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Nannies and nanny users - any good ideas re "add-ons" to salary?

16 replies

Anchovy · 26/02/2007 11:58

My nanny - who is brilliant - wants to have a performance review on Thursday. I'm pretty sure this is just going to be taking time out to check how everything is going (she has been with us for just over a year)and work out how things will change when DD moves closer to every morning school.

I said that I would speak to a few agencies to find out what the going rate was so that we can make sure her salary is still appropriate (and I'm happy to increase it if it is not). But what I wondered was whether there were any non-cash things which people did for their nannies, which might be nice to throw into the mix.

The DCs are 5 and 3 so we are going to need a nanny for quite some time, and I would like it to continue to be this one! But I really think in any employment situation its not just a case of throwing money at something, but making a really good working environment as well.

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Issymum · 26/02/2007 12:23

Hi Anchovy

Is your nanny from the UK? If not, we allow our nanny to ring home for free to NZ provided she uses a low-rate number and doesn't go crazy. It works out at about £10-£20 per month and I think helps her to feel more comfortable about being so far away from home.

If you can afford the extra holiday time, what about increasing her paid holiday? Or, more flexibly, we sometimes give our nanny 'bonus' days off if she has gone beyond the call of duty.

Is there a nanny car? If there is and she doesn't have her own car, perhaps you could let her borrow it for some weekends.

Anchovy · 26/02/2007 12:44

We have a car which started off for her use during the week but has now extended to letting her have it at weekends as well, as we don't really use it.

Holidays - she has 20 days contractual but in reality ends up having loads more than that as DH gets about 27 days and I get 30 days.

Phone - she only lives about 3 miles away and her family are all in the UK.

Was thinking of seeing if she has a pension plan and seeing if she wants payrise or part of her salary paid into that, as I think its "worth more to her that way

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Issymum · 26/02/2007 13:00

Looks like you've got it all covered there. I suspect you are right that there may be something frighteningly complex that you could do around a pension. Maybe it won't be "frighteningly complex" at all, given the government's enthusiasm for even small employers to set up pension plans for their employees, I expect it's as easy as falling off a fiscal log.

Georgiaplus1 · 26/02/2007 13:08

I hope I'm not too late in offering you some advice regarding this situation with your nanny as I'm about to go through the same situation. The added bonus is that I work in recruitment so i conduct Performance Reviews regulary with staff.
Firstly, 20 days holiday isn't competitive and most people that we recruit comment on this as 'you can't buy time off'! I would increase this to a contractual 23 but 25 is more generous with an additional day off for each year she works with you up to a maminum of 30 days.(or 28)
I do'nt think a pension is a good enough 'sell' especially to young people - they're still invincable etc etc! HOwever I would consider offering her a subsidised Gym membership.
We also offer our nanny subsidised travel by contributing to her monthly tube pass.
You might also like to consider offering her Private health Insurance - our nanny loves this perk as all of her friends who work in office environments get this beneifts so now she doesn't feel missed out!

now this is a load of perks - so perhaps present all these to her and that she can choose say 2 or 3 of them.

Enjoy the review!

MrsWobble · 26/02/2007 13:15

I'd be interested to see how your nanny reacts. My experience is that perks tend to be valued by the employee at less than the cost to the employer and what my nannies have wanted is a fair wage and then real appreciation for what they do - which might be evidenced tangibly on occasion by additional time off or a bunch of flowers or whatever.

Anchovy · 26/02/2007 13:22

Georgiaplus - thanks that is really helpful.

Travel - she drives to work (not far0 and uses our car, so that is sorted.

Noted re holiday - I'm just not sure that it makes any difference as pretty much she gets at least 25 days anyway, but you are right, maybe I should formalise that.

Pension - actually she is the same age as me (fortysomething) so it may be more applicable in her case. I think she would probably prefer that to gym membership, tbh.

Private health insurance: that's a very good one. I'll have a think about it, maybe for next year.

I'm a bit nervous about it as our nanny has had two previous jobs for Minor Celebrities and her duties have involved, eg, travelling by private plane and escorting the children to Mario Testino photo shoots. Her current "glamour" involves accompanying my 3 year old DD to ballet classes at the local municipal leisure centre and travel via an old VW Polo. (To be fair to her she is not in the slightest bit "star struck").

