By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights
My husband and I want to hire a babysitter for a short time after candlelighting time on Friday evening. How can we pay her for this “work” done on Shabbos?
One may not accept schar Shabbos (payment for work done on Shabbos). Even though one is being paid after Shabbos, it is nevertheless forbidden since the work is being done on Shabbos.
Accepting payment for babysitting on Shabbos falls under the category of schar Shabbos. However, schar Shabbos behavla’ah (when “absorbed” with other payment) is permissible, but only if all of the following conditions are met:
The babysitter must be paid for babysitting done during the week or month, and not solely for babysitting on Shabbos. If either employee or employer have the right to opt out of the agreement, and the employee would then get paid pro rata (proportionally), it doesn’t qualify as schar Shabbos behavla’ah, even if it includes payment for weekdays.
In your specific case you should hire the babysitter to work at least a hour before shabbos and have it considered one job (before Shabbos and after Shabbos), and make up to pay for the whole job not per hour, and that neither the employee nor the employer have the right to opt out of the agreement.