I have found my perfect housekeeper – what do I do now?

🕑 3 minutes read

The guide to the legalities and requirements for hiring Housekeepers and Domestic Staff

You have gone through the recruitment process and we have found you your perfect new housekeeper! We often get asked what happens now – this is the guide to the legalities and requirements for every employer of Domestic Staff.

Do I need to give an Offer of Employment letter? In our experience, the answer would be yes. The sooner you give a written offer of employment (an email is acceptable) then the sooner you make sure that the person you wish to engage will accept your offer and, if applicable, hand in their notice to their current employer. Without a written offer we would not advise anyone to hand in their notice. Although you may wish to issue a Contract of Employment before someone starts working with you, this can take a day or two to prepare and so we think it wise to send an offer letter initially.

Contract of Employment – A contract of employment actually starts when a job offer is accepted. Although many people like to give a Contract of Employment before their employee starts work a new employee is entitled to a written contract within the first two months of employment. A contract should state the main conditions of the job including pay, hours of work, holiday entitlement etc. Town & Country Staff are very happy to help with contracts but we do always say that you should take the advice of your lawyer as this is a legal document.

Is your Housekeeper or Domestic Couple living in separate accommodation? If your domestic staff are living in separate accommodation provided by you as part of their employment then, you may need to have your lawyer draw up a Service Occupancy Agreement. This document is usually needed as your staff are not your tenants where their accommodation is given to them as part of their job.

Do I need a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)? A NDA agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and any members of your Domestic Staff that will deal with the confidentiality of any matters that they may know about you or your household learnt through their employment. Not everyone feels the need to have an NDA – we recommend discussing this, as with all legal documents, with your lawyer.

Does my Housekeeper have a DBS? A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) is the document that has taken over from what used to be called a CRB. Contrary to popular belief, a DBS does not have an expiry date. So if your new Housekeeper, or any member of your Domestic Staff, already has a DBS you may wish to have a newer version as they will only give information up to the date of issue. A DBS cannot be applied for by an individual, all applications must be done through a recognised Bureau. If you have recruited your new member of staff through Town and Country Staff then we will offer to apply for a DBS for your new Domestic Staff member as part of our service and with no extra charge to yourselves (UK applications only). You can ask for a DBS for any member of your domestic staff but it is a requirement for anyone who has contact with or is working with children.

Tax, National Insurance and Pension Entitlement – All full time staff must be properly employed which includes having their tax and national insurance paid by the employer. In addition, your domestic staff are entitled to a ‘workplace pension’ – which does need a contribution from them as well as you. If you need help with any of this then we would recommend that you contact www.stafftax.co.uk or www.nannytax.co.uk . For a reasonable fee they deal with all tax and national insurance matters, and are generally very helpful with giving advice.

We hope that you have found this guide helpful. If you would like any further information please do telephone us on 020 3174 2446