This document is a template contract for newborn expert services (i.e. maternity nurse and night nanny services) which can be adapted and used for hiring newborn experts on a contract basis for a fixed term. It also includes handy commentary on provisions that might be a bit harder to understand.
Purpose of maternity nurse or night nanny contract
A contract for services is used to document the relationship between a supplier of services (in this case, the newborn expert) and a client or customer. Amongst other things, it documents the obligations of both parties, the length of the agreement, and the agreement relating to fees and payments. If anything is uncertain or unclear over what the newborn expert should or should not be doing, or what they are owed at any point, then the contract is a very useful reference point. Having a formal contract ensures that both parties’ rights and obligations are clear, and that ultimately both parties are protected.
Please note that this is not an employment contract.
Tamarin Group Limited (trading as myTamarin) has prepared this document in conjunction with a legal advisor – but please note that myTamarin is not a legal advisor and does not offer legal advice and does not guarantee this document in any way. Therefore, if you feel you need legal support with hiring a newborn expert, then please ensure you seek it from a qualified professional. myTamarin will take no responsibility or liability for any matters arising from this template contract.
A contract must include key information about both parties, which this first section is all about.
This is an agreement for services between:
This agreement is made up of two parts: (1) the Services Summary, and (2) General New-Born expert Services Terms, and both parts form an equal part of the agreement. However, if there is any inconsistency between them, then the Services Summary will be taken to be correct.
BY SIGNING BELOW, EACH OF THE CLIENT AND THE NEW-BORN EXPERT AGREE THAT THIS IS LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT, AND BOTH PARTIES AGREE TO COMPLY WITH ALL PARTS OF IT.
PART 1: SERVICES SUMMARY:
[insert type of newborn expert, e.g. Night Nanny, Maternity Nurse]
Address of work
The Client’s Home address: [insert]
or such other location as may be reasonably requested during this agreement (such as the homes of relatives living nearby).
Start date: [insert]
From: [insert, e.g. from 1 March 2021]
To: [insert, e.g. 1 April 2021]
Contracted hours and schedule during contract period
The parties agree the following provisional schedule during the contract period: [e.g. 24/6 with Saturdays off OR 9pm to 7am four times a week from Sunday to Wednesday]
For 24h bookings, the Newborn expert will be on call to provide services 24 hours a day, subject to agreed break times.
The New-born expert will be paid £ [insert, e.g. 240] per [insert, e.g. each 24h day]
The fee for 24-hour shifts is expressed as a daily rate (e.g. £220 per any 24h period), otherwise as an hourly rate (e.g. £18/hour).
£[insert] for the full Booking. [The total expected remuneration should be calculated; this will also determine the amount of the deposit to be paid.]
The Client is not responsible for payment of the Newborn expert’s personal taxes, national insurance contributions or similar.
It is important to note that newborn experts typically work on a self-employed basis, and are responsible for their own taxes.
The Client will pay a deposit of 20% of the newborn expert’s gross remuneration that will be paid for the contract period into an account managed by myTamarin in accordance with the section marked ‘Deposit terms’ in Part 2 below. For bookings of shorter than 6 days, the deposit amount will be the total remuneration for the Booking. Terms relating to the return of the deposit are also set out below.
Total deposit amount: [specify amount - 20% x gross remuneration]
myTamarin holds the deposit from when the booking is agreed and throughout the booking. Normally, the deposit is returned back to the client at the end of the booking, please see further provisions below.
Secondary contact details
If the Client is not contactable, the Newborn expert may and should contact the following individual(s):
Relationship to client: [insert]
Phone number: [insert]
The Client’s doctor details are: [insert]
Name and number: [insert]
PART 2 - GENERAL NEWBORN EXPERT SERVICES TERMS
Definitions and interpretation
Booking means a booking for the Newborn expert’s services by the Client made using the myTamarin Platform.
