Vacation & nanny contract

Family will be taking a trip for one week. I am being asked to take my personal time for that week or "make up the hours". I am ready and willing to work. I have to travel to visit my own family and can not coordinate my travels with their trip. what is usual in this situation?

This happens often (weekly almost) where I am able and ready to work, but life happens and they don't need me. I proposed hourly pay instead of monthly in order to avoid that issue. It was turned down. I always "owe" hours and can not find time outside work hours to make them up. She said she wouldn't count the hours but still is.

In addition: how do you charge for an occasional school age child? I get no Additional pay.

How do you add or word this in a nanny contract?


My previous family did this. I had the option to take Pto when they did or I could do chores around the house- like clean closets, sort toys... The tasks were generally not something I would do during a normal work week. However I did get paid. Maybe you could do something like that? No one ever has time to empty cabinets and clean them and put everything back. It's a thankless job but it takes time so the hours would add up.

I don't know how you address this with your current family except to say that you count on your $ to make a living and have blocked out this time to work for them. Turn it around and ask them how they would feel if their boss said they have to take X day off but can either not be paid or come work on Sunday But it won't go over well.

This is something you should be sure to discuss at your next job.

Sorry I have no good answers. Best wishes. Annie

That is not how it works. The family has to pay you when they cancel/go on vacation. They cannot ask you to take a vacation. AND they cannot set the time for YOUR vacation. That's not how good families treat their nanny.

My family pays when they cancel/go on vacation because as you said, you are ready/willing/able to go to work.

Flat/monthly pay rates never benefit the nanny. Do they pay you overtime when you go over 40 hrs per week? I get paid hourly with a 30 hour a week minimum. If they cancel/need to leave 3 or more days a week they have to pay. One or two day cancellations are ok as long as they pay me my 30 hrs min. Also, any cancellation without 24 hr notice and they have to pay. This is our job and how we support our families.

I charge an hourly rate per family with 1-2 dollar increase for each additional child in the same family. Additional non related children get charged nanny share rate with each family paying me 11 per hour.

Hope this helps.

nope nope nope! I get in the contract stating - if I am not needed I will still be paid for it. I have my own separate time off from their time off they take(which is rare). I have paid holidays paid time off if it lands on the day I am supposed to work. I do not "owe" them anything! I would be mad

You seem to have the right approach and scale to gain respect financially and in the field which I realize I need and deserve. I believed I was going to be getting the paid time off due to my new family having needed many vacations in the near future and the mention of it being covered financially- this was a concern due to previous experiences being taken advantage of before. When the time came to be paid and follow up with pay for the lost week time there was no pay and the act as if it was never said or mentioned- now it is being backtracked to half pay and I am unsure what after that... As of it was never talked about. It is a huge concern especially financially as I depend on the weekly hours approx 35... I always work extra elsewhere for the other hours but it’s as if I am not as respected as a nanny and needing the pay. It may not seem like I need the money but I do more than I can express and it is a smaller town. How do I raise this issue appropriately and also raise my rates as a sitter for other families- I realize I am at a lower rate for what I deserve with my qualifications etc.

Two important questions how much for sitting for two children and three? I always typically have at least 2 and have sat for these families for years and go above and beyond in all aspects of care-
2. What do I charge for a overnight... my normal rate till bed time then overnight rate then just am till kids go to school? I need to let these families not decided what to pay me and somehow feel strong enough to let hem know my rates - how do I do this after they have just been paying me - the overnight is the big question as I am doing it soon and need to respond- thank you for all your help!

