Need Advice Please.

Hello, I am in desperate need of nanny advice and am hoping you or the people who read your site will have some advice for me. So I work for a family I adore they are very sweet and fair. However they are going on a family vacation at the end of the month. (The second one in the last month.) that means a whole week of no pay. It's already awful for me because missing the week this month means I can't pay all my bills. But now I have bronchitis (which I got from the mom) and they are saying they don't want me to come into work. I completely understand, I don't want to get the kids sick. But at the same time I was already losing a week of pay this month and now I'm losing even more money that I don't have. What should I do?


Anonymous said...

Do you have a contract with them with sick time and vacation time provisions? If not, you are likely out of luck. Let this be a learning experience for next time. Make sure you have a mutually agreeable contract that includes details on sick time and family vacation time during which they won't need your services.

KnoxvilleNanny said...

Agreed. This is really frustrating for you, I'm sure, but these things should be agreed upon in advance and put into the contract.

My suggestion would be to schedule a time you can sit down with your employers and discuss PTO. I personally won't work for a family that doesn't offer PTO and guaranteed hours each week.

Anonymous said...


Find another job while they are gone ;) and this time, make sure you get a contract stating they cover your holidays and sick days. You got bills to pay, and this has to come before your love for the family. If they were truly caring toward you, they would not docked your holiday pay in the first place...

Jessie said...

if your job doesn't let you pay your bills, you need to find another. Perhaps you can ask you current family if they can pay you, if not your regular wage then a %? If not, start searching.

NannySharp said...

Hi OP,

So sorry you are going through all of this :(
This sounds like such a stressful situation to be in!

I agree with the above commentors.
The way they are treating you does not show that they value you and is unfair. Being a nanny is a profession and as a professional you should be guaranteed a fair wage that you can live off of.
Not being able to pay your bills is no way to live!
Some may reccomend speaking up for yourself. And requesting a change in pay. I would not reccomend this, as I feel the reason you have not already done so is because you worry the request may not be well received by your employers. If this is not the case, and you are not worried then Go ahead and speak up!
But personally I would not take the risk without having a safety net in place (like some savings in my bank account, or knowledge I could rely on family close by in a pinch)
If this is this case and you are worried the pay change request may not be met with open arms...
Start looking for a new position ASAP.
Once you have a new position lined up. Tell the family you have started "looking" for a new job (not that you already found one, jos makes it possible to maybe keep them as a reference ) And tell them that you will give them as much notice as possible as you do care about the children) make sure you tell them why you are "looking". This gives them the opportunity to either accept the information that you will be leaving soon or possibly offer to make the changes you require to keep you on. Telling them why you are leaving is also important, as they just may not be able to afford to keep you on, and this info provides them with some insight as to what a big responsibility it is to have an in home employee and may help their next caregiver...

Good luck!
Pleas update us!
We care!

Lacy said...

When a family goes on vacation they need to pay the nanny. Ask them. Flat out ask them. If they say no, do not tell them you are starting to look for a new job.

Look for a new family to work for. Hopefully you will find a new family to work for when they are on vacation, starting that week. Then you simply text them (while they are on a vacation) "Hey, so because you have now taken 2 weeks worth of vacation in such a short time frame and couldn't justify paying me... I too couldn't justify letting my bills go unpaid. I did find a new family to work for, today is my first day, and this is your 1 week notice I wont be able to continue working for you any more. I'm sure you understand there are just somethings we can't 'justify' to use your wording. thnx"

Families like this DO NOT deserve notice.

I have done just that before. Oh it was so liberating. The family went on 4 weeks vacations in 6 month span. On the 3rd vacation that was to be a 2 week vacation, I gained the courage to ask "well, what about me? 2 weeks is a long time without any hours." They simply said, we won't be needing you and can't justify paying you when your not working. I said "ok". I have 1 month before they left. The day they left for vacation, before bordering their flight I sent that text. I got blamed for ruining their vacation. That job I had no sick days, no vacation, no PTO, nothing, just 30-35 hours a week.

I now use a contract.

Leigh Raymer said...

