When parents have an opportunity to leave their children in the care of a trusted nanny for a 'get-away' weekend, they often are in a dilemma about what is reasonable compensation. While it may be tempting to agree on a 'per diem' rate, the Internal Revenue Service dictates otherwise. The IRS considers nannies hourly wage employees and as such nannies receive an hourly wage for all hours worked, including overtime. Federal law does allow a nanny to sleep up to 8 hours without pay when working 24 consecutive hours, provided she is not responsible to get up to care for the child. If your child wakes up and requires care, your nanny is considered working and paid her regular hourly rate for that time. For most overnight care situations, a nanny receives her regular hourly rate until 10 PM and starting again at 6 AM. Parents often provide a 'bonus' of $80.00 for sleeping hours.
As always, discuss terms with your nanny before leaving for that much needed break to ensure that everyone is clear about compensation.