Nannies and au pairs both provide families with a flexible form of childcare, which is invaluable to so many families in the UK. However, there are some key distinctions and differences between nannies and au pairs that you should be aware of when deciding which sort of childcare is right for you and your children.
What is an au pair?
An au pair is someone who typically lives with the family and cares for the children, but is unlikely to be classed as an ‘employee’ and is instead seen as a member of the family. An au pair may live with the family to learn about British Culture, and they may also wish to attend English classes during their time in the UK. As the au pair is treated as a member of the family, with free meals and board, they are usually not entitled to National Minimum Wage or paid holiday, but they do receive ‘pocket money’ from the family in place of a salary. ‘Pocket money’ is usually at least £90 per week, but depending on how much ‘pocket money’ an au pair is paid, they may need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance. Au pairs would usually work no more than 30 hours per week, and are not necessarily required to have any childcare experience or qualifications.
What is a nanny?
A nanny is someone who is self-employed, or is someone you have employed, that works full-time or part-time in your home and looks after your children. A nanny will likely have qualifications in childcare, they may have completed training courses, and some nannies may have specialist skills such as speaking multiple languages or experience working with children who have special educational needs.
When you employ a nanny, you become responsible for a multitude of things, such as:
paying your nanny’s agreed salary
providing a contract of employment
Enrolling your nanny into a workplace pension scheme, if they qualify
paying tax & national insurance contributions
holding an employer’s liability insurance policy
administering statutory pay, such as holiday pay and maternity pay
Becoming a nanny employer can be a daunting process, but don’t worry, Nannytax are here to help! From your initial Nanny PAYE Scheme set up to producing the final P45 when your nanny leaves, Nannytax’s dedicated team of nanny payroll experts are here to make employing a nanny easy.