Christmas Time and Your Domestic Staff

Christmas is family time and most people want to spend time with their families. Your domestic staff is no different and you should be fair to give them the time they need to also celebrate with their families at this time of the year. Those who might not celebrate christmas would at the minimum want to usher in the New Year in with their families.

christmasIt is not a hard or fast rule as there will be some staff who might not want to go home to be with their families, however this should be discussed with them. Do not deny them, nor offer them the opportunity to go home to their families over Christmas. I know some bosses will show concern that Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, family visits and all the various festivities. However remember as you are “enjoying” at this time of the year, your domestic staff is still “working” and will  no doubt also desire sometime to celebrate, rest and recharge.

This time of the year does see some increase in crime rates that are facilitated by domestic staff, as a result end of the year might not be the best time to hire new staff. Some dishonest ones are looking for a quick way to make money and might have criminal intent but do please note this is not all, but some of them. Some truly need to earn and are looking for work over the holiday period to be able to pay school fees or rent in the new year. The critical step necessary are the background checks, the interviewing process, the references that you carry out and prayers before you hire staff, especially when if it is at end of the year.

Christmas time is a good time to appreciate your staff and to show them that you value their service to your home and family. This is not the time to pay them half of their pay as a way to ensure that they return to work after they have gone home for Christmas. You would not appreciate if your boss withheld some of your pay for some reason or the other to tie you in. Pay them for their work and on top of that appreciate them with a bonus and gifts. There is nothing wrong with sending some gifts home to their parents and family. Christmas is about showing love and they deserve some love as well from you.

They see all the “decadence” with the hampers and cakes, Christmas parties, gifts you give your children, your attitude towards them is more important than the actual gift in itself. A gift of appreciation just shows that you value them and you care about them. Who doesn’t respond to being valued? Your nanny keeps the children entertained, cleans their room and washes their clothes, cooks their meals and takes all those trips to birthday parties with them. Perhaps you have a house help who keeps the house clean, does grocery shopping and does laundry. Appreciate them for what they do.

So this Christmas treat your domestic staff well, appreciate them for the year (or months) of service to your family. Note of caution here, if you cannot bring yourself to appreciate your staff at this time of the year when there is love flowing everywhere, then perhaps this staff should not be with you.

Lastly if your staff needs to go home for end of the year, you will survive without a nanny or house help for a week or two! Everyone can pitch in and the house will not break down 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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