0131 235 2311   

07305 870892

0800 612 5750 

 

Welcome to the Home Maid!


We are a family business based in Edinburgh and we specialise in providing carefully selected cleaners to clients looking for a regular cleaning service. While our cleaners are responsible for the house cleaning and quality thereof, our role as the agency is the introduction of your cleaner, insurance, replacement cleaners when requested and assisting with any problems which may arise.


The benefits to the cleaner of being a self-employed worker are that they have the flexibility to work to fit their availability and they have a vested interest in doing a good job as they are ultimately responsible for the cleaning they provide. Cleaners also benefit from regular work and a fair rate of pay through the Home Maid.

The key benefits of using The Home Maid:

  • All cleaners go through our rigorous selection program

  • You get the same cleaner each time.

  • We take 2 written references from every cleaner

  • We check 2 forms of ID from all cleaners.

  • Less than 1 in 16 cleaners are accepted by our agency.

  • All cleaners vetted for honesty and legal right to work in the UK.

  • All cleaners are on the phone and easily contactable.

  • Cover if your cleaner is sick or on holiday (notice required).

  • Replacement cleaner if you are not happy with your cleaner.

  • Public liability insurance cover (excess £100).

Introduction to your Cleaning Service 

We will assign a Cleaner to you based on your requirements, location and schedule. Your details, including name, address, phone number and any other details that may be required will be passed to the cleaner we have offered your job to.

The cleaner will make contact with you to arrange a meeting or start date with you. We suggest meeting the cleaner prior to starting so that you can:

  • satisfy yourself that you are happy to take on the cleaner

  • explain your requirement, priorities, standards and time for the work

  • give written instructions – explain which products to use and how you want things cleaned, particularly floors, wood, leather antiques etc​. 

  • agree on method of payment

  • check the cleaner’s ID

  • hand over keys and alarm codes where necessary

  • get your cleaner’s phone number

  • agree how any unsatisfactory work will be rectified

It is advisable to commit the arrangements to paper and we have a sample ‘Contract for Services’ available on request.

Please let us know the Cleaning start date, or if there are any problems in arranging a date, otherwise we will take the date given to us by the cleaner.

Please remember you have the final say on any cleaner you take on from our agency (including replacements) and you should only accept a cleaner when you are completely satisfied to do so. We encourage clients to meet their cleaner for an interview/chat and to ask any relevant questions. If you do not want to take on a cleaner we offer, please let us know and we will be happy to introduce someone more suitable. You are also very welcome to view your cleaner’s references and carry out your own checks as necessary.

We suggest giving a new cleaner a few weeks to settle into a routine and become familiar with your requirements. Your regular cleaning schedule should soon be running smoothly. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please remember to let us know.

The Home Maid Cleaner
 

You are about to take on a new cleaner. We want it to be an enjoyable experience and with the support of the Home Maid we are sure it will be!

Less than one in 16 applicants to our agency is successful and we check each of them rigorously. In our cleaners, we look for:

Cleaning standards – our cleaners all have excellent cleaning ability, typically gained though domestic cleaning where a higher standard is required.

Trustworthiness – we take two written references, ID and proof of address and where necessary, check the candidate's legal right to work in the UK.
Reliability – we make various demands of cleaners during the recruitment process and get a good indication of their reliability. If we have any doubts, we will not take them on.
Attitude –We always look for cleaners with a conscientious and caring attitude. The fact is many of our cleaners enjoy cleaning!
Communication – it is vital that our cleaners understand their clients’ needs and are easily contactable. All our cleaners have a phone and speak English!

Whilst all Cleaning Maids undergo our strict recruitment process, some cleaners may let clients down from time to time. We are here to resolve any problems and put things right so please let us know if you not entirely happy with your cleaner.

Your Cleaner

The Home Maid service is designed to make sure that you get the highest level of service and cleaning. To get the best from your cleaner, we recommend following these simple guidelines:

For the first clean, please take the time to clearly explain your requirements, describing what you would like to be done and any routines or methods you prefer. We find it helps to also write down your instructions. Please remember it can take a few weeks for a cleaner to ‘bed in’.

