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Nanny contract questions - any advice?

(27 Posts)
MrsMattie Sun 31-May-09 21:09:27

We are going to employ a live out nanny for 3 days a week and are currently drawing up a contract which we are going to discuss with her tomorrow. I downloaded the sample contract from the Nannyjob website and have fiddled around with it a bit to suit us/our nanny, but there are a few areas on which I am still unclear.

Any nannies or employers who could shed some light on the following? Much appreciated...

Meals. Should we be (contractually) supplying our nanny with all of her food during the day? So for example, if she is out and about with the kids at lunchtime and buys herself a meal in a cafe, should we reimburse her? Do we supply her with enough food for herself for the week? Does she bring her own food? Our nanny will be bringing her own child to work with her, too, so what happens with his meals?

Bank Holiday Mondays. Our nanny will be working Mon,Tue & Wed. If she were working Tue, Wed & Thu, for example, there would be no issue. But as it stands, we will have to pay her to take Mondays off, right? is that right? it seems a bit off, really. I have no objection to Christmas/Easter bank holidays, but random ones in May / August are going to be quite inconvenient. And it seems unfair that we will have to give her a day in lieu for working a BH Monday just because Monday is one of the days convenient to her to work (she can only do Mon-Wed).

Sick Pay. How long do we go on paying her a full day rate of she goes off sick? Is it indefinite? Or does she just get statutory sick pay?

And what happens if the nanny has to take days off because her child is sick (which will inevitably happen at some point).Do we still pay her 'sick pay'? For how long is reasonable?

Sorry for the bombardment, and I hope we don't come across as being tight. Just trying to make it a fair deal for her, but as convenient as possible for us!

willowthewispa Sun 31-May-09 21:33:46

I'm a nanny but without my own child. I eat lunch at work, and tea if I'm working late - I think you are obliged to provide her meal, but she can just eat what the children are eating. It's not usual for the nanny to bring her own food. I only eat out with the children very occasionally, normally we take sandwiches if going to the zoo etc, but if somewhere where we have to buy lunch out (like a soft play place) I buy my lunch out of the kitty too. You could specify that all meals must be eaten at home unless cleared with you in advance?

Depending on the age of nanny's child, it's probably easier for you to provide food - otherwise the children will be eating different things and it could cause issues (like the nanny feeds her child chocolate biscuits after lunch and you prefer your children to have fruit). May be better for everyone to eat the same together? I have no experience of this myself though.

Holidays - I think you have to give her 5.6 weeks holiday, and this can include bank holidays if you want. It doesn't have to be 5.6 weeks plus bank holidays.

As for sick pay, I think it's common to have ssp in the contract, and then it's at your discretion whether to pay wages or not.

nbee84 Sun 31-May-09 22:26:19

Holidays - she is entitled to 16.8 days a year - would be usual to round this up to 17. So if there are 5 bank holidays that fall on Mondays she would have 12 days left - 4 weeks. It would be usual for you to choose 2 of those weeks and nanny the other 2, you can specify things like holidays not during term time or no holiday during July ie if you were a teacher or July is a particularly busy month for you.

It is usual for the nanny to eat food that you provide - usually the same as your children are eating. And as willow said it's probably easier all round if her child eats the same as yours.

The eating out thing - again as willow says I would ask her to take sandwiches/picnic/packed lunch where practical, but if she does eat out then it is usual for you to pay. As a nanny myself I would never take advantage of my employers kitty and usually take a packed lunch.

Millarkie Sun 31-May-09 22:36:30

As Nbee and Willow have said, yes you pay for all food including meals out but you can ask her to take packed lunch if going out.
Bank holidays come out of (pro-rata'd) annual leave entitlement so you are not worse off because she is working Mondays.
Sick pay, most people put SSP only in the contract (which used to be no pay for first 3 days and then SSP for remaining time off) - and then if nanny is good you can choose to give full pay.
I wouldn't give 'sick pay' if her child is sick (My employer certainly wouldn't class my children's illness as sick leave) - I would class it as part of her annual leave (or if she is generally fab then just give her an extra day off).

nannynick Sun 31-May-09 22:38:39

My views:
Meals
>Should we be (contractually) supplying our nanny with all of her food during the day?

Yes... food and drink are usually expected to be provided. Typically this means one meal at lunchtime to be eaten with the children. It may also include evening meal/afternoon tea, again eaten with the children.

>So for example, if she is out and about with the kids at lunchtime and buys herself a meal in a cafe, should we reimburse her?

