When employing a nanny there are lots of responsibilities you may not have considered when you took the decision to bring a nanny into your home
The main concern when hiring a nanny is obviously to find the best person to care for your children, but please remember that you are becoming the employer of the nanny.
Guide to employing a nanny
The nanny who comes into your home is making a career out of caring for your children and as such there are some fundamental employment guidelines that you should follow:
Nanny job description – a precise job description should be discussed and agreed with the nanny before she commences work for you.
Nanny contract – 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. St. Andrew’s Nannies provide a standard form contract and we are happy to advise you on how to tailor the contract to your specific requirements.
Guidelines for your nanny – as well as a job description and a contract you should think about the way you like your home run and how you would like the relationship with your nanny to develop.
House rules for the nanny
If you would like to keep the relationship fairly formal then state this at the outset. In particular, discuss and agree any house rules from the outset.
- Is the nanny free to use the phone when she wants?
- Can the nanny invite other nannies around?
- Do either of the parents prefer being left alone when they return from work?
Every family has a number of idiosyncrasies. Are there any in particular that the nanny should be aware of?
The ongoing relationship with your nanny
Like any employer/employee relationship, your relationship with your nanny will have its ups and downs. There will be times when she is performing better than others and times when you may not agree on everything.
You should make sure that there is an ongoing review process as well as ensuring an ongoing dialogue between you and the nanny.
Take time every few months / 6 months / year to sit down with the nanny to discuss how she is doing, and give positive feedback as well as looking at areas where you would like change or improvement. Perhaps you need to discuss how your child’s development needs to be taken forward a stage as he/she gets older.
Legal obligations when hiring a nanny
The nanny is an employee and therefore as her employer you have a number of legal obligations. For example:
- You have a responsibility to pay tax and national insurance.
There is often a temptation to pay cash but this is illegal and you can be fined and charged interest by the Inland Revenue for unpaid tax. Read our Nanny Payroll pages for advice. If you wish to look at ways of reducing your tax liability, then you should look at the possibility of claiming the childcare tax credit or using childcare vouchers issued by your employer/company. (See information on the OFSTED Childcare Register)
- You are responsible for paying your employee’s statutory sick pay; statutory maternity pay and holiday pay. If you wish the nanny to accompany you on holiday, then please note that this does not count towards the nanny’s annual leave and she will need to be paid as normal. Also if you want the nanny to take some of her holiday when you take holiday, this should be specifically stated in the contract
- You must ensure that your household insurance policy covers you for employers and public liability insurance. You are responsible for ensuring that your home contents insurance includes cover for Employer’s and Public Liability insurance for domestic workers, including child carers, failing which you can take out appropriate employer liability insurance to cover the Engagement of a Candidate. It is also the sole responsibility of you to ensure that any Candidate they employ holds Public Liability Insurance with a recommended minimum £1,000,000.00 limit of Indemnity. It is your responsibility to ensure that adequate motor insurance is arranged for the Candidate during childcare duties, whatever car may be used.
Cars and transport for your nanny
It is important that the nanny has appropriate insurance cover for the car that will be used to transport the children (she may need to get insurance to cover her for business use if using her own car). If appropriate, a child car seat may be needed. It is usual for the employer to provide this.
If you are providing a car to the nanny, or you are allowing the nanny to drive your car, check with your insurance company as it can be expensive to put a nanny on your insurance.
The nanny will need to be reimbursed for petrol and running costs whilst transporting the children around. You may either consider a flat rate sum per day or use a mileage rate, if she is using your car. If she is using her own car, then the nanny should be paid 0.45p per mile.
You will also need to clarify issues such as whether the nanny is allowed to use the car for her own personal use and, if so, who pays for the petrol.