Use of the Employee Handbook

The Employee Handbook is designed to provide you (the nanny) with information about your employer and details of your employment. The handbook also contains the policies, procedures and rules, which your employer has adopted and you are expected to follow as their employee.

The Employee Handbook will be updated as and when changes occur. Should any conflict or ambiguity arise between the terms set out in this handbook and those in your contract of employment, the terms in your employment contract shall have primacy – with the exception of obligations pertaining to visa requirements

Equal Opportunities Statement

Your employer will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age.

You agree to abide by the same principles. Your employer will not tolerate direct or indirect discrimination against any person on grounds of age, disability, gender / gender reassignment, marriage / civil partnership, pregnancy / maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

Changes to personal details

It is essential that all information on your personnel records is complete, correct and up to date. Please inform your employer and Koru Kids of any changes in your personal circumstances.

Your personal information is confidential and will not be released to outside sources without your prior authorisation.

Visa Requirements

If you are working under a Tier 4 visa, you must notify your employer and Koru Kids within five working days of any changes in your circumstances which would require the Home Office to be notified, or of any changes to your visa circumstances.

You must inform Koru Kids and your employer of the maximum number of weekly working hours permitted under your visa terms.

You must not exceed the maximum number of weekly working hours permitted under your visa terms.

Pay

Payment of salaries

You will be paid the same monthly salary each month based on what is mentioned in the Nanny Agreement. The Family is responsible for informing us of any variation that should be reflected on your pay (i.e. overtime, sick day etc). Adjustments to the pay (i.e. overtime, sick days) will be paid one month in arrears.

An individual payslip showing gross pay, fixed and variable deductions and net pay will be sent on or before the last working day of the month. 

Families can decide whether they want to use Koru Kids’ payroll services or not. 

  • If the Family uses Koru Kids Payroll services, the Family will have to pay your net salary directly to you via Bank transfer. You will need to give your bank details to the family so they can process the payment. We will collect any taxes, national insurance and pension contributions directly from the family. 
  • If the Family does not use Koru Kids Payroll services, the family will have to pay your net salary directly to you as well as pay the relevant taxes and contributions. 

Deductions from salaries

Your employer will make any deductions from your pay as required by law, as stated in your contract of employment, or as authorised by you in writing. In addition your employer reserves the right to make salary adjustments to your pay where an overpayment has been made or in cases of malicious damage which result in dismissal.

Pensions

Your pension contributions and the contributions of your employer will be made in line with statutory requirements.

Hours of work

Your normal hours are those set out in your contract of employment. They may be varied from time to time with agreement from both parties (such changes should be obtained in writing).  

Holiday Pay

A full-time nanny (someone who works 5 days a week) would be entitled to 20 days of annual leave and 8 paid bank holidays per year. Annual leave allocation would be pro-rated if the nanny works part-time work. 

The annual leave year starts to run from when you start working with a family. 

The nanny can decide when to take half of the holidays. The family can impose on the nanny when to take the other half of the holidays. 

A Nanny is entitled to paid bank holiday if it falls on a normal working day. If a nanny is needed to work on a bank holiday, they would be given time off in lieu. 

If the nanny is not needed for longer than the annual leave entitlement  (for example if the family goes on a long holiday), the nanny will still be paid at the standard hourly rate for the whole of the contracted hours.

If a nanny leaves a family at any point during the holiday year, pro-rated annual leave should be calculated. The last pay should be adjusted to reflect the annual leave allocation. 

For example, if a nanny has taken more leave than they are entitled to within the period worked, this would be deducted from their last pay unless the holidays taken were imposed by the family and not chosen by the nanny. 

Time off should be agreed with the family in advance.

Taking Unpaid Holiday

If you wish to take unpaid holiday you must discuss this with your employer well in advance. Their decision regarding the request will be based around their childcare needs.

Sickness & Absence

Sickness & Absence Policy

If you’re feeling unwell, please inform your employer as soon as possible so they can make other child care arrangements, and don’t come in to work.

Please also read our advice for nannies about Coronavirus which you can find here.

You should inform both your employer and Koru Kids as early as possible by phone. Try to do this the night before, if possible. At the latest this should be by 7 am on the day of your shift.

When reporting your absence you should give a clear indication of the nature of your illness and the likely date of your return to work.

Our top priorities are to keep our families and nannies safe and healthy, and to help public health authorities fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It is essential to follow the official NHS advice.

