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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.

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!

NotSoNervous Wed 19-Jun-13 17:00:38

Sorry I have no advice but she sounds a nightmare. I hope you get some good advice and whatever it is I would stick completely to the rules so that when you have alot of evidence to sack her and leave her with no possible way to try and get any money out of you.

I don't know how these things work but I would start having complaints about her behavior now and go through the whole verbal warning, written warning ect...

Runoutofideas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:02:47

I'm not a lawyer, but I would put in writing that you are unable to permit her request for unpaid leave on x dates. If she fails to arrive for work on those dates it will be considered gross misconduct and she will be dismissed. Maybe suggest that if she wants more holiday over the summer she should hand in her notice sooner? Not sure how you stand legally though...

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:12:03

Runoutofideas, she suggested leaving sooner but there has been a sudden about turn whereby she won't leave but is still intending to take unauthorised leave. This makes me think she has been getting advice not to leave. Everything is in writing, she has text me to say she is not leaving but still taking the unauthorised holiday and that I need to decide what to do (?!!!)
Notsonervous, the way she is being so blatant about it makes me think she knows she can get away with it.
I am literally on the edge with all of the stress!

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 17:12:45

I would send her a letter (recorded/sign for post) stating that as per the terms of her contract she has taken all of her entitled leave and that you do not agree to any additional leave, paid or unpaid. You understand that she would like to take leave from x date to x date but you do not agree to this.
And your letter is to officially inform her that if she fails to turn up for work on x day then you will consider that to be her formal resignation, you will no longer consider her to be employes by you and any contract you have will be terminated as of that date.

Basically if she doesn't turn up on that day she is quitting her job.

It sounds like she will be doing you a favour.

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 17:15:19

Oh and I would start presenting her with verbal and written warning every time she does something that you don't agree with, that way you will have a good defence if she does try anything legal.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:24:37

She has just text to say she doesn't have to or want to hand in her notice and wants to know what will happen when she doesn't turn up for work. I need to be sure legally I can call that gross misconduct as she clearly intends to take it further.
Why would any sane employee think this was reasonable?

Runoutofideas Wed 19-Jun-13 17:27:54

I think WeareEternal is more correct than me. It may be better to tell her if she doesn't turn up you will take that to mean that she has chosen to leave your employ with immediate effect, thereby making the decision hers to resign rather than yours to dismiss.

schobe Wed 19-Jun-13 17:34:39

Can't you just give a nanny notice as per the contract, like a childminder/nursery? <ignorant>

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 17:41:41

Schobe, yes I can but would then need to pay redundancy. That is exactly what she wants.
I am literally crying now- how can someone text to say I am still taking the time off but not leaving, whatnarenyou going to do about it?!
She is literally laughing in my face. I wouldn't care if she even had the annual leave to take or it was for a special occasion.
I feel I'm in a parallel universe, it just wouldn't ever in my lifetime occur to me to do this in my own job.

skaen Wed 19-Jun-13 17:49:37

It might be worth giving Acas a ring and talking it over with them and here

I would suggest issuing a verbal warning which is followed up in writing for her unacceptable conduct in threatening to take unauthorised leave and indicating that doing so will constitute gross misconduct which will result in her immediate dismissal without notice.

schobe Wed 19-Jun-13 17:53:41

Is the redundancy a lot?

Depends if you can bear to to play chicken and wait to see who flinches first.

On principle I guess I'd want to do this, especially as you believe she'll leave in Sept. But in reality, I think it would be money well spent for a swift conclusion. I don't think I'd want her working out her notice either. But that's easy to say and not so easy if you don't actually have the money.

lucamom Wed 19-Jun-13 18:03:56

Surely if things have reached the stage they have you no longer want her looking after your kids anyway?

Personally I'd try to talk it over with her in a friendly way and say you feel if she wants so much holiday in August and is planning to leave anyway in September that you suggest she leaves before her holiday in August, and you will pay her for the holiday she is entitled to ?
See if you can't come to a friendly agreement before going down the route of dismissal etc.
I've worked as a nanny for two families and my friend has been a nanny too, and personally I think it would be nice to see more placements end on friendly terms where possible smile

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Jun-13 18:07:14

Firstly what does your contract say is gross misconduct?

You can definitely send the letter saying you refuse to grant the leave to which she is not entitled, and include proof of when she had taken leave this year, and tell her that not turning up will result in instant dismissal.

