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ReneePoffenroth


Jan 31, 2005, 11:19 AM

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Cost of Domestic Help

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I am trying to find out the cost of domestic help in Mexico. ie. housekeepers, cooks, gardeners. Is the
cost different if they are working in your home or at a vacation rental that you own? I have searced for
this information, but no satisfactory answers as yet. Can anyone help?

Renee



jennifer rose

Jan 31, 2005, 11:31 AM

Post #2 of 23 (3061 views)

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Re: [ReneePoffenroth] Cost of Domestic Help

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While the minimum wage varies in different parts of the country http://www.mexicanlaws.com/Minwages2005.htm, there remains even more variation in practice. Those living in resort areas and areas of heavy expatriate concentration tend to pay more. Salary also depends upon the level of responsibility and tenure.

There is a cost to hiring employees which transcends salary. Vacation pay, aguinaldos, Social Security, maternity and sick leave, and severance come into the picture, making the real cost actually much higher.


Carol Schmidt


Jan 31, 2005, 12:00 PM

Post #3 of 23 (3055 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Cost of Domestic Help

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In san Miguel, with many ex-pats, I've seen advertisements offering to pay 20 pesos an hour for a full-time maid, which I consider low, and I've heard stories of new gringa arrivals offering neighbors' maids 50 pesos an hour to come work for them. I've heard 50 pesos as a fair figure for someone who is more in control of the house. I think the average here is 25-30 pesos an hour for part-time work, but if someone takes meals at your place or lives in, or works full-time, or gets other perks, like traveling with you, it might be different. If you give them a lot of leftovers, clothes that no longer fit, household items, things they might resell, on a very regular basis, take that into account. If they're also cooking, shopping, running errands, paying your bills, they might get more. If you let them bring their baby with them (not recommended) so they don't have to find a babysitter, take that into account. If you're paying into their social security, as you should if you're their primary employer, that's another factor. If they're just out of school versus someone 50 who's been working a long tiem and needs no overseeing, that's another factor. If they're teaching you Mexican cooking and Spanish on the job, figure that in. If you have a lot of pets or a nasty dog, pay more. If your house is on a dusty dirt road so that every day more cleaning must be done, figure that in. If you're a stickler, pay more. And, as Jennifer says, there is a lot more to hiring an employee than just salary.

Carol Schmidt


Rolly


Jan 31, 2005, 12:47 PM

Post #4 of 23 (3044 views)

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Re: [ReneePoffenroth] Cost of Domestic Help

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As Jennifer and Carol have pointed out, there is more to the cost of an employee than the direct wages. It can get pretty complicated. To help give some understanding of the various factors, I have put together a webpage that outlines the requirements for paying employees. I hope you find it helpful.

http://rollybrook.com/employee-pay.htm

Rolly Pirate


jennifer rose

Jan 31, 2005, 1:09 PM

Post #5 of 23 (3040 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Cost of Domestic Help

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But you forgot maternity leave! A woman is entitled to six weeks before and six weeks after delivery with full pay. And, if she is unable to return to work after that leave, she's entitled to a period not to exceed 60 days at half pay.


Georgia


Jan 31, 2005, 1:55 PM

Post #6 of 23 (3028 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Cost of Domestic Help

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Yet, my maid (who lives here, in a separate house with her husband, father in law, and other son) did not want to take maternity leave -- paid or not. She doesn't want anyone else cleaning the house, and didn't want it to get out of control. (Translation: she didn't trust me to clean it properly!). So, I put a crib in the house, and let her do her own thing at her own pace. We were all happier. I should mention that she is on the school committee and has to take days off at times for meetings - she still gets paid her full pay -- and there are many other perks. But, for the most part, I think it was a matter of personal pride with her. Besides, this is her home too.


Rolly


Jan 31, 2005, 4:58 PM

Post #7 of 23 (2996 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Cost of Domestic Help

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Thank you, JR. My webpage is now graced with your words in this timely subject.

Rolly Pirate


Marlene


Jan 31, 2005, 9:34 PM

Post #8 of 23 (2949 views)

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Re: [ReneePoffenroth] Cost of Domestic Help

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What a beautiful sunset photo you have selected. May I ask where that was taken? It is gorgeous. (I am guessing not in Alberta, Canada where the vista is more white in color!) Oh and good luck with the domestic help. Here in Mazatlán we pay by the day, not by the hour.


