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?

bumpiesonamission Sun 29-Jun-14 14:46:20

Have you heard from your nanny? I think she sounds like a shirker tbh

tryingtocatchthewind Thu 26-Jun-14 08:43:40

Definitely start sickness procedures with her. I had 4 separate days off in 6 months when my LO started nursery as I kept getting the sickness bug from him. It triggered a rule at work so I was hauled into a stage 1 disciplinary and explained I couldn't be sick again within the next two months otherwise it would be a stage 2.
They covered this by saying it was about getting occupational health involved but yes it was basically to scare me into not being sick!

StephenManganiseverywhere Thu 26-Jun-14 08:16:29

Perhaps you should check her Facebook page if she has one?

Tempting, but I would not counsel this at all. That way madness lies. I am a small business employer and although I am chummy with all employees I have a cast iron policy of not being FB friends with them: too much of a hostage to fortune!

whatsonyourplate Wed 25-Jun-14 22:05:46

Perhaps you should check her Facebook page if she has one?

HopefulMum111 Wed 25-Jun-14 16:52:23

I think you should have a chat with her about her health. Say you are worried about her time off and appointments. Maybe she has something wrong with her that is causing her sickness/anaemia. I am assuming you are talking about her year starting on 1 Jan and if so, 5 (or 12 after her week off) is a lot of sickness. Employers have a duty of care and bigger companies would be asking Occupational Health to look for any underlying issues. After you have had this chat, then you can reassess whether she is trying it on.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 25-Jun-14 16:27:19

Make a habit of occasionally phoning rather than texting, preferably from a number that can't be identified.
a) you'll know from the ring tone if the owner is overseas or not
b) if it rings with a UK tone and they answer, then they are not stranded overseas.....

Glastonbury is interesting timing but it's also possible that she found an unusually sympathetic GP. Moving to statutory, or only paying statutory in the first place [esp. since it can no longer be claimed back from the government] and extending a probation period for frequent illnesses or timekeeping issues is a lesson to learn for next time.

Personally I found that sitting down with my nanny and explaining the absence policies which applied to me, that it was holiday or unpaid absences and that my job was at risk was quite an effective tool. In my case though it was my nanny downing tools and leaving the country with no notice for an "emergency at home" which was not related to her immediate family.

Best of luck OP. Hope your FIL continues to improve.

All jobs are stressful if you are in the wrong one. I'd find being a nanny insanely stressful. That's why I am not a SAHM grin and have time to MN during the day.

wombatcheese Wed 25-Jun-14 15:49:08

She is taking the piss. It's incredibly unlikely that she really was told to take a week off because she's anaemic. Iron tablets work slowly to increase levels over weeks. If she was seriously anaemic there would be an underlying cause and she would have not just been sent home with iron tablets.

Crowen85 Wed 25-Jun-14 14:14:39

Let's just say being a nanny can be very stressful it just depends on the parents. In my contract I get two weeks and my employers choose two weeks.

glasgowstevenagain Wed 25-Jun-14 13:26:45

Go and visit her with a nice bunch of flowers smile

Just to make sure she is ok

Amateurish Wed 25-Jun-14 11:09:10

Just give her notice. Don't go down the disciplinary route, you will just muddy the waters. Just explain it's not working out for you, and that you are giving one month's notice (which you are perfectly entitled to do given her length of service).

MrsLion Wed 25-Jun-14 10:59:56

Yanbu. She doesn't sound committed or reliable. I'd start looking for a new nanny.

OldVikingDudeHidMyTubeSocks Wed 25-Jun-14 09:39:34

Week off for anemia the week Glastonbury is on...

You really should let her go. You'll be doing her a favour. If she's genuinely ill then she'll see that nannying may not be for her if she's going to be letting families down for long periods of time unexpectedly. If she's not ill and pulling a fast one she'll realise you're on to her and no longer willing to put up with her shit. Either way it's not fair on you and your family. I'd be furious to be paying for a service I wasn't getting.

Frogisatwat Wed 25-Jun-14 06:51:17

I have reported too in case it helps.

musicalendorphins2 Wed 25-Jun-14 01:04:00

She has really let you down now. I would let her go, and make other arrangements. Someone who has a proven by references, good work ethic.
I hope your father in law will make a full and speedy recovery.

PowerPants Wed 25-Jun-14 00:28:19

Good luck stinking and may your FIL get well again soon. Tread's advice is spot on.

She has to go - she is making your life more stressful, not less.

