Is my nanny taking the michael? Or am I being judgey?

(140 Posts)

We've already had a few talks about time off. She's got 20 days' holiday a year. We're at 27 days off already including holiday still to be taken and 5 days sick/appointments. Some of that time is holiday we're taking, so she has to be off, but she's known those dates for ages and could have sorted her own holiday accordingly (she's young, free and single).

Last week she texted late at night to ask if she could have a.n.other day as she'd got flights wrong, and I said, OK, but we're going to have to start docking pay now as it's getting silly as I have to pay for extra cover/not work. Miraculously the flight sorted itself out.

Last Monday she had an urgent hospital appointment for a problem with her jaw. Fine. But she booked it in the middle of the day which meant there was no point coming in at all. Again, I couldn't work. She then texted to say it was because she was grinding her teeth thanks to stress, and she needed to calm down.

Am I being a beeyatch to think being a nanny isn't the most stressful occupation in the world????

And then at the weekend she texts to say she fainted, was taken to the walk in centre, who told her she was anemic, needs to be on iron pills, and was to take the whole week off.

I'm retraining in a medical field and this was my first week of seeing patients and I was so excited! Am scrabbling round trying to sort things out with a childcare jigsaw puzzle and trying sooooo hard not to text something counter productive and rude back/panic/rage...

WWYD wise MNers?

The DTDs (age 2) love her. She's v good at playing with them. There's some stuff I'm not happy with as she has funny priorities, but not sure that's relevant here?

FatalCabbage Mon 23-Jun-14 09:28:13

20 days plus bank holidays, presumably? Five-day week?

Hard to tell if YABU, tbh. It may simply be that a nanny isn't your best fit for childcare.

MrsWinnibago Mon 23-Jun-14 09:29:32

She sounds flaky.

WeirdCatLady Mon 23-Jun-14 09:29:43

There is a difference between holiday annual leave and sick leave surely?

What does your contract with her say about sick leave and booking appointments?

PandasRock Mon 23-Jun-14 09:29:50

YABU re: the hospital appointment - generally, you get given one, not choose one.

YAB partly U re: holiday too. It's not her problem if you have booked holiday - standard procedure is half time chosen by nanny and half by boss. When we had a nanny, if we took 'exptra' holiday outside this half/half framework, the nanny still got paid - it wans't holiday of her choosing! It was us being unavailable for her to work. YABU to expct her to arrange all her holidays to fit in with what you want (dpeending on what it stipulates in your contract, I suppose).

KoalaDownUnder Mon 23-Jun-14 09:29:58

How long has she been working for you?

And then at the weekend she texts to say she fainted, was taken to the walk in centre, who told her she was anemic, needs to be on iron pills, and was to take the whole week off.

I've been anaemic enough that I fainted and needed an immediate iron injection, and I was back at work the following day!

rubyslippers Mon 23-Jun-14 09:34:14

She sounds unreliable

I've been there with my nanny and it doesn't get better (issues with sick leave)

Yes she was wonderful with the kids but I was always scrabbling for childcare cover

A week off is sick leave - do you pay SSP ? A week off for aneamia seems excessive

Is she young and partying hard? Honestly I've been there and done it

rubyslippers Mon 23-Jun-14 09:35:07

Standard arrangement re hols is 2 weeks of families choosing and two weeks of the nanny's choosing

MehsMum Mon 23-Jun-14 09:36:15

Speaking as an ex-nanny...

She is taking the piss. You don't ask for extra leave. It's not on: you're there so the parents can work, and for you, as the nanny, it's YOUR work and you should bloody well step up to the mark.

Being a nanny can be very hard work - it depends on the hours and the number of children, and how much rushing around there is to do to pick up one kid from somewhere and take another one to music class while trying to make sure the baby gets his lunch and his nap and meanwhile shove the washing in the drier. The days are long, too - but it's an enjoyable job and it's not stressful the way some jobs are.

I think you may need to put your foot down: any extra holiday involves docked pay. If it was just the sickies I'd be saying, poor girl, not having much luck with her health, but the seven days extra holiday and the flight problem sorting itself out makes me think you're being had.

OffLikeADirtyShirt Mon 23-Jun-14 09:36:33

Well if you can't count on her, then soon your and your husband's jobs might be at risk due to all the absences and time off. So why would she not be in trouble with you (her employer)? A big part of her job is reliability.

If she's stressed and has health issues, then you have to wonder about the care she's providing for your son.

Good at playing? Not many people, let alone nannies, are bad at playing with kids.

CecilyP Mon 23-Jun-14 09:37:37

Whether YABU, I think, would depend on whether you think all the sickness is genuine or whether she is just trying it on. Following on from what Koala has just posted, it might be the latter.

But, even if it was genuine and couldn't be helped, if you need 100% reliable childcare, you might be better off with a nursery.

Do you have a partner who can help eith/sort out childcare?

Could the stress be non-work related? Though, many parents find caring for DC, let alone twins stressful.

MajesticWhine Mon 23-Jun-14 09:39:45

She sounds very unreliable. Reliability is the most important thing for a nanny and having a week off because you are feeling faint is really pathetic.

FabULouse Mon 23-Jun-14 09:41:02

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notapizzaeater Mon 23-Jun-14 09:45:05

I'd be querying the anemia thing as well, I ended up at a and e with heart palpitations as I was so anaemic, doctor gave me iron tablets and I carried on as normal.

