Everybody needs a little help at home, especially when both parents work as is the case in most households.
While the concept of hired help is not foreign in many a Kenyan home, it certainly is an emotive and divisive one. For every mother that has been able to comfortably leave her child in the care of a house help, there’s a mother whose son or daughter has been abducted or mistreated at the hands of a rogue help. For every house that was fortunate to find the perfect match and have a live-in house help for years, there’s a household that has hired and fired three maids in three months.
Unfortunately, the fluid and unregulated nature of the industry means that your house help could well be a threat to your safety and that of your loved ones and property.
To avoid having a nasty experience yourself, you need to give it a lot of thought before hiring a help, whether it’s a live-in maid or one who will work on shift.
Some tips from Securex when it comes to hiring a house-help include:
- If using an agency, check their credentials, background and visit their premises if possible
- Use referrals from trusted sources such as family or close friends
- Make sure to interview potential candidates face to face. Pick a public place and question them to assess their suitability
- Assess their professional experience; the more years they have worked, the less likely they are to be a flight risk
- If you decide to hire a house-help on shift to for example, do the laundry, limit their access to the house to minimize a security risk.
- If you have a house-help working on weekends only, try to use the same person instead of a different person every time. Also, ensure that they work under supervision.
Securex further advices the adoption of technologic measures such as installation of surveillance systems at one’s home. Internet Protocol CCTV surveillance cameras for instance allow a user to monitor the goings-on in their home in real time on their phone, laptop or tablet. This allows a home owner to supervise their hired help even while in the office, encouraging accountability and adherence to instructions given.
Home owners are also advised to make sure to ask potential employees to present a valid Certificate of Good Conduct from the C.I.D to further avert security risks.
Visit Securex and find out more about the practical measures you can take to keep yourself and your family safe at home.
NB: Parts of this article appeared on the Securex Website Blog: https://www.securexafrica.com/what-to-consider-when-hiring-a-house-help/