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First time hiring a nanny - is this fair?

(25 Posts)
FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 12:55:11

I want to be a good employer and am inviting her over to talk through terms of employment. Any input from you lot will be most useful:

Nanny will be contracted to work until 7pm, but what if me and DH are held up at work. Would I pay her time and a half? And, what happens if I was 15 minutes late? or 10 minutes late? would I pay for whole extra hour?

Babysitting (which would be agreed in advance) - would I pay her same daily rate, or would I pay her higher rate?

Bank holidays - I was going to pay her, but only for hours she would normally work eg. if she would normally work 11 hours on Monday, I would pay her 11 hours on bank hol monday. But I would only pay her 3 hours for good friday as she would normally work 3 hours

I want her to keep a basic diary - what DD ate, how she slept, poo and what activity they did.
Also, to take photos of anything new DD experiences ie snow. - This isn't asking too much, is it?

I'm going to operate a kitty box - would it be too much to ask for receipts for travel and mobile phone top-ups? (It's not that I don't trust her, but might be able to off-set against tax).

Also, have been wondering what to do about cheque books and credit cards which I don;t keep under lock and key, but are in the drawer of my desk. Ordinarily, I think I'd just have to trust my nanny not to rifle through my things (as I'm trusting her with my dearest DD). However, dearest DD has taken a liking to emptying this drawer and so my nanny would have to put all my bank stuff back. So, would it be best to put it in my bedroom, which will be an off-limits area?

Anything else I should be thinking about.
Sorry for long post.
TIA

MrsWobble Tue 03-Feb-09 13:08:12

Answering your questions in turn:

1. Hours - be very realistic about when you/dh will be home. It is incredibly important to the whole employer/nanny relationship that she is able to leave on time almost all of the time. that means if you rely on public transport you should plan to be home by 6.45 to contract with a nanny to work until 7. It is one of the biggest single gripes that nannies have - and given that it makes it impossible for them to plan their (already quite short) evenings if employers are late you can see why. if you get this right, then overtime is not really relevant, so i suggest you put in the contract whatever your nanny suggests. Don't think that being late won't be a problem because she's being paid for it.

2. Babysitting - probably worth agreeing a separate rate. I've always found it helps mentally justify why babysitting pay hasn't gone through PAYE if it's outside the nanny contract - not a technically strong argument but sufficient to overcome my scruples.

3. Bank holidays - your suggestion seems fine.

4. Diary - a good thing to ask for but I would avoid being too prescriptive - your nanny may have more experience of this than you and might have some good ideas. You want to avoid micromanaging her.

5. Kitty - no problem asking for receipts - i'd be surprised if any nanny minded.

6. Chequebooks - you are right to identify that your issue here is your daughter not the nanny - so find a solution to that as you seem to have done.

From what you have posted it seems to me that you should be a good employer - make sure you treat your nanny as you would wish to be treated by your employer - and it should all go well. Good luck.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 03-Feb-09 13:10:17

most nannies will give 10mins grace as long as isnt 10mins late every day, ie saying you will be home at 7pm and its always 7.15

babysitting rate is agreed by yourselves

if you are paying for bank hols, then surely wages wouldnt change weekly/monthy - it would be on normal dd - ie you garee a set sum for week

diaries are fine, tho as they get bigger is boring saying dd pooed at 10am and 3pm etc

again most nannies happy to keep receipts

sure your nanny has little interest in going through your drawers/bank statements, underwear etc

if you trust her with your child, you should be able to trust her not to poke about

bedrooms are a tricky one, i dont go into my mb bedroom much, but sometimes need to to put dirty clothes in washbin, get extra loo roll out from her cupboard, use hairdryer etc - have never been banned/forbidden from any part of the house in 17years of being a nanny

again trust comes into this - though have to say once you have a nanny and your child can talk, you will have no secrets - mummy and daddy were making funny nioses,daddy crashed the car etc wink

AtheneNoctua Tue 03-Feb-09 13:11:47

Nanny will be contracted to work until 7pm, but what if me and DH are held up at work. Would I pay her time and a half? And, what happens if I was 15 minutes late? or 10 minutes late? would I pay for whole extra hour?

I would pay staight time for overtime, and I would round up to nearest half hour. But, I would try to avoid this happening very often because she will be unhappy with you if it happens say every week. And, she isn't actually obligated to be on your beck and call after her contracted hours.

I would offer the same hoursly rate for babysitting that she gets during the day. But, would be prepared to negotiate. I would definitely agree whatever the rate is before hiring her.

Bank Hols, yes, pay her for what she would normally work. That is fair.

NAnny diary, pics, and kitty with receipt book is definitely reasonable.