(This post was edited by Marlene on Jan 31, 2005, 9:36 PM)


macmember

Jan 31, 2005, 9:58 PM

Post #9 of 23 (2946 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] Cost of Domestic Help

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Boy, pardon me, but it sounds a little intimidating to hire a simple part time maid. What if you just hire her and then she informs you she is pregnant? Would I be responsible for that 12 weeks pay? (PLUS being out a house keeper for 12 weeks!) I bet the older, non child bearing age women are in big demand. I know that is what I'd be looking for.

I'm surprised that someone has not come up with an agency where you can have them handle all the details and you just pay a little more per hour, but they actually work for and get paid by the agency, not you. Is there such a thing and no one has mentioned it?

Beverly


Texwheel

Jan 31, 2005, 10:50 PM

Post #10 of 23 (2938 views)

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Re: [macmember] Cost of Domestic Help

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Beverly,

I don't live down there right now, but that would just seem to make too much sense to me...and I am sure would affect other areas as well, such as gardners, though in a different sense.
Tom Williams
Georgetown, Texas
Texwheel@aol.com


Uncle Jack


Feb 1, 2005, 4:55 AM

Post #11 of 23 (2929 views)

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Re: [Texwheel] Cost of Domestic Help

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That's the way it was handled at the house we rented the first year. We rented through Ajijic Rentals and they took care of paying everything, electric, phone, housekeeper and gardener. We paid AR in just one check each month.

We like the housekeeper so much that we brought her with us to the new house. It's a better deal for her as we gave her a raise, we now live closer to her home, and she doesn't have to go down to the office to get paid each week.

We did not bring the gardener with us!

uj



julietl


Feb 1, 2005, 8:04 AM

Post #12 of 23 (2893 views)

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Re: [ReneePoffenroth] Cost of Domestic Help

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hmmm...we don't deal with any of that. There is a woman who lives in the building in the roof apartment and is the general caretaker. When we asked her who she could recommend to clean our house she said she could.

She initally charged us $100, but raised it to $150 after she saw how many parties we have! There are no set hours, sometimes she's here for 2 hrs, sometimes 4, etc... It's great because since she lives here, she keeps our keys (I am always losing mine) and is around if we need her for special occasions. We don't have a formal agreement, and don't pay tax or whatever.
___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________


ReneePoffenroth


Feb 1, 2005, 8:34 AM

Post #13 of 23 (2889 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Cost of Domestic Help

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Marlene:

Thank you for the compliment on my photo. I am not usually a very good photographer. The picture was taken in Puerto Vallarta, in January of this year. Our family, including a friend for each of our teenage children, spent 2 weeks in Pto. Vallarta in January. The photo is in front of the Villa del Palmar, where we own timeshares.

Renee


alex .

Feb 2, 2005, 2:10 PM

Post #14 of 23 (2769 views)

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Re: [ReneePoffenroth] seems like too much

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I find it unusual that a maid would earn 50 pesos for 2 hours of housecleaning, yet a factory worker might get the same amount for a 10 hour shift. We had a live-in maid/babysitter when our daughter was newborn to age four. We paid her 300 pesos per week with room & board. And she was happy as a clam at high tide with that arrangement, coming from making tortillas 10 hours per day, seven days per week for 170 pesos per week.
Alex


jennifer rose

Feb 2, 2005, 3:47 PM

Post #15 of 23 (2750 views)

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Re: [alex .] seems like too much

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50 pesos an hour for a housekeeper? Outrageous. Actually, I think $25-30 is on the very high side.


johanson


Feb 2, 2005, 5:41 PM

Post #16 of 23 (2722 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] seems like too much

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I like Jennifer's rates. They are realistic. I have several employees. The gardener and the handyman/watchman each make 29 and 30 per hour and the maid makes closer to 24 pesos per hour. And we pay on the high side here in Ajijic.

I know, three employees are a lot. But why not. It's only money. And the kids don't need it. They are dot commers.


