Sunday

Advice Needed for Maternity Leave...

opinion 2 I have been a nanny for 11 yrs. I have been with my current family for just over 3 years. I am 11 weeks pregnant and have no idea how to tell my bosses. I am on the books through their company and not sure what my rights are for maternity leave? My woman boss is not very friendly with me so i am afraid this happy time in my life will just be a burden to her and i am nervous i will get let go, or be treated more poorly than she treats me now. I make very good money and only work 4 days a week so its hard to give that up. The parents are both home 75 percent of the time. I already have family to care for my child when i need to go back to work and was thinking of only taking off 8 weeks unpaid. I am just looking for any advise on how to approach them? Is 8 weeks off to much time to expect? Thank you for any advise.


12 comments:

Northern Nanny said...

I don't know about what mat leave is like in the states, but in Canada you get 1 year leave at 55% and although it's not common many companies top up to 80% or 90%. If you are on the books with their company maybe you would qualify for a top up. I think taking an unpaid leave is ridiculous. They can't fire you because you are pregnant. I would take whatever you are entitled to and not feel bad at all for doing so.

nycmom said...

Eight weeks is not unreasonable, assuming they have adequate notice to setup backup care. But I think your concerns are likely well-founded. I've tried to make it work with a pregnant, then new mom, nanny and have others who have done the same. It has simply never worked out. The nanny's job performance has declined significantly during pregnancy, and then her own childcare (even with me flexible for her to bring her db at times) has led to significant unreliablity.

So if you are committed to keeping the job, tell them at around 20 weeks and come prepared with a plan for your own child's care.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

nycmom: OP already stated that she has family in place to provide childcare once she has her baby.

OP, I think you should tell the family right now. In this type of situation, the sooner the better so both sides can plan ahead. Who cares if they are not happy for you? As long as your family & friends are (and Baby Daddy!), then that is all that matters, right?! Tell them that you would like to take 8-wks off for maternity leave and see what they say. Since you are on the books, if they fire you for being pregnant, you can sue them. But I don't think you can sue them for not giving you 8-wks maternity leave, though I am unclear what the law allows. Perhaps it depends on your state. Check it out. If they do not want to give you 8, then you may have to settle for 6. As a mother, I do not think you should go back to work until the baby is 6-wks old and you have your 6-wk check-up as well. If they do not want 6-wks and want less, I would leave. Also, keep in mind the new Nanny they hire may take your place in time. While I agree that having a child should not impact your employment, it probably will. You take the chance that this new Nanny may be a "better fit" for your family and they might like her better. That is a risk you will have to take. Also, are you sure you want to continue working as a Nanny after you have a baby? Babies are a ton of work, and it can be like having 3 full-time jobs working as a Nanny, then coming home and caring for an infant. Just some food for thought here. If you are up all night w/a colicky and teething baby, how will you go to work the next day and take adequate care of another young child? When your baby gets sick, you will probably catch what he or she has and then bring it to work where your charge will possibly be suseptical as well. Infants get sick a lot, who will take the baby to the Dr. when you have to care for someone else's?

Personally, I think it would be tough to work as a Nanny and be a Parent to an infant, but the decision is yours OP.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you only the best of luck. Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy!! :)

christine said...

If you are in the United States and your employer pays disability insurance for you, you are entitled to six weeks off or eight weeks if you have a c-section. You would qualify for disability pay as well. You can't be fired for being pregnant either... that is discrimination. I understand that caring for children while parents work is a huge responsibility and can leave parents in a spot if the nanny gets pregnant or sick but stuff happens and parents should always have some sort of back up plan. Nannies are not personal slaves... they are people who have things come up- illness, relatives who get sick or die, car trouble, bad weather and some even get pregnant. This mentality of being afraid of getting fired is so wrong and I've read it over and over on this site. Nannies should enjoy the same benefits and consideration that every other on the books profession has.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Yikes. Sounds like you're going to need to come in fully prepared with plans and back-up plans for your child's care, as well as possibly an offer to help them find a temp nanny to fill-in for you. I would tell them at around 20 weeks, as nycmom suggested, and be prepared to be let go. I know that's blunt and not at all a positive and upbeat response, but I think with tension already existing between you and MB, chances are high she will just not want to deal with maternity leave.

