Nanny Pay and the Overtime Rule of 2016

On December 1st, 2016 the final rule for the overtime laws in the Fair Labor Standards Act takes effect.    The rule simplifies overtime laws and makes them easier for employers and employees to understand.

The final rule will:

  • Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.
  • Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.
  • Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.

Nannies, and other domestic workers, are non-exempt and protected under The Fair Labor Standards Act.  Therefore, a nanny who works over 40 hours in a week is required to earn time and a half for those additional hours.

For example, lets say a nanny works 45 hours a week and earns $617.50.   Her hourly salary is $13/hr for the first 40 hours and $19.50 for the additional 5 hours worked that week.

Watch the video for more information on nanny overtime pay and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Health Insurance for Nannies

Health insurance is a big concern for nannies, especially single nannies.   TLC for Kids has found that nannies are looking for health insurance as part of their full time job compensation package.   Offering health insurance to a nanny is possible and a tax free benefit!  Saving both the family and the nanny money!

Here is a blog from Regarding Nannies on the best practices of nanny health insurance.

Q. What does the family need to do regarding documentation to keep the health insurance non-taxable?

A. A family needs to have evidence that the nanny actually HAS health insurance in place, and that the policy cost is equal to or greater than the stipend. The easiest way to do this is for the family to write the check for the stipend directly to the insurance carrier. If that is not possible or desired, the family needs to:

1. Obtain and retain a certificate of coverage that shows the period and amount of the premium. This needs to be up to date, so you may need to do this semi-annually or annually depending on the policy.

2. Either write a separate check for the stipend with the memo clearly stating the purpose (BC/BS POLICY NUMBER July 2013 for example) OR provide a pay stub to the nanny stating gross wages, itemized deductions, net pay, and the addition of the premium contribution to the net pay as a reimbursement item.

Q. What are the tax benefits to the family?

A. The health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages. The employer does not include this in the employee’s taxable wages on the W-2 form, and does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor Federal or State Unemployment taxes on the premium (~3.5 – 4% depending on the situation).

Q. What are the tax benefits to the nanny?

A.  Because the health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages, the nanny does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor income taxes (variable, estimate 15% for Federal and state) on the premium stipend.

A. Are there any audit risks involved?

Q. The biggest risk is that the family is paying the stipend and the nanny allows the policy to lapse. Retroactively this would make the premium stipend taxable, and at that point the family would be on the hook for the employer and employee Social Security and Medicare taxes (15.3% total) as well as the unemployment taxes. This is why it is a best practice to make payments directly to the carrier.

A typical health insurance plan for a healthy single nanny can run $500 or more a month. This is $6000 a year. Many families offer a partial premium benefit at time of hire, and will discuss picking up more in lieu of a raise when the compensation is reviewed.

A family who contributes $3000 a year saves approximately $330 in taxes (11% of the benefit!) and the nanny saves approximately $675 in taxes (about a week’s pay!).


Determining your Nanny's Salary

Often times we are asked, “How much should I pay my nanny?”   This is a very important question because you don’t want to underpay the person taking care of your kids!   The average salary for a nanny depends on a few things.

To set a nanny salary you should determine your average range for your area.   Families in major coastal cities pay more than families in smaller central cities.  To find your average salary you can click on the annual salary survey link on the International Nanny Association’s (INA) website.  They have salaries listed by location.  This will give you a good base salary range.  To see where you fall in this salary range you can look at a few things.

First, a nanny’s salary can depend on her education or experience.  Nannies with previous experience working for families are highly coveted and will be at the top of a salary range.  Also, nannies with a background in education or child development will be at the top of a pay scale.

Nannies starting their career with a family will have previous childcare references and earn closer to the average range.

Second, job responsibilities also play a big factor in the salary of a nanny.  When determining a nanny salary a family should also look at the number of children, the hours and the household needs.  Asking a nanny to do more housework will also require a higher salary.

Once a salary has been set it should be agreed upon by both parties and reviewed annually if not more based upon changes throughout the year.

If you have any questions on nanny salaries please let us know.