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SMP Statutory Maternity Pay

2019 September 12

All nannies are entitled to take up to 1 year off for maternity leave whether paid or unpaid.

How much SMP does employee get?

Of the 1-year entitlement nanny only gets paid for the first 39 weeks and should she take further 13 weeks off these are unpaid.

1st 6 weeks are paid at 90% of employee’s gross salary.

Remaining 33 weeks are paid at £148.68 or the 90% figure whichever is the lower amount.

Qualification for SMP

Nanny needs to have been employed by you 41 weeks before her due date.

Nanny needs to be earning above the lower earnings limit £118.00 gross per week.

Nanny needs to still be in your employ 15 weeks before her due date.

Processing SMP

Nanny will be issued form MATB1 from her Doctor or Midwife this form will have the due date and from this due date you can then determine whether she qualifies for SMP or not, if not you then need to issue nanny with form SMP1, so she can then claim maternity allowance directly from the state.

Cost of SMP

Small employers can usually claim back 103% of any SMP, this is 100% of the SMP itself and an additional 3% compensation to help towards cost of employers NI.


2019 September 4

And just like that, the summer holidays are over! For some, sending the children back to school couldn’t come any sooner. You’ve faced the high street, waited (patiently!) with your ticket to try on new school shoes, hair has been chopped and styled, new stationary has been bought (for them and you!) and your diary is ready to go… but what about the children. Are they ready? Are they excited and prepared?

It’s easy to assume the children are also ready to go back, see their friends and fit back into the school routine. But what about their emotional readiness? What about the children who are starting at nursery or school for the first time? The ones transitioning to primary or secondary school. Even the difference in classroom, teacher or timetable can be overwhelming for a child.

Transitions work best when a child is prepared. So what can we do to prepare a child for the September ‘back to school’ time in their lives?

Firstly, talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling. Don’t just put the emotions you are feeling into their minds. Really listen to their anxieties, worries and excitements. Break down each one and show them emotional support. Not just at the start of school, but continued throughout their first few weeks, and beyond if needed. Sometimes they won’t want to talk, and that’s ok! Just being there, listening and allowing them the opportunity to open up will give them reassurance.

Another thing you can do to get them involved is with the new term shopping! If they have a say in what bag, coat and shoes they will be wearing, then they are going to show a little more enthusiasm. For young children, finding a school bag with their favourite character on is going to help massively. For older children, it’s ‘fitting in’ with peers, so they will want a say in how they look.

One of the biggest anxieties about starting at a new school can be around friends, or not knowing anyone. To prepare children for this, I always advise trying to find other children also attending the same school (try local social media groups). Planning play-dates before school starts will give them someone they are familiar with. In the first few weeks of term, plan after school tea times together too. This will really help them build on friendships and relationships with other children, and as parents and nannies, also introduce you to other families from the school.

And lastly books! Reading is something that you can do together with your child. Books can help with no end of matters, and school readiness is one of them! Pop along to your local library, find some books about going to school and read them together. Change the words to fit in with the name of your child’s school, or teachers to personalise it, and just spend some time one to one discussing everything around school.

With everything, time helps. Enjoy this period in your child’s life, support them, reassure them and allow them the time to adjust to these new beginnings.

We cover all sorts of transitions that happen in a child’s life, including school readiness in our Early Years Care and Education Course. Please contact Little Ones Training and Education on 0207 112 8057 to find out more!


(ShPP) Shared Parental Leave

2019 September 3

Expectant parents can now share the 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave after the birth or adoption of their child.

​​This leave and statutory pay can be split between them either one after the other or both can be on leave at the same time.

​​Expectant parents need to give each of their employers an indicative breakdown of the leave they plan to take at least 8 weeks before it starts. They are then able to change their minds twice during the year of leave and put forward new proposals.

​​This is paid at the same rate of SMP and is based on the salary of the parent taking the leave.

​​To be eligible both parents must share responsibility for the child at birth. and they must meet the work and pay criteria, i.e. have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date, still be employed by the same employer while they take the leave and earn on average at least £118.00 gross per week

​Notice periods are built in to the scheme so employers can make plans for the nanny’s intentions for leave.

Employers cannot refuse to grant any leave entitled, however they can refuse requests for separate non continuous blocks of leave and insist that all leave requested is taken in one block.

​​Both parents are entitled to Keeping in Touch days.

SSP Statutory Sick Pay

2019 August 28

All nannies are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), as long as they earn over the lower earnings limit of £118 a week and give you the correct notice.

SSP is paid to nannies on the 4th consecutive working day off and the first 3 working days are classed as waiting days and any salary for these 3 days are paid at employers discretion, unless they have something specific in the contract regarding paid sickness.

If a nanny has more than one job then she is entitled to SSP from each employer should she qualify.

Nanny must provide a Doctor’s fit note if she is off sick for more than 7 days in a row, for first 7 days they can self-certify.

How much is SSP

For this tax year, 2019/20 SSP it is £94.25 per week. Nanny can get SSP up to 28 weeks.

As of the start of the 2014/15 tax year the Government abolished any compensation on SSP for small employers and this is now a cost to the employer.

Nannies do not qualify

If they have already had 28 weeks of SSP paid.

Have already taken 3 or more years ‘linked periods of sickness – where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other.

Receiving other statutory payments (SMP for example).

