Nanny Shares If you are thinking about employing a nanny but are put off either by the cost or by the possible lack of social contact that your child would have then a nanny share could be a solution for you. A nanny share is an arrangement whereby a nanny is employed by more than one family to care for the children in each family. Nanny-shares can work in a number of ways. For example:
Two families can share the nanny all the time The nanny can look after one family for some of the time, the other family for some of the time, and together some of the time The families can divide the time equally, so the nanny goes to one home for half the week, and the other home for the rest of the week.
The decision about how the time is arranged will partly depend on how many children need looking after: the smaller the number of children, the easier to look after them all at the same time. As the families grow larger it may be more difficult to manage.
Who can I share a nanny with? It’s probably easier to share a nanny with someone you don’t know extremely well. The relationship will benefit from a business-like approach, which can be hard to maintain with a life-long friend. A friend or acquaintance who you know shares the same general values as you and whose views you can respect, would be the right sort of person. It’s very important that you are both flexible and tolerant, and you have to be prepared to trust each other. If you don’t know anyone in your immediate group of friends who is interested, you may get to hear of someone through: Your antenatal or parent-craft classes Your health visitor or midwife Mother and baby groups Postnatal groups Nanny Share (www.nannyshare.co.uk) is a good website to find another family who also want to nanny share.
How do we work out our needs? You will need to talk to your nanny-share partner and work out:
what your childcare needs are how you both want them to be managed.
How many hours do you each need a nanny? Where will the nanny be working? What salary will the nanny be offered? Will she be offered any other perks or benefits? Who is going to take responsibility as the employer or will it be shared? What qualities does the nanny need to have?
How should we make plans for a nanny share? You will need to decide how your nanny’s hours will be divided, and where the children will be looked after. You will also need to consider when the nanny will take her holidays and work out if both families’ holidays can coincide. It is not unusual for niggles to arise over the fairness of an arrangement, or perhaps one parent having a ‘better’ relationship with the nanny than the other. Issues of favouritism can arise, too. The best way to resolve or diminish these problems is by planning to stay in regular contact and talking openly to one another. A fortnightly lunch or meeting after work will probably nip any potential problems in the bud. How do we find the right nanny? A three-way arrangement means that there are more relationship combinations and it is important that everyone gets on: Plan how you want the arrangement to work before you interview any nannies. Keep it clear, simple and in writing. By being professional and well prepared, you will create an appealing job Arrange an interview where everyone can meet up, or set two dates so that the numbers (mums, dads, children, nanny) don’t get too overwhelming Decide beforehand whether anyone can have an absolute veto on the appointment of the nanny, or whether it will be a majority decision Listen to the children if they’re old enough to express an opinion - they have a right to be heard, too.
What are the advantages of a nanny share? There are several advantages for many families: Your children will have the best of both worlds: almost individual care, but with other children for play and company You have the flexibility of a nanny with lower costs You will have additional back-up if the nanny is ill - you could share the childcare between both families.
Other considerations With any arrangement that involves more people, there are more potential areas for disagreement: There are more people to keep happy and make arrangements for Paying the salary needs careful organising One family might decide that it isn’t working and pull out.
How should we work out the salary in a nanny-share? This depends firstly on the type of share. If the children are being looked after at the same time, you must set up as one employer. One family will take responsibility for paying both the nanny and HMRC, and the other family will reimburse the first family for their share of the costs. If you are each using the nanny on different days, you must set up as two separate employers. Each family will provide a payslip and make their own net pay transfers and HMRC payments. This can be complicated, particularly if the agreements are based on a net pay, because the second employer is unfairly burdened with Basic Rate tax. In most cases the nanny can resolve this issue by splitting her tax code, although this is not an ideal solution. It is usually possible to achieve a fair arrangement without resorting to splitting codes, by basing the payments on an equivalent gross pay instead of a fixed net pay. You should seek advice at interview stage, so that any offer you make is correctly worded. If you make an offer without advice, you could find that you are committed to the full cost of Basic Rate tax. It is also worth noting that spreading the pay across two employments can achieve significant National Insurance savings. You can get free advice and cost illustrations on setting up pay for a nanny share from Nanny Matters on 01275 464425. © My Family Care If you need any further advice please contact My Family Care on 0845 676 7690. All information and advice contained in this factsheet are meant as guidance only.