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AIBU to expect my cleaner to stay for the time I've paid for?

(42 Posts)
pintsizedblondie Sun 24-Feb-19 11:37:23

I'm on half term this week and my fortnightly cleaning slot fell on the Friday of me being off.

My cleaner arrived at 9.30am for her 3 hour slot. I told her that I'd keep out of her way in the living room and that she didn't need to do that room with me being in it.

At 12.05, I heard the door go and low and behold the cleaner has left. She technically still had 25 minutes left that I'd paid for.

AIBU to expect that, despite her not doing one of the normal rooms she usually does, that she should have used the 25 minutes for a task she doesn't normally do/get time for, or at least that she'd asked if I wanted anything else doing before leaving?

Not sure whether to mention it to the lady who owns the cleaning business or not.

Also makes me wonder if she's leaving early when I'm there what is she doing when I'm not…

TheQueef Sun 24-Feb-19 11:38:50

Depends on whether you asked her to do something else or just told her to skip that room.

Whattodonut Sun 24-Feb-19 11:43:27

She should have asked you if there was anything else. But if she is leaving early maybe she's got the wrong info and thinks it's a 2.5hr clean?

DawgLover Sun 24-Feb-19 11:44:47

I think yabu. You've been quoted 3 hours for the full task and told her to do one room less, so of course she would finish up sooner.
If you wanted something done INSTEAD of the room you need to ask, and she needs to agree that she'll do that instead.

As long as the requested work gets done i honestly wouldn't care if she leaves once finished. I definitely wouldn't assume she'll pick up new, unasked for jobs.

Butchyrestingface Sun 24-Feb-19 11:45:23

She could have asked if there was something else but it just sounds as if you're on different pages with regards to expectations. If you want her to do other things in this situation, you'll have to ask her.

Merryoldgoat Sun 24-Feb-19 11:48:25


My cleaner was in on a day I had a sick child so I asked her to leave the living room and concentrate elsewhere - my living room is massive with lots of furniture so takes a while.

I found her in the kitchen cleaning the oven - entirely not expected - she said ‘well I have the time!’

There’s always something to do.

gamerchick Sun 24-Feb-19 11:49:21

Why didn't you give her a task to do rather than just tell her to skip a room? Does she have a list of tasks to do 'if she has time' already?

spongedog Sun 24-Feb-19 11:51:24

I would be suspicious that she is leaving at that time every time,. Does she have to unset an alarm code? You can track alarm code settings.

The fact she didnt say goodbye is either that she is comfortable with the 2 1/2 hours plus 5 mins or that she was sneaking off early. But knowing you were there that doesnt seem quite right.

Can you text her and ask what hours she thinks she is meant to be working?

pintsizedblondie Sun 24-Feb-19 11:51:38

I thought she might ask if she had time left at the end rather than just leaving and not even saying goodbye. Like I said, it's never normally an issue as I'm at work so the living room can be done. I guess it is partly my fault for not asking her to do X task if she had time left over.

Cora1942 Sun 24-Feb-19 11:57:55

Im a nanny. Families who have nannys usually have a cleaner too. And yes cleaners often leave early. Maybe they see it as a set amount of jobs to be completed rather than time. Sometimes an extra person will help and the time is halved.
I think you should have asked her to do another task instead of the lounge.

DawgLover Sun 24-Feb-19 11:58:01

I wouldn't worry too much about her leaving early. One room less would mean she finishes sooner, had she done the room that would have taken her up to the allotted time.

Treat it as a lesson learned - if you want her to do something else ask her.

Chamomileteaplease Sun 24-Feb-19 11:58:33

I think that is a great idea of the PP, ask either her or the agency what hours they think they are meant to be working because you thought it was three hours!

I think this cleaner was rude not to say goodbye, cheeky for leaving and stupid for not cleaning something else. Ultimately untrustworthy.

mummmy2017 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:04:19

I think that is bare faced cheek.
Surely the one time you do the full 3 hours to the minimum, is when the person that pays the bills is home.
I would have packed up dead on the 3 hours and would out at 3 mins past.
Can you imagine in an office if you did this.

Larrythelamb84 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:06:53

I have CCTV on my house but never used it to "spy" on the cleaner, until my neighbour mentioned that some days she was only there for an hour or so (I pay for 2). So I stated to have a look, out of curiosity. And sadly, this was the case. Some days she would be there just over an hour.

