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New nanny starting

(17 Posts)
Droflove Mon 06-May-13 09:53:46

Hi, I have my first ever Nanny starting this week and I want to make sure I have everything covered. There are probably things I haven't even thought about. For example,

-I presume I provide lunch but what sort of things would be expected? I guess I will need to plan the groceries carefully to make sure there is stuff in the house.

- Would it be appropriate to ask her to pick up groceries some days? Theres a big sainsburys/waitrose/M&S within 5 mins walk and she will likely be out with baby each day at some point. It would be really helpful so that I don't have to go out at 5pm after work to do it.

- What housework would it be fair to ask? I don't mind things not getting done at all if baby (3mts old) is needing attention etc. but if things are quiet I would love to ask her to keep the kitchen tidy, empty dishwasher, throw in some laundry, this considered a crap nanny situation or normal enough?

- She will only be working for 4 mts, part time, so we are sitting down this week to discuss the working schedule. I know for full time nanny's they get paid even if I don't need them on their scheduled days. I am planning to write some gaps into the schedule from the beginning as my mother comes every six weeks or so from abroad. I will move those hours to make longer days (rather than my originally planned and affordable half days) for the days she will be there to ensure she still gets the same money but knows well in advance what days she doesnt need to work. Hope that makes sense but would this be considered fair for the Nanny? She was looking for longer days that I originally offered and by moving the hours from days I don't need her, I can afford to have her longer on the days she is with me.

- In terms of sick leave etc. I was thinking that if I cancel a scheduled day then I will pay her in full. If she cancels (is sick etc.) then I won't pay as I need to pay someone else. I will be happy for her to take a few hrs to go to an appointment and stuff like that within her pay. And will pay her overtime when I am late. Does that sound fair? Not sure in particular what is standard practice when she is sick.

I think those are my main questions. I have prepared a few notes on feeding, sleeping, playing etc. for her reference (not rules, just guidence to help her). I don't want her to feel I am all over her and she MUST do this and that. Do you think these notes are overkill or would a nanny usually prefer to get fairly comprehensive notes (under the understanding that they are not rules to be followed).

Thanks in advance!

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 10:44:54

Sick - statutory sick pay kicks in after the 3rd (i think) consecutive day of sickness. Look up SSP. Your nanny payroll provider will be able to advise should the situation arise.

How are you doing holiday entitlement? They are not going to work full year, so won't get full entitlement but will get some. 12.07% of time worked may be the way to calculate it.

Yes, going shopping for a few items is fine. Babies like to get out and about a bit.

Housework duties sound fine, though did you mention that there would be some housework when interviewing? Some nannies may expect there to be none at all, however I feel the things you want are things I would do.

Not sure what you are proposing about the variable days. Are you keeping the working hours the same each week? (Even if they work less hours one particular week, would you still pay for the contracted hours?)

Notes at first can be handy as baby will have some kind of routine.

Victoria2002 Mon 06-May-13 10:46:53

Hmmm...if she starts this week I think there are several things here that should have been discussed some time ago! I am a nanny so will aim to help with some of them:
Lunch: yes nanny's eat lunch at work, usually they add to the family shopping list or the online order. I usually have something like quiche or pizza with salad or quick pasta, plus you should offer to get her favourite tea/biscuits choice of fruit etc. when you say 'pick up groceries' do you mean a loaf and a pint of milk or do you mean the weekly shop? These days I think there is no excuse for not getting a weekly delivery (often ok to have it delivered while the nanny is on duty and to put her in charge of adding things for her and the baby).
Housework you will find very varying opinions on, some nannies do loads but many have very fixed ideas of what is and isn't a nanny's job. You really should have covered at interview what the duties are, but you sound like it's not a deal breaker so should be able to agree. Make sure it's clear though!
Schedule: I don't understand and if I did it's probably not my area of expertise.
Sick leave: I think you need to pay her but I'm sure someone more expert will fill you in. If like most nannies she is reliable and still comes to work when off-colour, then it is only fair that you pay her for rare days when she is too sick to make it into work. (I do understand there can be long term illness or something exceptional sometimes).
Notes: perfect-notes of the babies routine and favourite toys/activities plus basics like where you keep the calpol etc is all a good nanny needs. Don't be afraid of rules if you feel strongly about some things eg: no tv, no sugar, no play dates with people I haven't met etc are all perfectly reasonable (common) rules till you get to know each other better. You are the mum and the boss!
Sounds like to are going to have a good chat and iron out the details which is the right thing to do so they you both know what is expected from each other.

Victoria2002 Mon 06-May-13 10:48:27

Cross post with Nick (I knew you'd know better about sick pay)!

Seb101 Mon 06-May-13 13:16:12

I think it's a nice gesture to pay her when she's sick. I've always been paid when I'm off sick because its fairly rare. I'd put something like ' pay when off sick at employers discretion' that way if she's ill all the time you can decide not to pay her. But occasional sickness should be paid I feel.
The schedule you mentioned sounds a little confusing, not sure i understand, but if your saying that the nanny will have set days of work that you may change from time to time, I'd say this is unusual. I would require set days and hours, so that I can plan my free time and fit in other possible part time work. She may find another part time job which would prevent her being flexible with her work schedule with you. Even with notice I think it's unfair on nanny to expect her days/ hours to change all the time. I'd expect set days, if you didn't need me that day, i'd expect to be paid anyway. And if you wanted me to work another day, id expect to be paid extra. Swapping days and hours is annoying, but I have done it on occasion to help employers out, but I'm never particularly keen. Having said that your nanny might be perfectly happy with that arrangement. At the end of the day if she's happy then it's all ok, everything is negotiable and different nannies will have different views. Good luck x

Jessica333 Mon 06-May-13 13:32:34

Victoria2002 I'm glad you responded. As a nanny would you agree to be paid less for the 1st month? If the family would say to you they would like to pay you lets say £7 per hour (instead of £9) for the 1st month to see how it goes. Do you think it is a fair offer or exploitation?

