There is often a dichotomy between the job title of a vacancy and the profile description of the most suitable candidates for that role which, in essence, is about two words: private positions or domestic positions.
Despite our understanding that the words are mutually exclusive, we also know they can be used reciprocally when referring to household staff.
Determined to shed some light on this issue, we consulted our candidates and clients about the terms “private” and “domestic” interchangeability.
Furthermore, we approached our external legal advisor Neves Solicitors, to find out if, by law, domestic staffing contracts are seen in a different light than private staffing placements.
We aimed to go beyond the labels and use the correct terminology for each role we handled.
What we discovered is that there are several misconceptions which need to be dealt with immediately to make sure our clients know what they are expecting and provide suitable salaries and benefits to match whilst also fully briefing candidates on the breadth of their position.
Domestic sounds every day, unremarkable, almost untrained, whereas it is clear that anyone being placed by Irving Scott would be uniquely skilled to fit the specifications of such a vacancy.
On the contrary, private service implies confidentiality and discretion, with the candidate being able to show their face when necessary and take responsibility for the house’s running, which, although valid, often applies to domestic roles too.
At the risk of over-simplifying, the distinctions appear as so:
Hiring domestic/private staff
Delving into the realm of domestic and private positions reveals a captivating landscape where professionalism, discretion, and exceptional service converge. The terminologies – private staff and domestic staff – serve to distinguish the specific dynamics and nuances within these roles, highlighting the level of expertise required to fulfill the unique needs of families.
Private staff members, often engaged through limited companies dedicated to managing a family’s affairs, embody the epitome of professionalism and discretion. Entrusted with the inner workings of a household, they ensure its seamless operation, catering to the family’s distinct requirements. Their responsibilities encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from estate management and security oversight to event organization and day-to-day coordination of household activities. The distinction as private staff underscores the elevated level of trust and expectation bestowed upon these individuals.
Conversely, the designation of domestic staff typically applies to positions that involve a direct contract with the principal, regardless of the specific role category. Domestic staff members work closely with the principal and their family, providing essential services and support within the confines of the private residence. Their versatility shines as they fulfill diverse roles such as housekeepers, chefs, butlers, nannies, drivers, or personal assistants, among others. Each contribution, no matter the title, is integral to maintaining the comfort, efficiency, and overall well-being of the household.
Irrespective of whether they are referred to as private staff or domestic staff, the significance of these individuals’ roles in upholding a well-functioning household cannot be overstated. They carry the weight of maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of the family, necessitating unwavering professionalism, reliability, and dedication. Their adaptability and exceptional skills allow them to navigate the intricacies of providing top-notch service within the intimate and personal setting of a private residence.
As we explore the enchanting world of domestic and private positions, we recognize that the terminologies may vary, but the essence remains the same. These roles demand individuals who possess not only the necessary skills but also a genuine passion for delivering excellence. They embody the true spirit of hospitality and play an instrumental role in elevating the standard of service in the domain of private households. With their commitment to professionalism and their unwavering dedication to providing exceptional service, domestic and private staff members transform ordinary households into extraordinary homes.
Describing domestic/private staff
Within the realm of household service, the terminologies “domestic staff” and “private staff” often emerge, each carrying unique connotations and encompassing distinct responsibilities. While the term “domestic staff” typically evokes associations with paid work carried out within the household, such as gardening or cleaning, the term “private staff” is more commonly associated with management roles, such as Estate or House Managers and Butlers. However, the true nature and scope of these roles extend far beyond the confines of these labels.
When we delve into the world of domestic staff, we uncover a vast array of positions dedicated to supporting the seamless functioning and maintenance of a household. These roles encompass a wide range of responsibilities, including housekeeping, cleaning, gardening, and maintenance. Domestic staff members play a crucial role in ensuring that the physical aspects of the household are meticulously cared for, creating an environment of comfort and cleanliness.
On the other hand, private staff positions involve a higher level of management and oversight within the household. Private staff members often assume leadership roles, utilizing their expertise and knowledge to ensure the smooth operation and coordination of various aspects of the household. This may include responsibilities such as managing staff, organizing events, overseeing budgets, and liaising with external service providers. Their contribution extends beyond the physical upkeep of the household, encompassing strategic planning, problem-solving, and enhancing the overall experience for the family they serve.
It is important to note that while the terms “domestic staff” and “private staff” provide a general understanding of the roles, the actual responsibilities and job titles can vary depending on the specific requirements and preferences of the household. The flexibility and adaptability of staff members are paramount, as they must possess a diverse skill set that can seamlessly transition between various tasks and responsibilities.
Ultimately, whether referred to as domestic staff or private staff, these individuals form the backbone of a well-functioning household. Their dedication, professionalism, and commitment to excellence contribute to the overall harmony and efficiency of the home environment. By providing invaluable support and specialized services, domestic and private staff members elevate the quality of life for the individuals and families they serve, ensuring a seamless and fulfilling experience within the realm of private households.
Entering a private position
Private positions demand skills our candidates have trained hard to achieve. “Private” roles require flexibility, discretion and troubleshooting prowess.
Both require high standards and attention to detail.
But is there any legal distinction between the two roles as implied by their differing classification?
Not. Elizabeth McGlone from Neves LLP is adamant that there is no difference between private and domestic contracts.
Here at Irving Scott, we concentrate on finding ideal roles for our candidates and finding ideal candidates for our clients.
We seek to find the best fit in terms of CV and personality.
We build close relationships and care about our clients and our candidates.
Given that the critical issue is compatibility, we know that once a mutually beneficial working relationship has been embarked upon, both parties will reach a seamless agreement on the most appropriate description of the fulfilled duty.