Do "On-Calls" Count?

opinion 1
Hello I am looking for some advice/opinions. I am a nanny working in Munich, Germany. I work in a family with 3 children aged 2, 3 and 4. The children attend day-care from 9-4 every day and my work hours are 7am-9am and 4pm-9pm daily with a few additional hours for babysitting in the evenings, swim classes one evening or if someone is home sick. My contract is 30 hours a week and anything over that I am paid hourly for.

My question is regarding 'on call' time, which I have never used before, such as the day-care calling the mom if someone gets sick. Next month the mother will take a one week vacation to the USA and the father works long hours and does not play a role in the child care during the week. During the week when she is gone if one of the children is sick at day-care I will be called to collect them. For those days i am 'on call' - I cant go too far from the kindergarten and I will need to be close enough to home to return and collect a stroller in case I should need to go and collect one.

So, my contract has nothing about 'on call' hours and the parents are very approachable but I would like to know what I should expect here or ask for. I was going to suggest 50% of an hour would be the 'on call' time. So for example 4 hours 'on call' would be 2 hours work. This is likely to take me over my 30 hour working week should I use this for 5 days plus the regular hours (see above) meaning they would be paying me overtime that week. Or do 'on call' hours not get counted at all? I certainly don't want to appear greedy or rude as I know that I am not 'working' with all the children out of the house. Thanks in advance.


Truth Seeker said...

If the family expects you to be "on call", then most definitely you should get some form of compensation for it. "On call" means you need to be close to a telephone in case the school calls you.

I don't know how things work in your country OP, but I would ask 40 - 50% of my hourly salary. Since you will be on call, you will not be able to totally have your day free. Meaning you cannot meet a friend for lunch, take a nap and/or do whatever you want. Since this family is approachable, they should understand.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I don't think you are being greedy at all. I would definitely ask for compensation since you are not free to do whatever you wish during the time you are on call. I think 50 percent of your regular hourly wage is fair.

robinsparkles said...

I'm sorry I haven't got any actual advice for you... I just wanted to say represent, I live in Munich too! Hooray for Deutschland!

MissMannah said...

Truth Seeker, all due respect, I think you are exaggerating quite a bit. You said OP would not be able to do anything such as meet her friends for lunch or take an afternoon nap because she will be on call. Just what exactly do you expect being on call entails? Do you think she needs to sit at home next to a phone plugged into the wall, waiting for it to ring? If OP has a cell phone and is able to get around the city quickly, she should have no problem going about her daily routines. I don't know about traffic in Munich or what she has near her house, but I'm sure she could meet her friends up for lunch or shopping very easily, provided she is willing to cut the meeting short if the school phones. In my opinion, OP does not need to be paid for on call hours unless she is missing out working another part time job to be available for it. She only needs to be compensated for any hours she does end up working if she goes over her regular 30. Let's face it, those of us who have done on call while kids are in school know that it is pretty rare that they are sent home during the day, so there's no need for extra pay.

Phoenix said...

Honestly, you should try to contact other nannies in your area. I know there are lots of differences between what US standard is and German standards. Especially when it comes to family time and work time balance.

But if it were me, I would ask for "on-call" wages. Like say if you are on call for 6 hours a day, I would ask for 3Euro per hour and if you are called in 16Euro for anytimes you are with the kids over your standard hours.

Or whatever you want to ask. I don't know what your cost of living is, nor do I know what your salary is.