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  1. #1

    Holiday Bonuses for Caregivers

    I want to give my caregivers some kind of gift or bonus for the holidays but I am not sure how to handle it. The last few years I have just given them all a small gift or a gift card as a year end thank you becase the agency they work for has always given out substantial cash bonuses in early December based on the number of hours worked in a year However, sign of the times I guess, and the agency sent out a memo saying there would be no bonuses this year. Which actually made me feel bad because I know that some of them were depending on the bonus due to husband's being laid off, kids starting college, etc.

    So I was wondering if it would be better this year to just give out a cash bonus? Does anybody else do that? If I go that route, I have no clue how much to give. I also don't want to create bad feelings among everybody but I can't trust them to keep the amount they recieve to themselves. And last year the gift card amounts caused a minor issue that had me considering just scrapping them altogether for everybody. But in light of the no bonus announcement coming only a few days before it was due to be paid out, morale is very low and frankly I think its in my best interest to give them something.

    But if I give cash do I give the same amount to those who are part-time as the full-timers? And how much shoould I give?

    I also have one overnight staff (she is full time) who is constantly late and blows off shifts all the time at the last minute. Yet when she bothers to come to work, she does far more work than everybody else and I actually like her as a person. But I can't depend on her at all. Do I give her the same as the person who always shows up on time but won't lift a finger beyond what is spelled out word for word in her official job description?

    Dealing with caregivers is the truly the bane of my existence some days.

  2. #2
    Giving an amount based on hours worked sounds fair to me - and consistant with what the agency had done. Shouldn't be reasons for an issue with that.

    The other caretaker - hard one. The easiest is to just treat her the same as everyone else - based upon hours worked. Unless you don't want to give her as much?

  3. #3
    I would first check with the agency to be sure that their employees are allowed to accept cash gifts or gifts of any significant value from clients. That would NOT be allowed where I work.

    Since we private pay, we give each of my mother's PCAs a small gift plus a card with a cash amount equal to one day of work, and they also get paid for the holiday if that is when they would normally work (I take care of my mother on Christmas and Thanksgiving and give them the day with their family). I don't think you are under any obligation to give a bonus that is equal for all employees.

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I would first check with the agency to be sure that their employees are allowed to accept cash gifts or gifts of any significant value from clients. That would NOT be allowed where I work.

    Since we private pay, we give each of my mother's PCAs a small gift plus a card with a cash amount equal to one day of work, and they also get paid for the holiday if that is when they would normally work (I take care of my mother on Christmas and Thanksgiving and give them the day with their family). I don't think you are under any obligation to give a bonus that is equal for all employees.

    (KLD)
    I already checked. While the agency provides my caregiving staff and pays them based on the funding I recieve, I am involved in a government program that gives me extended control over things like hiring and firing and how to allocate my funded hours. I can pay a reasonable bonus out of my own pocket as long as it is documented.

    I agree it's a bit problematic to be giving a cash bonus and opens the door for potential abuse on both sides, which is why I want to make sure I give something fair but not excessive. And while I don't think everybody necessarily deserves the same amount, I don't want to use it as a carrot or a stick either. For the most part, despite some ongoing issues that never seem to change (like chronic lateness), I am very happy and appreciative of the care I recieve and just want to bonus to reflect that.

    I am getting better at dealing with this stuff, slowly. But maybe not really lol.
    Last edited by orangejello; 11-23-2009 at 01:01 PM.

  5. #5
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    Since you like the tardy employee, and she does such a good job when there, I would figure the two factors even out, and treat her the same as you decide to treat everyone.

    I think that since you just want to come out with some "formula" that can be thrown down to quiet discussion .... you want to hopefully find one that is so obvious that it doesn;t need to be presented. So keep it simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by orangejello View Post

    I can't really pay them out based on hours worked because given they work for an agency, they don't just work with me, especially the part-timers. I thought about the bonus being based just on the hours they worked with me. But after adding up the numbers, it wasn't really a fair reflection of things given I had been out of town for several extended periods of time.
    A bonus calculated on the hours they have worked for you this year would be the simplest, is the out of town an issue because some have traveled with you or because you didn;t need anyone while you were away?

    Perhaps just 2 levels, one for part time and one for full time? Would that work?
    Last edited by sjean423; 11-23-2009 at 02:48 PM.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sjean423 View Post
    Since you like the tardy employee, and she does such a good job when there, I would figure the two factors even out, and treat her the same as you decide to treat everyone.
    The keyword being "when" lol--she has blown off 4 of her past 10 shifts, including Friday when she gave me less than two hours to cover a nightshift. And its gotten to the point where it really is a surprise if she manages to show up on time for any shifts. I just now assume she isn't going to and try to schedule somebody else to overlap her for an hour. I do like her a lot
    but I wonder if rewarding her with a bonus might make the problem worse, you know what I mean? Although I think you are right that I am going to have to give her whatever I give the other full-timers.

    I think that since you just want to come out with some "formula" that can be thrown down to quiet discussion .... you want to hopefully find one that is so obvious that it doesn;t need to be presented. So keep it simple.



    A bonus calculated on the hours they have worked for you this year would be the simplest, is the out of town an issue because some have traveled with you or because you didn;t need anyone while you were away?

    Perhaps just 2 levels, one for part time and one for full time? Would that work?
    Yes because of the travelling I did, going on hours alone would unfairly penalize those who didn't work with me while I was away. I also already paid extra out of pocket for those who came along with me.

    I think you are right, just two set amounts for full-time and part time. And maybe a small gift card for those who work casual shifts, which are usually last minute replacements when somebody blows off a shift so they deserve something too. I am still stuck on an amount but I guess I will figure something out.

    Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it.

  7. #7
    I meant to post this in caregiving...can it be moved? Thanks.

    I can't really pay them out based on hours worked because given they work for an agency, they don't just work with me, especially the part-timers. I thought about the bonus being based just on the hours they worked with me. But after adding up the numbers, it wasn't really a fair reflection of things given I had been out of town for several extended periods of time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    sounds like it can be a real debate and headbanging experience, giving them all a turkey or ham would be nice and they can eat it, and wouldn't have to worry about how much for each person
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    I am still stuck on an amount but I guess I will figure something out.
    I think KLD has a good formula, one or two days salary depending on your hourly rate.

    You could maybe also give a future gift for a paid day off on their birthday. This would stagger it out in terms of paying and if they don't last past their birthday's then you own nothing.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  10. #10
    I know well what you're saying OJ. I usually do gift certificates to Wal-Mart or similar place where everyone goes. The agency I use isn't big on allowing clients to give, or receive, much of a gift, so a maximum of $20 is the general top end gift.

    Part-time and full-time difference is good. With the late employee, try attaching a note to the gift along the lines of "thanks for your work" or something relating to the extra she does when she comes. That way, it doesn't address the tardiness, but does give an idea you like what she does, when she does.

    A note isn't bad for the others either, but an extra incentive for the one sometimes helps.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

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