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Thread: Holiday Bonuses for Caregivers

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by sjean423 View Post
    That sounds fair to me OJ, it should work. And they really shouldn;t fuss over who gets what anyway. (Not to say that they won't .....)
    I am hoping it won't be an issue. But in the past, paying a bit extra in order to wrangle some much needed help when I was travelling led to some hard feelings from those I didn't offer the travel shifts to. Although I felt it was a bit of a bogus issue as nobody lost any salary due to me being away and it was only practical to bring one person with me. Sometimes you just can't win That is why I ultimately decided everybody would just get the same amount for a holiday bonus.


    (btw, I interpreted the can of worms comment that there was a surprisingly lot of discussion over a simple question? Nothing about what you were starting by giving a christmas bonus)
    Ah ok..I guess I was confused because I have always understood that phrase to have somewhat negative connotations--a decision or action that leds to a troublesome situation.

    I suppose it would be tacky to have your PCA's make cookies, so that you could give them out. LOL.
    lol you know I have never asked any of them to do baking. I should, just to see what kind of reaction I get. They are all RNs or LPNs so it might not go over too well lol. Although, the one who is chronically late has baked a few birthday cakes for my nieces and nephews without me asking her. Granted this was after I agreed to let her bring stuff so she could her own cooking and baking in my kitchen at night during shift down times. A somewhat bizarre arrangement that might come back to bite me in the ass eventually. But my kitchen is always massively cleaner after she has cooked for herself than when my cleaning person comes in, so I am cool with it for now
    Last edited by orangejello; 11-25-2009 at 01:27 PM.

  2. #32
    To be honest, a lot of you folks sound cheap, unless you literally cannot afford anything extra. We all know the lives most of our caregivers live. Multiple jobs, low wages, no savings, no benefits, no pension. To add to that, cleaning up our feces, urine, etc. Great job, eh?

    My advice is to judge the character, performance, loyalty, reliability, honesty, integrity of the employee and if worthy, find the extra money if you can to make their holiday a little easier. After all, an extra $100 might not be a big deal to you, but it may be to them. More important is the message sent, or not sent.

    I've had the same PM caregiver for 16 years. She works 2 jobs. Pays exorbitant health insurance, was uninsured before going on Medicaid. Every holiday she goes home for 2 weeks to the Carribbean to see family.

    It's hard for me, but I go into long term financial resources and give her $1,000 every xmas. I'll do it until I can't any longer, but she's always been there for me, through thick and thin. Loyalty goes both ways. Words are important but cheap, money makes a real difference in people's lives.

    Just remember, you can be penny wise and pound foolish. Lots of wackos out there who can cost you a lot more in money and grief should your present caregiver perceive being unappreciated and leave, or worse. Perceptions become reality.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    To be honest, a lot of you folks sound cheap, unless you literally cannot afford anything extra.
    I don't know how it is in the US, but if you have full-time help in Canada and you're following the labour laws, every statutory holiday will cost you between $500-$800 extra in wages that month. It's far from cheap, especially with Christmas and New Year's just a week apart. Plus, at least with my caregivers, it's the time of year when most of them request their accrued holiday pay.

    That's why I stick to $50 bonuses for everyone. It's more the gesture than the monetary impact.

    OJ, does the agency cover stat pay or do you have to?
    Last edited by Scaper1; 11-25-2009 at 11:00 PM.

  4. #34
    I just re-read your last post scraper1. I think I am in an entirely different situation in terms of how my care is funded than you are. So that would be why I have never heard of being required to pay for stats out of pocket.

  5. #35
    One of the joys of being a private employer.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper1 View Post
    One of the joys of being a private employer.
    I don't know...maybe the cost of paying extra for the 11 or so stats a year would be worth it to not have to deal with an agency and the accompanying headaches inherent with that lol

    But I was re-thinking your post and while I don't pay for my care directly out of my own pocket, I do pay for some of it indirectly in terms of how my insurance settlement was structured. So if I look at it that way I suppose, in effect, I do pay extra for the caregiving I recieve on stats since somebody has to pay for it. I guess because the money never passes directly through me and is earmarked solely for care costs, I just never thought of it that way before. Although in my case, I don't directly feel the hit of having to pay out the extra costs of a stat like you do That really does suck

  7. #37
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Glad you did start this thread OJ. Gift certificates or cash sounds like a good plan.

    My staff is fantastic. But blowing off shifts doesn't work with me. Even the ones that I'm closest to lose shifts that are missed. If Friday night is her to rock, I don't set them up for failure by booking them that night. I recently had to remove a Saturday morning shift from a weekend warrior because despite her best intentions, I couldn't rely on her. If you can, get the agency out of your life. I find much better workers through word-of-mouth and networking.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Quad View Post
    Glad you did start this thread OJ. Gift certificates or cash sounds like a good plan.