I'm sorry you're having such a stressful time. Do you have legal cover on your home insurance? If your empliter's liability is through that then you should.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 18:10:53

Juggling, that's exactly what she suggested and would be the sane solution. However she is now saying she refuses to hand in her notice, I think because if she does she will not get her redundancy pay.
And no lucamom I want her no where near me or my kids.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:02

No advice, but I suggest that when she does finally fuck off, agree to give her references for future jobs and then tell the truth about what a bitch she's been (sending straight to prospective employers so she can't intercept)

Can you try talking with her about why handing in her notice and sticking to what she originally said would really be in her best interests - perhaps because you will be happier to speak to future employers about how happy you have been with her work with your children ? And how it is always good to leave on friendly terms. I presume there is nothing legally to stop you having such a conversation with her ?

nbee84 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:22:04

Just a couple of questions (am not a legal bod, just interested) Is the job changing in September? Have you given notice of those changes? Have you given her redundancy notice?

Spaghettio Wed 19-Jun-13 18:23:17

You need flowery. If you put a call out for her in the Employment section, she will probably be able to help you with the legal side of your issues.

Good luck, whatever. You do. Sounds like a total nightmare.

forevergreek Wed 19-Jun-13 18:31:47

I would just say she is redundant as from today and pay redundancy. It would be cheaper that paying her wage until September then redundency

It's only roughly 1 weeks wage per year

dianettey Wed 19-Jun-13 18:31:50

Can you go to see a solicitor? It would probably be worth it. Nightmare.

Seb101 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:36:54

I'd pay the redundancy and get rid ASAP. I would not have someone looking after my children, with whom the relationship had deteriorated so badly. It will be the equivalent of two weeks pay I think. I'd beg, borrow or steal; well not steal, but you know what I mean! I know you probably dont want her to 'win' so to speak, but I'd just want the stress to end. Pay her off and in a few weeks she'll be a distant memory! Otherwise your prob looking at months of it! What an unpleasant situation, I really feel for you. Good luck x

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 18:41:33

Thanks for such lovely replies. I can't get my head around how anyone can have so much front! I'm also finding out that employment law is a minefield and she probably can take this unapproved leave and laugh in my face as she is doing.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 19:27:55

You can't make her redundant if the position isn't redundant. Do you still need a nanny in September?

If it's possible to make her redundant I would do so as soon as you can find alternative care. Start calling childminders now. Find alternative care and then make her redundant asap. The payment is likely to be very low as she only work 2 days and has only been there for 2 years. It'll be worth it to see the look on her face when you give her notice!

<Just as an aside, most nannies are lovely. Don't judge us all by her appalling standards. There are twats in every profession.>

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 19:29:06

Use this calculator to work out how much redundancy will be

Is there any chance you were rounding up and she's been there less than 2 years?

Karoleann Wed 19-Jun-13 19:33:30

Knackered - I'd be furious if an employee spoke to me like that.
I would just send her an email (therefore recorded) stating that you are unable to authorise the leave and if she does not turn up on the stated date you will class that as gross misconduct.

I really wouldn't let it stress you. Have something as back up if she fails to turn up (suss out a few childminders, holiday clubs). She'll need a reference at some point, which you can just refuse to give, maybe then she'll think again about doing it to another employer. If she does ask for one you can just give the standard xxx worked for me from xxxx to xxxx. Please call for further details and then you can give them the details.

The vast majority of nannies are professional - always

1. Pay slightly in arrears
2. Have a clause that states that you can deduct a reasonable amount from their final salary if they fail to fulfil their full notice period to cover for expenses incurred as a result of failing to work their notice period.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 19:36:00

Thanks outraged, my son has health problems so ideally we would have another nanny. In that case does that mean I can't make her redundant? If I can't do that what on earth can I do? Just let her do whatever she wants and have to suck it up?
I honestly can't get my head around this. My instinct is to say this is gross misconduct and ask her to leave. I'm fairly sure if I did this at work it would be classed as gross misconduct.

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Jun-13 19:36:24

You need a lawyer. I would be asking them all sort of questions as I wouldn't want to leave my DC with someone this unprofessional.

If she has agreed to leave in September and will be away for 2 weeks already in August I would be seeking advice for moving her leave date to July 31st. She can go on holiday on her own time. A month should be enough time to find a replacement. Worst case you could use a CM.

