COVID-19

Welcome to our Covid-19 help and advice section.  This area will provide you will all of the tools you require should have any questions on how Covid-19 affects your employment (and personal) relationship with your Nanny. 

This page is designed to complement our phone advice not replace it, so please always feel free to call if you have any questions.  Please refer to the drop down menu for key topic areas of advice.

All NannyPaye clients have been receiving regular updates from NannyPaye.  We have listed these here by date so you may refer to them.

E-shot 24/03/20 E-shot 27/03/20 E-shot 01/04/20 E-shot 03/04/20
E-shot 05/04/20 E-shot 13/04/20 E-shot 21/04/20 E-shot 12/05/20
E-shot 31/05/20 E-shot 28/06/20 E-shot 26/07/20 E-shot 01/11/20
E-shot 15/11/20

The most important subjects and information can be found on the COVID-19 drop down menu above including information on the two newest hot topics 'The Job Support Scheme' & 'The £1000 Job Retention Bonus'.

Please see our most frequent questions below:

How does the new furlough scheme work and who can access it?

The Chancellor announced on 5th November an extension to the current furlough scheme to 31st March 2021.  Under the new scheme both employers who have previously furloughed an employee and new employers will be able to claim or continue to claim the grant.  The scheme has continued to offer employees the same protection of at least 80% of their pay for any unworked hours (up to £2500 per month) and 100% of their pay for any worked hours.  Employers can claim for 80% of the normal gross pay for the unworked hours but not for the employers NIC or employer pension contributions. You can agree with your nanny to furlough either full or part time meaning some work can be completed whilst on furlough.

What date does my employee have to start for me to be able to claim the furlough grant?

Under the original scheme your employee had to be employed and RTI data sent by 19th March 2020. Under the new scheme this date has moved to 30th October 2020.

How do I furlough my nanny?

Please follow the guidance on this page https://www.nannypaye.co.uk/how-to-furlough-your-nanny

How much do I pay my nanny under a furlough agreement?

Your nanny should be paid no less than 80% of her/his gross wage or £2500 per month gross whichever is the lower of the two. We are seeing a fairly even split of employers paying 100% or 80% of the full wage.

How much will the grant refund me?

The grant previously covered up to 80% of your employees normal gross pay (capped at £2500 per month) plus the associated Employer National Insurance and minimum Employer Pension contributions. The grant reduced from August 2020 to only cover 80% of the wages with no additions, then from September and October the amount of refund dropped to 70% and 60% respectively. From November the grant has returned to August 2020 levels thus employer are refunded the full 80% of the wages but again no Employer National Insurance or Employer Pension contributions.

I have made my nanny redundant can I reemploy and furlough instead?

Yes. If you have made your nanny redundant, she/he can be rehired (if mutually agreed) and furloughed by you if they were still employed by you on 23rd September 2020 (i.e. redundant after this date), and you have made RTI submissions on or before 30th October 2020.

Please see Gov.uk guidance linked below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

If I pay my nanny 100% of her normal wage will I still receive a refund?

Yes. The grant will still refund you the 80% of the normal gross wage.

Will the grant now stay at the current level?

The Chancellor has already announced he will be reviewing the grant level in January 2021 and make a decision based on the economic picture at that point. On that basis there is no guarantee the grant will stay at 80% so employers may be asked to pick up more of the cost in the future.

What date do I have to make my claim for the furlough grant by?

30th November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for payroll periods ending on or before 31st October 2020. If you have furloughed your nanny in the months of July, August, September or October you now have until the end of November to claim for these funds.

Gov.uk have greatly shortened the deadlines for claiming your furlough grant from November onwards.  Going forward you will normally have no longer than the 14th of the following month to claim your grant (e.g. you will have until the 14th December to claim any furlough funds for November). Please see published dates below correct at the date of publication:

Claim for furlough days in

Claim must be submitted by

November 2020

14 December 2020

December 2020

14 January 2021

January 2021

15 February 2021

February 2021

15 March 2021

March 2021

14 April 2021

 How do I apply for the grant?

You will need to open a PAYE Online account with Gov.uk which can take some time. We have provided step by step guidance on how to do this in the Covid-19 menu. Once open you can then use our job retention scheme calculator to work out how much you can claim and submit that value.

What is the Job Retention Bonus £1000 bonus announced in July?

Following the extension of the furlough scheme the £1000 Job Retention Bonus has been cancelled. Original guidance was as follows which is now incorrect : The government has introduced a payment to UK employers of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who returns to work and remains with you through (and not given notice) to the end of January 2021. The employee must be earning above £520 per month on average between the end of October 2020 (when the furlough scheme ends), and the end of January 2021. You must pay your nanny every month. Payments will be made to employers from February 2021 and further details about the scheme will be published by the end of July. Please visit our dedicated page about this in the drop down covid-19 menu above so we can guide you more substantively.

My nanny is vulnerable. Can they shield and I claim furlough for them?

This guidance is changing on an almost daily basis at the moment, so please refer to the Gov.uk links below for the most updated advice.

Shielding in its original incarnation has ended however with the introduction of the extended furlough scheme, gov.uk has updated its guidance on the eligibility of furlough for employees that are clinically extremely vulnerable. This has allowed certain employees to be furloughed even if a role is still required to be performed.

Guidance can be found on these links:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

The guidance states that an employee could be furloughed if they are:

  • Clinically extremely vulnerable (at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus) and are unable to work from home following public health guidance
  • Unable to work (including from home) due to caring responsibilities because of coronavirus, such as caring for children at home because of closed schools and childcare facilitates or caring for a vulnerable person in the household

What is the definition of clinically extreamely vulnerable?

