Becoming a nanny
There are many routes into nannying as a career but most aspiring nannies find it beneficial to study for a specific qualification in childcare. BAPN supports the goal of a trained workforce in order to provide children with the best possible care, however you can start working as a nanny without a qualification if you have experience of working with children.
What qualifications are acceptable?
There are a large array of childcare qualifications available at different levels. BAPN requires members to be qualified at level 2 or above, but most nannies hold at least a level 3 qualification. The most up to date qualification is the Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, which is offered by our training partners MNT Training and Childcare company . If you are unsure whether your qualification is sufficient to join BAPN please contact us.
How can I get experience?
Any experience of working with children is helpful. Volunteering with Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers or Cubs is a great way to gain experience. Try offering your services as a babysitter, or volunteer to help a local mum with young children while she gets some housework done! Don’t be shy about asking people for a reference, and do be prepared to work for cheap, or even free, if it helps you get your foot on the ladder. It will pay off in the future.
What does sole charge experience mean?
You might see agencies requesting sole charge experience. This means that you’ve been alone in charge of children when they are awake (although babysitting may count).
What else can I do to help me get into nannying?
BAPN recommends that anyone working with children holds a paediatric First Aid certificate so that should be a top priority. Make sure you to stand out from the crowd by undertaking additional training in areas such as newborn care or food hygiene.
Why do I need insurance?
Insurance is vital to protect you whilst you’re working as a nanny. No-one is immune to accidents, innocent events can be misinterpreted and employment situations can be complicated. When you’re insured you have access to legal advice and representation and, should you have to pay compensation because a child is injured whilst in your care, your insurance provider ensures that you aren’t personally liable.
You can visit our forum for more information on becoming a nanny - click here
We would like to thank Nannytax for providing the following information.
Can nannies be self-employed?
"Can I sort out my own tax and National Insurance?" this is a question we're frequently asked by nannies. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends on the terms and conditions of their work. It is important for all employees to know their employment status as it affects employment and benefit rights, and how to pay tax and National Insurance Contributions.It is equally important that the employer is absolutely certain whether their nanny is employed or self-employed.
How to determine employment status
A worker is probably considered employed if they:
- have to do the work themselves
- can be told at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it
- work a set amount of hours
- can be moved from task to task
- are paid by the hour, week or month
- can be paid overtime or receive bonus payments
A worker is probably considered self-employed if they:
- can hire someone else to do their work or engage helpers at their own expense
- risk their own money
- provide the main items of equipment needed to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves
- agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take
- can decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services
- regularly work for a number of people
- have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense
*Please note that these lists are not exhaustive.
The exception to the rule
It's clear to see that in most cases nannies do not meet HMRC's criteria for self-employment. The childcarers that do are maternity nurses and childminders.
However in some cases HMRC do grant nannies self-employment status. It's important to remember, though, that transfer of self-employment status between jobs is not automatic, and each situation will need to be considered individually.
So in the vast majority of cases a nanny will be employed and it is up to the parents, her employer, to register with HMRC, operate a PAYE scheme and pay tax and National Insurance Contributions on her behalf. Failure to declare an employee to avoid paying tax and NI is a criminal offence which can result in heavy penalties. It also affects a nanny's right to statutory entitlements such as unemployment benefit, statutory maternity pay and state pension
Always agree a gross wage
Many nannies and nanny agencies agree a net (i.e. take-home) wage with parents, but in reality you are always paid a gross wage, with tax and National Insurance Contributions paid to HMRC by your family on your behalf. Although many employers tend to look on this as an additional cost, it is actually part of your gross wage. On top of the gross wage, your family also has to pay an Employer's National Insurance Contribution.
Nannying is probably the only profession left in the UK where wages are still commonly agreed on the basis of net (i.e. take-home) pay. It is surprising that this outdated arrangement has not yet been dispensed with, as there are considerable financial implications at stake.
The following points briefly explain why a net pay agreement is disadvantageous to all nannies:
- The Government regularly increases the personal tax-free allowances and has cut the basic rate of income tax several times in recent years. If you have a net pay deal your employer does not have to pass any of the savings on to you. Only if you are on a gross wage will you automatically receive the benefit of any cuts by paying less tax and NI.