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 19-Jun-13 19:39:26

Not seeing where redundancy is coming in here tbh...she wants to leave? So she is resigning

Employees cannot just do what they please and laugh all the way to a tribunal

From what you've said I would argue any one of the following:

Failure to follow a reasonable request ie turn up to work when you are expected

Being absent without leave

Frustrating her own contract of employment

You make it clear that her request has been considered and rejected

If she fails to turn up, you consider it a disciplinary matter

No further discussion on the subject.

Btw, from July, people have to pay to file a claim wihh an plan to weed out vexatious claims

So not be bullied!

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Jun-13 19:41:04

If you need another nanny you can't make her redundant. You therefore need to go down the dismissal route and follow the disciplinary procedure in your contract. As long as you follow that to the letter you can be shot of her in a couple of months if you have reasonable grounds - and her attitude is definitely making the relationship untenable so that would count.

You would need to do that anyway to give a negative reference - a bad reference must be accurate.

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 19-Jun-13 19:49:27

"She is looking to leave in September"

Then this is absolutely not a redundancy situation
Or have I missed something?

schobe Wed 19-Jun-13 19:49:31

I'm very far from an expert but it seems to me that the problem is that you will be paying the solicitor and paying costs for whatever trumped up case she wishes to raise (whether you win or lose) when you could have simply paid her the money in the first place.

Nobody wants the solicitors to be the only ones to benefit grin

cinnamondanish Wed 19-Jun-13 19:50:30

I just wanted to add my two cents worth from a nanny's point of view. I'm so sorry to hear of your predicament and think it's bloody awful and unprofessional what she is doing. It makes people like her give all us nannies a bad name and makes parents really worry over hiring someone in the future.
There are a huge amount of us good ones out there who stick to our signed contract agreements and I hope that in time you can trust another nanny to look after your children if you need to.
If she has signed a contract stating her agreed holiday days then she has no right to ask for more and expect you to just deal with it. It would be the equivalent of you saying that as her employer you were taking an extra week off but deciding not to pay etc. If you were to do something that wasn't agreed on the contract then she would kick up a fuss and state her rights.
I hope that you do seek legal advice and that you can pull the rug out from under her feet. People like that make me sick.
Ok rant over.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 19:52:03

As others have said, you can't make her redundant because the position isn't redundant.

The only other option is to sack her. Follow the procedures in your contract.

Or, just let her have the extra 2 days off. Make her take the full 3 weeks unpaid if she doesn't have enough holiday. Use annual leave or temporary care to cover. This is probably easier, although I couldn't stand to employ someone for the next few months who had this attitude.

RayofSun Wed 19-Jun-13 19:53:17

Does she have a job to go to in September? If not,it might be that she is trying to get you to sack her so she is able to claim benefits as if she just left, she would not be entitled.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 19:54:32

Home Eco - she has an advert looking for a new job from September. I don't think she has anything yet.
I can not carry on employing this woman, te trust has completely gone now.
If I can't make her redundant, as many have suggested I do for an easy life, what can I do about the fact she is telling me she will take holiday she neither has leave for, or I have sanctioned.
Is this enough to dismiss her for gross misconduct?

I think that absenteeism in general doesn't constitute gross misconduct but that you can give her clear notice that taking this particular unauthorised absence after being explicitly told that you won't allow it will be considered gross misconduct and render her liable to immediate summary dismissal.

But I'm not a lawyer and you should confirm that with ACAS or a solicitor.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 19:58:16

Just to add, the contract states that if this is classed as misconduct rather than gross misconduct, the she gets a written warning but essentially carries on working for us.
Gross misconduct is instant dismissal.
So if taking the unsanctioned leave is deemed the former, she basically gets away with it.

whatsleep Wed 19-Jun-13 20:01:37

If the job still exists I.e you will need another nanny, then you are not making her redundant. She is either choosing to leave or you are asking her to go? Also as others have said it sounds like she will be committing gross misconduct giving you he right to terminate her employment? ACAS are fantastic and are certainly worth a call. They are totally confidential and can just give proper advise as to where you stand legally.

You could (potentially, again I'm not a lawyer) count the "well, I'm going to take the leave anyway, so what are you going to do about it?" as insolence and hence misconduct and give her a written warning for that; if your relationship's broken down to the extent you describe then surely there will be other instances of regular misconduct between now and August; make sure you follow your contractual procedure re warnings etc. for those and that she's on a final written warning before the date of the projected unauthorised holiday and you'll have a good paper trail to justify sacking her at that point.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:05:06

I tried ACAS and they said they can not comment on individual situations and what constitutes gross misconduct. They suggested an employment lawyer which I'm going to look into tomorrow.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 19-Jun-13 20:05:23

So, she works two days a week? wants a weeks paid leave? Is this five days or two days as she only works two days a week? I would be inclined to just say fine, have the two days unpaid to save myself further hassle.

