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Asking au pair to help out with cleaning when cleaner is on holiday

(18 Posts)
Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Tue 30-May-17 21:51:32

Our cleaner has just gone on her annual 1 month holiday. I am not sure I want to go through the hassle of organising a temporary cleaner in her absence so i was thinking that we could manage the cleaning ourselves in that time period. Would it be outrageous if I ask our au pair to take turns with me cleaning the kids' bathroom (which he shares with them)? Normally he does not have to do much in terms of chores apart from kids laundry, cooking for the kids, tidying up after cooking and emptying the dishwasher. I feel it's a reasonable ask but just wanted to check how other families manage this.
Thanks

OVienna Wed 31-May-17 09:32:04

If you pay her extra I think it's fine to ask. But it shouldn't be pitched as mandatory. She might appreciate the extra cash but also don't expect her to clean to a cleaner standard. She might agree but then you end up only marginally happy with the result.

If I were you I would just bypass this potential aggro and get a temp cleaner in.

OVienna Wed 31-May-17 09:33:06

Sorry I've just seen it's only the kids' bathroom. confused
I think it's fine.

danTDM Wed 31-May-17 09:34:06

Not really, no.
You do it.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Wed 31-May-17 18:28:24

dan, I was saying I was going to take turns with the au pair. So I would clean it this week, he does it next week. After all, part of it would be his own dirt from using the bathroom.
But maybe I should go for a temporary cleaner after all, opinion seems to be divided on this one and I don't want to annoy the au pair with what he may see as an unreasonable request.
Thanks both for your thoughts.

underneaththeash Wed 31-May-17 22:54:25

That's fine, our au pair does the children's bathrooms (except toilets) when our cleaner is away....

Kelsoooo Wed 31-May-17 23:03:34

I'd never ask our au pair to.
I'd offer her the option to earn more money by picking up some domestic duties.

But then again, you already have more domestic duties for your au pair than I do so perhaps we run very different set ups.

underneaththeash Wed 31-May-17 23:09:06

I think everyone is missing the fact that that its the au pairs' bathroom too.

minipie Wed 31-May-17 23:15:28

I don't see the problem. As long as it fits within his weekly hours, ie you're asking him to do less work somewhere else. And as long as you realise it may not be done brilliantly

savagehk Wed 31-May-17 23:18:21

Given it's shared by the au pair anyway, and you're offering to share the load, seems reasonable. Our au pair has a bathroom of her own and keeping it clean is her own responsibility.

Funnyfarmer Wed 31-May-17 23:28:35

No harm in asking. Would you offer more money or an afternoon off as gratitude?
On the other hand most employees in any job are expected to keep both work and personal areas clean and tidy.
But if our cleaner is off. They would ask someone eles to pick up the hours with extra pay. Not utilise in to existing employees work. But a lot of companies would do.
I don't think ywbu to ask.
I also don't think he wbu to refuse

Wolfiefan Wed 31-May-17 23:38:41

You're asking the au pair to do more work. What extra pay or reduction in other duties will you offer?

Mamabear12 Sun 04-Jun-17 09:59:39

Of course the au pair can help clean his own bathroom!

flibberdee Sun 04-Jun-17 10:13:40

As a PP said, yes you can ask him to do it in return for extra money etc. I assume cleaning isn't in his contract? If not you would be unreasonable to ask him to do so. If cleaning is in the contract then go for it!

heebiejeebie Sun 04-Jun-17 10:33:03

So ithose who say that it's extra work - if you have an au pair and no cleaner you would clean the au pair's bathroom for them every week?

I would presume that an adult is capable of cleaning their own bathroom and it's a bonus that they don't have to most of the time. Totally reasonable....

flibberdee Sun 04-Jun-17 10:37:42

@heebiejeebie no I wouldn't clean the au pairs bathroom every week. But I would clean my children's bathroom every week and they share so it's much of a muchness really

DoomGloomAndKaboom Sun 04-Jun-17 10:42:56

I agree you need to offer money if you expect him to say yes to this.

If you are asking an employee (which essentially is what your au pair is) to take on an extra task, you have to offer money for it and accept they might say no.

So I would say 'as the cleaner's away, would you be interested in cleaning your and the kids' bathroom once a week for an extra fiver/tenner?' and make sure he feels he can say no thanks.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Sun 04-Jun-17 21:22:29

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I have decided to look for a temporary cleaner instead, as the entire house needs cleaning anyway.

I cleaned the bathroom last week just before going away for a few days with the children. When I came back I was a bit annoyed because the bathroom was actually left quite messy by him. So I cleaned it again..

I still don't think it's an unreasonable ask of him to every so often give everything a quick squirt and wipe, especially since he uses it himself and it's in his contract to tidy up after himself in the bathroom. But I'd rather avoid annoying him by asking, it's just not worth arguing about.

What I find interesting is that a lot of people on this thread argued about duties and contract, very much highlighting the employee/ employer relationship. On other MN discussions people highlight the fact that an aupair should be treated as a member of the family. I would expect my own children to help clean their bathroom in this case if they are older teenagers.
It's such a weird relationship with an aupair - both family member and employee, where do you draw the line!

Out of interest, what chores do other people's aupairs have to do on a regular basis?

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