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Newbie- was i wrong to dimiss nanny?

(16 Posts)
nooniem Mon 19-Sep-16 18:27:43

Hi, this is one of my very few posts, but am in a bit of a state to say the least!

We have a lady who was employed by us in a nannying role, we agreed that she could bring her own child who is the same age as our child - both first years in juniors. That's kind of irrelevant!! However, our preference was to have our son looked after in our own home, so employed a local mum, dbs checked, who would do this for us, 9 months ago.

There have been a few minor issues like, taking him to the pub at lunchtime without telling me and then saying they went to the park, or taking to the hospital for her own blood tests, without telling me, but the latest situation has led us to dismiss her, and I feel bad, but would love some advice from others to see if they think I am right?

Our lady went on a euro weekend away, and I text her last night to ask if she had a nice weekend, and just to check in for her time to pick up son for school today, and she said that there was a bomb scare, the airport was security mad, and that her plane had been cancelled, and she was petrified.. on her own, no money, nowhere to stay etc, and that she couldn't get back until today. I felt so sorry for her, we have become friends, so I started trying to find a hotel for her and a different flight home, but all flights out of the airport were available, and there was no bomb scare at all? and in fact all the flights yesterday departed and landed on time, so I started thinking 'ummm' this doesn't seem right! So I even called the airline today and they said there were plenty of seats left on the flights yesterday and for todays .... so then my Lady text to say she couldn't get a flight until late this evening, 24 hours since the scare, which again confused me as the airline was operating available flights all day today? So then she said that she had to pay for her flight and the cheapest one was this evening...but I said she shouldn't have to pay a thing if her original flight had been cancelled. My husband then said, enough of this, she is lying to us, and we don't feel that we can trust her now we can see that she has blatanly lied! so he text her and thanks, but we will move on with childcare arrangements, so then I get a day of abuse from her saying that she cant believe I have done this to her, etc etc, and she has also now said she missed her flight, but cant see the difference between missing her flight or it being cancelled, so why are dismissing her. Ive explained that its not that she missed her flight that she is being dismisssed, but that she lied last night, and that we were not bothered that she let us down on childcare, as that can happen in an emergency etc, but the fact that she made up the bomb scare and cancelled flights is a concern. SO now I have threats that If she see's me at school etc, and she is going to take us to a tribunal for unfair dismissal etc, its our fault she cant feed her child, or pay her rent etc....... oh and that she had kept copies of all our texts etc so she can use them against me, personal texts that we sent when we were chatting etc, an threatening to report my business to HMRC etc! (I am fully registed and compliant with HMRC and have been for 12 years!) She has turned very nasty, and then at school today I find out that the school already have her on a warning for abusing parents! I'm not looking forward to the school run in the morning!!

So, in short, sorry for the long essay, but I am being too harsh? even if I did say ok come back to work, its kind of gone toooooooo far!

thanks for advice - and for advice as to how to cope with the school run and my nerves!

X

mrschatty Mon 19-Sep-16 18:50:10

So she made up a bomb scare because she missed her flight. That sounds like someone who has a logical thinking pattern...hmm
I don't think you are wrong to have dismissed her surely trust is paramount in a relationship such as this. There is no trust there.
Did she have a contract?

nooniem Mon 19-Sep-16 19:07:11

thanks mrschatty, yes she did have a contract, and when I said that Schipol had no bomb scares, she said it was in Barcelona which affects Amsterdam?! x

nannynick Mon 19-Sep-16 19:08:59

Ideally you would have suspended them and then investigated, resulting in dismissal. As a business owner yourself I suspect you know the procedure for dismissing staff.

She has been with you for 9 months so can't take you to tribunal for unfair dismissal. Wrongful dismissal perhaps but as long as you pay in lieu of notice I can't see a wrongful dismissal case getting far.

You were initially helpful to try to resolve her problem, you then found out that there was no bomb scare and there were plenty of flights, and thus your trust in her to be truthful has been lost. Loss of trust might be grounds for dismissal under gross misconduct but more likely dismissal with notice.

It will be hard dealing with her at the school gate but hopefully you will be able to part company over this business relationship by bringing it to a satisfactory close. Under her terms of contract, can you pay in lieu of notice period? Can you then finalise the payroll and draw the financial side of things to a close?

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Mon 19-Sep-16 19:10:53

I would have sacked her at the first lie re pub.

