Employer Responsibilities

Employer Responsibilities

If you employ Nanny etc. in the UK you have the same legal responsibilities as a commercial employer and the law requires you to:

  • Register as an employer
  • Set up and operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme on your nanny’s behalf
  • Keep tax records on her behalf
  • Provide your nanny with regular payslips
  • Provide her with an employment contract
  • Pay regular income tax and National Insurance Contributions
  • Pay employer’s National Insurance Contributions
  • File an employer’s annual tax return

These obligations also apply:

  • In short-term employment (i.e. a week or longer)
  • To any employment taking place in the UK – irrespective of the country of origin of the nanny or employer

Failure to register as an employer if you are paying your nanny above the weekly threshold is an offence, which can potentially lead to heavy penalties and career-damaging publicity.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Just like any other employee, when a nanny is absent from work due to sickness their employer is required to administer Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The current rate is £95.85 per week. It’s paid by employers for up to 28 weeks.

When SSP is due

SSP is paid for the days the nanny would normally have worked. It is not paid for the first four consecutive days of illness (excluding days not normally worked). These four days are known as ‘waiting days’ and any payment of salary to the nanny for these days is at the employer’s discretion. On the fourth consecutive day, SSP is paid instead of, or as part of, the nanny’s normal rate of pay, for up to 28 weeks.

Nannies who have jobs with more than one family may get SSP from each employer.

How it is paid

SSP is paid in the same way as the nanny’s normal salary (weekly or monthly), a payslip is provided as normal and Tax and National Insurance will be deducted in the usual way.

Who can and cannot qualify

To qualify nannies must:

  • be classed as an employee and have done some work for their employer
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days)
  • be earning at least the Lower Earnings Limit
  • inform their employer within 7 days or by their employer’s deadline (if they have one stipulated in the Employment Contract)

Nannies cannot qualify if:

  • they have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
  • have taken 3 years or more ‘linked periods’ of sickness – where 4 or more days of sickness happen within 8 weeks of each other
  • are getting Statutory Maternity Pay

Reclaiming SSP

You can reclaim up to 2 weeks’ SSP if all of the following apply:

  • your employee was off work because they had coronavirus, were self-isolating or shielding
  • your PAYE payroll scheme started on or before 28 February 2020
  • you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

You can reclaim up to £95.85 a week for each employee.

You cannot reclaim SSP if your employee is off sick for any other reason.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

Statutory Maternity Leave

Eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. The first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’, the last 26 weeks as ‘Additional Maternity Leave’.

The earliest that leave can be taken is 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth, unless the baby is born early.

Employees must take at least 2 weeks after the birth (or 4 weeks if they’re a factory worker).

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

SMP for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:

  • the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax
  • the remaining 33 weeks: £151.20 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)

Tax and National Insurance need to be deducted.

Use the SMP calculator to work out an employee’s maternity leave and pay.

Statutory Adoption Leave

Employees can take up to 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Leave. The first 26 weeks is known as ‘Ordinary Adoption Leave’, the last 26 weeks as ‘Additional Adoption Leave’.

Leave can start:

  • on the date the child starts living with the employee or up to 14 days before the expected placement date (UK adoptions)
  • when an employee has been matched with a child to be placed with them by a UK adoption agency
  • when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of this date (overseas adoptions)
  • the day the child’s born or the day after (parents in surrogacy arrangements)

Statutory Adoption Pay

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for employees is:

  • 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.20 a week or 90% of their gross average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

Tax and National Insurance need to be deducted.

Calculate an employee’s adoption leave and pay using the maternity and paternity calculator.

Some employment types like agency workers, directors and educational workers have different rules for entitlement.

Extra leave or pay

You can offer more than the statutory amounts if you have a company scheme for adoption leave and pay. You must make sure your scheme’s policies are clear and available to staff.

Redundancy pay

You’ll normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’re an employee and you’ve been working for your current employer for 2 years or more.

You’ll get:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
  • one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older

Length of service is capped at 20 years.

Your weekly pay is the average you earned per week over the 12 weeks before the day you got your redundancy notice.

If you were paid less than usual because you were ‘on furlough’ because of coronavirus, your redundancy pay is based on what you would have earned normally.

If you were made redundant on or after 6 April 2020, your weekly pay is capped at £538 and the maximum statutory redundancy pay you can get is £16,140. If you were made redundant before 6 April 2020, these amounts will be lower.

Calculate your redundancy pay.

Redundancy pay (including any severance pay) under £30,000 is not taxable.

Your employer will deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from any wages or holiday pay they owe you.


You’re not entitled to statutory redundancy pay if:

  • your employer offers to keep you on
  • your employer offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason

Being dismissed for misconduct does not count as redundancy, so you would not get redundancy pay if this happened.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

From 1 April 2021 the National Living Wage will apply if you’re aged 23 and over.

Rates from 1 April 2021

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from 1 April 2021.

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2021 (new rate) £8.91 £8.36 £6.56 £4.62 £4.30

Nannies who are exempt

Live-in nannies are exempt provided she lives as part of the family household, is treated as a member of the family and is not provided with separate accommodation. For employers who provide separate accommodation for their employees, there is an allowance per 7-day week, which can be offset against the minimum hourly rate.

The Working Time Directive

Domestic employees, including nannies, are exempt from the measures concerning working hours but are entitled to a 20-minute rest break for every six hours worked.


We know that your children are your number one priority, finding the perfect Nanny for you, is ours.