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Cleaner has broken something. Who pays?

(52 Posts)
Firstliftlastcall Fri 06-Jan-17 16:02:30

Our nice and generally good cleaner has broken something. It was completely accidental. The thing she has broken is not hugely expensive to replace - around £150 and so it isn't worth an insurance claim. Nevertheless, I'm sort of feeling a bit miffed that this afternoon's 4 hours of cleaning and ironing is going to cost me over £200 (and because the broken thing had sentimental value). Do I suggest she contributes to the cost? Or do I just suck it up because accidents happen?

For background, if it helps, she's been with us about 3 months and came highly. We've not had any other breakages as such, but I did come home before Christmas to a vacuum cleaner that needed fixing.

LeopardPrintSocks1 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:03:29

Did she not offer to replace it?"

m0therofdragons Fri 06-Jan-17 16:09:46

My cleaner broke the handle of my steam mop. I was at work and she messaged me letting me know with a picture and stated she'd already contacted vax and ordered the replacement handle. I'd assume the cleaner would pay and they should have insurance for breakages if running their own company.

MrsPeelyWally Fri 06-Jan-17 16:11:10

I have people working in my house round the clock as part of my sons care team. I also have a full time housekeeper. Accidents happen and I'd never expect any of my much loved and valued staff to replace something they broke. Their presence in our life means more to us than that.

TheDisreputableDog Fri 06-Jan-17 16:11:22

Does the cleaner have liability insurance?

fluffiphlox Fri 06-Jan-17 16:12:14

The cleaner claims on their insurance surely?

expatinscotland Fri 06-Jan-17 16:12:59

Tricky one.

NapQueen Fri 06-Jan-17 16:15:12

I think she ought to replace it and this is why she should have insurance.

FaerieDusting Fri 06-Jan-17 16:15:12

Some cleaning companies have insurance for this. I am a cleaner and my company does. Though I have only ever broken one item and I offered to pay to replace it out of my own money because I'm the one who broke it.
It doesn't matter the value of what is broken. Or if it was an accident. I would still offer to pay as if it were not for me having the accident then it wouldn't be broken?

It's up to you if you want money towards a replacement or the whole thing replacing. I guess everyone has different views on that.

Firstliftlastcall Fri 06-Jan-17 16:16:29

Not as yet. Very apologetic and clearly upset. She may offer before she goes, I suppose.

lovelearning Fri 06-Jan-17 16:16:58

Who pays?

You do

You employ a private cleaner

You take the risk

everdene Fri 06-Jan-17 16:17:03

OP our new cleaner is very heavy-handed - so far has pulled a toothbrush holder off the wall, a cupboard door off a bathroom cabinet and broken the food bin in four weeks.

However if she broke anything of value I'd ask her to claim on her own insurance. If she didn't have it I'd just have to suck it up as one of those things.

Arkengarthdale Fri 06-Jan-17 16:18:03

My cleaner splashed bleach into my wooden worktops, broke a Galileo thermometer, dripped more bleach in my charcoal grey towels. But it was when she broke half the roller ball off my £400 six month old Dyson and said it just fell off that I had to get rid. It should have been covered by her insurance but she was adamant it was faulty. The machine looks bashed to bits after only six months.

She should have professional insurance to cover accidental breakage for just this sort. Use it! I wish I had done confused

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Fri 06-Jan-17 16:18:51

When cleaning you are much more likely to break stuff (as moving it all around, hoovering etc) than in normal activity, so although annoying, it's hardly unusual.

My cleaner isn't with a company, she works for a company (business cleaning) but cleans for me separately so wouldn't have insurance if she broke something in my house. I would expect her to offer to pay, but I wouldn't take the money!

That said I don't have expensive things. I wouldn't count a hoover playing up though, as that would happen to anyone doing a lot of cleaning, eventually those appliances wear out including when cleaners are using them.

walkersoutandabout Fri 06-Jan-17 16:18:55

I have to say that I think this is tricky too. Maybe the cleaner does have insurance, but maybe you do too? Do you not have some contents insurance? Given that you might possibly be the wealthier human being here, I think the decent and kind thing would be for you to replace it. Accidents happen, and I feel that you should shoulder part of the responsibility if you are going to have other people working in your home.

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 16:19:05

If your cleaner is a legitimate business she will have Public Liability Insurance and should cover the cost of the breakage.

We are self employed, and PLI covers any accidents we have.

twattymctwatterson Fri 06-Jan-17 16:19:20

If she hasn't already offered I would assume she doesn't have insurance. You know how much she earns OP. Do you think the value is an amount she can easily afford?

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Fri 06-Jan-17 16:20:15

I do agree that when you pay for a company cleaning service, that's one of the things you are paying for. I don't like them, as the turnover of staff is too high, so I take the risk by employing a private cleaner who I know won't be able to pay out liability insurance of her small wage from me.

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 16:20:39

LoveLearning - What?

Ellapaella Fri 06-Jan-17 16:21:02

Yes your cleaner should have her own liability insurance - this is really something that needs to be confirmed before taking on a cleaner, have you asked her if she has it? If she doesn't I'm afraid I'd be looking to ask her to replace it as I'm not sure your insurance will cover it if it was broken by someone working in your house who wasn't insured themselves.

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Fri 06-Jan-17 16:21:46

lovelearning that doesn't sound right, surely the cleaner should have insurance to cover for things like this? Suppose you hired a plumber and they cut through a pipe and caused a leak (not a very good plumber obviously), I would definitely expect their insurance to cover for any damage. Or if a painter dropped their tin of paint all over your living room carpet, again I would expect them to replace it. It's the same thing.

Firstliftlastcall Fri 06-Jan-17 16:22:47

I don't know whether she has insurance. Which I probably should check. I haven't because I know we're covered under our accidental damage policy. It's just that it is one of those silly amounts that is only a bit more than the excess and probably not worth making a claim for.

I think I'm just having a classic British person quandary - I'll feel guilty if I accept/request money from her to replace it, but will also be peeved about having to pay myself.

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 16:22:48

Sorry - if the cleaner is working, she is a business and should have PLI. If she is working for 'cash-in'hand' - that is illegal. If OP has employed an illegal cleaner and the cleaner has broken something then OP naturally has to suck up the loss. And learn from the lesson.

CryingShame Fri 06-Jan-17 16:23:45

Is she from an agency? The agency should have insurance, or she should herself. small items without much value, fine, but £150 items she should be offering to pay for or replace.

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 16:26:07

Our employee broke a window whilst working on a listed property several years ago. It was a small window, a total accident, but he was working at that house so we were quite clearly responsible for the cost of the repair. Anyone working in people's houses has to have Public Liability Insurance to cover breakages and damages.

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