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Frequently asked questions

Category Headings
+ SERVICES WE PROVIDE

What service do you provide?
We are recruiters. Having noted your requirements, we introduce experienced, closely-matched candidates to you who have been checked and interviewed. See the Client services page for more details.

Do you offer a cleaning service?
No. Our candidates become your employees and you provide the means [eg. cleaning equipment and materials] to enable them to carry out their tasks.

How long does the recruitment process take?
In many cases, we can send you CVs of suitable candidates within hours of your enquiry.

Do you check candidates' health?
Thanks to the recently introduced Equality Act 2010, we are no longer allowed to ask questions about an applicant's health as this is perceived to be 'discriminatory'.  However, you are allowed to make a job offer on the condition that the applicant has a health check and you are satisfied with the results. You must, where possible, make reasonable adjustments for disabled applicants during both the application process and any employment with you. This is a complicated area of law and if you have any questions we recommend that you get independent legal advice.

Do you check that candidates are legally permitted to work in the UK?
Yes.  We inspect the original passport, ID document, residence permit or visa of every candidate we introduce to you to ensure they are legally permitted to work in the UK.  However, if you engage someone, it is incumbent on you to repeat these checks and photocopy the relevant documents.

Do you check driving licences?
Yes.  However, if you engage someone, it is incumbent on you to repeat this check.

Can you recommend a company that will deal with all payroll matters for me?
Yes. We have been recommending Stafftax to our clients for over 15 years and have not had any adverse reports.  They charge a modest annual fee. Click here to be taken to their website.

Do you automatically carry out CRB checks?
Checks previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau [CRB] are now performed by the Disclosure & Barring Service [DBS]. A useful bonus is that whereas the CRB check was at a point in time, the DBS will, for a small fee, provide an Update Service. If you engage one of our candidates, we are happy to conduct a DBS check at no cost to you.

+ STAFF CATEGORIES

What categories of staff can you provide?
These are listed in the black panel to the right of this page.

Do you recruit temporary staff?
No.  However, because we always have a number of candidates looking for permanent work who are prepared to take temporary work in the meantime, we are often able to assist clients.  Temporary staff become your employees for the duration of their assignment.

Do you recruit staff for overseas posts?
We only accept enquiries from clients who are based in the UK. In all cases, we require clients to provide staff with an open return ticket. In the case of non-EU placements, we require confirmation, before the job starts, that a valid work visa and private health insurance have been arranged.

Do you recruit nannies?
No.  We do, however, recruit nanny/housekeepers who have many years' experience of looking after children of all ages and are often mothers themselves.

Do you recruit carers?
No.  However, if there is no element of 'personal care' involved, this role can often be carried out by a housekeeper or cook/housekeeper; which we can provide.

What nationalities of staff do you have?
We currently have 110 different nationalities on our database. The most popular are Filipinos, Portuguese, Eastern European and British.

What duties can I expect my employee to undertake?
Please visit the Job descriptions page for full details.

+ AREAS WE COVER

Can you find 'live-out' staff for places outside the Greater London area?
In general, we are only able to provide 'live-out' staff inside the Greater London area.  Sometimes, we have staff living in the Home Counties and we suggest you call us on 020 3033 0000 and we will conduct a quick postcode search on our database to see if anyone is available.

Do you place staff overseas?
Yes but only permanent staff.  However, you must be able to demonstrate, before the recruitment process starts, that the candidate will be permitted to work there.

+ REMUNERATION AND BENEFITS

How do you determine the market rate for staff?
We do not set the rates.  Staff tell us what remuneration they are looking for and we pass this information on to our clients.

Why do you quote the weekly wage as 'net of all taxes'?
It is a long established tradition in the domestic staff sector to express wages as 'net of tax'.  It makes it easier for staff to calculate whether the wage offered is sufficient to cover their outgoings and derives from the days when servants were paid 'cash in hand'.  We always advise clients of the 'gross' [ie. before tax and National Insurance] equivalent.

What sort of accommodation will I need to provide for 'live-in' staff?
In London an en-suite bedroom or bedroom plus their own bathroom is the minimum requirement.  In the country, most staff seek self-contained accommodation.

Can I expect my staff to use their own vehicle to run errands and undertake the school runs?
No.  We strongly urge staff not to allow this to happen for insurance reasons.  Most privately-owned cars are not insured for business use.  Undertaking work for employers is considered by insurance companies to be 'business use' and, in the event of an accident, they will refuse to pay out for claims.

+ TERMS OF BUSINESS

Why do you send out your terms of business?
We are obliged by law to send anyone seeking to use our services a copy of our current terms of business.  Ours have been awarded the Crystal Mark by the Plain English Campaign.

Am I bound by your terms of business even if I have not signed them?
Yes.  For our protection, clause 2 of our terms states "By interviewing, using or employing any applicant we have introduced you to, you are accepting our terms of business, even if you do not sign and return the declaration below confirming this.".

Do I have to pay your introduction fee every year?
No.  This is a 'one-off' fee.  Up to the point at which you engage someone we have introduced to you, our service is free.

What happens if I introduce one of your candidates to my friend?
All introductions are confidential [see clause 9 of our terms of business].  We will charge you a further introduction fee which you may wish to recover from your friend.

What happens if I engage someone who was introduced to me by your candidate?
All introductions are confidential [see clause 9 of our terms of business].   We will charge you the appropriate introduction fee.

How do you calculate your fees?
In most cases, we will convert the agreed net weekly wage into a gross weekly wage, multiply the result by 52 weeks and apply the percentage shown in the Schedule of Fees on our terms of business.  VAT will be added at the appropriate rate.

How long is your 'free replacement' period and does it cover every eventuality?
Ten weeks from the date your employee starts working for you.  It does not cover redundancy, for example.  There are some conditions attached to this offer and these are detailed in clause 6 of our terms of business.

How many free replacements do you give?
One.  Fortunately, we rarely have to find replacement staff.  This is mainly because we tend to introduce staff who have worked many years for their previous employers and do not like short periods of employment to spoil their CVs.

+ GENERAL

Where are you based?
We have an office in Mayfair, London.