I would put credit cards and any bank details in a place where DD couldn't unload them whether I had a nanny or not. I'd be more worried about other people in the house or DD taking the card outside and driopping it on the street. This is just financial responsibility, and nothing about your nanny.

Lucy87 Tue 03-Feb-09 13:16:32

Hi. I am a nanny and have been for several years! Good luck in finding someone great...

"Nanny will be contracted to work until 7pm, but what if me and DH are held up at work. Would I pay her time and a half? And, what happens if I was 15 minutes late? or 10 minutes late? would I pay for whole extra hour?"

IMO this is a give / take thing - so long as you wouldn't mind if the nanny needed to leave 15 minutes early sometimes if it suited you, I don't expect any overtime in these situations...

"Babysitting (which would be agreed in advance) - would I pay her same daily rate, or would I pay her higher rate?"

I get my daily rate..

"Bank holidays - I was going to pay her, but only for hours she would normally work eg. if she would normally work 11 hours on Monday, I would pay her 11 hours on bank hol monday. But I would only pay her 3 hours for good friday as she would normally work 3 hours"

Sounds fair...

"I want her to keep a basic diary - what DD ate, how she slept, poo and what activity they did."

This can be quite simply done, I plan in advance my menus / activities/ play dates in a diary kept by my family, so I can shop / plan for them accordingly, so this is really no extra effort to share with my MB/DB.

"Also, to take photos of anything new DD experiences ie snow. - This isn't asking too much, is it?"

No it isn't, and I tend to WANT to share this sort of thing with my employer.. I find it exciting when the child tries something for the first time. I am often texting my MB pictures of her children doing something cute I've snapped on my phone

"I'm going to operate a kitty box - would it be too much to ask for receipts for travel and mobile phone top-ups? (It's not that I don't trust her, but might be able to off-set against tax)."

I automatically pop change/receipt into our tin, despite my family's insistence I don't need to show what I've spent.. It's no trouble at all. I am automatically quite frugal / sensible with the money as am conscious it isn't mine... You best explain about the tax thing though, if I thought it was to keep tabs, I might feel offended.

"Also, have been wondering what to do about cheque books and credit cards which I don't keep under lock and key, but are in the drawer of my desk. Ordinarily, I think I'd just have to trust my nanny not to rifle through my things (as I'm trusting her with my dearest DD). However, dearest DD has taken a liking to emptying this drawer and so my nanny would have to put all my bank stuff back. So, would it be best to put it in my bedroom, which will be an off-limits area?"

I often use my MB's credit card, she has given me permission to do so obviously. I also sleep in her bed when she and DB are away. Just as I don't mind her kids being in my bedroom at my place, whenever they stay there (littlest loves sleepovers with me!!). We are very friendly though, You might find once you meet your nanny and get to know her you won't feel so worried about this point.

Good luck and hope this helps!

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 03-Feb-09 13:18:45

In terms of arriving home late, I agree with others here - i.e. make sure it happens as rarely as possible, make it up to the next half hour (but on normal hourly rate). But wherever you possibly can, get home early and let her go home earlier than 7. It will stand you in good stead if and when you are late, which is sometimes inevitable.

Always ask for receipts - especially from the beginning. You might be able to relax it later, but it's very hard to introduce later on without the nanny thinking you're being suspicious. And it's good financial practise to keep an eye on what your nanny is spending. If I were you, I would also try and agree how much she is allowed to spend on daily treat/outings, as this can be a bone of contention as well.

The best advice I can give you, as someone who employed a nanny for 14 years, is to treat her as an employee and not try and make a friend of her. That's not to say that you can't develop a good relationship, but the waters can get very muddied if/when you have to have conversations about her role/performance, etc.

nbee84 Tue 03-Feb-09 13:29:58

From a nanny

1. Always try to arrive home 10 - 15 mins before Nanny finishes. That gives you a bit of leeway if there is traffic etc. and also time for a quick chat before she leaves. It can be slightly annoying when your boss is still chatting away to you 10 mins after you have finished. If you do get unavoidably held up, make sure you let nanny know (even if it is only 10-15mins) - I am paid my usual rate per half hour.

2. I usually agree babysitting rates aside from the contract. You wouldn't pay tax and ni on your neighbours teenager babysitting.

3. Bank hols as you have put. Have you included these days in holiday allowance or are they on top of it?

4. Most nannies will be familiar with a nanny diary - ask her what ideas she has for it. The photos are a good idea. Sometimes I take a pic on my mobile and send it to Mum during the day.

5. Fine to ask for receipts for major expenses.

6. I would just move things that you don't want nanny (or ddgrin) to have access to - but as you said if you are trusting her with your most prized possesion(dd) then you can surely trust her with things in your house.

