Banking Hours means saving or “storing up” hours not worked by an employee one week and carrying them over into the next week. Say for example, your nanny worked 30 hours one week instead of her usual 40, and you then had her work 50 hours the following week without paying her for the extra hours. You may justify that this is acceptable because you paid her for the full 40 hours the week before and she did not work 10 of them. While in theory that may sound okay, it is actually quite the opposite. Banking hours is one of the biggest ways to lose a professional nanny and in fact, it is illegal to do. This law was made to protect workers from not receiving overtime pay. Let’s take a deeper look at it beyond the legality (which is enough reason not to do it!) Paying your nanny for her full 40 hours when you only needed her to work 30 that week falls under the protection of Guaranteed Hours (paying your nanny for an agreed upon amount of hours each week whether you need her or not,) It is unreasonable and truly inconsiderate of her time to expect her to work an extra 10 hours the following week. Over the course of time this can create resentment and your nanny being unhappy at work. Another thing to consider is the value of the time. For example, you don’t need your nanny to work her normal hours on Monday so you ask her to come and babysit on a Saturday night so you can have a date night. That Saturday night has much more value to anyone, your nanny, yourself, then a Monday afternoon does. You are now asking her to give up valuable weekend time when she could be with family or friends to come make up hours for you without any extra pay. This is very different then your nanny being willing to work a date night for extra money. Simply put you cannot bank, save, or ask your nanny to makeup hours.
There is only one time in which an hour swap works and that is the following: Let’s say your nannies regular schedule is Monday Wednesday and Friday from 9-5. You have a week come up where you do not need her help on Monday, so you ask her if there is any chance she is free and able to work Tuesday instead. She agrees and at the end of the week you pay her for her normal three days. Why is this ok? It is an even exchange within the same week, not being carried over into the next week! To keep it simple think of your nanny’s work week as Monday-Friday. Switching a day within that time for another day if your nanny has the flexibility to do so is fine, it would not be ok to have her makeup the Monday you did not need her by working Tuesday of the following week. One thing to remember is that your nanny may not have this flexibility as she may have another job or outside commitments on her weekdays off.
The Bottom line is that Banking hours is a huge no-go in the nanny industry or any other for that matter. Choosing to be fair, follow the laws, and respect your nannies time will go a long way in keeping a happy and long-term nanny and family relationship.