If you become eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, this will be administered directly by Koru Kids, not your employer.

Both your employer and Koru Kids will respect the confidentiality of all information relating to any employee sickness and such information will be held in line with data protection legislation. Your employer has outlined how they will process any personal data they hold on you via the Koru Kids privacy policy, under the section: ‘sharing of data’.

Certification

Sickness certificates are required for absences and should cover all calendar days, including work days, weekends, public holidays and any days not normally worked. You do not need to provide a certificate if you are self isolating due to symptoms of Covid-19.

A self-certification may be made for the first 7 calendar days of absence. From the 8th day onwards a medical certificate is required.

A final Doctor’s statement giving the date on which you will be fit to resume work must be given to your employer (or via Koru Kids) prior to your return to work.

If your absence is not continuously covered by a self certificate, Doctor’s statement or in-patient certificate, it may be treated as unauthorised absence and dealt with using the Disciplinary Policy.

Return to Work

On return to work your employer will have an informal discussion with you in order to establish:

  • The reason for and cause of your absence
  • Your fitness to return to work.
  • Whether you need any support to return to work

They may ask you to provide a written self-certification, detailing:

  • the reason you were off — including information about your illness or injury;
  • causes of your illness or injury;
  • dates your sickness started and ended

A ‘fit for work’ certificate is required should you wish to return to work before your medical certificate runs out.

Sent Home

If while you are at work you decide that you are unwell and need to go home, you must inform your employer and get their permission first. You must not leave a shift early without the express permission of your employer, and the safe handover of the child’s care to the next designated adult.

If you have worked less than 50% of your working hours for that day before going home, the remaining hours may be classed as absence and form part of your absence record.

Medical, Dental or Optician Appointments

Where possible medical appointments should be made outside of working hours. Where attendance for a medical or hospital appointment necessitates a complete day’s absence from work, this will be treated as sick leave and the procedure for self-certification should be followed. Give your employer as much advance notice as possible in these circumstances.

If you work as a nanny full-time and cannot attend medical appointments outside of working hours, you should discuss and agree with the family whether it is suitable to take the child(ren) with you, or whether the family is happy to give you some time off for it. 

Absence during pregnancy

Pregnancy related absence will be dealt with separately from sickness absence in accordance with the Statutory Maternity Pay regulations.

Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay

In accordance with the government’s eligibility requirements, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when you are absent from work due to sickness. The main features of the scheme are:

  • the first three days of incapacity are unpaid (called ‘waiting days’).
  • SSP is paid for up to 28 weeks.
  • once SSP is exhausted, an employee normally transfers onto benefits paid directly by the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • if two periods of sickness are separated by less than eight weeks (56 days) then they are linked and the employee need not serve the waiting days again.

Koru Kids will assess your eligibility and administer any relevant Statutory Sick Pay in the eventuality it is required.

Time off

Special Leave Arrangements

Sympathetic consideration will be given to any hardship, difficulty or special circumstances which might necessitate a request for absence from work on compassionate grounds. Such circumstances might include bereavement or severe illness of a close relative or dependant.

Antenatal care

All pregnant employees are entitled to time off with pay to keep appointments for antenatal care. Antenatal care may include relaxation classes and parent-craft classes made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, midwife or health visitor.

Except for the first appointment, you must show your employer, if requested, a certificate from a registered medical practitioner, midwife or health visitor, confirming the pregnancy together with an appointment card or some other document showing that an appointment has been made.

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption

All qualifying employees are entitled to statutory maternity, statutory paternity, and statutory adoption leave and pay. A qualifying employee must request and take leave according to the statutory procedure. Find out more here.

Time off to deal with a family emergency

All employees are entitled to a reasonable time off work without pay, to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. For example, if a dependant falls ill or is injured, if care arrangements break down, or to arrange or attend a dependant’s funeral.

Time Off for Public Duties

Employees who hold certain public positions will be allowed reasonable time off with pay to perform duties associated with that position. The amount of time off allowed will be at the discretion of the employer .

Performance and Behaviour at Work

Appearance

Your employer does not seek to inhibit individual choice in relation to your appearance. However, you are expected to dress appropriately at all times in relation to your role, and to ensure that your personal hygiene and grooming are properly attended to prior to presenting yourself at work.

If you have any queries about what is appropriate, these should be raised with your employer.

