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What to pay part-time Au Pair who doesn't live in?

(37 Posts)
lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 07:37:34

Trying to avoid after school club which DC strongly dislike.

I need a sensible and reliable adult or nearly adult to chivvy 3 DC (primary school age) to school (1-1.25 hours in morning) and for 2.5-3.25 hours after school (mostly 2.5 hours but sometimes DH gets held up getting home).

After school I hoped the Au pair might also:

* unload or load the dishwasher,
* make packed lunches,
* help DC get after school snacks
* peel and chop veg for our tea

No need to drive or ferry them to any activities, do need to be willing to play a few child games, deal with vomit or mess should it arise (usually doesn't). Mostly just need to hold the fort.

May only 2 days/week, though, it just depends what work I can get for myself! and NOT a live-in position. Would be ideal if they they had the flexibility to work 10 hour days in the school holidays, else it would be a term-time only Au Pair position (I'd use KidClub in hols).

£30/day, and £70/day in holidays? Is that too low? I live far from London or Home Counties. Would anyone want a job like that?

Kiriwawa Thu 10-Jan-13 18:50:08

I pay a young woman £7/hour to look after my DS a couple of nights a week. She collects him from school/afterschool club, gives him dinner and plays wii with him until I get home. She works max 3 evenings so never earns more than about £60/week so I don't pay tax/NI and nor does she (she doesn't claim benefits).

I found her through findababysitter and I got tons of applicants, many of them the 'older women with grown up kids' variety.

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 16:47:35

None of that is the fault of a babysitter/childcarer though - they deserve to have their tax paid properly and be treated decently.

lljkk Thu 10-Jan-13 16:20:56

hahaha, From my employer I expect I will have to work about 25% more hours than the stated hours if I want to keep the job at all. That I will be overlooked for promotion because I occasionally need a day off at short notice (unpaid or out of my holiday entitlement) to look after ill children. Actually, I don't expect to get an interview at all to even get the job as soon as employer detects I actually have young children or am over 40.

Unless it's minimum wage I expect to be asked to worry about deadlines and getting work done in my spare time at home, and to actually be working then. I expect the most junior manager to be appointed to give me news about redundancy; I'll be told that the company could get a full time junior member of staff for my pay (on 40%, short salary scale). When I point out the numbers are wrong, that I don't earn anywhere near as much as someone FT on the bottom of salary scale I expect to be shirtily told I'm wrong.

I expect jargonistic meaningless wiffle waffle at performance reviews and being expected to laugh at the boss's stupid jokes and join in silly gossip about shoes with other colleagues.

I expect to be permanently stressed out, fat from erratic too rich meals and snacks, and generally imbibing too much booze and caffeine. I'll have only a vague clue what's going on in my children's lives and will spend too much on shopping because I don't have time to shop around for bargains.

Ah, the joys of being a working stiff, why am I hesitating, eh?

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:52:42

"I'm surprised nobody has insisted I should pay for employers' liability insurance, too."

Yes if he or she is an employee you will need employers liability insurance. And to give paid holidays. And maternity leave. And everything else an employer must do. What do you expect of your employer?

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 11:19:11

Sorry lljkk, I didn't mean you wouldn't be an employer, I just meant it was more of a babysitting role than a nanny role imo, and so the wage would reflect that. You will have to deduct the babysitter's tax and NI if you are paying over £100ish a week though I'm afraid!

You might have employers liability insurance through your household insurance?

PostBellumBugsy Thu 10-Jan-13 10:26:46

Mr A - you are right, I'm probably not fully covered. Thankfully my house is a new build and in tip top nick as I'm trying to sell it, so hopefully the risk is small - but you are right there is still a risk.

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 10:11:59

She also specifies where she will look after the children, sometimes my house, sometimes the other families, sometimes her own house.

Of course that raises its own issues - for instance what happens if another family's child suffered an injury in your house due to, for example, faulty electrics, or a badly fitted stair carpet?

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 10:04:41

Ah PostBellumBugsy that probably makes all the difference. I cannot stress enough that it is the WHOLE picture that determines employment status and anyone believing that a simple factor like the form of a contract or self employment in other work is decisive is burying their head in the sand.

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:59:07

Where there is any doubt over employment status, you expose yourself to many risks (backdated PAYE plus a penalty, claims for compensation for redundancy, backdated holiday pay, illness or injury suffered at work, maternity leave etc.)

You can protect yourself against the PAYE risk by contacting HMRC's Employment Status Team, giving them ALL the facts and if they rule that the position is self employment asking for confirmation in writing. This will not protect you from claims from the employee related to employment status, but in practice HMRC's criteria are at least as strict as those that a court will apply so if, given all the facts, HMRC say it is self employment it is unlikely that a court will come to the opposite conclusion.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:52:46

MrA, I forgot to add that she sometimes looks after other children when she looks after mine, so she can increase her earnings by taking on additional work. She also specifies where she will look after the children, sometimes my house, sometimes the other families, sometimes her own house.

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:48:24

"PostBellumBugsy - I have a mothers help / nanny two afternoons a week and I pay her £8 per hour. She is self employed as she has 2 other jobs, so thankfully I don't have to worry about tax & NI."

