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Is my cleaner being exploited ?

(6 Posts)
pinksmarties Tue 11-Jan-11 12:57:55

I've just found out that of the £9 an hour that she earns, she actually has to give £3 for every hour to her 'boss' who finds her the cleaning jobs so she ends up with £6 per hour. I got her through a friend and now her 'boss' has found out that she's cleaning for me and will start deducting £9 for the 3 hours that she comes to me.

She works very hard and I'm very unhappy that she doesn't get the full amount that I think she deserves.

Her 'boss' apparently pays her tax yet doesn't pay her train fares so I give her extra for that.

My friend knows the boss lady and says she's very nice etc but it doesn't seem right to me.

I suppose it's just the drawback for cleaners who work through agencies....?

lukewarmmama Tue 11-Jan-11 13:04:05

Minimum wage is £5.93, so no she's not, especially if that's the amount she gets after tax. Its her choice to work through an agency, lots of the cleaners around here work for themselves. I think you're super nice paying the train fare for her as well.

AMumInScotland Tue 11-Jan-11 13:10:32

Why would the agency pay her train fares? My employer doesn't pay for my commuting costs, I have to pay them out of my wages, same as most people.

I don't think it counts as exploitation, its a choice she has made to work through an agency - the agency deals with things like the tax and NI on her behalf, and finds her work, for their fee.

If you think she "deserves" more, then feel free to pay her more than the £9 an hour!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 11-Jan-11 13:13:32

If you have entered into an agreement with her and she is not under a contract to work solely for the boss lady then yes she is being exploited and she doesn't have to hand over the cut of the wages. However she'd be responsible for her tax/NI in these circs.

pinksmarties Tue 11-Jan-11 13:53:08

I actually pay her £10 an hour which was before I knew about the boss lady. A well paid cleaner is a happy cleaner. I used to clean for people and it can be a horrible job so I just want anyone who works for me to be happy in their work and not feel resentfull that they are being undervalued, which is why I give her the extra pound and pay her travel.

I now find out that she is indeed being underpaid afterall.

She's very young and speaks hardly any English, I remember being an au pair abroad at her age and how shabbily I was treated by my boss....like an underdog.

Kindness makes the world go round and treating people well pays divedends. smile

lukewarmmama Tue 11-Jan-11 14:46:22

I don't disagree with you pinksmarties smile. I think the crux of it, though, is whether her contract with her boss treats any new clients of hers as a client of the agency (a bit like a non-compete clause I suppose). If so, then I don't think you can say she is 'underpaid', that's just what the deal is. £6ph after tax isn't too bad? Not great, but as you say, agency work isn't as well paid as working for yourself, as the agency takes on a lot of the responsibilities for you. I hope the boss is paying her tax and NI though, otherwise she won't be eligible for any state benefits.

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