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Parental Leave for Household Employees

When you find an amazing nanny, who is not only reliable, but aces the job every day, it is easy to lose sight of their life outside of work. Through casual conversation, your nanny may, or may not, have indicated their plans to grow their own family one day. When that day comes, and your ace lets you know they want to take parental leave, you need to understand parental leave laws, so you can be a great employer to your amazing nanny.

Several state provide paid parental leave: California, Connecticut, Delaware (only required if you have 10+ employees), Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington. The District of Columbia also has a paid parental leave program. The paid leave for these states is funded by employee-paid payroll taxes, and some are also partially funded by employer-paid payroll taxes. Two additional states—Oregon and Colorado—have passed legislation but have yet to fully enact their programs. Ten other states are also considering legislation at present and may soon join the list above.

Once you understand your state requirements, you can start working together with your employee to plan for any leave request. Talk through the details – when they will leave and return, and if they anticipate returning to full duties upon return. If there are job duties that need to be amended, make sure to discuss and document those so all are in agreements as to what a return to work will look like.

Finally, start your search for a temporary nanny. Conduct interviews well in advance and allow for some time for your current nanny to help train your temporary nanny. Not sure where to begin your search? There are wonderful agencies that match nanny candidates with families around the country. Great agencies usually belong to professional organizations such as The International Nanny Association and The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies. These organizations keep a public list of their members, so you can find a top-notch agency.

Don’t forget to talk to your children about the nanny’s absence and let them know everyone is working together as a childcare team, including the temporary nanny you have hired. This will help make the transition smoother for everyone.

Reposted with permission from Home Work Solutions (

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