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Everything You Need to Know About Working with a Nanny in London

Updated: Jun 28

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Finding the right nanny for your family can be an important decision that requires careful consideration. From understanding your obligations as an employer to creating a comprehensive contract and determining fair compensation, there are various factors to keep in mind. In this blog post, we'll delve into the essential aspects of hiring and working with a nanny in London, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips.

Whether you're a first-time employer or looking to enhance your existing nanny arrangement, we aim to equip you with the knowledge you need for a successful nanny experience. So let's explore the ins and outs of working with a nanny and ensure a harmonious relationship that will benefit both you and your children for years to come.

Employing your nanny

How do I employ my nanny?

If you're employing a nanny, you must first understand your obligations as an employer. We recommend you consult a reputable specialist nanny payroll to help you meet your responsibilities. We work with Nanny Tax, whose team of experts provides a bespoke service to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and requirements.

Employing your nanny means you'll have to draw up a contract of employment. This includes essential details such as the gross annual salary, overtime rates, probation and notice periods, paid holiday, sick pay, contractual working hours, and specified duties. If this is your first time employing a nanny, we understand this process can be confusing and overwhelming. And that's why our agency is on hand to assist you.

With our expert assistance we will guide you throughout the negotiation process. They can provide you with up-to-date HR advice and support to ensure your contract is compliant with the latest regulations. With our expert assistance we will guide you throughout the negotiation process. Time and again, we have witnessed the repercussions of incomplete transparency in contracts. That's why we are dedicated to helping our clients avoid such pitfalls.

What is the market rate salary?

Currently, a live out nanny will take home approximately £20-23 gross per hour which works out roughly between £15-16 net per hour. But this figure can be higher or lower depending on the nanny’s experience. As an example, if your nanny worked 50 hours a week, she could be earning anything between £53,000-£58,000 gross per year.

Live-in nannies usually want to take home a weekly salary of £500-700 net per week. But again, this could be lower or higher depending on experience. Since the family is providing accommodation and food, live-in salaries are usually lower. The gross annual live-in salary can range from £33,299 to £50,000 depending on the hours, the experience of the nanny, etc.

For Rota nannies, who work one week on and one week off, or for live-in nannies who work 24 hours 5 days a week, annual gross salaries can range from £60,000 - £80,000 plus per year. This amount can sometimes be higher if lots of travel and flexibility are needed.

What's the difference between net and gross salary?

The net salary is the 'take-home pay' that the nanny receives after tax, NI deductions, and pension deductions (if applicable). The gross salary is the 'take-home pay' plus the Employee’s NI plus Tax.

Do I have to pay a gross salary?

On the whole, nannies are expected to be employed by the family. The only exception is if they're doing daily temporary work, in which case they'd be self-employed.

So as the employer of your nanny, you'll be paying her a gross salary. Something to consider when discussing and agreeing on this figure with your nanny is that the gross salary does vary depending on how many hours the nanny is working. So, if she's working 40 hours a week, for example, her salary is going to be substantially different from what she'd be earning if she worked 50-55 hours per week. Although she may take home the same net amount per hour, her gross salary would vary.

While the idea of paying your nanny a gross salary may sound overwhelming, it benefits both of you. For you (the employer), paying a gross salary means you are protected from ever becoming liable for any of the nanny's unpaid tax from previous jobs (if any) and other deductions (such as court orders, child maintenance payments, and student loans, for example).

Plus, when dealing with the HMRC, they only talk in gross salary terms, so it's useful for you to become familiar with this figure from the start. Discussing this amount early in the process of selecting your nanny also allows you to understand exactly what your outgoings will be and budget more effectively.

For the nanny, having a gross salary gives her job stability, enables her to benefit from her tax-free allowance, and allows her to benchmark her salary with other professions.

You can find more information about this topic on the website Nanny Tax. But if you have any specific questions, we're more than happy to help you navigate this specific area of working with a nanny.

What is the typical rate of increase when reviewing the nanny's salary annually?

Some clients offer between a 5-10 % salary increase each year depending on how they feel the nanny is performing. However, your nanny's salary also needs to be updated to be in line with the current market rate.

