Thursday

Being on Call...

Received Thursday, July 2, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN Hi! I have a question to ask.... I am interviewing for a full time nanny position for the first time; I've only done part time before. The family needs someone in the morning to get the little girl off to preschool, and then pick her up and spend the rest of the day with her. For those four hours while she is at school, I am to be "on call" and will be getting paid half pay. Is that typical? Or since I'm on call would I ask to be paid the full amount? Or should I just thank my lucky stars that they are even offering half? Thanks.

25 comments:

SF said...

You should be paid in full for any hours you are working for them. It's not like you can get another job for those 4 hours to make up the difference.

DenverNanny said...

I'm paid full wages while my charges are in class. I'm still the one the teachers would call if there was a problem, still have to work those hours if the kids are sick, etc. I'm also not expected to accomplish anything during that time-- mom said do whatever you want. HOWEVER, every other nanny job I've had, I did meal prep, grocery shopping, kids laundry, etc during those times. Unless you have class or something like that during that time period, you should be paid full wages

ChiNanny said...

I am paid full wages while my charge is at school. I do some errands or child related housework, but I'm there in case she gets sick, and I also have to watch her on days off school and during the summer.

If they are only paying half are they going to pay you full when she's off school? If you decide to take the deal, make sure.

CuriousDad said...
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CuriousDad said...

Sorry somehow posted before I was completed with what I wanted to say.

In the professional world of hourly wage earners giving somone a set amount or paying them half pay for the period they are on call is pretty standard. Why would this be any different? As long as the time period is truly hers to do as she wish within reason. With the exception of must be available to come in when called and must not do anything that would not allow the nanny to work effectively; drinking, drugs or going outside a reasonable travel distance away from the work area (Usually no further then 15 to 30 minutes away). Police officers, EMTs, nurses and other "essential" professionals are paid this way, why not the nanny? As long as she is NOT doing any work for the family during that time period, as soon as she is she should be paid her full wage.

Nanny Ellie said...

I had a situation like this at my last job. I got the kids up in the morning, fed, dressed and then took them to school. Then I picked them up around 1pm and worked with the the rest of the day. I wasn't paid for the time they were in school, unless I did errands for the parents like picking up dry-cleaning or grocery shopping or running personal errands. Yeah it sucks sometimes for having that break, but sometimes its nice. I think its nice that they are paying you half for the time they are in school. Not all families would do that.

MinuteMuggle said...

I think the nanny should be paid full pay for the time she is on call. I don't think it is fair to compare her to doctors or emts. Obviously the pay scale is different, first of all. If you are on call you are available to them at their whim. Why should she not get full pay for that? If the parents don't want to pay her, then she should be free to do as she wishes without the possibility of having to cancel her plans at the last minute.

NVMom said...

It comes down to what you're responsibilities are during the time the children are in school. If you have absolutely none and are free to do what you like, then you may want to take the deal. However, if you are expected to be at their home, doing other work, then I would not. Ask the mother what her expectations are during this time. If her child stays home sick will you be paid in full to take care of her? Good luck.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

half pay would mean you are half on call. ask them if they are cool with that? lol

mom said...

If you can afford to live on the total pay, I think it might be nice to have a few free hours in the morning to do your own thing....and you're getting paid something to boot in case they need to call you in. It doesn't sound like that will happen too often and you will probably make a lot more money for doing nothing most days.
Bottom line is, that's the way the job is offered. Take it or leave it are your choices.

Manhattan Nanny said...

You don't say how many hours you will be working altogether, but If you are only getting 1/2 time for four hours a day, I wouldn't consider that a full time job. It is one thing to start the day when you pick up from school, and be on call for the mornings, in case she is home sick etc. That would be fine for a PT job, but to go in early, get her ready for school, and then be paid 1/2 time until you pick her up, No! You could offer to do child related things during that time: child's laundry, prepare art projects, make lunch, organize her closet, shop for clothes, gifts for birthday parties etc. but you should be paid a full salary if it is a full time job

Rhiannon said...
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OP said...

Hi, OP here!
Sounds like everyone is mixed on here about what they think... but to answer ?'s, the job is 45 hrs a week, 25 being working and the other 20 being on call. They say that I am free to do whatever I want, no requirement to stay at the house and do laundry or clean or anything. I'd be getting paid $12/hr working and $6/hr on call.

I am thinking that I will take the job if it is offered to me without questioning this, because those who said it's just how the job is offered are right. I will have my own time to do things and I don't foresee having very many times I'd actually be called to do something during those hours.

But, with that being said...(on taxes) can I claim just the money I make during working hours? Or do I need to claim the whole salary, including the pay I make while on call?

CuriousDad said...

You will need to claim it on your taxes. I am assuming your employers are reporting everything they pay you to the IRS and are paying all taxes nessecary on their part.
Unless of course this is all under the table in which case. Buyer beware.

CuriousDad said...

Oh and I need to add, On Call time is usually not considered part of straight time if you are off during the On call period. So it does not count as part of any over time calculations.
If you are called in and acting as the Nanny then you should be paid your regular time, with appropriate amount for any over time.
Of course maybe I am completly wrong and someone can strighten me out the differences in Nanny pay vs a regular hourly wage earner.

N is for Nanny said...

