SNOW DAY! (Do I have to pay my nanny for it?)

November 21, 2014

Do I need to pay my nanny for a sick or snow day?

It’s that time of year again! You can’t help but hear about the nasty weather affecting most of the country this winter. Perhaps a big snow storm hits and your nanny has tried various methods of transportation to get to work but they just can’t get there. It’s something that is unavoidable, however we can be prepared on how to best handle the situation.

It’s bound to affect your home, especially with children around, that someone will come down with a nasty head cold, or maybe even a strain of the flu and that someone could be your nanny who you rely on each and every day.  You probably have a back-up plan in place where you either find a replacement caregiver or you stay home with the children but then the question becomes, do I have to pay my nanny for the day even though they aren't here?

What are my obligations?

Labour Standards does not legislate whether you should pay for a sick day or an absence due to severe weather. It only protects your nanny’s employment should they become ill for a longer period of time. You are only obligated to pay for either a snow day or a sick day if you have it in an employment contract. Even though you are not obligated to pay for these absences, you can certainly choose to pay for them if you want to.

How can I prevent an issue in the future?

No one wants to have a pay disagreement with their employer. Some may not even express their concern about not being paid for a day they couldn't make it to work because of the weather or because they were sick. It could even contribute to job dissatisfaction that may lead them to ultimately leaving their employment with you. If you have an employment contract with your nanny, ensure it is clearly indicating whether sick days or absences due to winter weather will be paid or not and if so, how many. If there isn't an active employment contract in place, have a conversation with your nanny so that both of you can negotiate what seems reasonable and fair. Timing is everything so have that talk before the scenario occurs so that when it happens and it’s pay day, there are no disappointing surprises!

More on this topic: - Nanny Tax & Payroll

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