Hiring domestic staff in the era of the coronavirus pandemic requires being extra careful and taking safety precautions.
As the lockdown has been eased and parents are going back to work, the reality is that you are going to need somebody to care for your children. This could mean hiring new staff. Below are some tips for you to consider if you are hiring domestic staff at this time.
Tips to taking on domestic staff in these times
1. Ease of Lockdown
Even though the lockdown has been eased; the pandemic is not over yet. It is important to educate new (and old) domestic staff that the Coronavirus is not gone. All staff need to be educated about the realities of the Coronavirus and what they need to do to stay safe. [READ: Coronavirus and what you need to know]
2. Coronavirus Testing
When hiring new domestic staff at this time, it is important for them to be tested for the Coronavirus. Currently, you can get tested for free at participating Government hospitals. It takes four days for the results to be available and only the person who was tested gets the results. For privacy, only the person who is tested gets a text and or phone call from NCDC, if they are positive. An alternative is to use a private lab for the test, however, this costs approximately N30,000.
3. Virtual interviews
At this time, it is important to conduct the interviews via a virtual meeting platform like zoom. This will help to reduce exposure. At this time the virus is being transmitted via community spread.
4. Self Isolation
In the case where you do want to hire new domestic staff at this time. It is advisable that when they resume in your household, they should self isolate for at least 14 days. This way you can monitor them and ensure that they are clear before they commence their duties.
5. Supporting children while homeschooling
You might need to hire domestic staff because you need to go back to work; it is, therefore, important to hire somebody who can oversee your children’s online learning requirements. In this case, it is advisable to hire someone who is literate and whom you can train to support your child while learning at home. There should be somebody at home to help your children digitally.
According to Pamela Akinboboye, founder of Icarella childcare services, this is a time to encourage your domestic staff to learn new skills. She shared that her company has a Whatsapp group for the nannies in their network. They use this platform to keep them engaged. Because most live-in nannies are not going off during this time, they need to have other ways to connect with others and stay engaged.
The candidates being hired at this time are also worried about the homes they are going to. They do not know whether or not the people in the house themselves have been exposed to or have the Coronavirus.
Keep educating everyone about the realities of Coronavirus and what they need to do to stay safe. Lastly, everyone needs to be empathetic and realise that this is a tough time for everyone.
SEE ALSO: COVID-19 Resources and Updates