Hows it going with your domestic worker (maid)?


I am currently interning at the International Labour Organization in Geneva and my assignment is to figure out what practices employers and domestic workers are using to negotiate their working time hours.

How do you set what time she has to start work or go to sleep (live in domestic workers)?

When do you give her breaks? How did you reach that agreement?

Do you create a schedule ( a time table) ?

If you need her to work during her rest periods or day off, how do you compensate her?

Please help by sharing your experience, an idea, a comment..

Hello leenak3.

Can you please avoid copy/paste on the entier forum? :)

Thank you,

Hi there,

So...I'm an American citizen working as an au pair in France. I told all potential host families that I would abide by 'normal' au pair guidelines for the country of France. I live with my family so I get up when the kids wake up. My host family told me that I had to be up by 8h00 to drive the kids to school but I'm normally up by 7h30 due to all of the noise. I take breaks when I want. I go out when I want but I always let my host family know ahead of time--out of respect. We never really talked about those things but there's no schedule really. The point of this job is to pick up the kids and drop them off on time, feed them, bathe them, discipline them if needed, and most of all, set an example. My host parents basically told me that what I do outside of the kids' time is up to me. As for housework, my host parents might tell me something that needs to be done within the week, they barely ever give me a time period to finish by. If it's something that takes time and effort like painting a closet door, I'll take my time and do a little each day so that it's done well. If my host parents need me on the weekend when I'm normally with my friends or boyfriend they always let me know ahead of time. If it's a spontaneous need, they of course ask and don't expect me to be there. They compensate me by giving me bonuses, letting me go out extra, or giving me a week off for a trip somewhere out of the country. My host family already gives me enough though. I have my own room, I get to eat whatever I want, sleep/rest whenever I want so long as the kids are taken care of, go out with my friends, vacation...they even gave me a car that is completely at my disposal and they pay for the gas.

If there's anything else I can help you with, please let me know!

- Melinda


Thank you so much for sharing! Im happy to see that you have worked out a good arrangement with your host family..although it seems like it just happened spontaneously as opposed to sitting down and writing everything down.

The project im working on is probably going to benefit nannies, housemaids, or au pair, who dont really have it as good as you. France has a really strong laws protecting such work, but in many other places, they remain unprotected, and tend to work around the clock. So im working on creating a time sheet, so that

A. Workers (domestic workers ie housemaids) are conscious of how much they are working
B. They can show their employers how much they are working and how much they are getting paid (or underpaid)
C. If need be, it could be used in court , to show that the worker is working way too many hours for way too little money

Thank you for sharing!