how to ask for a pay rise as a nanny

A guide for nannies wanting to know how to negotiate salary and how to ask for a pay rise as a nanny.

Professional nannies dedicate their careers to supporting families and ensuring the well-being and development of children. Unlike other professions, nannies don’t have the luxury of a manager or HR department supporting them to establish fair and legal compensation, often leaving them asking “What should I be paid as a nanny?”.

Nannies often represent themselves in negotiations with parents who themselves are trying to understand their employment obligations as their private home becomes a workplace. Even when both sides have the best intentions, the confusing nature of nanny payments can see nannies missing out on important compensation and benefits and risk families increasing their liability with noncompliant payments.

Here’s our comprehensive advice on how to ask for a pay rise as a nanny!

When is the right time for a nanny to ask for a raise?

First, check whether your family has outlined a performance or salary review in your contract. This is a dedicated opportunity for both you and your family to evaluate how the role is going and discuss your nanny pay rate. Typically, this includes discussing performance, wage and benefits, and updating your nanny contract.

Outside of performance reviews, significant changes in the role (such as an increase in the number of children, added job duties like household tasks or family admin, or location changes) may warrant consideration of a nanny pay rise. Whether or not there is a review period mentioned in your contract, you can request one when necessary, just make sure it’s reasonable based on your time with the family or changes to your role.

Let your employer know you’d like to discuss your salary and job performance and schedule a time to meet that is convenient for both, without distractions. This gives both sides time to consider and prepare.

How you can prepare to request a nanny pay rise

It’s essential that you are well-researched and articulate in your reasons for requesting a pay rise.  

Research nanny pay rates – Consider the nanny market in your area to understand the going rate for your nanny services. Research similar nanny positions through local agencies and websites like We Need A Nanny to compare your rate to ensure that your desired new rate is reasonable. 

How much should you ask for? When thinking about how to ask for a pay rise as a nanny, it’s important to consider what your ideal new nanny pay rate should be. The average yearly raise for a nanny is $1-$2 per hour (keeping in line with the cost of living increase, typically between 3-5%). When seeking a nanny pay rise due to changed responsibilities or exceptional performance, a raise might be higher.

Where does the family feel the most value? Consider the value of your nanny service and how it has increased or changed over time. Parents often overlook the art of great long-term nanny and how their support becomes autonomous. Build a list of real examples that demonstrate how your nanny responsibilities have grown and made the family’s life easier. 

Get ready for the conversation

Representing yourself in a negotiation can be daunting, and it’s reasonable to have notes on hand to guide the conversation about your nanny pay rise effectively. 

Here is a small guide to follow when making your notes:

Highlight your contributions and value > State your requested pay rise > discuss your rationale > Negotiation notes.

Prepare to discuss your request with the family. Know your non-negotiables, but be open to feedback. Treat a rejection as a business decision and consider where you’ll compromise.

When asking for a nanny pay rise, you aren’t just negotiating with money

Every day we work with nannies and families as they negotiate and set up their working arrangements. Too often we see an arrangement breakdown due to a misunderstanding of what the nanny pay rate means for each sides. Consider the benefits the family may offer on top of an hourly rate that will provide you with financial security through proper employment.

Which nanny would you rather be?

Nanny A:A nanny asking for $35 per hour cash/contracting will only cost a family $35/hour. 
Nanny B:A nanny asking for $35 per hour as a part-time employee will cost the family closer to $41/hour once they pay superannuation, insurance, and payroll administration and they will be responsible for providing paid leave entitlements.

While both are on the same per hour, Nanny B sees a better nanny salary with benefits and higher financial security as an employee.

Career nannies don’t get paid cash in hand

Being a nanny can be a lucrative career that contributes to your retirement plans.  Whether your nanny work is temporary or long-term, you should expect to be paid properly on payroll – the same way you would working as an educator in the childcare industry.

Requesting employment will help protect you and the family for the risks and liabilities that come with being paid cash in hand and will empower you financially.

When you are a nanny employed as a permanent employee, you receive important benefits like:

  • Super contributions to your retirement fund
  • Meeting your tax obligations with ease
  • EOFY compliance and documentation
  • Accrued annual leave and personal leave 
  • Paid public holidays off for a regular day of work
  • Payslips to provide for rental agreements or loan applications
  • Payslips to provide to Centrelink when applying for paid maternity leave.

NannyPay offers free consultations for nannies who are paid in cash or as a contractor to discuss their career.

Prepare for a “no”

The family may need time to consider your request, so don’t expect an immediate answer. Whether you’re asking for a higher rate or to move to employment, the decision will come down to the family. It can be disheartening to receive a “no”, so be sure to finish the conversation professionally and give yourself time to process the decision. 

If you can’t agree on a pay rise, work with the family to identify future goals that can help measure your progress and understand a timeline towards a pay rise in the future.  

Regardless of the outcome, follow up in writing via email and/or update your written agreement to record the points of the conversation.

Taking time to consider how to ask for a pay rise as a nanny will not only ensure you’re paid fairly for your hard work, but assert that you are a professional whose talents, skills, and training add value to the families who employ you. 

What if the family has questions?

Employment administration can be easily outsourced

If your family is open to introducing proper employment, our team is here to help. Our payroll service takes away the administrative headaches that come with private employment, particularly navigating the ATO. We’ve seen that when families learn of our existence, they find NannyPay to be a comprehensive solution that gives them precious time back.

Outside of us, families might use their accountant to set things up or manage your nanny payroll themselves using one of several software providers that offer DIY options.

Book a call with NannyPay to discuss your nanny pay rates and benefits

We offer free no-obligation phone calls to nannies and families who are interested in making the switch to proper employment. Our team help both sides understand the true nature of their working arrangement, the obligations that come with employing a nanny in the home, and what it means for you all.

Book a call now!

Remember, as a nanny, you provide an invaluable service to families and you’re entitled to advocate for your worth.

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