Cadbury the Butler Q&A

Private Staff Support

Dear Cadbury,
Is there such a thing as a union or legal support for those working in the private industry? I am sure, like myself, you hear of various things that happen in this industry that would not be acceptable in any other corporate environment, in many instances, liable for court action.

Employers certainly seem to have the upper hand in domestic situations, and most seem to treat staff without the same respect that would be required in an office, factory or public work place governed by strict contracts and union based guidelines. Of course this is not everyone, and it would be unfair to paint all employers with the same brush.

What are you thoughts and do you know of employees that have taken legal action against their employers?

Dear Louise,
Sadly there are no unions or official support organizations that can step in to help in private service disputes. The International Guild of Professional Butlers does promote the philosophy of mutual respect and professionalism in the private service industry.

You really did not provide examples of unacceptable behavior. If there is some sort of physical maltreatment involved, or improprieties with your pay, than the legal people are fairly good about responding, even if the employer is rich and powerful. In most jurisdictions, the police will listen to claims of law breaking, and there are in most countries governmental agencies that insure that people are paid properly, not discriminated against, and that there are basic good and safe working conditions.

When it comes to a lot of other unpleasant matters that we sometimes find in private service, you don’t have much choice than to work around the problem or leave. I would assume that a new potential employer does not want to hear that a candidate he / she is considering has taken legal action against a former employer, so this has discouraged private service staff from pursuing inequities.
– Cadbury