PixieofCatan Mon 23-Jun-14 09:46:32

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Billygoats Mon 23-Jun-14 09:46:55

YABU in regards to saying she can't be stressed. She may have other factors in her life your unaware of.
Also my sister had a three night hospital stay after an anaemic related episode so whilst we can't be sure on your nanny's health it is possible.

But for everything else YANBU. She is treating it like a Saturday job by cancelling her 'shifts' etc. she doesn't sound particularly professional.

WooWooOwl Mon 23-Jun-14 09:48:52

She sounds flakey and unreliable, you are not being horrible to not want to employ someone you can't count on.

The fact that her flights miraculously sorted themselves after you told her you'd be docking pay is a great big shiny indicator that she's taking the piss.

Give her notice and look for someone who has some respect for you.

Hogwash Mon 23-Jun-14 09:49:11

I'm not sure I would want a nanny liable to faint and knock herself out in charge of two year old twins. But one week doesn't sound very long to get over anaemia - I know when my iron was low when I was pregnant, it took weeks to get back up.

Presumably she has a contract with you if she is your employee (or should do) - I would check that covers extra holidays/sickness.

MollySolverson Mon 23-Jun-14 09:50:20

You wouldn't be stressed looking after someone else's 2 year old twins all day? Riiiight.

The anaemia thing was a bit hmm, you don't need a whole week off, even if you do faint. However the rest yabu. Sick leave is on top of annual leave, you can't expect her to fit her sickness into her prebooked holiday time.

The hospital app, as someone else mentioned, isn't her fault, you get what you're given.

When you rely on one person for all your childcare you can't be THAT surprised if that person is occasionally unavailable

Yes, 20 days plus bank hols. I think going forward that might be a good plan re 50% hols chosen by us, 50% up to them. At least it's clear then. And if we take extra, they get paid. But if they do, they don't.

Re appointments, yes, I know IABU. You get what the hospital gives you. But the way she positioned it was that it was mega urgent, I thought she'd broken her jaw or something. It's just sore because she grinds her teeth. Most of us do!

I know there's a difference between hols and sick leave. She does get sick pay in the contract. But there's no difference to me IYSWIM - am in the poo whichever it is!

Argh. I need to calm down, don't I. DP's working abroad all this week. Law of Sod!!!

PixieofCatan Mon 23-Jun-14 10:02:00

OP - She got given an appointment and took it, leave off the appointments because actually, it doesn't matter what the appointment was for, it's none of your business. I certainly don't tell my employer all of the details of my medical appointments.

Does she get SSP in the contract, because that only kicks in after a week IIRC? And even then, it's not much, so with all the sick days she won't need to be paid. Do check that though.

And what does your contract say about holidays?

PixieofCatan Mon 23-Jun-14 10:03:12

woo She can't just give notice. The nanny has rights. Unless she changes the job in some way, then offers it to her nanny first (and the nanny declines), she'll have to go through disciplinary measures to replace her.

fledermaus Mon 23-Jun-14 10:08:42

Only if she's been employed for more than 2 years Pixie - you have very limited employment rights with less than 2 years, the employer can just give you notice.

Right. Have just got a text from her saying 'Still very tired. Aim to be in next Mon. Hope girls OK.'

Aim? AIM?! I KNOW I am being harsh and judgey. I think part of the issue is my new field is brain injury so I'm dealing with people who've taken out half their frontal lobe, instead of sore teeth and feeling a bit tired.

We do have a contract. In it it says either side can give a month's notice. There's nothing about disciplinary procedures (it was a copy and paste from Nannytax). Should I cover myself with a written warning do you think? I COULD change the job, as was thinking a nursery/part time nannyshare combo might work better anyway as then the twins would meet other kids, which would mean only needing someone for 2 days a week. So would I make the position redundant and then re-advertise and invite her to apply?

This what it says about Sickness:


9.1The Employer will operate Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) in accordance with statutory provisions. Any payment over and above SSP will be made at the absolute discretion of the Employer. Any sick pay operated under the Employer’s Sick Pay Scheme will be paid on a discretionary basis. Each payment is based on its own merits and shall not be considered a precedent for any further sick leave.


10.1On the first day of any sickness absence you must inform the Employer of your sickness at the earliest possible opportunity and if practicable by 7am. Details of the nature of your illness must be given including the day on which you expect to return to work. You must inform the Employer as soon as possible of any change in the date of your anticipated return to work.

10.2Sickness absence of up to and including seven consecutive days must be fully supported by a self-certificate which the Employer will supply and thereafter by one or more doctor’s certificates provided to the Employer at intervals of no more than seven days during the period of sickness absence.


11.1All medical information will be kept confidential. You may be required to give your consent to any medical reports or records kept by your GP being sent to the Employer to investigate your fitness for the job.

11.2The Employer may require you to undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner nominated by it at any stage of your employment. The costs will be met by the Employer and you will co-operate in the disclosure of all results and reports. The Employer will only request this where reasonable to do so.

11.3Until the Employer is satisfied with the outcome of their enquiries, the Employer reserves the right to withhold all or part of any discretionary sick pay and if the circumstances warrant it, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

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