hi, would welcome advice please. apologies for the long story!
we have had an excellent nanny who started late 2012 and unfortunately (for us) then became pregnant and went on maternity leave last summer. she stated that she would wish to return (without her baby). we discussed that we would probably be looking at reduced days and this was written in a letter to confirm her maternity leave. we also discussed from the start that we were only likely to need her until aug 2014, as our 2 boys would then be both at school. we employed a nanny to cover her maternity leave, although changed the working pattern as we also used some nursery/ after school. sadly we had a nightmare as one day this nanny did not turn up to work and we subsequently found she had stolen items from our house. We did not have faith in employing another mat leave nanny and ended up using nursery and before/after school care for our boys, which we have used for the last month.
we and our children are now happy with the current arrangement of alternative childcare. it is also considerably cheaper and this is helping our tight budgets (large mortgage and house requiring a lot of work). my husbands job also changes in April and so childcare required will be less (from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 days). we have decided the nanny post is no longer required.
our nanny on maternity leave has 'pipped us to the post' and has contacted me to ask to discuss her return to work. (we wanted to give the new childcare arrangements 1 month before deciding what is best). i am seeing her next week and i don't think she will have any idea that the job is no-longer available. i feel really bad as she has a family to support, but we also have to look at our finances.
my questions are: 1) i presume we are entitled to make her redundant whilst she is on maternity leave, as the job is no longer there and we would not be employing another nanny. 2) should i pre-warn her that i am going to discuss this before meeting in a letter/email or just tell her face to face first? 3) her contract has 6 weeks notice from writing. will this be in effect from when we write and confirm or when she is potentially due to return to work (i.e. we then pay her for 6 weeks)? 4) she has worked for us for less than 2 years so i don't think she is entitled to redundancy pay, but will need to pay any accrued annual leave. 5)i presume the original letter that stated that after her return to work we were probably looking at 2 days per week (previously 2 1/2 days) has no legal standing and does not stop us making her redundant? 6) anything else we will need to do or we can do to lighten the bad news?