Can a nanny be self-employed is a popular question amongst forums and often there are those who are adament that nannies cannot be self employed. I'll let you in on a secret though, we can. However, it only applies to a few nannies.

Self-employed nannies are often such a grey area, with HMRC not giving clear guidance on the matter and accountants often encouraging nannies to be 'self employed childminders'. Not to mention the pressure from potential families to be self employed so they avoid paying out on things such as holiday and sick pay.

So, how can a nanny be self employed? There are terms and conditions and the majority of the time it isn't recommended or relevant to nannies. Being employed has a lot more benefits for nannies than self employment, and also eliminates the worry of tax returns and the like. If you work for three or more families simultaniously you will need to register as an OFSTED childminder whether you care for them in your own home or elsewhere.

Employed Nannies

When a nanny is an employee of the family, they have a lot more benefits and job stability. Agreeing to a gross wage is best for both the nanny and employer. This is standard for most nannies.

Employed nannies usually:

  • Work solely for usually one or two families on seperate days, or in a nanny share position.
  • Work at the families home and have an employment contract.
  • Have rights to statutory sick pay, statutory maternity leave, minimum notice periods, protection against unfair dismissal, time off for emergencies and statutory redundancy pay.
  • Work regular hours and are required to do a minimum amount of hours for which they are paid. They can not send someone else to do their work.
  • Employer deducts tax and national insurance from their gross wage.
  • Can join a pension scheme.

Self-Employed Nannies

Please do not think that being 'self-employed' is just an easy way to be paid cash in hand. You will have certain responsibilities with HMRC and need to pay your taxes.

Self-employed nannies usually:

  • Works for several families, this may be in the families home, hotel or elsewhere.
  • Have no rights to sick pay, holiday pay, notice periods or redundancy pay.
  • Can decide own working hours and accept or decline hours.
  • Able to cancel at short notice.
  • Can send replacement to work if unavailable.
  • Can set own rates and invoice for their work.
  • Completes own tax self assessment forms.
  • Can claim expenses.

You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time, for example if you work for an employer part time and provide ad-hoc childcare around this.

See the government guidance or use their employment status for tax tool for more info.

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