Housekeepers and Domestic help guide

For most ex-pats who come from Western society, full-time household help is a fantasy come true. Household helpers in Bangalore can perform a variety of chores: mopping, sweeping, washing, cooking, and even look after your children. There are generally two types of domestic staff available in Bangalore: full-time help (who might also stay with you) and part-time help. If you are not used to having full-time help, you might find having an extra presence in the house an infringement of your privacy. Perhaps to start, try hiring one or more part-time helpers to assist you with your household chores.

The monthly salary for domestic help ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,000. Generally speaking, live-in help rates range between Rs 6000 – 12,000, while full-time (8-10 hours per day) charges slightly less. Typically paid holiday, daily transportation and meals, annual bonuses and healthcare bills (of the helper and their family) are also expected to be paid by a full-time employer. Compensation for part-time help starts at as low as Rs 500 per month for odd jobs like sweeping, laundry and washing dishes. Rates may be higher depending on competence level and language ability. Ask around about salaries and known competent staff.

When hiring new staff members, take the utmost care in the hiring process. Like any other job, you are hiring an employee, however, unlike any other job, this person will be working in your home. Be sure to ask for and check references. Find out their abilities, experience, language ability and availability. You may also wish to request a police clearance certificate. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and find a mutual agreement about tasks to be performed, fees to be paid and dates/hours of employment prior to hiring. Clarify expectations at the outset as relationships that go wrong are often simply due to a lack of understanding of expectations. Some issues to discuss include:

  • Job description: Describe in detail what you expect, including even the smallest of tasks.
  • Punctuality: Clarify timings, your policy on tardiness, and any consequences.
  • Holiday/Leave policy: How many days off are given per month? Are Sunday working days or not? What about the pay when you are travelling? Will they get full pay or half during the holidays? Is there a bonus structure set up? etc.
  • Language ability: Ensure your helper meets your language requirements. Do you require spoken, as well as written English skills? Would you like someone fluent in Kannada also?

Finding/Hiring Domestic Help:

Though there are several agencies, word of mouth is always the best way to find staff. Organizations like the OWC (Overseas Women’s Club) have an advertising publication where relocating expats advertise for their maids and drivers, which is provided to paying members. See their website for more information:

Some of the agencies that offer specialised services are:

After you have hired a maid:

  • Once hired, be sure to personally train your staff. Do every chore while he/she watches and show how you like things to be done. Fix a schedule to avoid daily frustrations and spend some time to write out roles and responsibilities (you may be required to have this translated). This will avoid miscommunications and expectation mismatches.
  • Ensure you have your helper’s complete contact details (including current address, hometown/village address and any contact number), as well as a photograph. Police urge employers (especially those not hiring through an agency) to register their domestic help’s address and other details at the local police station. You will have to fill out a form with details and also attach a photograph of the maid. The police crosscheck the information provided and get back to the employers if something is amiss. This is to ensure your safety and is a good precautionary measure to take.
  • Large housing complexes/gated communities might insist that part-time help carry security clearance cards issued by them. Be sure to check so that your staff is permitted entry.