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Never ever employing a nanny again

(108 Posts)
knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 16:56:53

I have already posted in legal but would be grateful for some opinions/help from this board.
I've posted about my nanny a number of times and it's safe to say our relationship has completely broken down now.
So....

We have had a nanny for over 2 years. She is looking to leave in September so we agreed leave verbally on an accrued basis rather than yearly. From April to August she has 5 days leave (works 2 days per week, 5.6 weeks pro rata per year).
She has already taken 4 of her 5 days leave. She has a 2 week holiday booked in August, I have agreed to this despite her not having enough leave.
She then asked for a further week unpaid leave. I said no for a number of reasons. She repeatedly asked, I repeatedly said no.
We are now in a stalemate situation where she has categorically said she is taking the extra week leave despite me saying no.
She initially said she may leave as i wouldnt allow the extra holiday but now is saying 'I (employer) need to decide what to do'. I keep repeating the line that I would like her to carry on working for us but can not give her the extra week, I've already given more than she is entitled to etc.
I get the impression she wants to be sacked so she can go to tribunal for cash and she is receiving advice not to leave.
I can't afford to pay her redundancy and don't see why I should when she is making the situation difficult.
So, the advice I need is can I call this gross misconduct on her part and let her go? Or am I in for an expensive and stressful fight?
Do I need to wait until she actually fails to arrive for work before Ican sack her?
I have no doubt she plans to try and get money out of me as she has stated her intention to leave in September anyway, is blatantly telling me she is taking the time off regardless of what I say. Surely you would just leave early in August if you were in her situation?
Anyway this is stressing me out so much, I feel she is just laughing at us and in law can do whatever she likes - someone please tell me this is not so!
Or just a friendly ear will do I've really had enough now!

NotSoNervous Wed 19-Jun-13 17:00:38

Sorry I have no advice but she sounds a nightmare. I hope you get some good advice and whatever it is I would stick completely to the rules so that when you have alot of evidence to sack her and leave her with no possible way to try and get any money out of you.

I don't know how these things work but I would start having complaints about her behavior now and go through the whole verbal warning, written warning ect...

Runoutofideas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:02:47

I'm not a lawyer, but I would put in writing that you are unable to permit her request for unpaid leave on x dates. If she fails to arrive for work on those dates it will be considered gross misconduct and she will be dismissed. Maybe suggest that if she wants more holiday over the summer she should hand in her notice sooner? Not sure how you stand legally though...

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:12:03

Runoutofideas, she suggested leaving sooner but there has been a sudden about turn whereby she won't leave but is still intending to take unauthorised leave. This makes me think she has been getting advice not to leave. Everything is in writing, she has text me to say she is not leaving but still taking the unauthorised holiday and that I need to decide what to do (?!!!)
Notsonervous, the way she is being so blatant about it makes me think she knows she can get away with it.
I am literally on the edge with all of the stress!

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 17:12:45

I would send her a letter (recorded/sign for post) stating that as per the terms of her contract she has taken all of her entitled leave and that you do not agree to any additional leave, paid or unpaid. You understand that she would like to take leave from x date to x date but you do not agree to this.
And your letter is to officially inform her that if she fails to turn up for work on x day then you will consider that to be her formal resignation, you will no longer consider her to be employes by you and any contract you have will be terminated as of that date.

Basically if she doesn't turn up on that day she is quitting her job.

It sounds like she will be doing you a favour.

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 17:15:19

Oh and I would start presenting her with verbal and written warning every time she does something that you don't agree with, that way you will have a good defence if she does try anything legal.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:24:37

She has just text to say she doesn't have to or want to hand in her notice and wants to know what will happen when she doesn't turn up for work. I need to be sure legally I can call that gross misconduct as she clearly intends to take it further.
Why would any sane employee think this was reasonable?