Client means the client listed in the Services Summary, and references to a client or clients are presumed to fall within this definition.
myTamarin means Tamarin Group Ltd, a company registered in the United Kingdom with company number 10838444 and registered office at 2 Woodberry Grove, Finchley, London, N12 0DR. myTamarin is not a party to this agreement.
myTamarin Platform means the online web platform or application operated by myTamarin, upon which certain aspects of this agreement are facilitated.
Newborn expert means the new-born expert listed in the Services Summary above, and includes all types of new-born experts and nannies, including experts, night nannies, sleep consultants and doulas.
Parties means the Client and the New-born expert together.
Terms generally will be given their natural meaning and be interpreted in the context of this agreement generally. For example, references to the baby are to the baby which the Newborn expert is being contracted to look after.
Newborn expert’s general duties
The Newborn expert’s general duties include, but are not limited to the following:
- To keep herself in good hygiene and cleanliness at all times;
- To be aware of the baby’s health, well-being and any special requirements he/she may need and to advise the Client accordingly;
- To help with establishing a good feeding and sleeping routine, according to clients’ wishes;
- To administer, organise or assist with all feeds;
- To advise the client on all aspects of breast feeding, expressing and/or bottle feeding;
- To look after baby’s hygiene, including to bathe the baby daily or when necessary, depending on the baby’s health and clients’ requirements;
- To sterilise all equipment and make-up the baby’s milk if/when the client is not breast-feeding;
- To take the baby for walks in the fresh air when weather permits (except in the case of night nannies);
- To keep the baby’s room tidy;
- To assist with looking after the client after the birth;
- To keep the Client regularly and fully updated;
- Special requirements / wishes [to be added here after agreeing with the expert].
For the avoidance of doubt, the Newborn expert’s duties do not include any of the following: cleaning, washing, ironing or cooking for the Client or any family members other than the newborn baby or babies, unless expressly and specifically agreed upon between the Client and the Newborn expert.
The above are the common duties of newborn experts. Parties can agree otherwise, however we do not recommend changing this section much as it can alter the nature and the intent of the job.
Accommodation and Food
In the case of Night nannies: The Client will provide the Newborn expert with suitable resting arrangements, (e.g. a bed or a sofa) either in the baby’s room or elsewhere in the Client’s home.
When newborn experts live in with the family, food arrangements differ. Common arrangements include the newborn expert adding their preferred foods to the family's weekly grocery shop, helping themselves with the food in the kitchen or pantry, or getting a small stipend for food. Occasionally families will be ordering food / meals in. Both parties should discuss their preferred arrangements before they sign the contract to prevent any issues down the road.
The Newborn expert is entitled to a 3-hour break per a 24-hour period, unless otherwise agreed between the parties, and any breaks will be taken at times mutually agreed between them.
The break is typically taken as a block, allowing a nurse to have a proper rest. Most often those breaks are taken in the mornings. Occasionally, nurses will be willing to split their break into multiple periods, but this should be their own choice. Please note that the periods when the baby sleeps don’t count as a break for the nurse, unless it’s a designated break time for them, and they don’t have any responsibilities with the baby at that time.
When nurses are working days-only or nights-only, the breaks are not mandatory, however they would naturally need some time for personal hygiene, hydration and feeding.
The Newborn expert will only administer prescription or over the counter medicine to the baby on the written advice of a health professional and with the Client’s signed permission as follows:
Prior to administration of medicines the Client will write a signed permission for the Newborn expert to administer medicine, which includes the date, full name of the baby, medicine to be given, reason why the medicine is being administered, dosage, frequency and method in which the medicine is administered.
The Newborn expert will then keep a written record of every time the medicine is administered, which both parties agree will be signed by both the Newborn expert and the Client.
It’s important that parents and nurses are fully aligned on the administration of both prescription and over the counter medicines.
In consideration for the Newborn expert’s services, the Client agrees to pay the Newborn expert the amounts detailed in the Services Summary in accordance with the payment terms below.
