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nanny for school holidays only - how does it work?

(11 Posts)
elliott Tue 12-Jul-05 09:31:39

OK, the more I think about this the more complicated it gets....some questions about how you go about employing a nanny for school holidays only (25 hours per week for 10 weeks), or where their hours very a lot between term and holiday time.

How do you define working hours in the contract?
Arrangements for holidays? Should holidays be paid?
Leave period?
Is there anything different about how the inland revenue treats someone working very different numbers of hours during different weeks?
Is it always necessary to be an employer for this type of arrangement (and responsible for tax and NI) or could you just pay hourly gross and leave them to sort out their tax arrangments - what if they are working elsewhere (not as a nanny) during term time?

Its making my brain ache just thinking about this. Someone tell me that its not as much hassle as it appears....

elliott Tue 12-Jul-05 10:12:35

bumpity bump!

frogs Tue 12-Jul-05 10:34:20

Holiday-only nanny sounds like an excellent idea. I can see myself going down that route in a couple of years when dd2 is at school.

Use a babysitting agency? Trainee from nursery nursing course? Live-in au pair? Ask around and poach someone else's nanny while they're away? Small ads? Try Simply Childcare if you're in London.

As for payment, I'd have thought cash in hand would be the answer.

binkie Tue 12-Jul-05 10:38:48

We have this arrangement, with a nanny doing her own studies. Ooh, this is going to be one of my (even) longer posts.

The working hours arrangement is: year-round she has a specified number of hours, ie M-F, x am to y pm; but in term-time a specified no. of those hours weekly are - subject to childcare emergencies, like kids sick off school, this is v v important to state in contract - hers free to devote to studies, whatever else she wants to do etc. And because she has this specified no. of free hours, the pay is reduced a bit (not very much - by about £2 per free hour) from what we pay for full-time. (Our current nanny is in no conceivable way an advantage-taker, but doing it this way - ie, these are your notional hours but you get this much off - would give you a comeback if you had a term-time nanny who was really starting to cut corners on the time she devotes to the job.)

Because she does more term-time weeks than full-time, the pay our nanny's registered with at the payroll people (we use Nannytax) is the term-time rate. We spoke to Nannytax, and all they need is for us to tell us how many full-time weeks she does per quarter, and they'll do the totals for tax & NI taking that into account. Nannytax weren't phased by it at all.

Holidays: well, since ours is year-round she gets the standard of four weeks paid - I wouldn't discount that for any part-time considerations. Not sure about someone just doing a short (summer) contract - I guess there may be legal guidelines about at what length of contract the right to paid leave kicks in. Try ACAS?

We are definitely her employer, couldn't say otherwise. But I do know nannies who do short-term emergency nannying who have been able to work on a self-employed basis. Again, I don't know what sort of duration their emergency contracts are. Not sure who to take that question to - Nannytax have a bit of a vested interest in saying you've got to pay tax, I think! However, agreeing a gross salary sounds in those circumstances like a very sensible one. If she's uncertain about doing that, you could perhaps take out a subscription to one of the payroll companies so's to give her access to helplines?

elliott Tue 12-Jul-05 10:47:18

frogs, we have someone in mind and could offer either holidays only or add in 6 hours a week after school care. Was wondering if holidays only might make it simpler. Does anyone have this kind of holidays only arrangement and not take on the whole employer caboodle? I'm anxious that things are as above board as possible - ok I pay my cleaner cash in hand, but for childcare I want a proper contract!
binkie, your arrangement sounds more like a full time nanny who has a 'retainer' during the day when she is studying - we wouldn't need nearly so many hours as this as ds2 is in nursery 3 days anyway (so if we were going down this route we'd do a straight part time year round nanny).

binkie Tue 12-Jul-05 10:51:43

Having read frogs' response and your qu again I see you're planning only part-time, even in holidays - my situation's not quite same as yours, then.

