A written agreement between nanny and family upon employment is very important for both parties involved. While it is very exciting to find the right nanny or family for you this is something that you do not want to overlook. You may be asking yourself why a contract is so important? As humans we don’t always remember every detail of a verbal agreement as time carries on. A contract clearly covers the details and expectations of both parties ensuring that your working relationship will be a positive one with strong communication. A contract provides a reference for both of you as you embark on the unique employee/employer relationship that is between parents and nannies. Having someone work in your home or working in someone’s home is so different from many other professional settings. Be sure to discuss all of the important details, expectations, and job duties during the interview and then get them in writing upon the acceptance of employment.
What should include in the Nanny Contract? The following are some details that you will want to be sure to discuss and put on paper: List the names of the parents, name of the nanny, names of the children, and the physical address of the work place. Next you will want to write the schedule in detail. If it is a set schedule put it down exactly as agreed on. If the schedule will change weekly be sure to list within what days and hours the schedule will be made within as well as what day the nanny can plan to be given her schedule for the following week. Wages- List the agreed upon hourly pay as well as what your nanny will be paid for over time (any hours over 40 by law is at time and a half) Be sure to include Guaranteed hours next. If you hired your nanny for 35 hours per week write that she will be paid for 35 hours per week every week. Include gas mileage reimbursement at the current rate and what days of the month reimbursement will occur.
Benefits should be broken down in detail in the Nanny contract. Make a list of all paid holidays off, personal time off which includes vacation time and sick days. List Bereavement time and inclement weather days. Clearly list the job responsibilities. If the nanny will be preparing the children’s dinner, doing their laundry, school pick-ups, and anything else that you have discussed and agreed upon put it in the contract. Include outings with the children, when they may begin, and any basic house rules. If the nanny is going to be traveling with you for any family vacations write the details of this, and how far in advance she will know of the trip.
Termination- In the event you have to let your nanny go for any reason it is important to have this in writing. If you have to let her go due to negligence on her part, you may have agreed that there will be no notice. If you have to let her go for reasons beyond her control it is proper to offer severance pay of an agreed upon amount or time frame.
Confidentiality- Some families like to put in writing that the nanny is not to reveal any private details about the family’s personal and professional life.
Reviews- Decide whether this will be done monthly or annually. This is a time to sit down and discuss the nanny’s performance, any changes with the children, and review and update the contract if needed. You may want to include an annual raise in this part of the agreement. Both parties involved should sign and date the contract and each keep a copy.
This may seem a bit overwhelming if you are new to making a nanny contract, but there are many resources to make it quite simple. Nanny Counsel has a free contract that you can use. A to Z has one that you can purchase and is extremely detailed covering every topic including work laws that apply to and ones that are exclusive to household employees. You can also use these as guidelines to make your own, or you can ask an attorney to draft one for you. Taking the time to create this contract together will help to ensure a happy professional working relationship!
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro