Nanny or Au Pair

In most cases, a nanny is a childcare professional who looks after children and may or may not live with the family. They are usually classed as an employee and are paid a salary which, unless the nanny lives in as part of the family household, must be at least the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage.

An Au Pair is usually a foreign national who lives with the family and is treated as part of the family for the duration of their stay whilst learning about British culture and attending language courses. They will look after the children for around 2-3 days a week and sometimes babysit for an evening or two. They have meals provided, a private room, and outings with the family. An Au Pair may also help out with elements of housework.

Au Pairs are traditionally paid up to £100 a week ‘pocket money’ to spend as they wish and are not usually subject to the National Minimum Wage.

If the Au Pair is earning over the tax and National Insurance thresholds their employer must register with HMRC and pay. Equally if they earn money anywhere else whilst working for the family or before or after working for the family (within the tax year) then all of the pay given to them must be declared.

In the UK an Au Pair from any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland has freedom of movement and can reside in the UK without any restrictions. Furthermore there is a Youth Mobility Scheme to encourage young people from other parts of the globe to have a cultural exchange in the UK and work as an au pair for up to 2 years. The countries that participate in this scheme are; Australia, Canada, Monaco and New Zealand.

You should always check the status of their right to work here with the border agency before taking them on.