It is nice to see that you are considering all these things before she starts working with you. smile

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 03-Feb-09 13:34:28

I think you have a good attitude FL - I hope it works out for you x

Cantandwont Tue 03-Feb-09 13:45:17

You sound very thoughtful!
I agree with what everyone has said - your nanny will almost certainly have a babysitting rate in mind before she starts. And setting the hours so you are normally back 15 mins before the end of her working day is a godsend - it means you don't need to feel bad about the 5 minute handover at the end, and she won't resent it.

Good luck with the recruiting process...

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 13:49:11

Aaawwwww, thanks everyone.
I just want my nanny to be happy so that DD will be happy and then I can concentrate on work.

Bedroom is off-limits only to DD. In reality, nanny will have to go in to sling DD's dirty washing in laundry basket.

nbee84 Tue 03-Feb-09 13:52:00

Will nanny be doing dd's washing? (quite usual for nanny to do children's laundry including their beds and ironing) If so, buy a small basket to keep in dd's room or bathroom so that she doesn't have to seperate it out from all of yours.

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 14:07:44

No, nanny won't be doing DD's washing as I think I'll find it easier just bunging it in with mine and DH's as we've always done ... at least, have done for the last 20 months since DD was born grin

If we change our mind about washing we'll get DD a separate laundry basket as you suggested nbee84

fridayschild Tue 03-Feb-09 14:10:30

If we're home late, there is no overtime paid for the first 15 mins, but after that we pay time and a half in half hour chunks - ie 16 minutes late triggers a half hour payment.

In practice what really matters to my current nanny is a call well in advance to say we are going to be late. It takes either of us an hour to get home, so logically we know by 5.30pm if we will not be back by 6.30pm. And sometimes we can warn the nanny there will be possible emergencies - DH working abroad and me with an uncontrollable meeting starting at 3.30, for example. Also, in the 5 years I have employed a nanny, I have only twice asked her to stay late at short notice. I agree with the others, just get home on time!

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 03-Feb-09 15:01:20

Try to ensure that you get home early enough to have a very brief chat.....most will be written in the diary so you won't need to recap the whole day. If you are ever running late, let her know as soon as possible and when you get in, apologise again. Over time should be rounded up to the nearest half an hour.

Ask her what her babysitting rate is and compromise if necessary.

Bank holidays can be included in her holiday allowance but most nannies expect them to be paid as extra.

I always put any change and receipts in the pot - most of he time the receipts are thwrown away without even being looked at but at least this gives my "employer" that choice about whether they are needed or not.

I personaly don't know of any nannies that have snooped (but I'm sure they are out there). Keep everything in a safe place if you don't want anyone to stumble across it.

and very important - say "thank you" at the end of every working day. It means that you appreciate her!

jura Tue 03-Feb-09 15:29:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 18:31:19

Not sure either, jura. But I have a limited company and the accountant said that I could claim anything which enabled me to carry out my work, ie childcare (need childcare in order to work). Still ... need to check with accountant when I have a mo, but thought better keep receipts anyway.

nannynick Tue 03-Feb-09 18:33:23

I doubt you can claim anything for childcare. Your nanny is YOUR employee, not an employee of the business.
If however your accountant has found some little nugget of tax law - do post a link to it, as lots of us would be interested in reading it.

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 18:35:42

nannynick - you're right! wasn't thinking straight.

but, accountant did say something about claiming back childcare, something to do with credits ???? anyway, will check with him

nannynick Tue 03-Feb-09 18:40:26

You could set up your own Childcare Voucher scheme I think. Savings to made on NICs. Expect that may be what your accountant meant.

With regard to receipts, don't expect them all the time as many things a nanny would pay for they won't get a receipt for - such as toddler groups.

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 18:41:49

Yes, think that's what he meant. Something about saving £240/week ??

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 03-Feb-09 18:45:21

My accountant allowed my membership of a nanny agency, because they supplied babysitters which I sometimes needed to be able to work in the evening - but payment for actual child care was not allowed.

nannynick Tue 03-Feb-09 18:48:47

£243 per month - it's the Childcare Voucher scheme - more info from HMRC. If in England, your nanny must be Ofsted registered. If in Scotland, you need to hire the nanny via a Registered Agency.

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 18:49:43

My accountant was talking about nursery fees at the time (DD also goes to nursery - 3 short days a week), and I distinctly remember him asking me about nursery invoices ...

FeelingLucky Tue 03-Feb-09 18:51:06

That's it, nannynick ... can you tell I'm not in the business of accountancy blush

jura Wed 04-Feb-09 00:09:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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