My Nanny is pregnant
What does this mean for our family?
It is an undeniable fact that many young women become childcare professionals as they have a genuine love for and desire to care for children. It should come as no surprise that when the time is right, your Nanny may want to have children of her own.
Your Nanny is an integral part of your family and the consequences of her pregnancy mean that changes will need to be made and arrangements put into place to ensure a smooth transition for all. This can be unsettling, not only for your children who may have to learn to accept a temporary or permanent replacement, but there are also the unavoidable issues relating to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay (SMP), time off work for antenatal appointments and possibly, pregnancy related illness in the months ahead.
What do I need to do?
As soon as your Nanny has told you that she is pregnant, you need to start considering what her absence will mean to your family in the first instance. If your Nanny’s absence means that you’ll be struggling for childcare options, it can be a good idea to begin searching for her temporary replacement as soon as possible.
You will be responsible for paying statutory maternity pay during your Nanny’s maternity leave period, you can however reclaim this from the government. This can take time so it would be sensible to contact HMRC for advice on setting up the SMP arrangement and how to calculate what your Nanny is to be paid, based on your particular employment circumstances.
In most cases, and as long as your Nanny was not already pregnant when she started working for your family, she will entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave and you are required to keep her job open until she either returns or notifies you that she will not be returning to work.
If your Nanny has been employed by you for at least 26 weeks before the notification week, which is 15 weeks before the baby’s due date, then she is entitled to claim statutory maternity pay. Your Nanny will be entitled to claim the first 6 weeks at 90% of her full pay and a further 33 weeks at the current SMP rate. You can check the rate by visiting the gov.uk website.
The experienced payroll specialists at Nannytax fully assist their clients through the process by taking care of all SMP administration if their nanny falls pregnant and needs to take Maternity Leave. Advice is available at every stage of the process as well as assistance in recovering the Maternity Pay. They will continue to provide payslips for the nanny throughout her Maternity Leave and provide comprehensive Payroll Services for any replacement/temporary nanny.
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What else should I be aware of?
On the advice of your Nanny’s GP, Midwife or other related healthcare professional, she is entitled to paid time off if she is asked to attend antenatal appointments during working hours. Your Nanny should however be able to
produce an appointment card or letter showing details of the appointment she is due to attend.
It is also important that your Nanny provides you with her Maternity Certificate (MATB1) in order for you to apply to HMRC as a small employer, allowing you to reclaim the full amount that you pay out to your Nanny as SMP during her maternity leave.
What can be done to reduce the impact on our children when our Nanny goes off on maternity leave?
There is no getting away from the fact that, if your children love their Nanny, it will be difficult when she leaves. It can be helpful to sit down with your children and, if they are old enough, explain to them that their Nanny is going to have her own baby and that is very exciting, perhaps they would like to make a card and handmade gift for the new baby? Talk through any concerns that your children raise and try to keep the issue positive to minimise any negative fall-out.
Try to encourage lots of positive activities that will get the children prepared for their Nanny going off on maternity leave and you may also want to discuss with your Nanny about bringing the new baby back to meet the children once she has given birth and has recovered. Chances are that the new baby will be a source of much enjoyment for all and your Nanny will be far more likely to want to return to work if she feels like a valued part of your family.
In addition to the above, the government has introduced ‘KIT’ days or ‘keeping in touch days’ allowing an employee to return to work and effectively keep in touch with you and your family, without her losing her maternity leave, pay and benefits.
It is becoming more and more popular these days, for Nannies to return to work with their new baby in tow. For many families, the idea of allowing their Nanny to return to work with her baby is a far more appealing idea than paying her to be off on maternity leave, only to lose her to a family who are happy for her to take her baby along to the new job.
If you only have one or two children, having an extra little person in the house isn’t a huge issue, the children get to keep their Nanny, they have a new playmate, your Nanny gets to keep her job and you are happy that your children will have the continuity of care from their favourite Mary Poppins, removing the hassle of having to find her perfect replacement.
It is also worth noting that while there is now more flexibility in terms of contacting your employee during maternity leave, for example, if you wish to discuss her return to work, you must be aware that you cannot insist on her early return to work. You may also want to discuss the use of ‘KIT’ days as noted above, but neither the Nanny nor employer can insist on the ‘KIT’ days being used during maternity leave.
On the other hand, some families may be larger and there are practical issues to consider such as the size of car, will everyone fit and is there the danger of your children being put to one side while your Nanny takes care of her own child’s needs first? These are all valid points to consider. Take time to weigh up the pros and cons and do what you feel would be best for you and your family. What works for one family, may not necessarily work for the next.
In addition to SMP, your Nanny will also continue to accrue paid holiday during her maternity leave. Your Nanny is therefore able to take her accrued leave at the end of her maternity leave when she returns to work or, if she is not going to return, she should be paid out in full for the number of days accrued.
While this can seem complicated and stressful, the best approach is to start making the necessary arrangements as soon as possible. Finding a replacement, ensuring that all the SMP arrangements are in place and talking openly with your Nanny about upcoming appointments that she may need to attend, can mean that the whole process needn’t be all that stressful if managed properly from the start.
Don’t forget to talk to your children, involve them in the search for a temporary replacement. Your Nanny may well wish to return to your family at the end of her maternity leave or sooner, so keep the lines of communication open and if you need additional advice and support, contact HMRC offices or search for advice on the gov.uk website.
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