When Should Nannies Inquire About Pay?

Working as a nanny brings many opportunities for gratification - helping children to grow and being a key part of their development is why many nannies enter the role to begin with. However, nannies should also prioritise their own wellbeing, and dealing with the financial aspects of the job can be challenging. Beyond the initial salary or wage, nannies should understand how and when it is appropriate to discuss pay increases or address concerns about payments.

In the following blog post, Nannies Matter explains these key considerations. Whether you are stepping into a new role or have been in the position for longer, you should understand when to voice your rights and needs.

The basics of nanny job pay

Before entering any professional agreement, have a solid understanding of the pay structure and your entitlements as an employee. Nannies in the UK typically have their pay salaried, but can be paid at an hourly rate which can be ideal for part-time nannies who may have inconsistent hours. For live-in nannies, the salary might include accommodations and meals, which should be factored into the overall compensation package.

Most nannies earn above minimum wage due to the specialised nature of the work, but they should still be aware of what this is and when it changes to ensure their pay respects these limits.

Understanding the average market rates for nannies in your area can empower you during salary negotiations. Nanny agencies can help to keep nannies informed.

When agreeing on pay, having a written employment contract that is signed by you and the employer is essential to maintaining your rights. This contract should outline your pay, working hours, responsibilities, and any benefits or entitlements like holiday pay or sick leave. Ensuring that both you and your employer clearly understand and agree to the terms in this contract can prevent future disputes and provide a clear reference point for any necessary discussions about pay.

Initiating the conversation about initial salary or wages

Discussing your salary or wages can be daunting, especially when stepping into a new role. However, it is essential to ensure that your professional relationship starts on a transparent and trustworthy note.

The best time to discuss your salary is during the interview process or upon receiving a job offer. This is when both parties are setting expectations and commitments, making it a natural moment for this discussion. Avoid accepting a position before having a clear understanding of what the role promises, including other benefits as well as pay. For example, are you expected to pay for travel costs when driving the children to and from school, or will your employer cover it?

Before attempting to negotiate your salary, research the average pay for nannies with your level of experience and qualifications in your area. Reflect on what sets you apart. Perhaps you have additional qualifications, special needs training, or fluency in another language. These factors can justify a higher pay rate. Be upfront about what you are expecting in terms of pay. If there is a discrepancy between your expectations and the offer, be prepared to discuss why you believe your requested rate is fair. Websites and forums dedicated to childcare professionals can offer valuable insights, as can nanny agencies, such as Nannies Matter, which will fight on your behalf to make sure you get the pay you deserve.

Once you have agreed on a salary or wage, ensure this is clearly documented in your contract, making sure there is no ambiguity about your compensation and providing a legal basis for your employment terms.

By approaching this discussion with confidence, clarity, and preparation, you are setting the stage for a respectful and rewarding working relationship.

Addressing pay raises and reviews

As your role evolves and your experience grows, it is natural to consider the prospect of a pay raise. Regular pay reviews are typical in most professions, and nannying is no exception. It is reasonable to expect an annual review, but the specifics should ideally be outlined in your contract. Some families might conduct reviews after a probationary period, or in alignment with significant changes in the role (e.g. an increase in hours or additional responsibilities).

Avoid springing the conversation on your employer unexpectedly. Instead, request a meeting to discuss your role and compensation. This shows professionalism and respect for their time. Come to the meeting ready to discuss your achievements and contributions. Highlight moments where you have gone above and beyond, completed additional training, or successfully managed challenging situations.

While your focus might be on a pay raise, this is also an opportunity to receive feedback. Being open to constructive criticism can demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and the wellbeing of the children in your care.

Factors that often influence pay raises include:

  • Additional Responsibilities: if your duties have expanded significantly since your initial contract, this should be reflected in your compensation.
  • Further qualifications: additional training or qualifications that enhance your ability to care for the children should be considered when discussing a raise.
  • Cost of living adjustments: inflation and changes in the cost of living can also be valid points in your discussion, especially if your pay has remained static for an extended period.

Approaching the topic of a pay raise with preparation and professionalism can help ensure the conversation is productive and positive. It is about showcasing your value and commitment while also recognising the needs and constraints of your employer.

Dealing with late or incorrect payments

There may be times when issues arise with your pay. Knowing how to address these situations professionally and effectively is crucial to resolving them swiftly and maintaining a positive working relationship.

Before approaching your employer, review your contract and any recent correspondence that might explain the discrepancy or delay. Ensure you keep detailed records of your work hours, agreed pay, and any communication related to payment. This information can be invaluable if discrepancies arise.

If you notice a mistake or have not received your pay on time, bring this up with your employer as soon as possible. It is often best to address these issues in writing, providing a clear record of the conversation. Keep the communication factual, referencing specific details such as the agreed terms in your contract, the dates and hours worked, and any previous relevant communication.

If repeated attempts to resolve the issue with your employer directly are unsuccessful, it may be time to seek external advice. A supportive agency like Nannies Matter offers employment advice to help you understand your options. As a last resort, this may include legal action, which you should not pursue without discussing your situation with the employment experts at Nannies Matter.

Dealing with late or incorrect payments can be stressful, but by approaching the situation with a clear, composed mindset and following the proper steps, you can work towards a fair resolution.

If you find yourself unsure about any aspect of your pay, from the value of your annual salary to tax payments and disputes that may arise, speak to Nannies Matter. We help to pair nannies with families that match their goals and skills, and this extends to offering advice on how to be employable, but also how to get the most out of your role. To learn more, simply call us today on 0800 121 4881, or fill out an online contact form and we will be in touch at a time suitable for you.

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