I think my Nanny is using the phone too much—what do I do?

As in any employment situation, it is unprofessional for an employee to make too many personal phone calls while they are being paid to do a job.

Unfortunately it is often very difficult to know if your nanny is using the phone and employers often must rely on a somewhat unreliable source –their children.

This is a difficult situation as it also puts the children in a position that could be detrimental to their relationship with their nanny.

If you think your nanny may be phone-obsessed to the point of it being dangerous for your kids than this issue must be addressed immediately. Talking on the phone too much means she is likely too distracted to keep track of your children. The following tips could help resolve this problem

• Make sure you are very clear about your position (as an employer)with regard to phone use (both home and cell)
• If your nanny is a live in and you think she will be making long distance calls make sure the nanny and you have an arrangement with regard phone use to payment. It is wise to have this agreement in your employment contract
• Purchase a cell phone that you will pay for or offer to pay for. Make sue it is in your name so you get the bill. This way you can see what calls are being made to your nanny and what calls she is making during her work hours
• If you have no other alternative you can carefully ask the children if they have seen their nanny talk on the phone but make sure you do it in a casual way so your children do not know you are concerned about this issue

Finally it is obvious that being direct and honest is always the best approach if you think your nanny is speaking on the phone too much especially if you think it is effecting the quality of care she is providing to the children. This can be a difficult and sensitive situation but you certainly do not want to get to the point where your children and neighbors are spying for you