Nannies asked, we answered

Nannies asked, we answered- – frequently asked questions from nannies pertaining to COVID-19

Updated 03.23.2020 4:02 pm MST.

At Kiddie Up Nannies, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our clients, nannies and community is our top priority. As we continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19, we have taken numerous steps to be extra vigilant. While our offices are physically closed during this time, we remain fully operational and open for business, available remotely to help in any way we can. If you have any questions, please contact us for direct assistance on this topic.

If you’re a nanny, you’re panicking. If you’re a human, you’re panicking. If you live under a rock, maybe you’re not panicking. Point is, pretty sure we’re all panicking and doing our best to stay up to date and learn as much possible in respect to how COVID-19 will affect our nannies. Here at Kiddie Up Nannies, we have received a ton of questions. To help educate and support our nannies & families, we’ve summed up the frequently asked questions here.

Q: Can nannies still work? Are they considered essential employees?

A: Some nannies are permitted to work. Per Governor Polis’s executive order, nannies are able to provide childcare services and considered essential employees if they reside or work outside of Denver city limits. Monday, March 23rd, 2020, Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock, issued a “Stay at home” executive order. This order states nannies are now not considered essential employees unless they are providing care for children who’s parents are essential  employees defined in the newly released Executed Public Health Order 03.23.2020

Q: Is there work available?  

A: YES!! We are experiencing a surplus of requests, especially long-term temp jobs due to school and daycare closures. In addition, we have not seen any decline in permanent positions.

Q: What if I have to cancel or the family cancels?  

A: In the event the family cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice, the nanny shall be paid for the originally scheduled time. If 24 hours’ notice is provided, the nanny’s compensation is not owed.

If a nanny must cancel, we ask for as much notice as possible so we can find a replacement. If 24 hours’ notice cannot be provided, we ask our nannies to inform the family first, then email us. Cancellations are not encouraged but if a nanny has any symptoms of illness, they should self-quarantine.  

Q: Will nannies be asked to care for sick kids?

A: No, Kiddie Up Nannies will not place nannies for sick children or if someone in the home has any symptoms of illness.

Q: Do I get paid for absences?

A: Refer to your Nanny Service Agreement or contract. Under normal circumstances (assuming hours are guaranteed), if a family requests a nanny not to work, the time should be a paid absence. The exception- if there is a force majeure clause. Although rare, if there is a force majeure clause, the guarantee is void due to a Pandemic.

Q: Does a family have to pay for  the 14-day quarantine sick leave?

A: Congress just passed a law that if employers employ less than 50, the government will pay (or reimburse) employers for the 14-day quarantine sick leave. Household employees included. Please note, if you are not withholding taxes, consider this further.

Q: Do I need to show proof that I am an essential employee?

A: We recommend an Essential Service Employee Certificate to keep on hand. Click here to download an Essential Service Employee Certificate.

Q: I don’t feel my family is taking this seriously, what do I do?

A: The first step is to speak to your employer and be as communicative as possible. Schedule a phone or video call to address your concerns and also ask your family for their thoughts.

Families, as the employer, do have the right to implement policies and protocols. This can include where a nanny can travel, who a nanny is exposed to, etc. We recommend families execute the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) advisement regarding prevention and community spread. Click here to learn more.

Furthermore, in the instance a family feels it’s necessary for you, or for them to self-isolate or self-quarantine, they have the right to mandate that. To understand isolation and quarantine more, click here.

Q: How do I know if my family is quarantined appropriately or who are they are exposed to?

A: You don’t know. Referring to the previous question, communication is essential. Communicating, implementing strategies and trusting your family will be the only way to get through this. #weareinthistogether

Q: Does a family have to keep me on during this pandemic?

A: No, families are not required to employ you during this pandemic. Families can terminate employment by following the terminating clause or clauses defined in the Nanny Service Agreement. If using an agreement provided by Kiddie Up Nannies, the family will need to provide 4- or 6-weeks paid notice. A nanny does not need to work this entire duration, but the family must pay the entire notice defined.

Moreover, a family may choose to temporarily furlough their nanny for many reasons including:

  • recent exposure to infected or potentially infected individuals;
  • mild illness, not wishing to potentially infect themselves;
  • the family’s need to self-quarantine;
  • a parent’s recent temporary furlough from their employment.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require a family to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked.  Bear in mind, however, that a family may a have a legal obligation based on the Nanny Service Agreement or contract.

If hours are not guaranteed, or the family has made the decision to furlough or terminate employment, a  nanny should immediately initiate an unemployment claim. 

Q: What does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mean for employers?

A: Please familiarize yourself with the entire Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Kiddie Up cannot offer legal advice or speak on specific employment laws. With that being said, we want to highlight a few areas as we feel it pertains to nannies.

  • Nannies who have been on the job for at least 30 days, have a right to take job-protected leave under FMLA for up to 12 weeks if they are caring for a child (under the age of 18) if the school or place of care for the child has been closed, or the childcare provider of the child is unavailable, due to COVID19 precautions.
  • The first 10 days of leave may be unpaid, though a nanny could choose to use accrued vacation days, personal leave, or other available paid leave for unpaid time off. Following the 10-day period, nannies would receive a benefit from their families that will be at least two thirds of their normal pay rate.
  • The family leave pay is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in total.
  • Nannies of health care providers or emergency responders may elect out of providing paid family leave to their nanny.

Please review the entire EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT (SECTION 5102) to learn if this pertains to you.

Q: What is I don’t want to work?

A: If you do not want to work due to the fear of COVID-19, we courteously ask families to respect your wishes. It’s likely this time will be unpaid and a job to return to is not promised.

Q: How are interviews being handled?  

A: We are asking families and nannies to utilize virtual means of interviewing whenever possible.

For more information & resources pertaining to the Coronavirus, visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) website.