Saturday

How to abuse your Live-in Nanny ....

Received Saturday, July 26, 2008. - Rant
Recently http://www.nannyquestions.com/ has come to the attention of the nanny world. This site is a Canadian site meant to "educate" the public about hiring a live in nanny in Canada. The truth is that the website should be coined how to abuse your live in nanny ten ways from Sunday.

Most offensive is the recommendation of a cleaning schedule that has the nanny cleaning blinds, hand washing stained clothing before putting it in the washing machine (not just kids clothing, but adults as well), dusting living room shelves, moving sofas to clean behind, etc. In addition they recommend a $100 dollar a YEAR raise. It works out to be less than 1% of the annual salary, $1000 monthly for a new nanny, $1200 for an experienced live in nanny.

Those of us in the industry are taking a stand and want the general public to know that this is not standard practices for nannies in the US and shouldn't be standard practices in Canada either. Please help us protest these practices by emailing admin@nannyquestions.com

14 comments:

how ridiculous! said...

These people are ridiculous. A Christmas bonus of $50? At a NYC weekly rate, that is about a 2.5% "bonus" tacked onto what the nanny would make in a month. And a $100 raise per YEAR? Geez.

Notsocommonsense said...

It is NOT suggesting a $100 per year raise. They worded it poorly, but it then states $100 per month raise for each year of service. This equals out to a $25.00 per week raise after one year, $50.00 per week raise after two, and so on.

Also, they clearly state that in Canada a nanny is typically paid bi-weekly, and suggest for a live-in a salary of $1000 for inexperienced, $1200 for experienced. That equals out to $500 and $600 per week.

C'mon folks, a little reading comprehension goes a long way.

OP said...

Um, Commonsense, 9 x's 40 is $360. Subtract what they charge for housing, and you're left with $275(if you're lucky)a week. As per your suggestion, perhaps you should read this statement again about raises.
A raise of $100 per year for each year worked (up to a limit) is recommended
"It is up to your discretion how often you want to give a raise i.e. $25/mo every 3 months or $50/mo every 6 months or $100/mo every year "

It definately says that the nanny is only getting a hundred a year.

nannyjen said...

"$100/mo" = $100 PER MONTH, meaning that every year you increase their salary by $100 per month (= $1200 per year).

calm down op

the fisherman's wife said...

I cannot believe the "cleaning" schedule that they suggest. Can we get real? Hand washing adult clothes? Cleaning blinds? Cleaning the oven? The bathrooms? It was also worded SO condecendingly. I understand that some of the nannies are from overseas, but seriously, they're not idiots.

This is just awful and I hope that people realize that this NOT how to treat your nanny. Do you realize how many people would read this and actually follow their recommendations? The "interview" questions were also, I feel, a little out of line.

How many hours do you see yourself working here? None. Do you get out a lot? I don't think that's any of your business. There were some that were fine, but others were just ridiculous.

The comment about taking references with a grain of salt also ticked me off. They are also suggesting that you assume a lot of things, such as leaving a job before the contract was up because no one fires a good nanny. What if there were simply personality conflicts?

Ugh, *Rant over*

OP said...

nannyjen
Clearly you don't get the second statement that is explaining how you distribute the $100 a year. Exactly how do you explain the two prior statements? The $25 per every three months? The $50 every 6 months. Seems like a duh statement to me.

nannyjen said...

it doesn't say "$25 per every three months", it says "$25/mo every 3 months". If you made $2000/month after working for three months you would get $2025/month, then after six months it would be $2050/month etc.

There is alot of b.s. in that article, and much of it describes the role of a housekeeper and not a nanny making. I am hesitant to say anything in defense of it, but we should be attacking it on valid points and not for things which it doesn't actually say.

chick said...

notsocommonsense,

"Also, they clearly state that in Canada a nanny is typically paid bi-weekly, and suggest for a live-in a salary of $1000 for inexperienced, $1200 for experienced. That equals out to $500 and $600 per week."

They also encourage people to pay BI MONTHLY, and don't remind then to adjust the pay accordingly. They also

Yes, but they also add that in lieu of OT pay (for more than 44 hours per week, as mandated by the government), the family should try to get nanny to agree to "extra time off", which is another way of saying "unpaid work".

Here's the quote:

"In reality, most employers do not pay nannies overtime as it is not practical, and they rather choose a flexible option where hours may or may not be standard everyday, extra days off may be given and overall, it often works out."

That, on top of the generalization that live-ins have to allow a more flexible schedule, means the "nanny" would earn FAR less than the mandated $9/hr minimum. Check the link to "sample invoice" on this page

http://nannyquestions.com/hiring.html

to confirm that the suggested salary is PER MONTH.

IOW, the NET monthly income is figured by assuming a 40 hour work week, determining a GROSS income that charges nanny room and board, and allows parents to pay the correct taxes, and then figuring the NET of ~$100 per month.

Being paid based on a monthly income means the salary is figured as a 4 week salary. An ACTUAL "month" is 4.3 weeks. So employers are basically gypping the nanny out of 4 weeks of pay per year.

IF nanny ONLY worked 40 hours/week, that comes to 172 hours a month. Earning $1000 per month makes her hourly wage 5.81. Hardly good money. Add to that about 40 hours of unpaid OT per month, and the nanny earns just $4.72 per hour.

Would YOU be willing to deep clean daily and watch kids for that pittance?

It sounded to me as if this website is aimed at people hoping to hire a woman from overseas to come and live with them, work long hours doing ALL sorts of housework (while the parents are pretending their children are the first priority), and then eventuially that woman can get gov't healthcare, and maybe even get to become a Canadian citizen.

