Things you need to know before signing a contract
As a nanny you may find yourself guiding your employer through the hiring process. If you’ve ever worked in a nursery or another registered childcare business, you should be familiar with tax documents and a standard contract of employment – but have you ever read the fine print? We recommend learning more about your employment rights to build a positive relationship with families and nanny recruitment agencies. The more you know, the easier it will be to discuss with your employer.
Read this article to learn:
- Before you verbally agree to work with a family – What you should know
- Discussing your rights with your employer
- After you’ve signed the contract – How to manage your employment
Registering with HMRC
When discussing the terms of your employment with a family, it is necessary to ensure they register with HMRC as an employer. This ensures:
- You are paid the legal minimum an employee must be paid, as set by the government
- Avoids fines and penalties by declaring Tax and NI to the tax office correctly
- Ensures your tax code is correct if you have another job, as HMRC will want to see your total earnings for the tax year
Negotiate Salary in Gross
As HMRC only works with gross salaries, you should engage with your employer in terms of gross pay.A gross salary allows your employer to estimate how much their total cost will be. Then, your potential employer can accurately gauge how much they can afford. If your employer finds out they will be paying a lot more than the net amount you proposed, they may not pursue employing you.
Do you need assistance calculating gross from your desired net take-home pay? Use our Salary Calculator >
Statutory Holiday Entitlement
By law, a full-time employee is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid leave per annum. This includes the 8 UK bank holidays. Employers can choose to offer more than the legal minimum if they wish. Holiday is calculated pro-rata for part-time employees and can only be taken as it has been accrued. Bank Holidays do not have to be taken and the days holiday can be taken at another time, providing an agreement has been reached between the nanny and the employer.
Statutory Maternity Pay
If you were to become pregnant during your contract, your employer has a duty to administer Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). There are rules surrounding Maternity Leave & Pay that are important to keep in mind. Your employer can usually reclaim the SMP costs involved, so let your employer know that in the event you become pregnant you can submit a Maternity Certificate (MAT-BI) for them to claim back their money.
Statutory Sick Pay
This may be the first time the family you’re working with has become an employer themselves, so it’s important to discuss what will happen if you fall ill. Even though supervising children is an important responsibility, you are still entitled to take time off due to illness. SSP is not paid for the first three consecutive days of illness (excluding days not normally worked). These three days are known as 'waiting days' and any payment of the usual salary to the nanny for these days is at the employer's discretion.
Get to know your payslips
A payslip should be provided every time you are paid showing Gross Pay (top-line earnings), all Tax, NI and pension deductions, and Net Pay, which is your ‘take-home’ amount each pay period. This payslip will outline all of your deductions. If your employer uses Nannytax we provide an online Members Area for yourself and your employer where you may access your payslips anytime.
Expect an Annual Summary of your earnings
At the end of every Tax Year (April) your employer should provide you with a P60. A P60 is a tax form that is a summary of your earnings for that year, including the tax you have paid. You can use this document to claim back overpaid tax, apply for tax credits or use as proof of your income if you apply for a loan or mortgage. It is a legal requirement for your employer to provide this.
When you leave your job
Upon leaving your job we recommend requesting a P45 tax form from your former employer as soon as possible. This outlines your tax details for your next job. Legally they need to provide you with this document when you leave their employment to give to your new employer. Your employer will need to request a P45 through their own Members Area if your employer is subscribed to our payroll services.
A time may come when your employer no longer needs a nanny. After 2 years from the start date on your contract, you may be entitled to Redundancy Pay if your job becomes obsolete. We always like to remind employees that it is against the law for your employer to make you redundant due to age, gender, age, race, religious beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or pregnancy/maternity.
The more you know
We hope this guide has inspired you to learn more about the terms of your employment, and how to navigate employment discussions with your employer. If you have any questions or want to learn more about employee and employer rights we recommend that you visit the ACAS website for more information. If your employer is a Nannytax subscriber, they can request the phone number for our HR advice line.