Runoutofideas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:27:54

I think WeareEternal is more correct than me. It may be better to tell her if she doesn't turn up you will take that to mean that she has chosen to leave your employ with immediate effect, thereby making the decision hers to resign rather than yours to dismiss.

schobe Wed 19-Jun-13 17:34:39

Can't you just give a nanny notice as per the contract, like a childminder/nursery? <ignorant>

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:41:41

Schobe, yes I can but would then need to pay redundancy. That is exactly what she wants.
I am literally crying now- how can someone text to say I am still taking the time off but not leaving, whatnarenyou going to do about it?!
She is literally laughing in my face. I wouldn't care if she even had the annual leave to take or it was for a special occasion.
I feel I'm in a parallel universe, it just wouldn't ever in my lifetime occur to me to do this in my own job.

skaen Wed 19-Jun-13 17:49:37

It might be worth giving Acas a ring and talking it over with them www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4296 and here www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4098

I would suggest issuing a verbal warning which is followed up in writing for her unacceptable conduct in threatening to take unauthorised leave and indicating that doing so will constitute gross misconduct which will result in her immediate dismissal without notice.

schobe Wed 19-Jun-13 17:53:41

Is the redundancy a lot?

Depends if you can bear to to play chicken and wait to see who flinches first.

On principle I guess I'd want to do this, especially as you believe she'll leave in Sept. But in reality, I think it would be money well spent for a swift conclusion. I don't think I'd want her working out her notice either. But that's easy to say and not so easy if you don't actually have the money.

lucamom Wed 19-Jun-13 18:03:56

Surely if things have reached the stage they have you no longer want her looking after your kids anyway?

Personally I'd try to talk it over with her in a friendly way and say you feel if she wants so much holiday in August and is planning to leave anyway in September that you suggest she leaves before her holiday in August, and you will pay her for the holiday she is entitled to ?
See if you can't come to a friendly agreement before going down the route of dismissal etc.
I've worked as a nanny for two families and my friend has been a nanny too, and personally I think it would be nice to see more placements end on friendly terms where possible smile

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Jun-13 18:07:14

Firstly what does your contract say is gross misconduct?

You can definitely send the letter saying you refuse to grant the leave to which she is not entitled, and include proof of when she had taken leave this year, and tell her that not turning up will result in instant dismissal.

I'm sorry you're having such a stressful time. Do you have legal cover on your home insurance? If your empliter's liability is through that then you should.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 18:10:53

Juggling, that's exactly what she suggested and would be the sane solution. However she is now saying she refuses to hand in her notice, I think because if she does she will not get her redundancy pay.
And no lucamom I want her no where near me or my kids.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:02

No advice, but I suggest that when she does finally fuck off, agree to give her references for future jobs and then tell the truth about what a bitch she's been (sending straight to prospective employers so she can't intercept)

Can you try talking with her about why handing in her notice and sticking to what she originally said would really be in her best interests - perhaps because you will be happier to speak to future employers about how happy you have been with her work with your children ? And how it is always good to leave on friendly terms. I presume there is nothing legally to stop you having such a conversation with her ?

nbee84 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:22:04

Just a couple of questions (am not a legal bod, just interested) Is the job changing in September? Have you given notice of those changes? Have you given her redundancy notice?

Spaghettio Wed 19-Jun-13 18:23:17

You need flowery. If you put a call out for her in the Employment section, she will probably be able to help you with the legal side of your issues.

Good luck, whatever. You do. Sounds like a total nightmare.

forevergreek Wed 19-Jun-13 18:31:47

I would just say she is redundant as from today and pay redundancy. It would be cheaper that paying her wage until September then redundency

It's only roughly 1 weeks wage per year

dianettey Wed 19-Jun-13 18:31:50

Can you go to see a solicitor? It would probably be worth it. Nightmare.

Seb101 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:36:54

I'd pay the redundancy and get rid ASAP. I would not have someone looking after my children, with whom the relationship had deteriorated so badly. It will be the equivalent of two weeks pay I think. I'd beg, borrow or steal; well not steal, but you know what I mean! I know you probably dont want her to 'win' so to speak, but I'd just want the stress to end. Pay her off and in a few weeks she'll be a distant memory! Otherwise your prob looking at months of it! What an unpleasant situation, I really feel for you. Good luck x

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 18:41:33

Thanks for such lovely replies. I can't get my head around how anyone can have so much front! I'm also finding out that employment law is a minefield and she probably can take this unapproved leave and laugh in my face as she is doing.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 19:27:55

You can't make her redundant if the position isn't redundant. Do you still need a nanny in September?

If it's possible to make her redundant I would do so as soon as you can find alternative care. Start calling childminders now. Find alternative care and then make her redundant asap. The payment is likely to be very low as she only work 2 days and has only been there for 2 years. It'll be worth it to see the look on her face when you give her notice!

<Just as an aside, most nannies are lovely. Don't judge us all by her appalling standards. There are twats in every profession.>

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