5 Important Nanny Contract Points
Becoming a nanny can be a rewarding experience, but can also come with additional stressors because you don't have anyone advocating for you. YOU are your advocate, if there are concerns, changes or questions you have you can't be afraid to voice those because it is you who will be unhappy.
Once you've made the decision to become a nanny aside from your education and expertise your nanny contract is going to be your most important piece of paperwork. Your nanny contract should outline any and all expectations for your new position. Your contract is there to protect both you as a household employee of that family AND the family! If it pertains to your job it should be included in your contract. We're here to discuss what we believe are the 5 most important topics to include in your contract. This may vary from nanny to nanny as all of our needs differ. The following are our 5 most important contract topics in no particular order.
1. Guaranteed Hours
2.Holiday/Over Time Pay
3. PTO/Sick Days
When your reviewing and negotiating contracts it's important to discuss and change as needed and have signed BEFORE your first day of work. This ensures both sides know what is expected, it's better to have a plan before hand than when then when an issue arises.
1. Guaranteed Hours
As we like to say in the nanny world. "Families are billed 52 weeks of the year." The easiest way to explain this is giving an example; When a child attends daycare or private care every week they pay the same rate regardless of how many days that child attended. This is essentially reserving that spot for their child. The same applies in the nanny world. Regardless of family vacations, sick days, early leaves etc a nanny family needs to reserve their nannies time. This ensures that during these days and specific times my nanny is on call. In should be discussed what hours are needed indefinitely every week and that should be your guaranteed hours. So every week your nanny family should be invoiced for that amount unless they have gone OVER their expected hours during which you bill them accordingly. *Make sure your families understand what this means- to alleviate any misunderstandings down the road.
2.Holiday and/ or Overtime Pay
Beyond the fact that not paying overtime is illegal, make sure your employers understand when overtime is to be applied (anything worked OVER 40 hours) and how much (rate + 1/2 rate= overtime rate). In addition to Overtime Pay make sure Holiday RATES and CALENDAR DAYS are discussed as well.
3.PTO/ Sick Days
Again this may look different for every family or nanny. Be clear in your needs and wants so there is no confusion. Would you like 2 weeks vacation? Are you open to taking one vacation at the same time as the family? Do you have a medical condition that may require additional days than expected for PTO during contract discussions this is the best time to bring this up! This is also a great time to bring up how they'll be handling back up care, as we get sick as well. Families often don't think about this until their nanny is unavailable, this can cause unneeded guilt from nanny and burden unnecessarily for parents. Lastly don't forget to discuss what action may look like if CHILD IS SICK. Some familie may expect you to still provide service and even take to doctor appt. that may be completely against your own personal policy hence why it is so important to discuss these thing prior to them becoming an issue!
Aside from your payrate this should be one of the first things on your contract. Duties across families can be every changing so being clear in the beginning can only be more helpful to everyone involved. During this negotiation you may find out you're expected to wash adult and children clothing in addition to household managing, if that is something you'd consider you can request a rate adjustment, or simply decline, but what better place to find this out than the very beginning. Oppose to starting the job and being in an uncomfortable spot. This would also be a good time to discuss how you may handle revisions or updates.
Severance pay is money owed to you when your are dismissed from a job because of lack of work or reasons beyond the employees control. Typically you'll want to add a clause to your contract stating if appropriate notice is not given before being relieved from a job (fired) (Can be 2 weeks or more in advance) then sed family will be responsible for "__________" week(s) of severance pay. This saves your butt if families unexpectedly no longer need service or a number of other scenarios.
Those are our 5 most important Nanny Contract points. As we said before this may vary from nanny as all of our needs will not be the same. Just make sure you dont forget to have your nanny contract in hand during any phone or in person interviews. You'll thank us later!
Happy Job Hunting!