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Olympic challenge

While the Olympics may attract a great deal of attention, it raises the question of whose attention is it attracting?   For example, if it is your domestic staff – housekeeper, cook or nanny – do you know what, if any, time off they want?  More to the point, are you able to cope with the implications?

They may, for example, have tickets.  Have they told you and asked for the appropriate time off?  They may be volunteers.  Again have they told you and reached an accommodation regarding time off?

Or, possibly, and representing the majority, have you made provision for them to watch the events they are most interested in?  The problem in ignoring the whole situation is that they may well simply use their own television or computer to watch the games while you in fact think they are on top of their job!

The other side of the coin is that if a request is made and refused, it won’t do a great deal for future relations.  While, a “Yes, now let’s sit down and work out how this is going to work,” response may well do a great deal for both parties.

Then there is the question of pay!  If you give time off, do you dock the pay, or say they will have to take it as part of their holiday?  Or do you make the big gesture and say:  “OK, take the time off and we will still pay you for the day or two”?

It may seem expensive, but remember, the inconvenience of living with a dissatisfied domestic staff member in your one home is not to be taken lightly.  And that is the crux of the matter; it’s easier to keep the whole issue at arm’s length if the situation is office-based, but when the person is living in your own home, perhaps considering a softer touch may be worthwhile.

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