21 answers

Going on Vacation, Do I Pay Nanny?

I've read a lot of posts about paid leave for nannies. What happens if I go on vacation for a week? She's obviously counting on that salary. I'm thinking of offering the following:

- I pay you if I'm out of town or if we're all sick and you need to stay home.
- I don't pay if you're sick and you're out of town.

I feel that's fair since I don't get paid unless I go to work (also paid hourly)

EDIT: She is a recent immigrant (legally) and did not get her through an agency. She is clearly in love with my child and not in it for the money. She left another family because they treated her so badly. I'm also planning on a raise after she's been with us for 6 months.
What do you think?

PS I pay for her transportation regardless

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all of you for your input. It seems as most of you agree with what I posted and therefore, I will pay her for the time I'm gone.

As far as the immigrant comment is concerned. I was responding to another response. I would never pay someone less just because they are an immigrant. If anything, because she is so new to the country and I'm so new to having a nanny, I wanted to get feedback so that she gets what she deserves. As far as time off, I doubt she would even ask for it, as she's too timid. I have to create the rules or she wouldn't ask for anything. She's been taken advantage of by the previous family so I want to do right by her and treat her well.

Thanks again for your responses

Featured Answers

Hello. I have a nanny, she gets paid every week, 52 weeks a year, that is the way it works. She gets 2 weeks vacation paid, and yes you need to pay her when you go on vacation. It is the same as if you were to use a daycare, you have to pay irregardless if you use daycare or not.

Hi, I am a New Yorker that lives in England for the past 20 years. I have a "childminder." Childminders in England need to be registered so it is all above board. I am contractually bound by the dates I give her and pay her even if my child does not go to her. I also pay her a summer retainer to hold my place, as I am a teacher and do not need to send my child to her in the summer. So I think it is fair. They need to make a living too and they count on the salary.

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It seems most nannies are paid all the time and when the family goes on vacation. Thus, I am a nanny and requested I be compensated while my family went on vacation. They told me a week before they went on vacation. They told me they should not compensate me. It has now left me without 2 weeks with no pay. No pay for bills or food. Its very fair that you are paying for the time you are away. I wish my employer did this. And yes, she is counting on that salary like I was!

I like this post! Thank you for listing it!

I don't have a nanny, but this sounds very fair to me. My daycare requires payment whether you are there or not for the first 6 months. After that time, you get 1 week every 6 months that you don't have to pay if you give them notice of the vacations...just so you have a comparison. (You can consolidate, as long as you have earned the time).

Hi, I am a New Yorker that lives in England for the past 20 years. I have a "childminder." Childminders in England need to be registered so it is all above board. I am contractually bound by the dates I give her and pay her even if my child does not go to her. I also pay her a summer retainer to hold my place, as I am a teacher and do not need to send my child to her in the summer. So I think it is fair. They need to make a living too and they count on the salary.

I am not a nanny and don't have a nanny, but yes, I would pay her for your vacation time. If she works for you, she has made this time available to you and expects to work. It is not her fault if you decide to plan a vacation or get sick. She does this for work, she is in it for the money. It's great that she is a good nanny and has a great relationship with your child, but this is her job and she counts on the income.

That sounds reasonable - similar to what I do with the woman who does cleaning etc for me - I pay her if I tell her not to come for any reason, like we are off on vacation, but if she doesn't come in as she is going away then I don't pay. Then the choice is hers as to whether she takes her holidays at the same time as us, in which case she loses no pay, or if she takes them at other times, in which case she doesn't get paid for those days.
Like one of the other contributors, I also pay a bonus at Christmas time of a week's pay.

I agree with the other posts that say you should pay her while you're on vacation. I would add that you should offer her some paid sick days. Otherwise, there is the risk that she will come to work when she is sick just so she will get paid, which is something you want to avoid.

yes, you should pay her. As a former nanny myself, you do count on your income for things like rent and groceries. I was once with a family who went away for two and a half weeks and did not pay me while they were gone. That month I had to choose between paying my rent or paying my bills. I was so upset that i spent my two and a half weeks "off" looking for another job. I loved the family dearly but they put me in a horrible position and I had to do what was right for me. I worked for another family that went on vacation and decided to pay me for the time but asked (not required) me to help them catch up on their laundry and to organize their little girl's room and closet. I was more than happy to do it since it gave me something to do and after all they were paying me. Just remember, it isn't her fault you are going on vacation and she shouldn't have to struggle financially because of that.