I wish you the best, and hope you can prepare for the worst when it comes to your job.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Just re-read your post - did you know that your employers are not allowed to pay you through their business?

http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2011/04/can-i-pay-my-nanny-on-my-company.html

So I wouldn't count on having any "rights" when it comes to taking maternity leave or if it comes to suing for unlawful termination, unless they pay you off to avoid being audited. A lawyer could advise you on that.

And, as I have said many times before, generally speaking, nannies, as household employees, do NOT qualify for things like ADA coverage or large amounts of paid leave. An average employer does not have a huge household staff, and therefore doesn't have to provide benefits such as paid maternity leave. Hell, a lot of huce corporations don't provide paid leave, and the FMLA doesn't require paid leave!

If you are paid on-the-books OP, you may qualify for disability leave pay through your state.

MissMannah said...

Northern Nanny, are you paying attention to all this? It is shocking what little rights pregnant women have here in comparison to the rest of the western world. OP, in some states you can be fired at any time for absolutely no reason. Like Tales said, you can't even come back against them with ADA so you're just screwed. Your best bet is to make a plan and explain your plan to the parents and make sure you present it in a way that will make it seem beneficial to them. (ie, point out you've already arranged childcare)

Wow said...

Northern Nanny...

America is not very friendly to new moms. There was a recent study that put us near the bottom of the list of countries for maternity leave. Many women receive UNPAID maternity leave, and that's often given begrudgingly. And not every state offers short term disability. It does add stress and anxiety to becoming a new mom. It's really sad, and I believe it contributes to the high depression rate in women in America.

The reason for the problems nycmom stated is that it doesn't make sense for someone to leave their own very young baby in the care of someone else, in order to care for another person's children.

OP...

If you find that leaving your own baby is too difficult for you, you might want to consider caring for a few children in your home. That way you will be able to care for your own child and earn money at the same time. If you still find it too difficult to leave your child at around age 2 y.o., you can try to find a family that will allow you to bring him or her with you. Some families see this as a plus, especially if your children are the same age, since their child will have a playmate.

Good luck and congrats!

MissMannah said...

Wow, that's a good idea, but it also presents new problems, at least in some areas. I know in my state if you are going to care for other children on a regular basis in your own home, you are considered a licensed daycare unless they are a relative. Even if it is part-time and only one child! You have to go through the state to get your license or you'll be shut down, believe me, there's major competition and plenty of home daycares turn each other in for being unlicensed.

Sarah said...

As a mommy and a nanny, you will NEED at least 6-8 weeks off for your body to recover and to have some time with your little one. I had an emergency c-section, it was not fun. I was lucky and found a family willing to allow me to bring my daughter to work with me. She is 7 months now and the children I care for love her (and MB is encouraging me to have another lol!). If it were me I would start looking for new positions, wait till you have finished the 1st trimester before speaking to your boss (your emotions will be calmed down, hormones a bit more settled and the pregnancy established). I would ask to speak to them, bring up the fact that you are pregnant and due on and ask them how they would like to approach it. You don't know how they will react, so keep your options open and see what they offer.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

As a mother, I agree that you need at least six weeks for your body to recover. I do not think it would be a good idea to leave your child with someone else while you care for another, then come home and have to care for your own. (Got that??!...That sounded pretty confusing even to me!!) LOL. Why not stay home with your baby at least until he or she is walking/talking.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Maybe the OP is going to be going back to work so she can do silly stuff like pay rent and buy groceries. I'm fairly sure there aren't a whole lot of nannies out there who work just "for fun", and the fact that OP has already arranged childcare for her as-yet-unborn baby seems to suggest she doesn't have the option of staying home.