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To not pay my cleaner while I'm on holiday?

(58 Posts)
KensingtonLou Thu 07-Jan-16 09:19:22

More of an is DP BU. Going on holiday in just under a month for nearly 5 weeks - DP is suggesting for 3 of those weeks we don't have the cleaner come and don't pay her. She usually does 5-6 hours a week.

I'm a bit torn - on the one hand it's a not-insignificant amount of money for us but at the same time it feels unfair that she's losing out with no opportunity to recoup those hours confused

Realitea Thu 07-Jan-16 09:22:29

If you're on holiday surely it wouldn't need cleaning?

Collaborate Thu 07-Jan-16 09:23:58

Maybe she could do a deep spring clean for you.

MoMoTy Thu 07-Jan-16 09:25:00

Could she make up the hours for you when you get back?

gininteacupsandleavesonthelawn Thu 07-Jan-16 09:26:37

Are there any 'big jobs' she could do for maybe half the time while you're away that she doesn't do regularly? I'm thinking oven/windows/deep clean carpets/skirtings & woodwork/insides of kitchen cupboards/rooms which aren't used as much. Could she wash/dry/iron and remake the beds? I'd try to use some of the time to do tasks that are distruptive/dontget done regularly

Pigeonpost Thu 07-Jan-16 09:26:58

You have to pay her. We usually ask our cleaners to do less day to day tasks if we are away. If we are away two weeks she would do a normal clean the first week and then things like deep clean of fridge/oven or cleaning all the inside windows or cleaning inside all the kitchen cupboards.

DanglyEarOrnaments Thu 07-Jan-16 09:27:16

We are a cleaning service and even when we were starting out and cleaned ourselves we nevert charged for cancellations made in advance but if someone cancels within 24 hours of a booked clean then we do charge for the full service.

Did she give you an agreement when she first met you to quote and discuss terms and conditions of her service?

If not then I think the general consensus within the industry is that most would not charge you if you cancelled the visits in advance.

HappyInL0nd0n Thu 07-Jan-16 09:27:18

Totally your call, but personally, I would pay her unless you have previously negotiated an arrangement around holidays.

I always figure it's a luxury to be able to afford a cleaner, and I assume our cleaner relies on that income for her family finances (nobody would clean our house for the fun of it!). Taking almost a month's wages away from your cleaner for a reason outside her control could impact her more heavily than you think.

Possible exception if she works for an agency and can be assigned extra hours in your absence?

I would console myself with the thought that your family are very lucky to be able to take such a great, long break together. Maybe have her in for one/two of the scheduled sessions anyway to do more 'deep clean' stuff such as cleaning out cupboards, extra ironing, window cleaning (ground floor)... stuff you never usually get done?

Good luck with the decision. I think your husband is reasonable to raise it. And have a fantastic holiday. smile

DanglyEarOrnaments Thu 07-Jan-16 09:29:58

Oh yes and some clients do that, they will leave the payment running but have us do some additional services on the extra visits such as our deep cleaning service one visit and then inside fridge and inside some kitchen cupboards on another visit (if it's more than two weeks, the first week still needs our regular maintenance visit of course!)

That's another way around it.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 07-Jan-16 09:30:06

Is she self employed or do you use an agency?

If agency then hopefully they will find her an alternative for a few weeks, perhaps covering sick leave or doing a one-off spring clean for someone.

If S.E. then she should have terms and conditions to spell out what happens in this instance. Unless otherwise stated, if you don't need her then she doesn't get paid and she might well appreciate the time off!

When you're S.E. you accept that your income can be a bit sporadic sometimes and have to budget accordingly. It can also be difficult to take time off as you feel guilty for not earning, so a bit of enforced downtime can be a blessing.

Have you spoken to her? As others have said, it might be a good opportunity to get some of those big jobs done that would otherwise not be (although with 5-6 hours a week I imagine your house must be pretty spotless already!)

FishWithABicycle Thu 07-Jan-16 09:31:10

Could you keep her working but ask her to do some deep cleaning once-a-year type tasks while you are gone?

If there's not enough tasks like that to keep her busy you could reduce the number of hours but no I don't think it's at all fair to just not pay her.

Whatever you decide you need to give her plenty of notice of your plans so don't ponder too long.

LyndaNotLinda Thu 07-Jan-16 09:32:56

I always pay my cleaner when I go on holiday. It's not her fault you're not there. In the same way as you pay your CM or your nursery or any other service that you use, if the service is still available but you're simply choosing not to use it, then you pay regardless.

