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It is illegal to pay a friend to look after DD if she's not registered? Really???

(74 Posts)
spekulatius Mon 11-Feb-13 23:24:39

I was looking on council's website under childcare for more info re childcare in general and it said the following:

"By law, you must be registered with Ofsted (The Office For Standards in Education), if you are being paid or rewarded to look after other people's child(ren) in your own home."

Does that mean I can't ask a friend to look after DD (will be 9 months by then) when I go back to work (would only be for 2 mornings anyway) and pay her? Really???

I would rather leave her with a friend who loves her anyway than with a complete stranger! And she would be the only child under 12 so would get more attention.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 12-Feb-13 13:57:04

Nannies are (or should be) insured. The nannies I know that drive for work have extra insurance as well.

First Aid is interesting. Do you think the OP and her DH have first aid training? I wonder what percentage of new parents do a paediatric fist aid course. I wonder how many people make their parents do a first aid course before they let them look after grandchildren.

Flisspaps Tue 12-Feb-13 14:27:04

Outraged I think all parents of young children, and anyone else who looks after them, should have some sort of first aid training.

Tanith Tue 12-Feb-13 14:38:11

The parents first aid argument is a bit of a red herring.
It's about statistics, isn't it? The more children you have/look after, the more likely you will need to administer first aid in an emergency or have to deal with a life-threatening condition or allergy.

I've had to deal with two life-threatening emergencies and I've looked after over 80 children to date.
Quite frankly, of all the training I have had to undertake, I consider that one to be the most vital.

forevergreek Tue 12-Feb-13 14:52:52

She would be a nanny. And would be employed by you needing tax etc paid.

You would be here employer as you are saying you need her twice a week 7-2pm. Someone who is self employed can say my hours are 9-3 everyday if you want to use my service.

Like a cleaner is self employed as usually have many clients and tell them what hours/ days they are free.

Tax will probably need to be paid as I think it's anything over £107 a week. £3.50 might be your local childminders rates but that's diene to them having several children at that rate ( so 3 under 5s would be £10.50 an hour, plus extra if they have children before and after school). A local nanny rate is prob more like £8 net an hour ( based on area from childminder fees).
£8net is around £9.50 gross. 9.50 x 14= £133 per week, plus an extra 9.50 per hour for any evening work.

( approx figures based on London avergae being £10 net/£13 gross per hour)

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 12-Feb-13 14:55:06

Fliss They should be*. My question was, are they?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 12-Feb-13 14:57:08

Xenia - my cleaner isn't my employee, because she is self-employed and runs her own business. Totally different situation to having someone come to your home to look after your child and paying them, as themselves, not through a business. Not like you to miss the detail hmm

Xenia Tue 12-Feb-13 15:05:22

People are making a massive mountain out of a molehill over this. If she is an employed she is probably paid less than the level on which tax is payable. If she is self employed she pays tax on what she is paid again IF and only if her annual income is above the tax level which it may well not be.

2 mornings a week is a bit like leaving your children in your home with a babysitter 2 evenings a week. Highly likely she is self employed and up to her to pay tax on that income if she is over the limits.

The simple answer to the question if is she looks after the child are your house then it is absolutely fine.

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 15:06:22

It does seem a bit silly, doesn't it?

Here in the US you don't have to be registered if you're looking after only one family. Which is also a bit silly, because you could legally look after six children from the same family but not two unrelated kids.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 12-Feb-13 16:10:20

'The simple answer to the question if is she looks after the child are your house then it is absolutely fine.'

It's illegal.

You might not agree with the law, but it's still the law.

There's a good chance no-one will know, but it's not 'absolutely fine'.

And it's not 2 mornings a week, it's the best part of 2 days a week, 7 hours a day. It's also not like ad-hoc occasional babysitting, it's a regular agreement.

Flisspaps Tue 12-Feb-13 16:17:07

Aside from it being illegal, it's really bloody annoying for those of us who bust a gut to make a living from childminding legally, who jump through all the hoops with regard to Ofsted, the ICO, insurance, first aid training, Environmental Health registration, tax (and lose tax credits through declaring earnings that take your household over the threshold)

MrAnchovy Tue 12-Feb-13 17:36:38

Xenia you're the one making a mountain out of a molehill, everyone else is just answering the OP's questions correctly.

Instead of leading us down the garden path with unsupported statements like "highly likely she is self employed", why don't you look on the HMRC website about what makes someone an employee?

Xenia Tue 12-Feb-13 17:40:22

!'The simple answer to the question if is she looks after the child are your house then it is absolutely fine.'

It's illegal."

Why is it illegal? I thought everyone agreed that you can pay someone in your own home to look after your child. It is not illegal to do that. Every mumsnetter going out on a Friday night paying a babysitter is not committing an illegal act. Where is the illegality? There is illegality if it is at the home of the friend but not at the child's home.

