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Find a housekeeper with COVID antibodies?

Find a housekeeper with COVID antibodies?


Are UK Housekeepers with COVID antibodies more likely to find a job?

Throughout COVID, private housekeepers and other domestic staff are working over time in order to support their employers. Often they are having to take on extra duties without extra pay. Housekeepers are considered essential workers and therefore are allowed to work.

Despite the vaccines slowly becoming available to the public, we still remain in lockdown and are not sure if or when the world will return to normal. Recently, our recruiters have seen an increase in clients requesting to see housekeepers who are happy to self isolate, looking for live in work or have had the virus and therefore have antibodies.ho

Our housekeepers are also telling us whether they have had COVID and are willing to place this information on their CV, cover letter and to mention it during the interview.

We are truly concerned about the impact that the virus is having on our family, colleagues, friends and the world. We find ourselves asking, "is it fair for employers to choose a housekeeper who has been effected by the virus over a housekeeper who has the safe experience but does not have antibodies?". 

As a responsible domestic recruitment agency, we would truly appreciate receiving your thoughts on the matter. You can email us your thoughts directly or comment on the post on Facebook.

What happens if a family urgently need a housekeeper whilst they have a person who is at high risk living in the household?

Our domestic recruitment agency has always had the most experienced and professional housekeepers registered with us. Unfortunately some of our candidates have had COVID 19 and due to this, we now have housekeepers with COVID antibodies. In fact, they are now asking our recruiters to notify the potential employers about their situation.

When you are living with an elderly member of the family or have young children who fall in the high risk category, why would it be inappropriate for you to search for a housekeeper with antibodies?

Currently every household is trying to do what they can in order to limit outside contact and even airports are making it mandatory for people entering the UK to self isolate and carry out a COVID-19 test.

Our question: Does the domestic staffing community find it acceptable for families to give preference to housekeepers who have suffered from the virus and in turn, for housekeepers who have suffered from the virus to use it to their advantage when seeking employment?

If professional domestic staff who have suffered from COVID-19 and subsequently developed antibodies which lowers their chances of contracting the virus and spreading it, why would it not be reasonable to employ them?

Judging by our experience, it is undoubtedly something of interest to private families who are trying to do everything possible to keep the virus out of their home. For the governments' information on antibodies, please use this link.

Will searching for domestic staff with antibodies be considered as discriminatory or is it a way of protecting your loved ones? 

From our earlier article regarding nannies with COVID antibodies, we received a lot of negative comments from candidates who did not have COVID antibodies stating that it was unfair. However, nannies who were making people aware that they had COVID, kept themselves to themselves but continued to make our recruiters aware during the interviews.

How can an employer find out if a housekeeper has had COVID-19 and now has antibodies?

Our concern is if housekeepers who are searching for work, purposefully attempt to be in contact with others infected by COVID 19 in order to develop antibodies. History has shown us that this has happened in the past with other infections.

Currently there are tests available and if someone has unfortunatley fallen ill to the virus, they will have supporting documentation available from their GP. There are also private clinics who offer to test for COVID antibodies and the COVID itself.

From our experience, if the employer wishes for their housekeeper to go through a medical check up, they will be happy to pay for it and the vast majority of domestic staff are comfortable with going through the health checks.

Prior to COVID-19 our agency has frequently been asked to provide professional domestic staff who will give their consent to go through a full medical check prior to employment. After all, domestic staff work in a private home.

For the UK government guidance on testing employees for COVID 19, please use this link.

Hire a housekeeper with COVID antibodies around children?

Private clients with children who are looking for a housekeeper with COVID antibodies, think that this is a safer option due to children being likely to spread the virus which can then effect the staff. Therefore, if they employ staff who have already been effected by the virus, they are less likely to take sick leave.

We ensure that all of our employers offer paid sick leave when looking for domestic staff. We believe that offering sick pay will decrease the chances of an employee coming in to work whilst sick.

Are housekeepers at higher risk than other employees from COVID?

Due to COVID, the housekeeper job is much more challenging and undoubtedly puts the housekeepers at higher risk of being in contact with the virus. Our housekeepers are travelling in to work and due to this are therefore at higher risk.

In households with children, as it is much more challenging to encourage social distancing and providing that the children do attend school, we believe that they are even at higher risk.

How can families ensure safety in their household?

Other than the basic advice that we receive from the government, there are other options which families take. If you can give us advice on what you practice, we would of course welcome it. Feel free to comment below!

Below are some choices which our clients have made:

  • In order to encourage domestic staff to stick to the families' guidelines, a formal contract must contain clear instructions on what is to be expected from the employee.
  • Some families have chosen to offer bonuses if no one contracts the virus throughout a certain period of time.

What impact is COVID-19 having on housekeepers in private households?

Due to families limiting the amount of outside contact, when a member of staff becomes sick, the housekeepers are being asked to commit to extra duties. Unfortunatley, we have noticed that although there are additional duties, the housekeepers are failing to negotiate a pay rise. We believe that it is only fair that if a member of staff takes on extra duties, they should be reimbursed for their additional work.

Some of the duties may involve shopping, receiving deliveries or even looking after children.

In cases where the housekeeper duties increase significantly, housekeepers will start looking for a new job as apposed to sitting down and speaking with their employer. We always advise our candidates to give our recruiters a call and discuss their expectations as we are able to speak with the employer directly and let them know if something is not quite right.

Would you like to register with Perfect Household Staff as a housekeeper?

Please use this link.

Would you like to speak with our recruiters about employing a housekeeper?

Please use this link.

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