My self-employed cleaner is pregnant. Do I need to do anything?

(14 Posts)
Hardtoknow Wed 08-Jul-15 21:11:46

I found out today that my cleaner is pregnant. I know that if I were her employer, I would need to consider her work and what changes need/could be made. What happens when the person is self employed? What do I need to do?
Slightly differently, what should I do? She is a fabulous cleaner, a lovely lady and I obviously want to be as supportive as possible but, as we notice when she is on holiday, our lives seem to spiral towards chaos without her as we don't have the time to do the cleaning, ironing and odds and ends of housekeeping that she does.
Any advice?

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 08-Jul-15 21:14:38

Assuming she works for lots of other people including you, you have no obligation to do anything other than be considerate and consider a gift when she stops work!

blacktreaclecat Wed 08-Jul-15 21:17:55

Buy a baby gift and look for a new cleaner?

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 08-Jul-15 21:19:38

Find a new cleaner?

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 08-Jul-15 21:23:00

That was a bit flippant. Did she not give you an idea of her plans? Most will say 'I can still come round until x date, but then I'm stopping. I'm going to take 3 mos but plan to be available in June' or whatever. It's up to her really?

AuditAngel Wed 08-Jul-15 21:23:41

Perhaps talk to her. My lovely cleaner suggested a friend provide maternity cover for us, which meant we got a recommended cleaner, and our cleaner got her job back.

PeterParkerSays Wed 08-Jul-15 21:39:08

I disagree, I think you need to sit down and discuss with her what adjustments will need to be made to her work with you during her pregnancy - if she can't carry the hoover upstairs, can someone get it upstairs for her before her shift every Tuesday, likewise should she leave the mop bucket with water in it for one of you to empty so she doesn't lift it? Are there cleaning products she shouldn't be using? Does she clean the cat's litter tray?

Hardtoknow Thu 09-Jul-15 15:02:54

Peter they are good points and have made me think about the individual tasks she does. I think she is in the early stages of pregnancy so may be exhausted but probably not that cumbersome. I could ask her to make sure she takes a break. I could also ask her if she is still happy to do things like vacuum the stairs as that can be a bit awkward. As she gets bigger, I'm not sure she will still be able to change the beds.
She supplies cleaning products herself so can make those choices herself and we don't have a cat.
Talking to her isn't that easy as she only comes when we are at work so we never see her (hence I don't know how far along she is as I haven't seen her for months so have no idea if she has a bump or not. From her text, I think it is early days). There is also the problem that English isn't her first language so communication is normally kept to a minimum.
If she could suggest a friend, either long term or for the equivalent of maternity cover, that would be fantastic. She is very good and very reliable so I would be reluctant to lose her.

QforCucumber Thu 09-Jul-15 15:13:06

A lot of Self employed people won't take full maternity leave, when they have clients relying on them. A Friend of mine is a childminder and is only taking 2 months off, it's worth checking if your cleaner has thought about this and what she intends.
If you don't see her then maybe a phonecall to congratulate and discuss? ask if she has any queries or requirements from you?

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 09-Jul-15 15:18:18

If I was your cleaner, I'd feel pretty patronised by suggestions that I couldnt carry a mop bucket or hoover or use regular cleaning products just because I was pregnant ( I am heavily pregnant and still have to clean my house, like most of us do!). She is selfemployed andcan make all of those kinds of decisions for herself. If she finds she cant do certain things she will tell you so.

Hardtoknow Thu 09-Jul-15 15:44:13

Really, winter? I didn't feel patronised when the occupational health person at work told me not to carry boxes of documents and that I might want to consider coming in late & leaving late or vice versa to avoid travelling on the tube at peak times. I was capable of making those sorts of decisions for myself but it was nice to know that my employer would be understanding if I did. In our case, the cleaner started changing the beds when I was heavily pregnant as I just couldn't get to DD's cabin bed (DH working long hours so rarely at home before DD was in bed) so I imagine she will also struggle but, as it is a specific part of her job, she may feel that she had to try and do it.
Q - I have replied to say congratulations and suggested that we speak in a couple of weeks when I will be on holiday and so at home when she comes.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Thu 09-Jul-15 15:48:25

Can't carry the Hoover upstairs or empty a mop bucket?

How many pregnant women have filthy upstairs floors in their third trimesters?

gallicgirl Thu 09-Jul-15 15:51:11

It depends on her general health. I had SPD during pregnancy and I could only carry the hoover or washing basket upstairs if I stopped to rest 2 or 3 times and if I actually did the hoovering, I could barely walk the next day.

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Thu 09-Jul-15 17:22:18

Also SPD, also couldn't have done either of those things towards the end. Couldn't have carried hoover much past about 20 weeks in fact. It wouldn't even have been a case of being in pain the next day, I just couldn't have done the lifting. You need a functioning midsection for that. Didn't have a filthy upstairs floor though, what with DH being perfectly capable of cleaning it.

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