Nanny Contract : Do You Really Need One ?

If you’re looking to hire a nanny and have not considered a contract, let’s get one thing straight. You need one.


A nanny contract might seem a bit formal, but there’s nothing more serious than leaving your children in the hands of someone else. Think professionally from day one, and you’re much more likely to find a fabulous nanny who is a perfect fit for your family.


So why exactly do I need a nanny contract ?

When you hire a nanny you are legally an employer, and a written agreement is essential to safeguard the employer/employee relationship. A contract will clearly set out every aspect of the role. Having a nanny contract will help ensure you’re both on the same page, and most importantly, an agreement is vital in the event of any issues.


And what should I include in it ?

A nanny contract is essentially like any other employment contract. As such it should cover all the usual bases – job description, salary, and leave. There will also be inclusions that are very specific to the role, and this is where your child care agreement can be tailored.


As a guideline, a nanny contract might include:

  • Hours.
  • Salary, including overtime and deductions (you will need to deduct tax).
  • Payment method.
  • Leave – annual and sick.
  • Expenses (will you provide petty cash or reimburse expenses?)
  • Detailed role description (specific childcare needs, cooking, cleaning).
  • Schedule or timetable.
  • Guidelines for outings.
  • Guidelines for discipline (obviously this is also best discussed prior to hiring the nanny).
  • Length of trial period.
  • Anything else specific to your particular arrangement (do you travel frequently for instance, and require flexible hours?)


Once you have your nanny contract ready, sit down with your nanny to go through it together. Once both parties know what is expected then you should both sign it.


I’m really not that fussed about a contract. What could go wrong ?

Well, we’re glad you asked now ! While most of the time everything works out there are still times, due to lack of communication ( and a nanny contract ), that problems arise.


Let’s just say you’re held up at work for two hours or longer. Will the nanny be expecting overtime? Do you expect them to simply take time in-lieu? What if you have a major disagreement over discipline, or something as simple as you’re unhappy with the snacks the nanny has been giving your children? Do you have a right to dismiss them? Not likely. And you really don’t want to go down that track in any case.


A child care agreement is an important safeguard, and can prevent a lot of issues from arising.


If you think you’ve found a good nanny, you no doubt want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible from the beginning. And that’s where good communication – and a nanny contract – can make a world of difference.


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