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Returning to work with a nanny

Creating a Return to Work Plan for Your Nanny

Returning to work with a nanny
As zoom classes come to an end and the open abyss of a summer vacation with an empty calendar looms on the horizon, parents who are still working from home are beginning to wonder how they are going to manage it all. Shelter in place orders are being lifted, many businesses are beginning to plan to return to work, and many families are getting ready to bring their furloughed nannies back into their homes. How does a family bring a nanny back while the pandemic is still reeling? Here are some tips on how to prepare a return to work plan for your nanny:

Know the Risks

While parents may be at their wits end trying to be an entertainer, educator, parent, and work their own full time job while also managing the psychological tole of living through a pandemic, the decision to bring a nanny back must be an educated one. Now that we are a few months in, we know a little more about COVID-19 than we did originally. We know the virus is spread by close contact, specifically through the respiratory route like any other cold or flu, the main reason why we have all been social distancing for the past two months. An infected person can carry the virus for up to 14 days before they even begin to show symptoms, and can be picked up through shared air vents, contact on the street, or on high traffic surfaces. If you are a parent reading this, you may be reaching for that “How To Do it All” self help book, but if you remain vigilant, and take strong, proactive actions, you can absolutely make your nanny’s return to work safe and beneficial for all parties.

Be Honest

The first step towards a safe, healthy and happy new work agreement is honesty. It is imperative that you and your nanny are both are honest about your social activities within the last 14 days of coming back to work. If you are explicit about who you have been seeing and where you have been going, it will inspire your nanny to do the same. It is important that you both understand the risks going in and can be prepared. Set a date to work together again, and encourage that both your family and the nanny stay as quarantined as possible to reduce risk of spreading the infection. Make sure you continue to social distance even after your nanny has returned, just because you regain some sense of normalcy after a few weeks of working together does not mean you should relax in your protocol.

“A nanny’s eligibility for benefits depends greatly on the reason for unemployment, and the state will be taking a careful look at the details. You can expect to be contacted by an Unemployment Officer to tell your side of the story, as will your former employer.”

Consider Live-In

If you have a guest house or guest room, it is a great idea to extend the invitation for your nanny to live-in temporarily. This way you will both have a better understanding of where each has been and the risk of transmission will be far less. Living-in is a great way to promote bonding with your nanny and strengthen the relationship they have with your children. They can work longer hours with less of a commute and become more of an integrated role to help you and your family. It’s also a great opportunity for your children to have some much needed extra social interaction.
 

Be Realistic

Just because you and your nanny have decided to work together again does not mean that all has gone back to normal. Make sure that you are still using strict precautions, especially if the nanny is not living with you. Your family and your nanny should still be washing their hands for at least 30 seconds, avoiding sharing food and drinks, continuing to practice social distancing outside of your household, refraining from touching eyes, nose and face, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas. As long as your family and your nanny are taking proactive actions against the spread of the virus, there should be no reason that your nanny can’t come back to work safely.

For the Future

 The CDC has recommended social distancing for a reason, but nannies are essential workers and there are ways in which your nanny can come to work safely. Continue to practice social distancing and wear your mask when you leave the house, wash hands regularly and disinfect high traffic areas. Remember to treat your nanny with respect, as they are human beings who both want to work, and want to be safe. Looking to hire a nanny?  Reach out to us  to get your search started!

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Nanny applying for unemployment

Nannies - How to File For Unemployment

Nanny applying for unemployment

Whenever we interview our nannies and ask them what they are looking for in their next employer, the majority express a desire to “feel like a family.” Unfortunately, even the most close-knit families with perfectly matched nannies eventually have to go their own ways. Children go off to school while nannies need more full time, or either party end up moving house for new opportunities. Even the most experienced, caring and impressive nannies can have a difficult time finding new employment opportunities with an ideal family. Luckily, if you’re a nanny struggling to find a new job, there are unemployment options open to you. Here’s how to file for unemployment as a nanny:

Eligibility

First, you must make sure that you are eligible for federal or state unemployment. Nannies are eligible for unemployment when they are paid legally, or on the books with taxes withheld and paid. They are also eligible when they are not dismissed for a serious infraction, which could even include consistent tardiness. Nannies are not eligible to receive unemployment if they simply quit their job.

The Application Process

Start your process as soon as possible. Applying within the first week of termination ensures that you will not lose any benefits. Each state has different qualifications and requirements to receive unemployment. More details for state to state processes and how to begin them can be found here. 

“A nanny’s eligibility for benefits depends greatly on the reason for unemployment, and the state will be taking a careful look at the details. You can expect to be contacted by an Unemployment Officer to tell your side of the story, as will your former employer.”

Gather Information

Nationwide, you will be asked about your employment information. You will need the dates of your employment, your salary, and any documentation that describes your unemployment situation, like the nature of your termination. In California, employers must give a written letter explaining an employee’s termination. The reason for nannies will most likely be along the lines of the child outgrew the needs for a full time caregiver and will be attending school.

Give Details

A nanny’s eligibility for benefits depends greatly on the reason for unemployment, and the state will be taking a careful look at the details. You can expect to be contacted by an Unemployment Officer to tell your side of the story, as will your former employer. Nannies who were fired for serious infractions will have a much harder time receiving benefits than one who was let go because the family could no longer afford help.

If You’re Approved

If you’re approved, congrats! However, employers still have the right to appeal a decision, as one unemployment claim could potentially increase the likelihood of future claims. Should this happen, you will be notified of a hearing, which is done rarely in person and usually takes place over the phone.

If You’re Denied

If you are a nanny denied unemployment, you have the same rights to appeal as an employer does. Ask your representative for a second look, and a hearing, also via phone, will likely be called.

Still Look For Work

Unemployment is not a permanent paycheck. The government expects that you should be using your time to apply to jobs weekly. The government can offer you assistance via Unemployment Officers who can assist you in applying to new childcare jobs. It will help your case greatly in avoiding an audit to keep a written record of resumes sent, potential employers spoken to, jobs applied for and interviews conducted. Check out our current listings here. Care.com and SitterCity are also great, free resources for nannies to find work.

What Happens to Your Former Employer When You File?

For nannies who had the ideal relationship with their former employers, they may experience some hesitation in applying for unemployment, for fear of burdening their former family with fees or extra work. Upon filing for unemployment, families will receive a notice of an open claim, but they are under no obligation to act in any way. However, they do have the right to confirm or deny the details you laid out stating the facts of your termination with them and thereby refute your claim for unemployment, so be sure that you are truthful in your application.

For the Future

Nannies should always keep records of your job, especially because it is unlikely to have Human Resources in a domestic setting. It’s a great idea to log times worked, details of any negative incidents, copies of pay stubs and any positive reviews which can help you should you ever have to file for unemployment again.

If you are a nanny now seeking unemployment benefits and need any assistance in the process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Please also check out Homework Solutions, who has fantastic resources available to you

 

Have you been through this situation with something to share? Let us know below.

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