We recommend that you make it clear what you want done and also how (e.g. some clients like the cleaner to follow strict instructions while others like the cleaner to use their initiative). If in doubt, please use the Task Sheet provided.

Please remember that the cleaner is self employed and managed directly by you. You should be prepared to instruct and guide your cleaner in order to get the best out of them.

If you want to change the routine or want your cleaner to concentrate on specific areas, just let your cleaner know. Never assume your cleaner will do things the way you would do them or in the same way.

If you are unhappy with your cleaner for any reason, please discuss the matter directly with them in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve any issue then please let us know.

Please pay your cleaner regularly and on time by whatever arrangement you have agreed between you (many clients pay weekly in cash). We recommend you keep a record of all payments using the Payment Record Sheet provided.

Your cleaner will use your cleaning products and equipment. We find that most clients have their own preferences for products and fragrances. This also helps us keep costs down. Please provide materials fit for purpose (cloths, solutions etc).

Please note Insurers are often unwilling to accept claims involving the use of abrasive cleaning materials or chemical cleansers. We strongly advise you to avoid having products in your home which may cause damage. Non-abrasive micro-fibre cloths and surface-friendly cleansers are widely available.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) caution that your cleaner should not use bleach on your premises unless specifically trained to do so.

Please clearly explain any alarm and security systems to your cleaner!

Please do not ask your cleaner to clean the exterior of the building or the outside of windows.

Please notify your cleaner as early as possible if you do not wish them to come for any particular reason (holidays, illness etc).

If you cancel your cleaning within 48 hours or if your cleaner cannot get into your home though no fault of their own (e.g. you forget they are coming) we would ask that you please pay the cleaner for their time.

If you have a good cleaner, you will want to keep them! It is entirely at your discretion but many clients occasionally pay their cleaner for hours not worked as holiday pay (possibly at Christmas). We also recommend that you consider increasing what you pay the cleaner each year in line with inflation.

Please do not ask your cleaner to work more than the hours agreed between yourself and The Home Maid without notifying us as it could mean the Cleaner is not insured. You are welcome to change the scheduled hours at any time - please let us know of any changes and we will adjust the agency fee accordingly. Please remember our minimum agency fee is based on a 2 hour weekly service.

Finally, please remember we are here to help – if there are any issues which you cannot resolve directly with your cleaner, please do let us know.

Health & Safety
 

For Health & Safety reasons please ensure all equipment is in good working order and safe to use (e.g. no frayed wires or faults etc.). Please also take the time to show your cleaner how your equipment works (e.g. changing vacuum bags and filters where fitted, steam iron, washing machine etc.)

Your cleaner is not allowed to stand on chairs or other items to reach high places. If your cleaner needs to reach high items please provide a suitable foot stool or step ladder. For health and safety reasons, your cleaner should not climb more than 2-3 steps unless someone is there to hold the ladder.

Please ensure there are no potential hazards lying around your property which may cause someone to fall or be involved in any form of accident.

Please take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of your cleaner where pets are concerned. If there is something a cleaner should be made aware of, please inform them.

Please make sure your cleaner is aware where safety items such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc. are stored. Please also make your cleaner aware of the best routes of escape from your premises in case of emergency.

Please show your cleaner where you keep your first aid provisions. You should provide personal protective equipment for your cleaner if required (goggles, gloves etc).

For further details on Health and Safety please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk  

Cleaning products

Your cleaner should use only your cleaning products and will usually be happy to advise on the best materials and products for the job.

We recommend products and solutions specific to each task (kitchen cleaner, toilet cleaner etc.) rather than multi purpose products.

You will need kitchen towel and a range of non abrasive cloths and sponge, dusters and long reach dusters for ceilings/high corners etc.

Depending on your floor type you should have a vacuum, indoor brush, dry/dust mop, wet mop and wringer bucket. Cotton wet mops may shed lint and looped end mops are better than cut ends and tend to last longer.

 

You may also require polish and glass/window cleaner for windows and mirrors.

For insurance purposes you should not use abrasive cloths, bleach or products containing bleach.

