UPDATE (24th March): anyone with a new continuous cough or high temperature (37.8 degrees or above), however mild, is advised to self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. This also means that if anyone in your household is showing symptoms, you should also stay at home for 14 days. If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible. Read the NHS stay at home advice here. Please stay at home wherever possible.
Our top priorities are to keep our families and nannies safe and healthy, and to help public health authorities fight the spread of the virus. It is essential to follow the official NHS advice.
Please tell your nanny if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus infection (a new continuous cough or high temperature), however mild. Your family should self-isolate for 14 days and your nanny should not come to work.
You should also check with your nanny in case they are displaying symptoms, and encourage them to check 111 online in case they're unsure (do not call 111 unless they are experiencing severe symptoms). If your nanny is experiencing coronavirus symptoms, however mild, they should not come to work.
If you or your nanny needs to self-isolate, you should read the NHS stay at home advice.
Should you wish to discuss the above, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0208 050 5678.
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Am I still allowed to have a nanny?
The Prime Minister announced on Monday 23rd March 2020 that leaving the house is only permitted in certain circumstances. One of these was “Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.” This has since been clarified by ministers and also in recent legislation.
Clearly nannying cannot be done from home, and requires travel, so nannies travelling to work appear to fall within the exception. However, your family should consider whether your nanny is essential, considering the nature of your work and the impact of their travel on society.
In any case, during this period we recommend only one nanny working with one family, with both practising social distancing from all others. We strongly recommend that nannies walk or cycle to the family's home in order to avoid public transport. Alternatively, some families are choosing to drive their nanny by car. Other parents who cannot do their jobs without a nanny and whose nannies face longer commutes are planning for their nanny to live in their house temporarily.
We strongly encourage you to talk to your nanny about their living situation and commute, to make sure that they are following social distancing guidelines. We are also regularly communicating with our nannies about how to stay as safe and healthy as possible.
How can my nanny get to work?
The official advice is currently to avoid public transportation, however it is still permissible for people to go to work if their work cannot be done from home (which nannying cannot be). Many parents are performing critical work, and nannies can be seen as essential workers to allow this to continue.
Of course everyone’s safety must be top priority. If anyone has any symptoms (nanny or family, or anyone in their households), the nanny should not come to work.
Here are ways that other Koru Kids parents and nannies are solving the issue of how to get to work:
- Many nannies are walking or cycling to work, even if they don’t normally. As nannies are working longer hours than usual (often full days), many don’t mind a longer travel time than usual
- Many parents are paying for Ubers for their nanny each day, if the nanny is more comfortable that way
- Many parents with cars are driving to the nanny’s house to pick them up each morning
- Some nannies are preparing to temporarily move into the family’s house for the duration of the lockdown, however long that is. We are working up an extra package of support for these nannies who become ‘live in’, as this is a different thing emotionally and practically to being a live out nanny
Schools and nurseries have shut - what should I do?
Many nannies may be able to continue working or even work longer hours than normal (e.g. full days). Please discuss this directly with your nanny.
If either you or your nanny is self-isolating, or if you don’t need your nanny right now, but think you will again in the future, you can now pause your arrangement with your nanny and pay a reduced amount. Read here for more information.
How can my nanny help me while I'm at home?
We have heard from lots of parents that their nanny is going to be a key source of support for their family over the next few weeks, allowing them to keep working from home. When your nanny is doing a great job in the next room, you’ll be able to concentrate on what you need to do too.
We want to let you know that in turn, we will be supporting your Koru Kids nanny throughout this period. We have three trained, experienced teachers on staff (2 primary, 1 secondary) who will be leading this programme of work.
We will be:
- Sending our nannies activity ideas, and helping them plan their days with the children, in addition to any specifics you’ll send their way. You can find them here.
- Giving our nannies tips on how to navigate childcare while the parents are home (it isn’t always straightforward!)
- Giving them tips on how to support schoolwork, whether online or activity sheets, and how to help the kids stay on task when required
- Further developing our nanny community, helping our nannies get more ideas and support from each other as well as from us
- Increasing our usual individual support to nannies who would like to talk anything over with us 1:1
- Helping families find nanny share to split the cost of a nanny where possible, while still adhering to social distancing
- Emphasising coronavirus safety to our nannies, including frequent hand washing and social distancing in their non-nanny lives
Our top priority is supporting our Koru Kids families and nannies. If you have any suggestions for other support that would be helpful, just let us know by email on email@example.com.
Should I pay my nanny if they can't come to work? What if I need to change my arrangement?
Our strong recommendation is that if you or your nanny are self-isolating, then YES you should continue to pay your nanny, even if they cannot come to work.
If you need to change your nanny arrangement due to Covid-19, click here to find out more information about your options. This includes pausing your arrangement and information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Please talk directly with your nanny at the earliest opportunity, no matter what situation you’re in, so you are all clear on expectations.
What about Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?
Due to the majority of roles being part-time afternoon work, unfortunately most Koru Kids nannies are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). To be eligible, they must earn on average £118 per week - calculated over the last 8 weeks, or if they started before then calculated from their start date.
However, if you think your nanny might be eligible for SSP and they need to self-isolate, please get in touch. If your nanny is eligible then we will handle all of the administration on your behalf.
Please note that our current guidance is that SSP is only payable where the nanny is self-isolating (i.e. they or someone in their household is showing symptoms). We will continue to update guidance as the situation develops.
As you might be aware, the government has recently announced that it will repay all SSP claims for employers with less than 250 employees. We believe this will apply to families employing a nanny.
While our standard policy until recently was to cover SSP on behalf of families, unfortunately due to the Covid-19 crisis and the sharp increase in sick pay claims, we are no longer able to cover sick pay for new nanny arrangements made on or after 20th March 2020. We will still cover SSP for any arrangements made before this date.
We will also be seeking to reclaim SSP as a result of coronavirus for any families who have been affected. Here’s what will happen:
- You tell us that your nanny needs to self-isolate and you think they are eligible for SSP
- We check your nanny’s eligibility based on their recent average earnings. If they are eligible, we will process the SSP through the normal payroll process, and the SSP cost will be included in your monthly invoice. (This process applies to arrangements made on or after 20th March 2020 - for arrangements made before this date, we will cover the SSP cost ourselves and process payment of it to your nanny.)
- We will then submit a claim to HMRC for repayment on your behalf.
- If successful, the claim will be paid directly to you. (For arrangements made before 20th March 2020, we will invoice you separately and collect payment once the claim has been successful.)
As a small business ourselves trying to adapt to this unprecedented situation, we believe this is a fair solution that ensures eligible nannies will be paid SSP, while also ensuring families are not left out of pocket in the long run. Get in touch if you have any questions.
What if my nanny (or my family) has planned a trip abroad to a higher risk area?
The government is now advising British nationals against all but essential travel. You should discuss any upcoming trips with your nanny, especially to higher risk areas.
What if I'm still interviewing nannies?
We currently recommend all interviews to take place via phone or video. You can select these options when booking an interview.
If you or the nanny are advised to self-isolate, please do not have face to face interviews.
Are you still running training for nannies?
All nannies must complete our rigorous online training prior to being introduced to families. This remains unaffected.
However, we have temporarily paused our in person First Aid training and have moved this online instead. We expect to later provide in person 'top-up' training for those affected.
What advice are we giving to nannies?
We are advising Koru Kids nannies that if they or anyone in their household develops coronavirus symptoms, however mild, they should inform the families they’re working with immediately and not go to work. We are also emphasising the need to wash hands frequently as per NHS advice. Click here for full details on the advice we are giving to nannies.
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Should you wish to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0208 050 5678.