The summer months of July and August usually include some much anticipated vacation time. If you are a nanny travelling with a family or a family travelling with your nanny, there are few helpful facts to know before taking off to ensure that reality meets expectation.
Unwritten Law: This is the family vacation, not the nanny vacation. That fact should be talked about up front. It’s all about managing expectations on both sides. It would be great to discuss a tentative schedule before departure. Is the family planning to go out for dinner most nights–without the children? Is Sunday morning free time for the nanny for church or beach? Who stays at home with the baby when there is a fun activity planned?
The Law: When accompanying an employer on a trip–whether a vacation or a business trip–an employee must be compensated for all hours worked during the trip, including the time spent traveling to the destination. If the employee’s working time exceeds 40 hours in a 7-day period, the employer must pay the employee for the overtime hours at the time-and-a-half rate. In addition to the regular and overtime pay, the employer is responsible for the employee’s traveling expenses, including airfare and hotel accommodations. These expenses are covered by the employer because the employee would not have incurred these expenses on her own.
A nanny is not paid for her free time when she has no responsibility for the children and has the freedom to go or do whatever she pleases. Over the years, we have heard of nannies working 10-14 days straight with almost no hours off. Instead, it might be best to keep the total hours similar to what the nanny normally works at home to avoid total nanny burn-out. The hours worked can be broken up to cover the times childcare is most needed.
Remember to have that talk before you leave and then have fun!