Cutting Hours

opinion 2 I am currently very 'gainfully' employed as a nanny of one preschool child in a single parent household. I have been with this family for almost two years and have yet to experience any serious issues. I am a nanny-student whom also lives in my own residence with my significant other. Currently I am required to work Monday/Wednesday/Friday 8:30am-5:30pm and Tuesday/Thursday 9am-9pm.

The current schedule lives little time for my personal life during the week as well as affects my school work & relationship. My contract shall expire at the end of August and in renewal I would like to request that:

A.) I no longer work evenings at all [parent would have to switch work schedule]
B.) That I only work one evening a week [Tuesday OR Thursday]
C.) That the child go with the other parent during the evenings I work and thus switch parental visitation schedule

Note: My employer works for a family business and thus has flexibility regarding scheduling at the work place, however, did not like the idea when I had suggested it.

I am in desperate need of advice as I do not want to lose my job, however, I can no longer continue working such long hours.


ATL Nanny said...

Those are really long hours and I think you are smart to ask for these changes. Otherwise, I think you'll wind up burnt out and looking for a new job. Which would be sad since it sounds like everyone is otherwise happy.

Another suggestion is to hire a babysitter to cover the hours you no longer work. I'm sure they could find a reliable babysitter to come one or two evenings a week from 5:30-9:00. The parent would not need to adjust work hours and it would not cost them any extra money (and in fact might save them money). If you were so inclined, you could offer to help them find and train this sitter. This type of very part-time regular sitting job with one preschool age child sounds perfect for a college student or even a mature, older high school student.

nycmom said...

I agree with ATL Nanny that the family should hire an evening sitter. However, keep in mind (at least in nyc area) that 50-hour workweeks are standard and your employer may not view a 51-hour week as excessive. I, personally, believe strongly that overworking your nanny is a very bad idea so always hire someone to supplement above 45-50 hours.

I think, however, that you will need to make financial concessions in order to present a reasonable plan to your employers. You are asking to work 4-8 less hours and they will likely need to hire someone to cover those hours. I would expect your weekly rate to decrease somewhat. If it is your annual raise time, you could suggest the hour reduction in lieu of raise if it's only 4 hours less. Above 4 hours, I think you would need to take a slight pay reduction.

alex said...

gosh those hours are really long! No wonder you don't have time for a life and how do you even go to school? I would definitely ask for less hours and whether that means a work schedule or custody schedule is changed or hiring an evening babysitter, it has to be done. You should also make note of burn out if you continue at this rate and if they like you they should see they don't want to loose you.

Village said...

You need another job. This doesn't fit your lifestyle.

Of course the parent doesn't want to reduce the hours. They've got a good deal going and don't want to mess that up. I don't know how you are going to find the time, but you need to start looking for a job. Don't quit this one till you have a new one, and then give two weeks notice, unless that would conflict with a nanny contract, if you have one.

OR you could charge double your normal rate for anything after 5. But if you want a life, you need to move on. Who works 12 hours a day? With children? It's too exhausting. You deserve a life too.

ATL Nanny said...

NYC Mom said... "I think, however, that you will need to make financial concessions in order to present a reasonable plan to your employers. "

Just wanted to add that I totally agree with this. I think a great way to sell your boss on this is by pointing out that if she hires a babysitter to take over those hours from you, the cost to her is equal to or less than what she's paying now. I would definitely not expect her to reduce your hours without reducing your pay.

MC2 said...

Your boss could probably even end up saving a few bucks by hiring an evening sitter by paying her a lower rate than you are paid. I did this at my job one summer when my boss's travel schedule went crazy and the 55 hr. - 60 hr. weeks were too much. It worked great since we just hired one of the more mature teenagers who lived down the street and paid her half of what I was being paid.

UmassSlytherin said...

While those are long hours, and you are in your right to ask for more, I have to comment on your intent to have "the child go with the other parent during the evenings I work and thus switch parental visitation schedule."

That is really not a thing you should be asking. You absolutely should not even ask them to switch visitation schedules. Those schedules have to do with both parents and what is convenient to them. If you have any knowledge of banging out a visitation agreement, it is supposed to be in the best interest of the child, second the family. Not included is how the visitation effects you.

In my opinion, if you asked them to alter visitation schedules in any way, you would sound very ignorant. You just can't do that.

If it is too many hours, absolutely ask them to alter your hours, but do not offer solutions as to how they can accomplish this. Just ask for reduced hours, and if they can do it, they will. If they can't they won't.

another nanny said...

Tell the mother (kindly and professionally) that you are no longer able to work evenings. Then let HER figure out what to do about that (e.g. change her work schedule, visitation, hire a sitter, etc). That's her job as the parent. Depending on her reaction, you can then offer to help train a babysitter or whatever. I agree you should expect to take a pay cut commensurate with the reduction of hours. You might also have to prepare to be let go in favor of a nanny who can accommodate all the hours.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Ask the mom for a meeting and tell her you need to cut your hours back due to your schooling. DO NOT comment or offer ideas to her on custody or her job.

You could offer to sound out your college friends to see if they could babysit in the evenings and offer to help your boss screen babysitters as well.

I'd also, as several others have said, talk about what you'll take as a pay cut.

Wow said...

I agree with the others that it's not your responsibility to offer other options if you work fewer hours. And, of course, you should not expect to be paid, for whatever hours have been cut.

Just out of curiosity... have you been getting the 11 hours overtime (time and a half) you're entitled to, according to labor laws, for every hour over 40 hours worked per week?

Nanny of One said...

Hello All:
First of all I cannot thank-you enough for posting/replying to my situation... as I really needed the advice!

I asked the employer (grandparent) about the situation yesterday and they suggested that I put my request into writtig prior to the contract expiration and then we can 'work something out'.

I intend to take everyone's advice and NOT OFFER SUGGESTIONS as correctly stated it is not my position.

@ those whom think I need another job: I love my job and have a great relationship with the child and family thus another job is out of the question....

THE FINAL DECISION will be made by the family September 1st, 2011 however in my request I have opted to work ONE LESS NIGHT rather than TWO thus reducing my workload by about 4hrs a week as it would work best in everyone's favor and after all this family has done for me I can remain one night on.

Thanks again everyone!

OP said...

Hello All!
***** UPDATE******

I was granted the change with minimal complications :)