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?
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.
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?
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).
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!
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
Standard arrangement re hols is 2 weeks of families choosing and two weeks of the nanny's choosing
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.
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.
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.
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.
She's flaky and dishonest. Time for someone with more reliability and professionalism.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
You wouldn't be stressed looking after someone else's 2 year old twins all day? Riiiight.
The anaemia thing was a bit , 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!!!
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?
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.
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.
10REPORTING SICKNESS ABSENCE
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).
You cant get rid?
Surely if you no longer require the services of a nanny give her notice and pay her off -
I would pay her to be on gardening leave though - I would not leave a short timer in charge of my kids!
Then replace her with an au pair - so you have actually made her role redundant.
PS she's been with us since January this year, so just over 6 months.
Sick pay & holiday pay are different things. The comment about it being not stressful being a nanny is unnecessary IMO.
I think you need to have some form of agreement about holiday. How far in advance it's planned etc. Make it more formal.
There's a process to go through
If she is unwell and she cannot fulfil her duties then that skews things
I would call ACAS
Has she notified you of the sick leave correctly?
I would say let's review on Tuesday / she may have been advised to take a day to two not an entire week
She's unreliable through a combination of factors and it's not working
With her length of service, she has very few employment rights.
How much of an issue would it cause you if you called her and gave her a week's notice today?
Either way, you need to be recruiting for a new nanny. Anyone with this track record in the first 6 months (7 days sickness absence as I understand it) is going to be a nightmare going forward.
Did she come through an agency? Did you get references?
Good grief! Sounds like she doesn't know how to be a good employee. Did she mention going to the dentist to be fitted for a night guard to help her with the teeth grinding/clenched jaw issue? I don't know about where you live, but here people who have issues clenching their jaws get night guards. Good luck.
I thinik 20 days holiday is a bit mean to say the least especially when some of it has to be taken when you are away. And two year old twins must be extremely hard work. She probably just can't manage.
You can get emergency childcare to tide you over
I agree with the PP who said the sick leave doesn't get better / that's true and I'm saying that from very bitter experience
Then go to statutory sick pay which is £87.55 and kicks in after being sick for 4 days (which don't have to be working days, so the weekend days would be included in the 4 days - but the 4 days are unpaid. You don't have to pay her her normal pay.
20 days holiday is totally standard
Plus 8 bank holidays
That's what I have always had from my employers
I would ask for a doctors' notefor the anaemia. I was nannying when I was pg with dd1. At 36 weeks I was discovered to be so low on iron that if it had been after birth I probably would have had a blood transfusion. I don't think I missed a day of working-and I had to cycle out there first, 30 minute cycle. I just made sure I'd set off in time to recover before they had to leave.
It's not easy looking after other people's dc. Your own are easier, it is much more stressful looking after other ones. You not only have to consider their needs, but also parents' wants too.
I'm not sure about her having to have her holiday when you take it. It depends on do you discuss it with her, how much of her holiday is your choice etc.
It sounds like she's 2 days holiday over, and I don't think she should expect to be paid for those. She may not expect to be paid though.
20 days (plus bank holidays) is what the majority of the population of Britain gets, and far more generous than many other countries. It's almost six weeks off work.
I think DeWee has a good idea about the doctor's note. If she's genuine, it shouldn't be a problem.
I'd certainly need one if I wanted to take a week off sick from any job I've ever had.
She does sound flaky and not particularly committed to the job.
Time off work for anaemia is unusual I would have thought. It's likely she will be back next week as for this week she can simply self certificate on return to work and so will not need a certificate from a doctor.
The weather in the UK is lovely at the moment. Wimbledon is starting and the World Cup is on full swing. I would love a week off work...
Fact is, this arrangement is not working out for you. Bar the odd hiccup, child care should run mostly smoothly. If not, change it. I have always used nurseries as there is then no problem with holidays, sickness cover etc - nursery is open every day of the working week except the Xmas week and Bank Holidays.
We need a doctor's note here at work for any leave over a week. I'd be asking for it!
Given the wording of the contract I would let her know that you will be paying her SSP after the qualifying days (where she gets no pay).
