Are UK Nannies with COVID antibodies more likely to find a job?
During the pandemic, domestic staff are working tirelessly to assist private discerning families with childcare and household support. Nannies and childcare providers are considered essential workers and therefore are allowed to continue working during the lock down.
As the pandemic continues, we are seeing an increase in parents who are seeking professional help to find nannies with a teaching background, who are willing to relocate or live in and who have had COVID-19 and therefore developed antibodies.
What happens if a family urgently need childcare support whilst they have a person who is at high risk living in the household?
At PHS we have always practiced equal opportunity. We are, as millions of others, concerned about the impact that the virus is having on our family, colleagues, friends and the world.
Perfect Household Staff have always had the most experienced and professional childcare providers registered with the agency and unfortunately some of them have had COVID 19. Due to this, we now have nannies with antibodies who are telling us about their personal health in their job application and interview. In fact, they are asking our recruiters to notify the employers about their situation.
Our question: Does the childcare community think that it is acceptable for employers to give preference to nannies who have suffered from the virus and in turn, for nannies who have suffered from the virus to use it to their advantage?
Although there is contradicting information about a persons' infectiousness who has antibodies, whether or even if they are immune to COVID 19 or for how long they will be immune. It is undoubtedly something of interest to private families who are trying to do everything possible to keep the virus out of their home. For the governments' information on antibodies, please use this link.
If people travelling in to the UK and in to other countries have to go through a COVID-19 test, can domestic employers also intentionally search for employees who have had the virus? Will this be considered as discriminatory or is it a way of protecting their loved ones?
Some of our nannies who have contracted the virus and have antibodies are even highlighting information this in their CV and cover letter. In order to prove this, they are willing to take an antibody test and disclose their medical information to potential employers. After all, it is as simple as typing in "COVID-19 Antibodies Test UK" in to google to see how simple it is to take the test.
Our domestic recruitment agency have frequently been asked to provide professional domestic staff who will give their explicit consent to go through a full medical check prior to employment. After all, domestic staff work in a private home.
For the UK government guidance on testing employees for COVID 19, please use this link.
Our main concern about the increase in families searching for a nanny with antibodies is nannies trying to become infected with COVID 19 in order to develop antibodies and therefore believing that they are more likely to find a job. What do you think?
Hire a Nanny with COVID antibodies for preschool children?
Some families who are looking for a nanny with antibodies for a preschool child, think that this is a good option due to it being very challenging for preschool children to keep social distance. If the nanny has had the virus already there is information out there that explains that a person with antibodies are less likely to contract the virus again. But even that is not proven. The information is changing every day...
All of our employers offer paid sick leave when looking for nannies as they believe that it will decrease the chances of a nanny coming in to work whilst sick.
Social distancing is especially important for families where the child or family member is in the higher risk group and special precautionary measures can be taken such as:
- limiting visiting shops
- wearing gloves when shopping
- not ordering take away food
- arranging deliveries instead of food shopping
- regularly hand washing
- nannies not taking food or drink in to the household
- travelling by taxi / private chauffeur
During the working day, nannies are encouraged to wear a mask and to use separate hygiene essentials to the family.
Are Nannies at higher risk than other employees?
Due to COVID, the nanny job is much more challenging and undoubtedly puts the nannies at higher risk of being in contact with the virus. If the children are attending nursery or school, they will of course socialise with other children and as children show less symptoms of the virus than adults, it is more challenging to notice if the child is contagious.
How can families ensure safety in their household?
In order to encourage the nannies to stick to the families' guidelines, a formal contract must contain clear instructions on what is to be expected from the childcare provider. Some families have chosen to offer bonuses if no one contracts the virus throughout a certain period of time.
What impact is COVID-19 having on nannies in private households?
As the pandemic continues, we have found that families are trying to limit the amount of contact they have with new people. If a member of staff is on sick leave, the nanny may be asked to complete extra duties around the house such as cooking and housekeeping. The employer is allowed to hire temporary staff in such cases but they are reluctant to do so.
Of course, professional nannies take great pride in taking care of children and do not want the extra responsibilities of other domestic staff. In cases where the nanny duties increase significantly, they will start looking for a new job. Professional nannies will feel it is unfair that their salary is not increasing whilst the job requirements or duties are.