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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!

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 19-Jun-13 20:36:39

Sorry, bits of mine are garbled as trying to type quickly before having to run back upstairs to DS again

But hopefully you get the gist...

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:08

I'm assuming this person is planning to leave paid employment. She cannot seriously expect any kind of reference from you and 2 years is too long a period to go simply unaccounted for.
I would simply give her notice and indicate she is required to work the period. if she fails to attend as required, gross misconduct, instant dismissal, whistle for your money you appalling individual.

TheFallenNinja Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:53

Is there a figure that she wants?

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:58

Outraged, she has put it in writing that she intends to take the unauthorised leave so I think I could argue my case. I just want rid of her but need to work put the best and most legal way to do it.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 20:43:09

I am not an employment lawyer but I will say one thing. once scumbags like this get in their head they are going to take you to tribunal they will do it whether you do the right thing or no. She is banking on you not having the stomach for a fight and you need to show her that you have.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:44:01

Homeeco thankyou for your excellent and helpful post.
And to everyone else, I wish I'd just gone with the blooming nursery now!!

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 20:44:59

If you could use alternative childcare then redundancy is probably the quickest and easiest....

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:45:03

That was meant to say, and thanks to everyone else for their helpful posts too.
I particularly like Karlos's thinking...

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Jun-13 20:54:19

omfg - what a cheeky bitch - most nannies arent like this and esp not us mn lot smile

so she wants to leave in sept, i assume she has handed her notice in to you then, or will that be when she finds a job, so she may not find one as she wont be getting a glowing ref from you

legally you cant get rid of her and then offer another nanny a job, but i like the sound of what was said earlier

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

if she is holding out for redundancy then doesnt seem it will happen, as she wants to leave you, not you get rid of her

and also assume if you sack her for gross misconduct then will she get redundancy?

sorry you are going through all this hassle, just seems so weird and totally unprofessional that she would demand time off regardless if you will give it to her

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:43

if you sack her for gross misconduct, you don't have to give her a penny, and it sounds like you won't have to be a genius to get her to give you the grounds to do exactly that.
I would give her notice, tell her she has to work it, if she doesn't cut off the money. get temp lined up first. Let her sue. no costs in employment tribunal so you might as well defend. She'll not have the stamina to see it through to hearing, these types never do

Boosiehs Wed 19-Jun-13 21:04:06

You can't make her redundant if the post still exists. If you want to get rid of her you ave to follow disciplinary procedures in your contract.

If you just say today's your last day, you will be liable to a claim of unfair dismissal.

I am a lawyer, just not an HR specialist, but I've come across this recently.

sweetsummerlove Wed 19-Jun-13 21:14:10

I don't know if im just being dim but, she's not handed anotice I yet, she hasnt taken the unauthorised leave soit isnt mmisconduct yet- so ultimately you don't want her working for you anymore, so give her notice, then I'd pay her notice and tell her not to come back.

my gut says if she doesn't care for her job she doesn't care for your children. Don't leave them with her.

im so sorry for the stress this has caused you. We aren't all bad (hugs)

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 21:16:06

You can't give someone notice for no reason sweet, that's the OP's problem.

forevergreek Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:19

What else is gross misconduct in your contract? I'm sure mine have something about neglegious of doing pacifical what employer has asked ( or something). Not working when asked and due would come under that

Look closely at whether she has not complied with any. Or is there more than one misconduct ?

Isatdownandwept Wed 19-Jun-13 21:31:31

You should post this in 'employment issues' rather than legal as that is full of people with tribunal experience.

FWIW, homeecognomist has given you the best advice, IMHO. All I would change is that I would tell her in writing that failing to turn up will be considered an act of gross misconduct, rather than a disciplinary matter. I would also mention that given her verbal resignation, you find it very unprofessional that she seems to have used this as an excuse to think she can do anything she pleases during her notice period, but that you would like to remind her that she is still contractually bound for this period and that not only will you view failure to turn up an act of gross negligence but that you will to hesitate to exercise your legal right to recover from her the incidental costs relating to any breaches of contract on her part, which will extend to include the costs of emergency childcare during any period of unauthorised absence.

Please put everything in writing in advance. You may also want to list out all the other crap she's done (I've commented on your nanny before, albeit under a different name).

Her next move, once you receive this, is to try to get herself signed off sick for stress, so prepare yourself for that one. If she does that then I would write her a letter saying that you find it unfortunate that she is sick and will of course be paying her SSP for the duration of her notice period, and that you wish her the very best in securing a new job, and that you will of course be delighted to provide a very fair and factual reference for any future employer.

