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Am I looking for the impossible?

(17 Posts)
Horsemadmumof3 Wed 15-May-13 23:33:45

Hi everyone
This is my first post on here, I'm looking for advice on childminders but fear I'm looking for the impossible!

Here goes, I'm quite specific in what I'm looking for.

I have 3 children living at home age 19 (ok young adult)! boy, 15 girl and 7 year old girl.
I am going back to work in a job I love but left behind for a while because I have been focusing on my farm business, my job takes me away from home for 2/3 days a week so I'm now needing some help.

Heres what I'm looking for:
I need a house keeper/cook/nanny

My 19 year old son will be responsible for running the farm whilst I'm away.
15 year old daughter is home educated but is quite responsible for herself and has tutors so the "home help" won't really need to have anything to do with her care wise.
7 year old daughter is at school 10 mile away from where we live so the "home help" would be responsible for her.

I need someone to be here for at least the days I'm away to get youndest to school, then do some cleaning - although I'm really quite house proud so our house isn't dirty it would just be general cleaning duties and tidying youngest's room, no washing, ironing.

I would also need this person to cook - good home cooking not any kind of special diet just good old fashioned food!

I would preferably like this person to stay at our home whilst I'm away and there may be other day's when I would need them - week days only.
Accomodation - own very large room kitted out with everything and own bathroom

They must be an animal lover as we have dogs and horses and live on a farm!

Also I would like someone older and more mature 40+

Does all the above sound impossible?

Next dilemma is how to advertise.

We live in a fairly rural area of South West Scotland, we've lived here for almost 2 years, I don't know many people and prefer to keep myself to myself, as you can imagine small town, small minds - gossips - which I can't stand!! I don't get involved in any of that kind of thing so I'm reluctant to advertise locally although who ever gets the job will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Because of our rural location it will be difficult to find someone out of area and many of the agencies won't take us as they know we're just a bit too far out.

I'm unsure of the best place/way to advertise - any suggestions?

I'm needing advice on pay too - how much do you pay someone for this type of role?
I would also prefer them to be self employed.

I hope you can help with any suggestions, may be I'm asking too much?

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 15-May-13 23:55:15

Yes you are.

1) You are not looking for a childminder. A childminder is a self-employed person who works from their own home. You are looking for a nanny-housekeeper. They're two completely different jobs.

2) What you describe in an employee role, they canot be self-employed (unless they can pick and choose when they work, send someone else in their place if they're not available etc.)

3) The whole confidentiality/don't talk to anyone in the village thing makes you sound slightly mad.

4) Do they have the option of living-in full time? Otherwise I think you'll struggle to have someone shipped in for 3 days a week and then sent away not to speak to anyone in the local area.....Although living-in isn't going to be much fun either.

I'm honestly having images of Royston Vasey.

The good news is the job market is appalling at the moment and you will almost certainly find someone willing to take the job.

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 00:37:40

Hahaha Outragedfromleeds yes I see your point, it does sound slightly mad!

1) Yes, correct I should have worded that better in the start I knew childminder was the wrong term, although I did go on to say:
Heres what I'm looking for:
I need a house keeper/cook/nanny

2) Perhaps I should have said, I'm unsure if they would need to be an employee although I would prefer it if they could be self employed?

3) Nope that's been read wrong too - or perhaps not explained fully by myself, they can talk to who ever they like, come and go how ever they like and would have access to several cars to do so. The confidentiality agreement is purely from a business point of view. Because of the nature of my business and the fact a lot of my work is done at home there is a chance they would perhaps here things or see things that need to be kept confidential and to be fair I really don't want my (work) business blabbed all over the town - I honestly don't see this as a big deal, I have had to sign several of these agreements over my professional life and fully respect them.

I personally hate gossip but should they chose to get involved with who bought what at tesco and how they can afford it - then that's up to them!

4) Yes, the option is there for them to live in full time if they wish but they are free to leave when not needed if they like, I simply said I'd prefer them to stay whilst I'm away as I'm aware some nannies have a life outside of work and don't always want to stay with their family when they're not working!!