Payment process and terms
To make the payment and the deposit process as simple and streamlined as possible for both, the parties agree that payments will be managed through a Direct Debit provider instructed by myTamarin (e.g. GoCardless).
Step 1: The Client agrees to set up the Direct Debit through myTamarin within 48 hours from an offer of employment or contract for services being accepted by the Newborn expert, or by 5pm on the day before the start date of the services, whichever is sooner, or else the Newborn expert is not obliged to start providing her services.
Step 2: The Client agrees and authorises the agreed deposit to come from the Direct Debit.
Step 3: Thereafter, the Client agrees to make and/or authorise payments to the New-born expert via weekly Direct Debit in conjunction with the rules of the myTamarin Platform.
The Newborn expert will keep a timesheet of all hours worked, which she will submit to the Client and myTamarin weekly. Once confirmed, the corresponding amount will be charged to the Client with the Direct Debit and paid to the New-born expert.
Third party fees
The Client agrees and acknowledges that fees due to the Newborn expert will be distinct and separate from any additional fees it owes to myTamarin or any other third-party providers, whether being paid out of its Direct Debit or otherwise.
Cancelling Direct Debit before all amounts due are paid
The Client agrees and acknowledges that it will under no circumstances cancel the Direct Debit in order to prevent payments being made or released to the Newborn expert, or any third party associated with the Newborn expert (such as myTamarin) in respect of services which have been delivered. If the Direct Debit is cancelled or otherwise declined or not collected in such circumstances, the Client agrees that (i) its deposit will be non-refundable, and (ii) it will pay any outstanding amounts due to the Newborn expert (along with any fees it separately owes to any third party providers such as myTamarin) immediately to myTamarin as a nominee for the applicable indebted parties.
All payments are administered via the myTamarin payment platform. Each week, myTamarin will confirm the hours worked during the previous week with both the parents and the nurse. The parents will then be invoiced the corresponding amount, which will be collected via a direct debit, and the nurse will be paid her wage. That way, we guarantee a good experience for both parties. The nurse always gets paid the correct amount on time, and the parents don’t have to deal with the extra admin burden of payment processing. We also remove the awkward moments when parents forget to pay, and the nurse has to remind them.
A direct debit must be set up in order to secure the booking.
In consideration for the Newborn expert’s services and in order to secure the Booking, the Client agrees to pay the agreed deposit as set out in the Services Summary into a nominated myTamarin account by Direct Debit (or such other agreed payments provider) in accordance with this agreement and using the details and instructions provided on the myTamarin Platform.
Once the Booking is confirmed and the Client has set up the Direct Debit in accordance with this Agreement, the deposit will automatically be debited from the Client’s account within 24 hours unless the Client pays the deposit into an account designated by myTamarin.
If the deposit is not paid in accordance with this agreement, the New-born expert will not be obligated to provide the services set out in this agreement and will be entitled to end it.
Deposit Holding and Return
Both parties agree and authorise myTamarin, as an external third party, to hold the deposit in its nominated account until the Booking is completed and return it to Client’s designated bank account within 30 days from the completion date of the Booking, subject to these terms.
Use of Deposit and Disputes
Both parties agree and acknowledge that the deposit may be used for any outstanding payments due to the New-born expert, and mutually now agree that myTamarin may adjudicate on any dispute relating to the deposit and that any adjudication decision of myTamarin in this case will be final. Both parties agree however that if myTamarin informs them that it is unable to adjudicate on the dispute for any reason, then the deposit will be held until the parties are able to resolve it in accordance with their legal rights under the laws of England and Wales.
Amounts Due to the Newborn expert
The deposit is a separate security in respect of the overall fees. The Newborn expert will not be due more than what she would be owed had the full Booking been completed.
A deposit paid by parents is mandatory to secure the booking and is held by myTamarin. The deposit is released back to the parents within 30 days from the booking’s end date. The deposit is returned in full, unless there are outstanding payments to the nurse that need to be covered by the deposit if, for example, the parents cancelled the booking prematurely and for unjustifiable reason.