How on earth is 20 days mean Vivienne? That's standard!
I'm assuming you don't work if you think that's mean. If she can't manage two year old twins, she shouldn't be a nanny.
Seriously OP, get rid.
I think you can only ask for a doctors note if they are off for 7 days though.
I think she sounds flakey as fuck tbh. Sickness is unfortunate, but to have used all your holiday allowance in the first six months doesn't scream 'reliable' at me. In fact won't she owe you that pay back if she finishes before the 12 months of her holiday year is up?
Nhs certainly deduct unearnt annual leave that had been taken back from final payments.
I don't think you have to have much of a reason to let someone go if they've been employed for under two years, I don't think you even have to follow warning procedures but do check with ACAS, discrimination laws still apply.
It depends how you want to handle it. You can fire and replace, or if you want to try and salvage it sit her down, go through her attendance and make sure she understands that she literally has no annual leave left now till after new year and you will not be authorising any. Do whatever you were going to do for your holiday, but draw a line other any other time off.
Medical appointments you do need to accommodate and I think it's a fair compromise (if you can) to agree to work with half days where possible - unpaid though.
I'm presuming your in the nhs, I think you should follow their lead - return to work interviews and if you can possibly fund it, an independent occupational review if her sickness levels hit a certain amount.
My gut internet feeling is she's a flakey piss taker though, if that was me and sequences of events had put me in the same situation I would have my lips permanently attached to your arse trying to make you see why I was worth the short term hassle. If she's not doing that she clearly doesn't see an issue and it doesn't sound like a good match to me.
hayday so if she notified me on Sat re sickness, from Weds onwards goes down to £87 a week? Need to be absolutely sure legally and then will let her know about that and see if, like the miraculously changing flight, that makes the anemia disappear.
Have asked for a doctor's note, and am speaking to neighbour about the nannyshare/nursery combo.
I know I'm being cowish about the stress. I find my own children stressful, so! I think it's just the (unfair) comparison with people I see through work who have just narrowly escaped death, and a lot of them are remarkably chirpy about it!
We'd booked this year's holidays when we interviewed her in December, so she knew them all already. She told me about one week she needed to take, but then there are another 6 days that have popped up.
She's mid twenties but the opposite of a party animal. Real homebody, committed Christian, spends a lot of time with family. Sweet girl. Most of the time!!! She has a bit of a lazy/entitled streak. And sometimes makes wrong decisions (eg other day DP came back and she was halfway up the stairs with the twins and one was screaming because she'd banged her head but she wasn't cuddling her, and when DP asked why she said stinking says they need to be in bed for 6.30 and we're late!)
In my contract, if you're off sick for a 7th consecutive day, you need to provide a sick note from your GP. As this will be her 2nd week, I would say that she needs one.
She's taking the proverbial. If your contract says you need to give her a month's notice to terminate then pay her but put her on gardening leave as soon as you've made alternative arrangements. You don't need a reason to terminate her employment if she's done less than two years service. No reason, no disciplinary, no warnings, nothing. Do it.
I was a nanny for a couple of years back in the Dark Ages, looking after three kids 2, 4 & 6 and didn't take one day odd sick the entire time. My employer depended on me, so I made sure I was available come hell or high water.
Here it is - sick leave linky
To QUALIFY you need to be sick for 4 days and isn't paid for the first 3 days you can't work.
BUT, if she falls sick again within 8 weeks, she gets SSP from day 1 of being sick, so no missed days.
Here is their website link to calculating the sick pay - sick pay calculator
fleder I thought that even working less than 2 years they can't just give notice without disciplinary? Probably good for OP if that's not the case though, and anybody else lumbered with a piss taking nanny. There are plenty of us who are good!
I'd still say to cover yourself with proper warning though, at least if I employed a nanny I would.
RE Sick pay, if you are paying it, then stop. SSP is something like £80 a week and that only kicks in after a week? You don't need to pay her full pay for sick days, it's harsh and difficult when you're genuinely ill, but it'll stop her taking the mick.
But what is in the contract about holiday? Because that's where you're really losing out and you need to sort it.
I think you need to talk to an agency for advice, many are happy to advise on situations. Or go over to the childminders/au pairs/nannies section of here.