Georgia


Feb 3, 2005, 3:15 AM

Post #17 of 23 (2686 views)

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Re: [johanson] seems like too much

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Here at Lakeside, besides the gringo homeowners, there are a lot of Mexicans who own lakeside homes and have maids and gardeners here to take care of their property. These folks often are here only once a month on a weekend, if that, and perhaps spend a week or two vacation here .. at least the wife and kids do during school break. The wages they pay would rot your socks: my maid's grandmother got 25 pesos a week (yes, I really mean 25 pesos a week) to clean an absentee owner's house. My maid's mother gets 150 pesos a week to clean daily at another house and her dad gets about 250 pesos a week as daily gardener: no IMSS, no aguinaldo, NADA, zip, zero. This is not uncommon. Another maid and her gardener husband on our street earned the grand sum of 300 pesos a week, plus housing, and had to be present 24/7. When the owners are here they are on duty all the time, right up to the owner's bedtime, when the maid has to go in turn down the bed for the owners. Honest.

Since we provide housing, electric, gas, phone, IMSS, etc. etc. for our workers, we pay them nowhere near the 50 pesos per hour suggested. However, if we have a party or more than a couple of people for dinner, I do pay the maid extra to work the party and clean up: usually about 50 pesos for an evening dinner, and 200 pesos for a big, all-day job, on a normal day off, setting up and cleaning up after a gazillion people, small dogs and chidren. I never require her work these days, but ask if she is available and if she feels she will need someone else to work with her. Oftentimes, her husband will work an event along with her.


EEK

Feb 3, 2005, 7:13 AM

Post #18 of 23 (2660 views)

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Re: [Georgia] seems like too much

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Georgia: Nice name, nice reply. Being an NoB, I often wonder how to handle such economics when I arrive in that situation. I think there is a balance between what wages are normal to the area and what wages (high or low) can change the environment. Your answer seems fine to me for you take the fair, just, or moral approach. It could be, in the hereafter, that we will all migrate across a new border -- there we will be judges by our actions (fair, just or moral). We could all end up in the same neighborhood at the same level. It also could be that those who were not just, fair, or moral may have to switch roles with the unfortunate. Ah, so now you see I have a preachy side. Just me...EEK!


Georgia


Feb 3, 2005, 10:18 AM

Post #19 of 23 (2623 views)

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Re: [EEK] seems like too much

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Maybe in my next lifetime I'll want my bed turned down and ring to have someone bring me a glass of water. I dunno. It is a very alien way to me considering my humble background. I guess it's what you grow up with and come to expect. Mostly, as a former working slave, I try to treat employees fairly, but by the same token, I've worked too hard to just throw money at people and think that will buy allegiance. 'Taint so.


Cynthia7

Feb 3, 2005, 10:44 AM

Post #20 of 23 (2615 views)

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Re: [Georgia] seems like too much

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For all these reasons- Mexicans love to work for non Mexicans. We lived in a 5 apartment complex and the large apartment in the back was rented by a couple from Mexico City. There 2 maids worked 24 -7. What I remember the most is that they wouldn't carry their key to the main gate and would ring the bell at all hours of the night for the maids to open it for them. This was a nightly occurence. The maid had to get dressed and walk about 600 feet to open the gate. They waked them up and the occupants in the other 4 apartments. Thank goodness - there is cosmic justice...what goes around-comes around.


Bubba

Feb 3, 2005, 11:10 AM

Post #21 of 23 (2606 views)

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Re: [Cynthia7] seems like too much

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I know generalizations are unfair but our experience is that Well-to-do Mexicans often seem to treat those who serve them with disrespect whether that person is a maid or a cardiovascular surgeon. In fact that seems to be true throughout most of the world. We recently stayed at a condominium in Akumal and whenever a wealthy Mexican family showed up one would have thought that God himself had arrived.

Too bad communism didn't work as it was supposed to.


alex .

Feb 3, 2005, 12:47 PM

Post #22 of 23 (2585 views)

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Re: [EEK] changing the environment vs

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adapting to the environment. One can pay 2x, 3x, 5x the going rate if he likes. He thinks that he is making a difference, that he will be liked and appreciated. Behind the smile on the face of the recipient is the brain thinking "Its true, Americans ARE clueless, what a dope."
Alex


Marlene


Feb 3, 2005, 3:33 PM

Post #23 of 23 (2561 views)

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Re: [alex .] changing the environment vs

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Amen!
 
 
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