CakeAche Wed 19-Jun-13 20:05:28

Acas will give you advice on how to proceed - they know all the legal ins and outs.

Snog Wed 19-Jun-13 20:07:06

You need to take professional advice not ask an internet forum imo

Cindy34 Wed 19-Jun-13 20:08:35

You can not retrospectively define gross misconduct but it can have broad scope. Theft, violence, criminal prosecution, that sort of thing is easy to say fits gross misconduct, subject to there being proof. Insubordination, not turning up to work will be harder to fit in my view. It is certainly misconduct but is it gross misconduct?

I too would suggest that you call any emloyer helplines you have, start with ACAS as that is free and you can discuss at length with them about the situation and get the employment law specifics as clear as possible. Then call your insurers legal line if you need to double check the legal specifics.

SenoritaViva Wed 19-Jun-13 20:15:18

Have you got anything in writing about her intention to leave? I had an employee (but not a nanny so law could be different) who had resigned then changed their mind but we didn't and accepted their resignation nonetheless - clearly if they'd been any good we would've kept them. I wonder if you could follow that route?

She sounds vile. Poor you.

Cindy34 Wed 19-Jun-13 20:16:01

ACAS could not help, so it must be a complex thing. If unauthorised absence is written in the gross misconduct section, then I guess it is an easy situation but if it is not written in there, then it may be misconduct rather than gross misconduct.

Did ACAS point you towards their guides to dealing with employees? - this is aimed at small employers, so may be worth a read.

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 19-Jun-13 20:21:05

What's difficult to give advice o. Without seeing all your relevant paperwork is the definition of gross misconduct in your case - there is not really one standard definition, it's set by the terms of your contract, handbook (although you probably don't have one) etc

One interesting reason for dismissal that does not have to be either redundancy or dismissal is for 'some other substantial reason'

The SOSR dismissal is for things that don't really fall user one of the other headings, but are significant enough to warrant that course of action

Now, I would argue that a completely intransigent employee, who is expressly going against the stated terms of her employment and the express decision you have already explained to her, is reducing the relationship to one that is no longer sustainable and you have list trust and confidence. So, potentially it could be a SOSR case.

The key thing an ET is looking at in reaching a decision re unfair dismissal is whether an employer has acted fairly ie made a reasonable decision that another reasonable person would also reach. This is clearly quite subjective, but I think if you go doe. He route of saying to her

"I have considered your request. In light of the difficulties caused to me in having to find an alternative solution if you do not attend work as contracted to do, I regret that I cannot agree to further leave. If you go ahead and take the leave anyway, I will be forced to consider that you no longer wish to see out the remainder of your contract"

BUT - and I hate to say this - you have already given her extra time does another 2 days really make a difference? If you can genuinely say yes, I'd consider the SOSR route. If not...well, no good deed goes unpunished.

An employment lawyer friend of mine recently put the odds of winning a case (even if you really think it's a good one) at no more than 75%

So essentially you have to take a view on the risks

NB: I work in HR and used to employ a nanny. I have also uttered the words 'I am never employing another nanny'. It is not easy...

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 20:32:56

I wonder what would happen is she just says she's sick those days? Or if she has a child under 5 or a disabled child she can could maybe them as parental leave?

HomeEcoGnomist Wed 19-Jun-13 20:36:39

Sorry, bits of mine are garbled as trying to type quickly before having to run back upstairs to DS again

But hopefully you get the gist...

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:08

I'm assuming this person is planning to leave paid employment. She cannot seriously expect any kind of reference from you and 2 years is too long a period to go simply unaccounted for.
I would simply give her notice and indicate she is required to work the period. if she fails to attend as required, gross misconduct, instant dismissal, whistle for your money you appalling individual.

TheFallenNinja Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:53

Is there a figure that she wants?

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:41:58

Outraged, she has put it in writing that she intends to take the unauthorised leave so I think I could argue my case. I just want rid of her but need to work put the best and most legal way to do it.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 20:43:09

I am not an employment lawyer but I will say one thing. once scumbags like this get in their head they are going to take you to tribunal they will do it whether you do the right thing or no. She is banking on you not having the stomach for a fight and you need to show her that you have.

