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nanny contract and working day

13 replies

Krythia · 23/09/2006 17:52

I have just found a nanny to help me for 12 weeks over the hump of hubby working away and birth of third, and have found sample contracts on the internet, but would welcome any advice from those who have nannies about breaks during the day. I was planning to offer a 9-6 day, five days a week with an hour off in the middle. Obviously she will need other breaks in the day - do I specify them in the contract and if so, what would you recommend? Also, do you think it would be OK to specify one evening a week babysitting for 4 hours in lieu of a 1 pm start on that day? I look forward to hearing from you experienced mums!

OP posts:

Ladymuck · 23/09/2006 18:40

Am afraid that my nanny does not have any break stipulated in here contract, and I haven't seen this before? Don't think that it is the norm for nanny contracts, esp as most nannies are at home whilst parents are at work.

In terms of babysitting, what you suggest is fine.


sinclair · 23/09/2006 18:47

Sole charge nannies wouldn't expect to see breaks specified - she (or he) is always 'on' really, even if baby is asleep - not as if they can pop out to Primark whilst kids have lunch - but usually manage their time around the routine of the children - grabbing a cuppa when the kids are napping or at nursery or whatever. With the babysitting, I was advised when I first hired a nanny to add an evening babysit to the daytime hours (rather than swap which wasn't an option for me as I was working outside of the home) and it is lovely to have a regular night out - it's a bit of a luxury but it was worth it for us.


nannynick · 23/09/2006 19:05

Why would a nanny need breaks during the working day? It isn't usual. I think a nanny would be expected to opt out of Regulation 12 of Working Time Regulations in addition to Regulations already opted out of due to Domestic Service in Regulation 19. /link{\Working Time Regulations 1998}

As their employer the thing to do is to pay for their lunch. I would suggest that nanny eats lunch with the children.

You raise an interesting point with this... as what happens if the nanny won't opt out?
I'm not a lawyer - I'm a nanny, so would suggest seeking legal advise if it was necessary.
However, I expect there is something somewhere which covers this situation, as if the nanny is at home with the children alone, they can not leave those children unattended, so they can take their rest break.

With regard to babysitting as an addition to usual hours, then yes, you can add that to the contract. However if you don't use the babysitting hours that week, then I do not feel you can carry them over to another week, as the nanny was available to work those hours - you just decided not to use them.

As you have a late start on the day you want the babysitting and due to it being the same day each week, I'd just put the working hours down in the contract.

For example, lets say:
Mon 9am-6pm, Tue 9am-6pm, Wed 1pm-10pm, Thur 9am-6pm, Fri 9am-6pm.


Krythia · 23/09/2006 20:27

thanks guys, that's really helpful. Can I digress a bit and ask about smoking? My proposed candidate is a smoker, which I have told her I have problems with, as the children tend to bronchitis in the winter. She has promised me she never smokes in a house or around children, and has said that she intends to give up before she starts to work for me, but I know that you can always smell it on people when they have been out for a cigarette - any advice on what to put in the contract to cover myself for that?

OP posts:

nannynick · 23/09/2006 22:12

I'm a non-smoker, and sorry to say I don't like childcarers who smoke... it just to me sends out the wrong message to the children.

Not sure what you can put in the contract. I would however make it clear that:

No Smoking at all during working hours.
This includes No Smoking on the premises including grounds, in the car, when visiting friends or activities.

In addition to being in a section of it's own - No Smoking Policy, It should in my opinon be added to the Gross Misconduct section of the contract, so that in the event that the nanny smokes, their employment is immediately terminated.

I doubt however if this is allowed under law (though it might be come Summer 2007). However, as a employer of a Domestic Worker you are allowed to select the gender of your employee (Domestic Employment is exempt from Sex Discrimination Act), so I can't see why you shouldn't be able to dictate as to if your employee can smoke or not.

Just my view of course.


elastamum · 23/09/2006 22:20

I dont think the european working time directive on hours applies to people employed to take care of children in the home. I wouldnt stipulate breaks in the contract as nannies will not expect this. A one afternoon start in exchange for an evenings babysitting sounds like a good idea.


elastamum · 23/09/2006 22:22

I wouldnt hire a nanny who smokes, neither would most mums so i suggest for her career sake she should give up!


elastamum · 23/09/2006 22:23

In our naanny's contract we have a set of house rules, one of which is that nobody is allowed to smoke in the house or in the children's presence


Krythia · 24/09/2006 11:22

thank you again ladies - don't know what I'd do without mums net!

OP posts:

NannyL · 24/09/2006 12:18

In my contract i have 'take 30 mins break during the day at a time that will not put the children at risk'

the reality is i almost never even think about taking a break (no time) but on the very rare occasion that i sit down with a cup of tea and flick through the paper for 10 mins while the chidlren are happily playing or whatever i dont feel guilty about it....

as a nanny i dont think we can EVER have a proper break!


NannyL · 24/09/2006 12:22

also i had it my old contract that i was nerev allowed to take the children into ANY environment where there was smoke...

as a non smoker i dont have a problem with it... wouldnt dream of exposing children to such toxic deadly chemicals anyway... whaether im looking after them or my own children!


Krythia · 26/09/2006 13:57

thanks nannies. Another question for you - what is the norm for visitors to nannies in contracts you have had?

OP posts:

Uwila · 26/09/2006 14:44

I would never hire a smoker because I wouldn't trust them not to ever smoke around the kids. Your nanny becomes a role model to your kids and even if she is not on duty and you run into her in Satarbucks on Saturday afternoon, she is still that same role model. And if thei kids see her smoking hten it's all the same as if she did it in your back garden whilst on duty.

Now, if I found out my nanny smoked in the club on Saturday night when she was out drinking with her pals, then I couldn't care less. But, a regular daytime smoker, no way.

Deffo no break times in my contract. It's called nap time. She does get breaks, but they are not set in the schedule. For example, my kids take long afternoon naps. So, she sometimes cracks out the workout video or chats on the computer.

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