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To think nannies quoting net pay is ridiculous

(43 Posts)
Tryingtobenice Sun 14-Oct-12 18:40:38

I don't know other careers which do this.

It is wrong because
a) it sounds like tax and NI are nice optional extras for the employer not a legal requirement
B) it makes the pay sound so much less than it is. The average nanny salary in London as far as i can tell is £30k per year, which is more than a teacher starting salary in London.

I am always coscious at work how much someone is paying for my effort, and I am aware of it as the actual cost. A nanny should be conscious that their employer pays £14/hour for their help, not £10/ hour.

It shouldn't make a difference to the quality of care or anything but may help improve the perceived status of the role.

I really just don't get it, as the nannies seem to be the ones perpetuating this. It's not like the employer actually thinks the nanny is cheaper than they are, since it's their bank account the full cost leaves each month!

UndeadPixie Sun 14-Oct-12 18:48:42

YANBU. But as a nanny who quotes Gross, I'm asked to quote net. I also have had to turn down jobs that refuse to pay my tax and NI and dread moving on from my current jobs because everybody here thinks that nannies are self-employed because so many 'nannies' are happy to do it angry/hmm

The problem is that agencies quote net, families quote net and nannies quote net, and too few people are trying to change it.

Fuchzia Sun 14-Oct-12 18:50:26

Totally totally agree. Makes it very hard to work out full costs of employing nanny.

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 18:51:22

YANBU - I think it only really happens in London now though and I wonder if it is more to do with agencies than nannies?

Also, as salaries are higher in London lots of employers seem to like to talk net so they can avoid paying the nanny's tax or only declare part of her pay.

PinkFairyDust Sun 14-Oct-12 18:51:52

Not the nannies fault though!

Tryingtobenice Sun 14-Oct-12 20:20:13

Sort of is the nannies fault though. They do it. Maybe not just their fault....

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 21:09:54

No, it's the employers' fault (and the agencies) - employers should be offering a salary. Instead of asking "how much money do you want in your hand at the end of the week" they should just advertise their job at a gross annual salary of £xxxx/hourly of £xx like every other employer in every other situation does.

In a lot of cases employers like net because they can then fiddle the nanny's tax.

UndeadPixie Sun 14-Oct-12 21:55:53

Sam: It doesn't only happen in London. The worst place I've seen it is in Essex, where they want to pay cash in hand or under min wage in a lot of cases for live-out nannies around the Colchester area. There's a lot of it in Brighton too (though down here it's mostly people wanting 'self employed' nannies angry)

The fault lies with everybody involved in the nanny process, and the few of us trying to change it are coming up against increasingly difficult odds. I currently will refuse interviews or jobs that want me on an SE basis and those that won't discuss gross wage before interview, but I'm loosing out on a hell of a lot of jobs and as somebody who isn't that experienced I don't get offered a huge amount to begin with. I can definitely understand why other nannies do quote net and take on SE positions and generally just go with the flow as we don't have much choice in the matter.

There is a campaign, Let's Talk Gross, about nannies pay, I will have a nosy to find it.

ShellyBoobs Sun 14-Oct-12 22:28:21

Not sure I really understand this.

How can any employer quote a net salary? An employee's tax and NI liabilities are a private matter between the employee and HMRC.

Yes, I know the employer is responsible for collecting the payments in PAYE situations but an employer isn't supposed to be privy to the employee's personal circumstances, only their liabilities.

So for instance if you thought right, I'm offering a job at £30kp/a, all you can quote is a salary of 30kp/a gross. How can you possibly quote someone's net pay before you know what their liabilities are? I just don't understand it.

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 22:35:21

ShellyBoobs - well, what employers will often do is agree a net wage of say £10 an hour, and then use an nanny tax agency to calculate what the gross would be given the nanny's tax code. Of course it can get very complicated if the nanny has another job and employers want to "split" the tax code.

