Friday, March 12, 2010

Nannygate in Brooklyn! The hand that rocks the cradle is underpaid and off-the-books

From the Brooklyn Paper:

By Claire Glass

Moms and Dads in famously liberal Park Slope are guilty of Nannygate.

The political scandal from a decade ago — which famously snared plenty of pols for paying their domestic help off the books — is rearing its obviously not-so-ugly head as a new survey revealed this week that close to 90 percent of all local nannies work in a black market.

Only 14 percent of local parents pay their nannies fully on the books, according to the survey of 806 families compiled by the Park Slope Parents Web site.

The hand that rocks this cradle is working illegally.

And it’s no surprise — or even a cause for concern — among the mostly women who are doing the dirty work.

“Out of the seven families I’ve worked for, only one ever discussed taxes with me,” said Deborah Manwaring, a nanny for 21 years. “Parents are so worried about the cost.”

And taxes aren’t the only disturbing element of Park Slope nanny culture, according to the survey. The International Nanny Association’s most recent study says that nannies in New York City make an average of $777 a week. In Park Slope, the average is $548 weekly — and 86 percent aren’t getting benefits, the survey showed.

The earth-shattering survey also revealed that:
  • the bad economy has taken its toll on nannies. Salaries are down from last year and fewer nannies have gotten a raise. Last year 55 percent got a raise, this year just 33 percent did.
  • only three percent on nannies receive even partial health-care coverage.
  • only 33 percent of nannies have written contracts with their employers.
  • the difference in salary between nannies who are on the books and those who are paid off the books ranges from 16 cents to $2.18.
But by far, the most-shocking finding is that so many Park Slope parents are pulling the Zoe Baird and choosing to keep their nannies as undocumented workers.

Read the full article

1 comment:

  1. Undocumented workers means employers are also not obliged to pay for their benefits, this is really true. This is not only happening in the United States but also in many parts of the world, some much worst. Many are still considering domestic workers (including nannies) as an informal sector and even if there are many calls for it to be considered as decent work for years already, society still looks at them poorly & lowly. Who do we blame?