How to save a housekeeper
The new housekeeping standard will force most maids to take on new responsibilities, including working with the customer and helping with the kitchen, and they’ll also have to learn about their clients’ needs, such as making the home clean and tidy.
They’ll have to know how to use a vacuum cleaner, cook their meals, and deal with the home’s growing clutter.
And they’ll have some new responsibilities that have nothing to do with their job: They’ll need to check for fleas, make sure the kitchen’s safe, and help with the family pets.
“This is the first step in a long process of getting us back to our former self, but I can’t wait to see what the next steps are,” said Lisa Riggs, president of the American Association of Housekeepers.
The new standard also means that maids who don’t meet the standards can lose their jobs.
It’s not clear when it will go into effect.
The American Association for Housekeeping estimates that about a third of the U.S. workforce is employed by nonunion companies, including home care services.
The group’s president, Karen Sisk, said that as the industry matures, more and more maids will be expected to adhere to the new standards, especially because of the new health care law.
“We want to make sure our maids have access to the health care services they need,” Sisk said.
The health care mandate requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide insurance to cover their employees’ health care costs.
The law also requires employers to pay for home care and other health care at least 70 percent of the cost.
But some employers, such with small businesses, have balked at the requirement, and so far, it hasn’t had much impact.
Sisk called the law’s requirements “insufficient” to get them to follow through.
The APA says maids should expect to face new demands from clients, including higher costs, new responsibilities and a different role, such to help them with the housekeeping chores.
“These are new responsibilities.
They’re a new set of tasks,” said Andrea Legg, a maid and senior manager at the APA.
“They’re going to require you to think more about what you’re doing.”