Less than 2 years and you can give notice for any reason/no reason so long as it isn't discriminatory.
Your payroll agency should be able to advise you on the legalities (most offer access to an employment lawyer for a small extra fee when you register).
What does the contract say about who chooses holiday dates and notice for holiday? You do have a contract.........?
I'd be sceptical about her getting a hospital appointment for grinding her teeth. MaxFax appointments are like hen's teeth and usually for serious things. Her dentist would be able to help her by telling her to get a mouthguard or possibly Botox (I am a teeth grinder).
And then she was told to take a week off for anaemia?
She seems unusually fragile. I agree she is flaky, and possibly attention seeking too.
She actually sounds like trouble. I'd give her notice before she's been working for you for two years. If she wants to keep a job, she needs to be more dependable.
dd (17) is anaemic, hasn't had a day off school yet.
I wouldn't want to look after my own child if I was feeling faint, it's one of my biggest fears fainting whilst looking after my ds, it could be so dangerous if we were on a train staition or if I was cooking or holding ds. I think yabu to seemingly care more about your job than having an 100% well person looking after your dc.
It sounds like a nursery would work better for your family.
I'd get a proper contract drawn up for the next nanny - there should have been reference to disciplinary procedures within the contract.
Unreliable and flaky!
what bollocks to say she needed a whole week off after fainting and lack of iron. I was back at work same afternoon as having fainted after having blood test at doctor and MY WORK told me I should've taken the day off.
Sounds like she's pulling a fast one re the anaemia - a doctor would not tell you to take a week off like that! Make sure you get a sick note or doctor's letter, and don't pay for the first three days since you don't need to under SSP.
Vivienne - 2 year old twins hard work for a nanny? excuse me but isn't that supposed to be what she signed up for? plus if she's trained etc then she shouldn't find it THAT much hard work.
ikea A non-piss-taking nanny would be a better fit for the family more like. I don't think it's even a case of being 100% well, I don't think I've been 100% 'well' for years, yet I still get on and do my job. I can understand OPs frustration, her nanny has had a large amount of sick days in the short time she's been there, unless she's seriously unlucky, there is some obvious piss-taking going on there. Any employer would be frustrated with it, a nanny employer would be more-so because a nanny enables them to work, so they lose out too.
OP - I've been there, got the t-shirt etc.
It's a tricky situation. It's even worse when the nanny is brilliant in all other respects. The flakiness is HARDER to deal with in some ways.
My old nanny is lovely, brilliant with the DSs, but was crap at cooking (did put a bit of effort in and did become better), did sod all about getting her drivers licence or passport for well over a year (which were conditions of her being employed) and kept taking lots of sick leave.
It got quite acrimonious for awhile, and I did have to call it a day with her and find alternative childcare.
Several years down the line she is better with her current employers, but the problem for her is she is just not physically robust enough to do a full time nanny job - it's that simple. She is working 3 days a week for her new employers and is still struggling with her health, but manages to have most of her medical appointments on other days. What she is bad at doing is managing her own health, and does too much on her non working days which contributes to her poor health, if you're not physically robust, you need to take care of yourself when you're not working.
She occasionally babysits for the DSs now, but I have had a few too many cancellations because of ill health, so that is dwindling. But I have a few babysitters who I call on so don't feel as put out as I did when she was nannying.
But rest assured your DC will quickly like any new person looking after them - they're a bit fickle that way! My DSs loved the childminder I sent them to when I got rid of the nanny, loved the next childminder after that too. They also love all their babysitters, particularly the 18 year old females!
Unreliable nannies don't get better in my experience (and that of friends). If she's giving you grief after 6 months it's time to move on.
For future reference split hols 50:50 - you choose two weeks and she chooses two, to be notified at least 3mths in advance.
Re sickness I pay a number of sick days at full pay but after that it's at my discretion. I also made it clear that I expect our nanny to turn up to work unless she is dead (only half joking ) if she needs to lie on the sofa all day then so be it.
Also with drs appointments I request that she makes them for beginning/end of day so that she can work the rest of the day - otherwise she must take the day as sick or holiday.
