Working Moms

Nanny breaks

Hi, if you have a nanny, how do you deal with breaks? Employment standards where I live requires a 30 min break after 5 hours of work and can be paid or unpaid. My nanny works 8 hrs and has a 1/2 hr paid break during the day (during naptime)...and lately she has been letting things slide and is taking a longer and longer break so I am going to have to address it... 

Just curious what others do. TIA! 

Re: Nanny breaks

  • Are you certain your nanny is required to have a formal 30 mins break? I tried googling it and it seems like you don't have to provide it. My nanny has a small amount of household duties which she does when the kids are asleep. If she doesn't them faster she has a longer break.

    From google:

     As an initial matter, you should know that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require you, as the employer of a nanny, to provide meal or rest breaks.  However, as most employers out there will provide for such breaks, it is important to know the difference between breaks for which the FLSA requires employers to provide compensation and those it does not.

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  • I have never heard of a nanny getting breaks. And I've been a nanny. 10 hour days, no breaks. I thought that was kinda the deal?
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  • Hmm...I agree with the above poster. I don't think you are required by law to give her a break. I'm not sure how a nanny would actually take a paid break anyway since they can't really leave the house by themselves to go get lunch or something.

    Are you giving her tasks to do while the kids are napping and she's not doing them?

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  • image littlebeansmama:

    Hmm...I agree with the above poster. I don't think you are required by law to give her a break. I'm not sure how a nanny would actually take a paid break anyway since they can't really leave the house by themselves to go get lunch or something.

    Are you giving her tasks to do while the kids are napping and she's not doing them?

    This, it's not technically a "break" if she is still responsible for your kids (even if they are sleeping, if they wake up, it's not like she can leave them to cry until her break is over).  I don't think the break law applies to nannies, housekeepers etc (anyone you employ at your home), if it does, someone would have to be there to watch the kids while she is on break.

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  • I live in Canada so the employment standards are different. The break can be paid or unpaid (For example at our co. people work 8 1/2 hr days but only get paid for 8 because their meal break is unpaid). In my case I really don't mind paying her for the break, esp. because in rare instances she might not get one if both kids are not napping etc.

    So I guess it's two issues here - the second being that I pay more to have a nanny than for outside child care, part of the reason being that during this downtime (nap) I expect things to get done around the house. Maybe I should post separately about nanny expectations :)

  • image twocows:

    I live in Canada so the employment standards are different. The break can be paid or unpaid (For example at our co. people work 8 1/2 hr days but only get paid for 8 because their meal break is unpaid). In my case I really don't mind paying her for the break, esp. because in rare instances she might not get one if both kids are not napping etc.

    So I guess it's two issues here - the second being that I pay more to have a nanny than for outside child care, part of the reason being that during this downtime (nap) I expect things to get done around the house. Maybe I should post separately about nanny expectations :)

    1) I still don't get how it can be considered a "break" (regardless of being paid/unpaid) if she is still responsible for the kids during that time.

     

    2) About expectations, do you have a contract?  Anything written on her daily duties?  I would bring that up to her and let her know that you have noticed that XYZ has not been complete lately.

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  • If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like the issue you need to address is that she is not completing tasks that you are requesting of her rather than her taking a longer paid break than is allowed.

    Do you give her a list each day of what you would like her to do when the kids are sleeping, such as cleaning up toys, cleaning up after meals, kids' laundry, etc.? I don't think those are unreasonable requests. What is she doing instead of those tasks? If you know she is fooling around on the computer or her phone more than she should be or something like that, I would address that issue.

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  • image MammaBear81:
    image twocows:

    I live in Canada so the employment standards are different. The break can be paid or unpaid (For example at our co. people work 8 1/2 hr days but only get paid for 8 because their meal break is unpaid). In my case I really don't mind paying her for the break, esp. because in rare instances she might not get one if both kids are not napping etc.

    So I guess it's two issues here - the second being that I pay more to have a nanny than for outside child care, part of the reason being that during this downtime (nap) I expect things to get done around the house. Maybe I should post separately about nanny expectations :)

    1) I still don't get how it can be considered a "break" (regardless of being paid/unpaid) if she is still responsible for the kids during that time.

     

    2) About expectations, do you have a contract?  Anything written on her daily duties?  I would bring that up to her and let her know that you have noticed that XYZ has not been complete lately.

    I agree with this. As long as your nanny is by herself at your home with your children, she is on call. She is not able to have a paid break because if your kids need something, get hurt, whatever, she is the one who has to respond. If you are coming home for lunch and telling her she is off for a half hour while you are home then I would call that a break. If that's what is happening and then she isn't coming back to your house within a half hour so that you can go back to work, then that should be addressed.

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  • image littlebeansmama:

    If you know she is fooling around on the computer or her phone more than she should be or something like that, I would address that issue.

    Fully agreed! Yes, it's not really a true "break" if she cannot leave - but I do believe that she's justified in taking 30 min to put her feet up and relax while they are sleeping, where time permits. The contract is quite loose in terms of EXACT duties - I make lists weekly but I do get push back from time to time ie. "I didn't have time to finish X Y Z" - but I know for a fact that she never misses her 30 min (or more like an hour, lately) break. A contract amendment may be in order.

  • DH does FSLA litigation ...lots of his co-workers have nannies. They are all hyper vigilent about making sure FSLA is followed. And I have never heard them mention being concerned about giving the nannies a break.  There is no real way to do that.

    That said, if you want to limit her "break" time to what she's entitled to, and want a way to regulate it.  Could you have her do a time card?  Though then I'd worry about needing to be concerned about possible overtime violations etc.

    Can you check with a lawyer in your area about your requirements?

  • image twocows:
    image littlebeansmama:

    If you know she is fooling around on the computer or her phone more than she should be or something like that, I would address that issue.

    Fully agreed! Yes, it's not really a true "break" if she cannot leave - but I do believe that she's justified in taking 30 min to put her feet up and relax while they are sleeping, where time permits. The contract is quite loose in terms of EXACT duties - I make lists weekly but I do get push back from time to time ie. "I didn't have time to finish X Y Z" - but I know for a fact that she never misses her 30 min (or more like an hour, lately) break. A contract amendment may be in order.

    Ah, okay. I think rather than telling her she has a 30 minute break, you should tell her that if the kids are still sleeping when the daily tasks you have requested are complete then she is welcome to put her feet up, watch TV, text, whatever. I would leave her a reasonable lists of tasks that you would like her to complete on a daily basis. If that needs to be put into her contract then so be it but I think if you put in the original contract that certain household duties are expected of her then you don't necessarily need to spell out those tasks in detail in the contract. I could be wrong about that.

    In any case, I would sit down and have a chat with her about it. Just make sure that what you are asking of her is actually able to be completed while the kids are sleeping. I don't think it's fair to leave her a huge list of tasks everyday hoping that she will get them done if you know it's too much to expect her to complete during naptime or a portion of naptime.

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  • I'll also add that unless you are paying her for housekeeping as well, I think it's only fair to keep the tasks related to the children, such as cleaning up after meals, kid's laundry, cleaning up/organizing toys, stuff like that.  
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  • i feel like its a bit different with a nanny. when i worked as one nap time (break time) depended on how long the child slept. I made sure to get all of my other chores done during this time which consisted of dishes, childs laundry, clean up and any prep for afternoon projects. but sometimes I still had an hour or so left over (this child took 2+ hour naps). I was paid, even though I was eating my lunch and taking a break because I could not leave the house and I was just waiting for the child to wake up. 

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