Following the news that former Spice Girl Mel B has filed five separate legal motions, against her former nanny, in a bid to shut down her former employee’s libel lawsuit against her - employment lawyer, Sofia Syed explains the importance of contracts and clear boundaries when it comes to household staff.

Whether these were the potent ingredients that caused the breakdown of Mel B’s marriage to movie producer Stephen Belafonte, is going to be the topic of a fierce dispute between lawyers of Mel B and her former nanny Lorraine Gilles in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Whilst Mel B spends thousands to ‘shut down’ her former nanny’s libel law suit against her, whichever way it goes, there will be no winning for Mel B. Her private life and affairs are strewn across the tabloid press and there is nowhere to hide.

The truth is that if you are looking to protect yourself from cases such as Mel B’s - with household staff should come a set of rules and guidelines, for both parties. You should be aware that whilst they can magically transform your life, giving you precious time to spend with your loved ones and time to do your own thing, they are in your life. They are watching and know your every move, your private affairs, your friends and family, your spending habits and your parenting style. They are the gatekeepers of your private life. You need to ensure there are contracts and non-disclosure agreements in place and clear boundaries between both parties.

If you believe what you read in the tabloids, you cannot contract for the invitations that Mel B allegedly extended to her nanny. However, if you are willing to stand by your own boundaries of privacy and play fair, then a bespoke contract and supplementary agreements to suit your circumstances can go a far way in keeping your private affairs private.