Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

Harmony at Home provide expert advice and tips to parents looking to hire a nanny or using a childcare service. Through our many years of experience and links with industry experts we have complied a list of the most frequently asked questions so that you can quickly find the answer. Our advice and tips are edited regularly, and we are always adding to them, so if you can’t find the answer here please do contact us and will be delighted to help you personally.

You can also find more helpful guides, tips and advice on our childcare blog. Our blog is written to keep you up to date with relevant childcare topics and help you understanding the ever growing wealth of information available on the internet about hiring a nanny. We hope that you enjoy reading our blog.

Can a nanny be self-employed?

Under rules from the HMRC, nannies cannot generally be classed as self-employed.

A nanny can only be classed as self-employed if working in a series of temporary positions, or if working for 3 or more families at the same time. If this was the case, the nanny would have to register with Ofsted as a childminder.

Do I become an employer?


If you employ a Nanny you become an employer.

Do I pay an agency fee if no nanny is placed?


Harmony at Home charge a fee if a Nanny is found and employed.

What is the difference between Net and Gross?

Net: Refers to the amount remaining after adjustments have been made such as debts, deductions for tax and NI and expenses

Gross: Refers to the total amount inclusive of tax and NI

Should I agree to pay my nanny in Net or Gross?

Please agree to pay your nanny a Gross salary. Employment in the UK is discussed as a Gross salary. Using a gross salary will protect the Nanny employer’s employment costs.

Can you suggest some interview questions?

Questions to consider asking when interviewing a Nanny:

  • What do you most like about being a Nanny?
  • Why did you decide to become a Nanny?
  • What do you think makes a good Nanny?
  • What activities do you most enjoy doing with children?
  • What sort of meals would you prepare for children?
  • What childcare qualifications do you have?
  • Do you have a current, in date Paediatric First Aid certificate?
  • Are you confidently able to deal with emergency situations?
  • What are your views on discipline and manners?

What questions should I not ask when interviewing?

Discriminatory questions should always be avoided. The following subjects should not be discussed or asked at interview;

  • Age
  • Political views
  • Health
  • Disabilities
  • Gender or sexual orientation
  • Race, ethnicity or natural origin
  • Religious beliefs
  • Marital status
  • Questions about the Nannies family or future family planning

How do I calculate Holiday Entitlement?

If your nanny works on a full-time basis 5 days a week, they are entitled to 28 days’ holiday per year including bank holidays.

If your nanny works on a part time or adhoc basis their holiday is calculated pro rata. This is done by working out the number of days or hours the nanny works per week. If your nanny works bank holidays as well, their holiday leave will be different from other part time nannies. The Statutory Holiday Entitlement is 5.6 weeks per annum or 28 days per year inclusive of bank holidays.

  • Full time Nanny, working 5 days a week X 5.6 = 28 days’ holiday per annum
  • Part time Nanny, working 4 days a week X 5.6 = 22.4 days’ holiday per annum
  • Part time Nanny, working 3 days a week X 5.6 = 16.8 days’ holiday per annum
  • Part time Nanny, working 2 days a week X 5.6 = 11.2 days’ holiday per annum
  • Part time Nanny, working 1 day a week X 5.6 = 5.6 days’ holiday per annum

It is good practice to ’round up’ the days leave. If in doubt please contact us and we can recommend a leading payroll provider to help you.

How do I work out holiday entitlement for a nanny working on different days each week?

The easiest way to work this out is by the number of hours worked each week.


  • Working 20 hours per week X 5.6 = 112 hours’ holiday
  • Working 14 hours per week X 5.6 = 78.4 hours’ holiday

How do I work out a temporary workers holiday entitlement?


If your temporary Nanny works 20 hours per week for 6 months, you would have to work out:

  1. How much holiday entitlement they would receive if they work for a whole year: 20 hours X 5.6 = 112hours
  2. Then, you divide the overall number of hours work by 12 (112/12) and then multiply the answer by the number of months that they actually worked (112/12X6)

What should be included in an employment contract?

As soon as you find your perfect nanny it is important to draw up an employment contract or this can be provided as an offer letter. This is not only a legal requirement but also means that protection is in place for the employment rights of both you (as the employer) and the nanny (the employee).

The following must be included in the contract or offer letter:

  • Employee starting date
  • The working hours
  • A description of the duties they will be carrying out
  • Salary
  • Holiday Entitlement, sick pay, maternity pay
  • Agreement to operate a PAYE scheme on their behalf
  • Probationary period if appropriate
  • Notice period
  • Grievance and Disciplinary procedures
  • Confidentiality agreements and redundancy

When must I pay Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid for the days your Nanny would normally have worked if not off sick. Please note: SSP is not paid for the first 3 days of illness. If you wish to pay their salary over these 3 days, that is at your own discretion. These first 3 days are known as ‘waiting days’. On the 4th day of illness, SSP would be paid instead of or as a part of the employee’s normal pay rate.

What is the maximum amount of Statutory Sick Pay?

28 weeks

How is Statutory Sick Pay paid?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid in the same way as your employee’s normal salary. Either weekly or monthly a payslip would be given with TAX and NI deducted.

Do I need Employers’ Liability Insurance?


Under the Employers’ Liability Act 1969, it is a legal requirement that all employers must have and ensure that their policy covers them for a legal minimum of £5m. In the first instance we suggest contacting your household insurer, as you may be able to add this to your existing household insurance policy. You can also take out a specialist insurance policy, if you contact us we can recommend a leading expert.

What is the workplace pension scheme?

When you have a nanny employed they may not need to be enrolled for a pension but they do have a right and a choice to choose therefore, you should have a pension in place. If your nanny does qualify for a pension scheme they do have the option to opt out.

The Pensions Act was passed in 2008 which led to a new law (automatic enrolment) whereby all employers must have a workplace pension in place for their employees. Employers are also required to enrol their employees and help contribute to their pensions.

A qualifying worker is someone who is age 22 up until the state pension age. If your employee is under the age of 22, you must still make sure there is a pension scheme available to them, as it is their right to join a scheme is they choose to. As an employer, you must pay a percentage of your employee’s gross salary into their ‘pension pot’.

Please don’t panic about setting up a pension, we can recommend a leading payroll provider who can assist you with auto enrolment for your nanny.