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Pay for Brooklyn Nannies Rises But Most Are Cheated Out of Overtime: Survey

By Caroline Spivack | July 28, 2017 4:04pm | Updated on July 31, 2017 7:13am

PARK SLOPE — Brooklynites are forking over more money than ever to pay their nannies, but most still don't get paid overtime and the majority are paid off the books, according to a new survey by Park Slope Parents.

Most caregivers receive annual raises, paid time off — an average of 14 days — and bonuses, but more than half of the 870 parents surveyed, 33 percent of whom live in Park Slope, pay their nannies off the books and skirt shelling out the legally required time-and-a-half increase for more than 40 hours of work a week, according to the survey.

"That's a disappointment," said Susan Fox, founder and president of Park Slope Parents. "People think, 'Oh I pay them when I come home early so it all evens out,' but you're legally supposed to pay more."

The number of those paid off the books went up slightly this year — meaning nannies would be ineligible for worker's compensation if they were injured on the job. 

Of those who took the survey, 15 percent declined to answer the question about paying off the books. But of those who did answer, a whopping 60 percent admitted they pay off the books and 12 percent pay partially on the books and partially off the books.

Only 13 percent said they pay entirely on the books. 

Of those, 67 percent said they use a service or accountant to take care of taxes and the rest handle the accounting themselves or use packaged software.

Nannies in Brooklyn earn an average hourly wage of $17.63 according to the non-scientific survey. That's up by nearly $2 an hour since 2015 when the group's survey was last conducted and way up from the state's median hourly wage of $13.26 for children's caregivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2016 statistics.

Brooklyn's roughly $2 per hour jump is bigger then in prior year's surveys, but the parenting group wasn't quite sure why.

"It's a larger increase than we've seen in past years — it's typically a dollar — but it's difficult to tease out why," Fox said. "That's the $1,000 question."

Each of the parents surveyed are members of individual families with nannies and more than half of those who opted into the questionnaire are members of Park Slope Parents.

The Park Slope Parents website has been conducting the survey since 2008.