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Childminders club : Xmas and holiday pay!!!

19 replies

ssd · 25/11/2004 20:07

Hi girls,I've got a bit of a problem.

As Xmas is a Saturday this year,I work weekdays only so obviously I'll be off. But I will actually be taking 2 weeks off,mid-week to mid-week,following the school holidays. I'll be available right up to when school finishes to when it starts but not in between.

A parent has asked me to work during the school holidays and I said I'm taking holidays then...I thought all parents would be taking the school hols off (they work in an office ) anyway all of my other parents are taking the school hols off.

But as my contract states I get paid hols when both myself and the parents are on hols at the same time,I don't know if I'll get paid for my Xmas hols as I didn't expect to be asked to work them.

I think the parents will now HAVE to take the week between Xmas and New Year off now, but do you think they'll see this as unpaid as the childminder isn't available to work?

Can anyone give me tips on holiday pay at this time of year? BTW I only mind part-time for these parents. Do you keep a note of YOUR holidays? I'm sure my (NCMA) contract states I've to get 4 weeks hols a year,but I'm never sure if they are paid or not, as it means I'm not available for work then and so is this unpaid?

Thanks for any advice also would welcome advice from parents using chilminders.

OP posts:

bonkerz · 25/11/2004 20:32

I charge parents for thier childrens holidays but dont charge for mine. Regarding xmas i have said i am available to work over the xmas period but am having 24,25,26 and 27th off then open 28,29,30. close at 1pm on 31 and open again on 4th. Parents pay me just for the days i am open and if they want to use me they have to pay a subsidy of £10 on top of my normal fee.


ayla99 · 25/11/2004 20:37

I stopped using the NCMA contracts as I didn't have space to add my own info such as this.
My contracts state that 1/2 fees are due on bank holidays (where the bank holidays fall on a contracted day) and from Christmas Eve to New Years Day inclusive.

Any other holiday is charged at full fees if the parent books holiday or chooses not to come, days off/sickness etc.
I don't charge anything if i am unavailable, on holiday/sick etc.

The last NCMA contract I saw was from 3 years ago, so its probably changed since then. On that, you would have had to write in your fee next to where it said the number of weeks holiday you were allowed.


KatieMac · 25/11/2004 20:38

I charge for 50 weeks a year divided by 12 months - so over Christmas I'm working to Christmas Eve and then starting again on the 4th January. But I have had this holiday booked since Jan 04.

I get 2 weeks unpaid Holiday and upto 2 weeks paid.

I don't have time that I'm not working that doesn't count as holiday.

This doesn't help you - do you use the NCMA contracts....the holidays thing is on p2 if you do - what have you agreed?


KatieMac · 25/11/2004 20:40

Aylaa99 - Who does your public liability Insurance (if you don't mind me asking) 'cos I got told the NCMA ins isn't valid without the Contracts?


ssd · 25/11/2004 20:41

KatieMac, I'll check my contract and get back to you...BTW it's a Scottish contract (SCMA,) don't know if this makes a difference

OP posts:

Easy · 25/11/2004 20:45

I had this discusion with my childminder at the beginning.

She is classed as self-employed, so I don't have to pay PAYE or National Insurance for employing her.

But the rules on self-employment are fairly strict. The way I read it, if I pay her holiday pay (for times she chooses not to work), then I am treating her as an employee, and the Inland Revenue could come back to ask for tax and NI from me (and her) anytime 7 years hence.
So, I pay her for our holidays, but not hers.

Unless any of you know of special tax rules for childminders.


KatieMac · 25/11/2004 20:49

No the tax situation is quite clear that you can get holiday pay for childminding and still be self employed.

I used to work for the tax office & now have regular visits from a small business advisor.

The NCMA also advise that holiday pay is essential - they suggest 4 weeks and up to 4 weeks sick pay. - I don't take all 4 weeks and I haven't had any sick as I work with my DH and we cover for each other


Easy · 25/11/2004 20:54

I am happy to stand corrected.
I know the law as it relates to self-employed contractors in the IT industry. Sorry


KatieMac · 25/11/2004 21:02

The IR bend lots of rules for us childminders - even down to not needing receipts for expenses under £10 - it's all to do with encouraging childcare......


ayla99 · 25/11/2004 22:42

i have public liability ins with NCMA. I thought it was only the legal representation re.contract disputes that I wouldn't be able to use?

