feeling mortified- what do we owe this nanny?(52 Posts)
Bear with me on this one.
We live abroad so different tax system etc obviously. shortly after we moved here, we employed a nanny. we wanted to pay all the relevant taxes etc, but it was all a bit complicated and we didn't know the system. So we employed an accountant to sort it out for us. He filed our tax return, told us what we owed and we paid the relevant taxes.
18 months later, we just found out he didn't tell us we needed to flll out one more form for this thing called unemployment insurance for her. We would have paid the equivalent of about 300 pounds in another tax and then after leaving the job she would have been able to claim unemployment benefit for 6 months (equivalent of about 4000 pounds total). But we didn't fill it out because we didn't know about it, so now she can't claim until it's all sorted out, which could take weeks. I have now filled out all the right forms and paid the taxes. But what do we owe her? Legally apparently nothing, but morally?? What would you do? Loan her money? Give her money? How much?? (I know if we loan her money we are almost certainly never going to see it again) I feel horrified that this has happened....WWYD?
You don't owe her anything.
Your accountant owes her. Take it up with him and his employer.
Why is she no longer working for you? Is she actually anticipating being unemployed for 6 months, or had she just planned the time off because she'd get the payments?
she left when my son started preschool - that was always the plan so I guess we 'made' her unemployed in the sense that the job disappeared. But she had notice etc. She has been looking hard for another job but hasn't found one...
If it was always the plan and she knew about it when taking the job, then that is contract rather than permanent position. So you haven't 'made' her unemployed.
Cant really help re. this unemployment insurance, as never heard of it. But sounds like accountants problem, and they should be paying any compensation due.
Hmmm, morally I think that you should help her out seeing as it was your fuck up (from her POV, although I agree that it is your accountant who is really at fault) that has left her without an income.
Was she live in? Could she stay living with you until the money comes through or she finds another job?
If you were obliged to fill out the form and you didn't then I think it is your responsibility and you should be compensating the nanny to some extent.
Is it a legal requirement to fill the firms out? If so then its not ok that she is disadvantaged.
If it's not a 'legal' requirement but you had an agreement with her to do it then it's also not ok that she is being penalized for your mistake.
It really just depends on the wording.
It's not relevant to her whether the mistake was made by you or by 'your' accountant. However, it might be relevant to you as you should be able to reclaim any of your losses from him. IYSWIM
Saying that the accountant should pay isnt helpful. As far as the nanny is concerned, her contract is with the OP, not the accountant so anything that the nanny is due under local law will come from the OP. Then the OP will have to sue the accountant for not doing his/her job properly and get back whatever it cost her to settle up with the nanny.
I think she has worked for them for 18 months and has recently finished. It's only when she finished that the accountants error came to light because then she needed the unemployment insurance.
OP - I would be having strong words with the accountants as you relied on them to advise you properly. See if they will pay up.
Here that would be redundancy or the contract coming to its conclusion (depending on how the contract with her was worded).
I think you need to ask locally what you might be morally obliged to provide, as I don't think there is a comparable thing in the uk (NI perhaps?)
I'd say you need to give her payments equal to her unemployment cheques until her claim comes through. Whether it is a loan or permanent depends whether she will be able to claim on a back dated basis or not, whether she can extend her claim for employment at the end to "make up the time" or not (and whether she needs to I.e. If she finds a job before end of eligible period). In any case, she should not be out of pocket when her claim comes to an end.
I agree with Miaow. You need to pay her the same amount as her unemployment cheques. If the form can be filled in and the payments backdated she should then refund this money to you. Otherwise, it will be your loss and you need to try and get it from the accountant (although because you're not legally obliged to pay her I doubt they'll pay you).
In the meantime, do everything you can to help her find another job.
Or keep her on while the forms get sorted. Get her to babysit for you/look after you child before/after pre-school etc.
Ok legally you owe her nothing you say but I'd pay her what job seekers allowance/unemployment benefit etc would be in your country until she finds a new job. Then I'd be claiming the cost off your accountant
Everyone saying they owe her nothing, how sure are you?
She isnt in the UK, the law may be different depending on where they are so getting legal advice, while making sure that the nanny is taken care of, would be the best thing.
The law's going to be different where you are, but you really do need to check whether this insurance is a legal obligation. In the UK, for instance, it's illegal for an employer not to pay NI contributions on their employees. (OK, this law's being progressively weakened to prepare us all for commercial providers - but that's another thread.)
I imagine that, if a legal requirement, your accountant has failed in their contracted duty and you could pursue.
I do agree with PP that morally, it's right to make up the missing cheques to the nanny. What happens in terms of repayment will depend on exactly how it works there.
If nothing else, you could take her back on for a couple of months.
I agree with pps that she shouldn't be out of pocket. The complication is that virtually no one round here employs nannies the official way- everyone does cash in hand. She had one other employer since us that paid her cash in hand. She is now unemployed after them and legally is entitled to the unemployment insurance from the time she worked with us. But we would have paid 300 in taxes total and she would have got up to 4000 over 6 months.
We have given her just over 1000 which is approx what she would have had in the time since she claimed. In theory it should be a loan as she will get it back dated when it does come through. But I know we will never get it back as her life is too hand to mouth. We have also now paid the 300 we owe in taxes. It's been a very costly mistake for us. The accountant couldn't care less and says it's our responsibility- which is technically true.
Thanks for your replies
And yes, it is a legal requirement to do this form but as I said before almost no one foes any if this do friends we've asked etc don't have a clue about it
Look on the internet Most governments publish pretty good guides now. Following the cash-in-hand tradition probably isn't advisable at any point, as you're always going to be under the local gossip spotlight as incomers.
Yes, it has been an expensive lesson - but not too bad in the scheme of things. Glad the nanny's going to be okay (ish).
Oh... She had another post after yours? Then she wasn't unemployed after you ... She was unemployed after the people she had an off the records job with. It's not your duty is it after she is now unemployed due to their agreement coming to an end? I'd frankly seek solicitor's advice. But I would not pay her out of pocket at this point. Let the paperwork go through and if she's found to be entitled, the unemployment will have to pay out. But not you...
if she didn't find another job, why on earth has it taken 18 months for this to be brought up, if she cant claim unemployment benefits?!
Are you in Canada by any chance OP?
Anyways, my understanding is that Un/Employment insurance is more or less the same thing as NI and without contributing (or your employer contributing on your behalf) you are not entitled to any benefits if you are ever unemployed. UI (or EI) also covers stuff like sickness benefits and mat leave benefits and stuff. I think.
Do you know anyone who owns a small business? Because the rules would probably be the same for them as for you - although it sounds like you are already sorting it all out. I think you have done a (morally) very nice and correct thing by advancing / giving the nanny the money.
It's not like severance - it doesn't matter who "made" you unemployed - it's just the name of the benefits you get. Like job seeker's allowance I think.
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