If you employ a nanny, chances are strong at some point you will need to let the nanny go. There are myriad reasons a family fires a nanny. The children grow up and your beloved family nanny is no longer needed. Perhaps the nanny has horrible work habits - always late or a frequent 'no show.' Your family and the nanny simply may not 'click.' The nanny who was a wonderful nurturer of your infant does not have the energy to deal with your demanding toddler. Whatever the reason, firing a nanny can be an uncomfortable experience for both family and nanny.
Below are some tips and best practices when letting the nanny go.
- Be compassionate: It is best to break the news at the end of a work day and away from the children.
- Don't draw out the conversation: Short and simple are the best way to deliver the news.
- Notice: : If you have a written work agreement, you will most likely have a notice provision already agreed to. Adhere to it. If you require x weeks of notice from the nanny, be sure you return the courtesy, or provide pay in lieu of the notice.
- Letter of Recommendation: Letter of Reference When you are separating on amicable terms, please consider writing a letter of recommendation, and making yourself reasonably available for telephoned reference checks.
- Taxes: Your nanny may be eligible for unemployment compensation from your state fund. This is true even if you were not properly reporting her wages to the state!
What if you were paying under the table? The state unemployment agency will look back at the last one - two years of the nanny's employment. If you did not report/pay your unemployment taxes, you will be subject to administrative action, including reporting to the IRS, and may be charged with the entirety of the nanny's unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance (tax) for the full time nanny averages $300- 500 a year - when paid on time. A nanny's benefits may be $200 - 400 per week for up to 99 weeks. That could be $20,000- 40,000 directly charged to you for failure to pay the requisite employment taxes.
- Security & Family Property: Request that nanny at the time of separation return all house and car keys, as well as any remote devices.