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Housekeepers

Our Housekeepers will oversee the smooth running and upkeep of the household to ensure everything is in working order. Housekeepers work mainly alone, under the direction of the Principal to undertake all cleaning and laundry duties to a high standard. A Housekeeper from our register will attend to keeping the household fully stocked with provisions including food and drinks, household cleaning goods, washing and laundry detergents. They can monitor household repairs and keep up-to-date with any servicing/maintenance to be performed by external specialists.

Experience

Housekeepers registered with Staff of Distinction will have at 3-5 years’ experience working in a private household with references to support this.

Qualifications

In terms of qualifications, there isn’t one for housekeeping as such. Many gain their experience working in a private household and may have had hotel training.  Some will have taken a part-time course at a local college to improve their cooking or baking skills.

Live-in salaries

£500-£600 net per week for an 10-12 hour day

Live-out salaries

£12-£14 net per hour for an 8-10 hour day

Duties

Duties can include all or most of the following depending on your requirements:

For the Home:

Clean, dust and polish furniture

Flower arranging

Clean and sanitise rooms throughout the house

Take care of antiques

Vacuum carpets and flooring

Clean brass and silverware

Arrange and replace flowers as and when required

Care for pets including dog walking

Check all internal and external doors/gates are locked

Set and unset the alarm systems

Distribute the household post

Prepare the house for guests

And in the Kitchen:

Assist the lady of the house/Chef with food preparation

Order food and provisions online

Dispose of all kitchen waste, both organic and recycling

Laundry and Wardrobe Care:

Launder and mend clothes

Launder and press shirts

Change and launder bedding

Launder and press table linen

Replace and sew on buttons

Clean and polish shoes

Take clothing to be dry cleaned

Take shoes to be mended

Various Errands and Responsibilities:

Run errands, shop and arrange refunds

Deal with deliveries and tradesmen

Call swimming pool maintenance company

Collect newspapers/journals

Arrange electrical appliance testing

Reporting any necessary repairs or replacements

Nationalities range from, but are not limited to British, Filipina, Portuguese, Eastern European and Brazilian.  All must have the relevant work visas to be able to register with our Agency.

Do be realistic about the size of your household, the duties you require and be mindful of how long is needed for food prep, cooking and serving. We can talk through your requirements and discuss the options open to you.

Other Housekeeper Roles

Depending on the size of your household, a Housekeeper may be able to combine her duties  with another discipline such as cooking or childcare but this comes with a caveat. That is to say, if asked if we can place a HK/Cook/Nanny, we find that, firstly they will have to juggle three disciplines, and secondly, those who are excellent at all three will command a higher salary. A HK who is a good solid Cook can supervise older children, in that she can be in the household at the same time while the parents are out, but she won’t be a specialist nanny or have the time to assist with homework. If you are keen to combine all three disciplines, we would recommend that you consider the role as being described as HK/Family Cook/occasional childcare to include babysitting which emphasises the role’s priority.

Head Housekeeper

A Head Housekeeper will have a minimum of  5+ years’ experience in a similar position and will perform their duties with meticulous attention to detail.  She will, however, take on a more senior role and is likely to oversee a team of Housekeepers, ensuring their duties are discharged properly and that they fulfil their roles, with method, skill and timeliness. It will be the Head Housekeeper’s responsibility to coordinate the welfare, training and payroll of domestic staff. The Head Housekeeper could possibly undertake the school runs for children aged 5 years and older but this should be discussed with your consultant when giving the job spec.

Housekeeper/Cook

Depending on your household, you may wish to employ a Housekeeper who can cook. They range from those who can provide plain/simple dishes and/or family cooking to Dinner Party standard.  We have placed HK/Cooks who can cook to a high culinary standard for up to 8 while others can turn their hand to Formal Dinner Parties for 10 and hot/cold buffets for 16.

Duties may include general Housekeeping duties as listed above along with the following:

Light simple/plain meals

Good family fare

Food preparation (assisting mother or the Cook/Chef)

Dinner party/Event cooking

Preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Clearing away, tidying and cleaning the kitchen and rooms where food is served.

Presenting menus for approval and discussing daily requirements with employer, house manager or butler.

Undertaking the grocery shopping and maintaining accounts and budgets

Placing orders for kitchen supplies

Maintaining stock control

Ensuring refrigerator is clean and out-of-date items discarded

Housekeeping Fascinating Fact

By the 1850’s one in 3 females between the age of 15-20 were working in domestic service

Housekeeper/Nanny

Housekeeping duties combined with childcare.  This is a super option for a family who wishes to have one member of staff who is a good all-rounder with the house and who will also help look after children. This largely depends on the size of the house, number of children and their ages and the parents’ day to day routine. Some families employ a daily Housekeeper who may do the heavy cleaning once or twice a week to assist. 

Sole and shared childcare and babysitting

Cooking nutritious meals for their charges 

Supervise/assist with homework

School runs if she drives 

Before you begin your search, it is incredibly important to discuss your primary expectations with your consultant. For younger children, you may feel that the primary focus will be childcare with a little housekeeping on the side, whereas for school aged children the main role may be the Housekeeping.

Housekeeper/Companion

Housekeepers who can accompany or drive their employer to various appointments and events, travel with and generally assist with everyday living for the employer to enjoy independent living in the comfort of their own home.

Assist with everyday tasks and provide companionship

Shopping for weekly essentials and running general errands

Accompanying on special and regular outings

Cooking and sharing meals

Light domestic support such as cleaning, laundry, care of pets

Light gardening duties

Participating in hobbies and crafts

Helping with travel arrangements and accompanying to appointments

Assisting with correspondence and paperwork

Housekeeper/Family PA

Housekeeping combined with organised and efficient administration skills. Our Family PA’s will run the family’s diary both social and for the individual childrens’ school. Keeping on top of your childrens’ school appointments and events. This position could include the school runs driving children to school and back and your consultant will help you iron out the details.

Booking appointments

Arranging couriers, travel and childcare

Be computer literate including Excel

Managing calendar

Running errands

Use initiative, read the needs of the family’s requirements in advance

Wardrobe and vanity care

Take care of pets

If you are unsure of the type of person that would suit your household, do telephone us on 01225 484 190 and we will talk through your requirements and discuss the sort of candidate that would fit into your household and their salary expectations.