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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!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 20-Jun-13 21:00:51

Well, at least you're not agonising any more, OP. What are your alternatives?

GuffSmuggler Thu 20-Jun-13 21:18:36

What is the world coming to when threatening not to turn up to work when your boss has said you can't have the leave isn't a sackable offence!?

Totally unbelievable what some people think they can get away with. So sorry you've had this stress OP, very pleased for you she has resigned x

LadyHarrietdeSpook Thu 20-Jun-13 21:35:40

You were not being unreasonable! She's outrageous.

OneHandFlapping Thu 20-Jun-13 21:50:43

Your own employer, the NHS, said you were being a bit harsh? I've never worked anywhere where your nanny's attitude would be met with anything but my stuff in a binbag and a frogmarch to the door.

Boosiehs Thu 20-Jun-13 21:57:56

It's a freaking minefield.

Giving someone thei notice is almost certainly going to get you a ticket to a tribunal.

You can't do it, you have to go through managing out, disciplinary etc.

Your nanny sounds like she was takig the p*ss.

Reinette Thu 20-Jun-13 22:12:00

So sorry for you OP, but really glad to hear you're finally rid of her. I'm a lurker-nanny on this forum and have been following her drama a bit and your (ex)nanny is a joke, not to mention an insult to nannies everywhere! I can't imagine what she said to ACAS to make them think you were at fault. I have requested unpaid time off in my own jobs before and when the answer is yes I appreciate it, and when the answer is no I forgo my extra time off. I can't even begin to imagine behaving the way she has, truly outrageous.

PowerPants Thu 20-Jun-13 22:32:43

Agree with GuffSmuggler. Feel very sorry for you.

HomeEcoGnomist Thu 20-Jun-13 22:55:39

Knackered - with all due respect to your NHS HR dept - they are talking shit. Typical public sector.

I typed out a big post at work today, but couldn't get onto mumsnet. seems it may be superfluous given today's developments...but PM me if you want to continue the discussions off line

Best

HEG

HomeEcoGnomist Thu 20-Jun-13 22:56:51

Ps - I now use a nursery wink

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 21-Jun-13 07:12:24

I'm glad your nanny has resigned smile she obv knew she was in the wrong legally and morally and now you can relax and look for new Childcare

Please don't be put off by your nanny and never use one again - but understand you have had your fingers burnt

What will you do for Childcare now?

Isatdownandwept Fri 21-Jun-13 09:11:03

OP, shake yourself out of it. She has been a mean-spirited grasping selfish cow from the moment you hired her (other readers, if you search you will find acres of history). She has put you through hell at times when you needed support, and she has made you cry before in her couldn't care less attitude to your children's health.

As has been said in many posts about this woman, she is not representative of most nannies and it is all her and not you. Let her go suck the lifeblood from another family. Your kids (and you) deserve better from life.

Take care, look after yourself, and start looking forward to a nicer atmosphere at home.

(Disclaimer to others, am normally rather supportive of nannies, just not this one...)

Isatdownandwept Fri 21-Jun-13 09:13:08

PS. If you need assistance in writing references for her, do come back here for advice grin

MistyB Fri 21-Jun-13 09:37:16

Document all of the incidents that have happened.

Separately document all the events leading up to her resignation, her handing in her notice, the agreement regarding her unpaid leave, her requests for additional unpaid leave and your responses, her proposals for alternative solutions, your reasons for their rejection and the details of her ultimate decision to resign including timings, amounts due and holidays to be paid with the last pay check. Sit down with her, go through it, ask her for any comments and note them, sign a copy for her and ask her to sign your copy so you are both clear on the events.

Also, on her departure, prepare a reference in case she asks for one, be factual but concise. Only give this to her if she asks.

You have everyone's sympathy as this sounds very very difficult. I hope your next child care solution is less stressful.

schobe Fri 21-Jun-13 11:41:54

Yes, without wishing to scaremonger, read up about constructive dismissal. Have everything leading up to her resignation documented. Have you been very clear in writing (eg emails) about your reasons for turning down the unpaid leave and her suggestions for a cover person? Ask again at your work HR about this.

Chances are she will just leave and you'll hear nothing further, but just be aware.