Travel expenses from the Newborn expert's home to the Client's home are to be covered by the Newborn expert, unless otherwise agreed by both parties in writing. Where the parties agree that travel expenses will be reimbursed, the Newborn expert agrees to make reasonable efforts to book the lowest fare possible, and will attempt to use public transport (e.g. trains, tube, bus) where and when feasible. When not feasible, the Newborn expert may use a taxi. Both parties agree to use their best efforts to agree transport methods in advance.
In order to claim a pre-agreed expense, the Newborn expert must submit the relevant receipts to the Client for approval, then once approved, submit the claim to myTamarin together with the corresponding timesheet (to enable myTamarin to include the expense claim in the next Direct Debit payment due to the New-born expert).
It is generally expected that nurses will cover for their own commute expenses, however in certain cases, parents should pay for it, e.g. if the booking is outside of the UK.
Bank holidays recognised in England (irrespective of location), 24th December and 31st December will be charged at x1.5 the normal rate.
For 24-hour shifts, this means that one full day’s fee will be charged at 1.5 rate. For hourly shifts, only the hours worked on a bank holiday will be charged 1.5x fee.
Changes and extensions
Changes to the start date
Should the Client need to push back the start date, the Newborn expert is entitled to a 50% stand-by rate for each day between the original start date and the pushed back start date, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the parties.
The start date is subject to the baby being on time, which doesn’t happen very often. Parents often opt for a start date that is a few days after the due date when expecting to have a natural delivery. For example, if a due date is 1st of February, we advise to book the nurse one week after the due date. Often, nurses will have some flexibility to start earlier if your baby is early.
If your baby is late, and the nurse’s start date needs to be pushed back, they are entitled to a stand-by-rate, which amounts to half of their normal fee.
The Client may request to extend the Booking if needed. The Newborn expert will have discretion whether to accept the extension request depending on her availability and/or other prior commitments. Additional deposit amounts may be taken via Direct Debit for any agreed-upon extensions of longer than 6 days.
Cancellations prior to the start date:
If the booking is cancelled by the Client more than 3 months prior to the start date the Newborn expert agrees to authorise return of the deposit from the nominated myTamarin account.
If the booking is cancelled by the Client less than 3 months prior to the start date the deposit will be deemed non-refundable.
If the booking is cancelled by the New-born expert any time prior to the start date, the deposit must be returned to the Client in full.
Cancellations after the start date:
- If the booking is cancelled or shortened by the New-born expert after the start date, the New-born expert authorises the deposit to be returned in full to the Client, and the New-born expert must be paid in full for all work completed.
- If the booking is cancelled or shortened by the Client after the start date, the deposit is non-refundable and the New-born expert must be paid what she is owed for the work completed, unless there was a mutual agreement between the New-born expert and the Client to shorten the Booking and for the New-born expert to authorise return of the deposit. However, it is agreed that the New-born expert will not receive more money than she would have received had she completed the full booking and any surplus beyond that amount arising from the deposit becoming non-refundable will be returned to the Client.
Inability to work:
- If the new-born expert does not or is unable to complete 10% or more of the Booking at any point during it, the deposit will be returned in full to the Client and the Client will ensure that the New-born expert is paid for all work completed.
- For the avoidance of doubt, if the New-born expert is unavailable less than 10% of the Booking, then the Client will not be automatically entitled to return of its deposit for any resulting cancellations by it.
Client reduces the booking:
- If the client reduces the booking by less than 10% at any point the new-born expert will not be entitled to cancel the booking or to compensation for the 10% of lost earnings.
- If the client reduces the booking by more than 10% at any point the new-born expert will be entitled to cancel the booking and claim compensation for the hours not worked in excess of the 10% reduction. For the avoidance of doubt, the new-born expert will never be entitled to compensation that is greater than the deposit.
