Call now on 0207 183 0309
May 10th, 2024
By Faith McNamara

Employment risks in the UK: 3 legal issues employers need to think about

Childcare services are critically important in the UK, where many households hire Nannies and childminders, as they help to balance family work-life schedules. This partnership comes with many benefits for your home life but also presents legal obligations you must adhere to.

Nanny employers must take into account various legal considerations to adhere to UK employment law. In this article, we will explore three critical legal issues that Nanny employers need to contemplate.

Employment Contracts and Terms

One of the main legal requirements for Nanny employers in the UK is to provide a written employment contract to the employees. This contract is required to set out the terms and conditions of the employment. It details duties, working hours, salary, holidays and rotation terms. Not supplying a contract in written form can be the cause of legal disputes or financial penalties.

Additionally, the employer must ensure that the contract of employment complies with UK employment laws, and is inclusive of the National Minimum Wage Act, as well as the Working Time Regulations.

Nanny employers are required to pay their employees no less than the minimum wage and under no circumstances, can they overwork their employee(s), nor can they petition to lower the employee's working hours without the prior consent of the employee they're managing. A minor infringement may lead to a charge of short pay or labour rights violation.

Using a payroll service such as the Little Ones Payroll Service will allow you to stay completely compliant with pay regulations and if there are any issues such as hours overworked/underworked, you have a third party to mitigate any problems.

Moreover, the employment agreement will include the rules on termination and dismissal, the regulations on disciplinary procedures, as well as the confidentiality agreements. By creating an employment contract with a clear agreement, even from the start, employers can prevent disagreement and secure their legal position in case of any conflict.

Tax and National Insurance Contributions

Nanny employers in the UK are responsible for collecting and making class 1 and 4 National Insurance contributions in addition to tax on behalf of their employees, as any other employer.

Such steps will include being registered as an employer with HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs), calculating and taking the right amount of income tax and NICs from the salary of a Nanny and making payments to HMRC regularly.

Non-compliance with tax and NIC requirements may lead to unpleasant disapprovals (e.g. fines and court verdicts). Besides providing their employees with a work contract and a payslip, Nanny employers should also report the Nanny's earnings accurately and comply with their PAYE (Pay As You Earn) obligations.

This includes generating a payslip for their Nanny that should detail their earnings and any deductions made for each pay period. These are all things that the Little Ones Payroll Service can support with.

Moreover, Nanny employers should bear in mind their responsibilities concerning pension schemes under the automatic enrolment scheme. The amount of pension scheme contributions from the Nanny's employer would be based on whether they are above the qualifying age and earn enough or not.

Safeguarding and Childcare Regulations

Nanny employers, in their role as employers of childcare professionals, owe a duty of care to guarantee the employed Nanny is mindful of child safety and welfare. This also includes introducing suitable structural measures and safekeeping methods to deal with hazards such as insufficiency, neglect, and accidents.

It is the responsibility of the Nanny’s employers to carry out in-depth checks on applicants, among others, using DBS checks to prove the eligibility of the Nannies to work around children. In addition, employers must get evidence of comprehensive child safety training, emergency procedure awareness, and the Nanny’s knowledge of general health and hygiene guidelines. If you decide to use an agency, all of these checks and vetting will be done for you.

Nannies are obliged to meet the required childcare regulations, which may include those laid down in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This entails preventing the spread of infection, promoting children's learning and development, as well as keeping a record of accidents, incidents, and administered medicine.

Through due diligence and adherence to childcare regulations, Nanny employers can help to create a safe and loving environment for their children while minimising the possibility of legal implications.

UK employers who intend to hire a Nanny have several legal obligations that must be at the forefront of their minds. From creating an explicit employment contract to handling tax issues and childcare regulation fulfilment, they need to deal with the complex legal system by having their families and their staff under their protection.

The experts at the Little Ones Payroll Service can handle all of this for you and make sure you are compliant with UK employment law. Get in touch with them here. By keeping abreast of these things and being proactive, Nanny employers can reduce the regulatory implications and conduct an appropriate relationship with their employees, that is lawful, safe and morally acceptable.

For more information on any risks or legal obligations as a domestic employer contact Little Ones Payroll today. Call or email and chat directly with one of our agents.

Request Information
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Once you have completed your enquiry Little Ones will contact you on the details you have provided with information about the services we provide in order to assist you. Your information will not be shared with anyone outside our companies group.

At any time you may cease to receive communication by contacting Little Ones to delete, update or transfer for your information at no cost to yourself. Simply email with the name and email address you provided on this form.

Please see Little Ones data protection and privacy policy for further details how your information may be used. You will receive an email confirming how your information is used.

Browse by type