On-Call Compensation

opinion 1
Hi, I'm a first time poster and want to see what both nannies and employers think about this. I'm looking at working for a two doctor family and in addition to normal work hours during the day (6-6 M-F), would be asked to be on-call some nights and weekends because as doctors, they would be on-call. How should I be paid for being on-call? Would there be a flat fee even if I don't get called? Plus time and a half if I do get called in? (it will be on top of the 60 hours I'm already working for the week.) How would you all handle this? Thanks and looking forward to your answers!


Lyn said...

I once worked for a 2 doctor family and they paid me my standard hourly rate for every hour I was on call. Which made since because I wasn't allowed to be more than 25 minutes from their home during that time and needed to keep a close eye on my phone. They never had a problem doing with paying me as such. I have found that Doctors really understand when a Nanny needs to be compensated and are usually (in my experience) appreciative and willing to go along with what the Nanny says she wants to do as far as pay in circumstances like this. The Doctors that I had worked for (also a 2 doctor family) made sure I knew exactly when I would be "on call" over nights/weekends. As they were only called in if another dr was unable to work his shift. So typically there would be a 6ish hour window that I would technically be on call for. And that is what I was paid for.If you are comfortable going a few dollars below your hourly rate for the time you are on call and then bumping it back to your standard rate when/if you are needed that could be a good compromise as well.

Retainer Fee said...

You should expect payment for any time that is not your own -- where you are not free to come and go and do as you please.

For example, it kills me when parents claim that they shouldn't have to pay their Nanny for the time when their child is napping... I always want to say, "Fine, if I'm not on the clock I will go out and run my own personal errands and leave your child asleep alone with no responsible adult supervision in the event of a fire or other emergency.".

The point isn't whether or not you are actually doing hands-on child care; the point is that your time is being retained and that deserves payment, period.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Retainer...I agree. I hate it when parents want to pay me less when the child is asleep. :(

Anyway, for being on call I think you should be paid a "flat fee" if you are not called on. If you are, then most definitely time and a half since you are working over sixty hours.

Manhattan Nanny said...

You will already be working a 60 hour week. Think about the following: How strenuous will the job be? (number of children, and their ages, will they also expect housekeeping chores etc.) How much will I be on call, and how much advance warning will I have? Will I have enough time for a social life, How much time off do I need for rest and recovery, With 12 hour days staying ove at night might be easier than going home and coming back! Can I handle this without burning out? If the answer is yes, make sure you get a contract that spells out all the details.

Barb said...

I have worked for physicians and I think they were the most demanding and the ones who had the most issues with boundaries.
I lived very close to one was just included in my generous weekly salary.

Village said...

The OP needs to be paid for being on call. Since OP has to be close and can't schedule anything else, she's working. She should get her full hourly wage. It also discourages the parents from abusing the situation. If on call is free, OP will always be on call.

Lisa said...

When I worked as a nanny, on-call was just built into my salary. If I did get called in (which happened only about once a month), then they paid me for those extra hours at my normal rate. However, I was paid a few dollars more than other nannies in my area.

I now have moved on to a different career, but also work on-call for a group home of persons with disabilities. When I am on-call, I am paid about half of my normal wage. If I do have to go in, it's my normal rate (or overtime if I have put in enough hours).

We also have different pay levels when the clients are sleeping, depending on what we are expected/allowed to do. If we are supposed to be awake, it's one rate, if we are allowed to sleep/do personal stuff (but still wake up if needed by one of the clients), it's a lower rate.

Jenn Bo said...

I don't think employers are technically required to provide compensation if you are "on call" - particularly when it is part of a job description you accept. My husband previously had a job where he had on call shifts. He received no compensation unless there was a call. Once he received a call, he received his pay plus an on-call bonus. If the time spent on the task from the call was more than 4 hours, he received an additional on-call bonus. Perhaps you could negotiate something like this?