Things You Should Know About Employing a Nanny

woman and child

Published on April 6, 2017

In the United Kingdom, legal guidelines dictate that private and domestic childcare providers working for a private family should be employed.  Many families look to see if they can ask a nanny to be self employed, and this will vary depending on the country they are in. As the role of a nanny is considered a professional one, they should be given protection as employees.  What things should you be made aware of when employing a nanny?

Take Professional Guidance

You may not know the intricate detail about hiring and employing a nanny.  It is always best to seek professional guidance and advice.  There are many ways a family can do this. Nannytax is a scheme that many families use, as they offer multiple services- from sample contracts through to payroll services.  You can also go directly to your own accountant and lawyer for advice on employing a nanny.

Create a Contract

Creating a contract is a vital step, and it gives both the employer and the employee peace of mind.  A contract doesn’t need to be 100 pages long, but it does need to capture the key aspects of your nanny’s employment.

Remember, just because something is stated in the contract, that doesn’t make it legally correct. You could dictate that the nanny has to for work a period of 24 hours with no breaks, but this against UK employment law. Make sure that the sample contract you use, or the solicitor who draws it up for you, is following the laws of the country within which the contract is being produced.  As the signing party, you also have a right to review the contract and seek independent advice before signing it.

Au Pair vs. Nanny

There is a difference between an au pair and a nanny: an au pair is not classed as a worker or employee.  Once the au pair or nanny earns over £112 per week, then in the UK they should be put on the payroll.  It is always advised that once you have a payroll, you are in essence employing the person. You should have a contract in place for both parties sake when employing a nanny in this way.

Cash in Hand

In the eyes of most governments, cash payments are considered a form of tax evasion.  Particularly if you are making the payments outside of the payroll.  It is perfectly acceptable to pay your nanny in any form you wish, including bank transfer, cheque or cash, but this should have a clear paper trail.  This is important for both the employer and the nanny if they later have to prove earnings, for example on a mortgage application.


All employed nannies should receive payslips! Make sure you're getting yours. #advice Click To Tweet

Payslips are given to any employee to track their employment and their taxes.  Most up to date accountants and payroll services use digital payroll systems.  These systems email the payslip to the employee.  It’s an important document to file as the employee can be asked to show this for future tax purposes or indeed when applying for loans or mortgages.  If you are not receiving payslips, or your employer is not giving you copies of them, this it’s possible you’re not on a payroll and are not officially employed.

Employing a nanny is a complicated process.  It will vary depending on the country you are living and working in.  It is important that both employer and employee understand the legal implications.  If you need any more help or advice about hiring a nanny and the subsequent employment, feel free to drop us a line at Polo & Tweed anytime.


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