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Who is being unreasonable regarding our nanny - DH or me?

(98 Posts)
CinnabarRed Fri 02-Sep-11 15:32:30

I got a text from our nanny this morning asking me to call her. When I did she explained that she couldn't come to work on time this morning because her best friend had been assaulted while on a date last night and both Nanny and BF were waiting for the police to come round to take statements. (Nanny had been babysitting BF's children. BF didn't manage to get herself home until 4:30 am, and neither Nanny nor BF had any sleep all night.)

I told our nanny to wait for the police (they weren't done until 11, as it turns out), to take a shower and then to get herself to bed and call me when she wakes up. Apart from anything else, I don't want her looking after my children on zero sleep. I'm 38 weeks pregnant and on maternity leave, so I was perfectly able to take care of my two boys in her absence - although I did have some stuff to do for work which I had to cancel.

DH is furious. He thinks that we shouldn't pay her for today. (Not sure if it makes any difference, but our nanny will be staying with us while I'm on maternity leave. Partly to give the boys some continuity and routine, partly because I suffered from PND after each of the first two were born and partly because our boys love her and we want her to look after all three of them when I go back to work. But money is going to be very tight while I'm not working).

It's true that our nanny has had quite a bit of time off recently, but IMO it's all been reasonable - 3 days off sick, 2 weeks for jury service, and 2 days supporting the same BF, who suffered a very unexpected bereavement last month. I haven't docked her pay for any of the above, although each absence left us out of pocket - it just seemed to me unreasonable for an employer to penalise an employee for jury service or helping her BF.

So I don't want to dock her pay for one day. But DH is digging his heels in. Who's right, MN jury?

CailinDana Fri 02-Sep-11 15:35:11

You are clearly a very kind and considerate employer. Do you have a contract with the nanny? Are absences covered in the contract? Is there provision for sick pay etc?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 02-Sep-11 15:35:47

I'd wait to hear how she's going to make it up to you, OP, and decide then. If I were the Nanny, I'd be so grateful for your understanding, I'd make it up to you.

Sn0wflake Fri 02-Sep-11 15:37:26

It would be unreasonable. She has had a run of stuff. If it kept happening I might start to want proof she is doing what she said she is doing.

iskra Fri 02-Sep-11 15:38:10

"it just seemed to me unreasonable for an employer to penalise an employee for jury service or helping her BF"

I agree with the first two points - but I have never had an employer who gave me days off to help my friend out.

DoMeDon Fri 02-Sep-11 15:39:27

YANBU about jury service - although I'm not sure if the court reimburse expenses/wages lost?

What is in your employment contract about sick pay?

TBH YABU about the BF thing - of course she shouldn't come in to work on no sleep today but I would dock her pay for those days tbh. Can just imagine if I called into work saying 'I'm not coming in as my friend needs support but you should pay me and I won't make up the hours'

VFVF Fri 02-Sep-11 15:40:17

Well, for starters it sounds like you are quite a compassionate employer, which is nice smile but I think I may have to agree with your DH on this one.
Thinking about when I worked (not that long ago) theirs no way I would have been given compassionate leave for a friend. Family yes, but not in todays circumstances, it would have been an unauthorized abscence and no pay (and I worked in a fairly generous part of the public sector)
With regards to the previous absences, your DH can't hold the jury service against her, it wasn't as if she could do anything about it. The time off sick again you can't argue, however the previous time off to support the best friend was you being generous IMO, if that had been me I would have had to have taken annual leave.

suzikettles Fri 02-Sep-11 15:40:40

You are being very considerate. Most employers wouldn't recognise any responsibility on the part of an employee to the welfare of a friend (in terms of entitlement to compassionate/carers leave etc).

I might have expected her to cover her previous absence due to supporting her friend in her bereavement with annual leave. I think it's reasonable for you to cover her for this instance since it's her lack of sleep that's stopping her coming to work rather than worrying about her friend.

Was she able to claim anything from the court when on jury duty?

spookshowangellovesit Fri 02-Sep-11 15:42:18

an understanding employer is a good employer, jury service and sick days are not really something someone can do something about. you also dont want to be taken the piss out of either however and i think your h is prob thinking your nanny is doing that. days off to support bereaved friend and now same friend gets attacked on date... not something that someone who takes there job seriously should be doing, would you be talking it so well if you were back at work?
flip side if she is fab and you love her and kids love her might be worth letting slide this time again, but i prob wouldnt if it happened again soon.

coppertop Fri 02-Sep-11 15:42:45

The jury service was unavoidable but I'm not sure many employers would be pleased about time being taken off work to support a friend. After all, it's hard enough getting time off work to look after family without having to take it as special leave (bereavement, dependents' leave etc).

fanjobanjowanjo Fri 02-Sep-11 15:45:07

Compassionate leave yes, Jury Service - see about claims for loss of earnings she may have received.

