Redundancy from a Nanny Job

Redundancy is a term used to describe the situation when your job no longer exists, because your employers no longer need a nanny or because the hours and/or duties have changed so significantly that your role is unrecognisable.

Most full time nanny jobs end when the youngest child starts full time school, but even if your employers decide to continue employing you as a full time nanny you will no longer be needed once your charges can look after themselves in their parents' absence which is likely to happen at some point between the ages of 16 and 18. It is likely that before then your employers will look for a part-time nanny, or a nanny/housekeeper, or use some other form of childcare such as an after-school club.

You are entitled to some form of consultation. This usually involves a meeting with your employer where they explain why they are making you redundant (e.g. they no longer need a nanny) and any alternatives (e.g. instead of being a full time nanny taking the role of a part-time nanny or nanny/housekeeper).

Your employer must give you contractual notice, or statutory minimum notice, whichever is the greater. Statutory minimum notice periods are 1 week if you have been employed for longer than one month but fewer than 2 years, and then 1 week per year of employment up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Knowing when your job is redundant

Your job is redundant if your employers no longer need a nanny at all because the children have grown up or they are using an alternative form of childcare. The fact that your employers still need childcare is irrelevant as long as that form of childcare is not a nanny employed under the same conditions.

Your job may be redundant if the terms and conditions have changed significantly. For example if your employers decide that they no longer want, or no longer have space for, a live in nanny then the role of live in nanny is redundant. They are, however, obliged to offer you the new role - that of live out nanny - without recruiting. Similarly if you are a live out nanny and your employers decide that they need live in childcare the role of live out nanny is redundant, as it is being replaced by the role of live in nanny, then they must offer you the new role and if you have reasonable grounds for refusal you will be made redundant.

If your hours change significantly, for example you are a full time nanny and your employers decide they no longer need a full time nanny all year round but one who works before and after school during term time and full time in the school holidays, then your current role is redundant. Your employer must offer you the new role. The new role must be suitable in terms of pay, hours, similarity to your current job, your skills and experience, and the other terms of the contract and if it is not then you are entitled to decline it without affecting your right to redundancy pay.

You may decide to accept the new role. In this case you are not redundant but your contract will be amended to reflect your new terms and conditions of employment. If your employer draws up a new contract at this point it is important that your previous employment with the family as a nanny is continuous with your new employment. You are entitled to a four week trial period, during which you can give notice without losing your rights to redundancy pay.

If you unreasonably refuse to take the alternative role then you may lose your rights to redundancy pay.

Nannies are usually sole employees, therefore a selection process does not apply, however if you are employed by a company which provides nannies or your employer has more than one nanny who can perform your role then the selection process must be fair. Fair selection methods include last-in-first-out, disciplinary records, performance appraisals, staff qualifications and experience, and self-selection (also known as voluntary redundancy). If you feel your were made redundant unfairly then you may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal before an employment tribunal.

If you are made redundant and then your employers immediately offer your old job under the same terms and conditions to another nanny it is likely that you were not genuinely redundant. In this case you may have a case for unfair dismissal. You may also have a claim for unfair dismissal if you would have taken a new role with the same employer but they did not offer it to you.

Entitlement to redundancy pay

You must have been a nanny for the family for two full years before you are entitled to redundancy pay. If you are made redundant before the second anniversary of your employment you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay.

The amount of redundancy pay you get depends on your age:

  • For each year that you were under 22 you receive half a week's gross pay
  • For each year that you were 22 or over but under 41 you receive a week's gross pay
  • For each year that you were older than 41 you receive a week and a half's gross pay

The maximum length of service is 20 years, the maximum weekly pay is currently £479 and the maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay is currently £14,370.

Redundancy pay, including any additional severance pay, under £30,000 is not taxable. Your notice period, even if paid in lieu, and any holiday pay owed are subject to tax and National Insurance contributions.

You are also entitled to reasonable time off to attend interviews or training that will help you to find another job. Your employer must pay your for 40% of the time you take off during the notice period to do this.

Exception: if you a member of your employer's immediate family then you are not entitled to redundancy pay as a nanny.

Redundancy while pregnant or during maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave

Pregnant women and parents on leave are entitled to certain additional protections, but you can still be made redundant while pregnant or on leave. Your pregnancy, intention to take leave or absence from the workplace because you are on leave must not affect their decision. In practice this is very difficult to prove as a nanny as many families use alternative childcare because they need to cover your leave and may continue to do so because it is more practical or they intended to change in the near future in any case. Your redundancy would be automatically unfair if your employer replaces you with another nanny, for example by keeping your temporary replacement on after your leave ends and making you redundant or by employing a permanent replacement when you go on leave.

Redundancy while laid off

If you have been laid off without pay or with a retainer of less than half your weekly pay AND you are eligible to claim statutory redundancy pay AND either you have been laid of for 4 weeks in a row OR more than 6 weeks in a 13 week period then you can claim redundancy. You must inform your employer in writing of your intention with 4 weeks of your last non-working day in the 4 or 6 week qualifying period. Your employer has 7 days to reject your claim. If it is not rejected then you can write and hand in your notice. Your employer can only reject your claim if you are likely to start work within 4 weeks and you will be able to work for at least 13 consecutive weeks.