Many domestics are experienced and proficient while others speak limited English and require highly specific instructions. Well-trained cooks command good wages and are rarely available. Less experienced cooks require considerable instruction in preparing and serving food. Some domestics are accustomed to performing only the tasks for which they are hired. A good cook, for example, would not be expected to perform cleaning and laundry tasks. Most people employ domestics who are not specialists but who perform a variety of tasks. Depending upon representational responsibilities, family size and individual preferences, some personnel hire full-time, live-in domestics, while others prefer to hire part-time help. Extra pay is common for special occasions such as receptions.
In addition to a full-time domestic, most families employ a gardener or contract with a gardening service. Increasingly, houses do not have live-in servant's quarters. Besides wages, employers provide live-in domestics with room and board, basic furniture, linens, and an electric heater. Some homes have separate servant quarters. The new labour laws address unemployment, vacation, and sick/disability benefits that are due domestic workers. The public health system generally is adequate for taking care of domestic employee needs.