MistyB Fri 21-Jun-13 14:51:28

She had already resigned and subsequently requested two and a half weeks of unpaid leave during her notice period. It was her decision to bring forward her date of departure. I suspect (though I am no expert!!) that a constructive dismissal claim would be hard to prove as you were making every effort to ensure she continued to perform her contractual duties and she was making every effort not to. But it would be a good idea to have this all documented so that you have a clear record of the facts. File it at the bottom of a cupboard and metaphorically move on and hopefully this will be the last you will hear from her.

None of my employers (public and private sectors) would have tried to make this sort of request work if it didn't suit them. If I asked for unpaid leave I imagine that they would have been pleasant about turning it down, but it would have been made clear that the conversation was over. I therefore think that your HR's advice was dubious.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 21-Jun-13 18:39:23

Very much doubt she could prove constructive dismissal under the current scenario. If you'd tried that route of changing the dates you need her it may have been more of a possibility.

knackeredmother Fri 21-Jun-13 22:22:03

Thanks everyone, quick post as on my phone and have had copious wine to make me feel better about this whole sorry situation.
I've had an employment lawyer friend look over the resignation and apparently it is screaming 'going for constructive dismissal'.
I am so naive, felt so bad about the whole situation.
Lawyer friend is drafting a reply for me, basically not accepting the resignation as it stands. There is lots of ' I don't want to leave but feel I have been given no choice'.
I feel a fool .....

knackeredmother Fri 21-Jun-13 22:24:06

I should just add, prior to this she had verbally told me she was looking for a new post, and was advertising, but no formal notice had been given. This was all mutually agreed as I was hoping to go part time at some point in the future anyway but had no specific date in mind.

whattodoo Fri 21-Jun-13 22:31:25

My God, what a cow. Can you get hold of a copy of her job advert?

knackeredmother Fri 21-Jun-13 22:33:56

Yes, I have a copy whattodo.

Galdos Fri 21-Jun-13 23:10:33

I'm a lawyer but not an employment lawyer. (1) record everything (2) make it clear in advance that the unauthorised absence will be treated as gross misconduct (3) check your records etc carefully so your version is consistent. Any chance there is some authorisation of the absence?

Unhelpfully, the 'servant problem' is a trope of Victorian fiction, but a problem nowadays only visible in childcare. I have had a nanny for 6/7 years from when my spouse was ill and then died, and her housekeeping skills etc have me tearing my hair out; I have been through several agencies and have been unable to find a replacement. I am under the shadow of redundancy at work because of my 'lack of commitment' as although in theory part time (ha-ha - still 50 hour weeks) I have to take time off to pick up all the balls the nanny drops. These range from the trivial (hopeless at washing up) through the irritating (kids beds unmade, shoes uncleaned) to the apoplexy-inducing (routinely a day late back from holidays).

Good luck!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 21-Jun-13 23:17:01

oh knackered sad i have just stalked re read some of your posts on mn, many that i rem replying to - i didnt reliese you were that op iyswim

there have been so many incidents over the past 2 years, maybe go through your posts as i have and that will remind you of things/her behaviour the past two years and you can write things down if she tries to take you to court

the river incident springs to mind and that was a year ago you posted that and you were not happy with your nanny then sad

does she still bring her dc to work?

how is your ds, you said he was poorly and she was no help even refusing to collect ds medication one day and place was near the nursery

most nannies are supportive to their employers, but yours doesnt seem to be esp when you need it more then the average mb

basically she has never fulfilled her contract/duties properly imho x

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Fri 21-Jun-13 23:22:07

She is a right little cow isn't she sad

I'm glad your friend is helping you out.

Don't lump all nannies in the same category though - most of them are lovely with good work ethics and morals.

MistyB Fri 21-Jun-13 23:42:56

Reply to her resignation stating that you are sorry she feels unable to perform her contractual duties for the times specified in her contract. If she were to reconsider the unpaid leave requests you would be happy to discuss her continued employment.

I hope your employment lawyer friend has made you feel better. You have not made this woman leave her job. Look at it from a breach of contract perspective and see if you can build a counter case to have up your sleeve.

More wine me thinks!!!

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