However, it also means employers can tell the nanny they are dealing with her tax/NI, but actually just pay her cash in hand. Or, they just declare a certain amount, say minimum wage, for tax purposes and then pay the rest cash in hand.

fraktion Sun 14-Oct-12 22:42:26


BAPN and the Let's Talk Gross campaign are trying to change it. The nannies on MN are very clued up, as are the nannies on at least 1 other site. They realise for the most part the benefits of gross but perceive that employers and agencies want to talk net. I think agencies have a huge role to play. If they switched to gross everyone else should follow.

Payroll providers should also scrap any mention of net in contracts.

IMO a professional nanny is one who knows their worth and their liabilities, keeping up to date with issues affecting the profession. Therefore a truly professional nanny should be talking gross. However...nannying is a very transient and insular industry. Some nannies have still not heard about this and I personally have been harping in about gross for 5 years!

RobinSucks Sun 14-Oct-12 23:24:22

I'm a nanny. I know my gross pay, though pretty much every job I've ever had has quoted me net. That is THEM quoting me, not me saying what I want to earn! When jobhunting in the past, when there were more jobs, I didn't answer any ads or replies to my ads from people who asked things like 'what do you charge', 'what do you take home' etc. I don't 'charge', I'm an employee and would prefer my profession to be treated the same as any other! I'd much sooner everything be done in terms of gross.

However, I very rarely see ads talk in terms of gross, and have yet to register with an agency who uses gross- and I'm with over 20. I'm used to talking in net terms because of this- when every agency and ad uses net, and I go against the grain and use gross, it confuses people! My most recent job hunt was this year and the job market meant I did have to reply to more ads, be less picky, so when people asked what I hoped to earn etc I'd use a gross hourly figure and more than one family came back to me and told me it was too much, 'did I realise they would have to pay tax/NI on top of it'. People are used to dealing in net!

It's illegal for me to go self-employed, when I try and use a gross figure it seems to mark me as different to other nannies, I don't know what else I could do!

As to the average wage being 30k, well I'm in London and have only reached that when I was doing 72 hours a week (6 days, 12 hours a day). I don't know what hours a teacher does, presumably they get at least one break a day. It's a completely different job and to compare is ridiculous- from the point made in the OP, saying a nanny earns 'more than a teacher starting salary in London' seems to be suggesting a teacher is doing a more worthwhile job than a nanny? Or harder? I have over 10 years childcare experience, childcare qualifications, maternity nursing qualifications, I'm used to very long days and all the other crap in my job, why am I worth less than someone just out of university, teacher or not?

CharlieCoCo Sun 14-Oct-12 23:35:39

It annoys me as a nanny. Il be saying for e.g. £520 gross, the next nanny will be saying £400 net, the parents hear £400 and £520. Also, as a nanny currently looking for a new job, only a very few parents havent said they want to pay (some or all) cash. My last job i actually got less money but refusing some cash in hand. Lets says i got £350 net with all tax paid, they did want to pay £300 through the books and give me £80 so id get more money and they would save more money. No other job does this and i tell the parent this. i expect the same respect they do, im a professional just like they are!
And i dont know one agency who doesnt talk net. they need to start, then parents and nannies will hopefully copy.
And nannies who accept cash in hand are making it so much harder for us honest people!

Tryingtobenice Mon 15-Oct-12 01:40:53

All I know is that I have asked nannies to let me know their gross salary expectations and pretty much without fail they have responded with an hourly net figure.

As i said in my OP, it's not as though I won't notice the 40% difference between a net and gross figure as it leaves my bank account!

It seems though from responces that i had massively underestimated the

RobinSucks, i don't want to get sidelined on this and I don't agree with the term 'worth less' but someone out of university or rather just out of teacher training should expect to earn more than someone who isn't because they have 6 years more education, gained at a cost of £25k.

Tryingtobenice Mon 15-Oct-12 01:41:57

All I know is that I have asked nannies to let me know their gross salary expectations and pretty much without fail they have responded with an hourly net figure.