Just had a quick look, but can't see anything about using their contracts in their info on Contracts & liability insurance, so I don't know where I got that from.

If you've got anything written about this can you post where its printed? Thanks.

I have read that you have to use their contracts to be able to add their logo to your paperwork.


KatieMac · 26/11/2004 07:43

Notsure I'll try and find out....I just have it in the back of my mind - sorry


ssd · 26/11/2004 07:59

Katiemac, I've had a look at the contract we have, and I'm still confused. It says I'm paid full when parents are on hols, and half when both I and parents are on hols at the same time ( I guess this would be Xmas).

But as I've said I'm not working over the holidays (and so not available),as I was asked to work does this make it holiday pay or unpaid leave?

I'm crap at sticking up for myself anyway and I usually just go along with what the parents think is right .

I find the whole self-employed bit hard, my dh says it'll feel easier with time, I just find I become friends with the parents usually and it makes me cringe discussing money!!!

BTW how often would you advise asking for a raise? I've been minding for over a year to one mindee and I know I'm charging less than the going rate ( I think) for him,but I don't know if childminders get a raise like a "normal" job (please don't anyone be offended at that!)

OP posts:

Uwila · 26/11/2004 09:19

When I had a childminder, I paid her for bank holidays and if I didn't show up when she was available for work (i..e. holiday or if DD was sick and I couldn't bring her). If she took holiday, she gave me several months notice, and did not expect to be paid.

Furthermore, if she was unable to work for any reason, she always arranged alternative childcare (i.e. friends who were childminder and she would get me the childminding certificates, insurance, etc. and provide me with the opportunity to meet/interview them if I wanted).


artyjoe · 26/11/2004 10:26

..."I don't know if childminders get a raise like a "normal" job "...

SSD: it is your professional business, you choose when you put your prices up and what you charge for holidays etc. The NCMA recommend you do put your charges up each year as standard. I personaly would put them up in April to be in line with most other businesses for the financial new year.

With regards to Xmas, if you worked for a company you'd expect to get paid for Christmas and New Year, even though you would obviously not be working should treat your own business no differently.

It is easy to lose sight of how important your role as a childminder is... maybe list the importance of your position when you send out the increase in rate letters


KatieMac · 26/11/2004 10:57

I put up my rates fro new children in September and for existing children in April - so they get a 6 month 'rebate'?
April is always a good time to put up rates - but so is January so get your 4 weeks notice in now and put them up then.

I'm not sure now about the Ins & contract thing - it was confirmed verbally by the local NCMA and then denied by the main helpline - I'm confused

I think parents should pay half over Christmas as YOU are on holiday - maybe your contract needs some tweeking WHEN you review it (usually annually - when you put the price up)


ssd · 26/11/2004 16:03

Thanks for your advice girls.

Artyjoe, you've given me some confidence! and Katiemac your advice is always welcome as you "know your stuff" as my dad used to say!

OP posts:

amynnixmum · 26/11/2004 16:15

ssd, i was in the same situation as you a couple of years ago regarding a raise. Like you I knew I was charging less than the going rate - I had done this as the child was my first and I wasnt very sure of myself at the time. Plucked up the courage to tell parents about intended raise and they were absolutuely fine. They now expect me to put my prices up each april. I still dont charge them as much as I charge new people but they are very flexible and have become friends over the last couple of years so dont mind . As for holiday pay I charge for any time during contracted hours where i am available to work but not for my hols or sickness - but this is my own personal choice and is not what the ncma recommends. The others are right, childminding is a difficult and very worthwhile profession and you deserve to be paid accordingly.


KatieMac · 26/11/2004 16:36

Oh Dear am I a C/Ming know it all - on-line as in life


ssd · 26/11/2004 21:45

No you're not,you've just got sensible and proffesional advice!

OP posts:
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