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Views wanted re grandparent care expenses

(30 Posts)
Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 15:33:17

Apologies for the long post.....
I am due to go back to work next week and my mother has very kindly agreed to have the kids (2 boys, 6 & 8). Background is....I am a single parent. my mother hates my father (v long unhappy co-habitting marriage - no judgements needed, it's just shit and she chooses this!) and welcomes getting out of the house. She often wants to stay at mine anyway but now she will be 'officially' coming to stay for 2 nights a week. She is retired. I will be working 2 X 13 hour consecutive shifts which means she will be staying the the night before - due to my early start - and the night in the middle of my 2 shifts. My question is, should I
A) pay her for childcare
B) pay her fuel expenses
C) pay her nothing

I would really welcome some opinions as my close friends think that given as I will be preparing (slow cooker) food for her/she wants to stay out away from my dad/she stays that much anyway, I shouldn't give her money. Whilst others think that she is my 'childcare' and that as I can't get any other that would cover long shifts, should pay her appropriately.

Any thoughts??!

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 15:36:39

She is providing care in our own home and is not Ofsted registered. If you pay her, you will need to become a nanny employer, I believe.

What does she want?

Darthvadersmuuuum Sun 25-Sep-16 15:36:44

Has your DM mentioned money? If it's going to be an elephant in the room, it would be best to have a conversation about what each of your expectations are and take ur from there.

TrinityForce Sun 25-Sep-16 15:39:51

Give her cash to take the kids out and then a little extra? You don't want her out of pocket so I'd cover that and fuel/whatever.

converseandjeans Sun 25-Sep-16 15:41:54

Depends on her situation financially I think

GingerbreadLatteToGo Sun 25-Sep-16 15:42:29

I don't think you need to pay her. It sounds like a mutually beneficial deal!

But only you know your Mum - what do you think she thinks? My mum would be mortified if I mentioned paying her. (She lives overseas so no chance of it happening, but she has my sisters kids all the time. She'd be rolling in it if she got paid!!)

podmax Sun 25-Sep-16 15:42:46

Do you sense she expects payment? It doesn't sound like it from what you've said. Presumably the boys will be at school for most of the day.

If she is happy to offer childcare for free I would let her but buy her VERY lovely Christmas and birthday presents.

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 15:43:32

Really jacquetta? I hadn't even thought of that, I assumed anything I gave would be an informal thing shock

No she hasn't darth but she did expect money when she looked after kids previously when I lived with EXH when returning from mat leave. But she didn't stay over then, now it's more a case of 'Georgia's on her own now, there is a spare bed, I have a key and can pop over whenever' grinhmm

GingerbreadLatteToGo Sun 25-Sep-16 15:43:45

I'd definitely give her money to cover any actual expenses, especially in the holidays if she will be having them.

My sister doesn't even do this.

GingerbreadLatteToGo Sun 25-Sep-16 15:44:43

It's the price she pays for treating yours like a hotel frankly 😁

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 15:47:07

Trinity and pod, yes I was thinking just that, would want her to be out of pocket but would also buy awesome prezzies grin Converse, they are extremely well off, just me who isn't sad

Ragwort Sun 25-Sep-16 15:48:38

Just have a frank discussion about it, if you don't you may both end up feeling taken for granted - it may be a little awkward but honesty is always the best policy. Yes, she is getting the chance of a couple of days of 'freedom' but you are also benefiting from 'free' childcare ............... and would you really take into account the 'cost' of a couple of meals for your own mother hmm?

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 15:54:55

Lol ginger, I have felt like a hotel at times. I live in a city so very convenient stop over and there have been times when I've arrived home and she has scared the crap out of me!! 'Oh just popped in to have a cuppa/use the toilet darling, hope you don't mind' regret giving her a key wink

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 15:57:36

No ragwort of course I wouldn't! Guess the convesation has to be had

OneEpisode Sun 25-Sep-16 15:59:21

Family member so I don't think the formalities apply. A daily allowance is better, I think? Otherwise at Christmas she'll have better presents than others?

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 16:04:13

Sorry, phone/internet playing up, posted too soon. The food thing was more a point of she will not have to do anything other than collect kids from school and serve up what I have prepared rather than a cost thing.

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 16:20:21

When you paid her before, was she retired? And did she declare the income?

I think a conversation, especially as I doubt she wants to be an employee again, makes sense. It makes a difference if she is better off than you, I think.

You should also check that her staying regularly doesn't remove your single person council tax...

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 16:23:08

"Family member so I don't think the formalities apply. "

Which formalities? If you pay someone to work for you regularly then they may be an employee of yours, related or not, with associated tax and NI considerations if paying above certain thresholds.

notthe1Parrot Sun 25-Sep-16 16:25:45

No need for employment formalities eg Ofsted registering etc, as she is a family member.

JacquettaWoodville Sun 25-Sep-16 16:34:59

Ofsted registration is not required for Nannies either, though some choose to do it.

If OP is paying for childcare in her home, I'm not sure that it ceases to be an employer relationship even if she is paying a family member.

Obviously no issue if family member not being paid.

nannynick Sun 25-Sep-16 17:28:12

It does not fall under childminding regulations as:
1. Provided by a grandparent of the children.
2. Provided in the home of the children.

Therefore using things like Tax Credits, Tax-Free Childcare, Childcare Vouchers is not possible, as it is childcare which is exempt from registration and provided by a relative.

Paying a family member is however something that will fall under tax law.

I would avoid paying for childcare. I would pay for expenses incurred as part of providing childcare and be fairly generous with gifts like wine and flowers - but not in a way that could be considered to be in proportion to the care provided.

You mention food for the children but not for her... another area where you could indulge a bit, buying her some nice food to eat whilst at your home.

If she wants paying for childcare then you need to go down the route of employing her as a nanny... deducting income tax and NI. As she is drawing a pension she already has income, so is already using some/all of her personal tax allowance.

Leanin15yearsmaybe Sun 25-Sep-16 18:49:09

Oh dear god what a minefield!! I paid her a generous 'fuel' allowance before but have never claimed any tax credits/relief as the government doesn't cover non registered family so have never been eligible for any benefits. Our council states you have to be resident in one abode for 4/7 so her staying 2/7 shouldnt affect council tax. And as for food of course she will be fed! I've even planned the menu around her favourite meals...this is starting to sound rather complicated confused

Threebedsemii Sun 25-Sep-16 18:55:38

Of course you don't need to become a nanny employer, don't be ridiculous. Just pay her some cash. I personally would have to, especially since it might give her some freedom from your dad- although, not as much as a child minder (otherwise you may as well just send them there and have your house to yourself) maybe £50 a week plus petrol?

RandomMess Sun 25-Sep-16 18:55:47

Don't pay just give her enough to cover fuel and treats/trips for the DC, up to her how she spends it.

I think that does formalise the situation a bit and stops her pulling the "I do you a huge favour and it costs me"

You can turn around and say "You want to look after the DC and you benefit from having a 48 hour break from Dad so don't pull that card"

nannynick Sun 25-Sep-16 19:07:08

Paying her for childcare complicates it. So avoid complication by covering expenses and providing lovely meals. She may be perfectly happy with that.
Talk to her about what she is wanting out of the arrangement.

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