Molio Tue 24-Jun-14 20:12:33

OP another one here with experience saying she needs the boot, and fast. She's obviously a complete shirker and it won't change. Perhaps nannying attracts these types more than most. You're quite right, nannying isn't especially stressful in itself, it's a pretty soft job. Best wishes to FIL.

Thanks all. Have messaged MN about the identifiable bits. Good heads up! Was a bit caught up in the moment and not thinking things through.

Some really good advice on here so will talk through with DP when I ever see him and I think will defo speak to Nannytax legal (given we used their contract). Unless she blows me away when she's back next week with apology/genuine illness/some sort of acknowledgement of what this has caused and how it can never happen again, I am getting rid, and using this as a learning experience as people suggest ie much more scrutiny in the interview and references and a tighter contract. Interestingly, have had no contact at all today - she said I would be getting daily updates. The last message I sent was a very matter of fact one about a sick note and now nothing...

DFIL is battered, bruised, still v confused, but seems to be getting all the right treatment and tests and they're keeping him in and then strongly urging that he stays with us for a while so we can keep an eye on him. Could have been so much worse.

Thanks again wise people smile.

Cindy34 Tue 24-Jun-14 18:56:57

Do as Tread says. Use the legal advice available from the payroll provider if necessary. ACAS also has lots of info on their website about disciplinary procedures, holiday pay, sick pay, contracts (written statement).

Do the return to work interview, decide if you really want them to continue in the job or not, give them notice to leave (pay the notice if you do not want them to work the notice period).

How long have they been in your employment?
Are they still in probation period? Useful to have a probation period in contracts, as notice period during that time is shorter so either side can terminate if it is not working out.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 24-Jun-14 18:30:49

Excellent advice from Tread.

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 24-Jun-14 18:30:42

Interesting about the flight miraculously back to where it should have been. As for being given* a hospital appointment, there's nothing wrong with contacting the appointment office and asking for it to be changed. I've done that several times and that office is very accommodating. I do know that some 'clinics' take place on specific days of the week though but you can change the time. Ergo, if the nanny were given an 11.30am appointment, she could have enquired about changing it to 9.00am or 4.30pm.

HermioneWeasley Tue 24-Jun-14 18:22:49

Stinking, please, I am begging you, just sack her

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 24-Jun-14 18:08:59

Step 1. Pay her statutory sick pay only for the days she has had off. It's not uncommon for families to pay a full salary for the first 5 days off (in total) over a yearly period. Many corporate firms will move you to statutory after 7 or more individual absences [ie, not if you've had a certifiable 5+ days off. - they tend not to be included in the "possible malingering total"

Step 2. Sit her down and tell her that her continuous absences are now putting your employment at risk and if it continues you may need to seek alternative forms of childcare which give you more resilience eg: a nursery. Establish if there is a problem that she is willing to discuss face to face

Step 3. You can invoke the contract clause requiring her to be examined. A medical practitioner (as far as I know) will simply state whether or not she is fit for work, not disclose her personal details. It's a standard clause in most people's contracts [to the poster above having a hissy fit about it]

The week off for anemia - its either rubbish or there is an underlying condition. A professional worth their salt would take the tablets and get on with it.

Very sorry to hear the bad news about your FIL. Try not to let it suck you into making poor decisions that might land you in an employment tribunal. Call Nannytax - they can advise and give you letters as far as I know.

A mate had this issue - as soon as she moved to SSP the nanny's health seemed to make a miraculous improvement. She went from 7 days illness in 12 weeks to 1 further day off in the remaining year.

MehsMum Tue 24-Jun-14 17:29:11

Believe me, nanny-stress is different from parent-stress.

Nanny-stress: Friday afternoon, you're knackered, kids are tired, it's been a busy week. 6.30, a parent gets in (after a day at work) and then has to look after the kids while you sod off home/to your room. If you don't have your own kids, you're done till Monday. No matter how much you love the kids you nanny for, you almost certainly don't worry about them in the way the parents do.

Parent-stress: get in from work, chat to kids, cook supper (with the kids at foot), ring the vet (with the kids at foot), wonder when the hell you're going to get the lawn mown (with the kids at foot), get kids to bed.

Nanny meanwhile can cook her own meal if peace if she lives out, or be jollying off out for the evening if she lives in.

I've done both: nannied and had my own kids. Own kids are much more stressful.

She may have other stress factors (sick parent? housing issues? shitty DP?) but it really sounds to me as if she needs to grow up. I think you were BU abut the jaw appointment, but not the rest.

CSIJanner Tue 24-Jun-14 11:09:26

Stinking - you could delete the entire thread or ask for specific posts to be deleted by reporting them

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