Nannyowl Mon 06-May-13 13:52:59

Hi Droflove

Re lunch; ask the nanny what she usually has, or will she like me bring sandwiches, just make sure you have tea/coffee/milk/bread in for her or as others have said add to your food order/shop

Re picking up groceries; yes fine just make sure you leave her a kitty and ask her to keep receipts - put in a jar for you.

Re housework; some nannies only do baby related housework, others happy to do more. You need to have a contract, so this is something you can address. Personally I’m happy to do what you have asked, especially with a baby who will be sleeping.

Re schedule; don’t forget she will be due holiday with you. 5.6 days per year for each day worked. So for one third of the year i.e. four months she will be due a third of the annual amount. Could she have her holiday when your mum is here? Of course usually you choose half she chooses half, but discuss with her.

Re sick leave; sounds fair if you have to pay someone else, but hopefully she will not be off sick too much, most nannies would always come to work unless very ill, as do not want to let their employer down.

Re book with info; yes write as much as you can, and don’t forget doctor’s info, emergency contacts, and emergency key is she is locked out, where stop cock is for water, baby's normal feed/sleep pattern.

Best wishes to you, it is not easy going back to work with such a little one. I have done it myself and found the worse bit was before I did it; and was worrying about it all! When I was at work and knew my baby was with a nice nanny I was fine. So don’t forget to factor you own treats in you deserve them too.

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 14:28:36

Jessica333, more pay after completing probation I see as being fine. However paying less than the previously agreed salary during probation I feel is not ok, as the nanny will still have the same bills to pay and will have accepted the job at the salary specified. So offer low salary to start with, then increase once probation is over.

Jessica333 Mon 06-May-13 15:52:52

Thank you nannynick. Do you ask the family for contract even for the probation period?

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 16:03:38

Yes. I want contract agreed before even starting the job. Legally it has to be done in first 2 months but no reason in my view why it can't be agreed before starting work.

Droflove Mon 06-May-13 16:19:49

Regarding the schedule, as she will only be with me for a few months, I was going to sit down with her and fix every single day she will be with us in advance. It will basically follow a pattern of Tue/Wed/Thurs for half a day each time (which she agreed to but did say she would be happy to do longer days if they are needed) so I was thinking as I can afford half days including paying her when she is not needed, I could move those few weeks she is not needed to make longer days when I do need her. So she would get the same overall pay but would know from day one when she has a few days off. Anytime I cancel a day that is on the schedule, I would pay her. I would not expect her to be flexible beyond the agreed days but would offer her any additional work for first refusal.

As for holiday pay, I will only have her maximum 3 days a week for the 3.5mts so do I really need to give her much paid holidays??

Thanks for the various comments, its really helpful to hear.

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 16:37:46

Yes you do need to provide paid holiday. It is a Statutory Entitlement.
You could pay the holiday on termination I believe, though your nanny may want to take some time off at some point... would you deny all holiday requests? Talk to them about that.

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 16:42:39

Statutory Holiday Calculator
Select: Leaving Part Way Through Year
Leave Year: starts the first day of employment
If they work different hours each day, then calculate using hours worked per week if those are fixed.

I would expect holiday entitlement will be a little less than 2 weeks work.

Droflove Mon 06-May-13 17:33:31

No of course particularly it being summer, I am fine with her taking holiday. I already told her to let me know any holiday plans. Just didn't realise I would have to pay her for days she isn't planning to work. I guess I was thinking of this like a babysitter rather than a full on nanny. Will take this on board.

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 18:09:46

Are you going to ise a nanny payroll company? If so, they can help with things like calculating holiday, advising about how much holiday is owed when nanny leaves, doing statutory payments like SSP (statutory sick pay). They will also produce the montly payslips (if nanny wants to be paid weekly, note that it may cost you extra in admin fee), produce the P45 when nanny leaves and the P60 at end of financial year, as well as telling you how much employers NI to pay, when to pay it and to where to pay it.

You can do all that yourself, though you may find it easier to contract it out to a nanny payroll company.

nannynick Mon 06-May-13 18:26:59

If you do not already have a payroll provider lined up, call one tomorrow and see how much advice you can get out of them for free.
Tell them the exact working hours, agreed salary, length of the contract, and if this is the nannies ONLY job or not. Then the payroll provider can advise on if you need to operate PAYE (I would expect you will unless this is the nannies only job and if you are paying less than £109 in salary per week) and about what services the payroll company can provide for you, such as employment law advice, creating the contract, running the payroll - would they charge for a full year or do you get a little discount?

Victoria2002 Mon 06-May-13 21:42:26

I agree with Nick re probation period, especially if you are hiring someone who is unqualified or differently qualified eg: nursery nurse becoming a nanny...but if the nanny is experienced and qualified it doesn't seem fair to pay less while you are checking she's the perfect fit for your family. You definitely need to make any plans to pay less clear ASAP

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