Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Is this acceptable?

(44 Posts)
WannagotoDallas Thu 17-Jan-13 08:11:32

Hi all, could I ask a quick couple of questions of other nannies on here? I am feeling a bit annoyed, but not sure if I should be or not.

Firstly, when doing the school run, would you feel happy about collecting another child who is not your employers' on a regular basis being responsible for them for about half an hour?

Also, what would you do in a situation where you were told to pick up the extra child but not left an car seat for child (thereby making it illegal)?

LondonNanny79 Tue 29-Jan-13 18:09:59

I am flabbergasted that anyone would think it's ok to tell a nanny/aupair that she'll have an extra child half an hour each time (half an hour every day equals 10 hours a month) for no extra pay and without asking her first!

We do usually get paid by hour and not by child, but parents need to at least have the consideration of asking us whether we'd mind such an agreement. If your nanny is unhappy, chances are she a)won't do her job properly b)leave you (which would be very reasonable since you don't seem to have any respect for a nanny.)

And a lot of nannies have their own car as opposed to driving their bosses' car.

Strix Wed 30-Jan-13 13:48:42

A bit harsh, Londonnanny79.


SnowBusiness Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:39

Quite and it's a regular arrangement, so not everyday. So up to 6 hours a month over a job 110 working hours, where I'm sure there are quiet half hours.

I'm not sure that the nanny could say no, so the "can you pick up x, 2/3 times a week" is a courtesy rhetorical question.

If this were my nanny, i would definitely pose it as a question but would expect her to do it nevertheless as she is in loco parentis. The nanny/ employer relationship is unusual and needs to be flexible. That's what makes it successful. It all depends on personalities too, of course.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 30-Jan-13 15:14:04

I am also in the camp of I wouldn't ask my nanny or au pair to do this on a regular basis unless THEY were benefitting from the reciprocal arrangement and the other mum or nanny dropped off on another day. Emergency periodic one off/s fine, but not routinely. I would also presage it with: Hope you don't mind but, etc.

LondonNanny79 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:21:50

Yes, I am flabbergasted at people thinking it's ok to not ask their nanny whether they mind having another charge (especially on a regular basis). Even if the nanny wouldn't really be able to say no, it's only polite and in fairness the nanny should be compensated for it. Also stuff like "a nanny gets paid by hour and not by child" sounds very disrespectful to me, just my humble opinion. Starts off with 6 hours a month until it gets out of hand. Something that happened to a nanny friend of mine a few months ago: she was hired to look after one little girl. Her bosses had friends over, couple + child staying over for 2 weeks and my friend was expected to have an extra charge (no "do you mind?") for 50 hours per week for their whole stay and afterwards got a 20 quid Topshop voucher. For 100 hours work. And people think it's ok.

ZooAnimals Wed 30-Jan-13 22:03:23

I think nannies get paid per family, you generally pay more for a share, so 4 children from one family would be paid less than 2 children from 2 families.

For me it would depend on how easy the other child/my charge were. If the extra child added a lot more work I would want extra pay. If the extra child was easy and just needed to be dropped home I wouldn'would do it.

I would expect to be asked and I would expect to be able to say no.

With regard to playdates, I think it is part of a nanny's job to supervise them, but I also think it is up to the nanny to organise. The nanny should be able to choose (within reason) when the playdates take place/how often/which children are invited etc. I don't think the parents should organise for highly-strung Sally to come round from 12pm after pre-school until 7pm and just tell the nanny 'FYI Sally is coming for a playdate'.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 31-Jan-13 04:17:57

londonnanny again that is something that I would expect my nanny to do but when they started I made it very clear that this was what the job would entail:

Eg there were weeks when she would have to drop DC's off at school at 8:15 and she would not see them again until 6pm, during this period there may have been a couple of errands I might ask her to run (purchase DD new ballet shoes, pick up basic groceries from shop, be at home when food delivery arrived - that sort of thing)

Equally there would be weeks where we had guests, DCs wouldn't be at school and it was flat out.

That nanny was payed a salary and it reflected the peaks and troughs of the weeks/months.

I think "nanny" is such a broad term and encompasses myriad employment relations that you cannot always compare.

I guess if I was a nanny employed on an hourly rate for 15 hours a week I would be annoyed with an extra charge for a significant proportion of those hours.

If I fell into the other end of the spectrum where I was a live in nanny with a great deal of responsibility and autonomy combined with a good salary then this is one of those things I would perceive as part of the job (in fact londonnanny your latter example more so) and frankly the reason why I would be able to command the sort of salary I would expect to be paid.

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 09:32:12

I think you are overreacting, londonnanny. I am not saying that a nanny employer is in the right to just lump on extra work without discussion/agreement. In the same way that any employer should discuss a change to the job description/duties with an employee before altering them. But, it happens all the time. In my job, I might be asked to work on more than one project, giving me more than one boss and conflicts in schedule and some extra admin work. I would not turn around and ask for a salary increase on the spot.

As a nanny employer, I would not make this arrangement without discussing it with my nanny because well... I am a nicer employer than that. But if I was in a pinch and needed her to do me a favour during her normal working hours on the odd occassion, I would expect her to do it. I do sometimes arrange playdates with x and tell her what I've done. I would probably not do this with a child I knew nanny did not like having.