If you have agreed that meals can be had out of the home, then that would come out of the weekly expenses kitty. However I would suggest that you encourage your nanny to make a packed lunch - children love picnics.

>Do we supply her with enough food for herself for the week?

Yes but this should not be overly different to the food that your children will be eating. Clearly your nanny may have tea/coffee, whereas your children won't usually be having those. But meal wise, it is likely that the nanny will cook meals that are suitable for your children and themselves.

>Does she bring her own food?

No, nannies expect to be fed whilst on the job. It's not as though they get a lunch hour!

>Our nanny will be bringing her own child to work with her, too, so what happens with his meals?

No experience of that I am afraid, though my feeling is that your nanny should be providing everything for her own child. You could if you wanted permit that child to eat the same as everyone else (but that may not be practical depending on the child's age).

What did you agree at the interview stage with regards to nanny bringing her own child to work?

Bank Holidays
>Our nanny will be working Mon,Tue & Wed. If she were working Tue, Wed & Thu, for example, there would be no issue. But as it stands, we will have to pay her to take Mondays off, right? is that right?

Yes, a nanny gets the same statutory employment rights as you do... so currently holiday wise it is 5.6 weeks per year holiday, which can include Bank Holidays.

You don't have to permit your employee to have those days off though... there is no right to having a Bank Holiday off. So if you require them to work on a Bank Holiday Monday (or any other national/regional holiday) then make that clear in the contract and when agreeing holiday dates.

You don't need to give a day in lieu.

ACAS: Holidays
BusinessLink: Pay on Public Holidays

Sick Pay
>How long do we go on paying her a full day rate of she goes off sick? Is it indefinite? Or does she just get statutory sick pay?

Only put Statutory Sick Pay in the contract. That way you can then at your discretion provide full pay if you feel the situation warrants it.
SSP kicks in on the 4th day of sickness (days must be in a row). You should keep a log of all sickness your employee has and raise concerns over excessive sickness level if appropriate. Nannies in my view tend not to take sick leave very often.
BusinessLink: Understanding Statutory Sick Pay

>And what happens if the nanny has to take days off because her child is sick (which will inevitably happen at some point).Do we still pay her 'sick pay'? For how long is reasonable?

Looks to me that such leave would be Parental Leave which is unpaid. You could permit your employee to take it as their own leave if you wished. I would not suggest that you write that in a contract though... instead offer it on a case-by-case basis.
BusinessLink: Parental Leave & Time Off For Dependents - may help. Also in the event of it occurring you may want to call ACAS for advice.

The thing to do about Holiday and Sick leave is to think about how you would like a great employer to treat you... then treat your nanny that way, or as close to that way as financially possible (as you may want to be given as much time off on full pay as you like grin - which may be unaffordable for you when being the employer).

nannyL Sun 31-May-09 22:44:26

my friend is a nanny and takes her own child

what works for them (she works 4 days a week, they have 3 children, she has 1) is that once a week she brings something to make a main meal for all the children... (may be some chicken and rice or something) but would use all herbs and stuff like that from their store cupboard...

she also might bring say a pack of pitta bread and a pack of yogurts or something... and all children are fed the same.

AtheneNoctua Sun 31-May-09 22:53:45

I would put SSP only in the contract, but would pay her if she was ill and not taking the mick. I would not pay her if she was off because her child was sick. However, I would be quite happy for sick child to come to work so long as nanny is happy to bring well child to work when my kid is sick.

For meals, I would expect to provide her with enough food for her to make food for her and kids every day. I don't really expect the nanny to take the kids out to eat. (although I do know they have developed a habit of baby chinos before school at Starbucks). I give her a set amount of spending money each month and she spends it how she chooses. I don't really ask where it goes.

nannynick Sun 31-May-09 23:17:23

Talking of the nanny kitty... I feel having a set amount of spending money each week (or month) works well. It gives your nanny flexibility to decide what to pay for and when. Some weeks your nanny may spend more than the allotted amount and other weeks will spend less (this is how I work things, as I can not predict when oldest child will request to go to see a Castle, sit in a Helicopter etc). Overspends I fund from my own pocket, and then under spends go into my pocket - as it were. Over a period of time, I find it evens itself out.
Don't insist on receipts for everything. If you feel the nanny kitty is being abused, then you can tighten up on it... but to start with Trust your nanny to spend the weekly kitty appropriately. With modern technology, your nanny can send you pictures of places they have been, which prove they went there.