I hope I've made that a bit clearer and explained myself fully??

Perhaps I should mention also that I have never had the experience of even looking for a NANNY-HOUSEKEEPER never mind hiring one so my apologies if my posts are a bit nieve and my questions sound a bit naff

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 16-May-13 02:19:55

From what you describe I don't think they could be self-employed.

It could be a nice job for someone older whose kids have left home. How many nights do you think they'd need to stay for?

I'm not sure about advertising/wages as I don't know the area. You could try Gumtree, but traffic tends to be quite low in rural areas I think. Do you have a mumsnet local for your area?

eeyore12 Thu 16-May-13 07:22:33

For a rural postition like that I would maybe try the lady magazine for advertising. Also would they be paid all re time or just when you are away? As anyone will prob need a monthly fixed salary.

Booboostoo Thu 16-May-13 07:48:37

I think it would be easier to find someone to live in otherwise you are limiting the pool of candidates to people who already live near you.

Have you tried specialist agencies like Nags and Nannies or advertising on somewhere like Yard and Groom or Horse and Hound? Would you allow the person to bring thei own horse or dog? If yes I think that would make the position incredibly more attractive to horsey people who are also likely used to living (and appreciate living) in remote rural areas.

Now that you have explained the confidentiality agreement is sounds fine but at first it sounded a bit bonkers so leave off mentioning it until the first interview.

It doesn't sound likely that the person could be considered self-employed but an agency could help you with the practicalities of this and the wage question.

nannynick Thu 16-May-13 11:21:16

You are dictating the days and hours of work. You require them to do the work personally. You may not want them to say, sorry can't do tomorrow will come in following day.
They in my view will be a worker, they will be an employee for tax/ni purposes.

Providing board and lodgings for them and a horse sounds like a possible way to get someone to consider the rural location plus opens up other places to advertise.

You need to consider who this job would appeal to. Whilst your teenagers may not need childcare, they may need a responsible adult around and someone who drives.

Is snow an issue in winter? If they did not live there all the time, would they have trouble getting there at times. How far is reasonable for them to travel given the area?

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 11:46:15

Thank you so much for the positive replies, I hadn't thought of half of those things and what brilliant places to advertise.

Outragedfromleeds: To be honest it would be a fab job for the right person, we are a very relaxed family and although I'm house proud I'm not OCD so housekeeping would be very light work and we keep on top of things pretty well so the house is never a tip.

eeyore12: I really need to think about the way things would work wages wise, I would need them to stay for 3 nights and be fully responsible in that time, however when I'm home and should they choose to stay duties would be kept to a minimum possibly cooking and school run.

Booboostoo: I've never heard of nags and nannies but will be looking in to that.
Yes, they can bring their own horse and dog and if they don't have their own horse but enjoy riding we have 30 so they are more than welcome to ride and help out on the yard, we have fantastic facilities for anyone that enjoys horses/out door life

Nannynick: Yes, that is true, my concern is that as you say my teenagers don't need childcare but I really do think a responsible adult being here is essencial whilst I'm away.
Yes, snow can be an issue but in all honesty if it snows I won't be going anywhere so if they can't get here it's not a problem. I'm usually lambing then too so I tend to take a month off work for that time.

If they don't live in it really depends how far they are prepared to travel, I travel 100 mile to get to my job and stay there for the 3 nights, I used to travel an 80 round trip everyday to get to work in the city so I guess it's up the individual and how much they want the job?

Thank you again for clearing up the job status of employed/self empolyed now I know where I stand on that one.

Great stuff, I'm off to look at nags and nannies x

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 12:31:12

Thank you Booboostoo, I've just spoken to the lovely lady from Nags 'n' Nannies who has 2 people on her books who'd be happy to do the 3 nights/ 4days on a self employed basis!

The lady told me she has a lot of people on her books that prefer to work on a self employed basis, so that takes the stress out of PAYE for me!

She also told me it's almost standard these days for nannies to have to sign a confidentiality agreement to keep the personal lives of their family private - never mind business!! she didn't find it strange in the slightest!!

I feel so much better now that's all cleared up, I was beginning to loose hope!

