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Legal difference between babysitter and nanny?

(43 Posts)
Toomanyhouseguests Thu 06-Nov-14 14:21:28

My children are older, yr6 and yr3 in school. I will need someone to pick them up after school and be with them for about 3 hours each afternoon. A friend suggested looking for a student to baby sit them after school. This sounds ideal, because they are older and fairly self-reliant (They come home, get changed, make their own snack, do their homework and then watch TV or mess around in their rooms till dinner normally.) This way they would be in their own home and would have the smaller adjustment to make with me going back to work.

On the other hand, I have heard that nannys require a lot of paperwork and legal responsibility for the parents as they are the employer. I wonder why a baby sitter wouldn't have the same rights? At what point does a "baby sitter" became a "nanny" and require pay slips, sicks days, NI, etc?

I like to follow the rules in life. I am not an HR specialist, so if 15, regular hours a week requires this sort of input from me, I think I'd be better off finding a childminder, even though the kids couldn't stay in the comfort of their own home.

Any advice will be gratefully received!

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Thu 06-Nov-14 14:23:13

Nannies are trained and qualified. Otherwise they are just glorified babysitters. Just because someone calls themself a nanny means nothing.

juneybean Thu 06-Nov-14 14:29:31

Not all nannies are qualified.

To me a nanny is employed and works daytime hours with some babysitting and is very hands on.

A babysitter for me is after easy money and usually the kids are in bed and are hands off.

swantail Thu 06-Nov-14 14:32:16

I'm sure someone will come along with more detail. But my understanding I'd that as you are asking them to work regular hours, which they can't control, then you would be their employer.
To the poster above having a piece of paper doesn't make you a nanny. I have come across many with qualifications who just sit on their butt all day. Equally I have met many unqualified highly experienced nannies who were wonderful at their jobs eg. Helped build routines, built menu plans with healthy meals, varied structured and non structured activities etc.
Be careful relying too much on paperwork. Nannying is a practical job, it can't be just read about at college.

OhReallyDear Thu 06-Nov-14 14:34:52

Mymumma , no a nanny is someone who is paid to look after children in the children's home, no matter how much experience/qualifications she does have/doesn't have

a baby sitter is someone who looks after the children when they sleep in the evening.

I might be wrong but legally, ot doesn't matter how you call her. What does matter is how many hours a week she works, over a certain amount, you have to declare her and pay taxes

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Thu 06-Nov-14 14:35:58

Of course it isn't just a piece of paper and nannies can be rubbish. But if you're not qualified you're not a nanny. Is someone who looks after a sick relly a nurse? Of course not.

juneybean Thu 06-Nov-14 14:38:57

I know many nannies who have worked for 20 years but have no qualification. They're still nannies.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Thu 06-Nov-14 14:41:56

No, they call themselves nannies.

OhReallyDear Thu 06-Nov-14 14:42:10

Of course you are a nanny if you don't have a qualification. You don't legally need a qualification to be a nanny, you do need one to be a nurse...

Toomanyhouseguests Thu 06-Nov-14 14:42:53

Yes, I take on board what you are saying about the quality of someone's work/interactions. At the moment, I want to understand the legalities of it all. On there are many people advertising themselves as "babysitters." I don't want to fall into the trap of thinking everything is "official" and "acceptable" just because I see it on a large, high traffic website.

OhReallyDear Thu 06-Nov-14 14:43:28

Wow, someone is slightly. Stubborn grin

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Thu 06-Nov-14 14:46:48

It's not a legal requirement, no, but to you want to call yourself something that you're not trained to do then train. If its too much trouble or effort to train to do an important job then you shouldn't really be considering it. Not stubborn, just realistic.

swantail Thu 06-Nov-14 14:46:51

Similarly somebody looking after their niece or nephew for a few days is not a nanny.

juneybean Thu 06-Nov-14 14:50:28

There is no nanny qualification though unless you go to Norland etc. Its an early years qualification and nannies unless Ofsted registered do not require it.

I'm sure most parents would choose someone who has been a nanny for 20 years than someone fresh out of college with their "nanny qualification"

Yerazig Thu 06-Nov-14 14:53:36

I agree the fact yes anyone can call themselves a nanny. But also think that surely if working in childcare is going to be their career surely you should hold a qualification in relation to your career. But anyways to answer the op if you need someone every afternoon to work during half terms then yes you need to legally employ them. Yes there is many people that would do that would be happy with cash in hand but obviously is not legal. And for me As a nanny I class babysitting from say 6/7pm onwards when the children are settling down for the evening me putting them to bed etc. Anything before then I would then charge my nanny rate as it would be what I class as nannying.

OhReallyDear Thu 06-Nov-14 14:55:22

I am trained and qualified. And experienced. I still don't think I am more a nanny than someone who isn't.

Heels99 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:56:21

A nanny or babysitter could be self employed and invoice you for their work. Especially if they do other work too.

Toomanyhouseguests Thu 06-Nov-14 15:04:22

Thank you Heels99 that's a start on the info I need!

Yerazig Thu 06-Nov-14 15:08:37

Yes they can be self employed but it's a very grey area nannies being self employed. It only works out a nanny to be self employed if they work for a number of families on difffernet days each week etc. But if you need someone every single week day the likely hood is that you need to become an employer to them.

ghostvitruvius Thu 06-Nov-14 15:09:07

There aren't legal definitions of nanny and babysitter.

If you employ someone set hours/days to care for your children at home, you have all the legal responsibilities of an employer.

If someone does some work for you as and when they are available and sets a rate that they charge, then they are probably self-employed.

If you have a look at the HMRC website it will have a guide as to whether someone is an employee or self-employed. Job title is irrelevant.

InfinitySeven Thu 06-Nov-14 15:12:22

It's irrelevant whether you hire a babysitter or a nanny.

If you are hiring someone to come for set hours every day, you'll need to employ them unless they work for other families and are self employed. If they don't work for anyone else, them being self employed is dodgy.

OhReallyDear Thu 06-Nov-14 15:13:14

The nanny can't be self employed, unless it's a temp nanny, a maternity nurse or a nanny that can dictate her hours.

if you have a nanny/babysitter regularly, you are responsible for the taxes

Itsfab Thu 06-Nov-14 15:13:31

When I worked as an au pair, mother's help and nanny I was mot definitely an au pair, mother's help and nanny even though I didn't have the NNEB qualification. On at least two occasions I was given the job of daily nanny over someone who was NNEB trained.

Experience and attitude is more important to some employers than a qualification.

OP - what will you do in school holidays and if your children are sick?

fairgroundsnack Thu 06-Nov-14 15:15:54

If you want them to do 3 hours a day 5 days a week I think HMRC is going to regard them as a part time employee. It really isn't much trouble to register as an employer though. A nanny payroll company will do it all for you for £100 per year or so.

FlorenceMattell Thu 06-Nov-14 15:19:11

Most babysitters are ad hoc. Mums wants an odd day asks X who can say yes or no.
If you are setting regular times each week, plus setting the amount you are legally an employer.
You need to register as an employer if nanny earns more than a certain amount. Someone will come on and tell you this. If you don't register then you as an employer will be liable to be fined and also back pay the tax and NI
So I expect it depends on number of hours. For those saying babysitting can invoice you well that would make her self employed and for regular work
Looking after children in their own home you can't be self employed.
See Tax office advice

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