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To wonder why the race/nationality of your nanny would matter?

(44 Posts)
NancyPurple Tue 06-Jan-15 19:23:55

I've had various jobs as a nanny and I'm currently looking to return to it.

I've seen a lot of ads, mainly on gumtree, that specify that the advertisers would prefer a certain nationality of nanny. Why is this? And why is this allowed? Surely it would be illegal in any other kind of job advertisement?

It's understandable if somebody wants a nanny that speaks their native tongue if their child is bilingual, but that isn't limited to their nationality.

I've seen a few 'our previous nanny was from Australia (for example) so we'd like another Aussie nanny' type thing.

AIBU to think this is out of order?

simbacatlivesagain Tue 06-Jan-15 19:25:13

Language skills? Work permit?

OhShittingHenry Tue 06-Jan-15 19:26:20

What examples of specifying a particular race do you have?

NancyPurple Tue 06-Jan-15 19:26:42

But anyone can learn a language? And what do you mean by work permit?

Bulbasaur Tue 06-Jan-15 19:28:09

If their child is mixed nationality, I could see them wanting some familiarity. Or maybe they think that certain good things a nanny did before were a cultural thing and not an individualistic thing.

Bulbasaur Tue 06-Jan-15 19:29:18

DD is mixed race, and if I ever hired a nanny, I'd prefer a nanny from DH's country of origin so she got a little taste of DH's heritage from someone other than just DH.

NancyPurple Tue 06-Jan-15 19:31:12

But would you specify that in the advertisement Bulbasaur? I thought something like that would be illegal in any other instance.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 06-Jan-15 19:32:03

I wanted a British nanny for two reason, firstly I wanted someone who was more likely to stay for a long period, secondly my DD had delayed speech and I thought her learning speech from a "non-native" might cause issues.
The race aspect is beyond me.

BMO Tue 06-Jan-15 19:34:35

Often it is to try to get some kind of national characteristic they believe them to have. Aus/NZ - sporty and outdoorsy, Scandinavian - sensible, good English, Fillipina - quiet, dedicated.

I imagine it is illegal to specify though.

Spinaroo Tue 06-Jan-15 19:36:20

I would imagine it has to do with the speech development of young children perhaps

NancyPurple Tue 06-Jan-15 19:38:31

It's just so frustrating when I read an advertisement I would be perfect for but I'm not Australian/Asian/Thai etc.

MinceSpy Tue 06-Jan-15 19:39:25

Surely suggesting that applications from people from certain countries or who have certain language skills isn't racist. I wouldn't expect an 'Aussie' to be a particular race, they are a multicultural country.

Spinaroo Tue 06-Jan-15 19:40:28

Sorry- pressed too soon-this is possibly particularly important fur younger children. As i understand it, even people who have learned a language to a high standard would not be proficient in the mothereze which a native speaker would do without thinking- and this is an important part of speech development.

NancyPurple Tue 06-Jan-15 19:42:32

I did use the word nationality, I probably shouldn't have used the word race in the thread title as that's not as usual.

Is it legal then to specify a particular nationality for a job?

Leeds2 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:44:06

Maybe it is perceived that nannies from Australia on a gap year will be cheaper than a British nanny who is a nanny for her career?

I don't know - I am not a nanny, and have never used one.

Ineedacleaningfairy Tue 06-Jan-15 19:44:15

I would imagine it's because the family want the nanny to bring some of their culture, not just their language to the family, a Spanish nanny would be able to possibly cook Spanish food, celebrate Spanish holidays and generally bring Spanish culture into the home where a British nanny with a degree in Spanish would not be able to.

I think that it is more sensible that they state their preference on the advert rather than you wasting your time sending your cv off for a job that you would never get.

redexpat Tue 06-Jan-15 19:44:17

Some visas are for a limited time. If someone was coming to the end they might only be allowed 6 months or so which would be unsettling.

It might be good experiences with a previous nanny from that country.

It might be the way that culture treats children.

I'm not sure about the legalities though.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Tue 06-Jan-15 19:45:38

Then you're not perfect for the job hmm. You don't get to set the criteria, they do.

People are entitled to have whomever they please look after their children.

It is pointless to say things shouldn't be in the advert. If they want a male nanny, they'll choose a male nanny, utterly, utterly pointless getting 500 female nannies apply. Same thing with absolutely any other aspect of the nanny.

You pay for a nanny, you get to choose. End of.

museumum Tue 06-Jan-15 19:46:55

If I moved to the U.S. or Australia I can see I might like a British (preferably scottish) nanny. Just to keep our household british/scottish in the face of the overwhelming influence of school etc.
in a country with another language even more so.

Ineedacleaningfairy Tue 06-Jan-15 19:48:07

My child goes to nursery rather than having a nanny but I made sure that the nursery we chose had staff which spoke the local language as their mother tongue, the reason for this is that my dc are bilingual and so therefor the language they hear at nursery is a large percentage of their language exposure and I didn't want them learning the local language with a Spanish/English/Thai accent.

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 06-Jan-15 19:48:34

If I were to employ a nanny, she would have to have a precise RP accent so my children learn to speak properly and articulately. I would not want one of those who mumble whom we see on television and we do not know what they are saying. That would mean that she would probably have to be British.

If I had some wit, I could ask for a French / German / Italian /Spanish nanny so my child would have an opportunity to begin to be bilingual and certainly have a start in that language when studying it at school. Could that be the reason that Prince George has a Spanish nanny? Being able to speak another language would stand him in good stead in the future.

BMO Tue 06-Jan-15 19:50:20

Chipping - employers still have to operate within the law.

Cindy34 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:50:28

The language side of it I can see and making it known that applicants from a particular area with that language as mothertongue I think is OK if they are willing to consider applications from elsewhere.

I have seen adverts which specify Lady, Female, Mature, those characteristics I feel are much more questionable than things like nationality and ability to speak a certain language.

Employers will decide whom they want to employ. Would be nice if they were open to having anyone but many will have criteria which they may or may not put in an advert.

Online adverts do come under advertising standards control, so you could complain to the regulator if you wanted but I doubt they would do much if anything.

If it is a job you feel you meet all criteria for except for the nationality bit then apply, they might ask you for interview.

ArgyMargy Tue 06-Jan-15 19:51:55

Is it legal? Does anyone actually know? It shouldn't be.

BMO Tue 06-Jan-15 19:54:32

I doubt "female Thai nanny aged 22-30 years" is legal.

Specifying "speaks English at native level" or "must be able to encourage the child's Swedish cultural heritage" would be ok.

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