People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at a very high risk of severe illness from Covid-19. There are two ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

  1. You have one or more of the conditions listed below, or
  2. Your hospital clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded patients list, based on their clinical judgement, they deem you to be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

If you do not fall into either of these categories and have not been informed that you are on the Shielded patients list, follow the new national restrictions.

Adults with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • those with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • pregnant women with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

Can I furlough an employee because they are sick?

No. Furlough was introduced to help employers that were suffering the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  If your employee is sick then they will normally be entitled to at least Statutory Sick Pay but as the role for your nanny to perform still exists furlough would not be appropriate.

Should your nanny have already been furloughed and then fell sick furlough can continue and does not need to revert to Statutory Sick Pay.

What happens if I accidentally apply for the wrong amount of funding?

If you claim too much funding you should reduce your next claim by that value. If you have claimed too little funding then you should contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222 to alter your claim. If you have no further claims to make and have overclaimed you should also contact HMRC to discuss repayment

How do you calculate the average pay for furlough?

Whilst furloughed your nanny’s pay should be based on either the salary as at 19th March 2020 or (if joining furlough for the first time from November) the salary as at 30th October 2020.

If your nanny was paid variable amounts per month then employees under the original furlough schemes pay should be based on the higher of either their average wage for the 19/20 year (up to the point of being furloughed) or the pay they received in that month in 2019.

Employees entering the furlough scheme for the first time from November 2020 with variable pay should have their pay based on their average pay since April 2020 up to the point they are furloughed.

My nanny returned from furlough on a new contract and I am now furloughing again from November. What do we base the pay on?

A point of some confusion and contention.  The below is an extract from the HMRC guidance published and correct as on 15th November 2020. In summary our interpretation is that should your nanny have been furloughed before, you should use the original furlough amount regardless of her current contract.  If your nanny is being furloughed for the first time then the pay should be taken from the agreed pay in October 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

“You’ll work out your employee’s usual hours (for employees with fixed hours), by looking at their contracted hours at the end of their reference period.

The reference period is the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020 for employees who either:

  • were on your payroll on 19 March 2020 (meaning you made a payment of earnings to them in the tax year 2019 to 2020 which was reported to HMRC on a Real Time Information (RTI) Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before 19 March 2020.
  • you made a valid Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them in a claim period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020.

For all other employees, the employee’s reference period will be their last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020. These employee’s will only be eligible for periods starting on or after 1 November 2020.”

Can my nanny work for multiple employers during the week at different homes?

Yes. All employers must ensure a Covid-19 safe working environment but there is no legislation stopping any employee having multiple workplaces during the week (i.e. Working for Family A on Monday and Tuesday and Family B on Wednesday and Thursday).

How do I make my home Covid safe?

Please review our mailshot https://www.nannypaye.co.uk/e-shot-12/05/20 for lots of practical tips and guidance.

Government guidance can be found here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes

And a risk assessment PDF can be found here https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/assets/docs/risk-assessment.pdf

My nanny is self-isolating for non-medical reasons/reasons not on the clinically extremely vulnerable list/is worried about coming to work. Can I furlough her/him?

You should only furlough an employee if you would have otherwise made them redundant or laid them off. If the role still exists and you require an employee to work in that role, then your nanny should not be furloughed.

What if I or my child need to isolate due to Covid-19?

If any member of your household is suffering the symptoms of Covid-19 then your nanny cannot come to work as per the Covid-19 safe workplace guidance.

If you, your child or any member of your household do not have symptoms your nanny still cannot work in your home if either you or your child have been advised to isolate.  The only exception to this ‘may’ be a live in nanny as she is already part of your household however please contact NannyPaye oo the HSE for specific guidance on this.

In these circumstances employers can consider placing the nanny on short term furlough and accessing the furlough grant if eligible.

When do employers normally furlough a nanny?

The most common occurrence is when both employers are at home for an extended period and can perform the childcare role themselves. This is not necessarily the same as both employers working from home as childcare will often still be required in that scenario.

I have a net agreement. Will my nanny get 80% of her net?

Net agreements are not widely recognised and cause confusion in situations like this (another reason to go gross please). If the employer is paying 80% we have to set the pay at 80% of the historical gross. This will leave the nanny with slightly more than 80% of the net.

What if my nanny refuses to be furloughed?

This question has not yet come up but if it does then our answer will be that you should consider Redundancy or Lay Off as your only other option.

How long can I furlough for?

A minimum of 1 week up to a current maximum of 31st March 2021.

Can my nanny do any work whilst furloughed?

Yes. An employee can return to work on a part time basis from July 2020 and remain furloughed for non worked hours.

Can my nanny take holiday whilst furloughed?

Yes. Guidance has been released (17/04/2020) confirming that employer/employee can agree for the employee to take annual leave whilst on furlough. If leave is taken then the salary must be made up to 100% of the normal pay if it is not already at that level. The employer can still claim for the furlough grant for these days at 80% of the normal pay. If a bank holiday falls on a normal working day whilst on furlough this can either be paid at 100% or the day carried forward to be taken at another time. Due to the late nature of this guidance from gov.uk (after the Easter Bank Holiday) we expect most clients to carry forward the untaken bank holidays.

Can I make my nanny redundant whilst on furlough?

Yes.  Should the role become redundant then your nanny can be given notice of redundancy whilst furloughed. Notice pay can be paid at the agreed furlough rate however any unused holiday should be paid at full pay.

From December 2020 Employers can longer claim back via the furlough grant the cost of the notice period pay.