Lacy - high five - that is really poetic justice - I would love to see the look on their face when they got the text

Lacy said...

Leigh-- thanks. The texts that came in after from both MB and DB, grandma and some of their friends too, were just horrible, nasty, made me feel like dirt. Looking back, I wasn't dirt, I stood up for what was right. I was called greedy, in it for only the money. That there were so many things wrong with how I cared for the kids (oops ONE day I didn't vacuum the glitter we used). Some bad words were used by them, oh the text bombs came it, then a video of a crying child (because I broke their heart). I was then told how they were kicked off the flight for their children not sitting or buckling because the whole family was upset (apparently they told the kids right when I texted). I destroyed a vacation :). After the bombs got silent I sent a text back along the lines of "Wow, I provide our contracted 2 weeks notice and I get 68 texts in a row with hurtful words, bad language, slander and a whole lot of negativity from you, your family, and friends. Glad I quit while you are far away from me, I don't want to imagine the situation you would have put me in if I was in the same room as you. Oh and your numbers are being blocked after this, any communication attempt from you, your family or friends is considered harassment. I will contact the police and have all texts saved as evidence."

**the exact number of texts I do not remember. Nor do I have the texts saved. This was in 2012/13... before I found ISYN.

The day you grow a pair to stand up is insane feeling. You will be jittery, kinda life-high feeling. Scared and nervous... you might even self blame and regret after. But 3 months later you will feel strong, powerful, full of authority, and very self-aware.

Leigh Raymer said...

Lacy - wow - your story is incredible - I get the "high" feeling - I am sorry you were harrassed - you got OUT of there fast and the right way - REALLY interesting - you used their vacation time as your "notice"

I can tell you one similar - I was not a nanny but incharge of the children's program - they kept mistreating me and I kept trying to get it to stop. I quit overnight after they broke their word on something monetary

and - I kept hearing that they were NEVER able to find someone who could do my job - they kept having disasters - and I woulod get that feeling - vindication

I hope you have your dream job now ;)

Shea said...

Hey you should find temporary jobs to do while they are gone like dog sitting or date night babysitting. These usually pay well and there are plenty opportunities on care.com

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the above comment.

OP you shouldn't have to go through the stress of looking a new temporary employment EVERYTIME the family goes away on vacation and find out last minute weither or not you'll be able to pay your bills. I've done it before and it was incredibly stressful , indirectly affected my work as a result of that. The lack of consistancy was making me feel M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E

Bear in mind that the reason a Nanny family don't pay when they go on vacation, is because either they don't understand what it means to employ a Nanny and think thats it's a pay-as-you-go thing, perhaps they can't afford you if they have to pay your vacations as weLl and in this case, they can't afford a Nanny all together, or lastly , maybe they can afford it but won't because they are CHEAP and couldn't care less about your financial welfare.

YOU NEED TO HAVE ANOTHER JOB LINED UP! And also , you should teach them a lesson by doing so while they are gone. Some advice for the future. Be clear about what you think it's fair from day one. You need to seek legal employment, with a contract that states duties,paid holidays, sick days and other modalities.

THIS IS OUR CAREER!!! We should never accept having our pay docked during a family vacation because the family either can't afford you or won't.

Families out there: If you can't afford to pay your caregiver while you go on vacation, you can't afford Nanny.Plain simple... If you choose to get a Nanny anyway and carrying on not paying her while you are gone? They you will have to be prepared for you and your children going through TONS of Nannies during your kids childhood which will be pretty confusing for you kids. Be prepared for a lot of them to leave without notice. The good Nannies will turn your job down because she will be turned off by how many nannies you had in such a short amount of time (the more you had , the more we see a "bad family" red flag) or you'll turn her dowm as soon as she mentions the criterias of a fair employment. So once again , if you absolutely refuse to provide your employee consistency, and for the sake of your children's stability, go to DAYCARE.... Although I am warning you now, they do ask you to pay holidays to them in order to keep your spot and not letting it to other children but the cost of a daycare is I believe ,less than a Nanny.

OP, once again, I hope you quit and that you find a family that is legit ;) .Keep up posted !