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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!

NapaCab Sat 13-Jul-13 00:09:14

If she is planning to claim constructive dismissal she is being very poorly advised! If she wins, she will only be awarded whatever earnings she has lost because of your actions. How long would it take her to get another nanny job? A month? Two months? That is all the pay she would be awarded by the tribunal. Either way it would never be enough to be worth her while. She would have to take on legal costs of about £6k at least and she would have to pay that upfront, even if legal costs were eventually awarded to her.

I have no idea where people get this idea that going to tribunal is lucrative. It is barely worth your while if you are a regular employee and the circumstances are not exceptional i.e. no sex / race discrimination.I have been through the system (settled before it got to tribunal) and it is a costly business that is rarely worth the while of the employee. I had a really egregious case, possible sex discrimination, and it still would have been very very difficult and stressful to go to tribunal. It's not a trivial matter. As you are an individual employing one person too, OP, the tribunal would most likely be in your favor as they are more sympathetic to smaller employers with few resources.

If she threatens you with some letter about constructive dismissal, OP, just brazen it out and act as if you are totally happy to go all the way to tribunal if needs be. Also make it clear you have plenty of access to legal advice. She's probably hoping to extort a bit of cash from you with a letter threatening tribunal, but believe me, she wouldn't have much of a case that any employment lawyer would bother with.

BlackSwan Fri 12-Jul-13 23:13:02

You have to have this hanging over your head until September? She is a worthless bitch and doesn't deserve her job. Drawn to your post because I too cannot stomach another nanny, but that's another story.

CharlieCoCo Fri 12-Jul-13 22:59:11

thing is, so shes basically saying if you dont give me the time off i wont show up, so what does she expect you to do for childcare confused. surely the day she doesnt do her job it should be instant sacking (i know it isn't, i mean it should be). the law can be a bitch cant it!

what a twat your nanny is knackered. We're not all like that! Honestly! I end up working on my holiday days for my other family usually!

Have you got a copy of her job ad with the date on it? As the date would be the important bit in proving that she intended to leave anyway.

Mimishimi Sat 22-Jun-13 11:28:09

Let her take the leave on condition she provides you with formal notice that she is leaving in September. Then don't make her redundant. Let her take her leave and she won't get redundancy pay because you won't fire her.

camtt Sat 22-Jun-13 10:54:24

I think it's one thing for your NHS employer to say they would work with you to try to find a solution, but a nanny is a sole employee, if she takes additional leave you don't have other employees to do her job. It's not the same situation at all. You don't sound as if you have behaved unreasonably - you agreed to a lot of additional leave which many employers would not have done. I would stick to my guns and argue the case.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 22-Jun-13 00:01:40

Sorry- didn't read the other posts before posting. Just get everything documented.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 21-Jun-13 23:59:10

Just watch she doesn't claim constructive dismissal.

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!!!

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.

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

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!

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

Yes, I have a copy whattodo.

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 22:24:06

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.

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 .....

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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...)

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?

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

Ps - I now use a nursery wink

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