In reality I am much more flexible than the rules I set but I believe it is helpful to have them in place
I would suggest as a concerned employer that you send her a note asking her to see a doctor at your expense for a medical examination - you stuck it in the contract - see what happens then…?
Get rid of her. Nannies who start like this are not going to improve. One thing I did with nannies was to offer an extra five days holiday (which you can plan for) if they didn't take unexpected sick leave. I know that sounds harsh, but for me, it stopped the "duvet days" that younger nannies seemed to be prone to!
I disagree, they can get better. But they won't do it for you I'm afraid. They need the harsh lesson that taking the piss out of their employer will result in a lost job.
Then they pull their finger out and do better next time - or not, and get sacked again......
Thanks for all this wise MNers.
Have managed to sort nursery for 3 days, and one day off for me, so we're covered. In the meantime will check out SSP, see if the doc's note comes back, and will draft a written warning to cover my bottom (but not give it to her till I get more of a feel for things).
Good advice re being much more specific in the contract on the disciplinary and sickness procedure and the holiday allocation, and I like the idea of the bonus holiday time in exchange for no sickness.
And I agree on toddlers being generous with their affection. Mine have been blowing kisses at our builder; I think they think he's moved in or something! Maybe I should just offer him the job...
StinkingBishop, if she notified you on Sat, then for Mon and Tues she gets nothing, then sick pay of £87.55 per week kicks in on the Wed. Any odd days off, like her hospital appointment would be without pay, unless in the last 8 weeks she has qualified for sick pay.
Also, if you are thinking if getting rid you need to check contract as holiday which has bee. Taken, but not accrued can be deducted from final salary. i.e. if dhe has taken 20 days in 6 months, she would only have accrued 10 days so you can deduct 10 days pay from final payment (basic example there!)
I like the idea of extra holiday for not taking the mick with sickness! Though I do think that if you asked them to come in when throwing up it's shooting yourself in the foot.
It's not just younger nannies who take the mick with it either, I've heard many horror stories about nannies who were more experienced doing this kind of thing too. In my first live-in job (I was 18) I was sent back to bed and had a cup of tea bought up to me by my boss as I had flu. I don't remember much of the rest of that week though as I was so bloody ill. In the three years I've been live-out nannying I've had two days off sick because I was ill enough that I didn't want to go in, and a few because my boss at the time didn't want me there with a bad cough/cold.
As a nanny I've never had time off because of my health issues. I have in other jobs. Though at the moment I am running on my last strength until I leave a job at the end of the school year. I haven't done anything outside of work since Christmas, DP has taken over most of the household duties. Then I drop down to 3 days a week in September. I cannot wait.
Oh, and a doctors note for day 7 onwards is common practice.
OP, I grind my teeth and was just asked to use my bleach mouth guard as a guard and that was it from the dentist!
I think she's pulling a fast one there too.
I don't really have an opinion on the nanny situation per se as I have never been or employed a nanny, but just wanted to say I had severe jaw pain from teeth grinding, it gave me terrible headaches too. I was referred to the hospital who gave me a mouth guard but monitored my condition for about six months, so I had quite a few hospital appointments. So it is not impossible that she is telling the truth about that.
I employed 6 nannies over about 15 years - some good, some bad. The contracts got tighter with each one, learning from the mistakes of the earlier one. I would recommend taking a really critical look over yours and asking if it really suits you. You can do what you want by mutual agreement provided it doesn't offend employment law.
Whilst the 50:50 holiday thing is apparently standard practice I didn't have it in my contract. It was the 4th one (bad) who informed me that was how it was. I have been very clear since (important once you have school age children) holidays to be taken at the same time as the parents, but dates to be discussed well in advance and mutually agreed. This worked, and nannies 1 to 3, and 5 and 6 were happy, particularly as we have more days and they often had more days off than the 20 and we paid them.
I also tended to pay more than SSP (the nannies have bills to pay as well), although the contract only said SSP. That applied till #4 really took the p**s.
Also, I always quoted wages gross - even in 1991!
and will draft a written warning to cover my bottom
I didn't think you could go directly to written warning? Don't you have to meet and give a verbal warning first??
