Just like your time is valuable your nanny’s is as well. It is for this reason that you must pay your nanny for every minute that she works, including the extra help that she provides that can pop up from week to week with your family’s schedule and needs. It is also legally the correct thing to do as she is an employee that is “on the clock”. So, what does this mean for you as the employer? Let’s take a look at some common situations that parents may overlook yet must be accounted for when pay day rolls around.
Some of these situations are very basic yet can still be forgotten by parents. If you nanny is scheduled to work until 5pm and you arrive at 5:11 you will need to add those extra 11 minutes into her time worked and pay her accordingly. It may not sound like much but in reality, just a few times of being late can really add up, and whether you may realize it or not your nanny may now be running late for other commitments. It may just be 11 minutes, but she is still on the clock just like a cashier at the grocery store would be if they worked a little bit late. A daycare center would also charge you for this time, perhaps even more as they charge with late fees. Yes, we all run late from time to time which everyone understands, just be considerate and include this time as time worked. One way to track your nannies extra time worked so as not to forget is by keeping a simple time log sheet for her. She can daily write down her arrival and departure time keeping it simple for you to add in the extra pay by knowing how much extra time she worked. Keep in mind that anything over 40 hours is considered over time and is time and a half.
Another scenario that is so important to remember is the time spent discussing your children’s day. Your nanny plans to leave at her scheduled time, so if you wish to discuss how the day went beyond that, just like running late you will need to compensate her for this time. If you want to discuss the day with your nanny before she leaves, it is a good idea to arrive ten or fifteen minutes early so that you can do so during her work day hours. You can also have your nanny keep a daily log where she tracks meals, naps, and activities, and discuss the prior day when she arrives the next morning. As we discussed in a previous blog, you must pay your nanny for her entire work day which includes when the children are napping. It is unacceptable to think that this is free time simply because your nanny is getting a break. You are still paying her for her time, and she is responsible for the children.
If your nanny is running errands to help you out on her way to work or on her way home from work this is also time that must be paid. If she spends a half hour running errands add that half hour in addition to her work week. This also applies if you nanny is dropping the children off at a family member or friends house when she leaves work. She is helping you out and it is proper to pay for her time. Dropping off and picking up children from school, activities, or playdates also falls into this category. If she is doing it during her work hours she is to be paid for her solid day. If she is doing it in addition to her work hours, then it must be added on as extra time worked. If your nanny is using her own car be sure to add in the current mileage rate reimbursement.
With all of this being said, it is clear to see that a Nanny is an hourly employee. Your nanny will require guaranteed hours as well as adding in anything she does in addition to this. By law a nanny cannot be paid a salary. This is to protect household employees from not being properly paid for over time and being worked so many hours in one week that they are not even making minimum wage per hour. You cannot offer a nanny a weekly salary with hours varying from say 30 to 55 (see our blog on banking hours) A nanny must be paid for every hour that she works, and paid time and a half for anything over 40 hours in any given work week. If your nanny is scheduled to work an 8-hour day, whether she works 8 hours and 10 minutes, or 9 hours and 30 minutes, you must remember to add this time into her pay.
Following these simple guidelines will not only ensure that you are paying your nanny legally and properly but will also go a long way in making your nanny feel like a valued and appreciated employee. A happy worker is much more likely to be willing to help out with little extras that may pop up then a worker who feels taken advantage of.
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro