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Do I pay my Nanny if she is not coming in due to snow?

(28 Posts)
Namibia Thu 02-Dec-10 09:24:14

Hello mums!
I'm new to mumsnet and I would be very grateful for your advice. I pay my nanny £70 a day and today she is not coming in due to the snow. Should I be paying her the full daily rate?
Also, what is the right thing to do when she is off sick or on holiday. I know it sounds bizarre that I've actually employed her without agreeing the terms. We just didn't think about it and I just gone back to work so all is new to me.
She said she gets paid full when going on holiday and I said I'll pay her one of the two weeks. Am I doing the right thing?

Your advice will be very valuable to me!

giraffescantdancelikeannw Thu 02-Dec-10 09:27:37

One word - contract

Marchpane Thu 02-Dec-10 09:31:54

She is an employee so she is entitled to full pay for 28 days holiday per year (assuming full time).

She should also have an employment contract within 2 months of starting. If you don't know what you're doing/can't be bothered nannytax will sort you out for about £300 a year. Are you deducting tax & NI? Are you registered with HMRC?

To be honest payment for a snow day is small-fry compared to all that. But no, you don't have to pay an employee (of any kind) who doesn't come to work unless it is a holiday day, sick leave (depending on contract) or where the employer (you) has cancelled the work but not via an official laying off of staff.

I'd suggest your nanny takes the day as holiday. She gets paid but you're not out of pocket as you have to pay holiday any way.

Namibia Thu 02-Dec-10 09:56:51

Gosh now I'm worried! I didn't realise there was that much involved in employing a nanny!
Have to get a contract then?
She works 4 days a week. Really happy with her, but want to do what is right. At the same time it feels a little wierd that I am now "working" from home and at the same time paying my nanny in full.

Marchpane Thu 02-Dec-10 10:20:31

Does it feel weird when you get paid holidays from work? Of course not. She is your employee and has all the rights that go with that. You don't have to pay her for today - it could be unpaid leave. But you still have to give her holiday so you might as well use one day up now, if she agrees, to save having another day where you have to cover.

If you don't want to pay for holidays or when there's snow get a child minder.

I am quite shocked you'd employ someone without doing your homework. There are hundreds of threads on here about employing nannies. Have a look through

annh Thu 02-Dec-10 10:25:11

Namibia you don't get to pick and choose how much of your nannies holiday you will pay for. As mentioned above, she is entitled to 28 days holiday per year (paid) which you will have to pro-rata for 4 days a week. Why did you not think you would need a contract of employment? Do you work at your company with no contract? I am surprised at both you and the nanny to be frank, it would surely be in both your interests to sort this out before she started.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 02-Dec-10 10:27:07

The amount you are paying here is well over the thresholds at which you are required to register with HMRC and deduct tax and NI and pay emplyers NI. Failure to deduct correctly will lead to recovery by HMRC plus interest plus penalty (0-100% of the amount due).

frakkinup Thu 02-Dec-10 10:32:41

Definitely have to get a contract. Contracts are there to iron out issues like this before they arise.

I would give her the option of being paid and having it taken out of her holiday allowance or having it off unpaid. This close to Christmas I suspect she'll take the paid holiday option.

Do a quick search on here about employing a nanny but the basics are:

you need to operate payroll, deducting tax and NI from her gross pay. If you're currently paying £70 a day it seems that you've unwittingly agreed a net wage which you'll need to convert so you have a gross figure to put in the contract.

contract - the first one on this page as recommended by the ANA is good. Just make sure you put in the salary BEFORE tax/NI. It's also not been updated to reflect 28 days (5.6 weeks) of holiday which you will need to pro-rata for the 4 days, giving her 22.4 days holiday which you can't round down. The 4 weeks plus Bank Hols will mean you pay for an extra day of holiday next year (Royal Wedding Bank Holiday) and probably the year after that for the Jubilee.

employer's liability insurance - you have someone working in your home, you need to check you're insured for that. Check with your insurer as it often comes under home insurance and if you don't have it then add it on.

Also check whether she has insurance covering her as a nanny and, if she uses her own car for work, to drive your DC around.

Strix Thu 02-Dec-10 10:38:23

I think some of the comments here are a bit harsh. Whilst the advice is correct, OP admits she is new and is looking for advice. Rather than criticise her for the oversight (which she has already admitted) it would be more productive to point her in the right direction.

