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Nannys/parents - how do you agree overtime?

(34 Posts)
sukigg Tue 20-Sep-11 10:39:33

Hello. We are about to appoint our first nanny. We both have busy, senior management jobs and while we will definitely be aiming for a better work/life balance now we're parents, it's inevitable that at times we will be home later than the nanny's official clocking off time, and that sometimes we might not know that until the day itself.

I've made it clear in our ad that we need someone flexible and able to stay late when required, and have discussed us being back late (not as a matter of course, but if unavoidable) during interviews, asking how much notice the nanny would need to stay late etc.

My question is if this is the norm? In my industry, although you are contracted to certain hours, it (rightly or wrongly) goes without saying that you stay until the job is done - generally when earning less than a nanny it turns out! We have no intention of taking advantage of our nanny, and so far they've all been very relaxed about it, but all the talk of hourly rates has me wondering if after a couple of favours, they'll start equating the odd extra half hour with pound signs and will feel disgruntled. Are we better to ask for a few babysitting sessions as part of the contract, even though we don't really need them, to use for late homecomings? Or is it generally accepted that you sometimes have to stay half an hour late? Does anyone ever end up paying overtime to their nanny? Would appreciate some advice as really want to ensure a fair arrangement for all.
(longwinded, sorry, but it's my first post!)

minipie Tue 20-Sep-11 10:42:00

I don't have the answer I'm afraid, but watching with interest as I have a similar job and wonder how this works. How often can you realistically ask a nanny to stay a bit later (without much notice) and how do you compensate them for this.

fraktious Tue 20-Sep-11 12:13:32

Most nannies understand that shit occasionally happens. As much notice as possible (so not 5.45 when you should be home at 6), paying for her to have something to eat and paying overtime will all go a long way to making it bearable.

Do not do what my ex dadboss did - missed the Eurostar, called 10 minutes before I thought he was getting home to tell me and didn't sound sorry. Luckily mumboss called to say goodnight to my charge a bit later and told me she was very sorry, had bollocked dadboss and that I should use kitty money for a takeaway.

We now have a nanny ourselves and her hours are longer in theory than in reality. If DH were deployed and I were stuck at work I expect she'd do the extra without any resentment because 99% of the time she works less. It's something we discussed but have never had to use so far.

So be upfront and be prepared to pay. If necessary have the numbers of a few local babysitters who might be able to do short notice sits.

anniemac Tue 20-Sep-11 14:20:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jendifa Tue 20-Sep-11 14:20:33

I think, as a nanny, you expect it to happen. I nannied for five years and MB would always ring and apologise, letting me know the time she expected to be back. Like fraktious, DB often didn't sound sorry, but I got used to it!

My main piece of advice would be to find out if the nanny has regular commitments on any evening. MB knew I did things on a certain night and so always made sure she or DB were back in time, which I really appreciated.

In regards to pay, I didn't get paid overtime for when I had to stay a bit longer. I didn't expect to though, in the same way I didn't expect to be paid less when they let me go earlier.


anniemac Tue 20-Sep-11 14:21:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Tue 20-Sep-11 14:24:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sukigg Tue 20-Sep-11 15:28:29

Thanks all. That's helpful. I was hoping to foster a kind of swings and roundabouts understanding, as jendifa says, rather than paying overtime each time we're a bit late. If I was hiring someone for a one-off, then I would expect to pay overtime, but I feel it's different if you're making a long term commitment to someone and paying a decent wage. What do other nannies think? At what point would you ask for overtime to be paid rather than accept it as part and parcel of your role?

Strix Tue 20-Sep-11 16:36:01

You should always pay per hour whenever you are late. If you don't, nanny will realise she's the only nanny who doesn't get paid and probably not be overjoyed with her position. Alternatively, you could negotiate into the contract that x days at maximum of x hours are part of the rate she is already paid.

In my house nanny (or au pair) is contracted for set hours each week. Any other hours are requested by me (she has right to say no) and paid at previously agreed hourly rate. The only time I would really expect her to say yes is if it as for work. But, even then I wouldn't expect her to be happy with last minute announcements on a regular basis.

spectacular Tue 20-Sep-11 16:40:31

I have employed nannies for years and years and would never expect them to stay late without paying them overtime. Your contractual arrangements with work, are nothing to do with hers and yours and what you do in your role, does not equate with what she does in hers.

