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nanny problem

(148 Posts)
chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:08:25

I would like to know what people think of this. I will try to make it as brief as possible. I have NC for this.

We have a cleaner/nanny, who has worked for us for several years, part-time. She told me last week that she was pregnant. Her personal situation is that she is at present living with a friend, together with her husband (who arrived a few weeks ago to live in the country). My understanding was that when he moved here she and her husband would move into their own rented accommodation quite soon, as the friend has limited space. They had not done this yet.

When she told me she was pregnant however, she also told me that she was now not prepared to pay for private accommodation as she believed that now she was pregnant she would "get a free house" (her words not mine), if she was not employed and had nowhere to live. She asked me therefore to write a letter to the local council saying that she was no longer employed by me, and also that she could not have any accommodation at my house any more (she had had a room available at our house for staying-over if necessary). I did this, and wished her well, although I did tell her I had reservations about whether she would just be handed a "free house" by the council. I was sad to let her go, as she has been great with our DS and he loves her. But, oh well...

She phoned me last night telling me that what she really wants is for me to say now to the council that she has no job or accommodation with me, but that "when I get my house", I should take her back (and pay her cash in hand so the council does not know she in fact still has her job). I am afraid I became angry with her (felt very bad later about shouting at a pregnant woman), and of course told her that I would not do that. She phoned my DH this morning asking him the same thing. He told her even more bluntly that we are finished with her and that is that, wished her luck and set her on her way.

I am now feeling terrible about this and the way it has ended. This woman has been a big part of my DS's life since before he was born, she has truly been loving towards him and he in turn loves her. I went back to work when he was three months old and I just keep remembering all the times I came home to find her cuddling him and singing him songs, and then as he grew older all the love she has showered on him. She really became like part of the family. And now it's all just cut off like that, he will probably never see her again and she will never love and cuddle him again. I feel like we have done something terrible, yet also that we had no choice.

Sorry it is so long.

CatKisser Wed 30-Jul-14 12:11:46

You've done nothing wrong, what she was suggesting is totally immoral.

minipie Wed 30-Jul-14 12:13:28

I don't think you've done anything terrible. Ideally you wouldn't have shouted but that happens to all of us sometimes when faced with an unreasonable request.

I think that you could wait a month or two and then try to mend fences - maybe send her a baby present and say that although you couldn't agree to do what she wanted, you wish her all the best and would like to stay in touch as you know DS loves her. Or would that just re open the can of worms?

Roseformeplease Wed 30-Jul-14 12:16:52

You would have been breaking the law, employing her "cash in hand" and knowingly defrauding the benefits system. I don't know what you do for a living, but a conviction for fraud, or even the whisper of it, would end some careers.

You just need to hang in to the fact that your son is better with a morally upright, employed mother than with one who bends / breaks the law. He has enjoyed time with this woman, now focus on the next stage of his life. You did the right thing.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:18:42

I would ideally like to stay in touch with her, yes, and even let her see DS in the future. I even still have some of his baby stuff I could give her. I do feel very annoyed with her right now though.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:20:38

Oh God yes I know that I could not (and would not,) contemplate trying to do what she was asking. And I do indeed work in a job and at a level where any whisper of that would end my career instantly.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:23:16

I just feel so sad that it has all ended this way. She always used to say I was "like my sister" and that she loved me and our family. I did a lot of things to help her, sending her on courses, helping her with paperwork and immigration issues, even paying my own accountant to do her self-employed tax accounts. And she is basically homeless, jobless and pregnant, and there is nothing I can do to help her. It just feels all wrong.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 30-Jul-14 12:24:38

The woman is dishonnest. I wouldn't re-employ her on that basis. If she can lie to the council, she could lie to you.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 30-Jul-14 12:25:53

chimera being homeless, jobless and pregnant was her choice. All of those things were preventable.

backbystealth Wed 30-Jul-14 12:26:40

It is sad for your children, yes.

But she wasn't your 'sister' or your friend.

I think it's a good lesson in keeping some modicum of professional distance with nannies.

I don't mean that as coldly as it sounds and I realise children and their carers will (hopefully) have affection for each other.

But I think people should be more boundaried than you've been to be honest.

Sorry for you all though.

Itsfab Wed 30-Jul-14 12:27:01

I disagree. You were wrong to write the letter and it has back fired. You got rid of someone in the process of helping her cheat the system.

Songs and cuddles or not I wouldn't want someone with her morals around my family and you have helped her try and defraud the government.

