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Childcare is Tough! Stay Energised with These Top Tips!

2019 December 11

Being a parent is tough! Being a nanny is tough! Working in a nursery is tough! Raising a child is one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most challenging things you could ever do. The trouble with constantly taking care of the needs of your child or young charges is that it’s easy to push aside your own which can quickly lead to burnout that can affect both you and your children.

Try these top tips to help you take care of and re-energise yourself:

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Nanny or Au Pair

2019 December 6

Age and Cultural exchange programme

An au pair is between the ages of 18-30 and comes to the UK to learn or perfect her English in exchange for childcare.

A nanny can be any age and does not take part in a cultural exchange programme.

Wage and working hours

Au pairs can only work on average 30 hours a week and on top of their accommodation will normally get what is classed as ‘pocket money’. ‘Pocket money’ on average is £100.00 per week and as long as they earn less than £118.00 per week and have no other income this does not need to be declared to HMRC.

A nanny receives a wage in line with the national minimum wage.

Language courses

Au pairs must have the chance to attend a language course.

A nanny does not have to attend a language course.


An au pair is seen as a temporary family member.

A nanny is seen as an employee.


An au pair needs a visa specific to an au pair.

Nannies who are coming from abroad need a work visa or permit. A nanny cannot work under an au pair visa.

Live in Nannies

2019 December 2

There has been a rise in live-in nannies, and with that confusion over nanny’s legal pay.

If nanny lives in the family home, is treated as part of the family – eating most meals with them and spending time together such as leisure activities and evening time in the same sitting room, then the national minimum wage does not apply.

The national minimum wage will come into effect for nanny’s who are not treated as part of the family, but instead the employer will be able to use the offset allowance when the nanny is live-in by £7.55 a day, £52.85 for a whole week.

The other scenario is that nanny is given accommodation separate to that of the family, this then becomes a benefit in kind and needs to be declared annually to HMRC.

If there is a benefit in kind, it will mean nanny’s tax code will be decreased and her net pay goes down and as an employer having to pay an additional national insurance on the benefit amount.

The law is very strict, so you need to make sure you know how to proceed with your live in nanny.

Understanding Tax Codes

2019 November 30

Your tax code determines the amount of tax you pay each pay period and for current tax year the standard tax code is 1250L.

Whatever your tax code the numbers denote the amount you can earn each year before you are liable to pay tax, you just need to add a zero to the end of code and this then means the 1250 code gives you a figure of £12,500 you can earn before you pay tax.

This amount is then split into the number of pay periods you will have in the tax year, 52 if weekly and 12 if monthly.

Weekly £12500/52 = £240.38

Monthly £12500/12 = £1041.67

Once you have reached the above earnings in each pay period you then pay tax at 20%.

If you’re annual earnings are above £50,001.00 then the tax rate increases to 40% on earnings above this.

If you have several jobs it could well be that one of your employers has the full allowance (£12,500.00) and the other is using a tax code of BR, BR denotes that all earnings in that employee pay tax at 20% as the full allowance is being used elsewhere.

Should both employers have the full tax code, you will then need to contact HMRC directly (0300 200 3300) to get one of these corrected, you will need your NI number to hand when contacting them.

Points to consider before signing a contract with your employer

2019 November 25
by admin

As a nanny your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with a contract of employment within 2 months of your date of starting, this should detail the terms and conditions of your employment and you should ensure that this includes at least some of the following:

Your name and job title

Working days and hours


Holiday entitlement

Duties and responsibilities

Statutory payments (SMP, SSP)

Workplace pensions

Notice period

Disciplinary and Grievance procedures

You should always check and read the contract fully and understand the details and anything you are unsure of or you believe is not included should then be followed up with the employer before you sign and date.

Christmas Bonus

2019 November 18

It is that time of year, you may want to give nanny a Christmas bonus, but remember it must be processed through the payroll!

As HMRC class this as taxable income.

If you have decided to give nanny a Christmas bonus, whether it be £50 or £1,000, you must declare it and it is subject to tax and NI.

If you have agreed a net bonus, there will be additional tax and national insurance on top of this amount. Whereas, if you have agreed a gross bonus, (please don’t give them that amount), as tax and national insurance will need to be deducted from that and you then pay nanny the net amount.