Do you have a written contract with this family? I have never heard of owing hours to a family??? In my contract, I have asked for 1 weeks paid vacation, after 12 months of PT service, I work 28 hours per week. So, I get 28 hours paid vacation. However, I agreed to take it when They Take Their vacation, which is one week at Christmas time, the week of Christmas. This benefits both of us. They do not need me that week, and I want to be paid because they decided to take a vacation, I did not. It is their decision. If a mom decides to take off work early, take the day off totally, 8 hours off, and wants to be with baby and she Tells me, "oh, I won't need you on this or that day", or she takes off work two hours early, she has to pay me. I did not ask for this time off, therefore she has to pay me. I have arrived every day on-time and did not have 1 sick day, so she knows this and has stated it recently, so she will give me the vacation week off with pay. I have been a nanny for 8 years. Just this August, I went to Part-time as I was let go because mom put baby in daycare full-time. I made them wait 30 days with pay too. When I started my nanny career in 2008, with the first family, it was a verbal agreement. "You take off 1 week I get paid". "I will schedule my Paid Vacation of 1 week off when you take your vacation days". That way both parties gets a break with pay and there is no problem or animosity, which is what you are dealing with now. "If I take off an unscheduled vacation personal day, you don't pay me". I also have 2 Paid Sick days if I would get the flu or a bad cold. They definitely don't want me around their young baby if I am sick. So, they totally understand. I had this happen last winter. Mom called me on a Sunday night stating, "we have all had the flu, including 1 year old, vomiting and diarrhea all weekend. Do you want to come to work Monday?" I said, "no thanks, I cannot get sick". I was also caring for another families baby, so I could not take the chance. She totally understood and she and dad stayed home as they needed the rest and recuperation time.
Before you start with a New Family, have all your ducks in a row. Think about how often you work, hours worked weekly, and what vacation you will need in the 12 month period of time. Also, think about if you are sick often, can you get by with one personal day for doctors appointments? , sometimes it takes two days. Write all this out and type it up first, before you take a nanny job. That way all parties know up front what they are facing. Mostly it involves planning ahead. I have been lucky in that my current family owns a business and they know when they are taking off ahead of time, yearly. We discussed this before I started. I just am not a person that is sick a lot or takes a lot of time off. I need work and money, not off hours. Sounds like you are the same.
I would get out of this contract. Contracts are not always binding. Did they stick to the agreement of the contract? If not, and they are making up rules daily, as they go along, then I would get out now. Sounds like you are miserable and very unhappy. I would not owe any family anything as far as hours. The thing that you owe them is safety and care for their children and you in turn will be on time and present on your work days. I always tell nannies that if you are going to terminate, be sure that you do it on a Friday on payday. Make sure they owe you nothing. Hours that you owe are not in writing. Just give notice and get away from this family. I really do not like the sound of this agreement at all. If you need legal advice, call an attorneys office, and there is free legal advice available, just call any attorney's office. Good luck and get moving. miss pat

I always tell the mom upfront when she mentions that someone is dropping off another child, no matter what age, that you Charge the hourly rate of $12.00 per
hour, or whatever you feel is fair. Do not do it for free or this will happen often. I have done it once and the parent paid me on the spot, cash. I do not work on salary. Too many loopholes. Somebody is getting screwed on a salary and normally it is the Nanny. On salary, Nanny is working all kinds of hours, different shifts, doing all the cleaning, shopping, family laundry, and cooking for children. Read ads and you will see just what families want, it is unbelievable, oh, and for $10 an hour. Do not work for free. Get out of this contract and away from this family. Bad news. Check for Nanny Contracts. Copy and rewrite one that suits you. Good luck. miss pat

Thanks for the responses and validation that this is not normal.

I continue to "owe" hours I can not "make up" due to the family's schedule or illness. It is upsetting on both ends. I feel taken advantage of for sure. I have my own children and obligations. I never signed on to work weekends or second shift hours.

We do not have a contract currently which is a big part of the issue.

Then don't do it! Remind them that their boss cannot tell them to come in at night or on weekends. Also, when they cancel without notice, they need to pay. Tell them that you blocked off that time for them. There was a nanny here once who told her 'family' that if they couldn't/wouldn't pay while on vacation she couldn't guarantee her availability when they got back. Honestly, we have bills. We can't take a vacation from that.

That's not fair... Is this in your contract? You shouldn't be forced to take your vacation at the same time theirs is. I would explain this to them and tell them it's not something you can just "change around" to accommodate their life. I mean I wouldn't say it in those exact words... but the nerve some families have. It sounds like a really unfair situation... especially with the "owing" of hours. She sounds like someone who is trying to rip you off honestly. If you don't need the money, I would look elsewhere.