- A gross wage enables you to compare your salary with any other type of employee in the UK, thereby giving you an opportunity to assess your earning power and consider your career options.
- A gross wage agreement is also essential if you want a to get a personal loan or a mortgage, as the figure the bank or building society will be interested in is your gross salary. Similarly, if you want to make sure you are being paid the National Minimum Wage, you need to know what your gross salary is.
All employees in the UK are entitled by law to 5.6 weeks holiday per annum. For a full-time employee that is 28 paid days off per year, of which 4 weeks is standard leave and 1.6 (or 160% of the working week) is 8 of the bank holidays.
The entitlement to 8 bank holidays as paid days off is a new law, which was introduced in April 2009. Previously it was only those actually worked in a bank who were legally entitled to the bank holidays as paid days off.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Many families have been giving their nannies all bank holidays as paid days off well before the introduction of the new law, and if this is the case the nanny’s statutory entitlement will remain at 5.6 weeks. Not 5.6 weeks plus 8 bank holidays.
If you work part-time and wish to calculate your pro-rata holiday entitlement, you simply multiply the number of days you work per week by 5.6. So, for example if you work 3 days per week, you would multiply 3 by 5.6 which means you are entitled to a total of 16.8 days per year.
Q: My employers say that because I'm a nanny I don't need to pay tax and National Insurance. Is this true?
A: If you earn more than the current tax and NI thresholds (please refer to the rates and thresholds for current figures) it is your employer's legal responsibility, not yours, to set up and operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme on your behalf and to declare your wages with HMRC if they fail to do so they are breaking the law
Q: How do I know if my employer is paying my tax and National Insurance Contributions?
A: If you receive regular payslips this is usually a good indication that your employer is declaring your wages with HMRC. However, if you want to be absolutely certain then ask your employer for your PAYE reference number. If you want to apply for a loan or a mortgage your bank or building society often requires this so you don't have to feel uncomfortable asking your employer for it
.Q: Do I qualify for sick pay?
A: You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are sick for more than three consecutive days. SMP can be paid instead or as part of your normal rate of pay, at your employer's discretion. Your employer may be able to reclaim some of the costs from the state.
Q: Do I qualify for holiday pay?
A: Yes. Up until recently all employees in the UK were entitled by law to 4 weeks paid leave every year. New holiday legislation has now been introduced and as of April 2009 all employers are required to give 8 bank holidays as paid leave in addition to the 4 weeks. That means that all employees will now be entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per year.If you work on a part-time basis and you want to know how many days you are entitled to, simply multiply the number of days you work each week with 5.6.
Q: Should my employer pay me for working on bank holidays?
A: 8 bank holidays must be given to you as paid days off (see above), although these musn't necessarily be given on the actual bank holidays themselves. For one-off holidays, such as the Millennium or the Queen's Jubilee you are entitled to a day's paid holiday.
Q: Should I complete a tax return?
A: No, providing all your income comes from employment. However, if you are a live-in nanny and you own a flat or house, which you rent out, you do need to complete a tax return
Q: I'm pregnant; do I qualify for maternity pay?
A: To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) you have to have been employed for a minimum of 26 weeks (6 months) prior to the notification week, which is 15 weeks before the baby is due - basically this means that you can't be pregnant when you start a new job. SMP is payable for a maximum period of 39 weeks. The first six weeks of SMP are at 9/10ths of your average gross weekly earnings and the remaining weeks of the maternity pay period (up to a maximum of 33 weeks) are paid at the current SMP rate, or continue at 9/10ths of the average gross earnings, whichever is the lower.
Q: I'm going on maternity leave; can I bring my baby with me when I return to work?
A: This is at your employer's discretion. You have a right to return to work following maternity leave, but only on the same terms as you were previously employed.
Q: The children I look after are now attending school full-time and my employer no longer has a job for me. Do I qualify for redundancy pay?
A: If you have been in continuous employment for two years or more and you are over 18 you are entitled to redundancy pay - providing you are not on a fixed-term contract. You would also qualify for redundancy pay if the family you work for moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in your contract
We would like to thank Nannytax for providing this information.