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Anchovy · 26/02/2007 13:26

Mrs W - I think you are right - I don't want to go out of my way on expensive perks, if they do not really do that much for her.

We are big on appreciation (because we really do appreciate her!) and DH often picks up flowers for her (he likes having them around the house and will often pick up some for her as well). Also appreciation is free

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WanderingTrolley · 26/02/2007 13:38

Good idea to formalise the extra hol - but 20 days is bog standard for nannies. It's usual to get slightly more than that in reality too.

Gym membership etc also good ideas. Do you get any work related freebies you could pass on? Put an annual bonus into her contract?

I wouldn't be concerned about the minor sleb thing - I had a couple of sleb things in my nannying days and I bludddy hated them! (sleb stuff, that is)

See what she asks for - she may have something in mind already, that you could accomodate.

Also, v nice to read thread about nice and appreciated nanny!

MrsWobble · 26/02/2007 13:39

Anchovy - I've been thinking some more about this - if you know when you want your nanny to stay until you might so something with a termination bonus. We decided that our nanny would effectively be redundant once our youngest started school because at that point our childcare needs would be different. We discussed this with her about 2 years ahead of that point because we really wanted her to stay until then so we agreed her redundancy terms at that point such that if she stayed until the agreed date her redundancy payment would be a lot larger than statutory.

We reasoned that she could then either make a lump sum payment into a pension scheme, or whatever else she wanted. It worked as a retention scheme as she stayed until the agreed date and is still in touch with us all and babysits for weekends etc if we need her.

Issymum · 26/02/2007 13:49

Good point Mrs Wobble. Last Autumn we agreed a retention bonus with our nanny for her to stay with us until this Summer, when we will be looking to change our childcare arrangements.

Anchovy · 26/02/2007 14:05

I like the idea of a retention bonus, but I don't think we have a clear end date envisaged at the moment. The DCs will need quite a hands-on nanny through their early school years (we both work quite long days and need someone who will also do all the household organisation re their stuff, make costumes for Book Day, fill the freezer with food, buy their clothes etc etc) and so I would really like to keep her until they were at least 8 and 10 - a good 5 years off. Frankly as she is hyper-organised and a brilliant cook, she could stay longer if she wanted!

Wandering Trolley - I'm a lawyer so believe me there are no perks I could offer ("Now Nanny X, you've been brilliant this year so here is another benefit: if you spot any companies you would like to merge with or effect a hostile takeover of, I would be happy to do it for you at very reduced rates")

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Eleusis · 26/02/2007 14:34

What about something like a gym membership which she could use while the kids are at school?

Does she live with you? If so, you could maybe do something to upgrade her room, like new bed set, or new computer or something? This will improve her quality of life, yet if she leaves, those perks will still be there to attract the next nanny rather than leaving with her, as increased salary, pension, medical insurance do.

ScottishThistle · 26/02/2007 14:43

As a Nanny I'd say there's no perk I enjoy more than being truly Boss brings me in a packet of my favourite sweets, a book, flowers, gives me a long lie if she's starting work late, lets me finish early if she's home early...All very inexpensive but things which mean a lot to me & I in turn bring her in sweets etc.

I love my job!

Anchovy · 26/02/2007 17:27

ScottishThistle - DH bought her recently some...chickpeas and a chorizo sausage! He works close to some great middle eastern shops, so he periodically brings home a big bags of goodies and shares out the booty. (She really likes cooking).

I'd like to think of her sitting at home thinking "you can stuff your fancy gym membership and private plane trips, Mr and Mrs Anchovy give me authentic dried pulses"

Thanks for your input everyone!

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ScottishThistle · 28/02/2007 19:23

Hi again!

I'm sure your Nanny loves working for you, you sound lovely!

My Boss just came back from Milan with a huge chunk of Parmesan for me...If it was a choice between random goodies & a gym membership...the goodies win every time!

paros · 28/02/2007 20:27

My boss brings me Krispy cream doughnuts . Now theres a perk that would keep any nanny happy . I also get Thorton toffees . And today she ordered my Wii game thingy for my birthday which was in February . (ok I am 42 and much to old for such frivolity SP ) but she knew I wouldnt spend so much money on such a thing. I have been a nanny for 24years and the nicest things bosses have ever done for me have been appreciation . They just need to know that you appreciate them . Pure and simple .

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