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Nannies -if your ill during working day what do you do?

(43 Posts)
DillyDallyDayDream Wed 07-Nov-12 18:54:04

It seems that yesterday afternoon I came down with a stomach bug and was sick 2 times whilst at work. After being sick the 1st time I rang Mum boss to explain that I was unwell and could she possibly ask her Mum to come take over from me so I dont spread the illness to the children (liklihood is i already had). She stated no she was at work I had to stay for the rest of my working hours which was 4hours. Then she was half hour late with warning.

Was i unreasonable to suggest what I did?
What do you do if you become ill during your working day?

Thanks

Welovecouscous Wed 07-Nov-12 19:03:04

That is rubbish of her Dilly. Unless she is a heart surgeon she can leave work to come home. You were sick and entitled to stop work sad

DillyDallyDayDream Wed 07-Nov-12 19:04:07

She's a deputy headteacher and had 'important' meetings.

Welovecouscous Wed 07-Nov-12 19:05:47

Someone else on school senior management team could have stepped in surely? Very poor. I employ a nanny and would come home immediately if she was sick. It is common decency for one thing.

mogandme Wed 07-Nov-12 19:22:57

If my boss could come home she would however as she is often away/uncontactable I have 2 contingency plans 1) Im live in so go to bed and DC (aged just 5 watches dvd/plays etc) 2) Friends would have him either mum friends or nanny network.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 07-Nov-12 19:28:27

Tbh I'm rarely ill so if felt under the weather then would have a sofa and tv day

Throwing up is different - I would call my Mb or db but also know that they may not be able to just come home and also likely to be 1.5/2hrs with travel etc

I would probably call a nanny friend who knew my charges and see if she could have them if felt so ill that I couldn't carry on

OP - your Mb sounds horrible / understand that maybe she can't come home but if her mum was free then that's a solution but to do nothing and be late home is just taking the piss sad

fraktion Wed 07-Nov-12 19:29:44

I would have sought permission to find an emergency playdate with a another nanny/charge's friend.

Extremely poor IMO. I hope you'll be observing the 48 hour rule now.

cathpip Wed 07-Nov-12 19:34:19

Well lets just hope that the headteacher tells her no she cant go home sick when she throws up twice............

PhyllisDoris Wed 07-Nov-12 19:38:54

People can't just walk out if work! But if you really feel that you might ever suddenly feel too ill to look after the children again, at such short notice I suggest you discuss a contingency plan with the mother. But bear in mind that parents who are ill have to carry on looking after the kids, so it's not impossible.

Welovecouscous Wed 07-Nov-12 19:42:19

Nannies are employees not parents.

mogandme Wed 07-Nov-12 19:43:17

Dilly - why did she say No to Grandma taking over?

PhyllisDoris Wed 07-Nov-12 19:45:03

Regardless, people can't just walk out if work. If you have a job, it's assumed you have adequate child care - you can't just leave.

mogandme Wed 07-Nov-12 19:45:04

Agree with the welove - Phyliss if it had been their child who had been sick at another childcare provider then they would have had to leave or have a contngency plan in place. My MB has a contingancy plan for when I call in sick etc so know that she would some how cobble it together. I am an employee and if I was sick in an office/factory/shop I would go home so why wouldn't I as a nanny?

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Wed 07-Nov-12 19:49:35

If you put it as "so I don't infect the kids" then she may have thought you were giving her the option. If you said "I feel awful and really need to go home" that would be a but different.

PhyllisDoris Wed 07-Nov-12 19:52:45

I don't know what the answer is, but I know you can't just walk out of work. Best to arrange contingency probably.

knackeredmother Wed 07-Nov-12 19:56:11

As a parent it would be near on impossible for me to come but I would try to ask a neighbour/friend. However, the reason I pay the vast proportion of my salary to my nanny is because I simply very little backup, my nanny is my backup.
It's very difficult.

mogandme Wed 07-Nov-12 20:03:52

I understand that Knackered - My boss is a single parent with no local links to the area other than work so I know she would struggle if I couldn't do my job however I work with her to ensure that if this happens that it all works out. However for the flexibility I give and the way I work hard to ensure it all works seamlessly I do expect my boss to come home if possible and wouldn't be impressed with the situation Dilly was in - no backup and boss coming in late.

forevergreek Wed 07-Nov-12 20:55:59

I would drop at friends or snuggle down on the sofa with tv ( my charges never have tv so I think I could pass a few hours that way if needed)

I would call employers and mine would try and leave as early as possible ( def not be late!) and would work from home.