 

In order to prevent cross contamination, please ensure your cleaner has separate cloths (and gloves) for the bathroom and kitchen areas.

The golden rule is to have your cleaner work from the cleanest areas to the dirtiest areas of the house, and to start in the kitchen before doing bathrooms and toilets.

Your Agency
 

Our role is to identify your needs, assign a cleaner and then provide a backup service to the ongoing cleaning. We carry out checks on all our cleaners and as our client you have access to a back-up service to sort out any difficulties which may arise.

We pride ourselves on the level of customer service we offer and we will always do our best to help with any problems.

Resolving problems
Once we have successfully introduced your Cleaner to you we will assume that all is well unless we hear otherwise from you.

From time to time Cleaners may let a client down (e.g. not turning up or you may even feel their cleaning is not up to standard). If your cleaner lets you down, or if you are unhappy about anything at all, please let us know so that we can rectify the situation. A key part of our service is to put right any problems which may arise so please let us know if you are not 100% happy.


We suggest where possible that you try to resolve minor issues directly with your cleaner. If you have tried that without success, or if that is not possible, please let us know and we will resolve the matter for you. We are here to liaise with your cleaner if you have any issues about their performance, and if you no longer wish to have a particular cleaner, we will find a suitable replacement.

Please bear in mind that it can take a few weeks for a cleaner to get into a routine and learn a new client’s requirements. As long as your expectations are realistic and you are prepared to discuss them clearly with the cleaner, things should settle fairly quickly.

Replacement Cleaners

Temporary replacement – As your cleaner is not employed by us, we may have no knowledge when he or she is off work (e.g. holiday, sickness). Your cleaner will inform you directly and you may wish to make arrangements with them to make up for any missed cleans. If that is not suitable, please let us know if you would like a replacement cleaner. Self employed workers are entitled to offer their own replacements however if you would like a replacement cleaner from our agency, please let us know and we will make every effort to find you one
(we will not send a replacement cleaner unless one has been requested). We cannot guarantee availability however if we fail to provide a replacement within 72 hours, we will be happy to refund your agency fee pro rata. Please note we do not offer backdated refunds if no replacement cleaner was requested. We
recommend meeting any replacement cleaner to ensure you are happy with them and to explain your requirements etc. to them.

Permanent replacement - You may require a new cleaner on a permanent basis; perhaps your cleaner moves on or you may decide you do not want a particular cleaner any more. If you would like a new cleaner, please let us know right away so that we can reallocate your job.

Insurance
Although your cleaner is not employed by the Home Maid, we understand that some self-employed cleaners may not have their own public liability insurance in place. Therefore all Home Maid cleaners are insured through our public liability insurance. It is important to note the following points:

Please note neither the Home Maid nor its insurers shall be liable for the first £100 of any claim or for any claim of £100 or less in value. 

Please ensure your cleaner uses only your cleaning products and materials. Any claim resulting from use of other products, materials etc., including those supplied by the cleaner, would not be met by our insurers

You must ensure that your household policy or other insurance adequately protects you from liability in case of a personal accident claim by the cleaner.

Theft of belongings is not covered.

Our insurers may view damage caused by inappropriate materials (e.g. abrasive cloths) as ‘contributory negligence'. Such claims will not be met by our insurers and we advise using non-abrasive cloths and sponges etc. instead.

Insurance does not cover damage caused by any bleach products.

Neither the Home Maid nor our insurers accept liability for keys. We recommend you get your cleaner to sign the Key Receipt form provided.

If something has been damaged, please follow these steps:

  1. Speak with your cleaner: speak to your cleaner to find out what has happened and try to resolve the matter directly. Indeed, as all of our cleaners are self-employed they may have their own insurance.

  2. If you are unable to resolve the matter directly with your cleaner, then contact your home insurance provider as you may be able to claim on your home insurance policy.

  3. If the first two methods above are not successful then please let us know and we will be happy to process the matter which will be done through our insurance company. However, the first two methods above must first be exhausted before The Home Maid can process any claim

  4. on this policy.

The insurance cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the policy. The client shall be bound by such terms, conditions, and exclusions.


