How to guide on nanny employment contracts

Parenting has always been toted as the most honourable job in the world but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone when children and babies prove demanding or complicate your ability to pursue your career.

It is for this reason that many parents take the decision to hire a nanny to look after their children, either to allow them to stay in work or to give them a helping hand with the daily chores involved in childcare.

Get it in writing

When considering hiring a nanny, it is paramount to draw up a nanny employment contract to ensure a mutual agreement is stuck between you, the employee, and your nanny, who is entitled to their employee rights.

When you first take the decision to hire a nanny, you will want to decide whether they will be live-in, providing more round-the-clock care, or live-out, who are only there during the hours you specify.

Keep in mind that as a small employer, you must legally provide a written statement, such as a nanny contract, which outlines the main terms and conditions of employment for your nanny or domestic helper.

This will ensure that you meet at least the minimum standards of employment, which should help you to build a positive relationship with your nanny as they come to understand that you value their rights, as well as setting out provisions for mutual benefit.

Tax and pay

Now that you have become an employer, you will be responsible for ensuring that your nanny’s tax contributions are paid, which will first require you to contact your local tax office to register as a new employer.

It is also up to you to make sure that your nanny’s national insurance contributions are paid on any earnings over the tax threshold. In the Budget 2012, it was announced that this personal allowance would rise by £1,000 in April 2013 to total £9,205.

You will be obliged to pay your nanny the national minimum wage at least, which is currently set at £6.08 for workers over the age of 21 and £4.98 for employees aged between 18 and 20.

Hours and leave

It is worth mentioning at this point that you are not legally allowed to insist that your nanny works more than 48 hours per week; however, you can agree together for them to work longer hours in a clause to be included in the nanny contract.

As an employee, your nanny has a right to receive a payslip outlining how much they have earned for that period, as well as detailing where tax deductions and national insurance payments have been made.

Regardless of whether you hire your nanny on a part or full time basis, they are entitled to four weeks' paid leave per annum and it is up to you to negotiate holidays with your employee.

The nanny contract will also set out the terms for notice of termination, which is one week's notice in the first month and typically a full month's notice thereafter, which applies to both employer and employee.

If your nanny becomes pregnant while in the role, then just like employees in any other position, they have full maternity rights that you must adhere to, including maternity leave and pay.

For more information on nanny contracts or to download a nanny contract template, see Lawpack’s Nanny Employment Contract.


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Published on: March 21, 2012

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