HomeOrganisers Covid-19 Response

We hope that everyone is safe and well, and adjusting to these exceptional and uncertain times.

We would like to reach out and reassure you that HomeOrganisers is open for business. We have made wide-ranging adjustments to ensure that our working practices uphold the stringent safety standards outlined by WHO and Public Health England, whilst delivering the highest level of service to both candidates and clients.

Our team is working from home, and we are now carrying out all meetings and interviews via video calls. This ensures that safety and wellbeing are paramount, whilst maintaining our normal in-depth, step-by-step process. We are looking at each placement individually and carry out extensive due diligence according to official Covid-19 guidance. 

There has been a lot of confusion about whether or not nannies, housekeepers and other domestic staff can continue working during the lockdown.

 The official government guidance on this question is this:

 

I’m not a critical worker and I can’t work from home. What should I do?

If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice.

Critical workers are those who can still take their children to school or childcare. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided you cannot work from home.

Anyone who has symptoms or is in a household where someone has symptoms should not go to work and should self-isolate.[1]                             

At HomeOrganisers, we believe that adhering to government guidance in these uncertain times is of upmost importance. Every nanny, housekeeper and family is different, and ultimately the decision to keep on, or start, working should be treated on a case-by-case basis. Even though you can go to work as a nanny or a housekeeper, the decision is up to you and your employer and should be based on keeping everyone as safe as possible.  Everyone has a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing for all.  

The government advice is clear: if it is not possible for you to work from home, then you can still travel to work. This applies to nannies and housekeepers, who cannot work from home. However, this does not mean that all nannies and housekeepers should work.

Our advice is to look at each situation on a case-by-case basis, and that communication is key. Does the nanny or housekeeper have someone in their own household who is vulnerable and in the ‘high risk’ category? Does the employer have someone who is ‘high risk’ living with them? What social distancing measures is each party taking? Will there be social distancing measures in place in the household?

Employers have a duty of care to make the workplace (in this case, household) as safe as possible by following all official health and safety guidelines. Official advice from GOV.UK on how to ensure social distancing in the household is as follows:

 

  • Wash hands regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds and particularly after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing.
  • Providing hand sanitiser, soap and tissues.
  • Workers should cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in a bin and immediately wash their hands.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay 2 metres away from people who are not in the household.[2]

     

    Examples where changes could be made to ensure safety:

     

  • To maintain a 2-metre distance from others in the household, a housekeeper can work on different floors of the house and move from room to room as they progress through their tasks.
  • Avoiding public transport by walking, cycling or driving to work minimises contact with other people. If it is not possible for the nanny or housekeeper to avoid public transport on the way to work, the family could consider arranging alternative transport for them.
  • If the family has room, and it has been agreed that the nanny or housekeeper should continue working, consider inviting them to live with you and become part of your household group. Self-isolation could be arranged prior.

 

If anyone has symptoms of coronavirus, or been in contact with anyone who has, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days: Government Advice - Covid-19.

Furloughing remains an option for those who have been employed since February 28th 2020: Government Advice on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This advice is from the information that has been made available to us, and we understand that there is no specific advice for the nanny and housekeeper industry and that at times official guidance can be confusing. Our team is available if you need support, and we hope that everyone is staying safe and keeping well.

On the 1st May 2020, the government has issued the following guidance

"If you provide paid-for childcare in a child’s home, you can go to your place of work - this is in line with Government guidance that you can travel to work if working from home is not possible. However, it is important that you take as many precautions as possible in line with Public Health England guidance, including: 

if you or someone in your own home has symptoms, you should not go to work, but self-isolate in accordance with Government advice

you should not work in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household

wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, including when you arrive at work and when you return home

to reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands

clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people

maintain social distance as far as possible with family members and others that you are not directly caring for

Your employers are responsible for informing you and supporting you in how to maintain these measures.

 

People should not be leaving their home to undertake unpaid and informal care of others’ children."