Nanny is making up down time on the weekend. Why?

This may be kind of confusing, but I'll do my best to explain this odd situation! I work for a family M-F 8-5. When they give me unexpected time off (i.e., not listed as a specified holiday off in the contract), they have asked me to come in and "help them out" on a weekend day. This has happened two times, and neither time was I aware that I was not going to get paid, and that it was going to be a trade for the time off I had during the week. I guess what I'm asking is: has anyone ever encountered this before? This isn't fair, right? Am I crazy to think that having me work on a weekend day/night is completely different than working my normally schedule time during the week between 8-5. The one instance where this really upset me was I agreed to babysit on a Saturday evening thinking I would be able to make a little extra money as a babysitter, not a nanny, and they did not pay me, only making the comment "thanks for helping us out in exchange for the time off this week" AFTER THEY GOT HOME FOR THE NIGHT. I want to specify that I don't really agree with this, and that if they need to give me time off during the week, it should be just that, time off, not to be made up during a weekend since it wasn't my choice to have time off anyway! I don't know how to explain that though for our contract renegotiation. Please help! Sorry if it's confusing! Thank you!


Dr. Juris said...

What does your contract say? Are you salaried or per hour? If you don't have a contract, you should get one, and you should make sure you spell out what salaried means.

MissMannah said...

Yes, I have encountered this before and no, it is not fair. When parents get the bright idea to have nanny "make up" hours, it is because they do not consider nannying a real job. They see it as you're helping out for a fee and they are going to get their money's worth out of you. I am going to bet that even if you sit down and discuss this with them, they will not budge. When I tried explaining this to a former nanny family, they thought I was trying to take advantage of them. So you can either start refusing to work any time out of work hours or find a new job.

OP said...

OP here! just wanted to address dr. juris and say that i DO have a contract, but i sent this in before my contract renegotiation so i could have some verbage to work with to explain that i wasn't cool with this happening. also, i am an hourly employee.

missmannah, it's a little comforting to hear that someone else was put in this position too! it totally sucks, right? i have pretty much resorted to telling them i am super busy on the weekends, even though i don't know if that will be enough.

also, a sidenote is that they have never done this as OVERTIME, per say, just time that they gave me off during a normal work week and expected me to make it up on the weekend.

justaneastcoastnanny said...

It is not time off if you are expected to make it up.

If your contract states your work hours and days are xyz, work only those days.

In your future contracts be very clear about the days/hours you work make clear that time off is not required to be made off and that if they choose to give you time off it is not pay free.

Also any additional time outside of your regular schedule is to be paid immediately.

Unfortunately since your employers have gotten away with this bad employer behavior it's unlikely they will correct it.

But, do try and speak up for yourself, but be prepared to find a new job.

I hope it all works out for you.

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♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think you did a great job of explaining things and I understood everything you said. ☺

No, it isn't fair. It seems like this family is trying to squeeze everything they can from you.
It is wrong for them to give you time off, then ask you to come in on a weekend and "make it up." It is even more wrong when they at least do not discuss what they are going to do until they do it.

My advice to you OP is to open the communication channels here and let them know that while you appreciate the time off, you have set aside your weekends to do the things you need to do. I.e., laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, errands, etc.

Good luck.

Siriusly_James said...

This is how it works in my family. If I have time off, I will work at some other time. If I work extra, I will have time off at some other time. MB, DB and I have agreed on this and it is clear in my contract that that's how it works.

So what does your contract say? Things like this should be clearly written in the contract. If it's not, you need to adress it asap, as it is not okay unless clearly agreed upon!!

(If you don't have a contract, get one!!)

freespiritedm said...

Both my previous and current families have paid me a weekly salary. Meaning, baring any excessive time off on my part (which to be clear, has never happened at this point), I get paid my weekly rate. It's rare that they ask me to work over time, but if they do, I AM paid for that time.

I have a great relationship with my nanny family, and being that I live in a small area where nannies (and nanny positions) are few and far between, I consider myself lucky to work for such an amazing, respectful family. Occasionally, if I have called off sick one day during the week, MB or DB may ask me to come in on Friday (which is usually an off day for us) so they can make up that time at work. I am NOT paid for these very rare circumstance, and honestly feel that is fair. However, I definitely would not be okay with it if it became excessive (which it would not because I don't call off frequently).

In your circumstance, it sounds like your MB and DB are the ones taking off work during the week, proceeding to give you time off, then request you come in on the weekend to make up the time. And this is something I would definitely be on the fence about. Especially if it happens often. Maybe you could sit down and talk to them about this situation and how it makes you feel? Let them know you feel a bit obligated to say "yes" when they request you come in on an off day to make up work time. You could even throw it out there that special circumstances are fine, but you aren't willing to make it a normal occurrence.

Coming from someone who doesn't like confrontation, I have learned quickly that nanny families can't read our minds, and sometimes you just have to speak up.

nycmom said...

I do flex time with my nanny and have always done this due to ever-changing work hours and an odd schedule. However, I do make this clear during the interview process and write it out in our contract. I even give a few weeks of a sample schedule so interviewees understand what I mean and are comfortable with it. I also state that make-up flex hours must be agreed upon by the nanny and cannot simply be imposed at any time by the employer.

So if my nanny's average weekly hours were 35, it would be common for her to work 33 hours one week then 37 hours the next.

I would never assume I could impose flex hours on a nanny unless it were an agreed upon part of the job at hiring. Sit down and address flex hours, state your position, listen to theirs, and try to find a mutual agreement. GL.

Ann O'Neemus (a lot older and a little wiser) said...

Ouch, they're jerking you around. It's very awkward to say 'no' to your bosses, and hard to change things when you have already accepted them, but I think in your place I would just be 'unavailable' to work at the weekends.

Be sure that the new contract states that your usual hours are M-F 8-5 and that you will be paid for these hours 52 weeks of the year even if the parents choose to not use some of the hours (for instance they go away for a long weekend and don't need you Friday)

I now make a point of this requirement when discussing contract details with prospective employers, it's easier to start off with clear limits.

Best of luck with your renegotiation. Let us know how it turns out.

And freespiritedm your employers are taking advantage of you too. If your contract allows you a few paid sick days (which it should) there is no way you should be making up the time.

Ananny said...

Holy poo. I could have written this post myself. I honestly don't know what to say, but it bothers me too. Only my family goes away for weeks at a time and I have to makeup to 80 hors at a time. It sucks, but I'm too nonconfrontational to say anything.

MissMannah said...

Ananny, I have a simple solution for you. Stop being "nonconfrontational." You have the power to stop people from taking advantage of you.

Ananny said...

Do you have any suggestions on things I can say/do when I do confront them? I honestly don't even know how to go about it,

MissMannah said...

Say whatever is on your mind in a tactful (read: kiss-up) way. Also, you need to find another job if you are unhappy with this one. That's a good rule of thumb for everyone. Life is too short to be stuck with a bad job.

Nanny said...

This is so utterly ridiculous! They chose to not have you come in. Why should you sacrifice your weekend and down time because it is convenient for them? There is no way I would agree to this, and if you do not like the way it is working out I would suggest finding a new job (if they are continuing to make you work on the weekends)

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