Ever wondered what perks or benefits you can extend to your caregiver?
In order to understand our recommendations, it’s important to know what your full-time nanny is entitled to: her salary 52 weeks of the year, 2 weeks’ paid vacation, the appropriate number of breaks as set out by Labor Standards and overtime pay above 40-44 hours of work/week (varies from province to province). If she is a live-in caregiver under the government sponsorship program, she’s also entitled to 5 working days/week (flexibility and additional overtime are acceptable), a fully furnished bedroom with a lock on the door, access to a bathroom and the appropriate number of rest periods as set by Labor Standards.
While those are rather basic, this means you can offer her easy incentives and perks that will make her feel encouraged, appreciated and happy.
- Sick days — That is correct, your caregiver is not technically entitled to paid sick days. However, this can be negotiated internally — she is human, she will get sick. Most families offer 3-7 days of paid sick leave. Anything beyond that usually requires a doctor’s note.
- The occasional afternoon off – It’s always a thrill to have a few extra hours unexpectedly for ourselves; why not extend that same luxury to your caregiver? Take the kids to the zoo or to a movie, and let your nanny have some extra time off. This occasional perk will re-energize her and make her happier.
- A transit pass – For our families in cities where public transit is vast and accessible, it’s a great idea to offer a transit pass for your live-out caregiver. It has become the norm few several years now for families to offer that on top of the salary to their live-out caregiver. Given that your live-in nanny lives and works in your home, a transit pass just for her may not be most feasible idea; but tokens or change so that she can get out and about on her time off would be a great gesture.
- Electronics — For the live-in caregiver who has just arrived from overseas, chances are she won’t have a laptop/tablet or computer of her own. Many households do have old laptops/tablets and computers around, so why not offer it to her? You are more than welcome to purchase her a new computer if you would like.
- A party with her friends – This is strictly at your discretion, of course. Some families encourage their caregiver to host holiday or birthday parties in the home, but it depends on your comfort level. This will be a fun gathering, and she’ll be able to let off some steam with her loved ones.
- Extended health coverage – A common motivation for why a caregiver leaves the field for something else is quite often for additional health benefits. Think about it: dental, optometrists, therapists, medication . . . it is all expensive and many industries offer health benefits that will cover those things and more. If extended health coverage is something you can cover, we recommend considering it. Executive households use this to remain competitive in a highly competitive field.
Ultimately, what benefits you offer will be up to you. It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day madness and chaos, but don’t forget to thank your caregiver for all she does for your family. This individual will be living in your home and caring for the most important people in your life — we always recommend our families show their caregiver respect, love and kindness. Offer her a bonus when she’s earned it, praise her for her work and offer her constructive feedback when necessary.
A little generosity on your part will have long-lasting and incredible results in the long run.