CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Employing someone in your own home? Here’s what you need to know

PUBLISHED: 14:28 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:23 23 March 2016

Charles Russell Speechlys

Charles Russell Speechlys

Archant

Are you a “Mumanager”? Whilst most parents are highly skilled in the juggling act that comes with running houses, children and often jobs at the same time, nowadays there is a fourth dimension that has crept into our organisational rubicon - many of us have become “Mumanagers”.

In the South East, with many of us having second homes, overseas properties, flats for our offspring, or just large estates or gardens that need tending, we may unwittingly have ended up with an army of extra staff on our home payroll – the equivalent of a small business! And as a new employer, we may have possibly opened ourselves up to some obligations, especially if we have hired someone who is not self-employed or we haven’t gone through an agency. But while one can feel that the hardest part of hiring someone to help us in our home is getting the right personality match and someone you can trust (particularly true for nannies, who at times will have sole care of your child or children), luckily the checks you have to do now as part of employing someone can actually help you with your decision.

The first thing to check is the applicant’s references. The best references will come from your friends and colleagues, but where this is not possible it is helpful to speak personally to the applicant’s referees. Sometimes, you can’t get a reference straight away, but in these situations, you can still make an offer of employment – just make it conditional upon the receipt of satisfactory references.

As well as references, nannies in particular will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. These were previously known as Criminal Records Bureau or CRB checks and are used to reveal information about the applicant’s criminal record. You only need to run a DBS check for the successful job applicant but it is acceptable to withdraw your offer if the results of the DBS check show that the applicant is unsuitable for the role.

Many “mumanagers” prefer to use an agency to help them find nannies, housekeepers, carers, au pairs or other helpers to save time and effort. Again it is good to use a recommended agency that you can rely on and that has a good reputation. The agency will conduct background and reference checks for you, though you will want to verify any references yourself before making a firm offer of employment.

Personal liability

If you are an employer, you will also need to have your own employers’ liability insurance. This is separate to any public liability insurance or professional indemnity insurance maintained by a nanny. It is very important to have this insurance in place before you start employing someone, as you can be fined £2,500 for every day that you are not properly insured. You could try speaking to your household insurers or an independent broker to get this cover put in place.

Apart from the risk of being fined, insurance is important as you can be held personally liable for any accidents or illness suffered by your employee in the course of their employment with you. You should provide a safe workplace for your employee, but accidents can happen, and if they do then your employee could bring a claim against you. Employer’s liability insurance offers you important protection as it would cover the damages and associated costs of a successful claim being made against you. Without the insurance, you run the risk of paying any damages and legal costs out of your own pocket.

Think Ahead

The realities of employing someone in your home can be complicated and if you get it wrong you can find yourself in breach of legal obligations and at risk of financial penalties. However with a bit of organisation, a good checklist and filing system, some planning and the right advice you can have a stress-free transition to becoming an employer.

Considerations for “New Employers”:

As a new employer you are subject to a range of legal considerations, some of which are set out below. You must ensure that you:

• Check that your employee has the right to work in the UK by reviewing identification documents

• Have employer’s liability insurance

• Apply for a DBS check, if appropriate

• Register as an employer with HMRC and set up and run payroll (or pay someone else, such as a payroll company, to do it on your behalf)

• Deduct and pay the employee’s income tax and national insurance contributions

• Pay employer’s national insurance contributions

• Pay your employee at least the national minimum wage (and the national living wage from April 2016)

• Give your employee a written statement of employment within two months of their start date

• Give your employee payslips each time he or she gets paid

• Do not require your employee to work more than the maximum number of hours and days allowed, and provide regular rest breaks

If they meet the eligibility requirements, employees are also entitled to statutory rights which you will be responsible for such as:

• Statutory maternity pay

• Statutory sick pay

• Paid holiday

• Redundancy pay

• A workplace pension

Andy Williams is an employment lawyer at Charles Russell Speechlys with significant experience in all types of employment law issues, situations and disputes. For further information, please contact Andy on 01483 252560.

More from Surrey Life

Thu, 10:52

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wed, 16:05

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tue, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tue, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tue, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search