As of last week’s budget, if you employ a nanny in the UK and fail to pay employer’s national insurance, or to set up PAYE income tax payments for him/her, you will have to pay all the missed tax and an equivalent fine.
As the Times points out, the average gross salary for a nanny inLondonis £27k. When this is covered out of taxable earnings and employers’ NICs are paid on top, the total cost is £37k.
Understandably, this is causing a fuss. If you’re a mother (without a househusband or helpful grandparent) working in financial services, you probably need to earn at least £80k to make it all worthwhile. That rules out a lot of women from roles in the middle office which involve long hours without compensatory high pay.
“The amount I pay my nanny in tax, national insurance and wages out of my post-tax wage is equivalent to the full-time salary of my husband, who is head of department at a state secondary school,” Jenny, a ‘City professional,’ complains to the Financial Times.
Compare this, however, to Singapore. There, you can apparently get a maid for £250 a month, in return for which she will work every single day of the week. Amongst some expats in Singapore, there is currently outrage at the suggestion that said maid might need to have one day off in seven.
Even if you happen to think Singaporean maids ought to be treated to some time of their own, they remain around 90% cheaper than nannies are in London. If you’re a woman working in financial services, the way forward seems clear.