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6 Reasons for NOT paying your household employees once a month

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

6 Reasons for NOT paying your domestic workers once a month

Did you know you should not pay your household employees by the month, but every week?

Most of the time, I find new topics for my blogs while being with clients. This time, we are killing some time while waiting for another realtor who was running late. My client asks “when do I pay my maid and my gardener, once a month?

This reminded me of when I was a 15-year old I was looking for a Saturday job. I started working on Saturdays when I was 12, so I’d have some spending money. They hired me for the most interesting job I’ve held in my life: filling shelves in a supermarket.

I wasn’t smart enough at the time to ask when I would get paid. So at the end of the day, I went to the manager to get paid.  The manager looked at me like I was from a different planet and said: “at the end of the month”.

I didn’t even go back the next Saturday! Then I found myself a Saturday job that was just as interesting: washing dishes at a retirement home. But it had two advantages, they served a great lunch and they paid every Saturday.

In Costa Rica, most full-time household employees in Costa Rica are paid by the week.  I’m talking about the maid or housekeeper, and the gardener. It’s the same for factory workers and other jobs that don’t require any high-level education.

Though a lot of household employees are great employees who have no vices at all, you better feel safe than sorry. Do NOT pay them by the month but by the week.

6 Reasons for NOT paying your domestic workers once a month

Here are 6 Reasons for NOT paying your household employees in Costa Rica by the month:

1. They’re Poor

Household employees often receive less than minimum wage. Many employers don’t even report their salary and don’t pay Caja. Therefore, most live by the day and never have a chance to save money. They don’t earn enough to survive without getting paid for a whole month.

2. They Buy on Credit

Household employees seldomly have a bank account or a credit card. They don’t have money to buy food for the week, so they’ll buy on credit from the Polaco and in the pulpería. Once they receive their salary, it will be all spent already.

If they have the need to pay something unusual, they will ask you for an advance.

6 Reasons for NOT paying your domestic workers once a month

3. Manage money

They might not be able to handle that much money at once. They’ll go crazy with the money and be broke in a couple of days.  They don’t have the education necessary to handle their finances.

4. Alcoholism

They might have a drinking habit. If they do, they will not return to work until all the money was spent.

6 Reasons for NOT paying your domestic workers once a month

5. Banking

They might not have a safe place to keep a whole month of salary and they won’t have a bank account and probably don’t have a credit card either.

6. Prepaid Phone

They have a prepaid phone with just enough balance on it for a couple of days. They will run out of a balance when they need to make a serious phone call.

Before you hire new employees in Costa Rica, discuss with them how they want to get paid and which day.


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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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