Information on Becoming an Employer to a Nanny
Now you have decided bring a nanny into your home and become an employer here are many responsibilities you will need to consider. Finding the best person to care for your children is vital, but please remember that you are becoming the employer of someone who has chosen to make a career out of caring for children and as such there are some essential employment guidelines you need to follow. An exact job description should also be agreed with the nanny prior to them starting to work for you.
It is now a legal requirement to have a written contract of employment. You should agree the terms of this contract with your nanny and finalise the contract with each party signing and keeping a copy each. We provide a draft standard contract and can help you tailor this to your specific requirements.
You must register with HMRC as an employer and you have a responsibility to pay Tax and National Insurance. You may have heard that it is acceptable to pay part of the salary in cash but this is illegal and you can be fined and charged interest by the Inland Revenue for unpaid tax. We recommend using a good payroll company to assist you with this. You could look at the possibility of claiming the childcare tax credit or using childcare vouchers issued by your employer/company if you are looking for ways of reducing your tax liability. You are responsible for paying your employee’s statutory holiday, sick and maternity pay. If you plan for the nanny to accompany your family on holiday, then please be aware that that this does not count towards their annual leave and they will need to be paid as normal. Also if you want the nanny to take some of their holiday when you take yours then this should be clearly stated in the contract – a usual agreement is a 50/50 split choice of the holiday allowance. You must ensure that your household insurance policy covers you for employers and public liability insurance.
Use of Cars
The nanny MUST have appropriate insurance cover for the car that will be used to transport the children – if they are using their own car then they must ensure that they have covered it for business use. If they fail to do this, then in the event of an accident, they will not be covered and it is a criminal offence. The nanny will need to be reimbursed for petrol and running costs whilst transporting the children around. This is at the set rate of £0.45p per mile. A child car seat may be needed and it is usual for the employer to provide this. We recommend if possible to have duplicate seats so that the nanny does not disappear for a long weekend with the car seat still in their car! If you want the nanny to use the family car, check with your insurance company as it can be expensive to put a nanny on your insurance.
Along side the contract you should consider the way you like your home run and how you would like the working relationship with your nanny to grow, for example if you would like the nanny to become part of the family or keep the relationship more formal. This needs to be defined from the start. In particular if there is anything that the nanny should be aware of, do you have house rules? For example, is the nanny allowed to use the home phone for work related events? Can the nanny invite other nannies around? Do you like a hand-over at the end of the day or will the nanny keep a diary? (We can provide these).
You should make sure that there is a planned review process as well as regular chats over a cup of tea to discuss any issues between you and the nanny. Discuss how they are doing, this is a perfect opportunity to give positive feedback as well as looking at areas where you feel changes could be made. It is also a good opportunity to discuss the next stages of the children’s development and how to best move forward as a team.