It’s the holiday season. We know you have been enjoying all the food. In fact, we can already perceive the aroma of Jollof-rice, Semo and Eforiro, Isi-ewu, Abacha, Starch and Banga soup, Tuwon Shinkafa and Massa in the air. Haha, your mouth is already watering, sha be careful and don’t combine all the meals together.
Anyway, this holiday time is the time to sit back, relax and eat the life of your head. For some, this period is for parte after parte. Whether you’re going to be chilling in your home or going out to catch some fun, we can all agree that Christmas is for enjoyment, and enjoyment only. As an employer, it is very important to extend this enjoyment to all your staff, including your domestic help.
Recently, many cases of house-help’s brutality have been brought to light and it is heartbreaking. To start with, these house-helps are humans and should be treated as one. They are also not machines and cannot work 24 hours. They need to rest!
But before we go into that, how old is your domestic help? 10, 11, 12, 17? You’re breaking the law! Your domestic help should be 18 years and above – the right age to give consent and agree to be your help. If you go to the village to take one child because their parents are poor and then bring the child to the city to become your house-help, you can be jailed for 5 years. If you also have a house-help who is still a child and you have to pay the salary to her parents, you’re wrong. Stop abusing children. Just stop it! If you’re having a problem treating your house-help right, picture them to be your child or relative. Will you maltreat your children or beat them to stupor? No? Then don’t do that to your domestic help.
Back to the issue, just as you are getting merry for the festivities, you should extend the merriness to your domestic help(s). Here’s how you can do that:
Give them the day off
If your house-help is not traveling for Christmas, then give them that day off. Take today to do all the cooking and cleaning and let them rest tomorrow. Tomorrow is for eating small chops and drinking wine. Let them go visiting if they choose to. Just let them feel that there’s Christmas in the air.
Let food be free
Before you say “am I selling the food before ni”, you need to know that in some families, house-helps are not allowed to eat what the members of the family eat. No jokes. They are not even allowed to sit on the dining table. Don’t do this to your house-help. Take it or leave it, your house-help is part of your family and you are, to an extent, responsible for their well-being. If you are planning to go on a trip, or eat at a restaurant, take your house-help along and let them be a part of the event. Don’t choose that day to start insulting your house-help for ‘eating too much’. It’s Christmas biko.
Buy them a Christmas gift
Christmas is also for exchanging gifts and your house-help should get one too. If you have been paying him/her well and treating them right, you would also get a gift in return. Nevertheless, you should buy your house-help a gift to show appreciation for the services rendered throughout the year. Gifts like a new dress, a painting of them, a wristwatch and so on will make them feel special. If you’re not so boxed up, a beautiful Christmas card will do the trick.
Give your help a Christmas bonus
Have you been paying your house-help 20,000 Naira, then make it 30,000 Naira this month. If you have already paid their salary, you can just dash them some money on Christmas day. That extra 10 or 5k will go a long way, especially since they also have family members they will love to buy gifts for. Giving them a bonus also shows that you appreciate and love them.
Make them feel special
You might not necessarily spend money on Christmas day, but a hug, words of appreciation and affirmation will also make them feel special. Christmas is a good time to bond better with your help and make them realize how much they mean to you. This simple show of love and act of gratitude will uplift his/her spirit and bring tears of joy to their eyes.
Remember that the best gift you can give your house-help(s) is your attitude towards them. They see all the merriment and the joy, they see the way you treat your kids, family, and guests, and they know when the cold and cranky attitude is reserved for them only.
So this Christmas (and beyond), as you eat the chicken and drink those exotic wine, remember to treat your house-help right.