AtheneNoctua - Do you mean Baby Chino's every day before school? Or just a once-a-week habit? Everyday must get very costly - not that I've been in a Starbucks recently, not counting at Center Parcs.

AtheneNoctua Sun 31-May-09 23:39:11

No, I don't think it's every day. I don't really know how often it is. But there's not enough money in the monthly fund for them to do it too often.

However, I now know why they have to leave the house at 7:30 to catch a 15-20 min bus ride for a school day that starts at 8:50. I used to wonder why it took an hour and 20 minutes to get to school. But now I know: baby chinos.

nannynick Sun 31-May-09 23:42:32

Gives you a possible Xmas present idea... baby chino maker. Or would home made baby chinos not be acceptable?

AtheneNoctua Sun 31-May-09 23:51:26

Quite honestly, I don't even know what a baby chino is but I assume it is suitable for young children.

nannynick Mon 01-Jun-09 01:13:07

Have been doing some research, and the babyccino seemed to start out around 30 years ago as being a small amount of coffee with frothy milk.
These days is typically frothy milk with chocolate powder sprinkled on top.
At starbucks it is served in a Short cup (8oz) - according to a poster on MoneySavingExpert.com
Starbucks Nutritional Guide - a Short of semi-skimmed Steamed Milk is 70 Calories, chocolate topping is 6 Calories.

mananny Mon 01-Jun-09 01:26:12

Babyccino's are very popular here! Along with steamers (hot milk with vanilla syrup). No one bats an eyelid about getting a 3yr old something along with their own latte at the local coffee shop (no Starbucks in my neighbourhood - too tacky!).

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Jun-09 11:03:37

Starbucks "tacky"? I think not!

willowthewispa Mon 01-Jun-09 11:15:03

Starbucks is definitely tacky - my hometown had a campaign against it (and Macdonalds!) when they tried to set up shop there grin

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Jun-09 11:25:30

I can't believe you just put Starbucks and MacDonalds in the same category. shock

Starbucks is yummy. McD's is shite.

willowthewispa Mon 01-Jun-09 12:03:45

Big, bland, anti-union, corporate chains!

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 01-Jun-09 12:55:30

glad you found a nanny mrs mattie - not tight at all - best to have stuff sorted and in contract BEFORE nanny starts

have to say my eldest 2 love babychinos - they get one maybe once a month if they are lucky and i get a chai latte skinny

i am one of the rare nannies who get actual sick pay of 4/6weeks in my contract - very rare - but i wouldnt sign a contract with just ssp

holidays 17days - i work mon-wed and i get 2weeks my choice, 2 weeks theirs and a week at xmas - i also get all mon bh paid - if my mb takes more than 2 weeks their choice, i also have in my contract that i can paid in full and have the time off

food - i also have in my contract aht i can eat breakie, lunch and if need be tea at theirs (learnt from a friend years ago whose mb said she couldnt eat breakie there and she started at 7am shock) and any snacks etc

if we go out then picnic or if we eat out, then mb pays - obv i dont order smoked salmon and caveier(sp) smile

mb asks if i want anything 2put it on shopping list, but they have a well stocked fridge/freezer that i use

i eat the same as charges, unless i eat more salad then them grin

food for own child - maybe nanny can bring food in that all can share everynow and again

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Jun-09 15:44:27

Oh, are they anti-union? All the more reason to support them.

willowthewispa Mon 01-Jun-09 16:06:36

Think my political views might be very different to yours! grin

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Jun-09 16:41:38

Yeah, I get that impression too.

BTW, how's the job? Still employed?

willowthewispa Mon 01-Jun-09 16:45:09

Hmm... dispiriting at the moment actually! At least I have a job I enjoy, but I've just suddenly (and very casually!) been told my days are changing which is very difficult as I have things planned on some of my off days over the next few months.

AtheneNoctua Mon 01-Jun-09 17:00:55

Been told? Surely you mean asked? I guess in this climate you don't have a lot of bargaining power.

MrsMattie Mon 01-Jun-09 17:17:02

Thanks all for your invaluable advice. Especially Nannynick and Blondes, who seem to be my one-stop-shop for info at the moment! grin

Very useful.

Nanny is so lovely, btw. She starts next week. I'm really nervous (just about leaving the kids and managing work and oh, everything, really!), but can't think how we could have found someone nicer smile

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 01-Jun-09 17:20:01

welcome - nick is much more useful in info then me

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