- The Client recognises that the New-born expert is not medically trained or qualified and can only advise the Client based upon her previous experience with new-born babies. Should the Client have any doubts about the baby’s health then the Client remains fully responsible for the decision to call a medically qualified person for a full diagnosis.
- The Client has the right to cancel the agreement without losing their deposit if they reasonably believe that the New-born expert fails to adequately provide the services as agreed and/or display basic levels of knowledge which may be expected of an individual entrusted with the care of a new-born child. Any disputes in this regard will be dealt with on a case by case basis in accordance with the dispute provisions of this agreement.
- The Parties agree that whilst myTamarin plays a role in introducing the New-born expert to the Client and in facilitating payments under this agreement, myTamarin is not a party to this agreement, and each of the Client and the New-born expert are subject to their own separate legal terms governing their relationship with myTamarin.
- Termination and Responsibility
Things happen. Plans fall apart. In which case, the following is good to know:
- Parents can cancel up to three months before the start date without losing the deposit.
- If parents cancel at any point later, the nurse is entitled to as much pay as she would earn from that point until the end of the booking, subject to the maximum amount of the full deposit.
- In the very unfortunate event of loss, nurses and parents often come to an agreement, i.e. the nurses may give up their deposit. However, given that they probably gave up another job and are then out of pocket, this is not a rule.
- If the nurse becomes unavailable for work and cannot complete 10% or more of the booking, parents can cancel without losing the deposit. Example: Nurse is booked for 10 weeks on a 24/5 basis. She can’t work one full week. Parents can cancel (the rest of) the booking.
- If parents reduce the booking by less than 10%, this doesn’t affect the booking, nor do they have to compensate then nurse for the difference. Example: Nurse is booked for 25 nights. Parents cancel 2 nights (with reasonable notice). This doesn’t affect the booking. However, if they cancel 3 nights or more, the nurse can claim compensation for the hours not worked in excess of 10%. She can also cancel the (rest) of the booking.
This may all seem a little complicated. Rest assured however, this contract has been drafted with both nurses and parents contributing, and finding a middle and fair ground that works for both parties. The above scenarios also cover the most common scenarios that we observe on the market.
Regardless of the previous provision, the parents can cancel the booking without losing the deposit if the nurse is not adequately performing their duties. Please note that simply “not getting along” does not constitute a breach of contract. To prevent this from happening, myTamarin focuses a lot on helping you find the right match as well as guiding you through the onboarding, and through the entire duration of the placement. If things are not going as you hoped they would, we advise getting in touch with us asap. Often, all wrinkles can be ironed out with extra communication.
Termination and Responsibility
The Client recognises that the Newborn expert is not medically trained or qualified and can only advise the Client based upon their previous experience with newborn babies. Should the Client have any doubts about the baby’s health then the Client remains fully responsible for the decision to call a medically qualified person for a full diagnosis.
The Client has the right to cancel the agreement without losing their deposit if they reasonably believe that the Newborn expert fails to adequately provide the services as agreed and/or display basic levels of knowledge which may be expected of an individual entrusted with the care of a newborn child. Any disputes in this regard will be dealt with on a case by case basis in accordance with the dispute provisions of this agreement.
The Parties agree that whilst myTamarin plays a role in introducing the Newborn expert to the Client and in facilitating payments under this agreement, myTamarin is not a party to this agreement, and each of the Client and the Newborn expert are subject to their own separate legal terms governing their relationship with myTamarin.
The Newborn expert will keep all the affairs and concerns of the Client, their household and business confidential, unless otherwise required by law. This clause will survive expiry or termination of the agreement.
This hopefully goes without saying. In practice, baby photos are easiest to be shared, and they shouldn’t be unless parents explicitly consent to that.
This agreement may be amended or modified in whole or part by a written document signed by both parties. This agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties and replaces any prior written or oral agreement between them.
This agreement is governed by English law and is subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
Hopefully, you found the above contract and the explanations valuable. If we can be of any further help, please feel free to email us ay firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our ask-us-anything form here.