An agreement between a family and a nanny or a babysitter will help both parties in future cooperation. It is vital to define the wage and clearly define all terms that are pre-condition to ensure a healthy and productive business relation. The agreement helps protect both parties, and contributes to mutual understanding.
Once all the involved parties clarify the responsibilities and privileges of the nanny/babysitter, the possibility of misunderstanding is mitigated and settlement of any possible disputes is facilitated. Babysitter/nanny may freely draft an agreement should the family they are planning to be engaged with does not have one.
All information comprised in this article are of general nature and are not in any way a form of legal, tax or investment advice. Also, all given information may be inapplicable or inadequate to your specific circumstances, hence all pre-conditions for drafting a contract should be considered.
What should an agreement on cooperation with a nanny/babysitter stipulate?
You do not need a lawyer to prepare this kind of an agreement. You can compose it as a simple document with all the agreed details. It is highly recommended for long-term engagement.
Additional responsibilities: Besides the main responsibilities of childcare, will the nanny/babysitter do additional activities such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of pets or driving children?
Activities: Which activities will the nanny/babysitter do with children? Which activities are not allowed?
Communication: When, in what way and in which situations do you expect the nanny/babysitter to communicate with you during the day?
WORKING HOURS AND SCHEDULE
Will your nanny/babysitter work full-time or part time, during the weekends or during the working week?
Which part of the day will the nanny/babysitter cover?
When can she take a break during a day?
What happens when you return home later than usual?
When can the nanny/babysitter use her cell phone, family’s home phone or home computer/internet?
Is she allowed to invite guests over to your home?
Does the nanny/babysitter have a lunch and snack provided by you or does she bring her own meals?
What happens if you are late and return home at dinner time?
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Wage: What is the agreed hourly rate of your nanny/babysitter for work days, nights, weekends and holidays? Nannies/babysitters are usually paid based on the agreed hourly rate.
Frequency of payment: How frequent is the wage paid? On a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly level?
Overtime: Have you agreed the same hourly rate with your nanny/babysitter even when you return later than the agreed time?Benefit: Have your agreed with your nanny/babysitter that she can take a vacation in a certain period, take a few days off, be on sick leave and/or be off during holidays (specify which holidays these are)?
Notice period: How many days of notice period are necessary to adhere to before the nanny/babysitter ends cooperation with you? Could she inform you via telephone that she is no longer able to cooperate with you or could she do that even via SMS or e-mail?Family vacation: Do you plan to take your nanny/babysitter on family vacation with you?
Assessment: Agree on a periodical evaluation of cooperation with your nanny/babysitter during which you will discuss the cooperation in the previous period and during which you can review compensation, benefits or the agreement on cooperation itself.
Public transportation: What are the agreed rules when it comes to using public transportation with children?
Driving licence: Is it necessary for the nanny/babysitter to have a valid driver’s licence and to be an active driver?
Cars: Is it necessary for a nanny/babysitter to have her own car or will she use the family car? What are the agreed rules for the usage of the family car?
Gasoline: Will you cover the costs of gasoline for the travelled kilometres when the nanny/babysitter uses the family car or her personal car for the purposes of her engagement in your family? How much and in which way will you pay the said expenses?
Seat belts and car seats: Does every child have to put on a seat belt while driving in a car?
Information: Personal, medical, business and financial information learnt about the family must not be disclosed or commented outside the family.
Social media: Is the nanny/babysitter allowed to mention the family she is working with on any of the social medias? Is she allowed to post photos of the children or to mention them in posts anonymously?
TERMINATING THE COOPERATION
Families usually agree with the nanny/babysitter on a notice period of 2 weeks or a month, which refers to both parties.
Reasons to terminate cooperation: Both parties may terminate cooperation at any moment. If the family considers that the nanny/babysitter has done something inappropriate, they can end the cooperation immediately. Likewise, the nanny/babysitter can terminate the cooperation if she thinks that the family is treating her in an offensive or unjust manner.
Severance pay: Giving severance pay is not a common practice, however, if you are forced to terminate the cooperation with the nanny/babysitter which has done her job exceptionally well, it is a common practice that the family provides her with a few paid weeks so as to help her financially while she is seeking for the new job.