cleaner

Ldnmum2015 Thu 02-Jun-16 18:07:09

Also badbunny there was a cat litter tray in the bathroom, with litter scattered around the floor, I could of caught all sorts of nasties in wet socks or bare footed eeeeerrk

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