I asked her about it, but her argument was that everything was done within the hour. (I wished I could clean my whole house in an hour!!). But I told her this was just a general tidy, there were other things she could do for the second hour...clean the mirrors, a bit of ironing, skirting boards etc.

Not long after, she told me she wouldn't be coming anymore. When I interviewed my new cleaner, I made her aware of the CCTV. Not to make her think I was watching, but so she knew it was there and that I could if I wanted to.

StinkyCandle Sun 24-Feb-19 12:10:25


she should have at least asked and say goodbye!
You need to clarify if she thinks she is employed to do a certain set of rooms, or a full 3 hours job.

In most jobs you don't take the afternoon off because you have finished a task, you start something else!

bouncydog Sun 24-Feb-19 12:11:47

My cleaner is paid for 3 hours and it is very clear what she is expected to do in the 3 hours, which was all agreed with the agency up front. If she has any time left then she gets on and does something else. I suggest you speak to the agency and if they argue that she did what she was supposed to do in 2.5 hours then tell them that is the time you will pay for!

Alsohuman Sun 24-Feb-19 12:19:29

It wouldn’t bother me. If everything she did was up to the expected standard and I hadn’t asked her to do something else instead of the missing room, I’d let it go. I was never too fussed about the timekeeping of people I managed if they did what was expected to a high standard.

The not saying goodbye was quite possibly because she forgot you were there if she’s used to cleaning an empty house.

Springwalk Sun 24-Feb-19 12:20:38

You were paying for three hours and she should work for the full three hours.

Does she always leave early is the real question? If she does you are being taken advantage of.

There is always something that needs to be done op

OffToBedhampton Sun 24-Feb-19 12:21:48


My old cleaner would have done a different task instead , like skirting boards, the bathroom tiles or tackled a bigger job. That she left 25 mins early knowing you were there indicates how blase she is about leaving early. I would take this up with the agency.

She's paid for 3 hours, I'd expect 3 hours of cleaning as there is always more that could be done in any room.

Portabella24 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:26:45

Are you happy with her work?
I have a cleaner. She knows what she has to do and I pay for three hours. Sometimes the house is a little tidier than normal and she finishes earlier. Sometimes it is messier and she takes longer.
This drive to squeeze every last drop is Dickensian. If someone's taking the piss, fair enough but it doesn't really sound like it in this case. As for not saying good bye - wtaf? It's not school and she doesn't need to be dismissed.

Fartingisfun Sun 24-Feb-19 12:29:24

I had this with a cleaner who I considered a friend. We agreed a number of hours not a scope of activity per se.

I left her cash to cover a deep clean one day (6 hours) because the place needed a blitz, and ended up having to unexpectedly return home from work early. I came armed with sausage sandwiches thinking we could have a quick batter while she had a break. She wasn't there.

I texted to ask how she was getting on thinking she would tell me held up or something called her way early. She texted back that she was busy doing the stairs. Needless to say the full cash amount had been taken.

The house was fairly clean as in bins had been emptied and I could smell the pledge.... but she had fucked off after two hours... 😡

Stupidly I held out a bit longer but then she made the mistake thinking that just because we are untidy we wouldn't realise our iPad had walked... and could be tracked to her house....

Not been able to muster up trust for a cleaner since.

Mmmmbrekkie Sun 24-Feb-19 12:31:51

Absolutely not being unreasonable!!

When you finish a task at work you don’t get up and leave. You do another task / admin / support another member of the team. Until your contracted hours are fulfilled

pintsizedblondie Sun 24-Feb-19 12:33:05

I didn't mean it to sound as though she needed to be dismissed, but I equally think it is common courtesy and a little rude. It also makes me think she knew it was wrong to leave early and saying goodbye would have brought it to my attention that she was doing so.

Cynderella Sun 24-Feb-19 12:33:23

I suppose it depends on whether you are paying for three hours, or paying for cleaning that takes about three hours.

I am new to having a cleaner, and a couple of weeks ago, she came in while I was home ill. I'd completely lost my voice and was on sofa marking books. She started upstairs as usual and left half an hour early.

I emailed cleaning company and they added half an hour on for the following week because they charge and pay by the hour.

Mmmmbrekkie Sun 24-Feb-19 12:35:46


Before doing so, you should have told her that you were using CCTV to track her arrival and departure.

Yes it would have defeated the purpose but by law I gather you need to be transparent about using

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