Here's my advice:

1- Get yourself a contract pronto. (you can cat me for a sample one if you like)

2- Yes she is entitled to 28 days, including bank hols. This is prorated if she is less than 5 full days per week. 4 days per week works out to a total of 22.4 days.

3- I suggesst you put SSP only in the contract. The norm is pay her anyway if she is genuinely ill and use this as a fall back position if she is either taking the mick or her sickness time exceeds your budget.

4- Outline discipline and dismissal in great detail. List what you feel should qualify for gross misconduct and therefore immediate Search MN threads for lots of advice.

5- Consider house rules. (mine are attachment to contract but they don't have to be)

6- nannypaye (and some others which I can't think of just now) are cheaper than nannytax.

7- Regarding holiday, many people allow their nanny to choose half of them. This is not a legal entitlement. Legally, she/he requests days and you have the right to approve/decline them. But, of course. you do have to give opportunity for them to be taken. So, you could just tell her the snow day is unpaid or you could give her the option of taking it as hol if she wants to. She does not have a right to take it as holiday as she has not requested it. And, speaking of requesting holiday, I would clearly outline in the contract how much notice you expect on a holiday request and if you want it in writing. In my house, I ask the nanny to take her hols in term time because I don't fancy taking hols from my own job just to do the school run. But, if she has a reason she needs certain dates (i.e. frineds wedding in another country), DH and I will bend over backwards to accommodate.

I hope this is helpful!

MJB66 Thu 02-Dec-10 11:00:53

Not a nanny but a childminder,
Contracts are necessary, for situations like yours, so both you and the nanny both know where you stand on issues like this and more.

nannynick Thu 02-Dec-10 11:18:55

Shop around for the nanny payroll, www.payefornannies.co.uk is one of many which charge around £125 a year to produce payslips, tell you how much to deduct from Gross salary, when to pay HMRC.

For a snow day, nanny could take it as part of annual leave, or as a sick day, or you could decide to pay anyway. Consider how you would like to be treated by your employer in the event that you could not get in due to snow... then decide if you can afford to do it. You may want to come to an agreement that you pay 1/2 and 1/2 day of annual leave is used. Up to you to discuss various options with your nanny.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 02-Dec-10 11:24:42

agree contract is the first thing

tbh im surprised that your nanny didnt insist/bring up a contract/holidays/sick pay etc at the interview - most professional nannies would start a job without having everything in black and white smile

most families spilt holidays 50/50 in who gets the choice

regards to snow,if the nanny has attempted to get in , then it is fair to pay her, esp if you are being paid by your boss

Strix Thu 02-Dec-10 11:50:44

I don't think one could reasonably argue that being snowed in constitutes being sick. I think her choices are unpaid leave or a holiday. And, as I said before, you don't have to give her a choice -- but I think most people would give a choice.

Oh, and Frak made a good point about putting gross into the contract. In fact I'm a bit blush I forgot to mention that in my list.

Oh, and a couple opf other things I forgot:

You may want a probation period (or it may be too late to negotiate this without annoying her, as she may feel she has already proven herself.

You may want to consider whether a fixed term or permanent contract is more appropriate for the duration of her employment. However, if you write fixed term and continue to renew it for a set period (more than a couple of years... I think... but I'm not sure so you should double check this) then it will be for all practical purposes permanent employment and subject to things like redundancy pay.

Namibia Thu 02-Dec-10 21:48:54

Thanks all for your advice! This has been really helpful. Strix, thanx for the balanced advice!
Got some serious work to do now!

Karoleann Fri 03-Dec-10 07:00:44

Hi, I don't pay if the nanny doesn't come in. You could offer her the chance to take holiday instead, or she can chose to take it unpaid. You do legally have to offer the choice unless it is in her contract (which you don't have!!)
I don't pay sick pay either, although legally you need to pay SSP if the nanny is off more than a certain amount of time.
If you type nanny contract into google, you'll come up with some good sample contracts, you can then pick and chose bits of those for your contract.

Strix Fri 03-Dec-10 07:25:36

"You do legally have to offer the choice unless it is in her contract (which you don't have!!)"

Are you sure? Could you point me to some evidence of this?

In practice, I would most likely be quite happy to give this as hol in this situation. But, I'm curious about a legal obligation to do so.

frakkinup Fri 03-Dec-10 08:36:21

If it's an unauthorised absence you don't have to pay, full stop.

The tricky bit comes when you implicitly authorise the absence by saying 'it's okay if you don't come in'. Then you would have to offer the choice.

If it's an authorised absensce, unless it's stated in your contract, then withholding pay would be sn unauthorised deduction unless nanny agreed to it.

