The Nannyplus Blog

Self employed – to be or not to be? The pros and cons discussed

June 29th, 2014

Nannies / Employed or self-employed?

We are frequently asked if a nanny can be self-employed and in truth, there are no easy answers. This article serves to look at the issues.

The employment status depends on each individual job. Being self-employed for one activity doesn’t mean that a nanny is self-employed for all jobs. Some nannies can be employed part of the week by one family that they work for regularly and self-employed part of the week working other families. Below are some guides / indicators of employment status that HMRC use to assess status and the pros and cons of being self-employed for nannies and parents.

Do they have to do the work themselves?
Can someone tell them at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it?
Can they work a set amount of hours?
Can someone move them from task to task?
Are they paid by the hour, week, or month?
Can they get overtime pay or bonus payment?
Nannies are usually:
– required to look after the children personally
– required to follow the reasonable instructions of their employer, in a place determined by their employer and at a time chosen by their employer
– contracted for a set amount of hours per day or per week
– able to have their job description changed by their employer
– paid hourly, weekly or monthly
– paid extra for overtime and may receive a bonus

Can they hire someone to do the work or engage helpers at their own expense?
Do they risk their own money?
Do they provide the main items of equipment they need to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves?
Do they agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take?
Can they decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services?
Do they regularly work for a number of different people?
Do they have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense?
Nannies are not usually:
– able to hire an assistant, unlike child minders
– required to risk their own money
– expected to provide the major pieces of equipment, such as a pushchair
– paid fixed price regardless of length, they are paid hourly, weekly or monthly and have fixed working hours
– able to decide the manner, timing and location of the work, the parents usually decide the hours required
Temporary nannies and specialists such as maternity nurses may meet certain additional criteria. They may have risked their own money to undertake necessary specialist training without a guarantee that they will be successful in finding work. They may decide the hours and days that they are available. They may agree to work for a fixed fee for an unspecified length of time.
Although self-employment can seem an attractive prospect it’s important to fully understand the implications for nannies and parents.

Pros for nannies:
You are in control of the times and days you work, so you can dictate when you will take time off and arrange to care for other children at the same time.
Your business expenses such as training and insurance, travel can be offset against tax.

Cons for nannies:
You do not get sick, maternity or holiday pay.
You are not paid mileage but can claim the tax back on travel expenses
You need to carry out a self-assessment each year for tax purposes
You need to invoice parents for the work carried out.

Pros for parents:
You pay-as-you-go and are not liable for holiday, sick or maternity pay.
You don’t pay mileage – a self-employed person charges an all-inclusive rate which covers their expenses.

Cons for parents:
If HMRC decide you should have been employing your nanny you will need to backpay the tax and National Insurance plus a fine which can be equal to that amount.
Your nanny can decide they are not available to work.
Your nanny can make arrangements to substitute someone else in her place.
Your nanny is not obliged to provide exclusive care for your children as long as she does not exceed two families at any one time.

Tips for those long car journeys ….are we there yet??

June 9th, 2014

CAR JOURNEY TIPS TO AVOID THE…. Are we there yet??
Hands up – who hopes to take advantage of any sunny weather in the next few months to have at least a day out, if not a weekend away?
With a large proportion of families expected to load the children and baggage into cars, we all know what happens when the sun comes out – traffic jams. I have to say that they’re boring enough experiences even when you’re travelling alone, and you can amuse yourself by playing X Factor along to the radio – but those long journeys can turn into nightmares when travelling with the children!
So what’s the best way of keeping everyone from boredom?
Here’s some suggestions to help prevent you from being driven mad with “Mummy / Daddy are we there yet”?
1) Lorry spotting – this has kept children occupied for years… try not only how many, but how many of a certain colour, or from a certain country, or even carrying a certain product, to make things more challenging.
2) How about people spotting? This can be not only entertaining, but can help children with imagination and verbal development. Look at people in other cars, and try to decide who they are, what they do for a living, and where they’re going. You can end up with story lines to challenge East Enders or Coronation Street!
3) My children used to like “Sweet and Sour”. I have no idea where they found the name, but it was very simple – they used to smile and wave at people in other cars that went past, and then count how many waved and smiled back. Sweet? People smiled and waved back. Sour? They didn’t! Of course my Children turned it into a competition between themselves, but if you want to encourage more of a Team Building approach to your Family, remove the competitive element. I can assure you that if children go past me smiling and waving, I always smile and wave back!
4) Remember sleeping lions, the party game? Well, it might seem a little mean, but if you’re desperate for a bit of peace and quiet during a long journey, get your kids to have a competition to see who’ll keep quiet for the longest!
5) This next one has various permutations – counting cars. You can attempt alphabetically through car manufacturer names, e.g. Audi, BMW, then Citroen, and so on. (I’m not sure there is a manufacturer for every letter of the alphabet, but their brains will be ticking!) Or for younger children, how many red cars? Or silver? It all helps with observation and counting, as well as keeping them occupied for a while!
6) Now for slightly older children – number plate games! Make a word from the letters on the plate. Do you want to give a point for the quickest? The longest word? And try adding up the digits for another point!
7) This is definitely not recommended for the driver – he/ she can resort to sing-along to the radio – but with so many apps and mobile devices available for watching television, why not save your favourite TV programme for sitting in traffic?
Many online TV catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer or 4OD will let you download programmes, so you won’t need an internet connection. And there are plenty of tablet holders available for keeping kids in the back of cars entertained. Just make sure you’ve got enough correct sockets to keep the gadgets from running out of battery. You could be in for trouble if the battery dries out while being stuck in a traffic jam, and halfway through your children’s favourite show or film!
8) While watching TV might not be recommended for drivers (or even passengers who get travel sick), have you ever thought of an audio book? Getting everyone absorbed in a good book can pass the time on a long journey a lot quicker than listening to the radio. Look out for a selection at most motorway service areas, or download them to your tablet or smartphone via online services such as Amazon’s
If you have any suggestions for other car games or in-car entertainment, please send them to me – and I will send them around other parents.

You can also follow us on Twitter, and find us on Facebook, for everything you need to know about finding the right type of care for your children and your home.
Of course if you would like help from a professional and accredited Nanny Agency, we are happy to provide you with a bespoke and personalized service the next time that you are looking for a recruitment agency in Cheshire to help you find your nanny, housekeeper, or companion.
We also run a range of Training courses aimed at increasing your Nanny’s professionalism and knowledge, and also your own ability to cope with any situation where first aid is needed.
Additionally, we run a stand-alone reference checking service, and we are authorised to check ID documents, and can apply for stand-alone enhanced DBS checks for nannies. (Terms apply)
If you would like to find out more about us and the we that we work, and how Nanny plus y could help you, please do read our website, or call 01925 768188 /07766290802, or email
I look forward to speaking to you soon,
Di Williams
Nannyplus Childcare Ltd

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