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Nannies and Vacation Time

Posted on by Erin | in Nannies

One of the most effective weapons against burnout in a nanny’s arsenal is vacation time. Being able to slip away from the rigors of caring for your charges can be a blessing when you’re feeling overworked. Negotiating this time and making the necessary arrangements to take it, however, can be tricky for nannies and their employers. In fact, the inclusion of paid vacation days, personal days, and sick days can be a deal breaker for some parents. Rather than letting a desirable job slip through your fingers during the negotiation and final interview stage, make the

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effort to hammer out an agreement that works for all involved parties. Negotiations 101 While paid vacation days, sick days, and personal days are standard for professional nannies, some nanny employers, especially first-time ones, may balk at the idea. This, however, doesn’t mean you should give up hope and accept the post on the employer’s terms. Negotiating is always an option. There are several tactics that nannies can employ while negotiating their vacation days, personal days, and sick days during the process of drafting a nanny work agreement. One of the most effective ways of encouraging an employer to grant paid time off is to communicate the necessity of it. Nannies who don’t take time off or care for themselves properly when they are ill are more likely to suffer burnout, something most employers will want to avoid. Explaining to your new or potential employers that a healthy work/life balance is important to you, and that you want to provide them with the highest possible quality of care by approaching each day with enthusiasm and vigor can also be appealing, especially if you’re willing to forgo periodic performance bonuses, health benefits, or a portion of your salary in exchange for much-needed vacation time. One thing to avoid, however, is any negotiations regarding a switch to illegal, tax-free salary payments or an “off the books” arrangement. While this can significantly increase your take-home pay and save your employer’s the hassle and expense of dealing with complex nanny taxes, the repercussions can be severe and far-reaching. When to Take Vacation Time and How to Make Arrangements Many families offer their full-time nanny two weeks of paid vacation time: one week that coincides with their own vacation and one week of the nanny’s choosing. Some employers may require their nanny to accompany them on their family vacation and instead offer their nanny one week of paid vacation of her choosing. When this is the case, employers typically pay their nanny’s salary, an additional per diem, and any and all travel related expenses during the family’s vacation. In most cases, full-time nannies can expect to be paid for the full 52 weeks

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of the year, regardless of any vacations that the employing family opts to take without her. Ideally, you should give your employer at least 30 days of notice before planning to take your personal paid week of vacation. However, some employers may insist on having the exact vacation week included in the work agreement. This allows the parents ample time to make back-up arrangements for that week, and to prepare younger children for a new, albeit temporary, childcare provider. Your employer may stipulate more or less notice in the written nanny agreement that you draft together; 30 days is merely a general rule of thumb and does not supersede what you and your employer agree upon in your contract. The Importance of the Nanny Contract Though some nannies and their employers opt to forgo a written agreement, also known as a nanny contract, these documents are the single most effective way of preventing disputes, hurt feelings, and even a possible parting of ways over the course of your employment. By including the terms of any vacation, flex days, sick days, and personal days in your contract, along with the amount of notice that your employers require and any other information relating to time off, you’ll be able to ensure that any and all paid time off is in accordance with the agreement you made during the final interview stages of the hiring process. When all of the terms and conditions are in black and white both you and your employers are able to refer back to the agreement without relying on the fallible nature of human memory. This reduces disagreements and creates a healthier and happier working relationship for all.

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