Ilovewillow Mon 19-Sep-16 19:11:38

I don't think you were wrong but you do need to make sure you follow the terms of her contract if she has one! I would pay her in lieu of notice to tidy things up. You did well keeping her as long as you did - she would have been gone after the pub incident for me!

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 19-Sep-16 19:59:54

She lied to you. Maybe a formal warning

But then her behaviours afterwards to was worse.

I wouldn't want someone like that looking after my child

But you do need to follow what contract says for Notice and pay her accordingly

Taking child to pub isn't great

And hospital app sometimes you can't chose the time but seems weird to have an after school app

But why not say to you I've got a hospital app. Quite happy to take your son and my son rather then you have to take time off your job to cover me

NuffSaidSam Mon 19-Sep-16 20:40:20

You were not wrong to sack her. She sounds like a nightmare.

You do need to follow proper procedure though.

Were you paying her properly i.e. tax and NI etc.? If not, you could be in trouble if she reports you for that!

nooniem Mon 19-Sep-16 21:07:53

ah she had a full on contract and all properly paid via PAYE! I work with HMRC so totally legal! smile

jellycat1 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:00:36

Lying and nannies don't go together. You have to have complete trust in the person you leave your kids with. No lie is acceptable whether it's a massive whopper or a little white one. As pp said, the pub one would have finished her for me.

LouBlue1507 Tue 20-Sep-16 12:13:32

I think you've done the right thing but probably gone about it the wrong way. Once the trust is gone then it's time to move on!

Can I just though, what is wrong with taking children to the pub? I've taken charges out for pub grub in the past, they have a great playground and they're favourite pudding there? Each to their own I guess!

Callaird Tue 20-Sep-16 13:27:18

I agree with other posters, you know you did the right thing. She lied to you. I feel guilty enough when I don't mention that we spent time making birthday cards/presents when they ask what we have been up to that day. I really don't understand why she would lie about missing her flight and opting to pay for the next, cheapest flight. I've done it, missed a flight of my own accord but I just called them as soon as I could to give them as much notice as possible apologised profusely, said I'd take the day unpaid (they told me not to be silly, that it happens and they'd sort something out)

But I'm with LouBlue, I don't see the problem with taking charges to the pub, I've been doing that for 30 years, none of my bosses have minded, I didn't drink alcohol though. I always mention it before hand (or at the end of the day if it's a last minute change of plan)

I also take charges to doctors/dentists appointments with me (never been to the hospital during work time so never had to take them to a hospital appointment. *touches wood*) I always tell employers that I need to go to x, y or z on xx date, I'm happy to take the children if your happy for them to come (never taken them to a more invasive appointment. I'd take time off for that or wait for them to take one of their many holidays/long weekends and book it for then.)

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 20-Sep-16 21:09:32

Guess depends what kind of pub

A charlie chalks /Brewster beat

Or a normal pub

kazzakon Tue 20-Sep-16 21:31:13

Poor you. Not a nice situation. You absolutely can't have someone you do not trust looking after your child. What does your contract say about what constitutes gross misconduct, which would ( under most contracts anyway) mean you have the right to terminate her employment immediately? Poor timekeeping or unreliability is usually a trigger for a warning, but blatant lying like you have described I would expect is grounds for gross misconduct but check your contract, they normally provide a list of items which would be gross misconduct but certainly the contract I have with my nanny does say this is not an exhaustive list...
Also, Taking your child to the hospital for blood tests without your express permission would, certainly under the contract I have with my nanny anyway, be grounds for immediate dismissal, as it is effectively an example of the employee devoting time to business other than the business of caring for your child without express permission.
On to pub point I would expect my nanny to run that by me first but not sure, unless you have something specific about pre agreeing activities etc in the contract if you can use that.
If you can justify immediate dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct I would suggest getting it all set out in a formal letter.

Callaird Wed 21-Sep-16 15:16:47

Blondes F knows the children's menu by heart in the two closest local pubs! Not Charlie Chalk/Brewers fayre. Not even a garden in one of them. They do the best sweet potato chips in F's eyes and they give him ketchup and mayonnaise in little pots which makes him so happy! I don't see taking a charge into a pub (for brunch/lunch/tea) is any different than taking them into a restaurant. Although I have just realised that the OP didn't state whether her nanny took them in for food or to play in the play equipment/garden. I'd only go to the pub with them for food or if it had a nice play area.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 21-Sep-16 15:37:01

True callaird smile

The pub near v work is nice but not a child's pub

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