Equipment or facilities

Any equipment or facilities belonging to your employer, to which you are given access, must only be used for the purposes of your work for them. If, for any reason, personal use is made of these items then arrangements must be made to pay the cost price of all services used. Abuse of these facilities will be considered a potential disciplinary matter.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

You must not disclose any confidential information either while employed or after having left your employer, unless specifically given permission to do so. You must be aware of and comply with your responsibilities under the 2018 Data Protection Act. Any breach of confidentiality will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedures and may lead to dismissal.

Smoking

In the interests of the health, safety and comfort of the children in your care, your employer operates a no smoking policy. Smoking during your shift will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

Consumption of alcohol and drug abuse

Your employer forbids the consumption of alcohol and use or storage of drugs on its premises nor will it permit any employee to work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any such instances will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure and may lead to your summary dismissal.

Professional conduct and public statements

All employees have a responsibility to act in good faith and to promote the good name and effectiveness of their employer. You are expected to be trustworthy and to conduct yourself reasonably at all times. You are not permitted to give press or other media interviews or assist with or be involved in the publication of any article relating to the private or business affairs of your employer without prior consent.

Outside Activities

You must not engage in any activity which may prejudice the performance of your duties as an employee. If you find yourself in a situation where there is a conflict or potential conflict of interest between your outside activities and your duties as an employee, you must immediately report the matter to your employer.

Disciplinary Procedure

The Disciplinary Procedure enables your employer to take appropriate action against you where your performance or conduct is unsatisfactory.

In order to ensure that you are treated fairly and consistently your Employer will endeavour to act according to the ACAS guidelines.

Unless specified otherwise, your employer will adopt the following procedures.

Written Warning

A written warning may be given immediately if it is felt that the matter is serious, if there has been no improvement in standards following a verbal warning or if a further incident of a similar kind occurs. Your employer will invite you to a hearing to discuss the problem and may give you a written warning.

Final Written Warning

A final written warning may be given if an initial offence is very serious or if conduct, performance or attendance remains unsatisfactory following a verbal or written warning. It may also be given if an incident of unsatisfactory performance or conduct occurs following a previous verbal or written warning. Your employer will invite you to a hearing to discuss the problem and may give you a final written warning. The final written warning will state that any recurrence of the offence, or further misconduct of a similar nature within 12 months will result in dismissal. Final written warnings will be kept on your personnel files held by both your employer and Koru Kids.

Dismissal

If, following a final written warning, your performance, conduct or attendance does not improve significantly or further misconduct occurs, you may be dismissed. 

Should you be dismissed with immediate effect, you will be given an amount of notice equivalent to that specified in your Contract of Employment or pay in lieu of such notice.

You will have the right to appeal against the decision but where the notice period would expire before the outcome of the appeal is known, you will be suspended without pay until the appeal process is completed. You will receive a written statement of your dismissal within 14 days of the dismissal hearing. The statement may come from Koru Kids, on behalf of your employer.

At all stages of the disciplinary procedure you will have the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union Representative. You will also be given the right to appeal against all disciplinary warnings.

Gross Misconduct

Gross misconduct includes any action which threatens your employer or their children, your employer’s work or reputation, the people or organisations connected with employer, or members of the public, or which destroys your employer’s trust in you. Examples include theft, damage to property, fraud, incapacity to work through being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or other substance abuse, physical assault or threatening behaviour, gross insubordination, negligence, harassment or any other discriminatory behaviour or conduct which endangers others. It would also cover breaches of confidentiality or professional conduct and inappropriate or misuse of equipment or facilities.

This list is not exhaustive and actions not listed above may also constitute gross misconduct. If you are accused of an act of gross misconduct you will be suspended on full pay for up to 10 working days whilst an investigation takes place. If, after investigation, it is decided that you have been found to be negligent or have committed an act or acts of gross misconduct, you will be dismissed without notice and without pay in lieu of notice.

Suspension

If your employer considers that the matter may result in your dismissal, with or without notice, or that your presence may result in a witness in any disciplinary proceedings feeling intimidated, you may be suspended on full pay. The fact of such suspension will not be taken into account in any disciplinary proceedings.

Appeals

You are entitled to appeal against any disciplinary warning or decision to dismiss. To do so you must notify your employer in writing within five working days of receiving the written warning or other written notification of any decision. Your letter must specify the issues you wish to appeal against or contest. You should copy Koru Kids into any such communication.

