Part-time, full-time or live-in domestic help are all available in Barcelona, with live-out cleaners and childcare the most commonly used services. Because these are relatively inexpensive compared to other western countries, they’re extremely common among expats and are essential to most local households. Rates vary, but between €7 – €12 an hour for child care and cleaning is more or less the average.
Many domestic helpers advertise locally in shops, supermarkets, telephone poles and small free papers. There are an abundance of (usually) middle-aged women who are earning extra money by keeping house for other families. These are almost always fast, inexpensive and reliable. Of course, word of mouth is a reliable way to find qualified candidates so be sure to ask colleagues or neighbors for their recommendations.
Another option is the online portal, Loquo, where domestic helpers will place ads such as:
“Experienced hard working young women is offering cleaning services. Ask for recommendations. Speaks English and Spanish and Czech, 9 Euro per hour”
Agencies are convenient as they take care of the initial screening process and arrange interviews and trials. Please note that if you go through an agency, you will be provided with candidates that have passed agency standards, and that are living and working in Barcelona legally. However, you will most likely have to pay a service or finder’s fee if you hire one of their candidates and typically, these fees can run you 10-15% of the salary you will be paying the person per month.
- Agencia Nueva Dimension
93 450 04 48
- Marta Gallardo
93 200 51 67
- Infinity Cleaning Services
93 552 87 24
Live-In Domestic Help:
Few families have live-in help, but it is still available. If your ‘live-in’ happens to be local, chatting in Spanish (or Catalan) will help with your language skills.
Rates for live-in help will vary according to the standard of accommodation offered, working hours and whether weekend work is expected, but typically, the price range is approximately 800-1200 Euros/month.
Referrals, again, are the best way of finding help. Alternatively, check out local notice boards in supermarkets and shops or the agencies above. As au pairs often double as housekeepers, you can take a look at our Babysitting Section for agencies that help you screen and select an appropriate au pair.
Pay must be negotiated from the outset and you may want to suggest a four to eight week trial period before committing to a longer contract. Also, depending on the person’s legal status (papers/no papers) you might have to help them acquire such status (if you plan to have them long-term) as well as help out with medical or social security costs. It is always the smarter choice to employ a legal immigrant in your household, in order to avoid any legal problems or issues that could arise.