2 mornings a week. Highloy light the person is self employed nad highly likely unless you are paying her nanny type rates she is paid about 60 a week so well well well under any tax limits even if she were employed.
One reason this country is in such a mess is everyone assumes more regulation exists than it does.

forevergreek Tue 12-Feb-13 17:55:48

Xenia- why would she not be paying her nanny rates? 14hrs min a week in op house, on days she wants, at times she needs makes her an employeres nanny. And yes as a nanny I pay tax on babysitting

Thearetically a nanny could work 7 nights a week babysitting 6pm-midnight. At £10 that would be £420 cash in hand If they paid no tax. Or earning £21000 a year

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 12-Feb-13 18:19:48

'Why is it illegal? I thought everyone agreed that you can pay someone in your own home to look after your child. It is not illegal to do that. Every mumsnetter going out on a Friday night paying a babysitter is not committing an illegal act. Where is the illegality? There is illegality if it is at the home of the friend but not at the child's home'.

You're right Xenia, sorry misread what you said!

Xenia Wed 13-Feb-13 11:08:58

I thought it was two mornings a week and yes of course the self employed pay tax on their earnings. The question was can she pay her friend and the answer is yes if the friend looks after the child at home. of course if the friend earns over the single person allowance which is probably very unlikely then the friend must pay tax on the pay and yes sometimes your babysitter is your employee, sometimes your caterer or gardener or cleaner may not be not always by any means and here the hours are so few that it is unlikely whether self employed or employed any tax is likely. I agree with forever that if the hours are fixed then even part time it is possible the person is an employee but certainly we don't know enough here to know if that is so and secondly likely the amount paid is less than tax thresholds anyway.

lpy101 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:58:05

Just another thought....

I would avoid this at all costs. A friend of mine asked me to be her childminder as I had just resigned from teaching. I went through the whole, long winded, expensive process of registering. Her and her husband took the utter piss, sending their child ill constantly with runny tummies, fevers, you name it!! They refused to collect when they were both off work and turned up whenever they felt like it. They paid me less than the going rate which I stupidly agreed to as they were 'friends'. I felt more and more annoyed and the relationship became strained. Finally, they gave me notice ( not even the full four weeks) to put their awful spoilt child into a nursery, leaving us financially screwed!!
I have had a bad experience and it has put me off childminding for life!! I am happily returning to teaching without another shitty bum in sight!!!
I'm not saying you would take advantage by any means but if you value your friendship, look for a proper childminder!

I think the hours make the difference - between 8am and 6pm there are different rules, so babysitters don't have to be registered.

Mrscupcake23 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:17:13

I wonder how many people pay their cleaner and gardener cash?? I would just pay cash and keep quiet nobody would ever know. Nannies do not need to be registered nor do babysitters.

Xenia Wed 13-Feb-13 13:23:49

If the child is at its parents' house the rules are the same whether you are an evening babysitter or not. The tests are the same. If the person doing the looking after is self employed they pay their tax - if they are paid enough for tax to be due (a very big iff these days with the single person allowance heading towards £10k a year). If they are employed again and IF the earnings exceed the allowance etc then the employer will have employer NI etc and to run PAYE.

Everyone in the UK has the right to pay anyone cash of course but that is irrelevant to whether tax is due.

Are we really suggesting that someone working 2 mornings a week is likely to be paid enough for that sum to be over the tax thresholds anyway?

Mrscupcake23 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:28:58

I agree Xenia I meant cash in hand. I think it is between them two.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 13-Feb-13 14:02:30

Yes, you're right Mrscupcake, why bother paying tax?! What's a bit of tax evasion between friends? hmm

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 13-Feb-13 14:05:47

'Are we really suggesting that someone working 2 mornings a week is likely to be paid enough for that sum to be over the tax thresholds anyway? '

It's 14 hours a week. A nanny in London would probably earn over the threshold in 14 hours, given pay is around £12-13ph. The OP is proposing paying something like £4ph though, so wouldn't be over the threshold.

MrAnchovy Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:41

"I think the hours make the difference - between 8am and 6pm there are different rules"

This is not true.

MrAnchovy Wed 13-Feb-13 14:35:33

"If the child is at its parents' house the rules are the same whether you are an evening babysitter or not. The tests are the same. If the person doing the looking after is self employed they pay their tax - if they are paid enough for tax to be due (a very big iff these days with the single person allowance heading towards £10k a year)."

Although the Personal Allowance is indeed heading towards £10k a year, self employed people start paying tax (Class 2 National Insurance) if their earnings are above £5,595 a year, although it is only £2.65pw, and pay Class 4 National Insurance at 9% on earnings above £7,605pa.

"If they are employed again and IF the earnings exceed the allowance etc then the employer will have employer NI etc and to run PAYE."

Again the threshold at which an employer must operate PAYE is much lower than the Personal Allowance at £107pw, but if the employee already has another job then the employer must operate PAYE regardless of earnings.

"Are we really suggesting that someone working 2 mornings a week is likely to be paid enough for that sum to be over the tax thresholds anyway?"

The point is not whether the earnings will be over the tax thresholds, it is that the person is an employee and therefore subject to regulations regarding the National Minimum Wage, minimum annual leave, Employers Liability Insurance etc.

MrAnchovy Wed 13-Feb-13 14:42:50

"I wonder how many people pay their cleaner and gardener cash??"

The work of a cleaner or gardner is almost always self employment and so the responsibility for paying any tax due falls on them.

A childcarer working in the home of the child is almost always employed (and the situation described has none of the characteristics that give rise to an exception to this) and therefore the responsibility for paying any tax due falls on the employer.

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