Cleaners FAQ

What is the registration process?

The registration process is very simple:
1. You fill out this form.
2. We will contact you about the background checks necessary to list on Helpwiz.
3. We will review your listing, and may make suggestions prior to going live.
Once these checks have passed, you are listed on the site.

Can I set my own prices?

Yes. You aren't working for us, so we would never try to control any aspect of your pricing or your schedule.

When I change my list price, do all customers automatically get updated?

No. You can independently update any customer's pricing to your current rate, but you must do this manually. When you bring existing customers onto the site, you can set individual prices for them.

How much does it cost to register?

Registration is free. But you do have to pay commission, see below.

How does the commission work?

We manage all payments, and automatically take payment from clients when a job is completed. Our payment processor charges 1.9% + 20p. In addition, you pay us commission according to the following model:
For new clients that have booked you through the site: 10%.
After completing 20 jobs with a client: 5%
For existing clients that you bring onboard, or clients that you find: 2%
So, for example - you have a client that has booked you through the site. Your listed price is £12.50 per hour, and their booking is for 4 hours:
You get: £43.85 (£10.96 / h)
£50 - (£1.15 payment charge) - (£5 commission)
After 20 cleans, this changes to:
You get: £46.35 (£11.59 / h)
£50 - (£1.15 payment charge) - (£2.50 commission)
If the client was an existing client, or they signed up with your link, rather than them booking through the site, this would be:
You get: £47.85 (effective rate £11.96 / h)
£50 - (£1.15 payment charge) - (£1 commission)

Do I have to have public liability insurance?

No. All jobs booked through Helpwiz are covered by our own public liabiility insurance policy. This carries an excess of £250, meaning that the first £250 of any claim must be paid by you, the cleaner. If you want a lower excess, we recommend getting your own insurance. You can do this here:

Can a limited company sign up?

No. We only support sole traders, for a variety of reasons. You can work in teams, but each person on a team needs to be separately registered and have separate background checks.

Can we Work in Teams?

Yes. A team is just a loose collection of individuals that are listing on the site in common. It is not the same as a company because:
The team has no legal status.
Clients are contracting with the individual cleaners directly, not with the team.
Team members are free to leave the team or join other teams at any time, for any reason.
Every member of the team is paid equally (you need to work out your share of costs for yourself).
This arrangement is designed to be lightweight, so that you can have the maximum flexibility in deciding how, and with whom you work.

If I work as part of a team, do I still need to be registered as self-employed?

Yes. Because teams have no legal status, all the same rules about what you need and how you register are the same.

How do the ratings work?

Every time you do a clean for a client, they can rate your service, when they release payment. They can also provide you with some notes. The rating that appears on the site is an average of all these ratings. A customer can also publish a review of your service, for other users on the site to see. These also carry a rating, which is averaged into your overall rating. In general, the better the rating that you maintain, the more you can charge for your services, and the more business you will get.

How do I build up my ratings, when I'm new?

The best way of doing this is to bring existing clients onto the site (using the signup link generator in your account pages). They can then rate and review you, which will help to build your reputation. Note that clients you bring to the site are subject to a MUCH LOWER commission rate of 2% + payment charges.

Can I set the area where I work?

Yes. You can set the area either by distance from your home, or by drawing an area on the map. You can also limit your travel time between jobs.

Can I cancel a customer?

Yes, you have full control over all your bookings, including the ability to rearrange and cancel as you see fit. The one exception to this is that we encourage you not to cancel a booking before you have done at least one service for the customer - this is equivalent to saying that we want you to keep your calendar up-to-date; it damages the whole site's reputation if cleaners aren't available when they have indicated they are. Cleaners can cancel with no notice, but we strongly recommend that you don't do this, because your customers will likely give you a VERY poor rating or review if you cancel late.

Can a customer cancel me?

Yes. Customers have complete control over cancellations and rearrangements in the same way you do. They can cancel up to 23:00 on the day before the clean is due without needing to pay. Any cancellation after this time will be charged at the full rate of the planned service.
The reason for this policy is that the system generates an automatic schedule email (for your convenience) for the next day at midnight. Thus, anything that appears on the email in the morning is at least going to be paid.

What happens if a customer refuses to pay?

Customers have a legal responsibility to pay, that they have agreed to in accepting our terms and conditions. These state that a customer must pay if the service was provided or if the cleaner in good faith attempted to provide the clean but was prevented from doing so. Thus, the customer is legally obliged to pay if, for example, they didn't leave the key for you as agreed?

But suppose the customer still doesn't pay?

We will not take payment from a customer that doesn't authorize it. We will instead ban that customer from the site. You still have a legal right to follow up and collect the money that is due, in full, but we will not act as a debt-collector for you.

Can I complain about a customer?

Yes. When you cancel a customer, you can include a formal complaint about them. If a customer gets more than two complaints from different cleaners, they will be banned from the site. If the customer has behaved in an illegal way, you should of course immediately report them to the police.

What happens if a customer doesn't let me in the house?

They still have a legal responsibility to pay.

What happens if I just don't turn up?

If you don't arrive, and make no attempt to cancel the clean beforehand, we will count this against you, because it damages our reputation, which affects the business of all cleaners listed on the site. Repeated instances of behaviour of this sort would result in us de-listing you.

How do you work out the number of hours?

We allow customers to set the number of hours. We also provide a calculator that gives enough time to do a standard clean, based on the size of the house. If further adjustments are needed, these can be made after the first clean.

How do I take time off?

You are responsible for your own time. We would ask that you book holidays on your calendar (for individuals) or as an absence (if working in teams). There is no approval process - you don't work for us, or for your team, so you are in full control of when you work. The system will automatically cancel or rearrange bookings for your clients in the time you are off.
For teams, there is a restriction in the system that only one team member can be off at one time (using the absences system). If more than one team member is off at once, the team should book the time off on the calendar, and cancel or rearrange cleans. The assumption is that the remaining team members will continue to do the cleans on schedule (but for less total time) if only one member is absent.

Can I take clients that were found through the site away from the site?

No. This is a breach of our terms and conditions, and would result in immediate de-listing and banning.

If I bring an existing client onto the site, can I take them off again?

Yes, but then we will no longer manage the booking, so you will lose the automated payments, communication, ratings and scheduling capabilities for that booking. You would also need to remember to block that time in your calendar, so that you don't get overbooked by a new customer.

Can I look at other cleaners' details on the site?

You can search for a cleaner, and see what an end-user of the site would see.

Do I have to be Registered as Self-Employed?

Legally, yes. The full information for what you need to do is available on https://www.gov.uk/set-up-sole-trader. You will need to:
Register as a sole trader
Fill out a self-assessment tax return
Pay Class 2 and class 4 national insurance contributions
Keep all receipts for business expenses so you can deduct them from the tax you have to pay.
If you use a car for work, you will also need to check your insurance policy allows for business use, and update it if not (otherwise you may be driving illegally).
See our [self-employment guide] for more information.

What sort of prices should I be able to charge?

You should be able to charge between £11 and £18 per hour for repeated cleans, depending on:
Your rating.
Your experience
Your location (rural locations charge higher because of travel costs)
Your equipment and approach
Initially, you may wish to list at a slightly lower price until you can build up a reputation. The lower your price, the faster your calendar will fill up.