As a household employer, you don’t have a human resources department. But it’s still critically important to make sure you’re compliant with labor laws and your employees are engaged and satisfied on the job.
That’s where GTM Payroll Services comes in. Our household HR advisor can help with any number of tasks or issues like developing an employee handbook and following the law when terminating an employee.
Household employer to-dos for 2020
Make a to-do list, and check it twice!
As a household employer, you have obligations towards your employee. New labor laws create new obligations and you may be missing some. The end of the year is a good time to take stock and make a plan for 2020, and a to-do list is a good way to start.
Employer obligations involve more than the items below, but we can help you start your list.
- Make sure your employee’s job description accurately outlines their duties
- Have your employee sign their offer letter and work agreement
- Comply with the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (where applicable)
- Have an employee handbook with all required policies, as well as policies that are not required but employees should know and follow
- Have a method to address employee performance fairly and reward them for a job well done
- Know all the relevant labor laws and how to abide by them
- Have a plan if your employee needs to go out on leave
- Have a personnel file with all employee documents
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Staying happy and healthy this winter
Colder weather and shorter, darker days create a host of winter blues that can be minimized with a little preparation and perseverance.
- Defend against sickness: get your flu shot, wash your hands often, and make sure everyone in your household does the same.
- If you will need your employee to come to work when a winter storm hits or stay overnight if travel is unsafe, prepare ahead of time. Communicate your expectations to your employee and help them plan alternate travel methods. If your employee is unable to make it to work, decide ahead of time if they will be paid for their time not worked, through paid time off or other allowances.
- Have a backup plan for childcare if your nanny cannot get to work.
- Combat the seasonal drops in serotonin with self-care. Counter the dark, cold days with intentionally cheery, happy things, like fresh flowers in the home, feel-good movies and books, and photo books of summer activities or vacations. Spending time outside each day, exercising, socializing with friends, and even snacking on dark chocolate will also help!
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Household employer drug and alcohol policy
Do you have a written drug and alcohol policy? A written policy is the first step towards ensuring a drug-free workplace, and it allows you both peace of mind regarding your home and the right to require drug and alcohol testing when circumstances warrant and applicable laws allow. Drug and alcohol policies should first address that the purpose of the policy is to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.
Other essential areas the policy should explain:
- The use, possession, transfer, or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances by employees on employer premises is prohibited.
- The consequences of violating the drug and alcohol policy are disciplinary action up to and including termination.
- Employees taking medication should consult with a medical professional to determine whether the drug may affect their personal safety or ability to perform their job, and should advise their employer of any resulting job limitations.
- Reserve the right to test any employee for the use of illegal drugs, marijuana, or alcohol, in accordance with applicable law.
- Address medical and recreational marijuana usage. While all marijuana use is illegal federally, many states have legalized it for medical use and in some states, recreational use. Tread carefully when developing a policy, and check your state and local laws before developing a policy prohibiting marijuana usage during non-work hours.
GTM can help
Household employment is a business. It’s the smooth and sound operation of your most important organization – your home. It’s also your employee’s livelihood. Neither your household nor your worker’s employment should be taken lightly. It’s not enough to simply hire an employee. To ensure a safe and happy home, you must ensure a safe and happy workplace, which can be accomplished by following and implementing human resource practices in your household.
GTM Payroll Services offers Household HR Services such as employee documents and background checks as well as consultations with a household employment advisor. For employers with household staff, our Household HR Concierge Service will help you and your estate manager retain top personnel, hire the best fits for your positions, and comply with labor laws. Learn more about our Household HR and Concierge Services.
Hiring a nanny?
Download Your Guide to Hiring a Nanny. In this new guide, we lay out the steps on how to hire a nanny the right way and maintain a strong relationship with your employee.