But your use (and confimation) of the word flabergasted does seem a bit OTT.

LondonNanny79 Thu 31-Jan-13 12:37:25

A banker (who gets paid a looooot more than a nanny) wouldn't be expected to take someone else's account for the other person's benefit for no extra pay, a doctor (who also charge a lot more per hour) wouldn't be expected to regularly see someone else's patient and have no compensation, same way a lawyer (again much higher salary) wouldn't take in another case in those circumstances, a teacher (who has a lower salary than a nanny) who has a classroom of say 12 students wouldn't be expected to have 24 children (double her charges, right?) just because the headmaster thinks it's a good idea. I don't know why a nanny should look after another child (not referring to playdates here, just to make it clear
) and not be compensated for that and it has nothing to do with her salary.

And it's not cool to be told you need to look after another child, rather than being asked if you would mind (even if in reality a nanny doesn't really have an option). It's common courtesy. that's even worse than being taken advantage of (which is how most nannies would see either episode). If I'm hired to look after 3 children, looking after a 4th is not my obligation, no matter what parents might think and how great my wages are.

I was talking about WannagotoDallas' (or my friend's) situation, where the nanny is just informed of the extra charge, nothing here was "previously agreed" or "made clear to the nanny she'd might regularly have another charge". In neither case, was it an emergency, just "a favour" or an odd occasion.

Strix: As for my use (and confirmation) of the word flabbergasted (double b) I could have said astounded, appalled, astonished or anything that means I was "overcome with surprise and bewilderment". Not at the situation in itself, because as you say it happens all the time, but at people thinking it's ok. It's not ok. But then, I'm a nanny and I'd think so. As for the OTT comment, you can think whatever you like. You are entitled to your opinion and so am I.

I am just saying that I think it's AWFUL that nannies are taken for granted and asked to do things beyond their job descriptions without any prior discussion/agreement. And I am shocked that parents think it's alright just because nannies have nice wages.

SnowBusiness Thu 31-Jan-13 12:51:05

As someone who has worked in both banking and other stressful office environments, I think if you tried to 'work to rule' as you infer, you'd be out of a job.

I have a nanny and she understands how flexible her role is (as is a SAHM's). We often have people to stay (DH is from overseas) and she does look after the visiting children if there are any. She's happy to, and I make it clear that they do give her some extra money to say thank you. As another poster, there are slow times and busy times.

But then, my nanny is reasonable and having checked with her about this thread, apparently I am too.

SnowBusiness Thu 31-Jan-13 12:51:37

And your example of 12 pupils going to 24 is frankly absurd.

LondonNanny79 Thu 31-Jan-13 13:21:29

As I said, the problem is the change of job description (not something previously agreed), without the consent of the nanny (seriously, a simple "do you mind" isn't that hard to say!) and the lack of compensation afterwards and people thinking that arranging stuff that concerns the nanny work + lack of compensation is alright, that was all I was trying to say. And I was not talking about playdates, etc. I don't expect to get paid for the 2 or 3 playdates a week I do. It's a complete different matter.

Of course, going from 12 to 24 kids is absurd,she was hired to look after a classroom of 12 and not a classroom of 24. But I was clearly exaggerating to point something out. My father is a banker but that's not the point, I am not talking about doing someone a favour, or helping the company, etc etc. It doesn't matter. You guys don't seem to get what I'm trying to say.

Besides parents and nannies will always have different opinions on "that's part of the job" x "I'm being taken advantage of".

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 13:21:39

Do you really think that teachers get a raise when their class size increases? hmm

As for the other examples, if you really need to compare yourself to doctors, lawyers, and bankers... well... I think you've perhaps lost touch with the world I (and many nanny employers) live in.

All of your alternative suggestions for flabbergasted (apologies for dropping the b), are in my opinion, similarly OTT.

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 13:25:49

"You guys don't seem to get what I'm trying to say. "

Actually, it's the comprehension we are struggling with. But, you are having trouble accepting that we don't agree with your point.

Oh... Daddy's a banker... now that might explain your expectations.

(sorry Banker's. Couldn't resist. I'm going to be in trouble when Squiffy gets here.)

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 13:27:24

Sorry, another typo. Meant to say:

Actually, it's not the comprehension we are struggling with. But, you are having trouble accepting that we don't agree with your point.

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 13:32:50

Oh jeez... Banker's bankers

SnowBusiness Thu 31-Jan-13 14:20:18

<passes Strix another gin, suspecting she's had enough already>

Strix Thu 31-Jan-13 14:36:10

Oh no.... you should see my typing when I have!

Is it Friday yet?

SaraBellumHertz Thu 31-Jan-13 15:05:10

I'm almost clutching my sides at the idea of working to rule.

As a lawyer I can tell you you are absolutely wrong: if someone is out of the office and I need to pick up their work load, I do. If we get a big case in and my hours increas by 50% for that period, I suck it up. If I need to work all weekend, well it goes with the job.

Lovely as my boss is if I demanded extra money he would laugh in my face, if I refused I'd soon be out on my arse.

Frankly, the reason I make enough to pay a nanny is because that is the reality of my job and a nanny who wasn't prepared to pull her weight in return for her generous salary would be given very short shrift

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now