It's always good to either offer a salary review with an increase or give your nanny an annual bonus. Either of these scenarios will make your nanny feel valued and appreciated and incentivise her to stay with your family, ensuring continuity of care for your children. As there are no recommended amounts, we're always happy for you to contact us so we can suggest something appropriate to your situation and personal circumstances.

nanny playing with children on holiday and parents looking on

How much holiday is a nanny entitled to?

As your employee, your nanny has a minimum holiday entitlement, which must be stated in the contract of employment at the start of your working relationship. How much holiday your nanny can take varies depending on whether they work full-time or part-time. A full-time nanny is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid annual leave. This includes the 8 UK Bank Holidays. As an employer, you can choose to offer more than the legal minimum, if you wish.

Part-time nannies receive 5.6 weeks of paid holiday in proportion to their work hours. This is known as pro-rata. If you'd like to work this out in advance, you can use this handy holiday calculator.

Working with your nanny

What duties can I expect my nanny to typically do?

Most nannies will carry out nursery duties related to the children. This could be cooking for the children, food preparation, shopping for groceries, and maybe meal planning. It could also involve doing the children's laundry if there's time. Children's ironing isn't always a requirement, and some nannies feel it's not necessarily their job. However, if you wish your nanny to do ironing for children, this is something you may want to discuss and agree on in advance.

Nannies are also typically in charge of organising and maintaining the children's toys. For example, if a child has outgrown a particular toy, the nanny might advise the parents on what they could buy next that would benefit the child's development and suit their personality and interests. A nanny would also be expected to organise your children's clothes and perhaps go through their wardrobes and remove anything that doesn't fit the children anymore. She might advise you on what you need to replace or buy. You could also expect a nanny to potentially run errands related to the child.

Can I expect my nanny to do some cleaning or housework?

Typically, you shouldn't expect your nanny to do any deep cleaning. They might do some light cleaning around the children. For example, after cooking a meal for your child, they would clean up the kitchen to leave things as they found them.

A nanny will also typically keep the children's bedroom clean and tidy, but she wouldn't carry out any deep cleaning chores or housework. If that's the sort of help you'd like for your family, you may want to look for a nanny housekeeper.

What do I do if my children are at nursery, but I still need someone to pick them up for the rest of the day?

If your children are at nursery, you may still want to keep your nanny for the full day. This is so she can drop them off in the morning and pick them up at the end of their session. During this time, the nanny could carry out all her nursery duties. She could also batch cook some meals from scratch or organise any appointments for the children.

Your nanny could also use the time to plan and book some age-appropriate activities for the holidays. She could help with scheduling doctor's and dental appointments, liaising with the nursery and answering any emails that come in, or organising things for the following day. If your nanny is very flexible, she might even agree to walk your dog, or cook bigger portions of food for parents to eat too.

There's a lot that your nanny can do while your child is at nursery, but her main focus will be on nursery duties, such as doing laundry for the children, organising their rooms, wardrobe, toys, etc.

nanny babysitting boy playing with blocks

Can my nanny babysit in the evenings?

Live-out nannies can babysit in the evenings if they agree to it. However, you need to discuss an overtime rate and pay her for the additional babysitting hours. Ideally, we advise you to add this to the nanny contract at the start of your employment. You must always give your nanny advance notice as she may not be available.

If you have a live-in nanny, typically she will babysit 1-2 nights per week as part of her salary. But if you want her to babysit on the weekend, you'd usually need to pay for the extra time.

Can my nanny travel with us?

Your nanny can travel with your family. However, you should expect to pay her for any overtime and for being away from her home. You should agree to the terms before the start of your employment. We strongly advise that you document all your requirements in the contract. You should also agree in advance on how long you'll need the nanny to travel for. Some nannies will be happy to travel once a year for 1-2 weeks maximum. But others won't want to travel at all. If this is a deal-breaker for you, make sure you discuss this with your nanny before she starts - and definitely before you draw up and sign the nanny contract.

If you'd like more information on this topic, head over to:

Would you like Homebodies to find the perfect nanny for your family?

Are you ready to start working with a nanny? Our award-winning nanny agency is here to assist you every step of the way so you can employ the ideal nanny for your family. With our extensive experience and network of qualified nannies, we can match you with someone who meets your requirements.

Working with a nanny in London (or internationally) doesn't need to be stressful. At Homebodies, we provide all the support you need and help you create a loving and nurturing environment for your children. Together, we can make your nanny search a straightforward and rewarding experience. Contact us now for an informal chat about how we can help.

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