Gen35 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:27:59

I agree with minipie, and given the otherwise good history and what you've said I wonder if her dh is putting her up to all this or she's having a baby related freak out. It adds up to one more chance if I were you, I'd try in a few months to contact her, make it clear this subject should never be brought up again but that you'd like to have a friendship. If there were anymore attempts to pressurise you though, that'd be that. I suspect many people would just write her off completely.

Tiptops Wed 30-Jul-14 12:29:21

This is really sad, but you must realise it isn't your fault in any way and you shouldn't feel guilty. The nanny has soured what was a loving relationship with her unreasonable requests.

Gen35 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:31:28

I don't see how op did anything wrong with the letter? This woman has left her employment and has no access to the room in op's house anymore - that's not cheating the system even if it's unpalatable that she left a job she perhaps didn't have to?

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:32:26

I can't see how I was wrong to write the letter though? She told me that she would no longer carry on working for me now she was pregnant, I that's all that I put in the letter.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 30-Jul-14 12:37:29

OP, you say that you wouldn't contemplate doing what she has done, and that you work in a job and where any whisper of that would end my career instantly.

But you are complicit in what she has done, and have helped her to do it.

I'd start looking around for another job if I were you.

It sounds to me like this woman has taken you for a ride for several years. You say that she was an immigrant to this country, and that you've helped her by sending her on courses, helping her with paperwork and immigration issues, even paying my own accountant to do her self-employed tax accounts. Now she's trying to get her immigrant husband allowed in because she's pregnant.

This woman is taking you for a mug, she's managed to get you to help her cheat the system and get qualifications, all at your expense.

I'm not anti immigration, nor racist, but we don't want people like this in this country, no matter how many cuddles they are able to offer our children.

Could you not have employed someone who already had the right to live and work here?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 30-Jul-14 12:39:11

But she deliberately left your employment in order to be able to get a free house. You didn't sack her. That's what you should have put in the letter. It's cheating.

sezamcgregor Wed 30-Jul-14 12:41:31

I think I'd be careful that she and her husband do not try to take legal action against you for dismissing her "because she's pregnant".

I also do not believe that it matters whether you have a job or not (I got my "free house" while myself and my partner were working full time!)

It is very sad that this situation has come about while she's been there for such a long time and has been such an important part of your son's life - it sounds like they've got a pretty skewed view of how the welfare system works, and being homeless while pregnant is hell.

Your best idea is to try to put it behind you and try to move forward.

I'd not accept her back into your lives without an apology - she was out of order asking you to do those things.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 30-Jul-14 12:47:23

I don't understand some of the responses here. Re-read the OPs posts. No fraud has taken place YET. The nanny was suggesting future fraud and the OP immediately put her foot down. The original help and letter were all above board and given in good faith.

OP this sounds rough on you. I agree that she has behaved poorly recently and can't work got you again. But you have to weigh her recent behaviour against years of loving and loyal service. The love she gave your kid is still real and it would be fine if you reached out with an offer of friendship (not employment) based on your history together.

MyDHhasnomemory Wed 30-Jul-14 12:49:33

Middleagedmother, you are assuming a lot there. The op has most likely not done anything illegal by helping this woman with paperwork and tax affairs.
It was the woman's choice to leave this job - the op again has done nothing illegal. It is a shame that the woman's skewed understanding of how UK benefits work has landed her in this situation but no doubt her mind was made up.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:55:58

No no she is not trying to get her husband in because she is pregnant he is already here. I have not been helping to cheat anyone, I just helped her with her accounts , paperwork etc. I paid her a good wage, and personally made sure she paid her taxes, even getting my own accountant to do her books. How is there anything wrong with that? And I most certainly did not dismiss her, she left. I would not have dismissed her at all, I would have loved her to continue working for me, I would have been happy to get someone else to stand in while she was off on maternity leave. I did NOT want her to leave. That's why all this has been so hard. She told me she was leaving because she could not "get a free house" if she still had her job.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:57:57

I NEVER put in any letter or anywhere else that I sacked her. I said that she had decided to leave and so was no longer in my employ. Sacking a woman for getting pregnant? If I had been so reprehensible as to do such a thing would i really put that in a letter to the council?

Gen35 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:58:23

I can't see you've done anything wrong at all - it's the sort of thing that makes me hesitant to post for advice on mn as you can get so much criticism over things that seem quite straightforward.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:59:21

PS she may have been an immigrant originally but has been a British citizen for years now.

chimera123 Wed 30-Jul-14 13:00:35

PS she had a perfect right to live and work here when she came to me. Why assume that she did not? She was employed through an agency, who vetted her credentials before she ever came to work. And I then checked them myself too.

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