We talked about hiring a domestic helper in yesterday’s article, but there are many situations where a full-time domestic helper is just not necessary. For example, if you are unable to spend hours cleaning your home regularly because of work commitments or because you don’t have the energy to, then do consider hiring a part-time cleaner for your home. In the long run, they are less of a financial commitment compared to a domestic helper. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a part-time cleaner.
What types of part-time cleaners are there?
Part-time cleaners can be local freelancers (both Singaporean Citizens or PRs) or foreign workers attached to a cleaning services company. It’s important to verify that the part-time cleaner you’ve hired is legal. A full-time domestic helper who does part-time cleaning jobs outside , or those here on social visit passes who take on part-time cleaning work, are often doing these jobs illegally.
How much do part-time cleaners usually charge?
Local freelancers normally charge between $10 and $20 an hour depending on the job scope. Naturally, for larger areas, or for more complex cleaning requirements, the cost per hour will be higher. Other factors that will change the price include whether the job is to be done on a weekday or a weekend. Weekend rates are typically higher because of the higher demand and limited supply.
Part-time cleaners obtained through agencies will generally cost more. This is mainly because the agency certifies that their cleaners are in the country legally and are not breaking any laws by moonlighting. Hiring a part-time cleaner through an agency can cost between $10 and $30 per hour at a minimum timeslot of 3 to 4 hours each week. Depending on the agency, you may also be charged a one-time “agency fee” of between $200 and $300.
What are the typical job scopes of part-time cleaners?
Most part-time cleaners, whether they’re assigned to clean a home or an office, will clean floors, kitchens and toilets. Where appropriate, they will iron and fold clothes, empty trash bins and change bed linen.
They may also clean windows, fans, mirrors and doors on a periodic basis. If necessary, you can request that they clean your refrigerator, oven or cooker hoods, but because these are more labour-intensive jobs, you may need to pay a higher rate.
Should you hire a local freelance part-time cleaner or from an agency?
There are three main factors to consider before you can decide whether to go with a local freelance part-time cleaner or hire one from an agency.
This will often be the main deciding factor, but just because hiring a part-time cleaner through an agency is more costly doesn’t mean they should be avoided. Depending on your budget, a part-time cleaner agency may actually make life more convenient for you. Some of the better ones have online portals that allow you to indicate your language preferences, specific job scopes and locations.
Here are a few part-time cleaner agencies that have an online presence:
Even NTUC Income has their own part-time cleaner service.
However, if cost is going to be a priority, then local freelancers generally charge much less. Just be sure to do a thorough background check on them to ensure that they are working legally.
Location is very important, especially when hiring local freelance cleaners. A freelancer may come highly recommended, but if it is not convenient for them to travel to your home or office, then you will need to look for an alternative who can. On the other hand, an agency with a pool of part-time cleaners will be more willing to accommodate your needs regardless of location. However, do note that less convenient locations may result in higher costs.
It can be hard to find the contact of a local freelance part-time cleaner. You can look through forums like SingaporeMotherhood, SingaporeBrides or HardwareZone for recommendations, although, like anything you read on the Internet, don’t take what you read at face value. A good review may be posted by the cleaners themselves, or a bad review by one of their competitors!
Alternatively, you can also post your request on sites like Gumtree or Craigslist and hope for the best. Just be sure not to put too much confidential information online!
Several agencies that hire part-time cleaners can be found online. The better ones should have their rates and services clearly stated. However, don’t assume that what they’ve written on their website will be exactly the same as what is written in the contract. Do be prepared to contest any hidden costs or other discrepancies that may arise.
Do you have any other advice for hiring a part-time cleaner? Share your thoughts with us.
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