All nannies must be paid at, or above, the minimum wage set out in any relevant state award and this includes au pairs. You can get more information at the Australian Government Workplace Info line 1300 363 264
The rate of pay for a nanny varies - depending on qualifications, experience, hours worked, live in or live out, the ages and number of the children cared for, and responsibilities (special needs, allergies, newborns). Typically, nannies are paid at a higher rate than babysitters. Rates generally start around $20 per hour.
Pay rates can also be affected by the demand for nannies compared to the number of nannies available.
Legal requirements relating to pay:
At a minimum, the gross hourly rate for a nanny or au pair over 21 is $17.29 throughout Australia (except for WA where it is $17.52) as at July 1 2014. The minimum hourly rates are reviewed on the 1st July each year.
To hire as a casual or permanent employee? Generally an employee is ‘casual’ if there are no regular hours or promise of ongoing work. So if you employ the same nanny each week for the same hours than they should be probably paid as a permanent employee, even part -time nannies. Learn more here.
Employing a casual nanny requires the casual loading of 25% through Australia (except WA - the rate is 20%) on top of the gross wage. This is to replace the entitlement of annual and sick leave and paid public holidays.
Nannies usually prefer to be paid by the hour rather than on a set wage due to the fact that there is no flexibility in their role on starting times and finishing times, the number of hours worked are usually quite long shifts and the nature of their role often means there is never a time when they are not working or on call.
You can find out about paying income tax for your nanny at Australian Taxation Office – PAYG withholding and household employees.
Child care rebate
Nannies can become ‘Registered Care Providers’ (RCPs) or ‘approved carers’ if they meet certain rules. This means that parents can claim the child care rebate. To become an RCP, a person must complete an application, which can be obtained by calling the Family Assistance Office on 136 150.
Once your nanny works 30 hours or more a week, paying superannuation becomes a statutory requirement. Superannuation is currently 9.5% of gross and will stay at that rate until 2021 and will then increase to 10%.
You can find out more at Australian Taxation Office – Super.
Note: if you have a fixed price that’s inclusive of superannuation, once superannuation is calculated the remaining balance has to meet the minimum hourly rates.
Think about taking out public liability insurance to cover accidents. You might already have some cover if you have a home and contents insurance policy. Under workers compensation legislation, you might also need domestic workers compensation insurance for your nanny. Contact WorkCover in your state for further information.
Employing a nanny
Generally, nannies work longer and more regular hours than babysitters – around 20-40 hours a week.
It might help you and your nanny if you write a job description. It should list everything you want the nanny to do, as well as the conditions of employment. These might include:
- normal hours of work
- requirements for the nanny to do any additional domestic work
- a timetable to guide the nanny’s time with the children, incorporating naps, walks, play, reading, television (if allowed) and so on.
A clear statement of the work you expect the nanny to do can help resolve any future disputes.
As with any employment situation, a nanny who is working with you on a regular basis will need an employment contract. The employment contract needs to be clear about:
- live-in or live-out arrangements
- conditions of employment, such as holidays and sick leave. Be particularly clear about working hours and time-off arrangements if the nanny is going to be living with you. You’ll also need a back-up care plan if your nanny gets sick
- weekly schedule
- transport arrangements – for example, whether the nanny is expected to use public transport or is allowed to use your family car
- reimbursement of expenses
- the behaviour you expect from your nanny. Clarify what behaviour is and is not OK by including a Code of Conduct. Learn more about nanny etiquette
A contract and performance review, as well as a confidentiality agreement, might also be worth considering.