Fingers crossed one of them will be perfect for us x

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 16-May-13 12:45:56

I would be careful with the self-employed thing. Check with HMRC. It's you, not the nanny, who gets the fine when the tax man catches up with you. Agencies are not always to be relied upon with that sort of information.

A confidentiality agreement is standard in most nanny contracts, but it's kind of a small print issue. It's seemed strange that it was important enough to mention in the OP. Usually that means sleb or someone with something to hide grin

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 13:02:43

Yes, I will check that with HMRC although I'm under the assumption that a self employed nanny is exactly the same as any other kind of service provider, in that they give you an invoice for their service, you pay the invoice and they are responsible for paying their own tax?

Which is how I work with farm contractors and in my own business, I invoice, they pay, I do my books and pay any tax I owe, I've never heard of IR going after someone else for tax their service provider hasn't paid?

I did think CA would be a pretty standard thing but didn't realise it was a kind of hush, hush issue not to be mentioned publicly but whispered about behind closed doors.
Unfortunately I'm not a celb and quite boring as I don't have anything to hide, I do however feel that keeping my business details private is important and perhaps I was quite nieve again as I didn't think for a second mentioning a confidentiality agreement would raise suspicions or instantly mean I'm "up to something" I shouldn't be. confused


OutragedFromLeeds Thu 16-May-13 13:13:04

The issue with the tax is whether the nanny can be self-employed. To be self-employed you have to meet certain criteria, you can't just decide 'I'm a self-employed teacher/cashier/bus driver'. If you employ the nanny, but don't pay her tax you are liable for the fine and 'but she was self-employed' won't cut it. There is some guidance here.

It's not 'hush, hush', it just isn't important enough to mention because for the most part there is nothing to keep confidential. Disclosing what brand of nappies your employer uses or how many odd socks they have in their odd sock basket is not exactly interesting gossip! There are loads of things in a nanny contract and many are to cover extreme/unusual situations. It may say 'you are not to use physical punishment', but you wouldn't write in an ad 'we want a nanny who won't beat the children'. It's just assumed!

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 14:47:25

Ah I see what you mean, yes make's sence re: CA being assumed.
So I was being a bit nieve by mentioning it, sorry didn't realise all that but yes I see now blush

Thanks for link for tax guidance x

Booboostoo Thu 16-May-13 16:59:32

Glad they were able to help you! They may have found someone for us as well and believe me our requirements were more complex than yours!

nannynick Thu 16-May-13 17:31:16

Seek professional advice about the employment status side of things. Your accountant for example may be able to advise, NFU may have guidance on the difference between a farm contractor and an employee.
Also keep in mind that this person is doing a task/tasks for YOU not for your business.
The HMRC Employment Status Manual is rather large. Reading some of it may give you an idea of what HMRc would look for... for example where work is regularly offered and accepted over a period of time a continuous contract of employment may be created.

I do not know how farm contractors work but I guess they come in to do a specific task, such as sheer the sheep. Not do something that happens all year round.

Horsemadmumof3 Thu 16-May-13 19:15:09

Thanks for that nannynick

Oh no I have 2 self employed farm contractors that work for me all year round and extras for cutting, sheering etc. The two I have all the time (and have had for 2 year) do pretty much the same daily tasks, they invoice me at the end of every month.

I also have a woman who works with my horses on self employed basis and same arrangement with her.

In fact pretty much every service I use are self employed, I'm also self employed and run 3 businesses and work the same way.

The childminder I used for my youngest pre school was the same, perhaps that's where I've got confused x

nannynick Thu 16-May-13 19:50:47

Maybe the difference comes down to things like supplying equipment to do the job, which I would suspect is the case with a farm contractor.

I do not know about farm contractors, so feel free to educate me. I am not at all surprised that having someone come to the farm to do a specific task, such as cutting a hedge is self employment. Having the same people all the time seems to me to be pushing things, though maybe they provide all their own equipment.

Do seek professional advise about employing a nanny, as that I feel is different, for example they are not providing equipment.
You could ask the HMRC Status team, details here.

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