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Letting Your Household Employee Go

Whether it is a nanny, a senior caregiver, a personal assistant, or someone else, letting go of a household employee is almost never enjoyable. Many household employees become a valuable extension of the family they work with, so if you need to terminate their employment, it is important to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

#1: Follow the rules.

It is important to keep in mind that fairness and compassion goes a long way during employee termination. If you have an employment contract, be sure you stay within the rules that have been designated with that. For example, if the employee has unused paid time off and it’s specified that those should be paid out, make sure that they get the money that is due to them. In addition, make sure that your household employee receives their final paycheck at the appropriate time. Some states have different timelines on when they should receive their pay. Some require employees to get their paycheck no later than their next scheduled paydays, while some paychecks need to be provided at the time of termination. Check your state to see what the rules are.

#2: Know how to break the news.

Many employers choose to write a termination letter with information as well as the final payment. For others, an in-person meeting is better. If that’s the case, practice what you will say and keep it precise. Meet without children present and make sure to allow for some time for your employee to respond or ask questions.

#3: Help them with the next step.

As long as you have been paying them on the books with federal and state unemployment taxes withheld, you can assure them that they can apply for unemployment compensation. If it’s appropriate, you can choose to provide a letter of reference that they can use for future work.

Terminating the employment for your household employee can be upsetting and stressful. But with the proper preparation, explanation, and procedures in place, you’ll be able to alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with a termination meeting.

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