Written by Brooke Strickland for Nannies Plus

Summer is approaching quickly and families in San Francisco, the East Bay, and Marin are getting ready to set out on warm weather adventures of all kinds. This time away from work and school is something that people look forward to every year. But, as you’re planning your summer vacations and activities, don’t forget about how this may affect your household employee(s). If you don’t plan on taking your nanny or family assistant with you on your summer trip, do you still have to pay them? Are their hours guaranteed? Here are some things to consider.

What are guaranteed hours?

In the household employment world, guaranteed hours are a standard industry benefit. The concept is easy: if your employee is available to work while you are away on vacation, but you don’t plan on using their services, you still need to pay them for their regularly scheduled hours. If they choose not to work for that time, they can take that time with paid time off benefits, or unpaid. In other words, if the choice is made for your nanny or family assistant that their services aren’t needed, you still need to pay them.

Should you take your nanny or family assistant with you on vacation?

Many families love taking their nannies or family assistants with them on vacation. Whether it is a long weekend to your summer home or cabin, or an extended vacation to somewhere more exotic, taking your nanny or family assistant with you gives you an extra set of hands and can minimize the stress of traveling with kids. You still need to pay your employee’s wages while they are with you on vacation. Their duties haven’t changed; it is simply a change of scenery.

How do you avoid confusion about wages and hours when paying your household employee?

The best way to ensure everything is clear between you and your household employee is by creating a work agreement at the beginning of their employment with you. A work agreement will include specific details about paid time off and paid holidays, sick days, and will include vacation clauses that you consider essential. This helps avoid any confusion surrounding guaranteed hours, payment schedule, and more.

In addition, be sure to keep the lines of communication open often. Talk to your household employee well in advance about your travel plans or upcoming trips. This gives you both the opportunity to determine if they will come with you or not.

At Nannies Plus, we are passionate about connecting families with experienced, compassionate nannies and family assistants. If you are looking for a nanny or family assistant to join your family team this summer and beyond, let us help introduce you! Contact us today for details.