Safe Help In Your Home

Step Four: Signing a contract with your client

I want to hire in-home help
I provide in-home help
I work for an agency that places workers in clients' homes
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If you and the employer are pleased with the interview so far, the discussion will turn to the business part of the relationship, including these topics:

Salary: Agree on how much you will be paid; whether you will be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or at some other interval; how often you will be given bonuses, raises, paid sick leave, holidays and vacation time. Discuss overtime.

Status: Will you be an employee or independent contractor? Make sure you and your employer are clear on responsibilities to withhold and pay taxes and provide appropriate forms (either a W-2 or 1099) to you and the IRS documenting earnings.

Schedule: Restate the hours you will be working. Make sure you are clear whether 9:00 means 9:00 on the dot or a window of 10 minutes one way or the other. Agree on breaks. Pull out a calendar and see what holidays are coming up in the next 3 months. Agree on days worked, days off, paid and unpaid holidays.

Agree on a starting date. Inform your employer if you have anything planned that would require time off after that date. Discuss how you will handle interruptions in schedule (illness, for example), and holidays.

Agencies will probably have a contract prepared for their employees to sign. People who offer their services privately often skip this step. That’s a bad idea because a contract makes clear and explicit the key elements of the job and relationship. Adapt the model agreement for your circumstances. Review it with your prospective employer, then prepare two copies that both of you will sign. Give one copy to the employer and keep the second for yourself.

Model Agreement Font Size 12

Model Agreement Font Size 18

Documenting hours and getting paid:

Agency hire:

If you work for an agency, you’ll be asked to submit a time sheet at regular intervals and the agency will pay you. Remember, there should be no side agreements or requests for additional money between you and clients.

Private Hire:

You’ve already made good decisions about the nature of your employment. You know whether you are an independent contractor or an employee and you’ve agreed about benefits and taxes. A few additional questions remain:

How often will you be paid? Will you prepare a time sheet every week or two? Resolve these issues as you negotiate the contract, decide which day is payday, and agree that your employer will have payment ready at the end of that day.

In some situations, relatives will be paying you for the services you render to you client. Go over the contract with them and delineate clear procedures:

• to whom you submit documentation of your hours worked;
• who will pay you;
• how soon after submitting your documentation you will receive a check.

Step Five: Creating a clear, precise description of the tasks to do things the way your client wants