Can Housekeepers Work During Lockdown?
What The Government Guidance Says For Housekeepers in London
According to the guidance published by the Government on 5th January 2021, it says that during the lockdown ‘those who need to visit other people’s homes for their work can continue to do so’. Therefore, housekeepers and other house staff are still permitted to work in other people’s homes as long as they work within Covid secure guidelines and do not have any symptoms of Coronavirus or have been asked to self-isolate.
The guidelines outline those that can work in other people’s homes include occupations such as repair services, fitters, meter readers, plumbers, cleaners, cooks, visiting childcare providers and surveyors. This means that your household staff can still work for you and enter your home should you want them to.
What Are My Responsibilities As An Employer?
As a housekeeping agency in London, we want to ensure you are clear on the steps you can take to protect both your home and your employees so that you are both safe.
Employers have a legal responsibility to protect employees and speak to them about health and safety before they visit. They should do everything practicable to minimise the risk of spreading Coronavirus. This means helping to create a Covid-secure environment such as providing masks, socially distancing and ensuring staff do not come to work when they are feeling unwell. They may want to supply additional protection such as temperature checks and frequent Covid testing.
Additional measures you can take to help make your home more Covid-secure is to ensure all internal doors are kept open to minimise the need to touch door handles as they move around the home. Opening windows can help with ventilation and also help reduce the risk of contracting or passing on Coronavirus.
If your household has to self-isolate due to a positive Coronavirus test, your housekeeper or any other staff should not enter the household and may be asked to isolate themselves.
If you have a live-in housekeeper, they will count as a member of your household, so will not have to wear a mask or distance, but should take care to keep to the guidelines to minimise their risk of catching Coronavirus.
Can I Furlough My Household Staff?
If you need to furlough your household staff because they cannot work in your home due to you being vulnerable and needing to self-isolate or you are worried about the risk, you can agree to make your household staff furloughed and continue to pay them despite them not working.
You can apply for a grant worth 80 percent of their wages up to the amount of £2,500 per month. The furlough scheme has currently been extended to 30th April 2021.
Staff will need to have been employed on or before 30th October and enrolled on the PAYE payroll scheme and have a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands bank account. For full details, visit gov.uk where information is constantly being updated.
Can I Still Advertise For Housekeeping Jobs in London?
If you need to hire a new housekeeper in London, you can advertise for a new housekeeper and as one of the leading housekeeper agencies in London, we are happy to assist you on your search.
We have adapted our recruitment process by conducting our screening interviews via video call and encourage you to conduct interviews with our final shortlist in this way to minimise contact. If you do choose to conduct face to face interviews, these should only be for your very final selection. Ensure these are Covid-secure with social distancing and masks if practicable, perhaps conduct them outside while walking side to side if possible. Do not shake hands, you may wish to knock elbows, nod or wave as a polite greeting instead.
We are happy to advise and offer advice on hiring and maintaining staff during Coronavirus and lockdowns. When you come to us to help with your recruitment process, we’ll work with you to gather a clear understanding of the skills and qualities you are looking for in candidates. We will then advertise the position through our agency and go through applications to select the most appropriate candidates.
When we have a selection of the best candidates, we will conduct an interview with them to create a shortlist of the most suitable candidates for the role for you to interview. In line with current Covid regulations, we are interviewing over Facetime and Whatsapp.
If you would like to begin your search for a housekeeper in London, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We have been operating for over 35 years supplying homes with the highest standard of private staff from housekeepers to nannies, cooks, chauffeurs and butlers.