Honestly, OP you don't need to do a warning letter. With 6 months service she can't claim unfair dismissal. Just issue her with notice. She will not improve - this is her best behaviour.
I'd just avoid myself a headache and issue notice without giving reasons to avoid implicating myself, then I'd tighten up your contract/terms for the next nanny/nanny share. Nurseries have the upside of not letting staff sickness affect you but, your dc will be excluded for sickness so consider your back up care plans here as it could be out of the frying pan - dd got everything in the first 6 mos and I had to take 10 days off in my first year for her illness related nursery exclusions.
Ive been anaemic countless times, I never took any time off work.
Rubbish. She is rubbish by the sounds of it, if it was me, after all that Id be issuing the months notice.
Wrt this current sickness situation. So she told you on Saturday, is her working week Monday - Friday. If so, you have to count today as her first day of sickness as today is the first working day she has missed. She could argue that she told you early (before today) as a committed employee who was mindful of your childcare needs!
If she is Monday - Friday, then she can easily take this week off, come back next Monday and self certificate for the days she missed this week. She could argue that there is no need for a doctor's note and most GPs will advise self certification.
Therefore, you can ask for a note, but I will be vv surprised if you get one.
flaky OP< well flaky
You don't need to give notice (other than in the contract) or warnings if she has been there less than 2 years. And anyway, lack of competence (as demonstrated by poor attendance) is a potentially fair reason for dismissal.
Her comments re stress would worry me. She is running up quite a lot of potential conditions there already. If I sound unsympathetic its not because of the nature of the conditions, its because I suspect she doesn't actually have them.
There's also a chance that's she embarrassed about her medical condition and is making up anemia as an excuse. Either way, as long as she gets a doctor's note saying she needed the week off, she's probably telling the truth about needing the time off. It's not for you to decide if her condition is worthy of time off or not compared to her doctor who knows her situation better.
But if she's missing too many days, you could always find a healthier nanny. Otherwise, if you like her and your kids like her, I'd just give her a warning that she has no more free sick days.
I'm going to ignore the stressed comment, but as far as the rest of your OP is concerned, YANBU to be getting fed up.
As a nanny, I generally take children with me to medical appointments (unless inappropriate like a smear!) because it's easier for everyone to have them sit in their pram for half an hour than parents having to take time off and mess up kids' routine. I also try and book non urgent appointments when the family is away on hol if possible but obviously this doesn't always fit.
I also have the same clause in my contract about medical examination paid for by employer - if I had to take extended time off I would be happy for employer to arrange for me to be examined by an outside service to prove illness.
With regards to holiday, I think you need to do as others have said and say no to all holiday until next January (if she is still with you then). For any future nannies, say you will pick 2 weeks holiday each, and any other time off you take when nanny is available to work, will also be paid for.
Oh and regarding the anaemia thing, she may well have a doctors note staying anaemia but it could be something else. I had to take a week off with something when I worked in an office, and I didn't want employer to know the medical reason, so doctor said I could decide what she would write on my sick note. She said she could write anything! Obviously medical notes have real reason but just to bear in mind. If she hasn't issued a sick note though, I'd be seeing red flags.
That's a good point nannymoss, but supposing she sticks with anaemia...can you even be diagnosed on the spot? Wouldn't the doc have sent off bloods for testing?
Oo I am far too suspicious. I was
bitching politely conversing with another Mum about this today. I guess maybe the severity of my reaction is I am sooo the opposite way round, probably unhealthily so. My parents were doctors and my DB was once sent home from school with a note asking if they were aware he had a broken arm. We weren't allowed time off unless we had a broken neck, and even then we'd have been lucky to get a couple of aspirin. Fast forward a few decades and I met my DP at work, with a heart monitor strapped onto my chest and a face slashed open because I'd been in an accident but knew how important the meeting was for our firm, so stiff upper lip (what was left of it) and all that. He thought it was hilarious. And now we have the childcare-less twins .
I think if she was treated as an emergency, they would fast track the blood tests to find cause? But no idea if this is correct or if she was even treated as an emergency!