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 22:34:48

I've been thinking about this all night and I have another idea.

If you don't want to sack her why not cut her hours, and then cut them again, basically just replace her over the space of a couple of weeks.

She only works two days so tell her you no longer need her on the first day, just the second, then get another nanny for the first day, then a week or so later say you have decided to send the DCs to a club one morning a week, swimming for instance, and it just happens to be on morning two, so you will only need her for the afternoon of the second day.
Hopefully it will not be worth her while to only work one afternoon so she will quit.

But realistically you don't need to pay redundancy if you end the contract legitimately. Just give her her 1 month notice (or whatever it says in your contract) and say that you are unhappy with her work, attitude and behaviour and so are sacking her. You only need to pay her a months notice and nothing else.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 23:08:14

You can't do that. You can't make someone redundant one day a week and then fill the role with someone else. It doesn't work like that.

The OP could change the days she needs and then if this nanny works for another family on those days she may be unable to do it.

You also can't just sack someone, there is a process to follow.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 19-Jun-13 23:23:10

knackered mother I am knackered just reading this. bloody hell.

As I understand it...you no longer want her caring for your children as of now because of this brinkmanship...you want to end this relationship and basically never see this woman again...and the question is really kind of whether this current 'insubordination'/attitude/call it what you like behaviour is enough to dismiss her.

That's basically the upshot isn't it?

This is the question I would be asking the lawyer. What you can do now based on this flurry of audacious texts. Because the letters, while all great, rely on her not turning up in August, right? Before you can do something.

It doesn't seem to me like we've gotten to the answer here yet.

I think what they'll lay out to you is something called a Mutual Separaton Agreement or "agreeing terms" or some such. I am not an HR professional but I have a feeling that this is where she thinks this is going. I wouldn't have thought the cost would be more than making someone redundant though. I wouldn't worry about what she has in mind either, she won't have you over a barrell as scary as it may seem now in the middle of the night.

let us know how it goes but get some professional advice; you'll feel better.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Jun-13 23:49:27

She works 2 days - could you change the hours and or days - esp if nanny works elsewhere so couldn't do the day change

You could then make her redundant legally - pay her 2years worth - assume she hasn't been there longer? So be 2 days gross pay up to maximum limit of £450 a week so in your case depending what you pay her anything from 90/130 a day you are looking at maybe maximum of just over £500

Find a new nanny and then amazingly your hours /days change back or even stay at the new days if you prefer them

DTisMYdoctor Thu 20-Jun-13 00:00:40

Very quick post OP, as I'm half asleep and don't have the brain power to read, think, advise or post properly. grin

Re-post in employment. I work in HR, and you'll get lots of good advice there. And if flowery pops up on your thread listen to what she says. You absolutely don't need to put up with someone refusing to come into work.

NomDeClavier Thu 20-Jun-13 08:05:56

Blondes you can't do that - if you make someone redundant and their job reappears within a certain timeframe you need to offer it back to them, which this nanny may not want but the OP probably doesn't want to risk.

I still think you need to follow the disciplinary in your contract, OP, so if she puts a toe out of line it's a written warning for the way she's been acting and if she continues next step is dismissal.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 20-Jun-13 11:04:19

Bah humbug

Ok change days then if boss will agree and the hopefully nanny will say no esp of has other job

knackeredmother Thu 20-Jun-13 20:31:27

Just to update, I took some advice from HR in my own job (NHS) who said I was being a bit harsh and if I did the same in my employment they would try and work with me to find a way to give me the extra time off. Ultimately though it may be a disciplinary issue but not necessarily gross misconduct and not ansackable offence.
Anyway nanny has said that ACAS advised her she had given sufficient notice (asked last month) and tried to find an alternative solution ( offered up her friend whom I would then have to put on my payroll and couldn't work the same days as her- therefore not acceptable to me).
She obviously (and ACAS by the sounds of it) thinks I've been unreasonable.
Anyhow, she's formally resigned.
The kids cried.
I feel a cow.
I'm not employing anyone ever again.

Mrscupcake23 Thu 20-Jun-13 20:51:25

I think she was being unreasonable not you. Really sorry you had to go through this at least she is leaving I am sure your children will be fine

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Jun-13 20:55:00

Good grief. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. We have a nanny, and I would feel exactly the same way as you do, in our shoes. It is really telling, think, that he others nannies on his thread and in this form regularly all seem to be in agreement with you.

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