What Should You Include in a Nanny Work Agreement?

A nanny work-agreement consists of all the terms and conditions of employment that are understood by both the employer and the nanny. It is a form of direct and clear communication, wherein, the terms mentioned should be agreed by the hiring family and the nanny. This ensures a successful nanny-family relationship. This work agreement will help both the parties to know what to expect from each other, as it clearly outlines the responsibilities and boundaries of the family and the nanny.

Below is the list of important details that are to be included in a nanny work agreement.

Childcare duties: As the nanny is essentially hired for childcare, you must be specific in identifying the childcare duties of the nanny in the agreement. The duties may include taking care of the child’s basic needs such as brushing teeth, bathing, changing diapers, dressing, afternoon naps, preparing meals for the child at the scheduled hours, administering medicine as directed by the parents, taking the child to and from school. It also includes taking care of the safety of the child, participating in and supervising the child’s activities, monitoring educational progress, designing activities for the development of social skills, etc.

Housekeeping duties: Though a nanny’s role is primarily childcare, you may need the nanny to handle light housework like cleaning up the kitchen and dining table after the child has meals, changing bedding, laundry, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, picking up and organizing the play areas as well as the entire home, making meals, grocery shopping, etc. Clearly outline your expectations in terms of how things should be done and the frequency of which they should be done.

Working schedule: The schedule, days per week and hours per day, should be stated clearly in the agreement. Things such as overnight care and child care during holiday trips, and any special working hours should also be mentioned. Mention of any extra or over-time hours should also be addressed.

Number and age of children: The family should specify the number of children the nanny is expected to care for. For example, you may want the nanny to take care of your two children – one infant and the other a child of primary school age. In such cases, clearly identify the number of children, the age of children and for which children the nanny is responsible for.

Live-in or live out status: It is very important to state whether the nanny is being hired as a live-in nanny or a live-out nanny, as the details of the contract may vary. A live-in nanny lives with the family at all times, whereas, a live-out nanny is only at the residence during their scheduled working hours. A live-in nanny is generally subject to additional house rules regarding vacations, hours during which they may come and leave, the number of guests expected allowed to visit, the duration of their stay, use of telephone and other house appliances, etc.

Payment or compensation: The gross salary (per hour, week, month or per annum, as applicable) and pay period should be clearly identified. Mention of when salary review will take place should also be mentioned. Other compensation details such as bonuses, over-time, overnight care, care during travel etc., should also be mentioned.

If applicable, details regarding reimbursement for things such as gas and/or mileage (should the nanny uses their own car to transport the children), health insurance, unemployment insurance, taxes (eg social security, state and/or federal income tax) paid on behalf of the nanny, severance pay, etc. should also be mentioned.

Vacation and holiday benefits: The nanny work agreement should contain the details regarding personal days, holidays, sick leaves, vacation days, and time off with and without pay. If applicable, mention regarding over-time hours extending vacation should also be made.

The vacation benefits for a live-in and live-out nanny can differ. In the case of a live-in nanny, the nanny generally expects the family to pay a contracted weekly salary for 52 weeks even if they do not require her service during holidays, vacations, etc. And if the nanny travels with the family, they may expect to be paid salary plus an additional wage for hours traveled.

Termination strategies: The contract should clearly outline what can lead to termination of the agreement between the family and nanny. For example, putting the child’s safety at stake, non-performance of job responsibilities, dishonesty, etc.

Should the nanny’s work agreement be terminated at the convenience of the family or the nanny (and not because of the cause); any required notice period and payment should be included.

A good nanny working agreement should be clear and will protect both the interests of the nanny and the employer. Moreover, a well-defined working agreement serves as the reference document while addressing any issues or misunderstandings with the nanny.