Firing any employee is a sensitive process. When that employee spends their time with your kids and in your home everyday, letting them go can be even tougher. Nannies often become an extension of your family, especially if they’ve been with you for a long time, so when you have to terminate your relationship, it’s upsetting for them, along with you and your kids.
Unless you’re firing a nanny for serious offense, you’ll want to first make sure you’ve done what you can to support your nanny and work through any solvable problems before you go through with firing. If and when it’s indeed time to let your nanny go, it’s natural to feel some guilt that your relationship is ending, but you can find some comfort knowing you’ve fired your nanny professionally and respectfully. Here’s how to fire a nanny gracefully.
- Have a live convo
Avoid firing a nanny via text, which is both impersonal and unprofessional. It may not be the most comfortable conversation to have, but it’s important to talk in person or on the phone when you’re firing a nanny so you both have an opportunity to discuss the details and ask questions. Be honest and clear about the reasons for termination, while keeping the conversation calm and constructive.
- Give advance notice
While your nanny is an at-will employee, meaning you can terminate their employment without any notice, the considerate thing to do is give two weeks or uphold the terms of your nanny contract. This will give them time to prepare and start looking for a new job. That said, if ever you feel your nanny is putting your child’s safety in jeopardy, it’s imperative to terminate your nanny immediately.
- Offer to be a reference
If your nanny has been a good employee, you can offer to be a reference or provide a letter of recommendation when they’re interviewing for a new nanny job. You can also create a nanny profile for your nanny on our nanny boards to help them land their next job.
- Settle any outstanding payments
No matter the circumstances, you should always settle any outstanding payments, such as final pay, unused vacation time, or other benefits owed to the nanny as outlined in your nanny contract.
- Return any belongings
If your nanny has left any personal belongings in your home, schedule a time for them to be delivered or picked up before their end date or shortly after. If your nanny fails to follow through, send in writing a first and final notice alerting your nanny that any items left past a specific date will be donated so you’re free from any obligation (and guilt).
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