Your nanny’s employment rights – what you need to know
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Your nanny’s employment rights – what you need to know

When you hire a nanny or a childminder who looks after your children in your own home, you become their employer. This comes with legal and financial responsibilities. Here is what you need to know.

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According to Irish employment law, a nanny is categorised as a domestic worker – a term that refers to people employed to carry out duties in a private home. Domestic workers have the same employment rights and protections as any other employee under Irish law. As an employer, it pays to be fully aware of these rights. Here is your employers’ guide to hiring a nanny.

You are free to choose your preferred candidate

While your nanny enjoys the same employment rights as other workers, there is one element of the hiring process where those employment rights differ. It is illegal to discriminate against prospective employees during the interview and selection stage, however, the law makes an exception when the job is to be carried out in someone’s home. It is not illegal to discriminate against a prospective domestic employee during the hiring process, if, for example, you specify that you are looking for a female nanny. It is only once your nanny is in post that they are fully protected from employment equality legislation.

How we can help: At Nanny Payroll, we understand that it can be hard to find the right person to fit in with your family and meet all your childcare needs. To help, we have teamed up with carefully selected partners that can help you. Find out more.

You must supply a written employment contract

As a domestic worker, your nanny has a right to a written contract of employment, which states the terms and conditions of their employment and must include the full names of the employer and the employee and the job title or nature of the work, the pay and hours of work. It is your legal obligation to make sure your nanny has certain key terms within 5 days of commencing employment and to ensure that there is a suitable contract of employment in place within 60 days of your nanny commencing employment with you.

How we can help: For a small charge of €35 we can offer a tailored employment contract between you and your nanny that meets all your legal obligations.

Registering as an employer

If you are paying your nanny more than €40 a week or more, you must register as an employer with Revenue and deduct the PAYE (tax), PRSI and USC from your nanny’s wages. You also must pay employer's PRSI contributions for your nanny to the Social Insurance Fund.

How we can help: We’ll register you as an employer with Revenue online, so you don’t need to submit a paper application, and we’ll even set up a monthly direct debit between you and Revenue so the employee deductions and employer PRSI are kept up to date.

Wages and tax

Your nanny is entitled to a minimum wage and a pay slip. If they work on Sundays, they are entitled to extra pay or paid time off work. As an employer, it is your responsibility to deduct tax, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge (USC) from your nanny’s wages and also to pay the employer’s PRSI contribution on their behalf.

How we can help: We offer a complete payroll service for families who employ nannies. Our service will allow you to meet all your statutory obligations as an employer, saving you time and ensuring you don’t receive any penalties from Revenue for late or incorrect filing. For a small annual fee (only €275 for monthly or 4-weekly pay, including VAT) you will be able to avoid the many pitfalls associated with running your own PAYE scheme and can rest assured that you are complying fully with all relevant legislation. Your nanny can also be assured that their pay and tax are being properly and promptly calculated and dealt with. Your nanny can download our specialist app (available on Apple or Android) and view payslips, submit timesheets and holiday requests remotely. They will also get a notification when a new payslip is available.

Live-in nanny deductions

If your nanny is given bed and board as part of their employment, you can deduct this from their wages. However, the deduction must be ‘fair and reasonable’, it must be stated in your nanny’s contract of employment and your nanny must be given written notice of the deduction. The following deductions for food (known as board) and/or accommodation (known as lodgings) are included in the minimum wage calculation

A live-in nanny also has the right to a private secure room with a bed. If your nanny is required to share a room, this should be agreed in advance. Your nanny should be free to live their own life outside of working time, and you cannot withhold personal documents, such as a passport or visa, nor should you prevent your nanny from joining a trade union

How we can help: We are tax and payroll specialists who can offer advice on complexities including nanny shares and tax allowance splitting.

Other deductions from wages

Wage deductions for reasons other than bed and board, such as breakages or loss to the employer, must be stated in the contract, the deduction must be fair and you must give your nanny written notice of the deduction.

How we can help: We can tailor our employment contract template to your specific needs and advise on best practice.

Right to sick pay

Nannies do not have a legal right to sick pay, but their contract should state the procedure they should follow if they are unable to work during illness and the arrangements for pay during this time.

How we can help: We can advise on sick pay through our contract service.

Hours of work

Your nanny can work a maximum of 48 hours a week, and you must keep a record of the hours that your nanny is employed. Your nanny has the right to 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24-hour period and 24 consecutive hours rest every week. They also have a right to a 15-minute break after 4½ hours of work and a 30-minute break after six hours of work.

How we can help: Once you are set up on our cloud-based payroll system, you can login at any time via the member's area on our website and manage and approve your nanny’s timesheets. All you need is an internet connection.

Annual leave and public holidays

Full-time workers have the right to a minimum of 4 weeks’ paid leave a year, to take two unbroken weeks’ holiday and to ask for payment for the time off in advance. Your nanny also has the right to be paid for the nine public holidays or to have another paid day off instead or an extra day’s pay. If your nanny accompanies you on holiday, this is considered to be work and your nanny is entitled to full pay for this time.

How we can help: Through our cloud-based payroll system, you can manage annual leave.

Employment records

To comply with employment legislation, you must keep records relating to your nanny for three years.

How we can help: Our service is cloud-based and securely backs-up all your payroll. Our payroll service is about more than calculating salary. We can securely store your nanny’s records in one place, including annual leave, time sheets and pay summaries to date. You can track and manage this information from anywhere.

Dismissal and notice

Your nanny is entitled to a minimum amount of notice if their employment ceases. Nannies are also protected against unfair dismissal once they have been working for you for over a year. They are protected against unfair dismissal when they have worked for less than a year if the dismissal relates to specific activity such as trade union membership, pregnancy or entitlement to the minimum wage.

How we can help: We offer unlimited advice and support to families who employ nannies.

Get in touch with our team today

More information and advice on employment rights can be found on the Citizens Information website