For some families, part of coming up with a vacation schedule is arranging for a nanny to travel with them. When this occurs, it’s important to understand some unique payroll rules regarding traveling with an employee. Labor law mistakes are very easy to make if the right preparation isn’t taken before the vacation starts. Here are five tips to make sure your vacation goes as planned:
1. Talk about expectations with your nanny beforehand
Your nanny is going with you for a reason – to watch your kids. But a vacation probably throws their normal schedule off a bit, so it’s important to go over the itinerary of the trip beforehand. Your nanny needs to know what times of the day they’ll likely work, any activities that are planned for your kids and when they can expect to have free time on their own.
2. Know that paying for airfare, meals and hotel are your responsibility
Remember, your nanny is your employee. And just like when your company sends you on a business trip, you must pay for airfare, food and hotel accommodations as your nanny’s employer.
3. Keep track of when your nanny is on and off the clock
You’re used to having your nanny work at your home, not at a hotel or amusement park or a beach. Know that your nanny is on the clock for the time you are traveling and any other time they are not able to come and go as they please.
“Parents can incorrectly think that if their nanny is sitting on a lounge chair by the pool watching their kids with a lemonade in their hand, they don’t need to be compensated for that time,” says Tom Breedlove, Sr. Director of Care.com HomePay. “In actuality, if you’re requiring your nanny to be there and they can’t be completely relieved of their duties, they’re on the clock.”
4. Don’t forget about overtime
Your nanny earns overtime (time-and-a-half) for every hour over 40 they work in a week. When you’re on vacation, it’s important to keep track of their hours so you don’t accidentally short-change their pay for the week. Remember, you can’t roll over your nanny’s hours to the next week to avoid overtime. That’s a violation of federal labor law and can get you in trouble if your nanny was to file a wage dispute.
5. Give your nanny some time off
This is vacation for your family, but it isn’t for your nanny. They’re still working and need a break every now and then. Let them be on their own for a few hours and take the kids on a family activity. This will this give your nanny some time to recharge their batteries and do something that interests them.