Well, it looks like you are offering to pay if you go out of town, which was your question, right? Sounds good to me!
You do NOT need to pay her if she is sick or takes a vacation.
I am a full time nanny (I bring my children with me) and have been with this family for 2 1/2 years. I have NEVER been paid vacation pay (and they go 3 weeks in the summer) and it is SUCH A STRUGGLE when I go almost a month without money.

Hi - I am in the childcare business with au pairs and what we do is this which might help in your decision with your nanny.

Working vacation - when you take her with you and she is working you are not and she is paid - you pay her way to the vacation location.

Vacation - they get two weeks paid vacation. However if you did not offer her that then this is off the table.

If you go away on vacation, the nanny would still be paid. That could sort of be her vacation time as well.

Hope that helps.

K. (Cultural Care Au Pair)

Yes, you should pay her out of respect. She did not ask for that time off. It is different if you have an agreement set up about this ahead of time, but you don't. It's as if you are laying her off, so she might consider hunting for another nanny job. You need to pay her to reserve her. You mention that she's an immigrant...How would you treat a non-immigrant? If money is an issue, then you could pay her during the time you're on vacation and delay the raise.

That sounds like a reasonable plan to me. I do have two thoughts though you may or may not want to consider:

1) I assume you hired the nanny yourself, correct? Some nanny agencies stipulate a minimum amount of paid sick days...maybe 5 days...into the contract.

2) These same agencies will also have in the contract one week of paid vacation time.

You may want to consider offering these as an added benefit if you can afford it. It gives you a competitive edge over some of the professional companies out there. It may also come in useful down the road in case someone approaches your nanny and offers her a job; the more benefits you can offer her, the more likely she is to stay with you. It's just something to think about.

Anyway, as it stands, your offer is fair, so I say go for it. Have fun on your vacation!

i can answer your question because i was a nanny for twenty years -back at school now for nursing- and i'm also a mom =my son is now 14.finding someone that loves your child and that you child loves is the the greatest blessing that you could ask for. remember there is an emotional bond there this is not like any other job .you want the nanny to stay because you dont want too many people coming in and out of you childs life. it can effect the child if that happens in other ways as their growing up. she should love you child that s why shes a nanny .treat you nanny like she is gold. remember she is filling you place when you are not there. -please she needs the money like everyone else. to pay bills put food on the table, have a life. that is why you go to work isnt it? you didnt state you vacation set up with her at the beginning? . everyone needs a break.. if you didnt then talk with her. .be fair give her vacation time when you take it with pay but at least 2 weeks a year. also give her a set amt of sick days-3-5 a year if you dont she may come to work sick and you may not realize it and get your child sick and who would blame her if you would not pay for the day. remember she left another family who treated her badly because she has respect for herself. immigrant status is irrelevant .even if she was illegal she should treat a person like you would want to be treated or you would want you child to be treated.placement through an agency is also irrelevant the just put a family and a nanny together they dont care what happens after that as long as they've gotten their big fee. i was with my last family for 12 wonderful years so you know i know what i'm talking about. this is about doing the best for your child because the the most important thing in your life.

I mostly agree. Basically, our nanny gets paid when I tell her to take a vacation because I am home. I happen to get a lot of vacation so it works out fine. If she needs time off and I have to take off of work when I wasn't planning, then we do not pay her. I have paid for sick days as I get paid for sick days at work. She never abuses that or we would probably have to revisit that part of the deal. It all really depends on your relationship with her and what works for you.

This sounds fair to me, and very comparable to how our daycare works--if we don't come for our reasons (sick, vacation), we still pay. If they close (in-home daycare run by husband and wife) due to illness or vacation, we don't pay. Our contract does stipulate a certain number of paid holidays for them--so, for instance, they still get paid for Christmas, New Year's, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. So we do pay for those, even tho they are not open (and obviously, we wouldn't send our kid to daycare on Christmas, anyway!).