General info but not from a govt source. Basically the article says the position is very confusing.

BBC Q&A

karen2010 Fri 03-Dec-10 18:10:48

the question on should employer pay for people not coming to work cos of snow is make bbc south news soon

duckyfuzz Fri 03-Dec-10 18:16:16

I'm paying mine, its not her fault - and we don't want to lose her! Might have to review that if it carries on tho

Treeesa Fri 03-Dec-10 18:53:29

frak a government source (business link) states:

Where a worker does not have the statutory right to time off - or has the right but the time off is unpaid - you can use your discretion to:

* allow that time off
* pay them for the time off

There is no right to this time off. You should have a written policy to cover these situations or you can give discretionary leave on an individual basis.

In terms of snow days then these are not statutory, so are at the discretion of the employer and can be paid or unpaid depending on what sort of relationship you have. I would imnagine you would want to put in a certain cap on these type of days otherwise with the way the weather is going in recent winters, you could be very exposed.. An employee should make every effort to attend work after all.

frakkinup Sat 04-Dec-10 09:26:06

But businesslink is basically saying it's an unauthorised absence that you don't have to pay for. That's fine, if your employer has said to you, 'I need you to come in, this absence is unauthorised'.

You bunk work, you don't get paid, unless your employer is nice and uses their discretion.

But what do you do if you've said to you're employee 'it's okay, you don't have to come in'? You've then just authorised their absence, presumably as part of annual leave and you'd be in the tricky position of having to offer them the choice of whether they want to take it as holiday or accept it as unpaid. There's no right to the time off but it's been authorised....

I think that's the position the OP (and many other nanny employers) find themselves in.

Treeesa Sat 04-Dec-10 17:50:01

Given the hypothetical response to an employee of "it's okay you don't have to come in" that implicitly means you are using your discretion and authorising them to stay at home and you'll pay them anyway (you haven't told them it will count as a holiday day either)..

If an employer doesn't mean this, I don't think they have a case to say later they implicitly meant the day would be one day's annual leave, or for that matter that it would be unpaid. Employment law usually comes down on the side of the employee where this is any doubt.

So employers who don't want to be too generous (especially if snow days turn into snow weeks) should say "it's okay you don't have to come in but I need to know if you wish to take this as annual holiday or as unpaid leave), and prior to that conversation should review and update employment contracts to state a policy on what to do in severe weather conditions and other situations (i.e. the holiday travel delays caused by volcanic ash this year) - including whether these will be discretionary and if there will be a maximum number allowed in any one period.

StripeyMoon Sat 04-Dec-10 18:01:12

Last year our nanny couldn't make it in on a day or two and knowing what it was like round here and where she lives I knew she wouldn't be able to get here. I paid her anyway as to me a valued employee is worth more than a day or twos leave. The snow this year has made her a bit late on a couple of days, again she is such an excellent nanny that I would not dream of making any kind of point about it.

All other advice above about contracts you really need to take ASAP.

MGMidget Sun 05-Dec-10 21:39:11

Interesting that many here think you don't need to pay your nanny for days they don't come in because of the snow, or that you can ask them to take a day's holiday instead. I had thought that too (and thought our contract nicely protected us on this) until I read quite a few articles in the press over the past few days on this subject. It seems you need something specific in the contract to entitle you to deduct pay because of snow or transport disruption. They all indicate that you can't just deduct pay for failure to come to work or it could be an unlawful deduction and you can't force someone to take a day's holiday (unless your contract entitles you to dictate when they take holiday). Articles also indicate that if you force your nanny to come into work, e.g by indicating that the absence is unauthorised and she has to come in then you could be liable for any risk to her health and safety. It all seems very one-sided to me - what about the poor employers like us who have to pay for emergency cover and also pay our permanent nannies to sit at home while it snows! I've paid my nanny for this week, but with news stories forecasting a freeze up until the new year I am rapidly considering what options I have! Unfortunately our nanny moved house to a location notorious for snow and transport problems and we wouldn't have considered employing her from that location. Therefore, we didn't specifically write a clause into the contract concerning absence due to snow or transport problems and are now regretting it! We used a standard nannytax contract which we adapted - just wondered if anyone has any suggestions of clauses they have in their contracts or policies that specifically cover absence due to snow or transport problems that I could crib from?? Thanks.

forehead Sun 05-Dec-10 21:45:22

Contract is what you need OP. This would prevent any misunderstanding in the future

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