So yes to needing the flexibility (but be careful not to overdo it) but also a big yes, to paying for it, and well (always round up to the nearest hour).

minipie Tue 20-Sep-11 16:45:08

As an alternative to paying overtime, what about simply paying very well in the first place (i.e. a bit above market rates) - but on the understanding that a bit of unpaid overtime would be included as part of that? How would that go down with a nanny do you think?

I'm not averse to paying overtime, just wonder if it is easier and in some ways nicer to be generous with pay in the first place and in return ask for the nanny to be generous with time (within limits, of course).

kenobi Tue 20-Sep-11 16:47:56

Another one here who stays late occasionally and pays for the privilege. Our nanny is very understanding but as PPs have said, the more notice you can give, the better.

I fully expect to pay tbh - ours is contracted to work 10 hours a day and anything on top of that is extra. It's not like a white collar job where you are paid to do 'the job' until it's done; nannies are paid by the hour, even if it works out as a monthly salary.

drinkyourmilk Tue 20-Sep-11 17:22:37

I work for a family where the parents are in the same boat as you. I am paid a generous wage and recieve no overtime. Equally I am frequently early to leave on a friday. I also have standard holidays in my contract - yet have significantly more. I see it as a 'swings and roundabouts' situation. However I live-in monday to friday (have a house with partner elsewhere weekends) so tbh it makes no difference to me i work till 7:30pm (earliest finish) or 10pm/later. I just go to sleep when i feel like it and keep the monitor.

Iggly Tue 20-Sep-11 17:29:38

Her job is to look after your kids during certain hours. If she has to work longer then pay her for it - your job and contract (sounds like mine) has no bearing on that.

If DH or I have to work late, one of us always makes sure the other gets home on time unless we're stuck on a train together, in which case we ring our nanny to tell her ASAP.

Overtime is written into the contract and agreed at a higher rate. If we think we're going to be more than half an hour late, I'd pay overtime (although the contract is not explicit about this).

sukigg Tue 20-Sep-11 17:47:59

Very interesting. I appreciate it might not be the norm to stay late in the nanny industry, but I'm not sure why it's so different to how many of us work, especially if you're talking about a full time, long term nannying role rather than merely ad hoc work. My job is to do certain tasks within certain hours, yet it says in my contract that at times I'll be required to work beyond those. I wonder if any nannys would accept that kind of clause?! I think I know what the answer will be ;)
Just to be clear, I have no desire to take advantage of someone, and intend to offer 'thankyous' as you all suggest when appropriate, but as we're not talking inconsiderable salaries or a lack of applicants, I'm slightly surprised that the hours are so set. Do you pay tax on the overtime you pay too then?

nbee84 Tue 20-Sep-11 18:29:50

How often do you anticipate the nanny needing to work past her normal time?

My boss often gets home late (and phones me 5 mins after my finish time to say she'll be home in 15 mins Grrr!) She will sometimes say to start ½hour later the next day but I'm coming to realise that the flexibilty is coming from me and not from her, which rankles at bit. The other week I had to 'ask' to finish on time on a certain day as I had plans with friends and it annoyed me slightly that I was having to ask (and then she was 10 mins late!). I think nannies need to be flexible but you need to keep an eye out that the flexibility is going both ways.

So, from my experience ask in advance, as far in advance as you know - not last minute. Give early finishes and late starts so that the hours work out to be what is contracted and if you can't do this pay overtime.

fraktious Tue 20-Sep-11 18:36:03

Well as a nanny it wasn't my tasks being left incomplete that kept me at work. And a nanny has absolutely no choice but to stay.

I have had arrangements where I didn't have paid overtime. They were also ones where I didn't have a life outside work and got paid 24/5 rates - it's sustainable on a temp basis but not in the long term.

You can probably see a crisis coming at work -DH certainly can and tells me around lunchtime that he won't be home on a fairly regular basis - but a nanny doesn't buy into their job in the same way. If you want that kind of swings and roundabouts flexibility you have to pay over the odds in the first place and probably take a younger nanny with no fixed commitments.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 20-Sep-11 18:49:59

i love it when boss's ask/want their nanny to be flexible - what it actually means is that they think their life is more important then yours - therefore doesnt matter if mb/db is back late and we dont mention it till 10mins before clocking off time as what can the nanny do

she can hardly say, well its 6.30/7pm now, ive finished and leave the kids at home alone can she (or he if nick lol)

yes i am flexible and obv will stay afterwards as have no choice BUT yes i expect to get paid and fed wink and also expect some notice

