10 of the Most Important Things to Include in Your Nanny Contract
January 3, 2013 | in Background Check
A comprehensive nanny contract is a must for a successful nanny/family relationship. Your nanny contract should outline all the details of your job, your expectations of your nanny, and her expectations of you. By outlining things in advance, both parties have a written record of what was agreed to, which can prevent a lot of misunderstandings and confusion later down the road. Here are 10 things you should include in your contract.
- Notice period. Make sure to outline how much notice you want your nanny to give you if she decides to quit. Also outline how much notice you’re willing to give her if you plan on firing her. A typical notice period is between 2 and 6 weeks.
- Severance pay. Sometimes you’ll have to let your nanny go due to no fault of her own. You might decide to stay home with your child or your child might be heading to school full-time. If you’re not able to give your nanny the full notice period promised, it’s standard to give her severance pay.
- Schedule. Outline all the hours the nanny will be required to work. Make sure to include any babysitting that you’re requiring your nanny to provide. Also include travel dates if your nanny is required to go with you.
- Responsibilities. Detail exactly what tasks the nanny will be responsible for during the day. This can include child related tasks like laundry, meals, cleaning up the kitchen after meals with the children, and straightening up the play room. It can also include family related tasks like family laundry, errands, and dinner preparation. If you need flexibility with your nanny’s duties, make sure to discuss that with her first and include a flexibility clause in your nanny contract.
- Pay. In this section, detail how much your nanny earns. To comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the nanny’s pay should be broken down into the hourly rate she earns for regular hours and the hourly rate she earns for overtime hours. This is also the section to outline the taxes that will be withheld from the nanny’s paycheck.
- Vacation and holidays. List how much vacation time the nanny will receive each year. Include if the time will be paid or unpaid time off. If the nanny is required to take her vacation time at the same time your family takes vacation time, make that clear to help prevent confusion later on. Include any holidays the nanny will receive off and if those days will be paid or unpaid.
- Use of the nanny’s car for work purposes. Many nannies today use their own car to transport the child they care for to school, parks, play dates and other activities. They also often use their cars to run errands like grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning or returning items to the store. When the nanny uses her own car for work, she should be paid the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for each mile driven. That rate covers normal wear and tear, gas and insurance costs.
- Professional development benefit. Regular training helps your nanny continue to learn and grow in her field. This directly benefits both you and your child. Many families offer to pay for classes their nanny takes. These can include CPR/first aid certification, childcare classes through the local community college or professional nanny conferences.
- Confidentiality clause. Your nanny is privy to many of the private details of your home life. Make sure that you include a confidentiality clause in your nanny contract to prevent your nanny from sharing any personal or confidential information about your family. Most nannies wouldn’t intentionally share your family’s personal information. They usually do it without realizing it. By including a confidentially clause you bring it to the forefront and make your nanny aware of your expectations.
- Household rules for your live-in nanny. If you have a live-in nanny, there may be rules around her living in your home and they should be included in your nanny contract. These can include a guest policy, the alarm procedure for late night entries, and areas of the house that’s family only. Make sure to discuss all the household rules with your nanny before assuming she’s OK with them.
Once you’ve written your nanny contact, make sure you and your nanny review it completely and talk about any issues that aren’t clear. When both sides are happy with the contract, it should be signed and dated and you both should keep a copy for your records.← 10 Signs a Nanny Candidate Might Be the Wrong Choice | 10 Reasons Parents Should Not Have Guns in the House →
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