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helper hours?

  1. #1
    jamesandsimo is offline Registered User
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    helper hours?

    Hi
    can someone tell me what the legal hours are for a helper to work - i know monday - satuday, but how many hours per day? I looked on the government web but could not find.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    i might get shot at by posting this...

    my helper get up whenever my daughter does, sometimes, 6, somtimes 7, somtimes 8. i've never really given her a bedtime, but she usually sleeps at around 10pm-10.30pm. my daughter wakes up quite a lot at night, so sometimes she attends to her, somtimes me. some of my friends helper finishes work around midnight & get up at 6.30am.

    i try to give my helper 8hours of sleep every night. but i think letting them off at 10-10.30pm & requested them to get up around 7am-ish is reasonable.

    you also don't have to give holiday on the weekends. it's up to your agreement. when i hired mine, she already knows that she's only going to get her holiday on a weekday.

  3. #3
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    Wow, Joannek your helper is very hardworking ! From memory you are the one with the mother-in-law who expects a 10 course lunch?

    I think that different families and to a certain extent different cultures have different expectations. Also, I only work part time so that makes a difference.

    3 days a week (usually Mon, Tues, Wed) our helper works from when I leave home (around 7am) to when I return home (6pm). She generally has dinner ready by 6pm and I feed the children/bath/bed/etc. My husband and I heat up the dinner later for ourselves. We have a dishwasher, so it is no trouble to put the dishes away and turn it on.

    She also works one extra half day (Friday morning) to catch up on the cleaning that she can't do when I'm at work and she is looking after the girls.

    She will also 'babysit' from time to time if my husband and I go out to dinner. We usually leave after the children are in bed.

    So, she works 3 long days and one short day. And yes, we pay her a fulltime wage.

    We always get up to our girls in the morning, we always get up to them at night. Our helper has never done this, never will, don't want her to. When I'm home, I like to have 'family time' without a helper. I enjoy playing with my children, cooking for them and looking after them. My children are my privilege, not my work. I don't always enjoy picking up their mess, but I do it.

    I am not judging people whose helpers work longer hours, you have to do what works for you and your family. My personal view is that the helper is working and the hours should not be longer than I would work in my job, wherever possible. They are people too and need time to read/watch tv/chat to their friends/rest.

    I don't understand people who let their helpers get up to their children in the night and first thing in the morning. You are the parents ! OK, sorry maybe I am judging, can't help myself.

    But the OP asked for the legal hours - I have no idea. So far as I know it is an agreement between the employer and helper?????

  4. #4
    ELT
    ELT is offline Registered User
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    Not sure if there's official legal hours...

    We don't set a schedule for our helper, she just follows the baby's. She usually gets up at around 6, 6:30am, and finishes her day when the baby is asleep which would be around 8pm. Sometimes she work longer when we have friends over. She has 4 short breaks (3 meals + afternoon snack) and sometimes nap with the baby. My husband and I both work so we need the helper in her best shape while we are at work and she's alone with the baby so we would look after the baby at night to let the helper rest.

    This work style works very well with our family. Both my husband and I really care less how she does her work, when she cleans the windows or what time she gets up or go to bed as long as she delivers what we need -- i.e. to take good care of the baby, prepare dinner and keep the house clean, which she is doing an excellent job. :yeah2

  5. #5
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Ours works from whenever our oldest child gets up in the morning, usually between 7 and 8 til 7.30 at night with a break in the day - Monday to Friday. On Saturdays she works usually til 2. We also have a newborn for whom she does nothing. I could never let someone else feed my baby (or my 17 month old) in the middle of the night,it's just not for me. Same for putting them to sleep. I want to be the one to tuck them in at night.

  6. #6
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    jane01, you're right. but my in-laws hire 2 other helpers, one to cook & one to clean the house & do other chores. well, you know what, they came from a generation where their kids were brought up by chinese amah. she doesn't understand why i don't want the helper to sleep next to my child. my husband was brought up with a chinese nanny who slept co-bed (a bed that has another pull-out bed in the bottom, where the nanny sleeps, and so were their parents. my father-in-law & his siblings had wet-nurse!). in fact, a lot of my friends who came from wealthy families were brought up that way (co-bedding with a chinese nanny). so my MIL already thinks i'm attending too much to my child. she keeps asking me to take naps in the afternoon & let the nanny play with my daughter, and that i should not get up at night to attend to my daughter either. she also said she didn't understand why nowadays we went thru so much trying to bf our babies. the helper who attends to the baby is a nanny, and she only does things for my daughter: washes her clothes (in a washing machine & dryer) & eating utensils, cleans her toys & baby's bathroom, and play with her when i'm busy, carries the groceries & diaper bag when we go out. i cook for my daughter & husband takes bath with her. my friends said, so she really doesn't have much to do? my friends' helpers get up at 6am & sleeps at 11pm. comparatively, she has it easy.

  7. #7
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    oh, and that's why DH prefers to work for expats!

  8. #8
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    It shouldn't be a question of what is comparitive - it should be a question of what is reasonable.

    17 hours x 6 = 102 hours a week (plus all those extra times getting up in the night for young children.

    Just as you said, your MIL comes from a different generation - if you have a wealthy family, then why work your help into the ground?

    It seems like there are so many justifications for making DH work extreme hours: But never before have I heard of wealth as a reason. (more the other way around).

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