Sadly, we see many contracts which have been put together by nanny employers either by downloading and amending an example contract found on the internet or by filling in the blanks in a template contract supplied by a nanny agency. We would caution prospective employers that probably 90% of such contracts do not conform to current employment law and in many cases will result in the employer not only losing any case taken to an employment tribunal but having any award against them increased by up to 25% as a penalty for not conforming to current legislation.
We would therefore strongly recommend use of our Premium service for new nanny employers who are not legal professionals or someone who deals with employment issues on a regular basis. Use of the Premium service to draw up a bespoke contract of employment will ensure that an employer has an up-to-date and comprehensive contract which provides them with adequate protection in the event of unforeseen eventualities.
A new nanny has a legal right to receive a contract or “Statement of Employment Particulars” within 28 days of starting work. From an employer’s point of view, we would regard it as essential that the employer puts a contract in place prior to commencement of employment of a nanny to ensure that there are no misunderstandings on either side. Employers should realise that they are exposing themselves to potential risk and possible additional expense if a contract covering the items set out below is not fully in force from the start of employment.
Essential items – The items below should be the minimum covered by the contract
- Start date for commencement of employment
- Amout of pay
- Job title and hours of work
- All nannies are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay as a minimum. The contract should specify if the nanny will receive any sick pay in excess of this. Employers should remember to place a limit on any additional sick pay. e.g. A maximum of one or two weeks additional sick pay in any 12 month period.
- That the employer does or does not operate a pension scheme.
- Termination and Notice periods
- A nanny is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year, INCLUDING all Bank Holidays which fall on normal working days. This rather strange figure is set to ensure ALL nannies get a fair share of the 8 bank holidays which occur each year. If the nanny works full time (i.e. five days a week), the nanny would be entitled to four weeks of 5 days “normal” holiday plus 1.6 weeks of bank holidays (i.e. all 8 bank holidays).
- If the nanny works part-time (e.g. two days a week), the nanny would be entitled to four weeks of two days “normal” holidays, plus a 1.6 weeks of bank holidays (i.e. 3.2 days of holiday to set against any bank holidays that fall on normal working days).
- Dismissal and Disciplinary procedure
- This is an essential part of the contract if the employer wishes to minimise the likelihood of an appearance at an Employment Tribunal if the employer/ nanny relationship breaks down at any point. This section will also cover warnings for misconduct and any Grievance Procedure.
Other Important items – We would recommend the following are also covered
- A statement of house rules
- A general statement of duties
- A statement of what the employer would regard as misconduct
- Two copies of the contract must be signed and dated by both the employer and the nanny and each should keep a copy.
We have a specimen contract which provides more detail on the above items. This is available to our clients. Please note however that it is a specimen NOT an editable template. We do not supply templates as we believe they can never adequately cover the particular circumstances of an individual employment situation and in many cases result in an inadequate contract which does not not conform to current employment law and does not properly protect the employer. Unless you are a legal professional, or someone who deals with employment issues on a regular basis, we would recommend using our Premium service to ensure that the contract properly addresses your particular circumstances.