For nannies paid on salaries the federal governments National Employment Standards, sets the maximum hours an employee can work in a week; this is 38 hours for a full time employee.
An employer can’t ask or tell an employee to work more than this, unless the extra hours required are reasonable, which is why most nannies and au pairs are paid on an hourly rate.
Some of the tests to determine if hours are reasonable are as follows:
• the needs of the workplace
• if the employee gets a level of remuneration that shows they are expected to work extra hours
• how much notice they give the employee
• the usual patterns of work in the industry
• the employee’s role and responsibilities
• if the extra hours fit with agreed averaging arrangements.
The strongest case from the above regarding nannies, is the nature of the industry, nannies normally work 10 to 12 hour days.
What’s important to note is, all salaried staff tend to get paid at a higher rate than hourly rates, as there is a general expectation that they will stay back to finish work at no additional cost to the employer when required. This is supposed to be fluctuating system rather than a requirement to work from 8am to 6pm per day.
By the very nature of nannies work, due to their employers own work requirements, their long hours are often fixed with little flexibility, making a per hour payment a better option for both employer and employee.
The question I had this week was relating to paying out accrued annual leave. If your nanny is on a set salary but tends to work 50 to 55 hours a week, all leave and other related hourly calculations are based on the actual hours worked.