A Housekeeper is the beating heart of an efficiently run home. Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns have meant that a good housekeeper is prized more than ever in a very competitive market. It’s a pivotal household role and it’s important to get it right whether you’re looking to hire a live-in or live-out Housekeeper. At Knightsbridge Household Staff we have over 20 years’ experience placing the most elite candidates in top households in London, the UK and abroad.
While smaller households might hire just one housekeeper and even combine it with nannying or cooking duties, larger households might need a Head Housekeeper who would be responsible for training and supervising a team or teams of Housekeepers.
The day-to-day tasks for a Housekeeper will be unique to each home but for guidance their duties could include:
- Laundry and ironing
- Wardrobe management and care of fine clothes
- Making beds
- General tidying and decluttering
- Food/store cupboard shopping
- Ensuring cleaning products are well stocked
- Running errands, such as posting letters
- Looking after pets, taking them for walks
- Cooking and preparing meals
- Overseeing other members of the household
- Specialist cleaning of antiques and furniture
While a cleaner might also complete some of these tasks, the difference between a cleaner and a Housekeeper is generally that a Housekeeper would be a full-time job and is dedicated to just one household, whereas a cleaner might work for several families. A Housekeeper is also more experienced and has greater responsibilities than a cleaner.
Some Housekeepers live-in or are provided accommodation on site and, at Knightsbridge Household Staff, we also often recruit Domestic Couples for our clients, where both members of the partnership would work for the household and live in or near to the property. Recently, this has been a growing trend with many VIP families remaining in the UK and unable to travel.
Live in or Live out Housekeeper?
The decision of whether to have a live-in or live-out Housekeeper could depend on the size of your property, or simply be down to personal preference. But there are several factors to take into consideration when making this decision.
If you travel a lot and the property is frequently empty then the benefit of a live-in Housekeeper is that they can tend to it and keep your home safe and secure while you’re away. Not only will you have the reassurance that your home is being looked after but you will know it will be welcoming when you return, with beds aired, cupboards stocked, flowers arranged, pets happy and well looked after, and the heating on.
A live-in Housekeeper would need suitable accommodation, which could range from a cottage on your estate to a studio flat if you live in London, or even a private bedroom and bathroom. So, if you don’t have adequate space or won’t feel comfortable living too closely to your Housekeeper then the live-out option would be best.
How many hours you need your Housekeeper to work is another consideration when choosing between live-in and live-out. A part-time Housekeeper job would suit someone living out better than a full-time role. However, if you require an element of flexibility, having your employee live nearby will be beneficial. It will mean that your Housekeeper can be available for flexi-work or to fill-in when required or in emergencies. That said, most good Housekeepers should always be flexible.
How much to pay Housekeepers?
Like other household jobs such as Nannies, Butlers and Private Chefs, a Housekeeper’s salary will depend on the hours, demands of the job and the experience of the Housekeeper. Less experienced Housekeepers will expect between £35,000 – £45,000 per annum, while Head Housekeepers are paid £40,000 – £60,000+ a year.
When offering a job to a candidate it is the responsibility of the client to do the necessary checks, including DBS checks. For more information on hiring a household staff member read the government guidelines gov.uk/au-pairs-employment-law
Knightsbridge Household Staff provides the highest calibre of domestic staff to HNWIs, VIPs, Celebrities Professionals and their Families in London, UK and overseas, and has done for over 20 years. Contact us to begin your search for Butlers, Chefs, Chauffeurs, Private PAs, Nannies and Housekeepers.