I was offered a somewhat similar position a couple of years ago - it was "active" childcare 35 hrs/wk and "on-call" (also during preschool) 20 hrs/wk at half rate. The mom offered me the option of taking on errands and grocery shopping for some of the school time (at full rate), which we figured would average around 5 hrs/wk. Anytime I was "called in" I would immediately bump up to full rate. So, I was being asked to be available 55 hours/week, but average being paid 47.5 at full rate. We agreed for her to guarantee me the equivalent of 50 hrs/week at full rate - between kids getting sick, summer, and school vacations, I really did need to keep that time open.

OP, do you think you could negotiate that they guarantee you at least the equivalent of 40 full-rate hours per week? They are asking you to be available 45, at the compensation of 35. Paying you for all that you work, obviously, but agreeing to 40 as the minimum in a "perfect" week of 25 active and 20 on call.

allieontheroad said...

I had a position like this as well. It was 40 hours total, including the 15 on call hours and we considered it as part time job, since usually it ended up only 25 hours a week when I was "actively" with my charges (although even then they had classes where I had an hour free to roam but that was paid at the full rate as I couldn't really go far or truly do my own thing). During on call time it was half pay, but if I was called in I got my full pay plus the half pay I would have gotten anyways so it ended up being like overtime at a pay rate of time and a half. Maybe the family would do something like this?

To curious dad- I don't think house when you are called in have to be considered as over time since it is part of the original hours and the nanny isn't offical off, even if at a lower pay rate. But it would be nice for the family to pay time and a half anyways as the nanny would have to cancel plans, etc. often at the last minute.

allieontheroad said...

I just read over my post and it is embarrassing how I failed to proof read!

house=that.... not sure how that happened!
have=has

oh well ;)

CuriousDad said...

To; allieontheroad said...
By overtime I meant anything over 40 hours or the negotiated weekly wage hours. If she gets called in then her time should be straight time (Plus any negotiated increase) till her actual total work time goes over the total weekly hours agreed too. Though I admit I am really leery of this whole weekly pay scale people keep mentioning, when I have seen on the news that Nanny's are supposed to be treated as hourly workers.
It allows for so much potential abuse on both the part of both parties.

Hence the Curious Dad moniker since I am looking into the possiblilty of hiring a nanny eventually. But allot of what I see seems to go against or seriously skirt the hourly wage laws.

TC said...

My boss decided to put her son in school 2 days a week so that I could go to school myself. My hours were cut but my pay was not BUT yes I was on call (within reason) during the two days he was at school. If I didn't have class and he got sick, which did happen, then I watched him. When his school was out for the Christmas holiday I watched him those days too. Of course if I was in class they would pick him up and I would come over as soon as my class was over.

I would think they should pay you the full amount even for the on call hours. You will be the one that has to stop what ever you are doing to watch your charge during those hours, your life is somewhat on hold during those on call hours and I think you should be paid accordingly

mom said...

Again, since OP has not actually been offered the job yet, she has no idea how many other candidates may be in the running.

OP, if you want the job, and can make ends meet on the wages as they are offered, I would personally not mention any of these wage scenarios (even though some of them sound reasonable and good) right up front in case they just go on to a more compliant applicant. (They may feel that they are being generous as it is to pay while you are not working "just in case" they have an emergency from time to time.)If it were me, I would take the job, see how you like it, do a fantastic job so that they will see what a great nanny you are and what a great asset you are to the family, and then, if you want to keep the job after the first year, do a bit of negotiating at your one year review/renegotiation. But then I am particularly attracted to the idea of several free hours each day. When I was younger I loved to "do my own thing," and prime free daytime hours to do them would have been great. Getting paid anything at all for them would have been a bonus.

fleure said...

I don't know how to put my own post so i will just ask the question here.I am a fulltime live in nanny,getting paid 600 week for 24/hrsa day,monday to friday 8 yrs experience.Now my yr is up and should be getting a raise,is $100 fair to ask?

socalocnanny said...

I worked a job once that I got there at 7am and took the little girl to preschool for 3 hours, I was paid for every hour full rate. I also wasnt allowed to go to far from home in case something happend and the school called me...I was never called in. I couldnt have lived on this "on call half rate" stuff. Like others have said if you can deal with it take the job. Otherwise...keep looking.

Anonymous said...
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fox in socks said...

If you are called in on your on call hours, I assume they will then pay you your full rate if you then have to work during your on call hours, yes?

I think it's fine for them to make this kind of offer.

A few years ago I made use of au pairs who lived in the neighborhood. When my children were babies it was very convenient to hire au pairs to babysit. The au pairs were free during the hours of 8:45 to 4pm while their charges, being older children, were busy at school or at their activities. It was a great opportunity for the au pairs to make a lot more money, babysitting for me during their "off hours" or on call hours.

It worked fine because I was working from home generally, and had a flexible schedule, so that if the au pairs couldn't come because they had to stay home with their sick charges, it was not a problem for me.

With au pairs, they are not paid during their off hours but it is understood that if the parents work, the au pair needs to be around and available if the kids are going to stay home from school due to illness or whatever reason such as an emergency at the school.

So the offer you are being given is better than an au pair's understanding of having to be on call when parents are unavailable even though it is not part of their paid hours.