Everything You Need to Know about Nanny Vacation Time

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Just like any other employee, your nanny deserves paid time-off throughout the year. Which means vacation time and holidays, so they have the chance to relax and recharge.

The real questions become how much time-off, how are the weeks selected, and how does vacation time work for a nanny share?

The answers to these questions are something you should figure out in the nanny contract or family-nanny-share contract beforehand.

How much vacation time do I give my nanny?

Most employees are given two weeks of paid vacation to begin with, which is a fair starting point. If your nanny is only part-time, you would still pay the equivalent of two-weeks vacation, even if they only work two days per week. That’s four days of paid time-off.

How is vacation time decided between a family and a nanny?

Legally, the employer is entitled to choose the weeks and dictate the nanny’s schedule. However, this is not the best practice for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Your nanny is a lovely person with friends and family, and likely has events that don’t perfectly line-up with your family vacation schedule. A common solution to this is that the family chooses the dates for one week of vacation, and the nanny chooses the other. Another common solution is that the family can let the nanny know what weeks they’ll have off as far in advance as possible so that they can plan accordingly.

For example, say you are taking a trip in February and August. But then, around December break, you have so many family obligations, that you only need your nanny 1-2 days during the week of Christmas.

If you give her those days off, but she was willing to work, you should still pay her. If you decide you’re giving her some “extra vacation time,” but it’s not paid -- she’d probably prefer to work.

Alternatively, if you have already given your nanny the paid two weeks and she comes and asks you for an extra few days, or a week, you’ll have to decide if it should be paid or unpaid.

It is at the families’ discretion, but you may want to consider the nanny’s work ethic and the relationship you’ve already built with them, as well as the relationship you want to build with them.

How is vacation time decided between the nanny share families?

If you’re giving your nanny two paid weeks off, you can do this one of two ways:

  1. The two families dictate the two weeks off ahead of time and with as much notice as possible (6+ months).
  2. The two families come up with one week that they know they’ll want off. Then the nanny chooses one week she knows she’ll want off. Everyone gives about six months notice and plans accordingly.

What happens if my share family is not taking a vacation, but we are?

Let’s look at this scenario in the eyes of your nanny. She’s accustomed to working a particular schedule and earning a set amount of money. If your family is on vacation, but the other family isn’t, they still need her to work. The question then becomes, does the other family have to pay the full rate while I’m on vacation?

With that in mind, you and your share family should figure out how you want to handle vacation selection, just in case one of you happens to be travel-enthusiasts while the other barely leaves town.

The most straightforward answer: you still pay your share of the care.

The family that isn’t on vacation and still needs childcare will still be paying, but it’s not uncommon for the rate to reflect that only one family is being cared for by the nanny.

What paid holidays should I give my nanny?

Paying for holidays is another important way to care for your nanny. The list of typical holidays include the following, but you can always add more:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

Your employer might give you more holidays off, and you can decide if you want to give these to your nanny as well. Just keep in mind that your nanny has expenses, so if you are taking away any pay from her paycheck, they need to know as far in advance as possible.

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