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Top Three Risks of Hiring A Private Maid

January 3, 2014

Many people think that hiring a private maid is better than hiring a maid service in Chicago. Sure, you do have a little more control over the person that cleans your home, since you will be hiring her personally, but that is about the only advantage. In fact, you’ll see that there are many more disadvantages to hiring a private maid than you may have considered.

Of these disadvantages, the top three are listed here. All involve difficulties that you will have to face if you hire a private maid. You need to consider the fact that when you hire someone, you go from a private entity to an employer. All of a sudden, you have to take care of that employee and be prepared should something go wrong. You also end up having to pay taxes and provide benefits for the person whom you have hired. If that is not enough to scare you away from the idea, please consider these three things as well:

#1: You will need to provide liability if your private maid becomes injured while at work.

Like many employers, you need to make sure that you have the right protections in place. Of course, this depends on two different things – whether the private maid is a contractor or an employee, and the state that you live in.

There are two different ways that you can employ someone – they can either work for you as an employee, or as in independent contractor. An independent contractor has free range when it comes to hours, supervision, and work clothing. She can work when she wants, for as long as she wants. For example, if your private maid is a contractor, she can work for several hours a day a few days a week or for one day a week for 8 hours. As long as the work gets done, you have no say in the matter. With a contractor, you do not have to take taxes out of her check – she is responsible for that – but you do have to provide a 1099 at the end of the year.

However, if you direct your maids schedule and hours worked, as well as supervise and direct the duties that are to be performed, and pay the person directly, then they will very likely be considered an employee by the state. This means that you must provide liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and the proper tax forms with the federal government, as well as your state government.

Of course, if you live in certain states, you may have some leeway as far as liability insurance and workers’ compensation are concerned. With the exceptions of the states of California, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, homeowner insurance policies usually do not cover such injuries or have very limited coverage. This means that you must buy Worker’s Compensation insurance, and liability policies to ensure that you are covered in case your private maid becomes injured on the job, or else you may have to face a lawsuit.

#2: Taxes owed to the IRS

No one likes to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service, but if you fail to pay your private maid properly and neglect to file the right tax forms, you may find a certified letter from the IRS warning you that you are in trouble.

As mentioned earlier, the second you hire someone to work for you, you are very likely to be classified as an employer. This means that you are supposed to pay all payroll taxes, social security taxes, and unemployment insurance tax. This total ranges from 10% to 18% of the payroll amount.

While hiring a private maid may seem cheap initially, the costs may increase dramatically once the IRS finds out about this previous hidden relationship. It commonly occurs when the relationship between the client and the private maid deteriorates, leading the private maid to do things to “retaliate” against you, her employer. One of the most common retaliatory practices is to inform the IRS of the hidden employee-employer relationship.

#3: Choosing the good cleaners: too much potential of a hit and miss

Choosing the right private maid is difficult. You ask around, trust other people’s judgment and try it out. This is the most common method, and also the most problematic since nothing was done in a professional and independent manner. You need to find the best maid to do the job, and many people do not have enough experience in the field or even with hiring others, so they do not know what to look for.

On top of this, training for private maids does not exist. This means that private maids tend to clean at least 50% slower due to the lack of training. They are also not set up to provide the chemical free home cleaning that is safer, cleaner, and healthier for adults, kids, pets, and the planet.

High performance professional house cleaning services spend almost half of their resources to screen, hire, and train the right people. They utilize sophisticated surveys, interviews, verification of work history, value evaluations, references, and background checks. A simple background check, like the ones that would be used by a private employer (read: you) is far from enough. Because values drive behavior, value based evaluations are critical for professional cleaning companies. A person hiring someone privately does have access to these types of resources.

Hiring a private maid is an option. However, it is an option that requires a lot more work and costs than one would think. In addition, the hit and miss approach has its limitations to finding a well trained professional home cleaning technician.

As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong when hiring a private maid. You can hit with back taxes, an injury lawsuit, or hire someone who is drastically wrong for the job. The transition from regular person to employee can become difficult to bear. This is why is makes much more sense to simply hire Fresh Tech Maid to handle the job for you – all that you need to do is hire the right service and pay the bill, among other things.

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