You have a nanny to care for your kids. But you don’t necessarily want them home all day. You’d like her to take them to the park or library, which may require the nanny driving. Or, your children are involved in activities like sports or music and they need to be transported to practices and lessons.
If your nanny will be driving your children, here are steps provided by GTM, Aunt Ann’s preferred household payroll service, to ensure:
- your children stay safe
- you or your nanny have adequate insurance in case of an accident
- you properly handle gas and other expenses
Determine If They Are a Good Driver
Ask your nanny to provide their driving record, which they can obtain from your state’s department of motor vehicles. This will show all traffic violations, convictions, accidents, suspensions, and license expirations for a least the last three years. There may be a small fee involved depending on where you live.
You could also ask your nanny for a copy of their driver’s license and ask your insurance company to run a motor vehicle report. It may not be a certified copy but you’ll at least get the basics like traffic violations, conviction dates, and accidents. There would likely be no charge. If you know that driving your children is a requirement before hiring your nanny, you can ask driving-related questions of their references.
You may also want to take a test drive with them and check out their driving skills first hand. If you determine they’re a safe driver, ride with them around your neighborhood and on the common routes they’ll take with your children to help them become familiar and comfortable on those roads.
Establish Nanny Driving Rules
Nanny driving rules should be spelled out in their work agreement or contract. Detail exactly how they’re expected to drive with children in the car. Some rules could be obeying all speed limits, no texting while driving, only talking on the phone when it’s hands-free (or not at all), and no other passengers when the children are in the car. You could indicate that only approved trips such as scheduled activities, parks, and libraries are allowed. Or they must get permission first before taking the children elsewhere.
Adding these specifics to the work agreement and reviewing them with your nanny will help avoid confusion and miscommunication.
Nanny Driving a Family Car
It’s ideal if the nanny can drive a family car. That way the safety and maintenance of the car are in your hands. They should be added to your auto insurance policy. To do that, you’ll need a copy of their driver’s license. Even if they’re only driving your car periodically, it’s a good idea to review your coverage options with your insurance company. You could see a slight increase in your auto insurance premium if your nanny is young or has a poor driving record.
Nanny Driving Her Own Car
Make sure your nanny’s car has passed inspection. You may also want to have your nanny’s car inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure it’s safe.
The safety of your children is the top concern. Will their car seats fit comfortably and be securely fastened in your nanny’s car? Does your nanny know how to install their car seats? Will they remain installed in the car even when your nanny is “off the clock?” Is the car clean and free of debris that can become dislodged and airborne in an accident and possibly injure your children?
Ensure Adequate Insurance Coverage
If there is an accident with your nanny driving their car, your children’s injuries would be covered under the nanny’s medical payments coverage and then through the bodily Injury limit on their policy. The minimum coverage for bodily injury varies by state and could be as low as $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident. That may not cover the cost of a serious accident. Make certain the nanny has adequate liability insurance coverage to pay for any injury your children could sustain in an accident.
Also, before your nanny goes anywhere with your children, ask for a copy of their insurance card. Make sure they keep it valid and coverage doesn’t lapse.
Nanny Gets Hurt In an Accident
If there is an accident while your nanny is driving on the job, the incident would be reported to both the auto insurer (either theirs or yours depending on the car they are driving) and to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Remember workers’ comp may be required for household employers in your state. Since your nanny was in the course of employment when the accident occurred, your workers’ comp policy would cover injuries and any lost wages if they miss work. Even if workers’ compensation is voluntary in your state, you may want to consider coverage for situations like car accidents.
Reimbursement for Gas and Mileage
When your nanny is driving a family car, reimburse them if they buy gas or have to pay for parking or tolls.
If they are driving their own car, any type of reimbursement for gas, mileage, and wear and tear on the car, should be detailed in the work agreement. Again, this will help clear up any confusion or miscommunication.
You could reimburse them at the standard mileage rate issued by the IRS. This calculates the cost of gas, maintenance, and depreciation. Your nanny would need to log their miles while on the job.
If your nanny drives a consistent number of miles each week, you could consider flat-rate compensation. They would get the same amount each week to cover their expenses. Just make sure that if anything changes – such as driving more miles or the cost of gas increases – that you adjust their compensation.
Gas and mileage is not taxable compensation so your nanny won’t have to pay taxes on it (or you for that matter).
GTM Payroll Services can make gas and mileage reimbursements easy for you by adding the compensation to your employee’s time card. That’s one less hassle for you. Give them a call at (800) 929-9213 to learn how to make nanny payroll and taxes easy for families that hire household help.