Many times, we hear about a candidate being the center of disrespect or some sort of lack of professionalism. Whether it be consistent tardiness, not enough engagement, constantly on their phone, not following the rules and expectations in which had been set before them when accepting the position. We seldom hear or read about the family being the cause of negativity. Employer disrespect is just as powerful and hurtful to the receiving party and many times, there is no recourse by the nanny when such events occur.
We received such a note several months ago from a nanny whom in fact was the butt of this exact circumstance. Read below and feel free to make comments, as we are always interested in what your thoughts are.
“I typically do not like to talk negatively about employers, but I will just say the bigger reason I was wanting to leave was not only the problem with the part time hours, but mainly because of being disrespected regularly.
Their other staff members have expressed the same concerns and her house manager is quitting as well. The past few months have been incredibly difficult but I was trying to maintain professionalism and respect and try to make it work.
A few weeks ago, when my other part time job was coming to an end, I spoke with my boss about needing to find full time work. She asked for a 30 day notice if possible, but at the very minimum- two weeks. I said yes, absolutely. I spoke with her Monday and let her know that I was beginning to interview but would still work with her up until the day I started somewhere else and that it could be a few weeks or longer, but that I wouldn’t leave her hanging. I assumed wrong.
Well, I was right. I just found out she had hired someone behind my back and wanted to give me a TWO-DAY NOTICE!!! I and the other assistant both respectfully told her I deserved and needed at the bare minimum, two weeks. She reluctantly agreed, but in doing so, she cut my hours to one day per week for my last two weeks and gave me less than two weeks, as next Monday will be my last day. I have never had a bad experience with anyone I have worked for up until this. I am not surprised by the behavior, just a bit taken off guard and hurt.”
The level of unkind and unwarranted lack of professionalism is not only disrespectful, but the nanny that wrote this, as many nannies can relate to this circumstance, live paycheck to paycheck.
Drafting and signing a contract with your employer is imperative to avoid the pitfalls of a family doing something like this. When entering into a new position, there should always be an exit strategy set up in advance to include a specific time frame for giving notice as well as a severance, and a well-crafted letter of recommendation. This not only will guarantee a little cushion while the nanny is looking for a new job, but also a feeling of respect and value for the time that the nanny spent with the family and their children. Having a notary sign the documentation is always a good thing and having a lawyer draft it is even better. Have a legal and binding contract.
In every job, in any industry, employees are replaceable. Nanny positions are considered “at will” employment and can be terminated at any time, for any reason. Protect yourself, you are worth it. Stand up for yourself, and communicate your needs prior to starting your new position. We here at Seaside are happy to give advice and help nannies navigate through muddy waters such as this. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.