‘I still nurse my daughter, put her down for naps and change her dirty diapers’
I’m a working-from-home mom and my supervisors have no intentions of bringing me back to the office at this time. In order to actually get work done, I have pieced together childcare using the help of family and friends.
I have one friend who has really gone above and beyond to adjust her own flexible work schedule around my meetings and deadlines. She cooks and cleans and cares for my infant daughter while I’m busy working.
One of the most common issues discussed in financial columns covers the quandary of when it comes to paying personal employees. This article will explore the implications of one particular case: a reader asking whether they are taking unfair advantage of a personal employee whom they pay a lot lower than expected for the needed tasks.
At the forefront is the reader’s close personal relationship with the employee in question, who is a friend. The role she plays in the reader’s life is significant. She cleans their home, cooks and cares for their child.
Following the traditional pay scale for such roles, the reader’s friend should be making twice as much as the reader is paying her. This begs the question: Is the reader taking advantage of his friend?
Fortunately, there are a few points of clarification worth noting. For one, the reader is based in a developing nation which serves as a mitigating factor when it comes to employment laws and wages. But, more importantly, the reader notes that they and their friend both feel they have an arrangement that works out nicely.
For the reader and his friend, their mutual understanding seems to be far more valuable than the traditionally accepted pay scale. The friend’s salary is likely lower than the market rate, considering the sophisticated roles she plays in the reader’s life. However, it appears that the reader’s friend does not feel taken advantage of and is content with the arrangement.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not the reader is taking advantage of their friend is difficult to answer without knowing the complete details. The more information we have on the friend’s exact responsibilities and the reader’s financial situation, the better we can judge the situation. That said, the way the reader has described the relationship and the terms of employment suggests that the arrangement is mutually beneficial and fair.
At any rate, this particular situation serves as an important reminder: there’s always more than one point of view when it comes to personal and professional relationships. And, if you’re asking yourself if you’re taking advantage of an employee, it’s best to take a step back and reevaluate your situation carefully.