Nannies fear taking a day off from work even if the families that employ them are sick with COVID-19: 'We can't afford it'
- The highly contagious
Omicronvariant has nanniesfearful of contracting the virus and losing their jobs.
- If they get sick, one nanny said, they run the risk of losing their jobs -- especially if there's no contract.
At the height of the pandemic, nannies were at risk for economic insecurity and job instability because of lockdown orders that mandated that everyone stay at home. Then, as vaccines became more commonplace and as parents returned to work in person, nannies were in full demand to care for children too young to attend school or kids who were home remote learning.
But now a surge in cases caused by the spread of the highly contagious
"We're being asked to pick up the kids from school, bring them to school, deal with that crowd, going through whatever protocol the schools have set up," said New York-based nanny Kenya Williams. "But we're also being asked as the family gets sick, they still want us to come into work."
But if a nanny gets sick, "then we are in jeopardy of not getting paid or losing our job," Williams added. "We are terrified to get sick. We're afraid to take a day off. We can't afford it."
Contracts for nannies are relatively new, according to Williams, who works with the Carroll Gardens Nanny Association, which fights for domestic worker rights. Parents who hire
Without a contract, nannies are "walking on eggshells from week to week."
Other nannies said they're concerned about contracting the virus themselves.
Yolande Arthur, a Brooklyn-based nanny and newborn care specialist of 15 years, said she's most afraid of getting infected while commuting to work.
On the subway, she said, the trains are crowded during peak morning and evening hours, and many people are flouting masking guidelines meant to reduce the spread of
Arthur, a full-time nanny who cares for two five-month-old twins, said she fears she'll infect them with the coronavirus if she were to contract it on her way to work.
"When somebody's coughing and sneezing, you never know if it's a common cold or the coronavirus. So it gets me nervous," she said in an interview with Insider.
Arthur spends most of her day in close contact with the two infants, feeding and giving them baths, as well as playing with them and taking walks in the park.
"I know even if you're fully vaccinated, you could still get the virus, but we are trying our best to follow the protocols," she said. "We are trying our best to keep ourselves safe."
Williams, in collaboration with the Carroll Gardens Nanny Association, has worked to spread awareness and get nannies in the New York area to band together and pressure parents looking to hire domestic workers to write up contracts specifying the terms of employment.
The prospect of lockdowns looms if officials decide the spread is unmanageable. Encouraging nannies to demand a contract is one way to ensure that there's at least some protection in case "this happens to us again," Williams said.
- A millennial who became a millionaire after the 2008 crash says building wealth is about more than opportunistic investing. You also have to make lifestyle changes and load up on side hustles.
- OnePlus Nord CE 3 leaks ahead of launch – specs, expected launch date and more
- A 53-year-old longevity researcher says his 'biological age' is a decade younger thanks to 4 daily habits — but the science behind them is mixed
- Learning AI can be lucrative: Freshers’ annual pay is ₹10-14 lakh in India, says TeamLease Digital report
- CoCo bonds fall sharply over Credit Suisse deal
- Date night conversations to diet charts – 10 things ChatGPT can help you with
- Gold is bankable, shines more than some western banks say experts
- Fear of financial crisis is keeping investors away from stock markets say experts