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Employing a nanny (for novices)

(30 Posts)
LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 18:05:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoriaMoria Sun 10-Jul-11 18:48:04

Hello. I'd say definitely use an agency, they will vet the nanny and can advise on the hourly rate for your area. Rates tend to be expressed net but as you'll be employing the nanny you will be responsible for their paye and ni (if applicable). Our nanny works 10 hours a week for us so we pay no ni. We use a payroll company to sort out the tax - paye for nannies - they've always been very good, can provide a contract if you need and have lots of useful info on their website.

What else did you want to know?

bubaluchy Sun 10-Jul-11 18:52:08

Contract contract contract!

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 19:11:41

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bubaluchy Sun 10-Jul-11 19:16:03

I wouldn't go with an agency, far better and no expense

fraktious Sun 10-Jul-11 19:19:41

You can pay a payroll agency but you might want to modify contract slightly. How are you planning to find your nanny? A nanny agency, particularly an ANA one, will probably also have a standard contract. I find the dismissal sections particularly weak on standard contracts.

Holiday will be complex if hours are flexible. Typically it's 5.6 weeks inc Bank Hols over a year but you might want to do it on an accrual basis (x hours worked = 1 hour holiday).

Negotiate pay in gross terms. Remember to budget employers NI on top of that and also keep enough in your budget for a kitty to cover entry to groups and child related expenses.

Get everything, however inconceivable, sorted upfront. Then file it and forget it until needed.

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 19:25:49

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nannynick Sun 10-Jul-11 19:38:45

A nanny agency might tell you about things to do with payroll and employment contracts but they wouldn't sort it out for you. They might help draw up a contract, or might supply a basic contract template. You need to keep in mind when using any template contract that it may or may not meet current legal requirements and may not fit with your specific circumstances.
Agree with Frak that the dismissal sections tend to be pretty weak. Gross Misconduct section in particular I feel needs to spell out precisely what circumstances would result in Gross Misconduct, thus instant dismissal.

Self recruit if you have the time available to spend looking for candidates, interviewing them and calling their references. We can advise on here about any specifics you need to know about.

No complete Mumsnet Guide To Hiring A Nanny as yet... didn't we consider writing one a while back? Think it has come up several times but has never actually been done.

Sounds like your nanny would be part-time, so it is vital that you agree a Gross wage with them as you won't know what their taxcode will be when working for you, it could well be BR which means that there is no tax free allowance.

Total Costs Of Employing A Nanny may be a useful message thread to read. On that I did a calculation which included many of the costs involved. In your case the costs will be lower but many of them would still exist.

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 19:43:53

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Indaba Sun 10-Jul-11 19:53:55

Put yourself in your nannies shoes.

What would you want in taking on a new job. ie pay, expected hours, list of expected duties, holidays, notice, what happens when you want to take a holiday (does that mean he/she has to take holiday?), sickness reporting etc etc.

Its no different taking on a nanny than it would be taking on any different type of employee.

Trial period great idea.

See lots of time on Mums net a "oh, we''ll sort contract details out later" but its really useful getting a proforma contract drafted and discussed in advance so no surprises.

Much easier to discuss this stuff at the start of contract than at the end.

And even if you use an agency, follow up references by phone or in person yourself (for each and every one) excuses, you really should do learn a lot by what some one doesn't say then what they do.

Good luck smile

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 19:54:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WishIWasRimaHorton Sun 10-Jul-11 19:56:45

OP - you have to employ the nanny. she can't be self-employed and i don't think there are many agencies that employ them for you...

most probably won't want to do a trial as they may well still be in employment. however you can invite your nanny for several interviews and include time watching her with the kids etc if you like. up to you - you're hiring...

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 19:59:05

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SoriaMoria Sun 10-Jul-11 20:03:05

We did trial with our nanny then when it was settled backdated tax. I used payroll agency for paye and contract and I'm a lawyer (physician heal thyself?). Mine slightly easier though as is always 10 hours a week.

Good point about holiday accrual. Also we don't pay sick pay but for various reasons I allow nanny to make up time she misses through ill health and pay her the same every month.

Also think about insurance (liability) and whether nanny will be driving the children in her car or yours?

Is very true you should get everything sorted up front then hopefully just put it away.

