A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for household employees may seem to be for movie stars and the ultra-wealthy to protect themselves from the butler writing a “tell all” book about their family. However, for parents who don’t appear on celebrity magazine covers or the latest list of the world’s richest people, an NDA can still provide a level of protection and privacy for their family.
While you – hopefully – have hired a nanny you can trust, just think about what your nanny has access to during her day.
She could take photos of your children and post them on her social media accounts. These may not be the same images she texts you throughout the day showing what a great time they’re having. It could be during a toddler meltdown or some other unflattering moment. Or worse, they disclose the location of your children to people you don’t know.
Nannies know your schedule including when you’re going to be on vacation. They see the valuables you keep in your home. Any of this can be shared with a couple of taps on their mobile phones or mentioned to friends and suddenly your home is vulnerable to theft.
Obviously, nannies spend a lot of time in your home and may come across personal information such as prescriptions, bank statements, bills, purchase receipts, and more. They know your home alarm system code.
Your nanny will also see you at your best and, unfortunately, at your worst. She may overhear sensitive or intimate conversations. It’s those private and “not so great” moments that you don’t want to be shared as nanny chatter at the park, on message boards or through social media.
Let’s be clear. Your nanny may be innocent in their intentions when they post your family info or photos to their social media accounts. Maybe they’re looking for your child’s favorite binky when they come across your latest 401k statement or medical bill that was left on the kitchen counter and that becomes gossip with their friends. They may not realize the potential impact of their actions. You should discuss confidentiality and privacy before they start working for you to reduce miscommunication but also put it in writing.
An NDA can be as simple as a confidentiality clause that’s inserted in a work agreement or nanny contract. Include what can or can’t be shared – such as photos, conversations, documents, family names, and specifics of your job – outside of your home whether she is on the job or not. You could specify areas of the house that are off-limits to your nanny like the master bedroom or home office.
Clearly state what could happen if she violates the NDA or confidentiality clause.
A family law attorney can help you craft an appropriate statement or document. If you worked through a placement agency, they may have standard language to include in your work agreement or a template of an NDA. You may want the NDA to be in place even when she is no longer working for you.
Another possibility is to include a social media policy, which states what is or is not allowed to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. You could have a strict policy of never sharing photos, location, or plans.
Whatever option you choose, make sure your nanny fully understands your expectations and consequences of breaking the agreement (which could include termination) before she signs. Answer all her questions and give her time to have the agreement reviewed by an attorney.
NDAs and confidentiality agreements may seem cold and impersonal for what is a highly personal job. You may even think an NDA shows distrust and could offend your nanny. However, most experienced in-home caregivers understand the need for an NDA or confidentiality clause and have likely signed them in the past. For nannies who are newer to the profession, stress that you know they will make smart decisions with regards to your privacy and that work agreements are a way to make sure everyone has the same expectations.
Always remember that you’re in an employer-employee relationship and the privacy and safety of your family is your first concern.
GTM Can Help
Need assistance with your nanny contract or work agreement? GTM can help. Call (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your hiring situation with a household employment expert.