A month's notice on either side is usual. If a maid is dismissed without notice, owing to some alteration in the plans of her mistress, a month's wages should be paid to her in lieu of notice. If she leaves suddenly, of her own accord, without giving notice, she forfeits a month's wages.
If a maid be dismissed at a moment's notice on account of some very serious misdemeanour, such as drunkenness, dishonesty, or immorality, she is only paid up to the day of dismissal. A servant has no legal right to a character; it depends on the courtesy of the mistress. Whilst a thoroughly bad character, given to a servant, trenches on libel, and may be proceeded against as such, there are many instances in which it would be impossible to truthfully give a good one. In such a case a mistress may decline to give one; but it must be remembered that this refusal will be taken to indicate some very grave offence. For mere forgetfulness, untidiness or un-punctuality, such an extreme measure should not be taken.
When the house is left in the care of the servants, or where they are sent away temporarily for the convenience of their mistress, it is customary to allow board wages, varying from 5/6 to 10/- weekly, exclusive of fire and lights.
Before the arrival of a new maid it is well to draw up an inventory of the things that will be under her care; also to prepare a written scheme of work, and mention the time for going out.
Usually one night a week and the alternate Sunday afternoon and evening are given; in some places one day a month is also given. The yearly holiday naturally depends on varying circumstances, but it usually extends from a week to a fortnight.
Most women-servants are allowed 1/- weekly for laundry expenses, it being supposed that they will get up their own smaller things, such as collars, cuffs, caps, etc. For nursemaids 2/- to 2/6, and for men-servants 1/6 per week is usual.
An annual license costing 15/- must be taken out at any post-office for each man-servant and "buttons"; this must be renewed every January.
This is often a source of friction owing to gossip which takes place between the charwoman and the resident maids. The charge in most towns is 2/6 daily, if the woman brings her own food; and either 1/6 or 2/- if provided at the mistress' expense. The hours usually are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
It should be impressed on all maids, but especially on cooks, that no "perquisites" are allowed.
Usual Wages in Large Towns :-
Cook or Cook Housekeeper, £20 to £40.
Plain Cook, £16 to £23.
Kitchen Maid, £10 to £16.
Scullery Maid, £8 to £14.
General, £9 to £24.
Housemaid, £13 to £20.
Head Housemaid, £20 to £2$.
Parlourmaid, £17 to ,£25.
Lady's Maid, £23 to .£30.
Nursemaid, £10 to ,£20.
Lady Head Nurse, £25 to £40.
Butler, £40 to .£100, with board.
Footman, £20 to £60, with livery.