Hi Q.,
that sounds fair for both of you. You sure wouldn't like it if your boss wouldn't pay you when he/she goes on vacation, so that is a fair contract. Weather you are there or not she needs her money :)
As you get to know her and her needs and she becomes part of your family, you might change your mind and even pay her for when she is sick or goes on vacation. I know of families that do, but only time will tell.

yes you should pay her! She's not requesting the time off. I was a nanny for several years and a few families tried pulling that on me....going on vacation and not paying me. Ridiculous. Treat your nannies right, especially if they are wonderful with your children!

Yes, I pay my nanny when we are out of town, and on holidays. It seems only fair to me.

Also, I have always paid my nannies a two-week bonus at the end of the year. You probably do something similar. But I tell them that they can take their bonus as paid time off at any point during the year if they prefer. (Both it and the bonus are pro-rated, of course.) Otherwise, if they take time it is unpaid. In the past nine years, I have very rarely had women choose paid time versus taking the year-end cash, but I think they view it as a nice benefit.

In our neighborhood in Queens the standard is that the nanny gets paid their salary every week (and more if they work extra hours), whether the family is on vacation, she is sick, there's a holiday in the week, etc. We pay our nanny 2 weeks paid vacation in addition to paying her during our vacations, and a bonus at xmas.

If I had to do it over, I would do 2 weeks paid vacation, but one week of her choosing and one week of our choosing (when we are on vacation also). Luckily our nanny doesn't usually take more than one week of her choosing anyway, and then we usually go on vacation for about 2 wks during the year which we obviously pay her for too.

Our nanny recently got a bad cold and came to work anyway b/c my husband was out of town and she knew I needed to go to work. As a result, both kids got sick for 2 weeks, so I'm wishing I had just told her to stay home! We give her a week paid sick time.

I agree with the other postings that you treat your nanny well regardless of whether she is an immigrant, whether she's documented, regardless of ethnic background etc. She a human being taking care of the most precious things in your life, if she's not happy, how do you think she's treating your kids?

I know this is late, but my sister is a nanny. With one family she would go with them on vacation but she was to work the entire time. If you do that, spell out the duties. This was one reason she left that family, as the family had her working 24/7 during the vacation and did not pay extra. They put the kids in her room, and they refused to do anything with the kids. one time the boys was vomitting the entire trip and she had to deal with it, not the parents. So make sure if you take the nanny, she is doing the same duties she would at home, and if more, you pay her. they felt since they paid her way to get there, she shouldn't have any relaxing time.

This family now, they take several vacations in the year. She is paid every time, but they still have her do some work. She takes care of their dog and will do things in their house. Nothing that is more than about 2 hours a day, but still something. She may do laundry, or clean the house, rearrange the kids rooms. Clean out the clothes that don't fit, and toys that they don't use. Since she is still getting paid, she doesn't mind going there. And then she can more or less chose when she goes into work.

If you haven't set up anything with her in regards to vacation or sick pay, i would consider that at her 6 month review. A lot of jobs don't give you those things right away, so at 6 months when you give her the raise, you can let her know what she is entitled to.

Hello. I have a nanny, she gets paid every week, 52 weeks a year, that is the way it works. She gets 2 weeks vacation paid, and yes you need to pay her when you go on vacation. It is the same as if you were to use a daycare, you have to pay irregardless if you use daycare or not.

This is a late response but thought I would share my views. I have been a nanny for many years in Texas, United Kingdom, Finland and South Africa. Usually holidays and sick days are all discussed before taking on a job. Most families will give the nanny paid vacation to be used at the nanny's convenience however if the family decides to take a vacation that doesn't coincide with the nanny's then it is still paid as the nanny does not chose to not work. Sometimes families when the family gives the nanny a few weeks vacation then they may stipulate that one week should be taken when the family is on vacation so no one loses out. As for sick days it is usually paid. You rely on this person to take care of your most precious possessions - your children and if they are sick then your children will get sick but also your children are not getting the proper care when the nanny is sick. Think about yourself in their situation. Also as a nanny I always felt that I could not let the parents down as they employ me to take care of the kids when they go to work so calling in sick was extremely rare but we're only human and it can happen.

Good luck and hope it all works out.

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