When we were looking for nanny I wasn't confident enough in my knowledge of qualifications etc to not use an agency. Also our nanny only went through agencies to get jobs but maybe that's different for different parts of the country.

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 20:16:20

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fraktious Sun 10-Jul-11 20:18:46

Sickness write SSP in contract.

Trial period generally takes the form of a probationary period with a shortened notice period. Some people do an extended interview involving a trial session.

Check your home insurance to see whether you have liability insurance for employees. Your nanny will need her own professional insurance.

nannynick Sun 10-Jul-11 20:40:20

Hard to say what £8 net would equate to in terms of total cost to employer as there are lots of other things to consider beyond tax, employee ni, employer ni. It could well be nearer £14 once you add in costs, though could be less.

Stop thinking Net, start thinking Gross... it will make it easier for you as you don't know for any particular nanny what their tax code might be when doing the job.

Look at costs on an annual basis rather than hourly. Then you can calculate the cost of paying them for their statutory holiday and consider things like an end of probation bonus, end of year bonus etc.

Nanny going on holiday with you is not a holiday for the nanny. Holiday is time when the nanny is not seeing you and your children.

Calculate holiday in hours not days, as the number of hours worked on any particular day may vary by the sounds of things.

A job with varying hours may not appeal to that many nannies, so consider fixing the hours if possible. Then if you are lucky to get a nanny who can be flexible as to when they work you can then negotiate with them what hours they would be working any particular week. Nannies have bills to pay like other people, so need to know how many hours per week they will be working. They also might have another job to fit you around.

foxinsocks Sun 10-Jul-11 21:16:18

I'd say prepare yourself for the rights and responsibilities of an employer as much as preparing your dc for a nanny.

I have had to sort out 3 maternity leaves in 2 years (1 nanny had 2 babies and the nanny we hired to cover her maternity leave announced a week after we hired her that she was 13 weeks pregnant!).

And I thought my dc were a natural contraception wink

LeninGrad Sun 10-Jul-11 21:38:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2to3 Sun 10-Jul-11 21:51:34

It works out bloody expensive - we had one that totally fleeced us - her fees looked cheap upfront as we had twins but she charged us us for petrol and lunches with her nanny friends and god knows what else. Two days a week worked out as another cool £1,000 in tax & NI every quarter. We did the tax thing ourselves but you can pay someone else to do it. Which further adds to the cost. Unless you're loaded I'd go for an au pair or a mother's help or a childminder or basically any other option bar nursery. I just don't see why they can't pay their own tax like the rest of us.

nannynick Sun 10-Jul-11 22:39:23

>I just don't see why they can't pay their own tax like the rest of us.
Nannies do. It's done in just the same way as anyone else who is an employee. It's just that as an employee you probably don't get to see the financial side of things that much... so when you become an employer, you then see what is involved.
Nannies like other employees have Employees Income Tax and Employees National Insurance deducted from their Gross wage by their employer, who in turns pays it to HMRC every quarter. As Employer you are deducting that money from your nanny on HMRCs behalf... it's the nannies money from their Gross salary.
Same would apply for an Au-Pair or Mothers Help if they earn enough to come under PAYE... still employees.

Petrol / travel on duty, outings and food can all add up to quite a bit so those costs do need to be considered.

nannynick Sun 10-Jul-11 22:44:17

2to3 sounds like you may have agreed a Net salary.

NEVER AGREE A NET SALARY - is that clear enough for anyone reading this. Don't come crying to us if you agree a Net salary and then find a nasty sting in it's tail.

Employers need to know how much things are likely to cost... so agree a Gross salary, then you can calculate taxation charges.

fraktious Mon 11-Jul-11 13:03:44

2to3 I agree with nick that you probably made the mistake of agreeing a net salary. From what you say there wasn't any fleecing - the AA rate per mile is standard, as are other expenses incurred whilst working which is why most people have a kitty. If you were unhappy about the lunches it was your responsibility as an employer to stop it.

In terms of employment legislation there is no distinction between a nanny, mothers help or au pair - the differences lie in the duties performed and quality of care.

Dozer Mon 11-Jul-11 17:51:44

2to3, agree, sounds like there were just different expectations and that maybe you hadn't been aware of some of the costs beforehand.

OP - ACAS might be able to help on general stuff on employers' responsibilities, contracts etc.

LeninGrad Tue 12-Jul-11 13:00:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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