I am the same as you by the way, I normally have to be told by my boss to go to bed because I am almost on my knees but think I'm not that bad! I think you kind of have to be like that as a nanny though - you are aware what a pain in the arse it is for the parent(s) so you will do everything else first to avoid taking a day off. Normally.
Stinkingbishop, our very first nanny was a lot like yours. Emotionally, very good with the children, but took lots of sick days, booked up all her holidays, then needed personal days to take care of life admin, etc. I was reluctant to change as the children loved her, but a wise friend counselled me that the parents are also an important part of the nanny relationship, and if I was so stressed by what was happening in the house (and the impact it had on my work when I had to take yet another day off), then the situation was not working and we needed to change it.
We ended up with the most wonderful nanny on earth for our next one, and a lot of that was down to asking questions in the interview prompted by our previous experiences.
I didn't want to offer extra holidays based on not taking sick days, as I felt that a professional nanny wouldn't take days if she wasn't actually sick, and if she were less professional, she may come in while unfit to look after the children and / or pass her lurgie on to them!
As my first post was deleted for answering OP's rhetorical question in the first post about whether she was being a bitch to think nannying wasn't stressful, I shall repost the rest of it in case future readers find it useful:
"What is in your contract? Standard contracts state she chooses 50% and you choose 50% of entitlement. Mine states that any above that on my behalf is unpaid, any on the families is paid.
Sick pay is paid at SSP only (though in the past I have had discretionary pay from one of my employers).
She is taking the piss, she also knows that she will get away with it. If you're due a contract renewal I'd get advice about what to put in it to ensure she doesn't continue taking the piss.
I have health issues, I have never taken time off because of them (I have taken time off when sick though), obviously she can't help hospital appointments, but if I were her and desperately needed to see a doctor, I'd be discussing whether I could take my charges with me to limit the inconvenience to you.
And before anybody says it, she has legal rights, you cannot just get rid."
Hospital appointment for grinding teeth?
The dentist will sort that out with a mouth guard.
Anaemia sounds equally suspicious in an otherwise healthy young person.
I've just thought, if she's ill, it may be that anaemia is something she's using to hide something more embarrassing, or it's a symptom of a wider problem.
They can diagnose anaemia quickly. My ex had a blood test on the Monday morning, was called and asked to go to our 'local' hospital ASAP for transfusions as he was severely anaemic. He was kept in overnight and pumped full of blood but they did a lot of testing over the next few weeks, including a camera into his intestines
he was not impressed by that, because they suspected that he'd had a major bleed. They never did find it. I think it was diet related.
I was anaemic for most of my teens, apart from two mahoosive, industrial sized bottles of bright red iron liquid when I was 11 (fuck knows what that was) I never received any treatment. I thought that I still was anaemic but blood tests recently prove me not to be Severely VitD deficient, but not anaemic.
It's hard to know what to do when you're ill, or generally not feeling great, as a nanny. Unless I feel likely to throw up (or have thrown up) I try to make it in, though will call ahead if I have a really bad cough/cold going on as I have had employers in the past who would prefer me to avoid the kids in that situation!
If she's ill, I'm The Pope's mother I work in a industry where all the younger employees throw fake sickies all the time. Some of them are sick so often they really should be invalids
20 days is a shit annual leave allowance. I thought employees were all entitled to 5.6 weeks (including bank holidays) unless they were self employed and nannies doing regular work can't be self employed.
If this is true (and im sure it is) YABVU to give such shitty conditions.
hidden I'm skeptical as well, but attempting to give the benefit of the doubt.
I will reiterate though: This isn't something all young nannies do, please please don't avoid younger nannies because the rare few may take the piss. I'd say that most nannies appreciate that they are difficult to replace at short notice and try their best to get to work!
objection 20 days is 5.6 weeks minus bank holidays...
20 days plus bank holidays is 5.6 weeks Objection - that's what most people get.
am I being a beeyatch to think being a nanny isn't the most stressful occupation in the world????
Do you find being a parent stressful? Add being judged on every move and always having to do it "right" (ie no TV breaks etc) as well as the child/ren not being yours so there's no unconditional love. Etc etc
I think being a Nanny is pretty fucking stressful. You don't know what else she has going on either.
