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is a 'mothers help' a cheap nanny?

(23 Posts)
herbiwhore Tue 12-May-15 14:24:25

dh thinks we can employ someone two days a week too look after our 9 month old till she is ready to go to nursery at about 2. his idea is that she will be cheerful and easy going and one of us will be in working from home both the days she is here. We live fairly rurally so no expectations of baby being taken to baby groups etc. he thinks formal qualifications will be unnecessary and doesn't think she would need to be paye, ie that we would not need to pay her tax As we only want someone 15 hours per week. I'm really insure about this plan and have no idea how to go about finding someone- isn't this just trying to get a nanny on the cheap??

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 12-May-15 14:29:33

I think they are two different things. A mothers help would help you in the home I think. A nanny has sole care of your child. I have no idea if you need qualifications to be a mothers help but if you want them to have sole care of your child (whether you are at home or not) I don't think its a good idea.

herbiwhore Tue 12-May-15 14:32:57

does such a job even exist?

trilbydoll Tue 12-May-15 14:33:39

I thought a mothers help was effectively another pair of hands to clean up / make sandwiches for lunch / play with the baby while you have a bath etc rather than sole charge? Even though you would be physically present, if you're meant to be working, does that not count as sole charge?

If you think 9mo is too young for nursery, what about a childminder?

Babies can't tell you if anything is wrong, I know it's expensive, but some things are worth paying for! If someone came to the door offering £5 dental checkups and fillings for a tenner, would he take them up on it?!

chasingtherainbow Tue 12-May-15 14:38:12

Dh is wrong you'd have to employ her properly.

Also mothers help couldn't have sole charge all day while you work from home and I think you'd be hard pushed to find someone to stay in all day long to entertain such a small child. You need a nanny.

Floggingmolly Tue 12-May-15 14:39:29

It's exactly what it says on the tin. A mothers help will definitely not take sole charge of a child. I think the amount of actual childcare they do is fairly minimal, tbh.

Cindy34 Tue 12-May-15 14:39:52

Mothers Help works alongside mum, doing the things the mum does not want to do, such as washing, cooking, cleaning, sometimes entertaining children, feeding toddler.
Mum is there with them the majority of the time.

Cindy34 Tue 12-May-15 14:42:01

National insurance starts at £112 a week earning, so you might be under that threshold just but only if you could find someone to accept the pay figure of say around £7 an hour.

MarvellousMarbles Tue 12-May-15 14:42:03

Nanny agencies also offer mother's helps, at least the one I used does, so you could ring one and ask what the difference is.

Pretty sure your DH is wrong about PAYE, though. If she's a regular employee, i.e. not just a one-off or for very occasional babysitting, then I think you'll have to pay her tax and NI. And register her for a pension, though you'll probably not have to pay into it as on 2 days a week salary it'll be below the threshold.

I don't know what part of the country you are in, but I think you'd be better off with a fairly young nanny in her first job (probably with a couple of years' nursery nurse experience). Round here (oop north), that'd be about £8 an hour. I work from home too, and that's what I started off with (also for 2 days a week). She's been with us for years, and now gets paid a lot more (and is well worth it). Also bear in mind, you will need to pay her for holiday (usually 4 weeks a year plus bank holidays) etc. A proper contract is essential. I also wanted mine to be Ofsted registered, and to have proper first-aid qualifications. And to have insurance (in case anything happened to the kids while under her care - heaven forbid.) You also need to check that your home insurance covers you for any injuries the employee might sustain while in your employ.

Cindy34 Tue 12-May-15 14:44:01

Oh, also it must be their only job, otherwise you have to do payroll regardless of the salary paid.
Payroll admin companies charge around £150-200 a year, or you can do it yourself, so when looking at what budget you have just factor it into the costs.

Bohemond Tue 12-May-15 14:47:48

I think a MH can be whatever you and they want it to be! Mine certainly will be.
OP I also live rurally and will be looking for a local mum or recently retired person to come to my home three days per week and keep an eye on my young child (6 months) and do various household tasks while I work. I plan to advertise at the school, in the local shop and through the WI. I do not anticipate that the person I choose will have any relevant quals but they will have experience of children.
The difference is that mine will only be needed 5 hrs per day rather than full days which I think is important. My business is also my own so I don't need to be 'at work' for all of the time they are there if I need to be with them/my baby.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 12-May-15 20:36:43

I agree with Bo, it can be whatever is mutually agreed, it's a bit of a 'catch all' term.

