Vacation Time for Nannies

vacation time for nanniesTo get and keep the most talented employees, employers must treat nannies and other household employees like professionals. Therefore, offering employee benefits is an important consideration for all household employers. By providing an attractive employee benefits package, the employer is helping to maintain a satisfied workforce. Satisfied employees equal a happy workplace, which in turn equals a happy family and life for the employer.

One of the most popular household employment benefits is paid vacation time for nannies. There are no legal requirements for offering paid vacation time, but as we all know, being a nanny can be an exhausting job, and nannies need time to relax and recharge just as any other employee. According to the International Nanny Association’s (INA) 2014 Salary and Benefits Survey, 62% of the nannies surveyed receive paid vacation time as an employee benefit. In general, nannies receive about 2 weeks of paid vacation time per year, but it’s up to the employer’s discretion as to how many days will be provided.

It’s important to include the amount of vacation time offered in the work agreement at the time of hiring, along with any accrual requirements – many businesses do not allow an employee to use any paid time off until they have worked for 60 or 90 days, though they may start accumulating time off at the start of employment. The agreement should also include any rules pertaining to the use of vacation time – how much notice is required of the nanny when asking for time off, how the request should be submitted (email, text, in-person, phone call), and how many days the nanny can use at one time (can she take two weeks all at once, or does it need to be split up). Again, these rules are completely up to the employer’s discretion – you need to decide what will work best for your family and your employee.

If your family will be taking a vacation and you won’t be bringing the nanny along, it may be wise to encourage the nanny to take some vacation time during your family’s vacation. If you will be bringing your nanny with you on a trip, read about our guidelines for compensation.

Over the past decade, many employers that offer both vacation time and sick days have moved to a more flexible Paid Time Off or “PTO” benefit that incorporates both into one all-inclusive plan. If you wish to offer both vacation and sick pay to your nanny, here are a few advantages and disadvantages of combining separate paid time off benefits into a single PTO plan.

Advantages:

  • Nannies don’t feel they need to lie about being sick or having a doctor’s appointment in order to use all of their annual sick days, resulting in more transparency in the employee/employer relationship.
  • Research has illustrated that incorporating a PTO policy will result in nannies taking more vacation time and less sick days. This benefits household employers by typically receiving more notice about scheduled vacations, rather than unexpected absences due to illness.
  • Employees tend to value the flexibility that PTO provides.

Disadvantages:

  • Nannies are more likely to use all of their PTO, whereas they may not have used all of their sick or vacation days in the past.
  • Nannies tend to save all of their PTO for vacations and therefore might come to work when they are sick, which may cause illness to you or your family members.

For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.