Nanny Severance Package
June 5, 2013 5:12 AM   Subscribe

We are saying goodbye to our beloved nanny of nine years. We would like some advice as to how to handle the severance package.

We love our nanny. LOVE. But with the youngest entering pre-school, there is not a justifiable need for her. Not to mention the fact that she is, by far, the biggest expense in our household.

So we have to say goodbye after nine years. We will give her glowing references and will contact all of our friends to see if they need a nanny. We will actively work to help her find a new job and I am pretty confident she will find something.

But as to the severance package, she has been our first and only nanny so we are seeking guidance here and elsewhere. Here is what we are thinking. First, we would give her the option to remain working part-time but the reality is that probably won't work for her. So we are thinking of something like 8 weeks notice (with the option to keep working part-time after that until she finds a job) and a "termination payment" of one month's pay.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total)
 
Something to consider is how you would handle it if she got a new job within the two months.

Also, fwiw I'm in the UK and statutory redundancy pay (which maybe doesn't apply to a nanny) is one weeks pay for every year worked.
posted by plonkee at 5:20 AM on June 5, 2013


(Former nanny) Tell her NOW. Nannies know their jobs have expiration dates, there's a near 0 chance that she'll split early. Even if it's months away, tell her now. Not only does she need to find a new job, she needs to emotionally transition and say goodbye to the children she's been caring for for the past nine years. Letting her know now also helps your kids talk about the transition before it happens. I knew my end dates typically three months in advance, in one case I was given eight months notice that the youngest child would be enrolled in preschool and my hours, should I stay on, would be drastically reduced.

As for severance package, I've never received one but I also never stayed with any one family for nine years, so perhaps someone else can speak to that.
posted by sonika at 5:25 AM on June 5, 2013 [21 favorites]


Your severance package is more than generous. Surely she's known this time would come some day.

I wouldn't offer the part-time gig. You don't really need her, and you should make the break clean.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:26 AM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


When our family nanny retired after twenty-something years, my parents gave her a full year's salary. So I think in your position, anything between a full month and 9 weeks pay is reflective of her service to your family because dude, you've been so lucky.

I would also tell her now, but I'm not an idiot so I'd pitch it as "Wanted to let you know about September. If you're able to stay until then, this is the severance package on 1 September." IE, make it really worth her while to stay the whole summer.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:53 AM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a nanny, I think your offer is generous and very kind. I would also give her as much notice as possible, because families often begin their search many months before needing services, and you wouldn't want her to miss out on those opportunities.
posted by greta simone at 6:02 AM on June 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tell her NOW. Nannies know their jobs have expiration dates, there's a near 0 chance that she'll split early. Even if it's months away, tell her now. Not only does she need to find a new job, she needs to emotionally transition and say goodbye to the children she's been caring for for the past nine years. Letting her know now also helps your kids talk about the transition before it happens.

Yes, I don't that you have to worry about her running out on you early, if for no other reason, because it would affect your references.
posted by corb at 6:26 AM on June 5, 2013


Informally, I would throw in the offer of, say, dining with you on the third Tuesday each month (or anything at all along those lines) -- she must be quite significant to your kids after nine years, and vice versa.
posted by kmennie at 6:53 AM on June 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


Sounds good, but I also suggest that you request a certain amount of notice as well.

Handmade gifts from the kids and keeping in touch with her will be much appreciated.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:11 AM on June 5, 2013


My kids are all grown up and our nanny has remained a member of our extended family!

As far as the package: no part-time, that's a very nice chunk of change, eight weeks is too long.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:14 AM on June 5, 2013


In addition to a month's salary, a member of my family gave their departing nanny the car she'd been driving while in their employ. It wasn't a great car (IIRC it was a ten-year old Toyota), but it was in decent shape (and they could afford to replace it once the nanny's employment ended).
posted by carmicha at 7:33 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Agree with Sonika. It's not just time to find a new job, which is a big upheaval in itself; it's time to process and prepare for the emotional impact of saying goodbye to children she has cared for all these years.

I think your package sounds fine, and if you are comfortable with it, go for it. I will note that keeping the same nanny for nine years creates a strong inference that you have been very good employers and that she has been a good nanny. So write her a glowing reference and keep her updated every so often about the kids.
posted by ambrosia at 9:27 AM on June 5, 2013


Maybe I'm a soft touch, but I actually think one-month severance is pretty low for a nine-year long employee. The idea here is not only to reward her for her service, but to preserve her income stream as she transitions to a new job. She's a relatively low wage earner and probably does not have a big savings account or family to fall back on.

I think it may take longer than a month for her to find the right job. I'd give her a long notice period on your end, but be flexible so that if she did find that right job during that time, she could take it with say two weeks notice or something reasonable. Giving her as much severance up front is a better idea than indefinite part-time, because that could get weird if she never finds anything new.
posted by yarly at 11:32 AM on June 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yes, please keep her updated. None of the families I worked for have done this and it's painful to not know what the kiddos I spent 50hrs/wk with for years are up to. I tried sending a birth announcement for my son to a former nanny family and it bounced back - it stung that they never thought to update me that they'd moved. I'll probably never see those kids again and they were a HUGE part of my life.
posted by sonika at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2013


Nthing that continuing to hang out with her she leaves is cool if she and you and your kids are down for it. I was an usher in one of my former nanny's weddings and my mom used to babysit her kid (because my mom is getting to grandmother age and loves little kids but that's my problem).

I try to have dinner or a drink with the former nanny and her husband whenever I'm back home over the holidays and it's great.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:40 PM on June 5, 2013


How about 1 week pay for every year worked and giving her notice immediately? The promise of the bonus would be incentive for her to stay.
posted by theora55 at 9:08 AM on June 6, 2013


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