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:44:01

Homeeco thankyou for your excellent and helpful post.
And to everyone else, I wish I'd just gone with the blooming nursery now!!

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 20:44:59

If you could use alternative childcare then redundancy is probably the quickest and easiest....

knackeredmother Wed 19-Jun-13 20:45:03

That was meant to say, and thanks to everyone else for their helpful posts too.
I particularly like Karlos's thinking...

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Jun-13 20:54:19

omfg - what a cheeky bitch - most nannies arent like this and esp not us mn lot smile

so she wants to leave in sept, i assume she has handed her notice in to you then, or will that be when she finds a job, so she may not find one as she wont be getting a glowing ref from you

legally you cant get rid of her and then offer another nanny a job, but i like the sound of what was said earlier

I would send her a letter (recorded/sign for post) stating that as per the terms of her contract she has taken all of her entitled leave and that you do not agree to any additional leave, paid or unpaid. You understand that she would like to take leave from x date to x date but you do not agree to this

And your letter is to officially inform her that if she fails to turn up for work on x day then you will consider that to be her formal resignation, you will no longer consider her to be employes by you and any contract you have will be terminated as of that date

Basically if she doesn't turn up on that day she is quitting her job

if she is holding out for redundancy then doesnt seem it will happen, as she wants to leave you, not you get rid of her

and also assume if you sack her for gross misconduct then will she get redundancy?

sorry you are going through all this hassle, just seems so weird and totally unprofessional that she would demand time off regardless if you will give it to her

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:43

if you sack her for gross misconduct, you don't have to give her a penny, and it sounds like you won't have to be a genius to get her to give you the grounds to do exactly that.
I would give her notice, tell her she has to work it, if she doesn't cut off the money. get temp lined up first. Let her sue. no costs in employment tribunal so you might as well defend. She'll not have the stamina to see it through to hearing, these types never do

Boosiehs Wed 19-Jun-13 21:04:06

You can't make her redundant if the post still exists. If you want to get rid of her you ave to follow disciplinary procedures in your contract.

If you just say today's your last day, you will be liable to a claim of unfair dismissal.

I am a lawyer, just not an HR specialist, but I've come across this recently.

sweetsummerlove Wed 19-Jun-13 21:14:10

I don't know if im just being dim but, she's not handed anotice I yet, she hasnt taken the unauthorised leave soit isnt mmisconduct yet- so ultimately you don't want her working for you anymore, so give her notice, then I'd pay her notice and tell her not to come back.

my gut says if she doesn't care for her job she doesn't care for your children. Don't leave them with her.

im so sorry for the stress this has caused you. We aren't all bad (hugs)

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 21:16:06

You can't give someone notice for no reason sweet, that's the OP's problem.

forevergreek Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:19

What else is gross misconduct in your contract? I'm sure mine have something about neglegious of doing pacifical what employer has asked ( or something). Not working when asked and due would come under that

Look closely at whether she has not complied with any. Or is there more than one misconduct ?

Isatdownandwept Wed 19-Jun-13 21:31:31

You should post this in 'employment issues' rather than legal as that is full of people with tribunal experience.

FWIW, homeecognomist has given you the best advice, IMHO. All I would change is that I would tell her in writing that failing to turn up will be considered an act of gross misconduct, rather than a disciplinary matter. I would also mention that given her verbal resignation, you find it very unprofessional that she seems to have used this as an excuse to think she can do anything she pleases during her notice period, but that you would like to remind her that she is still contractually bound for this period and that not only will you view failure to turn up an act of gross negligence but that you will to hesitate to exercise your legal right to recover from her the incidental costs relating to any breaches of contract on her part, which will extend to include the costs of emergency childcare during any period of unauthorised absence.

Please put everything in writing in advance. You may also want to list out all the other crap she's done (I've commented on your nanny before, albeit under a different name).

Her next move, once you receive this, is to try to get herself signed off sick for stress, so prepare yourself for that one. If she does that then I would write her a letter saying that you find it unfortunate that she is sick and will of course be paying her SSP for the duration of her notice period, and that you wish her the very best in securing a new job, and that you will of course be delighted to provide a very fair and factual reference for any future employer.

WeAreEternal Wed 19-Jun-13 22:34:48

I've been thinking about this all night and I have another idea.