While that likely seeems to be a great deal for women making $30 a week in their home countries, it is, indeed, exploitative, and this website is encouraging exploitation.

Childcare vs. Housekeeping said...

On the cleaning schedule issue, they keep stating "#1 priority is the children". Well, how can that be the case with this much heavy housecleaning to do. The more housework you have to do, the less time you can spend with the children. This is definitely a housekeeper schedule, not a nanny schedule.

ceo said...

Hi OP. Thank you for alerting us to this website. I think it is great to spread the word about sites like this!!

The wording was unclear about the raise. But look at your quote again:

"It is up to your discretion how often you want to give a raise i.e. $25/mo every 3 months or $50/mo every 6 months or $100/mo every year "

How Often, implies how often the raise is given. In the example you could give a raise to your nanny every 3 months, and make it $25 more per month. So after 3 months employment she would get her first raise. You could also choose to give a raise every 6 months or every year. In this case you would want the raise amount to be higher because of the length of employment between raises. I believe that this is implying a raise of $100/month, given every year. So a total of a$1200 raise.

Hope this makes sense! I had to wrap my head around it too. Thanks again for sharing this site with us!

Rick said...

Guys, I live in Canada. We don't have a live-in-nanny but friends of us do, and we did some research on this previously.

In Canada, there is a government Foreign Live-In Caregiver Program that is utilized for Nannies quite heavily. I can comment that the $1200 per month is fairly accurate for experienced nannies.

Also that some house cleaning and meal preparation is sometimes included with the job.

Also yes, the part of the raise was meant to be an extra $100 per month...So if the current salary was $1200 per month, the new salary would be say $1300 per month.

I'm not sure about this being "abusive" or not. This salary looks from the research I've done to be about normal and expected. I'm thinking some of you are comparing this to NYC ? (New York City??). Also maybe your not using government programs for foreign live-in caregivers? Not sure if the USA has a program setup like this the way Canada does?

chick said...

Rick, in the US the Au Pair program is the "government" program families use to hire young foreigners to live with them for a year and provide 45 hous of childcare per week.

Parents pay a small stipend of ~$140 per week to the Au Pair, and they are not supposed to ask her to clean other than minor tidying of things the kids have possibly dirtied/messed up each day. I don't think they are required to cook at all, and if they do laundry it's kids stuff only. NO heavy housekeeping, and the Au Pair works only 45 hours per week.

And some parents bend the rules, and some Au Pairs accept that, but from what I understand, most aupairs will complian if they are told to do things outside of their understood job description.

An Au Pair is not a nanny. Here in the US, nannies do not do deep cleaning. Nannies choose this profession because we want to nurture and love children, not so we can scrub stains out of other adult's undies! :-) Generally speaking, Nannies do not do any more than light cleaning, and maybe grocery shopping.

In smaller towns and less urbanized areas, nannies still make $350/week MINIMUM, and nannies in NYC who are willing to be available 24/7 can make 100K plus per year, with terrific benefits.

So, to see a single person expected to somehow deep clean weekly and still "make kids the priority", all for 1K a month, seems ridiculous to US nannies.

Rick said...

Hi "Chick",
I think the "deep cleaning" part is too much...it didn't actually say that on the website? I think people just saw the 'cleaning schedule' which the website mentions is "quite detailed" and you should "customize as appropriate", and saw how looooong it is.

I agree and like your below paragraph....(not that we have a nanny)

"Nannies choose this profession because we want to nurture and love children, not so we can scrub stains out of other adult's undies! :-) Generally speaking, Nannies do not do any more than light cleaning, and maybe grocery shopping."

I guess the website more closely fits with the Canadian live-in foreign caregiver nanny idea....i.e. you are not just taking care of the kids, but also helping with the housework.

I think the part that's hard for me to agree with is when Marypoppin'pills says in her original post (OP) "general public to know that this is not standard practices for nannies in the US and shouldn't be standard practices in Canada either. Please help us protest these practices"

There are a lot of things that are standard practice in the United States, that are not standard practice in Canada. Who is the original poster to say what should, or shouldn't be standard practice in Canada? How would the original poster feel if us Canadians started protesting about things that are Standard in the USA that Canadians don't agree with?

What's standard in one country or culture, is not necessarily standard in another.

For example in Canada it's standard that either fathers or mothers are granted about a year of combined maternity/parental PAID leave from their jobs (either the father or mother can take it). I was shocked to find out if you live in the USA you actually aren't given a 1 year paid leave of absence and instead some parents have to go back to work a few weeks later or not get paid anymore. Should we in Canada protest how parents are "abused" by companies & government in the USA ? And if we did protest in Canada about American parents being 'abused' this way who would listen? No one. I think it's the same situation here, I mean the original poster can protest until she's blue in the face, but unless she moves to Canada and becomes a citizen and tries to change the hearts and minds of other canadian's, how's it going to matter?

I guess, Americans do things that some Canadians would consider abusive. Canadians do things that some Americans would consider abusive.

.....but....please also realize that I (and Canadians) still like and respect the USA (although I love Canada more) and in general Canada will always try to be a good neighbor, friend, and ally of the US.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Rick

(I think the part that's hard for me to agree with is when Marypoppin'pills says in her original post (OP) "general public to know that this is not standard practices for nannies in the US and shouldn't be standard practices in Canada either. Please help us protest these practices" ...)


* This is not my post. It was submitted by someone else, and I posted it. I work for Jane Doe, the Owner of this Blog.