They can certainly be 'cheap nannies'. Usually a young person who wants to get their foot in the door to being a nanny. Everyone wants someone with experience. I don't know where people think that experience would come from if everyone one was of the 'never let someone inexperienced look after a baby!!' frame of mind. This type of mother's help would normally have some basic experience (maybe work experience, siblings, cousins, babysitting etc.) and either have or be doing a childcare qualification. Someone who has common sense and is keen to do a good job is entirely sufficient when you are in the next room and can immediately be there if a problem arises. I would make sure you take them on maybe a month before you go back to work so you can train them up. Remember they will have little experience so you need to show them everything. I would also send them on a first aid course. Get them to pay and promise to reimburse them after they've been with you for 3 months.

If someone is an employee (no matter what their title 'nanny', 'mother's help', 'childcare king') you MUST pay any tax and NI due.

herbiwhore Wed 13-May-15 07:23:44

thank you so much for all replies- that's great. So a kind of junior nanny then. and I can't just pay cash in hand for 15.hours at about 8 quid an hour?

RitaCrudgington Wed 13-May-15 07:34:25

I agree that for the job you're talking about - only 2 days a week, and with you at home you could go with a very inexperienced young person (but with a fundamentally sound and trustworthy character).
Do you have a big garden/house? Because as baby gets older they will definitely need to get out and about more or less every day but I guess by that time you'd to do nursery.

You really should pay tax though.

Galvanized Wed 13-May-15 07:40:23

""and I can't just pay cash in hand for 15.hours at about 8 quid an hour?"

Really OP?! Not only would you get in trouble for this but why risk a poor unstable relationship with the person you want caring for your child for 1-2 years? Put your child in a nursery and be done with it - working from home is exactly that: working - you can't be keeping one eye on the child too.

00100001 Wed 13-May-15 07:47:14

Surely you would have her on a self-employed basis so she sorts her own tax out?

RitaCrudgington Wed 13-May-15 07:51:18

No, nannies are almost never self employed unless they're temps. There's no way the OP would be able to argue for self employment in this situation.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 13-May-15 10:41:31

No, you don't just 'have someone self-employed'! They either meet the criteria for self-employment or they don't. It is very unlikely that this role would qualify for self-employed status.

OP it's quite troubling that you've needed to ask twice whether you can pay cash in hand within the space of 17 posts! The answer is almost certainly NO. You can call HMRC and check her employment status to check if you need to. If you don't pay her tax when you should, you will be the one with fine and it will be entirely deserved. If you are unable to cope with the responsibilities of being an employer you can use a nursery or a childminder.

MarvellousMarbles Wed 13-May-15 13:12:19

The only kind of nanny who can be self-employed, as I understand it, is the kind who is a temp 'emergency' nanny - i.e. she goes to different people all the time to fill in short-term childcare gaps of a few weeks or months at the absolute most. She (sorry, could be he as well, obviously) would work for many different employers a year.

A nanny/mother's help/whoever who comes to you regularly is an employee. If you pay cash in hand and don't pay their tax/NI (and don't give them payslips, P60s etc.) then you are breaking the law and can be fined. It is you who gets fined, not the employee. Also, any insurance covering the nanny is invalidated.

Callaird Thu 14-May-15 12:49:21

The fine is £10,000 plus you have to pay all back taxes. You can recieve a prison sentence.

It is against the law to employ people and not pay their taxes.

Oly4 Fri 15-May-15 20:06:14

A mother's help
Is whatever you agree with the employee!
Work from home and my mother's help has sole charge of my kids. And does a great job I may add. She worked in a nursery before this. I advertised for a mother's help and she applied

Justusemyname Tue 19-May-15 12:21:28

I used to be a mother's help for three four and under and I had sole charge of them all day. This was more than 20 years ago so not sure if allowed now, plus they were loaded but didn't like paying so probably wanted cheap care.

craftynanny Tue 19-May-15 13:24:09

I'm a fully trained Nanny and work for 2 different families doing quite different roles. Legally a nanny/mothers help can't be self-employed because they are following your instructions/have a contract etc sosmile they are following your rules, they don't work for themselves. I would agree that you could probably pay less for a mothers-help than a fully trained Nanny, and its usually to assist mum with daily chores and childcare. Also to provide some sole charge care if mum needs to pop out/attend an appointment etc, but that could come once you've built a good relationship. Definitely recommend sending then on a first aid course, and if you wanted them to be Ofsted registered (in order to use childcare vouchers) I would probably offer to contribute towards the cost as it mainly benefits the parents rather than the employee.

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