Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in My thoughts, Recipes | 8 comments

Do unto others!

Do unto others!

What do (did) we, as employees, expect from our employers?

For those of us luckily enough to be able to afford a housekeeper, maid, char, nanny, cleaner, helper or whatever name we use for the wonderful women (and men) who help us in our homes; let us remember that they are our employees. They have the same expectations we have from our bosses.

They wait in hope ever year for their annual increases and bonuses, just like we do. They rely on a yearly inflationary increase in their salary to keep up with their rent, food and transport costs. They also hope to be appreciated for their loyal service.


Industry norms are as follows

1 – Mandatory salary increase per year based on inflation – you can check this by clicking on this link.

However, the lower income earners are harder hit by inflation, as they spend almost all of their salaries on food, energy and transport which have a higher rate of inflation.

My determined suggestion would be to give your staff an annual increase of the published rate of inflation plus an additional 2%, to even it out to somewhere closer to the true rate of inflation.

2 – Each year you should evaluate your staff members performance. If they don’t have a job description and list of required tasks, please set one up, as this really helps them to know what you expect from them. Salary increases for loyal service and good performance are an incentive to serve you better. Even if it’s only a few percent, showing your appreciation financially is the best way to say thank you.

Dissatisfied employees skive off and steal… remember that housekeepers talk to each other, if they know so many other ladies are getting increases and they aren’t, they are more likely to think it only fair to call home on your landline and take a few rolls of loo paper and some sugar home with them… wouldn’t you?

3 – Annual bonuses. Depending on how a business’s profits for the year look, is how a business decides what the annual bonus for their team will be. Think about how you’ve done this year financially speaking. If you’ve done well – so should your housekeeper. If not, then figure out a fair bonus based on your years income and explain it them clearly and honestly.

Remember that this pays for their kids Christmas presents, holiday trips home to see their family, school fees and clothes for the next year. I am sure, one less fancy dinner out, or a few less bottles of champers over the festive season are worth knowing how much further that money will go for your housekeeper.
An employee who feels valued and cared for is an asset and treasure. Are your staff feeling that way?


  1. Really good and important post – good reminder too! However I don't think not getting an increase or a bonus is an excuse for stealing ever, that is just not on…

    • I totally agree with but the reality is that it happens. And when trying to understand why good people do bad things I think this may add a little incite to that.

    • Yes, but there is a difference between stealing because your family can't manage otherwise or stealing because you feel upset that you didn't get a bonus and want to 'show your employer'.

  2. I have always paid my house manager more than the industry norm and it shows – she is loyal to a tee and will come to work no matter what! We have a relationship of mutual respect.

    • Mine too! She is such a joy to have in my home and fills the space with her positive attitude and care. <br />I am horrified to hear how some people treat their domestic helpers. I once taught in a home where the housekeeper had to eat of a separate set of tin plates and cups. I never accepted another booking there. <br />I hope this blog posts wakes up a few people who may have let things slip…

    • My housekeeper&#39;s transport cost her R36 per day – if her daily wage were to follow this link&#39;s suggestion she would be going home with not more than R50 for a full days work… shocking!!! I sincerely hope that employers are paying their domestic workers at least double if not triple the minimum wage. <br />

  3. Very well said and extremely relevant message! This is a subject most people feel uncomfortable with and so simply avoid. I know I do, becuase I feel slightly guilty that I need to have someone help me clean up my own mess!! But being a housekeeper it is a job, like any other, and demands respect, like any other. Most housekeeps are shamelessly taken advantage of, and its shocking. Possibly

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *