13 answers

Nanny Holiday Pay & Jury Duty

We've just hired a new nanny part time (Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays). She started yesterday, although she worked a couple of days prior to her official "start". At the time we offered her the position, we told her we needed someone for those days, and that it would be about 20 hours per week. I never guarenteed a certain number of hours, and in fact I told her that my schedule changes every 10 weeks and that the number of hours could vary. Somehow she's kind of bullied me into agreeing to 20 hours every week. In fact, I told her that I'm off the week between xmas and new years and that I only needed her to come that Monday, and she flat out told me that she expects to be paid for all days, even if I don't her and she doesn't work. She also has jury duty this coming Tuesday, and she expects to be paid for that day as well.
We've had several fantastic nannies, including our Thursday/friday nanny, and we've NEVER paid for holidays or days when they didn't work or we didn't need them because I've had the day off. We also are not taking taxes out of her pay, and she's getting $15/hour for a 4.5 year old who's in school most of the day and a 17 month old. I offered her $14/hour and she wouldn't do it unless we paid $15.
I feel like her personality is clashing with ours and that she's being very demanding for someone who was out of work until this week.
We are NOT a wealthy family. In fact, my husband's pay barely covers the child care costs each week. So it's not like we're trying to be mean. We simply can't afford to pay someone for days we don't need them. Are we being unreasonable here? We obviously want great care for our kids (which we've always had without any of these issues...) but I'm not sure that this woman is right for us.
Please tell me how you've handled these issues with holidays, time off and jury duty....

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I can't thank everyone enough for the useful responses to my question about nanny pay for time off, jury duty, holidays... All of your input has really cemented our decision to continue looking for another person who better suits our needs. I've worked many, many part time jobs in my day, before beginning my "career" and none of them ever guarenteed a certain number of hours every single week or offered paid time off---never---not even holidays. I don't know of any part time jobs that would do that! So we feel like she's being highly unreasonable. It would different if she were our full time nanny. But our other part time nanny has never had issue with any of these things! So thanks again... we will continue our search for the right person.

Featured Answers

Although it does sound like you need to start over, as horrifying and time consuming as that is, I will share with you what we did. When my nanny took a vacation or had a day off for any reason, we did not pay her. When WE took the day off that included a regularly scheduled day for Her, we paid her, although I do not think I paid her for holidays, as she would expect to be off it became kind of neutral ground. But these things should be worked out and there should be compromise. If she is not willing to compromise with you, she should be out the door.

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It sounds to me like you want a baby-sitter not a nanny. When you use the word nanny it implies a permanent part-time position where you get paid for your days each week even if you are not needed. A baby-sitter does on-call changes every week schedules. Would you like it if your work decided that they don't need you random days and then don't pay you?? You are paying for her availability even when you don't need her. She can't take another job on her days you have scheduled b/c those are YOUR days. If she needs off she should not be paid, but if you don't need her she should still be paid.

If your personalities are clashing then go ahead and get another nanny, but be more clear in what you want and find someone willing to work that way. It seems you want someone more flexible and willing to work as needed which will be harder to find! If you can nt afford to pay for all the days you have contracted then you need to find less expensive child care.


2 moms found this helpful

Well, I think you have been lucky up to this point. I have never been able to afford a nanny, but every child care place I have been to (including in home care) has expected to be paid for the days when I didn't need them or when the child was sick etc and holidays. I have always been told it's just like any other job, if you were working somewhere you would expect to be paid for holidays you had off or jury duty. Now, this was full time child care, so I don't know, maybe it's a little different. Even most of time teachers have to pay for the summer in order for them to "hold" their child's place. They have to be able to have some kind of reliable, regular income, just like anyone else, you know?

I think it mostly hinges on this whole agreeing to 20 hours per week. Once you have agreed to that, you have to know that she is going to expect 20 hours of pay a week. The whole bullying you into saying that does not sound cool at all though. I would sit down and have a talk with her and express that you told her in the beginning that it would be variable and if that isn't something she is able to work with then maybe it's not the best fit for both of you. But I would be very clear with the next nanny about the situation you expect. I just don't know if there are going to be alot of them out there that are going to agree to that kind of situation, with what I've seen from other providers.

I think standard is that nannies get paid when their employers have a day off, because most families have a set weekly schedule. You need to be really, really clear when you hire someone because what you are asking for is very unusual. You are basically asking someone to be "on call" for you and not take another job, and not be paid for that on call time. They have to be able to afford to not know how much they are going to make from week to week. I'm not saying that's a bad thing and the pay is generous, but only a certain type of person is going to have the luxury of taking a job like that, where the pay is uncertain, like a retiree or SAHM with a flexible schedule.

Jury duty I'm not sure about. She should be able to plead a hardship reason to not go, but I'm not sure if they make them go for one day to talk to the judge. I definitely wouldn't pay for weeks of a trial, but one day, maybe.

I agree that it sounds like a personality clash and you should look for another nanny - maybe even an agency where you deal with a professional to work out the terms, since your needs are unusual.

I hate when I hear things like this. Does she understand that $15 is good money-especially tax free? I don't understand why people charge families when the child is out sick or to hold the spot for the summer. I know they rely on the pay but I never understood it. My sister puts her son in a home daycare and she recently had to go through treatments for cancer. She still had to pay the daycare for the days she didnt need her. Come on, she was going through enough in her life cant people look at that instead of the money all the time?
That being said, au pairs are truely an affordable option and the cost equals approx $7.50/hr. Yes, they are live in so you need an extra bedroom but it is really an awesome program. If you want information on the program please send me a message.

It is critical that you iron-out the salary and payment expectations during the negotiations. It sounds as if your expectations are not in alignment with your nanny's. You will need to come to new, agreeable terms with her or find a new nanny.

I had a very successful arrangement with a nanny in which I only paid her for the hours she worked. However, I guaranteed her a set (part-time) schedule per week. If she called in sick, she did not get paid. If I asked her to stay an extra 15min, I paid her for the extra time. She knew upfront that I would not use her during my husband's vacation time, and I gave her almost 2 months notice of when that time would occur, so she could arrange a side job if she wanted. We had discussed all these details upfront and both of us were satisfied. (We also gave her a huge Christmas bonus, as we loved her and wanted to give her a generous gift!)

Your nanny is dependent upon her income -- just as you and I are dependent on our own family's incomes. She has to find a way to pay her rent/mortgage, utilities, food, just like we do. After leaving us, our nanny took a part-time position with a family that offered her "about 20 hours a week" with some varying weeks. Then they ended-up cancelling 60% of that time with a day's notice. Our poor ex-nanny was left struggling to make ends meet and even pay her rent. This is a terrible situation for anyone.

Keep looking for a new nanny that will agree to your terms. Best of luck to you and your family.

Although it does sound like you need to start over, as horrifying and time consuming as that is, I will share with you what we did. When my nanny took a vacation or had a day off for any reason, we did not pay her. When WE took the day off that included a regularly scheduled day for Her, we paid her, although I do not think I paid her for holidays, as she would expect to be off it became kind of neutral ground. But these things should be worked out and there should be compromise. If she is not willing to compromise with you, she should be out the door.

Time for a new nanny! You need someone that can handle the flexible "working - not working" schedule, not someone like this that is relying on 20 hrs. Sounds like it's not working out overall anyway.

In your next interviews, make it clear and put in writing these schedules, expectations, etc.

Good luck!

I agree with the moms who say maybe you shold be looking for a new child care provider. I don't know where you live, but I've had great luck finding students from local colleges various places. They generally want to go home on holidays, and they accept more less than $15 per hour (I am currently paying $10 to my undergrad and $12 to my grad students for 1 5 and 2 2 year olds. I generally try to split the time (for me 20 hours total) among two or three sitters, since they can occasionally be flaky around exam time. I'm a SAHM, so I can deal with a little flakiness if I can anticipate it. I've never had much luck with more expensive nannies I've gotten through referral services. Many colleges have job boards where you can post an ad for free. Of course it's easier to get kids at the beginning of the year or at least the beginning of the semester. Good luck!

Forget the money issues, what about how you said your personalites are clashing. I would figure out if this is a nanny you want to watch your kids.

I have conflicting views on this. I think you should have gotten this all ironed out before you agreed to have her work. Do you have a written contract? I work full time out of the house and make almost $19 and hour. I am looking to stay at home and do in home daycare where you get paid $5 an hour. It is a huge change but I want to be home with my daughter. I do feel paying for time you aren't needed isn't ideal but I would depend on the money to make our bills. So I have in my contract what I will and won't be paid for. If a parent doesn't like what I have layed out then they will choose to go somewhere else. I think it is just wrong to be paid so little when you are watching treasures. I do however understand that expense adds up and working full time barely covers child care. If you can't afford a nanny try an in home child care. Hope this helped.

I would find someone new. You shouldn't be feeling like you're being bullied by the nanny - she's your employee.

Schedules, pay and vacation time should all be worked out before hand. It's just good business practices.

I have been a nanny for 2 different families and I've always been paid for days that the parents needed time off. If it was time that I needed off then it was unpaid. Also, holidays are paid time off.
But, if it's more than just pay and your personalities are clashing I would look elsewhere for a nanny. Your nanny should be a part of your family and someone that you get along with and have good communication with. Good luck!

I understand that this wasn't all clarified before hiring your new nanny because you never had to deal with these issues before. However, it is time to have a meeting with her to clarify everything.

I have always paid my nanny the days she was scheduled for whether I needed her or not. I am also off during the holidays and I made sure that was clear and acceptable at the interview. I also gave a cash gift equaling one week pay or more during the holidays. Jury duty would be paid and I would make other arrangements to cover the kids. If she needs time off, I asked for a weeks notice and didn't pay her. Sick leave was never an issue for me. I think I would pay up to a week and then it would be unpaid. I never had to tackle that one.

Just sit down and make sure that you are on the same page about everything. If you do decide to find someone else, use this a learning experience and make sure to communicate with the new one before hiring.

Happy Holidays and Good luck!

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