Question:

I texted a babysitter if she’s available for the following day. She advised that yes. I told her I would let her what time she should come over. The next day my child was not feeling well so I had to cancel. (4pm)We never confirmed a time, or for how long I would be out. The babysitter advised that she lost out on another job and therefore I should pay her. Since we did not prearrange a timeframe for which she would babysit. Am I obligated to pay? And if yes how much?

Answer:

I am assuming that it was understood between you and the babysitter that the babysitting would be done during the evening hours. Otherwise it wouldn’t really be considered that you made up anything that she should cancel another job.

If you have to pay the babysitter will depend if the reason you canceled. If you canceled because of an unforeseen thing came up which makes the babysitting unnecessary. Therefore if the child was already not so well the day before one can’t cancel.  Another point, in your question you wrote that your child “wasn’t feeling well”. I’m not sure what you mean with this. If the child was not well to the extent that it was not possible for you to go out, then you don’t have to pay the babysitter. However if the child was not so sick that the babysitter couldn’t do the job, and your staying home was more that you wanted to stay home because he was sick, then you would have to pay, even if the child got sick that day.

The amount that you would have to pay would be the minimum wage, and since you didn’t make up yet how many hours it will be, you pay the minimum amount of hours that a person usually takes a babysitter. For example, when people take a babysitter to go to a chasuna, the minimum they take her for is three hours, then you would have to give her three hours of the minimum pay.

Sources:

CH:M 334-1,4, R’ Friedman.

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