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Has any parent negotiated the contract with the nanny agency?

(8 Posts)
Murtette Mon 06-May-13 21:05:13

The nanny hunt continues and I spoke to a few nanny agencies on Friday who have sent me their standard terms etc which I am now reading. Some of them are fine; others are ridiculous, including the one of the local agency who loads of people have recommended to me. For example, if they send me the details of a nanny and I ever employ that person in any capacity at any time in the future, the introduction fee is payable plus a penalty of several hundred pounds. I don't want to really annoy them by refusing to agree to this but its just ridiculous. A bit of me thinks that the chances of them finding out that I have employed this person as a, I don't know, gardener is 15yrs time is unlikely but the bigger, lawyer bit of me thinks its a stupid risk to agree to.
And why are so many fees based on net salaries? Why should the fee I pay depend on the nanny's tax code?

LittleMissLucy Tue 07-May-13 01:59:02

Its standard terms of practice to require an introduction fee if you employ anyone they introduce to you. Its quite normal for any employment agency, as that is the only way they make money.
I think you pay a fee based on the net salary as the tax a nanny pays can vary from year to year (and this will impact on what you pay them, too).
You can however, agree a gross salary with the nanny and they can be responsible for any short-fall with the tax (I think, I'm not 100% sure).
Good luck hope you get a worthwhile nanny after all the faff.

nannynick Tue 07-May-13 07:56:07

I ever employ that person in any capacity at any time in the future

That does seem unreasonable. Wonder what REC and ANA feel... Alas such organisations are not regulators, anyone can set up an agency and they can do what they like.

Percentage of Net, why? Does it really cost more to place a nanny who gets paid more than a nanny who gets a lower salary? Do any agencies offer fixed fee? Do any do it on number of days or hours per week the nanny is employed? If it has to be a percentage, why not percentage of Gross salary?

If the agency terms are unreasonable vote with your feet... go elsewhere.
If they are a member of any association, put in a complaint as the associations do have a code of practice that may (though may not) have been breached.

Strix Tue 07-May-13 20:32:33

It is reasonable (and usual) for an introduction fee to cover say 3-6 months and apply to the particular role for which you contacted the egency; and indeed for which they put the candidate forward. Any time (ever!) in any capacity is rediculous. I wouldn't agree to that.

Murtette Tue 07-May-13 20:36:40

Thanks for your responses.
LittleMiss - I'm happy to pay an introduction fee if I employ them as a nanny but not if, by chance, the nanny happens to do, say, floristy or photography at the weekends and, having employed someone totally different as a nanny, I'd then, technically, have to pay the introduction fee for having used this other nanny as a photographer/florist.
Nanny - I have persuaded all of them to go with a fixed fee or a multiple of gross.
Now I just have to choose a nanny...

LittleMissLucy Tue 07-May-13 20:42:52

I would, if you haven't already, put in a "trial period" of say 1-2 weeks. We had to fire a nanny and hadn't done this - so we paid her a full month's notice and asked her not to come back into work. Costly.

Mendi Tue 07-May-13 20:47:49

Hi Murtette. No advice re nanny agencies but in like manner I recently had to sign up to an estate agent's standard terms and one of the terms that got me was the parallel 'if you sell your house to someone we have introduced, at any time, then you pay us our fee. 'Introduced' means people we have shown your property to as well as people who have become aware of it through us, e.g. anyone who has seen our board outside your house'.


I wrote an email to them explaining why I couldn't sign up to their standard terms and suggesting some amendments. Initially they said 'well we'd never hold you to that'. I said that as a lawyer, I just could not sign up to terms that could make me liable for things I didn't want to be liable for, regardless of assurances that it would never happen. They agreed to all of the amendments.

Worth a try I think.

ghislaine Tue 07-May-13 21:43:51

Yes, definitely have a go at amending/negotiating the terms.

I once rented a flat in a large building and one of the terms of the lease stated that we would have to clean all the exterior windows of the entire building when we moved out. It might have been poor drafting but we had no intention of being bound by a term like that. We simply put a line through it and it was accepted, no questions!

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