But I many neighbours are close friends so I could probably split up and drop a child a a couple of different people ( so they ended up with one extra instead of 3)

Being a nanny is different from a parent. A parent can snuggle into bed with kids with them and dose. A nanny is expected to entertain, bake cookies, and get homework done. If I am ill, as an employee it's in my rights to take time off ( have taken half a day in 6 years, and that was only after I dragged myself in feeling rotten and then felt too dizzy to safely look after babies), so I would hope they would understand that I really was sick

wickedwitchofwaterloo Wed 07-Nov-12 21:06:09

I disagree somewhat forevergreek on a normal day, that is what a nanny does but if you are sick, you are sick. I don't know a single family I have worked for (bar maybe one wink) that would object to me sitting on the settee, under a duvet and allowing my charges to watch TV for a few hours if I was feeling rotten if there was no back up plan. As someone else said, we are the back up plans. I have dragged myself into work in various states and my employers appreciate that they can go to work so turn a blind eye to a less than productive day.
Saying that, I've never thrown up at work due to illness...

wickedwitchofwaterloo Wed 07-Nov-12 21:10:01

Although I will say Dilly, your boss does sound a bit mean! sad

SamSmalaidh Wed 07-Nov-12 22:30:36

Phyllis - if your child is at nursery and becomes ill then the parent does have to leave work to get them, or have someone else who can. That's the same if someone has a nanny who gets ill!

That is a bit mean - I understand her not being able to come home, I am often in the same situation, which is why I don't use a nursery/childminder. However, if she has parents nearby who could help then not contacting them and then being late is very inconsiderate

McPhee Wed 07-Nov-12 22:36:45

And this sort of attitude, is precisely one of the reasons I want out of the childcare sector.

We have the same rights as every other employed person up and down the land. And are most certainly NOT second class citizens who have to 'put up or shut up'

ceeveebee Wed 07-Nov-12 22:43:42

Is your employer a single parent? Is there a father that could have come home?

As an employer I feel it's my responsibility to have a back up plan. In my case I have specifically arranged to meet a couple of my nanny's friends so that if she had to leave them with someone else I would feel comfortable. My first choice would be for me or DH to come home but its not always possible to drop everything.

forevergreek Wed 07-Nov-12 23:31:51

Ceeveebee- that's a great idea. Like you say many can't drop things in seconds and get home, but they could at least be home on time!
I have had others like this where an emergency came up and nanny had to leave at say 1pm ( usual 7pm finish). The granny managed to pick up from me at 4pm

My employers would either cone home (a two hour venture or so) our call in their old nanny who covers when I am not available or when they need extra help but I'm at my other job. Your employers should have arranged something if you'd been sick.

poopnscoop Thu 08-Nov-12 09:09:55

From a childminder's perspective... this is the exact reason why I have an emergency contact/s (if mum AND dad cannot collect)... if a child becomes ill there HAS to be someone available to collect... and I have parents who are often away/have high-up jobs.

The kids come first, before a job. And a nanny should not be expected to just carry on as a parent would.. as she is an employee. What if there was an accident? Nanny sprained an ankle ro something? There HAS to be an emergency back up.

PhyllisDoris Thu 08-Nov-12 14:24:19

I don't imagine my employer would be to impressed if I had to duck out of a meeting at short notice for a domestic crisis.

What about parents who live a long way away from where they live - even if they could get out of work, they may not be able to get home quickly.

IMO a child carer is there to make sure that child is supervised, not to entertain, bake cookies, and get homework done. That is the job of the parent. Entertaining can be as simple as putting a DVD on, or playing in the garden.

mogandme Thu 08-Nov-12 15:00:50

I still feel there should be a contingency plan. Do you use a nanny Phylliss

Welovecouscous Thu 08-Nov-12 15:02:59

It's very simple - if an employee is sick they are legally entitled to time off work. Any sensible nanny employer will arrange a contingency plan for where their child will go if this happens.

I cannot imagine this being controversial.

RyleDup Thu 08-Nov-12 15:07:44

Crikey, thats not good op. She should have asked her mum. I had that sickness bug a few days ago as well and its nasty. I had to rally round friends and family to help out. If they are your kids and you don't have that option, well theres no choice but to get on with it. But as an employer she should have sorted something out for you.

nannynick Thu 08-Nov-12 15:29:13

I don't feel that parents can be expected to have a backup plan to cover this sort of thing. Sure there may be a neighbour who could help out but these days not everyone knows their neighbours name, yet alone enough to trust them to care for their children, plus the neighbours may be working full time themselves so can't help out. Some family friends may be able to help - or may not. Not everyone is happy having 3, 4, 5 children coming to visit them at short notice.

If a nanny is ill at work, they keep working in my view if they are able to do so. Sure the parents can be informed, so if they can leave work early they can arrange to do so, but in a lot of jobs people are not able to leave work at a moments notice - sorry the court case has to be adjourned as the solicitors nanny is feeling ill - not sure MoJ would accept that, or anyone of us should expect our legal system to grind to a halt in such a situation.

Nothing wrong with the nanny taking it easy in my view... stick a DVD on, call for pizza delivery, whatever it takes to get through the remainder of the day.

