When Mom Decides to Stay Home...

Received Saturday, January 19, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
This isn't a sighting (sorry) but I have a question for parents and nannies alike. I am wondering what you have given/received as severance when you decide to let a nany go b/c you have decided to stay home. My husband and I are having a hard time figuring this out. Thanks.


fng said...

I received 2 months pay (In cash) a lovely picture of the children and a wonderful letter of reference when one of the moms I worked for decided to SAH. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

you need to pay her at least one month and give her a letter of reference, good luck.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

At least one months pay, because she didn't decide to leave, and it's happening on good terms.
And a *glowing* letter of reference.

Good luck to you ... I'm so happy for you! ☺

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on if you are giving her notice or just letting her go the same day. If just letting go, I would say between 2-4 weeks salary depending on how long she's been with you.

However, if you are giving her 1+ months notice (during which time she will continue to work for you and get paid), and you help her find a new job then you may not necessarily give any severance. This would apply particularly if her new job starts seamlessly with your ending. In that case, you may choose to give a parting bonus but severance would not be needed.

atl nanny said...

This happened to me once. I was with a family for six months, starting when the mother was six months pregnant with twins (she already had two toddler-aged children). She was supposed to go back from maternity leave at three months and the week before she was scheduled to return to work, she abruptly quit and decided to stay home. I was thrilled for her that she was able to do that, but devastated because I LOVED my job. She gave me four weeks severance and a glowing recommendation. She also helped me look for a new job by asking around to friends and family. (I wound up finding a job on my own, but it was nice of her to try to help.)

You absolutely need to give one month's notice or one month's severance. If you have a good nanny who has done nothing wrong, it is utterly unfair to toss her out with no warning just because you don't need her anymore.

Sarah and Mitch said...

I was a GREAT nanny for a family with a toddler, and they were expecting #2 last summer. In our interview, we agreed to long long term (if all worked out well, which it really was) and I would just have reduced hours during her maternity leave.

After not paying me for a week of vacation THEY decided to take last minute when I didn't want to come along with them (Sorry, I have a husband and a home I like to go to daily, you can't give me 3 days' notice that I will be gone for 3 days). The following week, 2 weeks before the mom's due date, she told me she was going to stay home from work permanently when the baby was born. She and the dad decided they wanted to keep me until she went into labor and gave birth, full time as it was then. Then they'd be happy to "keep me on part time" until I found something else.

I have bills to pay, sorry. But she could have gone into labor the next day, or a week late, and it wasn't reliable, so I looked for another job. When I found one, almost immediately, I gave 2 full weeks notice and explained to them that I really had to make sure my bills would be getting paid. The dad was pissed, went into a long rant of how they were doing ME a favor, and in the middle of the following week, told me that it was my last day.

Their son was my ringbearer. I haven't heard from them since I left that day, and up until then, we'd had a great relationship. They didn't give me any severance at all, no bonuses, nothing.

I applaud you for considering your nanny. It felt horrible to be so connected with the whole family, and especially the toddler, then be just totally cast away and never contacted again.

Anonymous said...

well if you stay home effective immeadiately talk to her asap so she knows what is going on. make a few calls,send an email to all your contacts, post a flyer on her behalf at the kids school, summer camps etc or even public library.. even post an add on craigslist and as everyone above mentioned give her a glowing recommendation.

give her 2 weeks pay with advanced notice. otherwise i suggest 1 months pay at least. if she has notice, keep her for 2 weeks and give her 2 weeks paid off so she can do her interviews and trial days.

keep in touch afterwards to see if she's happy in her new job etc
also pay her for her holiday that she hasn't taken if she's been with you for more than a year

i worked for someone who was so inconsiderate. even though we had a 1yr contract to start with. they ended up buying a house in the suburbs as a move out of the city.they withheld that from me for 3 months- even though i knew because the toddler told me. the house was under construction and they were to move in 1st of march. the move to the suburbs would've proven impossible for my commute. i ended up having to move out of state before my year ended... as did they. so i gave them 8 weeks notice which they refused to accept. my husband had to start his new job. i had to take care of the move, movers, finding a house etc. we couldnt afford to keep 2 places to rent anyways nor did we have the furniture to do so. they were so awful to me when i left. i didn't even get a thank you card! i wasn't expecting one even though i gave them one. they were the most horrid family ever. i am so glad they are not apart of my life anymore

Anonymous said...

Sarah & Mitch
Families that cast their 'used' Nanny aside like garbage should NEVER be allowed the PRIVILEGE of having one care for their children EVER again.
What would possess someone to be so thoughtless? They probably even lied about her staying home after the birth just to get back at you for not going on their Vacation with them.
I hope you're with a better Family now, treated with respect and most of all - Happy!

Anonymous said...

... Same to 12:40

vi said...

Dear Family,
The worst thing you can do to this nanny is cause her to lose income or make her feel she somehow caused this. So please be as generous as you can, put the word out to people you know that you are staying home and have to let your wonderful nanny go and then make plans with the nanny in to the future. Tell her she is welcome to visit the children. I don't know their ages, but set something up that is appropriate. If she doesn't want to continue seeing the children, either because she cannot or doesn't want to, let it be on her. Send her an email saying, "I am taking X to gymnastics at 4, she has a performance today, I would love it if you could join me-no pressure". And after she leaves,this is so important-send her something. Wait a few days until she is gone and send her a nice note about the children, a picture of the children and a candle or something. You might think this doesn't sound like a big deal, but it would be. When a good nanny is doing her job, she is giving of her heart, so to feel like she is disposable and once gone never thought of again- that really hurts!

