Household Staff Vacation Benefits: Paid Time Off Vs. Holiday Pay

household staff dinner party

Now that we are in the thick of the holidays, you might be wondering, or trying to remember, what is standard in terms of holiday pay and paid time off for household staff?  Here is a quick recap!

Holiday Pay

Families typically offer the following paid holidays:

  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Many families offer household staff additional paid holidays, but the list above is pretty standard in the industry. But just because they are standard, doesn’t mean you can’t adjust the days depending on your and your employee’s preferences.

For example, if your Nanny does not celebrate Christmas and you would like the coverage, your Nanny might be amenable to a different paid day off or holiday pay. This is something you should discuss ahead of time.

It is also important to note that if an employee’s schedule doesn’t align with the common holidays listed above, then you should use your discretion to determine whether a bonus paid day is given.

For example, if a Nanny doesn’t work on Monday then she would not be entitled to an extra day of pay for Christmas this year, which falls on Monday, December 25th. If you choose to pay your employee on that day, it is a bonus and a very kind gesture!

Paid Time Off

We typically see clients offer their household staff two weeks of paid vacation. One week of the vacation is selected by you and one week is selected by your employee. Part-time employees are generally given two weeks proportional to their schedule.

For example, if your Housekeeper works three days a week, then he or she should get six paid days off during the year.

We always encourage clients to pay their employee for 52 weeks of the year, regardless of whether they actually work for all of those 52 weeks. This helps foster a successful long-term working relationship. Employees still have expenses regardless of your travel schedule and it is important that they are able to earn a steady income.

If your employee’s services aren’t needed for some period of time, some families assign special projects for their employee.

For example, if a family travels without their Nanny, they might ask her to organize the children’s closets, research summer camps or reorganize the playroom.

Families might also ask their Housekeeper for assistance with special projects such as wrapping gifts, polishing silver, deep cleaning the drapes or having the upholstery deep cleaned.

Another important thing to note is that vacation time is different from sick time. Sick time, is mandated by law in California and accrues as your employee works for you.

Sick time, accrued vacation time and paid time off can be complicated. Your T+C Placement Counselor is happy to give you basic guidance, but you are best served by discussing the rules as they apply to you with your payroll provider, such as HomePay by Breedlove, or an attorney.

Now that you have ironed out the details of holiday pay and paid time off, you’re free to enjoy this special time with your family and friends!