Homesitters Ltd, one of the UK’s leading homesitting companies is looking to recruit home and pet sitters across the UK, offering a great opportunity for older people looking for flexible work after retirement.
Recent research by Rest Less, a community site offering work and volunteering opportunities for over 50s found that record numbers of over 70s are choosing work over retirement. For many, being able to work flexibly when they are older is a priority.
A government report in 2018 found that 78% of people over 50 said that workplaces should offer flexible working patterns and 63% said employers should offer part-time roles. Alan Irvine, Managing Director of Homesitters Ltd says homesitting, which involves looking after people’s homes and pets when they are away can be an ideal flexible role.
Alan Irvine says,
“The majority of our homesitters are retired and in their 50s, 60s and 70s. They enjoy the job because they love spending time with animals and enjoy staying in different homes across the UK. The role is flexible so they can work when they choose, fitting it around other commitments, such as looking after grandchildren.”
“We have an extensive network of homesitters, but we are looking for new recruits to join us. We are particularly keen to hear from people in London as we have many clients in and around the capital that are increasingly employing homesitters when they go away.”
Homesitters Ltd recently carried out research and found that one in five (21%) of their homesitters have been with them for over 10 years. Londoner, Peter Green who is in his 70s and has been homesitting for more than a decade since retiring from a job in retail.
Peter took early retirement but wanted to plan something to occupy his time. His sister saw an advert for Homesitters Ltd and thought it would be ideal for Peter as he is a great pet lover and is very sociable. Not entirely convinced it would be for him, Peter used his notice period to try it out. He did some weekend assignments and was hooked.
Peter enjoys the responsibility of home sitting and loves looking after dogs. He says dog walking is a great way to keep fit. He also enjoys talking to other dog walkers and has made some good friends over the years, as he regularly sits for the same clients. Having the opportunity to visit new places is another highlight of the job.
“There is never a dull moment and I enjoy every minute. This job takes you everywhere. I am interested in historical places and find all sorts of interesting places to visit. Even after 10 years, I still get surprised by some of the grand places I stay in. I home sit regularly at a palatial property with grounds and its own lake right next door to one of King Henry VIII’s hunting lodges.”
Most of Peter’s clients are in London. He often sits in properties in Kensington or Knightsbridge – from large, grand houses set over four floors to small flats overlooking Hyde Park and this variety appeals to him.
“I love the flexibility of the role. I can pick and choose when I work and how much work I take on and fit it around spending time with my family and friends. I am so enthusiastic that my sister has become a homesitter too. I think the ideal homesitter needs to love animals, come with an open mind and be confident. However, once you have done one assignment, it all comes quite naturally.”
All homesitters are employed directly by the company and have complete freedom to decide how many assignments they undertake each year. While on assignment, homesitters receive a daily food allowance and travel expenses (both tax-free) and earn a modest remuneration to supplement their income. Home and pet sitting also provides an opportunity for people to make considerable savings on household bills when away.