I got an email today from a nanny who’s in Nanny Care Tribe, the facebook group I moderate. She’s facing a sticky situation with her employer and wanted advice on how to handle it. Of course my first question was “Do you have this outlined in your contract?” because it’s a clear contract issue. No. She has a contract, in fact she spent hours putting it all together after collecting sample contracts from friends, getting suggestions from facebook groups about what to include and downloading templates from “expert’ sites. Yet after all that time and effort, her contract doesn’t cover this issue. Unfortunately she’s stuck and it’s going to cost her money. That wasn’t the response she was looking for.
This scenario isn’t uncommon. I hear from nannies just about every week who are struggling with issues like guaranteed hours when the family travels, staying late without notice, dishes left in the sink from the night before, job creep, texting on the job. Either they don’t have a contract at all, their contract doesn’t cover the issue in question or their contract covers the issue but in a vague and unhelpful way. Having a contract only means something if it’s real world useful.
Of course the solution that immediately pops into my head is to put my A to Z Nanny Contract in place. Because it’s designed to cover the many issues that come up in the employment relationship and do it through positive, loophole free language. That answer always seems very self-serving but it’s not. I suggest the A to Z Nanny Contract to nannies because it really does give you the protection you need within the employment relationship and it tackles the tough issues you face on the job.
I hear from many nannies that say the A to Z Nanny Contract is just too expensive. Why should they pay $40 for information they can get for free? My answer is always the same.
First, you won’t get it anywhere else. I’ve looked at every free and paid contract out there and I can (and do!) guarantee the A to Z Nanny Contract is the best in the business.
Second, and I this is the point I really want to make, it’s important that you invest in your own success. Don’t see your nanny contract as something the family presents to you and you simply sign. Advocate for yourself, protect yourself, respect yourself. There are very few legal absolutes in a nanny job. Most things are up to you and your employer to decide. So when you go into that discussion be armed with the facts, know what’s standard in the industry and be ready to detail what you want and need.