Paid maternity leave for nanny?


I am hoping to tap into the collective wisdom of BPN. My son's nanny is pregnant (due in June) and will take about 3 months off for maternity leave.  How have others navigated payment and maternity leave? I give her sick and vacation time, which would cover 3-4 weeks of her leave at full pay.  Have others paid their nannies additional maternity leave if their nanny is returning to work for them after their leave? And if so, how much & for how long have you paid (i.e. a percentage of salary a la state programs)?  I want to be a fair/good employer, but I will have to pay a temporary nanny to cover our nanny's leave and won't be able to afford paying both. 

Additionally, this of course, has all been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic - I am a healthcare worker and currently deployed as a disaster service worker, so telecommuting isn't an option for me.  Our nanny isn't able to continue work due to her being pregnant and risk of exposure to COVID-19 vis a vis my work.  My intention had been to keep paying her her regular wage during the pandemic, but soon I will need to start paying a substitute childcare provider and won't be able to afford to pay both.

I'm curious for anyone's thoughts/previous experience with nanny maternity leave, including perspectives in the era of COVID-19- specifically any thoughts on how I can be a fair/decent employer to my nanny, while facing the reality of needing to use a substitute nanny for 5 months.

Thank you in advance and hope everyone is surviving!

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She should qualify for SDI and PFL through the state if you are paying into those systems. They each cover up to 70% of her salary, depending on how much she makes, and she could use her sick and vacation time to top that up to get to full pay if she wants to. My first son's nanny had to take SDI when she was out for about two months for surgery, and my current nanny for my second son filed for unemployment, which should actually pay her as much as she normally makes due to the additional payment from the stimulus package, because we aren't having her come during shelter in place.

Hopefully you have been paying your nanny legally and withholding state disability, unemployment, worker's comp, etc. All she has to do is file with the state and she'll receive payments while she's off. I think it's 2 months before an 4-6 months after but that may have changed since my nanny took maternity leave.  If you have not been doing state withholding for your nanny, perhaps she can still file and you can pay SDI retroactively. Check with the state EDD.  Otherwise I think you owe it to your nanny to make the payments to her that she would have received if you'd paid her legally. 

If you're paying her over the table she's likely eligible for state disability. You can use the paid leave she's accumulated to top that up so that she has her full income. So even with just using the paid leave she has, that could get you to more like 2 months of full pay between you and state SDI. If you're able to continue to pay half salary for one month that could get you through the full three months without either of you having to bear the full financial burden.

If you’ve paid your nanny legally, they should be able to file for disability when the baby is born, plus additional time for bonding under Paid Family Leave. You might continue to pay them during the pregnancy, and then just make up the difference between the PFL payments and their regular wages. 

Only thing I can contribute depends on if you’re also paying into the state UI and SDI as an employer. I’m a father and was working part time before Covid. So I didn’t qualify for their paid leave policy. But the state of California considers bonding as a disability claim. So she could apply for it through there. They base it off your wages so whatever you were paying her, she would get wages (I think six weeks worth) similar to before.

Also, I just applied for unemployment and the unemployment structure is very generous right now. Since she can’t work due to the virus (exposure and risk) you could lay her off and she could apply. It’s not a simple process and they say it’ll take 3-4 weeks to process. But it might be worth the option to talk to her about.

I applied cause my employer paid me off/said no more work for me in this covid season but that they want to hire me back when they can bring me back on.

Regarding maternity leave, we paid our nanny a flat 'maternity bonus' that wasn't quite equivalent to full pay given we were paying another care giver during that time, but probably equated to ~60% pay. One idea could be to pay it in waves (so that perhaps it's not as big of a financial hit to you), assuming she can get by if you pay it in waves. 

On the current situation, we're in a similar boat and paying full pay for our nanny (who is not coming given concerns + her own childcare situation) and my son's preschool. Eventually we may have to pay a temporary childcare provider as our current set up isn't sustainable. I haven't solved what we'll do here, but have been thinking about paying her full time in the short term given her financial needs right now, and then if SIP continues for say another 3 months (And we bring in another care provider), then this fall, for 3 months, we pay her 1/2 time or something. Again, not solved yet, and as we get more information in the coming weeks, the situation may change, but that's my current creative idea to ensure she is financially supported right now, but to also balance our family's longer term cash position.