Grievance procedure

You are encouraged to have an open and honest relationship with your employer and to raise any concerns about any aspect of your employment in an appropriate manner. This procedure should be used to settle all disputes or grievances which you may wish to raise concerning any matters relating to your employment. The purpose is to settle any grievance fairly, simply and quickly.

Stage 1

If you have a grievance about a matter concerned with your employment you should set out your grievance in writing and send the statement or a copy of it to your employer.

Stage 2

Your employer may respond to your points in writing, or may invite you to a hearing to discuss the grievance. You have the right to be accompanied at this hearing by a colleague or by a trade union official. After the hearing your employer will inform you of their response to your grievance.

Stage 3

If you wish to appeal against your employer’s response to your grievance you should contact them to discuss further.

This Disciplinary and Grievance procedures is not legally binding and does not form part of your contract of employment.

Whistleblowing

If you have any concerns about your employer, you may wish to raise these with Koru Kids. Whistleblowers are protected by the Public Disclosure Act.

What and How of Harassment

Harassment can be defined as conduct, which is unwanted and offensive and affects the dignity of an individual or group of individuals.

Sexual harassment is defined as “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex, affecting the dignity of women and men at work”.  This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct.

If you feel you are being harassed in your role, you are strongly encouraged to raise this with your employer. You should also keep a written record detailing the incidents of harassment and any requests made to the harasser to stop. This written record should be made as soon as possible after the events giving rise to concern and should include dates, times, places and the circumstances of what happened. You may also contact Koru Kids should you require advice in this regard.

Your employer follows the ACAS Code on Discipline, Dismissal and Grievance Procedures.

Health and safety

Your employer has a legal duty to protect your health and safety. Your employer expects you to take care to avoid injury to yourself and others and to cooperate with any health and safety measures stipulated by your employer.

If you spot a faulty appliance, warn everyone to stay away from it, find a safe way to switch it off (if possible), label the appliance as unsafe for use (include the date), and report it to your employer. Typical things to look out for might be discoloured sockets, damaged cables/equipment, or defective plugs. Your employer will then arrange for the situation to be made safe.

If you’re bringing in your own electrical equipment to work, please ensure it’s in a good state of repair and safe to use – e.g. no worn cables.

If you spill something, please clean it up immediately.

Fire Safety

Please familiarise yourself with the fire escapes at your place(s) of work. Ask your employer to outline these on your first shift. If your employer has fire safety equipment (such as a fire safety blanket, or extinguisher), they will show you where these are located and how to use them.

Insurance

Insurance required of the employer (parent)

As your employer, the parent must hold Employer’s Liability Insurance (with a minimum cover amount of £5 million).

Your employer has confirmed their awareness of this requirement with Koru Kids via the Koru Kids Terms and Conditions, and has confirmed that they will hold such insurance for the duration of your employment.

Insurance options for the employee (nanny)

There’s no legal requirement for you to hold insurance (unless you are an Ofsted registered nanny), however you have Public Liability Insurance cover as a Nanny working via Koru Kids (unless you do not meet the conditions).

If you cause accidental damage to non-Material Property then you are still liable for any arising costs (e.g. fixtures and fittings or possessions); and you have two choices in how you handle this risk:

  1. You could ‘self insure’ – this means that if something goes wrong and it’s your fault (even if it’s an accident), you’ll have to pay the bill yourself
  2. Alternatively, you could take out your own Liability insurance which covers accidental damage

Expenses – using cash and cards appropriately

Your employer may choose to give you cash or a prepaid card to cover pre-agreed expenses during a shift. For example, if they ask you to take the child to the cinema, or if they expect you to take the child in a taxi.

Always follow these basic principles:

  • Be 100% clear in advance what your employer expects you to spend the money on, and what the maximum budget is
  • Photograph the receipt of anything you buy (showing the breakdown of items)
  • Return any cash change or the card to your employer at the end of your shift, along with any receipts
  • Never use your employer’s personal credit or debit card. If a prepaid card is not available, ask for cash.

Acceptable Payment Methods

Koru Kids has no relationship with any of these providers, these suggestions are provided for employer reference only. Please note: some providers may charge a small monthly or transaction fee.

Unacceptable Payment Methods

  • The employer’s personal credit or debit card

Lending or borrowing money

It’s not appropriate to ask your employer for a loan or to be paid in advance. This complicates your relationship with them, and can cause serious problems when such arrangements are entered into. Your employer must not be expected to lend or advance your payment in any form.