There have been many grey areas during the current UK-wide lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic; one question that comes up a lot is whether it is safe to employ your cleaner during this time. For the past few weeks, some have kept them on, some cleaners have stopped work as they feel uncomfortable with it and others have been paying their cleaners though their cleaners feel it's against the rules to work. So what is the right answer?
The official government advice has remained throughout the lockdown that it is safe to employ a cleaner, so long as they and you abide by certain guidelines to ensure the safety of all parties. The gov.uk website states 'You [the cleaner] can continue work, providing that you are well and have no symptoms. No work should be carried out by a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or when someone in their own household has symptoms.' This applies to the employer's household too: 'No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded.'
If both parties are healthy, then it is OK to employ a cleaner and ensure they follow steps to maintain everyone's safety, such as washing their hands on arrival and following any coughs or sneezes, keeping a 2m distance from any members of the household and opening windows for ventilation in the spaces they are working in. Similarly, it is OK to employ a nanny or tradesperson, with the nanny keeping 2m from any member of the family that they are not caring for.
Ultimately, it's important to be guided by your own judgement. Some may still feel uncomfortable with the idea of someone working in multiple houses, with no way to ensure that those households are taking appropriate precautions. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but it's good to know that in the eyes of the government, you can employ a cleaner during coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on House & Garden UK.