JOB CREEP - UGH!!! by Alexis S

I worked with my first nanny family for 4 years. I provided full time care for their two young girls from ages 1 to 5 and 3 to 7. I was paid off the books, in cash (no overtime) during my time working for them.

Over the course of the years we established a mutual trust that eventually lead to the parents deciding that they felt comfortable enough with me, to plan a romantic overnight trip for just the two of them and leave me to care for their girls. "Just a night at a bed and breakfast a couple hours drive away."

This then evolved into them planning weekend trips for just the two of them.
"Just a couple nights at a hotel, a quick flight away."

Then, finally it got to the point where they would leave me to care for the household and their children for an extended period of time. "Just a trip to Aruba, at an all inclusive resort, for 8 days."

In the beginning I would jump at the chance to provide care for the children and household while they went away. As it was a great opportunity to make a nice amount of extra income. But eventually it "took a toll on them financially" and they requested a change in how they paid me.

In regards to pay during the first phase of their travel (1 overnight) I would be paid my hourly rate for the duration of the time. Example:
Work Saturday 8am- until Sunday 8pm
36 hours x 15 an hour
= $540 extra income

This continued into the second phase (weekend away)
Friday 5pm-Monday 8pm
75 hours x 16 an hour (received a raise)
=$1,200 extra income

Then, when they began to travel for extended periods of time, they requested a change in how they paid me.

They explained that to pay me 24 hours a day was beginning to take a toll on their finances. But that they wanted to take an 8 day vacation over seas.

Before the change in pay I would have made-
192 hours x 17 an hour (another raise)
= $3,264 extra income.

They proposed that rather than doing the above equation it would be best to only pay me for hours in which I was awake and physically caring for their children.

After the change in pay-
8am-8pm at hourly rate.
96 hours x 17 an hour
= $1,632 extra income.

For me, it did not seem worth giving a week of my life away from my family and friends for $1,500 (estimating) and I am sure that feeling had a lot to do with, comparing what I was making before. Previously, I would make $1,500 (estimating) for their weekend away and they were now asking me to work more than twice as long for the same amount of pay.

I told them I could understand where they were coming from and agreed to their request in change of pay with the stipulation that, if I was working more than the 12 hours (8am-8pm) or was required to be up with the children In the night, due to illness/nightmares etc. I would be compensated for those additional hours. And they agreed.

I have read the phrase "job creep" on this site many times. But this was job creep to the max....though I know "job creep" refers to additional work without additional pay, and in my situation I was compensated generously. It is similar, in the sense that, it was definitely additional work that slowly crept up, and became something that was expected of me.

I just feel like I almost enabled these parents to live life, as if they didn't have children. And they just kept wanting more and more from me.
It seemed like once their girls were in school full time they were ready to spend their income less on their Children (paying for a nanny) and more on their lavish, child free, vacations.

I have learned from these situations-
Now, in my current position, I do not work overnights, but if I did, I would incorporate an overnight fee into my contract.

Have you ever worked overnights for a family?

How were you paid?

Do you have anything in your contract in regards to this situation?

What is the longest period of time you have ever worked? (Has anyone ever worked more than a week straight?)


Formernanny said...

My first nanny job I was with the children from when they were infants until both older elementary age. In the beginning I would stay overnight here and there while the parents were gone and because the children were still young and would sometimes wake in the night I got paid my hourly rate the entire time overnight I was there. As the children got older and slept through the night I would be paid half time for the overnight hours they slept....which I agreed to amd was ok with as the trios were usually only a few days at most. When both girls were older (age 7 and 9) the parents went on a big anniversary trip to Africa and I stayed with the girls for 14 days. Instead of hourly pay for all those hours gone I agreeed to my usual hours at regular pay plus a large lump sum for the two weeks there. The girls were both in school and had sports or church activities after school and on the weekends would have sleepovers at others houses or play dates so the amount of work I did was not extremely extra than usual honestly. Other than laundry and getting the kids up and ready for school it wasn't much more different than my usual work. And I will admit the bed and shower/tub at thier house was wayyyyy better than my house so I wasn't upset about having to sleep there. My bosses were also great about me having friends over and many of my friends were nannies that brought their kids over to play so it wasn't like I was separated from my regular life and friends for two weeks. But another family I worked with did not want to pay me at all for the times the children would be asleep....needless to say I did not help the, with overnight stuff because I believe I need to get compensated some if I have to be there.

Jessie said...

I did an overnight once. It was 8 years ago, when I was working on my undergrad and babysitting (not nannying) for extra cash. I received call from one of the families I babysat for fairly regularly (2-3 times per month) that there's an emergency and there's no one else they can call. The father was abroad for business, and the mother (SAH) had to go to the hospital for burst appendix. The family could get there in the morning at the earliest, neighbours on one side were disabled, on the other not well known to the family. I agreed, without even discussing the money - it was an emergency. The grandma arrived after 9 am after driving half the night so I told her to sleep for couple of hours since I can stay a little longer (the child was a pretty hyper toddler, not easy for a tired 60+ year old woman).
I arrived to the house after 5pm, just as the paramedics were taking the mother. The poor baby boy was terrified, and later that night fell asleep crying. I slept on the couch (with the kiddo who wouldn't let go), and finally left slightly past 1pm. I was paid the next day when the father returned back to the country, 350 euro (my rate with them was 6.50/hr) so I was very happy with it (my rent was 480!).

Lacy said...

How I do overnights, trips, ect.

In a 24 hour period, 8 hours are considered rest (unpaid time-- more on that later). I am paid my regulate rate for all work hours (non-rest). If my worked hours go above 45 hours in one week then I have earned overtime (time and a half). Because I am not about to sleep in "not my bed/home" for free I charge an away from home fee to cover my "unforeseen experiences" 80/night aka minimum wage for those hours.

If I were to work a Saturday 8pm to Saturday 8pm.... that would be 7 nights @ $80/per night-- $560. Of the 168 hours, 112 would be non-rest hours (regular pay)... 45 of those hours would be normal rate. The other 67 hours would be overtime rate (time and a half).

Your current wage 17/hour...
Rest time: 7 nights X _____= $_________
45 hours @ 17/hour= $765
67 hours @25.5/hour= $1,708.50
Total (minus the overnight) $2,473.50

Legally they don't have to pay you for your "rest" time. BUT only 8 hours legally don't need to be paid. Having an overnight fee, is your choice.

Going away on a child free vacation is a luxury. Who cares if its hurting them financially. Its aLUXURY!

Leigh Raymer said...

lacy - you are darn good - thank you

TwinNanny said...

I'm really opposed to overnights and have only done it once. In my experience, parents rarely are aware of the cost and try to under pay. The first and only family I did an overnight for wanted to pay me my regular hourly rate for the time they assumed their children would sleep. I agreed because I didn't know any better. They paid me the cash up front, then left on their way. The kids didn't go to bed until almost 11 that night (expectation/pay was for 9). The three-year-old woke me four times during the night, and all the kids were up by 6 the next morning. Never again unless I'm paid extremely well.

TwinNanny said...

That should read they paid me for the hours they assumed their children would be awake, based off when the children normally go to bed and get up. I wasn't paid at all from 9 PM - 6 AM, even though the kids didn't fall asleep until much later and woke up throughout the night.

Anonymous said...

I have an overnight rate of $150 during sleeping hours, and my normal rate during all awake hours. It works well for me.