As i said in my OP, it's not as though I won't notice the 40% difference between a net and gross figure as it leaves my bank account!

It seems though from responces that i had massively underestimated the Amount of fiddling of tax that goes on.

RobinSucks, i don't want to get sidelined on this and I don't agree with the term 'worth less' but someone out of university or rather just out of teacher training should expect to earn more than someone who isn't because they have 6 years more education, gained at a cost of £25k.

fraktion Mon 15-Oct-12 07:22:56

OP as the employer you need to be quoting a salary range, not asking them what they want to earn. You must have an idea of what you can afford and what kind of premium you would be prepared to pay for extensive qualifications and/or experience.

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 07:54:28

This winds me up no end too - and no its not just in London it happens.

If a nanny owed tax from previous years, and an employer then offers a net salary they can get quite a shock when it comes to paying the tax and ni due shock

This happened to a client of mine once - the nanny was on BR tax, the contract between nanny/client stated net pay and so the employer had to pay off the nannys debt to HMRC in effect.

They sought the help of an accountant to 'work round the problem', but onbviously there is no way round it. In that case I believe the nanny was unaware of the implications, and neither were her employers - until they had to pay the £1000 odd pund 'extra' to HMRC that year. Funnily enough the nanny left after her debt was cleared hmm

nannyl Mon 15-Oct-12 08:00:31


I have been a nanny for over 12 years and have never agreed net pay.

I have had some employers thinking I was odd for insisting on gross, and saying things like "We have never agreed gross with previuse nannies" but I have had gross in every contract because i never have and never would sign a net wage agreement. (in any job)

SamSmalaidh Mon 15-Oct-12 09:01:54

Tryingtobenice - you are the employer, you are offering the job and I'm afraid that makes it your responsibility to set the salary. Surely you decide how much you can afford, whether that is £100 or £500 a week, and offer it at that? You can always tell nannies that it is £x gross which works out about £x net on a standard tax code if you want.

I really see it as an employer's responsibility to "quote pay", instead of complaining about nannies who want to get paid too much. I am a teacher and every job I have applied for has a gross salary range, they have never asked me to quote what I want. By the way, before teaching I was a London nanny and never made anything near £30k.

egdeh Mon 15-Oct-12 09:27:10

I had this with nannies claiming to be SE so no tax liability for me. Fine for them but a nanny can't be SE according to inland Rev and as employer I would be responsible for unpaid tax & ni if ever investigated. As several candidates were also graduates, student loan repayment would also have fallen to me.
was all made so complicated I just gave up and used a nursery.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 15-Oct-12 11:14:45

I've always spoken to employers in gross and had gross pay in my contract, I have once or twice been asked what I expect to earn net per hour and have always responded with £x net which works out as £x gross per hour.

BAPN launched the let's talk gross campaign in may

Tryingtobenice Mon 15-Oct-12 12:00:45

Sam, in my work it is standard to ask salary expectation. Is that not standard for nannies? I obviously have an expectation of what i would pay- in the region of £30k. Should I write back to the promising candidates and state this rather than ask their expectations?

Maybe it's my fault for being a cheapskate and not wanting to pay an agency 6 weeks salary!

RaspberrysAndIcecream Mon 15-Oct-12 12:00:54

You are the employer so you should be quoting the salary in gross - ie job description & salary in advert. Put gross next to it ie £14ph gross (as some nannies still work in net, as do some agencies hmm)
You know what u can afford to pay, so that should be in the advert for the job.

and my employer doesn't pay me to "help", she pays me to work, as I am a professional nanny, not a helper. You're employer doesn't pay u to help - they pay u to work. Nannies are the same.

Tryingtobenice Mon 15-Oct-12 12:11:05

Actually I do talk about my work as 'helping' but maybe that's because my work doesn't really help anyone so I'm just trying to feel better about it!

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 12:22:43

Oh God yy to student loans Egdeh - you are so right, and its another reason why the ridiculous notion of earning net pay should be banned completely.

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