Sounds like she's taking the piss a bit but that you are being very judge.
5.6 weeks holiday is 20 days + 8 bank holidays.
U thought the OP wasn't including bank holidays, only giving 20 days. If not, my bad sorry!
objection 20 days plus bank holidays IS 5.6 weeks including bank holidays. Einstein.
TravellingToad really? Did you need to add the last bit of yiur comment? I've already added saying I misunderstood.
Hmmm. I had an urgent hospital appt on a work day followed by a week off. I said something similar on the phone to my employer about "hoping to be back on Monday". I had a doctors note which just said " illness " as the reason. I'd had a miscarriage. Can we quit laying into this nanny for being ill, that's not a crime!
The other unrelated things sound dodgy though OP and it's important to feel 100% happy with your childcare arrangements so go with your gut. Get rid if that's the decision.
Could you go through an agency who could provide cover for sick days of their nanny?
Agree with TickleMePurple. If she is sick then I think yours & others attitudes surrounding sick employees suck. Just because you work with people who have neurological problems does not mean that she is weak for "feeling a bit tired"
Ask for a doctors note and follow whatever standard procedure is. If you want to get rid because she's flaky, then get rid - but you can't just dismiss her because she's been ill, surely?
Get rid - and do it now. I have had nannies for ten years and she is sending out massive red flags. I have learned my lesson now, after being far too soft when first employing nannies. There are two types of nanny - one that is dedicated, adores children and treats nannying as a career (which it is). To them it is a vocation. Then there is another type, who loves children, and erm, that's it. They don't see it from YOUR point of view, that they are there to allow you to have your career.
1.2The 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.
This nannying business isn't at all personal these days is it?
If I worked for someone as a private employee there's no way i'd allow them to ship me off for a medical.
She sounds like me when I was at school
I was a horror, an Unreliable malingerer. Just CBa. Maybe she's just not into it....is she v young?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
i agree with you. she's not a good fit for you.
Sending some positive vibes to your fil - how bloody awful.
Hopefully once your dh has managed to physically see him and talk with the dr's your worries will ease a bit. Nothing worse than not knowing what you're dealing with.
I don't think your relationship with your nanny is salvageable now, far to much stress and resentment associated with her. You will find a better fit.
On reflection, it might well be in your nanny's best interests if you were to let her go. I know I wouldn't want to work for someone who speculated about my health on line.
You've posted quite a lot of specific information about yourself on this thread which makes you and ergo your nanny quite identifiable. As a HCP you should know it is bang out of order for be putting confidential details of her health in the public domain.
I'd have to let her go regardless, you need someone you can rely on and hope that they will go the extra mile.
Hope FIL is ok.
I completely agree stinking you pay more for a nanny so that you don't have to take so any sick days and have someone you can really rely on, it's absolutely central. Whether she's ill or not, she doesn't seem reliable. I don't think her tone sounds great either, she's not telling you it's a one off and this will be the last time or giving you any reassurance apart from aiming to carry on. Hope FIL recovers.
Can you ask your nanny if there's any way she's feeling better and explain you need to see your FIL?
I really hope he's okay - sounds terrifying. I agree that generally speaking she needs to go.
doughball - you could be a bit more sympathetic given the context at the moment.
doughball you're right actually, sorry, do you think I should get this deleted?
bishop, yes you should get it deleted. Whilst I have every sympathy for your situation (genuinely), your last post has made you extremely identifiable to any MNers who know you IRL. Ergo, they'll know all about your nanny's health issues. And you don't want a tribunal on your hands on top of everything else...
Stinking - you could delete the entire thread or ask for specific posts to be deleted by reporting them
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.
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.
Stinking, please, I am begging you, just sack her
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.
Excellent advice from Tread.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
I have reported too in case it helps.
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.
Week off for anemia the week Glastonbury is on...
Yanbu. She doesn't sound committed or reliable. I'd start looking for a new nanny.
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).
Go and visit her with a nice bunch of flowers
Just to make sure she is ok
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.
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.
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 and have time to MN during the day.
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.
Perhaps you should check her Facebook page if she has one?
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!
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!
Have you heard from your nanny? I think she sounds like a shirker tbh
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