Helping out a BF definitely no pay for this - it would not happen in the workplace and shouldn't happen here, your husband is right. Don't let your kind and compassionate nature be taken advantage of.

nomoreheels Fri 02-Sep-11 15:50:46

Jury service isn't docked by employers AFAIK, and you should have your own sick pay "policy", but supporting a BF's bereavement (however kind of her) should fall under taking unpaid leave. A friend is not family or a dependant. Where ever I have worked, it wouldn't qualify as compassionate (paid) leave.

Yesterday's incident - not sure. It's terrible thing to happen of course, and if your nanny was definitely needed by the police then that's fair enough. But if she was only supporting said friend through a difficult time, I would say it's unpaid leave at best, or that it's not really fair to let you down & cancel as again, it's a friend. At least she was honest & didn't just call in sick.

Maybe you need to have a gentle word about what counts as compassionate leave, and what you will pay for. You sound lovely but don't be too soft - it's still a business agreement at the end of the day, plus money is tight. I have seen employees stretch good will further & further to accommodate their personal life, and it can get out of hand & cause a lot of resentment.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 02-Sep-11 15:51:06

Could you compromise and ask the nanny to work the hours missed on another day or not be paid? That way she has the choice. You can tell her that you realise it isn't her fault she wasn't able to come into work but it wasn't yours either. If DH is adamant he won't pay her, he has to be the one to tell her.

CustardIsMyNemesis Fri 02-Sep-11 15:51:09

Sorry, but I am with your DH on this one. Where I work I can grant leave for sickness, jury service and CLOSE family emergencies. Any other leave has to be unpaid or taken from A/L allowance.

I don't know what your leave arrangements are with your nanny, but instead of docking her pay could you agree with her and your DH for the leave to be taken from her holiday entitlement?

BlueyDragon Fri 02-Sep-11 15:51:32

I think you can claim something from the Court Service for jury duty - if you use a payroll provider they should be able to tell you, or check HMCS website.

On the compassionate leave, is there a middle ground of saying to her that what's happened is done and dusted, but that she is pushing the bounds of employer's tolerance? Or ask her to take the next occurrence out of holiday allowance? That way you get to alert her to the fact that you're concerned whilst still looking like a humane employer. I have had extra paid leave for non-family compassionate reasons and really appreciated it.

PeanutGallery Fri 02-Sep-11 15:53:24

If this was the only day she'd taken off to support her BF then YANBU (though still generous) to let her have it as a paid day, as a one off thing.

But this is the third day. As others have said, employees do not get (or usually expect) to get paid days off to support their friends, no matter how close. They are expected to take annual leave if they want/need to do that.

I think the way to deal with it would be to give her the choice between docking pay or docking annual leave.

nenevomito Fri 02-Sep-11 15:54:40

You don't get paid by your employer for Jury service, but you do get paid by the state for doing it - even though its not your usual salary. That means she got paid by you and also by them. When I did jury service it was only for a week and they only called me in on 3 of those days. Has it changed to two weeks now??

Also, I have never worked anywhere you get paid for helping a friend out. On both of those occasions, I would have expected an employee to take them as AL, or make up the time.

Sorry, I think she's taking the mick.

Pinot Fri 02-Sep-11 15:55:41

Surprisingly, I'm on your DH's side. I think she may be taking the piss abit.

nenevomito Fri 02-Sep-11 15:56:59

jury service payments

griphook Fri 02-Sep-11 15:57:48

I think your dh should think about what he would do in the same situation, and if he helped a friend out and took a day off work, what would he expect his work to do. Also you told her not to come into work so it seems a bit unfair to say to her now that you won't pay her as she was availble to work.

personnally I'd pay her and make it clear that in furture you will doc her wages for anything like this

ItAintHalfHotHun Fri 02-Sep-11 15:58:11

I agree with your husband. My employers are fantastic with benefits, however they wouldn't pay for me to have a day off with a close friend, no matter how traumatic. I would have to make up the time (and in fact I wouldn't ask, I would just take a day's leave).

Your kindness seems to have created a precedent. Sickness and jury service is fair enough, but ime any kind of 'special leave' like this would be for dependents only.

iskra Fri 02-Sep-11 15:58:15

I'd be worried that this would increase while you are on mat leave & she feels like she doesn't need to be there.

nenevomito Fri 02-Sep-11 15:58:31

Ahh my mistake it is 10 working days.

Yama Fri 02-Sep-11 15:58:54

You told her what to do - to wait, to shower, to sleep.

You cannot dock her pay for following orders. That would be shitty.

foreverondiet Fri 02-Sep-11 16:00:25

Can you not compromise - ask her to do extra hours in lieu. That way you get the hours when you need them, and your DH should be happy. Thats what I would do.

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