Confidentiality and Your Nanny Contract
Most nanny contracts have a confidentiality clause that you must sign stating that you will not repeat anything heard or seen within the home, unless you are concerned about possible abuse issues.
A confidentiality clause protects the family from having you repeat private information to others around you. Obviously, this is also a matter of professionalism and common courtesy, but signing a confidentiality clause helps your employer have some peace of mind that you will not tell friends or family how much money the family makes or any other personal issues that may arise. Signing a confidentiality clause doesn't mean the family finds you untrustworthy, it simply means that they are protecting themselves, just in case!
Negotiating Your Nanny Contract
One thing to always keep in mind before signing a nanny contract is that you can negotiate anything within that contract.
For example, if you don't agree with the contract's stated salary, you can discuss this with your employer. Maintaining a professional demeanor and discussing why you think you deserve more pay is important. If you have a concern, make sure you can explain why you wish to change the contract. For example, if you know the average nanny in your area with your experience is making $200 more per week, you can state that you feel the salary is unfair and then back it up with your example. Be forewarned that not everything may be changed to your liking. Your employer doesn't have to change a thing, but it is nice to find some common ground on anything that may be a concern.
What Happens if I Break the Contract?
It is not best for nannies to break signed nanny work agreements. However, if there is a need that arises in which you feel you must break the nanny agreement, then the contract should also detail what would happen should the contract be broken.
Most contracts will require that you give two weeks of notice if you plan on quitting. It gives the family a little time to find back up childcare and tie up any loose ends with you.
A nanny work agreement isn't a binding contract, but it is a professional agreement between the nanny and the employer. As a nanny, it is important to try and remain professional and follow the nanny contract as agreed upon.
What Should Be In Your Nanny Contract?
If you are signing a nanny contract, make sure that the following is directly stated within the contract so that there is no confusion at a later date:
As you can see, there is a lot of information that is included in a nanny contract. By talking to your employer and adding your input, you can create a detailed contract. If you notice something is missing from your nanny agreement, simply share your wishes with your employer!
Where to Get a Nanny Contract?
If you are entering into a working relationship with a family as a nanny and the family doesn't offer a nanny contract or doesn't know where to find one, you can suggest that one is used and you can also suggest where to find one.
One great resource is to look on the Internet for nanny contracts. You can look through them with your employer and print one out to use. Most of the time, these nanny contracts are offered for free on the Internet, but you may have to register with the website. There is a sample contract available to registered members at NannyLane.com.
If you are working with a nanny agency, the nanny contract will most often be taken care of through the agency. The agency will have both the nanny and the family sign the agreement.
Finding a nanny contract isn't a hard thing to do, but it is an important one to have for both parties involved! Once you have printed a nanny contract and have agreed to it, it needs to be signed by everyone involved and everyone must keep a copy of the contract for his or her file.
Who Writes the Nanny Contract?
Many nannies are given a contract to sign by the employer which has been drawn up by the employer beforehand. However, it isn't completely inappropriate to ask to write the contract or fill it out together, rather than having one done ahead of time.
A nanny should be allowed to look over the contract in detail and be given some time to discuss it with the employer or even a trusted advisor who can determine if the contract is appropriate and offer any advice before the nanny signs it.
If you find something within the contract that you don't agree with or have a concern about, don't hesitate to speak to your employer and discuss what the issue is. Being upfront from the get-go creates an open line of communication, which makes the nanny experience a positive one!
Why Use a Nanny Contract?
If you are asked to sign a nanny work agreement, it is probably a good idea to do so. Not only does this show you are serious about the position, it also shows that you have agreed with what your employer has asked of you. If you are unwilling to sign a nanny work agreement, your potential employer may view that negatively and wonder why you have qualms about signing it. Nanny employment contracts show that both the employer and the nanny are taking their work agreement very seriously.
An employer may ask you to sign a nanny contract to ensure that you are clear on what is expected of you, what your pay will be and your benefits. It also helps alleviate nanny turnover in a home, because all of the expectations are spelled out in a contract and a nanny or an employer can't say that he or she wasn't aware of what is expected of them.
As a nanny, if you are unsatisfied with what is being asked of you in the contract, don't refuse to sign it, just be honest and explain your concerns and ask for a new contract to be printed. A nanny and an employer can go back and forth with expectations before a final contract is signed.