As we continue developing or improving your work agreement, one important clause to included is a Confidentiality Clause (CC). A CC is an agreement between parties that assigns penalties if certain information is shared. A CC not only protects you, but the family as well. As a nanny, you are privy to many areas of a family’s life. Financial, marital, employment, family issues, etc. Seeing personal correspondence, check stubs, legal matters is a daily occurrence, but in no way should be shared with others. This works both ways. Including a CC in your agreement can often make you stop and think about what you are saying or doing on a daily basis. This included information you may be posting on Facebook, twitter or message boards.
Greta Shraer has a great article on Protecting a Family’s Privacy.
Sample wording can be:
Nanny understands that she will be exposed to private and confidential matters between Employers and their employment. Nanny will not disclose any information about Employers or employment to anyone, without the written consent of the parents.
Employers also agree not to disclose any information about nanny or employment to anyone.
Failure to abide by this agreement may result in immediate termination.
Termination is always difficult to handle. Be it mutual or with cause, termination details need to be laid out and agreed upon.
Take into consideration notice. If employment is ending on good terms, you will want to take into consideration training the new caregiver (if one coming in), finding new employment or accommodations. While two weeks’ notice is the norm in employment terminations, we all know finding a new job in two weeks in this industry is difficult. I’ve seen agreements where 4-6 weeks’ notice is required by both parties if they wish to end the agreement. Factor in a time frame you both are comfortable with and go from there. You may also wish to include a clause that if nanny or family find job/care in that time, nanny will be paid for the duration of her agreement. You also want to agree upon a severance agreement. I personally look for one week severance for every year worked, with a maximum that the family can set in place.
If you are terminated for cause, typically no notice or severance is required. The family will also require any monies owed to them (any bills you’ve incurred with them) will be deducted from your last paycheck, and that any property be returned to them – house keys, credit cards, etc.
Reference Letters are needed when seeking new employment. Write into your work agreement that at the end of employment nanny will receive a letter of reference by a certain date, be it one to two weeks after employment ends.
Another suggestion is to have annual performance reviews with employers and ask for one based on your work that year.
There are many resources available to nannies and families seeking to write a work agreement. Do an online search for Nanny Work Agreement. You will be provided with many choices.
Here are some additional resources for you:
Read the entire Anatomy of a Work Agreement Series