Finally
In order to maintain your service, your agency fee must be paid in advance by standing order. If there is any change in the hours worked, please let us know as failure to do so could invalidate your insurance cover.

Remember, whether it’s arranging holiday cover, a change in hours, or any other matter, do not assume your cleaner will tell us. Please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I pay the Home Maid and the cleaner separately?
As the cleaners are self employed they paid separately. We advertise a combined typical hourly rate so that you can compare the typical total cost against other cleaning providers. You pay the cleaner the major portion of the advertised rate for doing the cleaning and you pay the Agency portion for our recruitment and introduction of cleaner, replacement cleaners when your cleaner is off and the insurance. For this reason you should contact the Agency directly if your hours change or if you wish to end your service.

Do you offer replacement cleaners if my cleaner is off sick or on holiday? 

Yes, just email or call if you require cover. We will always do out best to provide cover however we are unable to guarantee availability. Please allow 72 hours notice for replacement cleaners.
 

Will you refund my agency fee if my cleaner cancels or is unable to work?
If a replacement cleaner has been requested and we are unable to provide cover then we will happily refund your agency fee for any missed cleans. Please note we do not provide refunds where no replacement cleaner was requested at the time.

Is there a notice period to terminate my contract?
We just require one month’s notice to end your agency agreement. Notice should be in writing directly to the Agency.

What happens if I am unhappy with the cleaner or the job done?
Occasionally problems may arise or cleaners and clients or job do not match. If you are unhappy with the work done, please discuss this with your cleaner and clearly explain your feedback and requirement. If you are still unhappy or if you do feel this would not resolve the matter, please let us know and we will help rectify the situation either by resolving the issue with your cleaner or providing another cleaner.

Do you refund the agency fee if am not happy with the cleaning?
As a self-employed worker, the cleaner is responsible for the cleaning standard and for rectifying the job. We suggest discussing the matter with your cleaner in the first instance however please also let us know so we can help. If there are missed weeks in between reallocating your job to a new cleaner, we will be happy to refund your agency fee for the missed weeks.

How can I be sure that my cleaner will be good?
Our rigorous recruitment process ensures we accept cleaners onto our agency who have relevant experience, have proved reliable, responsible and who are settled in the community. Cleaners provide us with 2 references, ID and proof of home address. While we interview and vet cleaners, we also encourage clients to use common sense to satisfy yourself that you are happy with any cleaner you take on from our agency. It is in both our interests to introduce a suitable cleaner from the start. Occasionally it may take more than one attempt to get a cleaner you are happy with. We do understand that if this happens it can be hugely frustrating. It is equally so for us as we want both our clients and cleaners to be happy and settled.

Do I pay the agency when I don’t require a cleaner?
We do not refund your agency fee when you do not require a cleaner. Our fee is a set fee based on the contractual number of hours required and is not affected by the actual number of hours the cleaner works.

Can my cleaner send a replacement cleaner?
As a self-employed worker, the cleaner may provide their own replacement however for security and insurance purposes we would suggest clients request any replacement cleaners through the Home Maid.

Can I cancel my contract with the Home Maid and employ the cleaner directly?
We are a small, family business and put a lot of time and effort into finding quality cleaners. As with other introduction agencies, our contract prevents workers introduced by us working directly for clients for 18 months after contract termination. A fee would be charged (please see our Ts and Cs for further details)

Do I have to give notice to the Agency if my cleaner resigns or if I am unhappy with my cleaner?
Part of our service is offering a new cleaner whenever a cleaner resigns to save the client starting from scratch finding a new cleaner. We are also here to fix any problems that may arise if a client is unhappy with their cleaner. If your cleaner resigns, or if you are unhappy with your cleaner, please let us know if you would like us to offer an alternative cleaner for you. If you choose to resign the contract then the notice period would apply.

For a full list of FAQs please see here.

 

Customer Service
 

Phone             07376 353243

Email              support@thehomemaid.co.uk

Web                www.thehomemaid.co.uk/edinburgh

Our office hours are
Monday 8am - 4pm
Tuesday 8am - 4pm
Wednesday 8am - 4pm
Thursday 8am - 4pm
Friday 8am-2pm

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