More worrying I feel is if a nanny has an accident at work resulting in broken bones, loss of blood, that sort of thing. Having people to call on for help is a good idea, with luck such an emergency is not likely to happen often.

ceeveebee Thu 08-Nov-12 15:51:45

I totally agree that it's not easy for working parents (fathers as well as mothers by the way..) to always be able to drop everything and come home - certainly both my husband and I would find it difficult depending on what meetings etc we had on. Which is why I think its very important if you have that kind of job to have a back up plan in place - another nanny, a family member or a friend. And that is the parent's responsbility in my eyes.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 08-Nov-12 15:52:25

why did your mb say no to her mum coming round??

as i said if i felt that ill i have many nanny friends and sure one would be able to cover for me and have my charge/s

obv any employer would prefer they know who their children are left with, but dont forget if you trust your nanny (and hope you do if she is working for you) then trust her judgement and if she has arranged for your child to be at friends house then appreciate it - and tbh more then likely the children will be happy in their care as will know the friend from playdates

DillyDallyDayDream Thu 08-Nov-12 18:33:44

Db was working away in Germany so he couldnt get back.
MB's Mum was at a coffee afternoon so couldnt take over
My charges are 10months old and 4years old so tv wasnt an option really. Plus school run etc for 4year old was awful.

StillSquiffy Thu 08-Nov-12 20:05:21

nannynicks' view is pretty much what I expect as a parent - invoke the contingency plan if there is one, but sometimes nannies do have to crack on even when ill - the ability for them to 'pseudo-parent' is why parents pay £10-12 gross, rather than £3-4 for other childcare options, and for some parents they really do need the nanny to carry on every once in a while. A good nanny employer would also move Heaven and Earth to try to sort out alternatives when a nanny is ill.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Thu 08-Nov-12 20:39:24

'the ability for them to 'pseudo-parent' is why parents pay £10-12 gross, rather than £3-4 for other childcare options'

That and a little thing called minimum wage. Also bear in my mind that £3-4 childcare options are per child. A nanny is per family. I look after 4 so even at £12 gross ph it's actually only £3ph per child.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Thu 08-Nov-12 20:48:04

'I don't feel that parents can be expected to have a backup plan to cover this sort of thing'

Of course they should, they should have several. This is why schools etc. ask for a next of kin who can come and collect the child if they're ill and you can't get there. You MUST have a back up plan. Ensuring the well being of your child is a very basic part of parenting. A 10 month old being looked after by a nanny with a broken leg/head injury/who is violently ill is not safe. A nanny with a broken leg is not going to be able to do the school run. Children left at school with no-one to pick them up are safe, but probably not happy.

'but in a lot of jobs people are not able to leave work at a moments notice'

which is exactly why you need a back-up plan.

longjane Thu 08-Nov-12 20:52:25

dilly why could not phone BM mum your self?
I would get her number for emergencys
and
try and make some school mum friends ones that you can ring to bring the school child home.
as looking after any who has D and V and going somewhere is near enough impossable but to doing your self in car is not safe
walking you could get aways with for your self but not nice for a ill child
and of course you are giving that bug to kids all of the kids school and if MB get bug all of her school too.
It is going to be a hell of few weeks

calmlychaotic Fri 09-Nov-12 00:50:52

Op the attitude is awful, and as mcphee said one of the worst aspects of working in childcare. I have been ill all week so has my assistant. Comments have been, hope you don't give that to the kids, i got it from the kids! To my assistant, you shouldn't have been made to come inwhen you're not well, i didn't make her she realises the impact if she stays off. And various comments along the lines of what exiting and educational things has my child done today as you don't look capable of much. Most would be totally stuck for alternative childcare. I am not expecting an award for bravery, it is only a cold. A bad one though, but they could appreciate us a bit more. Any other profession is allowed to get sick!

DillyDallyDayDream Fri 09-Nov-12 20:05:00

Longjane - i tried to ring BM's mum but had no answer. I have school mum friends who i could of rang but i felt a bit of fresh air would do me good.

As suggestions to DVD and pizza delivery etc - wouldnt work with a 9month old baby. not sure anything like that would really.

eurycantha Sat 10-Nov-12 23:13:27

I have been sick at work ,rang my boss ,I knew it would be difficult for her to get home and actually wasn't asking her to come home just informing her and saying that we wou ld watch TV.she did come home as soon as possible though.As Forevergreek said I also had only been I'll once(on this occasion )in 4 years and most nannies I know arevery seldom Ill it is appreciated that our bosses do try to get home at least a little earlier,what would have annoyed me in OP. post was not that their parent s couldn't get home but that they then were later than usual when they knew you were sick,

SuiGeneris Mon 12-Nov-12 23:17:39

Another vote for nannynick's approach here. As an employer I would of course try to come home early but it is not always possible.

To those who go on about every other professional being able to take time off: on paper maybe, but not in the real world, esp not if you are paid enough to be able to afford a nanny. DH and I always get vaccinated for the flu because we know we will have to work regardless. I have given presentations between bouts of D&V (never left the house without Imodium since then), done conference calls lying on the floor because I was too dizzy to sit up etc. I am no hero: it is just what is expected in my field.

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