I too, don't have a contract; I'm waiting for things to slow down to bring up the topic with my morning family.

With enough notice I'm ok with vacations and reduced pay... as long as its not often.My afternoon family gets that this is my job, how I pay my bills; I tend to get 2-6 months notice about vacations and am given the option to still get hours (pet and house sitting, ect) and always 1-2 months notice about extra one day off's. I can plan for this, so I'm content with it.

My morning family has been known to take a drop of a hat vacation, giving me as little as 5 days notice, because they forgot to tell me. I had enough. I kid you not, I didn't have work for 3 days in July, then 7 days in August, then 3 days in September, October was fine and dandy.... But In October they actually gave me notice of up coming vacations! Vacation 1) week away in November, Vacation 2) 2 weeks away in December (just 1.5 weeks after coming back). When I was told this initially I flat out asked "what about me". We had back and forth's, then I point blackly told "I rely on this income, I can't afford all these vacations. I'm still recovering from the last 3. I can't guarantee that I'll still be here when you return, I have to pay my bills". That seemed to click for them, they have a different parenting style and have paid me to go to classes on it, they have invested a lot in me to care their way. I was given odd jobs while they were gone, jobs I said I was willing to do; I also told them what I wasn't willing to do; so far its working out.

As for owing hours, heck no! Most nannies I'm assuming are highly organized. We read the job description, ask questions about schedules, and make a choice if we want that job. If the job is M-F 9-5, then that's the job; if the job is on an as needed basses, then that's the job; you catch my drift. We all have lives outside of work! I plan my schedule so I can take fun classes, be active, see friends and family... Owing hours means all the hard work of planing goes out the window. Have your employers see it from your side, put it into ways they can understand.

Extra kids: my my afternoon family the kids are older, play dates are needed... I only allow one kid to have a pay date at a time. My AM family, I've only been left with an extra kid 2 times, after my charge went down for a nap... usually when my charge goes down I do chores, when I've gotten the extra kid I don't do the chores. If My charge wakes up, then I would go to the meeting room and get the moms... but I've been given an extra $5/hour on those events-- and my charge never woke up. I don't like the extra kid days, I don't know this kid... its stressful for both of us... My charge is older now, I will flat out ask for more an hour for an extra kid next time... My charge now only naps 1 time a day... not 2-3.

What has been the result of your owing hours? As you can see in the other nannies replies, that we do not owe hours to anyone. You said you do not have a contract? What was your agreement with mom when you took the job? Moms tend to add things later and change the agreement. With your experience, taking care of 3 kids and an additional drop-off kid, you will have no problem finding another job. I would start looking for the new year! I am afraid she will deduct your pay in the future months for the owed hours. Please look for another job and get away from this crazy family. miss pat.

What has been the result of your owing hours? As you can see in the other nannies replies, that we do not owe hours to anyone. You said you do not have a contract? What was your agreement with mom when you took the job? Moms tend to add things later and change the agreement. With your experience, taking care of 3 kids and an additional drop-off kid, you will have no problem finding another job. I would start looking for the new year! I am afraid she will deduct your pay in the future months for the owed hours. Please look for another job and get away from this crazy family. miss pat.

The result of owing hours, is usually getting stiffed on weekend babysitting. Or in this case, Christmas bonus since I refused to add hours on the weekend or evening.

We addressed the issue head on a few months ago, but mom sees it as she's paying for x many hours per month therefore I "owe" the hours. I thought we came to an agreement, but obviously not. (Fwiw- her husband disagrees, but doesn't say anything to her)

Reguardless, things are falling into place to secure other work. Once I have a confirmed offer, in writing, I will give my notice.

When you hire a nanny, you'll probably talk about things like pay rates and schedules. But what about paid vacations, holidays and sick days? Being a nanny is a job just like any other. And nannies have lives of their own and should receive benefits like overtime, insurance and paid time off just like the rest of us. Lots of families forget to negotiate these things when they hire a caregiver. Talk about them before you officially hire someone. Then make sure you add all the details to your nanny contract.