    My staff is fantastic. But blowing off shifts doesn't work with me. Even the ones that I'm closest to lose shifts that are missed. If Friday night is her to rock, I don't set them up for failure by booking them that night. I recently had to remove a Saturday morning shift from a weekend warrior because despite her best intentions, I couldn't rely on her. If you can, get the agency out of your life. I find much better workers through word-of-mouth and networking.
    I agree with everything you wrote. The problem is that I need somebody 24/7 and filling all those hours each week continues to be a big challenge for me. I am slowly loosening my dependence on the agency, but unfortunately it is unlikely I will be able to get rid of it completely.

    The only good thing about the current health care cuts going on right now is that soon I *may* be able to attract more applicants when I am looking for somebody. So far it has been pretty lean pickings. I don't mean that as an insult against my current staff. It's just that sometimes its been very hard just to find people to interview.

    Blowing off shifts doesn't fly with me either. But in this particular situation I feel cornerned I am not really in a position to take shifts away from her as punishment for not coming to work. If for no other reason that I often don't have anybody else to cover them. And then I end up needing to call my mother or sister and I just can't keep doing that for a bunch of reasons. The only way I have been able to keep consistent night staff is to make the nights a two person, full-time hours rotation. Each person works 4 days on 4 days off, for 11 or 12 hour shifts. So the actual days a person works changes from week to week, although its true she only tends to blow off weekends. The 4 on 4 off is not ideal but so far this system has cut down on me needing to call my family to drop everything and come cover empty shifts. In general, however, I am still getting screwed at times by last minute shift ditches. The other night person is very reliable but typically won't help cover the missed shifts or trade when the other wants a day off. And I can see her point, she puts in her 44 hours a week that are required and will only work extra on the very rare occasions. So the other one, when she wants a day off or is hungover or whatever, calls in sick.

    So far she has kept her blowing off within her allowable sick days (which is a substantial number) and not missed more than 3 days in a row so hasn't needed a medical note. I really don't know what to do. I guess if the problem continues past the end of her accurred sick days, then it might be solved on its own. I have repeatedly brought up the chronic late thing. I get a whole gamut of responses, ranging from "I am sorry, it won't happen again" to "I had a flat tire" to "my kid was really sick..."

    I don't know what to do about it. I need her and she knows it. The night shift has typically been the most difficult positions to fill. And I am going to loose the reliable one when she goes on maternity leave at the end of the year. She says she will be back in 6 months but I don't think she will.

    As always I am very open to suggestions when it comes to caregiving issues. I actually am very interested to hear from people like you Van Quad because so far I totally suck at managing my caregivers. Although I think I just highjacked my own thread here lol. Maybe I need to start a separate thread...
    Last edited by orangejello; 11-26-2009 at 03:58 PM.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Quad View Post
    If you can, get the agency out of your life. I find much better workers through word-of-mouth and networking.
    Absolutely. Some stuff is a pain, like doing payroll and the stat issues, but overall, once the agency is cut out your caregivers can receive a higher base salary and no more stupid rules. You don't have to stick to RNs or LPNs, you can set the hours, and you can expand the job duties. Like at Christmas, for example, there are so many things that need doing (wrapping, baking, running to the store, making sure wee nieces and nephews don't eat an ornament), all of which an agency would put the kibosh on. Screw that. I used to go through an agency too, but I'm way happier hiring privately, especially around the holidays as things get a little mad in the house.

    ETA: Oops, looks like posted at the same time, OJ.

  10. #40
    Blowing off shifts beyond your "tolerance" limit and breaking the bond of trust required is not acceptable and grounds for termination. Certainly not worthy of any xmas $$. If you're hiring on your own and you have someone who takes advantage of time off in the absence of established rules then it sounds like a sit down is required and new rules are required going forward. Then it's simple, beyond the defined time off granted, pay is deducted or time is owed.

    Some people get the deal without spelling it out. Others, seeing definition doesn't exist, will use the ambiguity to take advantage. Once you feel it's not an honorable relationship, it's time to reassess. Some people need to be kept on a very tight leash. These folks can work out, but more often than not, it says something questionable about their underlying value system that is often not conducive to employment longevity.

    Especially if blowing you off puts you in a bad position health, safety and anxiety wise. Big problem with respect here. Like they have none for you.

    That's diminishing returns. I recently terminated an employee who should have been kept on a short leash but wasn't until it was too late and the consequences were very significant in a bad way.

    So, it's about more than just xmas $$.

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