Set up your dream nanny job as proper employment.
So, you’ve just been offered a great nanny job. You’ve found the perfect family, or the perfect family have found you.
Congratulations! Now what? If you and the family have connected through an agency, they might have already provided the family with information and/or services for negotiating, setting up a work agreement/contract, and employing you. If not, you all might be wondering how to go about setting the arrangement up as proper employment.
Step 1 – Understanding Employment
This is really important, as it applies to the working relationship regardless of who a family chooses to hire. Some families have an idea about how things might work, but others might be expecting to just transfer the nanny their hourly rate in cash and do nothing else.
It’s not that simple!
Nannies in Australia are usually classed as employees, and fall under the Miscellaneous Award. With that comes minimum conditions that need to be met, and legal obligations. Families must learn what they need to do in regards to:
- Overtime pay requirements
- Minimum legal hourly rates
- Withholding and paying tax
- Super obligations (and best practice)
- Domestic Workers Compensation Insurance
- Paid Time Off (depending on the type of employment).
If the nanny does meet the criteria to work as a sole trader under their own ABN, the family may still be required to meet Super obligations and should have an understanding of the legalities of the arrangement.
Step 2 – Negotiations and Work Agreements
While employers have minimum legal conditions to adhere to, we all know that nanny jobs are not ‘one size fits all’. Pay rates, employment type, super payments, and job responsibilities all vary and need to be negotiated between the nanny and the family. You want to make sure that the arrangement is fair and suitable for both your experience and qualifications, and the duties required in the role. It is so important that everyone is on the same page, and have as many things worked out before an issue arises.
Having the right discussions and asking the right questions during the pre-start days and the initial trial or probationary period is vital. It’s then really important to document the duties, expectations, and conditions in a work agreement or employment contract. Having things written down makes sure that everyone understands what is expected, and gives you something to refer to if a question or issue comes up down the track.
Contract templates can also help you with what to cover when you are getting started. This may highlight some important conversations to have that may not be front of mind in the early stages of the working relationship.
Step 3 – Setting up and processing that paperwork
When you are working as an employee for a family it is just like working as a cashier in a supermarket, in terms of employment paperwork. The trouble is that sometimes families don’t have the knowledge or staff to manage the obligations. Accountants and employment lawyers can often advise parents on how to fulfil their employment responsibilities. Or, nanny payroll companies can assist with the setup process and/or the ongoing processing of the payroll and obligations that come with that.
Ensuring that the family set up your employment properly is crucial to ensure that their legal obligations are met and you are all protected in the unexpected case of something going wrong in the future. With a solid employment setup (and comprehensive work agreement), your employment will be as secure as possible and you will receive the benefits you are entitled to. It’s a win for everyone!
Employing someone isn't easy but it's the right thing to do. As a professional nanny this is something that you should expect from the families wanting to engage in your services. The conversations to set these boundaries and expecations can be awkward but the more you get in the ring and stand up for what you're legally entitled to, the easier these conversations become.
Need a contract template?
Boss Nanny offers employment templates built by nannies and lawyers, customised to the Australian Industry.
Need payroll admin?
Nanny Pay offer a range of payroll solutions for families to employ domestically.