This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.
PT Nanny is constantly ill and its starting to affect my work(13 Posts)
Hi guys! We need some help. We've had a pt nanny for exactly a year now and she has taken A LOT of sick days off, to the point that its almost every week. Its never something contagious like the flu or bronchiolitis. We would like to know if we can terminate employment on grounds of actually not doing the job! In any other profession you simply couldn't text an hour before having to be in and take a day off every week. We had a contract for the first six months and we've agreed to continue it verbally but haven't signed anything so technically she is not under contract. What are the rules about letting her go when she's done a years service.
What was the notice period on the contract?Can't you just give her 1 months notice (or whatever it was)? You don't need to give a reason.I could be wrong but if you don't have a contract the terms are implied by whatever the last contract said.
What childcare would you use instead?
Verbal contract would count as continious employment in my view, there will be some form of written evidence such as payslips, bank transaction records.
Have you done back to work interviews after each period of sickness? Have you given written warnings for repeated time off?
Thanks for that. We are not from England and so don't know all these rules...just feeling used and constantly left in a bind. I will be doing this when she comes in next...does a back to work interview consist of just asking whats wrong and what we can do about it or to tell her that this has to stop?
are you still paying her for the days she's off sick?
Mumsoblue - as legislation may need to be looked at, probably best to ask which country you are in. As you say you are not from England, I will assume you are in the UK, and more specifically in England.
Links below are for your information, they are aimed at larger organisations then someone employing just one person but a lot will apply as a lot of things in employment law apply regardless of size of organisation.
ACAS: Managing Attendance (PDF, 1MB) - see this for info about Return to work interview.
Return to work interview is to check they are ok to continue in their duties, not still suffering from an illness that affects their ability to work. If possible it should identify a cause for the absence and establish if it is work related in any way. Also by chatting to them you can try to establish if there is anything else bothering them, perhaps something they are unhappy about at work, or maybe in their personal life. Up to the employee what they tell you.
By having some thing documented about the time off, a pattern may develop... such as always off sick on a particular day.
You are also taking steps down the disciplinary route, so informing the employee of the problem (in this case, that having a sick day is very inconvenient and that the number of days taken is significantly more than what was anticipated). You could issue a verbal or written warning with regard to sickness saying that you consider the frequency of sickness is too high for the role and that if it continues then they may face dismissal.
ACAS: Discipline and Grievances (PDF, 1MB)
You need to act fairly. A difficulty with sickness is that the cause of that sickness may be due to something that dismissing them for it would automatically be unfair, such as being pregnant.
Given you are saying that you will talk to them when they return to work, would I be right in assuming you are giving them another chance?
Could be a good opportunity to go through paperwork such as documenting the verbal agreement that they will continue doing the job. If you are using some kind of fixed term contract (so where it states an end date) then create another one, with another end date as appropriate. You may want to make that quite a soon end date, so that the contract can come to a natural end, rather than you dismissing them for taking too much time off. They become a permanent employee after 4 years of fixed term contracts.
Make it clear to them that you consider their sickness frequency to be a problem and that you are finding it very hard to cover their sickness, so if it continues then you will need to consider if they are fit to do the job, that they will be dismissed for their poor attendance.
Perhaps they will make more of an effort to come to work, or they may not, in which case you can then dismiss them with notice, or pay in lieu of notice. Keep a written record of actions you take, such as having a meeting and that cause of illness on that occasion was x, or was unknown.
Many nannies are very reliable, even going to the extreme of working when ill. You seem to be unlucky and need to nip things in the bud now. Don't let it continue, written warning now regardless of if the absence is genuine or not in your view, making it very clear that attendance needs to be improved for them to keep their job. Make sure you review how things are going on a regular basis.
If you wanted to dismiss them immediately, then you could give notice under the contract to end it - so paying them in lieu of notice period I suspect. Though do make sure that the illness is not due to them being pregnant or due a disability they have. If either of those cases, then seek professional advice. If you are using a nanny payroll company, they may provide access to an employment law helpline.
I am a nanny, not legally trained, so get professional advice if you feel you need it.
Nannynick, We live in London. I can't write more info in case she is registered here but thank you so much! Is it possible to pm you? Thanks everyone...def given me a lot to consider!
Sorry to hear this. Not all nannies take sick leave once a year never mind once a week!
As nanny nick says - contact ACAS and nanny tax may be useful for some advice also.
Just make sure that you speak to a professional or someone who has great experience in this and get the correct advice! An employee who has been employed in the same job for 12months will have the right to seek legal action especially if you do not handle this in the right way and you don't want it to come back and haunt you!
Also just because you haven't got a signed written contract does not mean that this is not a true arrangement. A verbal contract still counts!
Good luck with it all though.
If an employee starts work for an employer on or after 6 April, he or she will not be able to claim unfair dismissal if he or she is dismissed within the first two years of the employment.
Some dismissals will be automatically unfair regardless of how long the employee has been with the employer. An example of this would be something like an employee being dismissed due to them being pregnant.
Wrongul Dismissal does not have a qualifying period, so anyone can claim that. It would be when the employer breaches the terms of the contract, such as not providing notice of dismissal, or following correct disciplinary procedures.
I agree that the verbal contract still counts and that it is best to assume that the two periods of work are considered to be linked, forming a continuous period of employment for the purposes of qualifying period for unfair dismissal claim.
Though not an issue in this particular case, as the nanny started in Sept 2012, so needs a 2 year period before claiming unfair dismissal. So that leaves with them possibly claiming Wrongful Dismissal, which is solved by following correct procedures, especially notice period, which as the current agreement is verbal I feel should be the notice as previous agreed in the written statement of employment particulars.
As well as ACAS, many nanny payroll companies provide access to employment law advice, so take advantage of any free time you get to speak to someone trained in employment law, though do prepare what you are going to say before calling as your time will be limited and you want them to give a quick response to confirm you have things right or give suggestions for procedures to follow.
Do you pay her when she's off sick - i.e. does her contract say that? If you do that might be the problem. Sadly employers do find if they do not pay sick pay employees' sick leave reduces. Of course after the 3 days unpaid off sick the employee can claim SSP but you certainly do not have to pay sick pay as an employer other than this unless her contract says so.
As for the answer - good answers above. The absence of a written contract does not change things as the original 6 month one - or rather tis terms - will continue. She has not been employed for 2 years so unless there is sex discrimination she cannot claim unfair dismissal so check what notice period she needs to be given and if possible speak to an employment lawyer
Following on from 78bunion's point, it's quite common in large firms to have a sickness policy where they pay statutory sick leave pay after an accrued number of sick days. Essentially, we will pay up to 6 days sick leave in a year, after that it is SSP all the way.
It might help with the duvet days if that's what they are.
You can also insist that they see a GP and get independent validation that there is a health issue (though not the specifics).
how many sick days has she had, if almost every week could be 30+ a year
what does it say about ssp in your contract, what do you pay? ssp kicks in after 3 days
if you are paying full pay then stop and amazingly your nanny will feeel better im sure
why didnt you renew contract after 6mths?
in the end if your nanny isnt doing her job then i would hand her her notice , tho obv not sure of the legal stance
Did your contract specify the job was only for 6 months?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.