Nanny may be able to apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if she is not entitled to SSP with you or has had 28 weeks of SSP. In order to apply for this, you must give nanny a SSP1 form.


Career Breaks

2019 August 16

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There are no laws that deal specifically with taking a career break – it is only an agreement between the employer and the employee.

Employers don’t have to offer career breaks. If they do, the policy must be clearly laid out (eg in a staff handbook) and should cover things like:

  • eligibility and notice periods
  • how to apply and how long is allowed
  • if the employment contract’s terms and conditions continue – eg qualifying for pay increases

Employees can make arrangements to return to work after a career break, but these agreements are not legally binding, and it could mean ending the existing contract of employment

Jury Service

2019 August 7

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All employees must be allowed to take time off for jury service.

Employers can choose to pay staff for time taken off, but they do not have to.

The Court will pay the employee for the time spent on Jury service and employee will be given a statement of earnings notification which employee then gets employer to complete and then give to Court to claim for loss of earnings.

If employer chooses to pay employee whilst on Jury service, then it would be expected that the employee then repays the employer any payments from the Court that they receive for loss of earnings.

Alternatively, an employer can if they wish, but not obliged to do so, top up the employees earnings they receive from the Court.

Nannies and Mobile Phones

2019 August 5

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A lot of parents are becoming increasingly concerned regarding nannies and their use of mobile devices when they should be concentrating on their job, which of course is looking after the children in their care.

People generally, not just nannies, seem to spend a lot of their time on mobile devices whether texting friends or checking their social media apps.

Some parents are now putting a clause in the nanny contract limiting the amount of use a mobile phone or even supplying nanny with a work mobile phone and then nanny not permitted to use their personal mobile.

We would perhaps suggest erring on the side of caution as nanny may feel that if implemented you are not trusting them entirely.

Nanny-State Pension Age

2019 July 31

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What happens when nanny reaches state pension age

If nanny reaches state pension age, she will then not have to pay employees NI, this then increases the amount of money she will then take home in her pocket if she is on a gross wage.

If nanny is on a net wage, then the employer will then get the benefit of employee then not paying NI and will then see a reduction in the overall total cost each pay period.

What sort of parent are you?

2019 July 30

Most of us when referring to our own parents would describe them as strict or easy going but over recent years new parenting styles have begun to emerge and parenting has become a bit of a minefield and depending who you talk to you either feel you are doing a brilliant job or are the worst parent out there!

Here are the top 5 parenting techniques currently doing the rounds, which one are you?

Instinctive parenting

This style of parenting tends to follow how you where bought up, the things that you felt your own parents did well or badly influence your decisions on what you do. You feel what is right for your child and family rather than follow the pack and what the ‘experts’ say is the right thing to do.  If, for example, you always went to Cornwall for a week at Easter and this was a happy memory of your childhood you are much more likely to carry on that tradition than consider doing something different.

Attachment parenting

Parents who support the theory of attachment parenting tend to be more emotionally involved with their offspring. They always make themselves emotionally available to their child and believe that this bond makes a child more secure, more compassionate and calmer. The child is often carried closely, and they are usually breastfed until they are much older than the average child. Attachment parenting usually involves home schooling, co sleeping and positive discipline.

Helicopter parenting

The phrase ‘helicopter parent’ was coined in 1990 by child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay and was used to describe parents who constantly interfered with their children’s lives and development, they ‘protected’ them from hurting themselves by not allowing them to climb the slide on their own or run ahead or play out doors without an adult in constant supervision and as the child grew they would micro manage their homework or projects never allowing the child to fail or make a bad decision. Obviously, we all want to protect or children from harm, but this form of parenting tends to smoother the child’s independence and can backfire later in life when they are young adults and struggle to make decisions and are often still very reliant on their parents.

Authoritative parenting

How many of us have said ‘because I say so’ or ‘my house, my rules’? Authoritative parenting is a parenting style characterized by high responsiveness and high demands. Authoritative parents are responsive to the child’s emotional needs while having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries. However, research has shown that this form of parenting tends to produce the best all round child. Expectations are high for the child to achieve, behave, follow the rules but the child knows where they are and understands the boundaries. The parents are loving and nurturing and understand that the child needs to become independent whilst setting rules and expectations authoritative parents use reasoning and allow give-and-take discussions. Authoritative parenting should not be confused with Authoritarian parenting which tends to be more neglectful and colder.

Permissive parenting

Permissive parents tend to be very loving but do little to set boundaries or encourage discipline, they often have more of a ‘friendship’ with their children than a parent / child relationship and are dismissive of immature or irresponsible behaviour citing ‘children will be children’ rather than explain what appropriate behaviour might be. Permissive parents are often overindulgent towards their children, they are often inconsistent in their parenting style and are not adverse to resorting to bribery to get a child to do what is required of them. Expectations of achievement are often lower with permissive parenting which can lead to children under achieving as parents are happy to just let them get on with it and do as much or as little as they want to.

Nanny and Sleepovers

2019 July 26

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If you are thinking of going away for the weekend, and have asked nanny to look after the children, should you pay her national minimum wage while she sleeps?

The court of appeal in July 2018 has stated you need to be awake for the purposes of working to qualify for national minimum wage.

This Judgement is likely to be appealed but as it stands the below will apply.

Once the nanny has been woken up, then national minimum applies.

If nanny is going to do sleep ins, it would be advised to agree a flat rate, and then in addition to that a rate for when nanny is awake.