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February 12, 2020

A Guide to Offering Paid Time Off for Your Nanny

If you are employing a nanny or have employed a nanny in the past few years, you know the market is a competitive one! Paid time off is a common practice and something nannies look for. To ensure your position is appealing and meets market standards, here’s what Kiddie Up Nannies suggests in respect to paid time off.

Guaranteed salary.   Above all else, a guaranteed salary is the #1 request of a professional nanny. A guaranteed salary is paying the nanny for regularly scheduled hours but for reasons out of the nanny’s control, you do not need them. For example, you go on vacation, Grandma is in town and caring for baby, your little is sick, etc. Just like a daycare or school, you’re paying to keep your spot regardless if your little is there or not.

For a nanny to provide consistency to you and your family, we recommend the same. A guaranteed salary is commonly offered to part-time and full-time nannies. If not offered, many nannies will consider it a deal breaker. In addition, nannies could pick a different job over yours based solely on the fact that the other family is offering a guaranteed salary.

To help ease the burden, some families ask their nannies to house sit or pet sit for the time they don’t need childcare. Also, when the time comes, here are some tips for offering your nanny a raise.

Paid time off to be used at the nanny’s discretion.   Although it is not a legal requirement, paid time off is commonly offered. Typically, for a year commitment, full-time (30+ hours per week) nannies receive 5-10 days of paid time off; part-time (<29 hours per week) nannies receive 2-5 days of paid time off. Keep in mind, this time is to be used at the nanny’s discretion, not determined by the employer. You can certainly put specific parameters around PTO to ensure it works for you:

  • Earned after a certain amount of time: 30, 60, or 90 days of employment.
  • Accrual basis. Depending on how often a nanny is paid, a nanny will earn a specific amount of time per pay period. For example, the nanny works 4 days a week, 40 hours per week. The nanny is paid bi-weekly and receives 6 days of paid time off. Because the nanny works 10-hour days, this calculates to a total of 60 hours of paid time off. Over a year commitment, or 26 pay periods, the nanny accrues 2.31 hours of paid time off per pay period.
  • If a specific amount of notice is not provided the time goes unpaid. I.E: Your nanny tells you they are going on vacation for a week and leaving in two days. That time goes unpaid. OR your nanny tells you about a trip they have planned in 3 months from now- they can use their PTO for their absence because they provided advanced notice.
  • Capping the amount of PTO that can be taken in a specific time. If your nanny takes more than “X” many days within “X” amount of time, it’s grounds for termination.
  • PTO cannot be taken during certain windows. We hear this frequently from our CPA moms and dads. They respectfully clarify, no paid time off will be offered from January 15th through May 31st.
  • Incentives can be added to encourage a nanny not to use their PTO. For example, if there is unused paid time off at the end of the term, the time is paid at time and a half.

Sick time.   Every family fits into one of the following scenarios:

Scenario #1: Your nanny has a cold, possibly a virus; nonetheless they are not feeling well. You don’t want them to come to work and get your little one sick. Heck, you don’t want to be exposed either! You offer 2-3 days of paid sick leave. Your nanny will not come to work sick because they know they can still count on their paycheck.

Scenario #2: Dad is traveling, Mom has patients that can’t be cancelled last minute; your nanny has to come to work!! Maybe it’s a low-key day, movies and popsicles for everyone! No paid sick time is offered. Yes, your nanny might come to work sick, but hopefully by not offering sick leave, these incentives your nanny to come to work regardless.

Scenario #3: A healthy balance of Scenario #1 & #2. Talk to your nanny in advance; ask them what exactly does “sick” mean to them. Clarify your expectations as well! Here are some tips for communicating your needs to your nanny.

Holiday pay.   It’s customary for a nanny to receive a major holiday as a paid day off if the day falls on a designated workday. The major holidays being: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Speaking of holidays, you may find this post helpful on how to show your nanny appreciation during the holiday season.

A guaranteed salary, paid time off, sick time, or holiday pay is not a legal requirement, although strongly suggested. By law, the employer is required to pay out any unused PTO at the end of the contract term. To avoid any confusion, be sure to include a policy for a guaranteed salary, paid time off, sick time and paid holidays in your contract.

If you have further questions, or need help with a customized contract or paid time off agreement, please contact Kiddie Up Nannies at 720-583-5148 or info@kiddieupnannies.com.

Photo by Timur M on Unsplash

2 Responses

  1. Nirmala Rampersaud

    I am being offered a full time nanny position (40 hours) but the family has not offered me a guaranteed salary, no PTO, no paid sick days. And no paid Holidays. Also no pay if the family is on vacation.

    I am having trouble with this – should I request these things ?

    1. mm

      Hi Nirmala! I think it’s completely appropriate to ask for these things. Nannies are in the driver’s seat as there’s a huge demand for quality childcare! I don’t want to encourage you to ask for anything out of market norms, but guaranteed hours and PTO is common. The only instance PTO might not be offered is if the family is offering a super competitive and high hourly rate.

      One more important mention- keep in mind, legally a family is not required to guarantee hours or offer paid time off. With that said, it’s a great negotiation tool and certainly a way to ensure a nanny’s happiness!

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