Benefits To Offer Your Nanny: Compensation Is Not Solely About Money

When hiring a nanny, there are plenty of guidelines available on fair pay practices in your state, and most employers go above and beyond those, because they know this individual is in charge of their most cherished possession – their children. And that is a unique and profound responsibility, and nannies are usually compensated generously for their hard work and dedication. Furthermore, there are many opportunities out there for qualified, skilled nannies, and they are sure to have more than one position on offer when they’re job seeking. Compensation matters, but so do other benefits.

Not all benefits can be tucked into a savings account.

If you are hiring a nanny and are wondering what you should offer on top of compensation, you’ve come to the right post! Here are some of the most important benefits you can include in the contract of this vital new employee.

1. Paid Vacation Days

In some professions, an individual has to work for a certain number of years to receive paid vacation. The nature of a nanny’s job, which is to be there in your stead, on-call if necessary or living in your home, means they should get this benefit right away, written into their first contract. At least two weeks, perhaps one at Christmas and another during the summer. However you both decide to allot the time is your decision, but a minimum of two paid weeks shows your nanny that you recognize how hard they work, and that they are entitled to breaks of at least two weeks every year.

2. Medical coverage or a contribution to their insurance plan.

This can be negotiated in several different ways. Perhaps you offer a stipend to cover partial or full healthcare, or perhaps you can pay for their individual insurance. (Elite Nannies can help you sort through the many options available before the contract is signed.) However, if you decide to offer it is up to you; the important thing is that you do offer it!

3. Access to a household account with a debit or credit card.

This is very helpful for a nanny who may be responsible for running household errands, like picking up dry cleaning or doing the grocery shopping. They should not have to “front” the money themselves, then provide receipts to you, then wait to be reimbursed. Your nanny encounters dozens of minor expenses every week, and they add up. Having access to an account meant solely for expenses like paying the piano teacher or buying school supplies is more of a convenience than a benefit, really. But it demonstrates that you trust your nanny, and don’t expect them to cover any costs themselves, even temporarily.

4. Offer sick leave.

Just like anyone else, nannies come down with colds, or the flu, or other minor illnesses. Decide how many sick days you are willing to cover, and discuss it thoroughly with any candidate you’re considering. Whether your nanny lives in or has their own place, it’s important they know they won’t be financially penalized if they can’t work because they are unwell. After all, no one wants a cold passed around the whole family, right? It’s important to cover sick days, because it’s actually the healthier option for everyone. Please note that in some areas, like in LA and NYC, paid sick leave is required by law.

5. Annual bonuses are a great way to reward a job well done.

Oftentimes nannies go above and beyond, because (for example) situations arise that demand they put in longer hours than agreed upon. Overtime laws vary state to state, and in some places (like Florida) if an employee lives in, overtime pay is not mandated by the government. Therefore, because your nanny willingly stays in their post sometimes many hours after their day has officially ended, rewarding them with a year end bonus shows your appreciation. Bonuses don’t necessarily have to be monetary; a gym membership or a paid-for spa day are also great ways to say an extra “thank you” to this vital member of your household.

6. Cover daily travel expenses.

Paying for a bus or subway pass, or covering the cost of gas if your nanny drives to work every day, is another way to add value to their compensation. It is in these small ways an employer enhances a nanny’s wages, so their compensation is not solely in dollars and cents. And if you ask your nanny to travel with the family on vacation, obviously all expenses related to the trip are your responsibility, in addition to their regular weekly hourly rate and overtime, if applicable.

There are other small benefits you can offer your nanny that make a big difference to their compensation package. For example, make sure they know that your fridge is their fridge when they’re working, and consider putting their laptop and phone’s Internet connection on your family plan. Both of these are valuable benefits.

Deciding what benefits to offer your new nanny can be challenging, but remember: competition for a qualified, experienced nanny – a person on whom your children will depend and come to love – is fierce.  Don’t hedge or cut corners when rewarding them! And once you’ve decided how much compensation to offer and the benefits you’ll include, be sure to put it all in the employment contract.