There's loads of people who want to be summer au pairs. Sounds like that would be ideal, and then normal au pairing guidelines would take care of all the leave issues, etc.

Alternatively, see if you can pick up one of the Antipodean primary school teachers who want to earn a bit over the summer (look on Gumtree) - and there again I would agree with frogs, cash in hand (on a gross basis).

binkie Tue 12-Jul-05 10:52:34

yes, elliott - I misunderstood and have now cross-posted with you. Oh dear

frogs Tue 12-Jul-05 10:52:55

I have a flexible arrangement with my nanny, who is in her fifties. In the main we do termtime only, with holiday arrangements to be discussed as far in advance as possible. If we're away I don't pay her as long as she's had plenty of notice to organise herself some extra babysitting.

If she's away I have a babysitting/nanny agency to pick up any slack in emergencies. Also she has various adult daughters who sometimes step in to help out. It is an informal arrangment, but works pretty well. But I've known them all for years, and one of the daughters nannies for some friends of mine, so they all hang out together taking the children to playgroups etc.

I've only done cash in hand, she prefers it that way.

SoftFroggie Tue 12-Jul-05 11:30:23

I think if you've found someone who wants the job and is likely to stay for a few years, then it sounds like a good plan and worth a bit of hassle getting the contract and pay set up properly. I'd have thought that using the same person for after school as holidays would be good continuity of care be easier.

Can't you write a contract that says 'term time hours: x' and 'school-holiday hours:y', pay ££ per hour (personally, I'd set a gross rate here). Include your children's school so it's clear which term-time you're using.

I can't see how this arrangement could be self-employed. Can nannytax / nanny paye help over managing tax / NI? If you figure out how many hours worked over the year then you / they should be able to work out how much tax to pay over the year and therefore how much tax to pay for each hour worked.

If they have another job, EITHER you are their main employer, and are entitled to their tax allowances in which case the other job doesn't affect you at all and they pay 22% tax on their earnings from the other job, OR the other job counts as main employer and all the money they earn from you is taxed at 22%. ALTRENATIVELY it is possible to split their tax allowance between two jobs, but I'd imagine that could be a bit fiddly in your case. This is why agreeing a gross rate would be a big help.

Holiday: yup, you have to offer paid holiday. If you ONLY employed her during the school holidays you could incorporate an element of holiday pay into her hourly rate and then not have specified holidays (I think) but you'd be paying her while you're on holiday. Alternatively you could offer her, say, 4 weeks holiday and just lump the fact that it's all at the higher holiday-week rate? Or offer X hours holiday through the year?

Leave period: write in as normal? (i.e. 4 weeks, or possibly 6 weeks)?

Just my thoughts. I'd been hoping to get a cotnract biased the other way (mainly term-time hours) and so have been thinking about this for myself a bit.

elliott Tue 12-Jul-05 11:57:48

thanks softfroggie. Actually I suspect this will be a short term arrangement (prob only for this year). I can see that if she is working year round then a contract with monthly hours, paid holiday etc is the way to go, but is it really all necessary if she is only doing 10 weeks a year for us (thirty days work)? Is it legal to pay someone a cash hourly rate and expect them to pay their own tax? What is the legal status of a babysitter or someone paid for the odd days' care in the holidays?

If she doesn't do the after school stuff ds1 will go to after school club - I think that will be fine for two days a week. Might not be worth her travelling just for a 3 hour stint.

elliott Thu 14-Jul-05 10:58:08

well it seems she is interested in the after school hours as well as holidays. Still early days but sounds like we may be needing to consider a year round contract like softfroggie, but with variable hours term time and holidays. i would imagine we will take some holidays as holidays and some in term time so will have to come up with an arrangement that gives some choice on both sides.
frogs, do you have a contract with your nanny or is it all done informally? How many hours does she work for you on average?

I have to say I do feel a bit daunted by the whole 'becoming an employer' bit, though I guess there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to sort it. Someone reassure me its not so much of a hassle....

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