DanglyEarOrnaments Thu 07-Jan-16 09:38:05

It depends on her terms really, these should all be set out in the beginning either by her if she's self-employed or by the company she works for if she is working for you via a cleaning company or agency..

PingpongDingDong Thu 07-Jan-16 09:38:29

I never know what's fair in these situations either. We have dog walkers once a week, they don't expect payment if we don't need them, however I would feel bad not using them or paying them for 5 weeks. It's almost as if I'd feel they had a right to fill our place.

As suggested by others I'd compromise by asking her to do some big cleaning jobs while you're away even if that's not going to add up to the usual number of hours.

shinynewusername Thu 07-Jan-16 09:39:04

I would pay her and get her to do spring-cleaning (unless she works for an agency). It seems very unfair to someone who is on low pay that she should suffer financially because you are on holiday. My cleaner cleans out the fridge & kitchen cabinets when we're away thank God because I'm far too slack to do it

WhiffyBiffer Thu 07-Jan-16 09:39:05

It completely depends on her. My current cleaner is paying off an IVA thing, she works all the hours she can and never misses a week because she is on a very tight budget. She finds it difficult when people say they don't want her for the odd week and if someone does that a lot she gives them notice and finds a new client. To get round it I decided to offer her 4 weeks paid holiday per year. She chooses 2 weeks and I choose 2. Usually when we're away or over Xmas. Alternatively you could offer your cleaner to make up the hours but mine can't do this as her week is usually so full.

On the other hand, someone I've had in the past wasn't that fussed and was happy to have unpaid time off.

You need to ask her but I think you need to give her the option of continuing to receive her usual weekly payment or its a bit unfair.

FreshHorizons Thu 07-Jan-16 09:41:04

If you don't pay her you run the risk that she finds alternatives and doesn't come back.

SoupDragon Thu 07-Jan-16 09:42:03

Also, how keen are you not to lose her? A good cleaner can be hard to find.

I agree that finding big jobs for the holiday time is a good plan.

BabyGanoush Thu 07-Jan-16 09:42:35

it depends, My cleaner cancels me quite freely (around 25% of the time she cancels), last time she did not even text me, just no-show.

So after years of continuing her pay during our hols, I have now decided I will no longer pay her, but simply let her know the dates we are away.

So it depends on your cleaner, does she ever cancel you for her holidays?

nanodragon Thu 07-Jan-16 09:43:45

This is the issue of being self employed and it depends entirely on your arrangement with her. I agree though - I usually feel bad and let her come in and do a big spring clean

FinallyHere Thu 07-Jan-16 09:44:43

We would not dream of not paying while we are on holiday. Top reason, is that good people are hard to find and I really, really don't want to lose her.

There are always deep clean jobs which just don't get done week by week, so plenty to be done, like taking books off bookshelves for dusting, not just hoovering under the beds.

But its mostly because she goes such a great job, knows us both so well, just gets on and does whatever needs doing and genuinely takes a burden of responsibility for the house being clean and tidy off my our shoulders. It takes a while to get to know each other sufficiently, to know when to ask and when to just get on and do. Yes she spoils us and yes we know that we are spoiled. The least we can do is pay her regularly.

There are downsides: I do worry what we will do if and when she retries, as we are roughly the same age. Sigh.

Wolpertinger Thu 07-Jan-16 09:45:17

What did it say in your agreement when you started?

I let my cleaner know when I'm on holiday and our agreement is that I pay her half price retainer for those weeks.

Other cleaners will have an agreement that you only pay for the weeks that you actually have cleaning.

ManneryTowers Thu 07-Jan-16 09:48:39

Wow your holiday sounds great.

Our cleaner comes every week but we just let each other know if either of us can't do the following week (i.e she didn't want to work between Christmas and New Year and we had a weeks holiday in November) and no payment is made for the weeks she doesn't come.

However even on our informal arrangement, I would feel a five week break is too much as she would lose out. Can you ask her to do maybe three of the five weeks and, as pp has mentioned, ask for 'annual' cleaning jobs to be done? That way you save a little, your cleaner makes a little and you come home to a fresh home?

Lweji Thu 07-Jan-16 09:50:27

I pay mine while I'm away because she relies on the income and it's a regular apointment that we don't have to re-book every time.
I think it's fair.

ButtonMoon88 Thu 07-Jan-16 09:50:43

It's a long time to go without payment and you run the risk of her finding permanent work elsewhere!

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