Are you a housekeeping service provider? Are you still relying on word of mouth to enter into transactions with clients? It is time for you to switch to housekeeping service agreements while dealing with your clients and protect your business from unforeseen events and create transparency. In this article, we will tell you about a housekeeping service agreement.
HOUSEKEEPING SERVICE AGREEMENT
When a housekeeper or cleaning business agrees to perform cleaning services for a client, they ought to sign an agreement called a housekeeper service agreement. This agreement contains all the necessary information that is necessary for the parties to know before entering into a business transaction where the agency acts as an independent contractor and provides the company/individual with qualified housekeeping manpower in return for a predetermined payment.
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR HAVING A HOUSEKEEPING SERVICE AGREEMENT
- It helps in clearly defining the relationship between the parties. It helps in clarifying the absence of any special relationship such as a partnership or employer/employee relationship between the parties and hence avoiding misuse by either party.
- It helps to manage the expectations of clients by clearly defining the roles, responsibilities, and liabilities of each party.
- A detailed agreement reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and provides certainty to the parties as the terms and conditions of the service have already been decided amongst the parties.
- >A detailed agreement helps in avoiding future legal litigation issues and protect the interest of both the parties to the Agreement.
WHAT SHOULD THE HOUSEKEEPING SERVICE AGREEMENT INCLUDE?
Clause/ provisions to be captured while entering into housekeeping service agreement are elaborated below:
- Scope of service
The scope of services should include the services that are required from a different service provider, expert, or contractor. It includes the working hours, and frequency at which each service is to be performed e.g. daily dusting, mopping, and vacuuming once a week as per the requirement of the client and the requirement of equipment to perform the service. It should also set a clear schedule for the housekeeping services, including the frequency of cleaning and the specific days and times that the services will be provided.
- Manpower description
The parties should clearly decide on the nature of labor required whether skilled or unskilled. Number of people should be clearly mentioned along with their personal details such as name, address, gender, and phone number. The service provider should also declare that the manpower possesses the required skills for the performance of services.
- Billing details
The agreement should clearly state the rate of payment ( daily, weekly monthly), schedule, rate of interest levied in case of late payment, and the mode of payment ( cash/online transfer/cheque). It should also mention reimbursement if any in cases of additional expenses being borne by either party. Further the details of applicability of taxes, if any, ought to be mentioned specifically.
- Indemnification clause
The risk of damages or losses are covered under the agreement through indemnity clauses. The Service Provider must undertake to compensate the client in case of any damage caused due to the actions of the laborers. It must be written so that it addresses all crucial points. The scope of an indemnification duty that one party may have to another is essentially determined by the nature of the agreement. Similarly service providers must be indemnified in case of any breach of terms and condition of the agreement by Service Receiver and due to which losses or damages are suffered by the Service Provider.
- Statutory compliance
Since the nature of work involves labor it is necessary that the service provider complies with all necessary statutory requirements such as the payment of wages acts 1936, Maternity benefits act 1961, Industrial dispute act 1947, and any other relevant law which is applicable in connection to the work. The service provider must ensure that the workers are subjected to background verification before employing them including police verification.
An inspection clause in a housekeeping service agreement is a provision that outlines the process for inspecting and verifying the quality of the housekeeping services provided. The following are some of the key elements that should be included in an inspection clause:
- Inspection schedule: This clause should specify the frequency of inspections, such as weekly or monthly, and the specific days and times that the inspections will take place.
- Inspection process: This clause should outline the process for conducting the inspections, including who will conduct the inspections, what specific tasks will be inspected, and how any discrepancies will be documented and addressed.
- Correction of deficiencies: This clause should specify the process for correcting any deficiencies found during the inspections, including the timeline for making the corrections and the consequences for failing to do so.
- Final inspection: This clause should specify the process for conducting a final inspection before the termination of the agreement, including the timeline for conducting the inspection and the procedures for addressing any final discrepancies.
- Termination clause
The circumstances under which the agreement may be terminated must be explicitly stated. This could include the completion of the scope of work, the expiration of the agreement’s term, delays in performance by either party, violations of the terms and conditions of the agreement, unauthorized use of information or records, failure to make timely payments, and so on. Additionally, the notice period required for termination should also be specified.
- Code of conduct
The agreement should clearly specify the code of conduct of the workers at the premises of the client which includes uniforms, compliance with security checks, timely reporting, etc.
- Obligation of service provider and client
- Obligations of the service provider: This clause should specify the specific tasks and responsibilities that the housekeeping service provider will be responsible for, such as cleaning, laundry, and organizing. It should also specify the standards for quality and timeliness of the services.
- Obligations of the client: This clause should specify the responsibilities of the homeowner or property manager, such as providing access to the property, providing necessary equipment and supplies, and making timely payments for the services.
A relationship clause in a housekeeping agreement is a provision that outlines the nature of the relationship between the service provider and the client. For example it should specify that the housekeeping service provider is an independent contractor, not an employee of the client, and is responsible for paying their own taxes and insurance.
It is necessary to incorporate this clause as it talks about which court of law shall have the right to entertain the if any dispute arises out of the said agreement.
Parties should decide what dispute redressal mechanism would they resort to in case of a dispute. Generally, parties resort to arbitration for speedy disposal of cases. In the case of arbitration, parties have to decide on the seat of arbitration, and the number of arbitrators required, and also states that the decision of the arbitrator will be final and enforceable against both parties.
- Additional requirement
You can add new provisions to your agreement if there is any pertinent information about the services that are offered but have not been mentioned
The housekeeper and the client can negotiate the details of the Agreement, draft the final Agreement jointly, and sign it.