From the circumstances you describe it is likely that this is NOT self employment. The other jobs are irrelevant, in the work she does for you she is paid to do what you want her to do, when and where you want her to do it. There is no risk for her in this work, and she cannot increase her earnings by taking on additional work at the same time. Regardless of what the contract says, in reality she is paid to do only what you require to be done during the time she works for you and this is the essence of employment.

MrAnchovy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:17

"FrameyMcFrame - My nanny is self employed so she pays her own NI and tax."

From the circumstances you describe it is likely that this is true self employment - the key factor being that the nanny is free to take on other children at the same time as looking after yours: you are buying a service from her, not paying her to work for you.

PostBellumBugsy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:44

I have a mothers help / nanny two afternoons a week and I pay her £8 per hour. She is self employed as she has 2 other jobs, so thankfully I don't have to worry about tax & NI.

She is an older lady whose kids have grown up & it works really well for us. She won't do any cleaning type activities, but she prepares tea and helps with homework as well as doing an after school sports club run.

FWIW, I think you'll find someone to do after school care fairly easily - but you are likely to really struggle to get someone to do mornings.

FrameyMcFrame Thu 10-Jan-13 09:21:23

My nanny is self employed so she pays her own NI and tax. She works for 3 families and combines after school care for some with all day care. So for eg. she will have 1 little boy all day then take him with her on the school run to pick up 2 others and they'll all go back to one of their houses.
She is fab and brings craft activities in her bag or ingredients for cakes/ gingerbread men etc. She also has year passes to local attractions so she can take the kids to lots of places.
She charges £8 per hour one to one and £6 when it is shared time.

ZuleikaD Thu 10-Jan-13 08:29:52

The thing is, it's not just sitting in the house 'holding the fort' which is a babysitter job. You want school dropoffs and pickup, as well as housework and cooking. That's a nanny job - hence the PAYE etc.

lljkk Thu 10-Jan-13 07:59:38

That's what I thought, Sam, but then everyone else talked about tax, PAYE & NI! I'm surprised nobody has insisted I should pay for employers' liability insurance, too.

I think I have figured out that IF the after school club accepts vouchers (and if new employer offers that scheme), then after childcare costs I'd have no taxable income (because I'd have almost no income after childcare anyway), so need to factor that in, too.

SamSmalaidh Wed 09-Jan-13 19:49:05

I'd call this babysitting and £30 sounds fine for 4-5 hours a day to me.

ZuleikaD Wed 09-Jan-13 15:05:13

My mother used to offer this sort of service - she called it rent-a-granny (or something similar) and would often do the after-school stint. Might be worth putting a notice up in the local post office or supermarket and seeing if it appeals to someone.

MummytoMog Wed 09-Jan-13 14:58:58

I personally would hunt about for a college or sixth form student. Even a childcare student? You might find you'd rather use a kids club in the holidays, but I have a friend's daughter (16) who is studying childcare who I quite happily leave my littlies with of an evening, who would love this sort of job. I pay her £40 an evening, but that's the evening. You could probably pay something around £30 a day for the short days and she'd think it was awesome smile

MrAnchovy Wed 09-Jan-13 00:48:45

"The NI/tax people have a helpful online questionnaire to work out if he/she would be employed or self employed so you'd know wat's what..maybe Mr.A could point you in the right direction?"

Actually the questionnaire is not very helpful for carers, it will ALWAYS come up with the answer "employee" (or at best "cannot be determined") and while this is usually the right answer it is not always so.

However in the situation described the answer "employee" is, in practice correct. The description "au pair" is not correct though as although there is no legal definition in the UK of an au pair its common usage always implies that part of the remuneration is board and lodging.

nailak Wed 09-Jan-13 00:40:15

i think you could approach some of the other mothers and ask if they know someone who would be interested. they may have student siblings/children or parents that are interested.

DoodlesNoodles Wed 09-Jan-13 00:34:21

I would pay £9 or £10 per hour.

MrAnchovy Wed 09-Jan-13 00:26:48

"The person just has a tax code and their tax has to be charged according to that across all their jobs. I think that's how it works anyway.i'm. Sure Mr A will be able to correct me if not."

Not grin

You have a different tax code for each job. If you only have one job you will normally have the tax code 810L (this changes automatically each year). In this case the employer will not have to operate PAYE if earnings are below the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance, currently £107pw. But if you start a second job you will have the tax code BR which means the employer must operate PAYE and deduct tax on all earnings.

A person in this position could be self employed from HMRC's point of view if they were set up in business as some kind of "emergency" mothers help, advertising their business and working for lots of different families as and when required if they were available, but in reality this kind of person does not exist and the person that fills this role will be an employee.

MrAnchovy Wed 09-Jan-13 00:18:15

"then go to jail if I get it wrong, right"

Er no, the maximum penalty for a careless error in calculating PAYE is 30% of the tax due. Jail is only a possibility for a deliberate and significant fraud.

ceeveebee Tue 08-Jan-13 21:55:07

I had a mother's help who worked for me for 12 hours a week, paid her £9 per hour. As it was her second job I had to deduct tax at basic rate. I very much doubt such an arrangement could be self employed. You will be dictating the hours, the location, she couldn't send a friend in her place if she wanted to etc so pretty sure you would have to emply her.

Could you not use a local childminder instead?

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