Nanny holiday FAQs
Nanny holiday FAQs
Holidays might be a bit of a taboo subject this year with the government’s traffic light system in place when it comes to trips abroad but a break from work is still a legal requirement for all employees. Regardless of whether you’re going abroad or planning a staycation, your nanny’s holiday rights must still be observed and it’s something that I am asked about a lot. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on nanny’s holiday entitlement, including some information on what to do regarding amber list holidays and quarantining.
How much holiday pay is a nanny entitled to?
A full-time nanny (five days a week) is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday which equates to 28 days. This includes bank holidays.
A part-time nanny’s holiday allowance and pay is worked out proportionately: if your nanny works three days a week then their holiday will be 3/5 (five because there are five days in the working week) of 28 days which is 16.8 or rounded up, 17 days including bank holidays if they fall on their working day.
How does nanny holiday accrual work?
In a nanny’s first year of employment with you, it’s convention that they can only take holiday once it’s accrued. Holiday accrual starts from their first day, but it will take a while for them to accrue two weeks, for example. A nanny shouldn’t be expecting to go on holiday as soon as they start working for you unless it’s a trip that’s already booked and can’t be moved – in that case, it should be discussed at interview or in ‘getting to know you’ meet-ups. It could be that the nanny starts after the holiday.
If you have a holiday arranged for shortly after the nanny’s start date, then that also needs to be raised early on. The nanny may not want to take holiday at such an early stage of their employment with you and so there will need to be some flexibility on the family’s part. It could be that the nanny starts on your return or that the nanny takes holiday at a later date (which may leave you without childcare for that period).
How do we decide on the holiday dates?
It’s convention to split holiday date decisions equally between both parties, the nanny and the family but however you want to do it, it should be written into the nanny’s contract for them to sign and agree. But, I reiterate, it’s normally a 50/50 split – the nanny can choose when they take their half and the family can choose when they take their half.
Families tend to take their holiday in the school holidays (if they have school age children) whilst nannies are more likely to take a break when it’s cheaper and there are fewer children around i.e. during term-time. This means that there will be a time when you’re ‘nanny-less’ – you can either invite Granny, hire a temp nanny (I can help with that) or muddle through.
If you decide to take extra holiday (say three weeks rather than two), the nanny isn’t obliged to do the same. You will then be paying your nanny for a week when there’s no one home – you can leave child-related tasks to do for the nanny such as sorting through old clothes and toys, batch-cooking, giving the bedrooms a really deep clean.
If the nanny chooses to take longer than their 50% allowance, they could take it as unpaid leave. The unpaid salary to the nanny could be saved by the family or spent on a temporary nanny for that period of time.
What do we do about bank holidays?
On the surface, bank holidays are easy to manage: if they fall on a nanny’s typical working day then they can take them as holiday. But ‘can’ is the important word – they don’t have to take them as holiday and if they have come to an agreement with you, they can work them and take the day or days as holiday another time.
What happens to holiday if my nanny works term-time only?
If your nanny works term-time only, they obviously can’t take holiday during that time but they still accrue holiday. Their holiday allowance is actually added to their working weeks, and they’re paid accordingly. In effect, instead of holiday, they receive pay.
What if we want our nanny to come on holiday with us?
If you want your nanny to go on holiday with you then you should ask your nanny whether they’re happy to travel with you at interview or at a suitable time once they’re working for you (communication is critical in making a nanny and family relationship work so raise it appropriately and be open minded).
If the nanny goes away with you, they are therefore still working, and their holiday entitlement is not impacted: they will have the same amount of holiday allowance on return from the holiday as they did before you all went away.
What happens if we’re on holiday in a green or amber list country and it changes to red whilst we’re away, or if the same happens to our nanny?
If your holiday destination changes from green/amber to red whilst you’re away, on your return you need to quarantine for 10 days and take the required COVID tests (accurate at time of writing – please check the government website for up-to-date information and guidance). As she is well to work but unable to come to work due to your situation, she should continue to be paid until it’s safe for her to return.
If your nanny’s holiday destination changes from green/amber to red and she has to quarantine on her return, then she is entitled to statutory sick pay.
What happens if the nanny is due to leave us and has unspent holiday allowance?
If your nanny’s time with you is coming to an end and they have unused holiday allowance, then you have two options. The nanny can either take the holiday leading up to their leaving date so in effect bringing their leaving date forward; or you will have to pay those days to them as part of their final pay. Your nanny payroll company can help you calculate this and include it in their last payslip and salary payment.
These are the most common questions that I receive but if you have any others, I’m always here to help you. You might find it useful to look at the payslip blog too if you’re new to having a nanny and being an employer.
Give me a call if you need any help with nannies’ holidays and I hope you have a great one this year, wherever you go!