I send my former nanny pictures by email every three months or so. And before she moved away, we invited her a couple of places and the kids called her on Valentine's day, etc. It's the little things.

you can't go wrong if you er on the side of kindness.

Anonymous said...

Some things to consider:
It is stressful to look for a new job.
It is difficult to interview and do trial days when you are still working at your current job.
If the nanny starts in the middle of the year, she will be getting a much smaller holiday bonus from her new employers. In other words she won't be getting a bonus for the part of the year she worked for you.
If she has been with you for several years, she will probably have to take a lower salary.
We know all jobs end eventually, but it is especially difficult when a job ends unexpectedly. We are attached to the children, and there is an emotional component that doesn't factor into other types of work. In addition to losing a job, children we love will no longer be in our lives.

So parents, please give your nanny as much advance notice and support as possible.
UES Nanny

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider, besides losing out on a Holiday Bonus ... her Vacation pay. I know it sounds like a lot, but if you have a great nanny that you're letting go, imagine how hard it must be for her to have to 'start over'.
I'm not saying to put out tons of money, but take all of this into consideration and try to be as generous as you can.
I hope your kids are going to be o.k. with her leaving and I also hope you will allow her to see them or at the very least send a picture every 6 months.
You sound like a very thoughtful Employer to have asked what would be proper etiquette in paying your nannies severence, best of luck to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

sorry: 'severance'

cali mom said...

11:45, if YOU gave notice to leave voluntarily, why should you expect any severance pay? Or bonus? If it doesn't work out for either side, they are free to make other arrangements, which you did. It doesn't sound like you have much to complain about there.

Anonymous said...

To sarah & mitch at 11:45, I agree with calimom on that one.

It sounds to me like the family suggested something, and they thought you agreed to it. They seem to have suggested that you stay on full time until the birth. Then, they would not need you any more, but would keep you on part time until you found a new job.

Since you did not actually tell them that you did not agree with or accept this, but instead you just went ahead and found a new job and quit on them early, this caused problems in your relationship.

They were right to be angry that you quit on them ahead of schedule. It would have been a lot better if you had told them that no thank you, you cannot wait until the birth to look for a new job because you cannot survive on a part time income.

An open communication response like that one probably would have been appreciated by the family. To instead go out and find a new job and just spring the news on them that you are quitting does not seem very nice.

Anonymous said...

Standard severance is one month's salary per year of employment, plus written and/or telephone references and any other personal gifts you'd like to give your departing nanny (pics of the kids, or other sentimental keepsakes). It's also crucial to give the nanny at least one month's notice so she can find new employment.

Sarah and Mitch said...

To clarify, when they told me that they wanted me to stay for only UP TO 2 weeks more (she was 38 weeks pregnant, could have gone into labor at ANY moment), I told them that I had to look for another job and would be able to give them 2 weeks notice if I found one.

We both agreed to that, and to the 2 week's notice/pay that was agreed to in our contract. So when I came back on Monday (we talked Friday) with my job offer, and offered to stay until the following Friday as per 2 weeks of working time and notice, and then they just let me go 2 days later... you can see why I was upset.

We did agree to a 1-2 year committment, and it ended up lasting 6 months. I had no notice to save to pay bills. We had agreed I would be there 2 more weeks, unless she went into labor sooner, in which case I would still be guaranteed pay for those 2 full weeks so I didn't have to worry about bills. That was all agreed to on Friday.

So when they cut me off on Wednesday, merely 5 days later, with NO pay at all... you can see why I was very upset and felt extremely stepped on. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in my original post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara & mitch, Yes, that is much clearer. (It's me anon at 7:41.) I can see why you'd be upset. Too bad it didn't work out better.

loretta divine said...

standard severence is one week per year, not one month.

Anonymous said...

OP back. Thank you for all of the advice and suggestions. Our nanny received one month of notice when I decided to stay home. On top of the notice we have decided to give her one month's salary and we're happy to help her find her next family to work with and give her the glowing recommendation she deserves. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Divine, I must respectfully point out a nanny job is NOT a standard job. I am often called to go above and beyond in my line of work. I really don't think the standard rules apply. Example, one of my charges suffered anaphylaxis from a sudden, unkown peanut allergy, my quick reaction, experience and training saved his life.

OP, Good for you for giving your nanny plenty of notice and generous severence pay. best of luck to you.

Lorenza said...

OP You are a remarkable person and I salute you for your thoughtfulness and fairness to your nanny and also for your decision to be a stay at home mother. Good Luck!

New SAHM, Former Nanny said...

As a former nanny, I think it would be common courtesy for one to two months severence if you are letting them go. Even if you are working for a month more, because it is very difficult to find time to interview.

I have been in a similar situation (mother was quitting her job) and I found out about it through a mutual friend, so I knew it was coming. The mother came home one day and handed me a check for two months salary and said she had walked out on her job. She also provided me with an excellent reference letter to give to families I interviewed with.