Okay, hope this won't set the cat amongst the pigeons too much...
Our cleaner has cleaned for us for about three years - since I went back to work after having DS2.
She used to be really good - we could rely on her to turn up, and she was very efficient. We started off paying her the hourly rate she requested, and we've increased it twice since then.
However, since last autumn she's been really unreliable. One week in three she doesn't turn up at all. When she has turned up, she's often been late, but has not stayed any longer to make up the time. She definitely does less of a good job when she is there.
I didn't mind so much when I was on maternity leave, but now I'm back at work it's really starting to get to me.
I'm pretty clear in my own mind that I'm going to tell her that her services are no longer required, and if she asks why, say that it's because we need someone more reliable.
I have a similar problem except mine does turn up every week. I will follow your thread with interest. I suppose if she does not give you notice that she is not coming you could ask her to leave on those grounds.
We have had mine since DS was born 2 and a bit years ago (Congrats present from DH). She definitely does less now than then and yet because DS adores her I feel unable to ask her to leave. I could easily do what she does in half the time though! How do you intend to tell yours (I am a bit of a wimp about these things admittedly).
oh, motherinferior - i got sacked too - i asked, very nicely, for the cleaner (it was her first time at our house), to wipe over the tiles in the shower and above the basin in the bathroom, and she said "I don't do tiles - they are not part of normal cleaning" .... and then she said "Do you want me to come back next week, because, quite frankly, I'd rather not"
ah, then she may not be an employee, would give three weeks' notice to be on safe side anyway. theoretically to avoid risk, you would also take her up on her failings, give her opportunity to improve etc but the risks of her taking any action are probably slight
She probably wouldn't be an employee anyway if she works for a number of different clients -- she'd be self-employed.
We had a cleaner like that once and I just dithered for months rather than say anything. Then we did something minor and she got in a huff and said "maybe I'd better not come any more, then" so I took her up on that right away! I'd like to think I'd be more direct now (if we had a cleaner) but I still feel desperately uncomforatble with that kind of working relationship.