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First nanny contract - what should we add?

10 replies

Cakehead · 03/10/2007 21:11

Just drafting a contract for our first nanny. Not done this before and have been given a template to adapt by the agency who supplied her. It looks pretty standard but I wondered whether there was anything we should add that might prove useful.

Any suggestions from other employers or from nannys as to things you've found useful to include?

OP posts:

nannynick · 03/10/2007 21:39

Nannies Duties - be as specific as you can about the major things you want doing. Then have the last clause in that section such that it enables you as the employer to add to the section - such as, "any other duties required by employer and agreed by nanny" or some such thing (I'm not a lawyer, so not sure of correct legal wording, another mumsnetter may know).
Think carefully about the duties - especially if you are expecting nanny to do children's washing, any housework. "Nursery Duties" does not in my view cover it... you need to spell out exactly what you require - then it is much harder for there to be a dispute later on.

Be careful using a template contract... some of them in my view are not that great. For example, the NannyJob Specimen Contract says:
"1.6 Unless prevented by illness or injury the Nanny
(c) not perform any paid or unpaid work for any third party without the prior written consent of the Employer."
My view is that what the nanny does outside of their working hours, is up to them. I don't feel it is reasonable for a nanny to have to obtain written consent from their employer, every time they babysit for a family down the road! What the nanny does during contracted hours is something you control... what they do outside of contracted hours I feel you are not able to control.

Be very clear about holiday entitlement, notice periods required to book holiday.

Sick Leave... try to have it as SSP straight off. Then it is up to you if you pay for the first x number of days sick, or not. If you put in a contract that you pay for x number of days sick - then expect the nanny to be sick that number of days per year, regardless of if they are really sick or not.

Gross Misconduct - I would suggest listing as many examples as you can think of. This then makes it very clear what things are considered Gross Misconduct, and things not included are then treated under Disciplinary Procedure.

If you require your nanny is registered with Ofsted/Childcare Approval Scheme, than add that requirement to the contract - also detail who is responsible for associated fees.


eleusis · 04/10/2007 08:10

Cat me for a contract sample.

Put in SSP only.
Pay her/him in gross.
Put in some level of a job description. For example, if tidiness is important to you, emphasize that in the contract.
Have a detailed disciplinary/dismissal procedure.
Have a notice period you can live with.

If you make the contract fixed term then you are not obligated to renew it when it finishes.

Have a probationary period where she can be let go at short notice -- say three months.


Millarkie · 04/10/2007 12:56

Bit of a hijack - sorry

Nannynick - I used an adapted version of the nannyjob contract and I was glad that it had that 'no paid/unpaid work for third party' clause in because I found out that my first nanny was looking after another's familys child - telling my children it was a 'playdate' despite the fact that they didn't like the girl (my kids have mild SN and were not sociable types - hence me paying for a nanny at the time!) - she was in fact being paid to look after the girl for 3 or 4 hours at a time - during the hours she was contracted to work for me!

She was not happy when I told her that my children needed to cut down on these 'play dates' because ds was so upset by it he was crying etc...that was when she told me that she supposed it didn't matter because girl's father was only paying her £5 per hour because he knew she was getting paid from me at the same time.

I pointed out the clause in the contract - she honestly hadn't thought that it was a 'problem' until I showed her it was part of the agreement.


Millarkie · 04/10/2007 13:00

Sorry for hijack Cakehead - I can't think of anything else that hasn't already been mentioned.
Most important lesson I learnt is that, to a great extent, it doesn't matter what is in the contract, but how you react to things, eg. once you agree to nanny having a day off with only a couple of days notice (because you think it's an emergency or you want to be nice and you can manage it this time) then you are likely to always get requests for leave with little/no notice.
And if you don't tackle things like..kid's washing not getting done, right at the beginning, it gets harder and harder.
Start as you mean to go on...however 'nice' you want to be.


Squiffy · 04/10/2007 13:58

I always add a clause that all activitives that are not primarily for the benefit of the children must be approved of by me in advance (to stop nanny slepping off to boyfriend's house for the day with children in tow)

Another one that I add in is that children must not be left in care of a third person without prior approval, and that third parties do not spend time at our house during nanny hours without prior approval.

And I always have a very long list about what I consider to be serious in terms of disciplinary action (smoking, leaving children by themselves in bath/garden, inappropriate language, shouting, smacking, use of TV, junk food, and so on). Make sure you try to list down all the things that would drive you mad and add them in, otherwise you can end up with someone who does things 'differently' which you cannot stand, but you have no legal grounds to change their behaviour.

And agree that you MUST always state SSP entitlements only (you can always pay their salary anyway if they are genuinely sick).


Millarkie · 04/10/2007 16:19

That's a good one Squiffy - also would have come in handy with ex-nanny.

Going on recent threads, it is worth at least discussing, if not putting into job description/contract, whether nanny can take your child(ren) clothes shopping (for her clothes) (see squiffy's post below) and whether nanny can do her washing in your washing machine (both recent threads which had some people saying 'what's the problem?' and others saying 'no way!'
It just illustrates how somethings are gross misconduct in some families but perfectly ok in others.


fridayschild · 05/10/2007 13:48

some people like to specify a number of nights babysitting in the contract, to be included in nanny's gross pay.

You might also like to think about how you pay your nanny when you are late home - my nanny gets no pay for the first 15 minutes, but then a certain amount on an hourly basis after that. This means if I am 20 minutes late home, my nanny gets an hour's paid overtime.


NannyKnows · 07/10/2007 04:40

I would drop in a bit about discretion. Nannies chat and the last thing you want is your neighbours knowing every minute detail of your homelife.

Of course it's not really binding for a nanny but it will make her think twice about telling the local nanny circle what method of contraception you favour!


jura · 07/10/2007 23:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SmileyMylee · 08/10/2007 21:34

I'd also mention what babysitting rate to pay.

Also float money - what it is to be used for (mine used it to meet her friends for lunch).

Examples of gross misconduct - allowing children to travel in cars without car seats, especially when agreeing to bring people home for play dates.

I'd also put in that need prior clearance for visits to other homes or other people to visit.

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