Whether you work full time as a caregiver or part time, you will likely take some time off each year. Going on vacation is often a needed reward for the love and hard work you pour into the family you provide care for.
What is more, it is one of the best ways to hit the refresh button and keep you at your best. It is for this reason that many employers want you to take some time for yourself, even if it causes temporary inconvenience to them. Some employers, on the other hand, may be uncomfortable or uncertain about the idea of offering paid time off (PTO) to a caregiver or sitter.
Whichever situation you may be presented with, it is important to clearly communicate with your employer about what benefits you are entitled to. The most effective way to do this is to discuss it before taking a job. But even if you are currently working as a caregiver and aren’t sure about your vacation benefits, it is still not too late to open that dialogue.
Ask your employer about paid time off
The subject of PTO can be a touchy one, which is why many caregivers and sitters are hesitant to bring it up. Nevertheless, presenting your questions and expectations professionally will earn you the respect of your employer, and at the very least, provide the information you need in order to plan your time off. Follow these guidelines to establish an agreement:
1. If you already have vacation scheduled, disclose it as soon as possible.
This is extremely important when starting a new job. Being truthful with your employer is the best way possible to ensure a strong relationship of trust.
2. How many paid vacation days and sick days will they provide?
Ask if you will be offered paid time off, and if so, how many days? Same with sick days? While employers aren’t obligated by law to provide these benefits, explain why you believe it is worth consideration. You can start by laying out your preferred amount of time off, and be prepared to negotiate to find a compromise if needed.
3. Ask how much advance notice is preferred.
If you are planning a vacation, it will need to be approved by the employer. It is a good courtesy to ask what is an appropriate amount of advance notice. It shows that you care about their needs and expectations as well.
4. Document these points in your contract.
It is always a good idea to have a written contract between you and your employer, and it is easy to do! Here is a sample contract to get you started.
Once you have come to an agreement on what benefits you will or will not receive, and you have them properly documented, you can begin planning your getaways with peace of mind.
However, as previously noted, some employers simply may not agree to any sort of paid time off. If you discover that this is the case, you may want to consider some alternative options.
Supplement loss of income
If you are unable to secure paid vacation, perhaps there are still ways you could supplement loss of income. For example, for the weeks approaching your vacation, you could offer some services you don’t normally do. This could be things like:
- Caring for the lawn and garden
- Tutoring the children
- Running errands
- Extending hours
- Cleaning or organizing parts of the house
- Taking care of pets and the house while the family will be on vacation
Your employer may appreciate the extra help, and this could be a simple way to earn a little extra for a trip you are taking. It ultimately depends on whether these services are needed, or budgeted for, so be prepared in case your offer is declined.
With our 2020 calendar you can easily plan and schedule your trips. Happy travels!
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