My main piece of advice would be to find out if the nanny has regular commitments on any evening. MB knew I did things on a certain night and so always made sure she or DB were back in time, which I really appreciated

i do things most night, i dont expect to tell my mb/db what i do so that they might be back on time, they should be back on time most if not every night - but yes things go tits up/trains delayed etc - thats fine

but having a call at 5.45 saying still in the office, when they are meant to be home at 6, so leave the office at 5, is not on and will piss your nanny off very quickly

so yes be on time and if something crops up, ring asap/grovel and pay smile

Iggly Tue 20-Sep-11 19:58:14

Why are you surprised about the hours? It's not the same line of work as yours and it doesn't matter if your contract says x/y/z. And it doesn't matter if the nanny has evening commitments.

You get paid accordingly in your job for working extra hours even if you're not paid by the hour.

Your nanny is doing childcare for set days and set hours. That's how it works. If you need flexibility, then discuss with prospective nannies but you shouldn't take the mick, should give as much notice as possible and if it's going to be a regular occurrence eg at peak periods during the year then amend hours and pay extra.

Yes, tax on overtime - why not?

noviceoftheday Tue 20-Sep-11 20:41:51

Dh and I knew that this was going to be a major problem and so we chose to have a live in nanny where we have 2 nights of babysitting agreed, and made it clear from the outset that both of us could have a day which goes swimmingly, bags are packed and heading out of the door and suddenly s*it hits the fan so you have to stay and sort it out so unless nanny was flexible when this happens then she wasn't the nanny for us. For this, we pay at the top end of the salary range with a generous bonus. Yes it costs a fortune, but it's well worth it.

Blondes, <waves and sends out big hugs>I never ever disagree with you except this time......but hear me out.....I disagree that asking for flexibility means that the employer thinks that they are more important than the nanny. In reality, the nanny gets paid out of what the employer earns. If employer loses their job then so does nanny so their jobs are linked.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 20-Sep-11 21:15:20

novice 'waves back and snuggles into hugs' smile

totally see your point - was humphing as just been on phone to my friend - she does 7-7 and yet they still never manage to get home on time and ring at 6.30 saying wont be home till 8pm - pisses her off - happens a lot and shes looking for another job now sad

as i said i am very flexible and often work 16hr day if both db/mb out in eve but i like notice if possible

noviceoftheday Tue 20-Sep-11 21:38:13

Oh goodness Blondes, I don't blame your friend at all! My nanny works 7 to 7 and it's a very long day now that dc1 has dropped naps. I am back to work from mat leave soon so I shall be even more careful about not inflicting longer hours on her - dh is the one who would happily rock up at 7.30pm regularly without a care in the world if I didn't tell him off!

I haven't looked at your other thread in the last couple of weeks. Will you find another job straight away or are you going to take a break?

eurycantha Tue 20-Sep-11 21:39:30

A quick wave and a hug to blondes .Hi there.I am contracted to work from 7am til 6pm.I am always willing to stay on if my bosses are stuck in a meeting which I think most nannies understand ,BUT we do have a life outside and I always want my boss to ring to say they are going to be late and to apologise .I have worked for people who will ring you as they are leaving the office ,as someone else has said ten minutes before they are due home.I don`t get paid in general if they are 15 minutes late but after half hour I would expect to be paid .I generally tell my boss if I`m bsitting or going out during the week and she will certainly try her best to get 6pm.This week I actually have a quiz night and she and her partner are both going to be out until 7.30 so she has organised a babysitter from 7 [when I`ve put the children to bed].

Karoleann Tue 20-Sep-11 21:49:00

How often do you expect to be late? If its a case of 1 x a month then I wouldn't pay overtime for a few minutes, but if its a couple of times a week then of course you should.
I employ my nanny from 8-7, but she'll usually go home at 6.30pm. If you regularly need a later stay you should contract her to stay later and pay.

Incidentally, your work role does change when you have children. You do sometimes have to say to work that you can't stay, you need to get home.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 20-Sep-11 21:54:31

if you think you may be late 2/3times a week then you need to change your/her finishing time

eurycantha we must do a curry again soon babe x

novice im temping at the moment and love it - parents so appreciative - i would happily be a perm temp but the work isnt guaranteed and as im on my own now i HAVE to know i have money coming in x

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