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Are You Underpaying Your House Help?

Many factors decide whether a job is satisfying or not, but few are more impactful than pay. Here’s how to know if your house help is underpaid.

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Many factors decide whether a job is satisfying or not, but few are more impactful than pay. Here’s how to know if your house help is underpaid.

Photo credit: wayhomestudio

Being underpaid is annoying and depressing; no one wants to feel that way, but how can you know you're not also a perpetrator of such an act? Money isn't everything, but it's typically the primary motivator for individuals to go to work, so we can't help but wonder how you'd feel if you were horribly underpaid but still required to show up and work every day.

In recent years, the rate at which some house-helps allegedly unleash fear, thievery, cruelty, and hostility has increased, leading to distrust and unease among their employers. Many of these workers may acknowledge engaging in such behavior because they were underpaid or mistreated.

Some may argue that being a house help job involves no genuine skills and may even look down on individuals who work such "odd jobs", yet being able to cater to a stranger's family and your own is a unique life skill. So, if you have a domestic helper or are considering hiring one, consider what the current minimum wage is, how expensive things are in the market, the current cost of living, and the number of hours spent on the job, and then ask yourself, "Am I truly paying my house help her/his money's worth"?

It would be decent enough for employers to pay their help anywhere between N50,000 a month and above, depending on the workload and working hours. But that N20,000 salary doesn’t cut it anymore, I’ll tell you that for free! Imagine having to live off N20,000 in a country where fuel is almost N200 per litre, not to talk of light tariff that is at an all-time high. Let’s be reasonable, the N20,000 - N30,000 salary no longer cuts it and if it’s even less, then you should be tagged “a slave master”. At the end of the day, the salary will be influenced by a lot of variables but we all know what is fair and what is not!

Many Nigerians who hire domestic help do not consider other forms of compensation such as insurance, paid leave, or other forms of remuneration. Still, they anticipate hefty benefits packages from their various employers – it’s tit for tat. A "house help" is someone who helps you around the house but is not a servant or slave. So if you can’t pay your house help right, then do it yourself! 

What can you do better?



  • Consider including other benefits


  • Don’t hire if you do not have to


  • Set up a bonus and reward structure


  • Do some research

So if you’ve read this article and you already doubt yourself, you should probably find out if you are paying your house help what they desrve because the best way to retain top-performing staff is by paying them their worth.

Written by

Eseosa Osayimwen

Excited about creating content that drives revenue, build trust and tells stories.

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