A gift such as a voucher, chocolates, wine will not be seen as a benefit in kind as long as it does not exceed £50.00.

Payroll Terms

2019 November 12

These are some of the most common terms used in payroll.

Gross pay – this is the pay before deductions for tax, national insurance, pension and student loans. The gross pay includes overtime, commission, bonuses, statutory payments and any other taxable income.

Net Pay – This is what nanny takes home in her pocket.

Tax – Deducted based on nanny’s tax code which determines nanny’s tax free allowance and then any earnings above the tax free allowance is deducted at 20%.

NI – National Insurance. There are 3 types of NI for PAYE.

Employees NI deducted from nanny’s gross wage at 12% on earnings above £166.00 per week.

Employer’s NI on top of nanny’s gross wage paid at 13.8% on earnings above £166.00 per week.

Class 1A NICS, this is a yearly payment for any benefits in kind nanny may have had for the previous tax year.

SMP – statutory maternity pay. Nanny is entitled to 39 paid weeks of leave providing she meets the criteria. Nanny is allowed a further 13 weeks unpaid

SPP – statutory paternity pay. Nanny entitled to 2 weeks of statutory pay.

SSP – statutory sick pay. Nanny will get SSP after 4 consecutive working days of sickness

P60 – Nanny will be given this form at the end of the tax year to show her annual pay, tax, NI and statutory payments, she then keeps this for her own records.

P45 – When nanny leaves your employment, a P45 will be issued with her leaving date, tax code, if a student loan has been deducted and total gross and tax to date in that tax year, she then gives this form to her next employer.

Points to consider before signing a contract with your employee

2019 November 6
Once you have decided to employ a nanny, and give them an offer letter, it is advisable to
include the key terms and conditions of the role, such as:
Job title,
Job description,
Days/hours of work,
Holiday entitlement,
Notice period,
Statutory payments,
Disciplinary and Grievance procedures
It is essential that all the terms and conditions of the employment are addressed in the form
of a contract of employment and this must be given to nanny to sign within 2 months of them
starting the position.
Once nanny accepts your offer of employment, you have entered into a legal arrangement,
(subject to satisfactory references) therefore the sooner a contract is drawn up between the
employer and the nanny, the better.

Qualifying Criteria for the Work Place Pension

2019 November 4

Whether or not your nanny qualifies for the work place pension depends principally on your nanny’s age and their earnings.  The new law requires every employer to automatically enrol workers into a work place pension scheme if they are aged between 22 and the State Pension Age, and earn over £10,000.00 per annum.

If nanny is automatically enrolled in a pension, they can opt-out up to 30 days after the initial set up has been completed and get a refund on the amounts which have been deducted from their salary. They must complete and return an opt-out form and inform their pension provider.

If your nanny does not qualify to be automatically enrolled they still have the right to join a work place pension. This is known as a Non-eligible job holder.

Non-eligible job holder is an employee who doesn’t have to be automatically enrolled into a work place pension, but can ask to be joined into a pension scheme if so wish. If they do, both the employer and the nanny will have to pay into the pension pot each month.

The minimum auto enrolment contribution rates are currently 8% of qualifying earnings.  This is split between 3% which must be paid by the employer and 5% which must be paid by the employee.

Tax Free Childcare and Childcare Vouchers

2019 October 24

Childcare vouchers will cease from the 5th October 2018 and thereafter the Tax-Free Childcare scheme will take over.

​You can get up to £500 every 3 months (£2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare.

​​If you get Tax-Free Childcare, the government will pay £2 for every £8 you pay your childcare provider via an online account.

You can get Tax-Free Childcare if you and your partner (if applicable) are –

​​in employment or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave

each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £131.36 if you’re 25 or over​

​This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

​Your child must be 11 or under and usually live with you. They stop being eligible on 1 September after their 11th birthday.

​​Adopted children are eligible, but foster children are not.

​​If your child is disabled, you may get up to £4,000 a year until they’re 17. They’re eligible for this if they –

​​get Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment

are registered as blind or severely sight-impaired

​You’re not eligible if either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000.

​Your childcare provider must be signed up to the scheme before you can pay them and benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.