Should I loan my nanny money or give her a cash advance?

Here is a sticky situation–  Your nanny comes to you, asking if she can borrow some money to cover some emergency dental work.  Maybe she needs to cover the cost of her parent’s funeral.  What should you do?

As an employer, this can be a difficult situation to be in.  It can be hard to say no, especially when your nanny is clearly upset, stressed and embarrassed.  She has been with you for a long time and is considered part of the family.  You understand that life deals bad hands sometimes and emergencies do creep up.

Obviously, quite a few factors come into the equation.

  • How long has your nanny worked for you?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with her?
  • Why does she need the money?
  • Has she shown responsibility with money in the past?
  • How much money does she need?

If you do decide to help her out, make sure that you create a loan agreement that includes a repayment schedule and with the conditions clearly defined.  What will happen if your nanny quits or is let go before the money is paid back in full? Also make sure that your employment contract is still in existence.

Are there alternate ways you could help her out instead of loaning her the money?  Could you give her extra hours babysitting?  Do you have a project that you just don’t have time for that she could do her spare time? (i.e.  organising your photo albums, clearing out the playroom of old toys etc.)  Do you know of a friend who could use a bit of extra help?

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong answer and every relationship is different.  Trust your gut.  It will tell you if it is the correct thing to do or not.

Kate McGeachin has been matching nannies and families for 8 years.  She lives in Vancouver with her husband and her daughter.  When she is not camping, skiing or biking, she is scouring the internet looking for the latest vegetarian gluten free recipes. 


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