Things you need to know when employing a nanny

When you employ a nanny in the UK you not only have to find the best carer for your children, you also become an employer, and as such you take on a host of responsibilities.

Employing a nanny

For instance, you have to draw up an employment contract with your nanny within 2 months of her starting date and you must also give your nanny a payslip every time she gets paid.

It is a legal responsibility that you have employer’s liability insurance, and you must also make sure that you pay your nanny at least the NMW or above.

In addition you need to have a good understanding of the basics of employment law, because it’s surprisingly easy to make mistakes when you’re juggling issues such as holiday entitlement, SSP, benefits in kind, SMP and redundancy pay.

To ensure you select the right nanny for your family, it’s important to get the most out of the interview stages. Here are the top questions you should be asking your potential nanny.

Key points to consider when employing a nanny

If you employ a nanny in the UK you have the same legal responsibilities as a commercial employer and the law requires you to:

  • Register as an employer
  • Set up and operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme on your nanny’s behalf
  • Keep tax records on her behalf
  • Provide your nanny with regular payslips
  • Provide her with an employment contract
  • Pay regular income tax and National Insurance
  • Pay employer’s National Insurance Contributions
  • File an employer’s annual tax return

Payroll companies can do all of this for you, they can save you a great deal of time and stress. (Nannytax, Way2paye, Zestpayroll)

If you decide not to use a payroll company you can register as an employer here.

HMRC also have New Employers helpline.


Ensure you provide your nanny with a contract of employment within 2 months of start date.

Again most payroll companies will assist with writing up a contract for you. Your contract should also have a full list of duties required, hours, holiday entitlement, gross salary, overtime rate and notice required.


As an employer you have a legal duty to take out employer’s liability insurance. Check with your household insurance policy, if you are covered.

Your motor insurance if nanny will be using your car needs to be amended. If nanny is using her own car, she must have the correct insurance cover also.

Photography: Benjamin Thompson @Flickr

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