Just before learning that my company is not giving raises this year we gave our nanny a 5% raise. My husband lost his job about six months ago so we are a single income household. With the holidays coming up we’d like to tip our nanny, usually we will do one week pay, but since our finances are tight right now, any recommendations on what is appropriate to tip her? We don’t want to loose her, and as soon as my husband starts working, we will definitely lean on her a lot more.

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Pay good people well…

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While some of these ideas that don’t involve money are nice gestures, remember that most people rely on a salary and money to pay their rent, their school loans, for groceries etc. Giving your nanny (who would likely be at the bottom of the income spectrum) travel points, a spa day, and every other thing that you think would be useful is really missing the mark. These are people who generally need money.

If you can’t afford the tip, sounds like you can’t afford a nanny anymore. If your husband doesn’t have a job, can he watch the kid? Otherwise I think your best bet is to say that you’ll try to provide a bonus when you can afford it later. As a consolation, give her extra time off *in addition to that now.*

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Why not just tell her the situation and you’ll plan to give her a tip when your husband gets a job?

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That’s not an option because she’s expecting a weekly take-home pay.

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Nanny holiday tip is essentially part of their comp. Sure, technically it’s not, but it’s very non-market to remove/delay/reduce it for any reason not related to the nanny’s performance. Saying “you’ll get the rest when husband finds a job” is (morale-wise) pretty close to saying it won’t happen, too. You say the budget is tight, and I definitely sympathize, but childcare is a key expense and an expensive one to replace if you lose a good person. Can you belt tighten elsewhere and stick with the normal tip? Or if needed, give a specific date when they’ll receive X amount in the future?

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If you live in a city like NYC, the nanny holiday tip is a big deal. Could you give her half now, with the other half later? And maybe consider other perks like half days on Fridays or late start Mondays for the month of Jan.

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Tip her what you normally would.

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I recommend you give her the usual tip, otherwise you're saying she's worth less to you than she was last year.

Higher earning people (at least from her perspective) explaining how their financial situation is bad can come across very tone deaf if you're not careful!

I hope your husband finds something proper soon, but even a temp retail job will pay for her tip in the meantime. I worked as a temp at a coffee chain for a time between jobs - was nice chatting to people and the smell was wonderful. Could he do something similar?

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Assuming you live in a metro city like NYC you need to still tip her or risk losing her and given that you have paid her for 6 months while your husband has been unemployed I am guessing you like her/don't want to go through the Hunger Games like exercise of replacing her. See where else you can cut back, don't send expensive Christmas cards, tell parents IOU on a Christmas gift etc or have your husband pick up a seasonal gig to cover some of her fulltime pay and bonus - 6 months is a long time to be without that second income and still paying a nanny but as someone who has had a nanny for years I get it, a great nanny is worth their weight in gold!

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That’s exactly what I was thinking in terms of the expectations of Nannys in the metro New York area. She does a split schedule for us and we already give her Monday mornings and Friday afternoons off. but the half now, half later is a good consideration.

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Mmm… my thought is a bonus is a bonus is a bonus. It’s not base comp. So, just the same as a corporation looks at revenue to determine bonuses, so should a paying family. I would reduce the bonus and say there may be a additional bonus later on when things look better financially.

Relying on a set bonus when you don’t have an agreed upon set bonus is not great planning. I would understand in her position just like I’m fully expecting not to get a bonus from Deloitte this year (it will be nice if I do though). The only thing I feel entitled to is my base comp and think that’s pretty reasonable.

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I’m not sure how familiar you are with Consulting, but consulting bonus is standard and expected as well… “the market” for consulting very much expects bonuses. But there are exceptions.

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Honestly feel like some of these answers are over complicating the situation. $100 gift card should be enough. If she drinks alcohol, maybe add a nice bottle of wine with the gift card.

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Actually the standard for a nanny, a housekeeper, cleaning people, etc is one weeks pay

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I think you're stuck on this one. I'd consider cutting back on some other people you give holiday gifts to before I didn't tip the nanny. You only see your doorman for about 30 seconds per day and there's probably tons of cheapskates in your building but your nanny is in your house. You don't mess with that.

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Jelly of the month club?

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6 months is a long time to pay a nanny on a single salary. I’d recommend your so pick up holiday work or free lance, something to contribute if you want to keep your nanny. You need to pay her normal bonus if you want to keep her.

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Not all years equal out. Did you give her 10% raises when you got 10% raises.

Standard holiday pay is 1-2 weeks pay. Those suggesting $100 is not at all appropriate.

Remember that getting a new nanny takes weeks if not months. If you don’t fire her because you can’t pay, she will start looking.

If you can’t pay a reasonable bonus, start restructuring your life because you can’t afford a nanny. They are people are you are their only source of income. They live on 1/4 of what you do. Cut something out if having a nanny or this nanny is so important.

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So I don’t have any experience with many but I would think anything is good.
For me she is lucky you are still keeping her on with only being a single income.
My household is single income as well. But since daddy is out of work he is the stay at home parent so we don’t have to pay someone else to watch the kiddos. When he goes back that will be a different story.

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Dang are Nannys compensation this strict everywhere? I had my family care for my child when he was younger and never dealt with nannys.

Then you were incredibly lucky on a number of levels. Wish I could have the same setup!

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How much $ are we talking? Might not be worth risking losing her and that could cost way more than the difference in tip.

Average nyc nanny weekly salary is around $1000. Many make more.

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Never hired a nanny but just thinking out loud here.. do you have a good amount of unused travel points and might consider gifting her a domestic trip (pay for flights and/or hotel)? Just explain your financial situation and offer a smaller cash tip plus a trip/experience paid by points.

Could you give her one extra week off in lieu of a cash tip? Let her take off time this month?

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