While a contract is not required legally, it’s usually a good idea to write one up. Drawing up a contract between you and your nanny allows for communication. Your nanny and you can go over any fine details, ground rules and expectations of the arrangement. A contract will also protect you both if any problems arise – which you can later use if you need to resolve an issue.
What to Cover in a Contract
The contract you draw up should include anything and everything related to your nanny’s job – and I do mean everything. For example; If you will provide room and board, you may want to pay for the nanny’s personal phone line, but restrict long-distance calls.
You should be sure to list and explain any benefits, such as holidays, personal days, sick days and vacation time. While you are not required to pay for these, it’s usually in good practice to include them if your nanny will be working full time.
Typical contracts include information about the following:
- Work hours (for example, 7 a.m. To 7 p.m.)
- Benefits (health insurance, paid holidays, sick leave, vacations, ect.)
- Wage and pay schedule: (for example, $600 every Friday or $1,000 on the 1st and 15th of every month)
- Duties (taking your child to practice, cleaning up the children’s bedroom, folding laundry, preparing lunch, ect.)
- Special Circumstances (in the event of overtime, you’ll pay 1 ½ times your nanny’s usual hour, she must call by 6 a.m. If she’s sick, ect.)
- Evening work (Will your nanny be available for evening work, and if so, how often?)
- Extra costs (If your nanny will drive your children around, will she use your car or hers? Will she be reimbursed for insurance and gas?)
- Emergency plans (Should she call you at work, or call the grandparents in the event of an emergency?)
How to Draw Up a Contract
Drawing up a contract is fairly easy, you can write on out or use an online form. While you may be scared to write out a contract, don’t be. It’s pretty easy and now you know what to include. If you’re still unsure you can contact the International Nanny Association with any questions or to purchase a form.
Be sure that both you and your nanny sign and date the contract. Print out multiple copies, one for your records and one for hers. If you need to make minor changes, you should always re-print and initial the changes.
It’s a good idea to include a revision date on the contract, this allows you both the opportunity to make larger changes. Once a year is the average time and seems to work well. After that point you can choose to go your separate ways, make large changes or have your nanny move in with you – or out!
You must also redo your agreement if you have any major changes to your family, like the arrival of a new baby. As soon as you know of any pending changes you should talk to your nanny and revise your contract. It may a good idea to include a clause that guarantees a pay increase in the event of large changes.
How to Make the Contract Legally Binding
Much like any employment agreement, it can be hard to enforce a nanny contract. Speak with your lawyer about options you have for legal enforcement. However, even without a contract will ensure a smooth and happy relationship.
If you plan on having a nanny for an extended amount of time, over a year, it may be beneficial to draw up a nanny contract. This contract will ensure that both of you are protected during any major changes or unforeseen circumstances. Not only will you feel more at ease with a contract, but so will your nanny. In order to draw up a contract, speak with your nanny and come to an agreement. Once done you can print out copies and rest at ease knowing all the fine details have been smoothed over.