If you don't want to sack her why not cut her hours, and then cut them again, basically just replace her over the space of a couple of weeks.

She only works two days so tell her you no longer need her on the first day, just the second, then get another nanny for the first day, then a week or so later say you have decided to send the DCs to a club one morning a week, swimming for instance, and it just happens to be on morning two, so you will only need her for the afternoon of the second day.
Hopefully it will not be worth her while to only work one afternoon so she will quit.

But realistically you don't need to pay redundancy if you end the contract legitimately. Just give her her 1 month notice (or whatever it says in your contract) and say that you are unhappy with her work, attitude and behaviour and so are sacking her. You only need to pay her a months notice and nothing else.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Jun-13 23:08:14

You can't do that. You can't make someone redundant one day a week and then fill the role with someone else. It doesn't work like that.

The OP could change the days she needs and then if this nanny works for another family on those days she may be unable to do it.

You also can't just sack someone, there is a process to follow.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 19-Jun-13 23:23:10

knackered mother I am knackered just reading this. bloody hell.

As I understand no longer want her caring for your children as of now because of this want to end this relationship and basically never see this woman again...and the question is really kind of whether this current 'insubordination'/attitude/call it what you like behaviour is enough to dismiss her.

That's basically the upshot isn't it?

This is the question I would be asking the lawyer. What you can do now based on this flurry of audacious texts. Because the letters, while all great, rely on her not turning up in August, right? Before you can do something.

It doesn't seem to me like we've gotten to the answer here yet.

I think what they'll lay out to you is something called a Mutual Separaton Agreement or "agreeing terms" or some such. I am not an HR professional but I have a feeling that this is where she thinks this is going. I wouldn't have thought the cost would be more than making someone redundant though. I wouldn't worry about what she has in mind either, she won't have you over a barrell as scary as it may seem now in the middle of the night.

let us know how it goes but get some professional advice; you'll feel better.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Jun-13 23:49:27

She works 2 days - could you change the hours and or days - esp if nanny works elsewhere so couldn't do the day change

You could then make her redundant legally - pay her 2years worth - assume she hasn't been there longer? So be 2 days gross pay up to maximum limit of £450 a week so in your case depending what you pay her anything from 90/130 a day you are looking at maybe maximum of just over £500

Find a new nanny and then amazingly your hours /days change back or even stay at the new days if you prefer them

DTisMYdoctor Thu 20-Jun-13 00:00:40

Very quick post OP, as I'm half asleep and don't have the brain power to read, think, advise or post properly. grin

Re-post in employment. I work in HR, and you'll get lots of good advice there. And if flowery pops up on your thread listen to what she says. You absolutely don't need to put up with someone refusing to come into work.

NomDeClavier Thu 20-Jun-13 08:05:56

Blondes you can't do that - if you make someone redundant and their job reappears within a certain timeframe you need to offer it back to them, which this nanny may not want but the OP probably doesn't want to risk.

I still think you need to follow the disciplinary in your contract, OP, so if she puts a toe out of line it's a written warning for the way she's been acting and if she continues next step is dismissal.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 20-Jun-13 11:04:19

Bah humbug

Ok change days then if boss will agree and the hopefully nanny will say no esp of has other job

knackeredmother Thu 20-Jun-13 20:31:27

Just to update, I took some advice from HR in my own job (NHS) who said I was being a bit harsh and if I did the same in my employment they would try and work with me to find a way to give me the extra time off. Ultimately though it may be a disciplinary issue but not necessarily gross misconduct and not ansackable offence.
Anyway nanny has said that ACAS advised her she had given sufficient notice (asked last month) and tried to find an alternative solution ( offered up her friend whom I would then have to put on my payroll and couldn't work the same days as her- therefore not acceptable to me).
She obviously (and ACAS by the sounds of it) thinks I've been unreasonable.
Anyhow, she's formally resigned.
The kids cried.
I feel a cow.
I'm not employing anyone ever again.

Mrscupcake23 Thu 20-Jun-13 20:51:25

I think she was being unreasonable not you. Really sorry you had to go through this at least she is leaving I am sure your children will be fine

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Jun-13 20:55:00

Good grief. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. We have a nanny, and I would feel exactly the same way as you do, in our shoes. It is really telling, think, that he others nannies on his thread and in this form regularly all seem to be in agreement with you.

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



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!!!

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

Just watch she doesn't claim constructive dismissal.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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