Payments & Raises for Housecleaner(s)
Wondering how frequently folks give a raise to their (paid under-the-table) housecleaner(s)? Also what percentage raise is given? Is this a question you pose to them, or is it a decision you make on your own?
We're also curious about whether folks pay their housecleaner(s) during the following scenarios: 1) they are out of town, or sick, and unable to clean on their scheduled day & 2) you go out of town and (due to escape-happy-pets that you fear losing, or another reason) don't want them to clean on their scheduled day.
Mar 8, 2023
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I have given raises unprompted to our housecleaner over the years. It's been a little erratic but I try to meet or exceed the rate of inflation. When gas prices were crazy, I gave her an extra $20 every other week, figuring that would cover the increased cost of getting to and from my house.
I have paid my housecleaner when she couldn't clean because of illness. But she is super honest and doesn't abuse this. When we go away and don't need or want cleaning, I either try to reschedule our normal cleaning, or just pay her. We don't take long vacations, however. Another option if you are going away and won't be getting the house dirty as usual, you could ask them to do some special project in place of the normal routine -- e.g., clean out the kitchen drawers, or clean the oven. But if you don't want them to come at all because of the pet thing, that wouldn't work.
If we go out of town, I try to re-schedule her. If that doesn't work, I still pay her. If she goes out of town, she normally tries to re-schedule. I paid her over a year during the pandemic for not coming to work. She really appreciated that. Every year or so I re-evaluate her pay and give her a raise, but the timing and the amount are not really very scientific. I just try to be considerate because she is honest and hard working.
My housecleaners have told me when they want to raise the rate and I have accepted. Since housecleaners are typically treated like independent contractors, i think it is appropriate for them to increase their rates to take into account inflation, etc. I do not pay if we miss a cleaning, but they have asked for a slightly greater rate the next time they clean (+$25) since the house is dirtier, which i think is fair.
We pay if we are gone as they have reserved their time to work for us. We offer a raise when we get raises for individuals that work for us.
We've always had housecleaners who we believe to be true independent contractors, not employees, so your situation may be different. But we pay per cleaning, not an hourly wage, and we don't pay when a regularly-scheduled cleaning is skipped for whatever reason. (Though we did pay our former cleaner to not come for a while at the beginning of the pandemic...seemed like the least we could do in our privileged position at the time. And if we ever cancelled on short notice I wouldn't object to paying a cancellation fee.) The amount goes up when the housecleaner tells us their rates are going up; I've never offered a raise.