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To think I did the right thing ?

(35 Posts)
Icecreamontoast Mon 19-Sep-16 23:41:00

We employed someone in what I'd describe as a nanny/carer role. Initially things were going well but after a few weeks I noticed that not everything was being done properly.
Then lateness and short notice cancellations became a regular thing which was annoying. Being ill a lot, one example was I had an appointment, she turned up to do school run but suddenly felt ill so lay down on sofa and went to sleep leaving me to cancel appt and do school run myself.
Phone calls when working for me or turning up at say 1/130pm to work yet not having had lunch so eating in 'my' time when she could have eaten before and was only working 3 hours so shouldn't have needed to. Various things like this over months and months which got very frustrating as I felt I was paying for nothing and ending up doing things myself when someone was there who should have actually been helping.

Anyway, I got wind that she was ttc and then I got irritated at the thought of paying maternity pay for someone who had made my life harder not easier so waited till the next incident happened (and it was quite a big thing) and sacked her.
In passing recently I mentioned this to someone and they said I was totally U to have done this and I should be ashamed ??
If have got rid of her anyway as the situation was getting worse but the thought of paying someone maternity just made me so annoyed when she hadn't really been any help and I decided the next thing would mean she would go

I had spoken to her about each issue so it wasn't out of the blue and she had had the opportunity to actually start working properly but chose not to. I think I did the right thing but my friend thinks my motives are questionable due to the maternity pay issue

Optimist3 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:43:00

It's non of your business if she's ttc or not. That shouldn't impact your decision one bit.

Icecreamontoast Mon 19-Sep-16 23:45:25

I overheard a conversation she had whilst working for me. I can't lie the thought immediately was oh no I'm going to have to pay maternity for someone who has been a rubbish employee and it made me decide definitely to get rid of her at the earliest opportunity
Not just for no reason but if she did anything further which she did so it enabled me to sack her. I wouldn't have done it for no reason due to this but it made me make a swift decision

lolalament Mon 19-Sep-16 23:46:57

Technically, you were wrong as you only sacked her to avoid maternity pay. However, she's unlikely to be able to prove that

Icecreamontoast Mon 19-Sep-16 23:48:10

I'd raised issues many times, it wasn't improving but it definitely hastened my decision
Not by much though

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 19-Sep-16 23:50:26

I'd say it was a prudent decision tbh. No, ttc or boy shouldn't influence your decision but in this case her being indiscreet has worked in your favour and she got one fewer chance than she might have otherwise.

missbishi Mon 19-Sep-16 23:51:20

What you actually did was consider whether or not you wanted to make a long term commitment to her services (which would include maternity pay) given the shoddy service you have received. YANBU to decide you didn't want to do this.

Of course, if her work was perfect and you fired her simply because she was TTC, that would be U. But this is not the case.

In any case, TTC and subsequent pregnancy is an option. You shouldn't have to put up with shitty service out of guilt for someone else's lifestyle choice.

Icecreamontoast Mon 19-Sep-16 23:53:26

Yes it was exactly that one less chance than I would have given had I not overheard about ttc
Id have had absolutely no issue paying maternity pay to a hard worker but this was just a constant headache things like meant to be cooking dinner for dcs but phone rings-half an hour phone call leaving me to do dinner etc etc

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 20-Sep-16 06:28:50

I agree with your friend. It was a crappy thing to do, not to mention illegal. Though, as so many women know, it's not the sort of thing that can be easily proved. If she's a bad employee you should follow proper procedure and get her to improve or fire her, regardless of whether she's TTC. It's not even as though the maternity pay ends up coming out of your pocket in the end anyway.

Lunar1 Tue 20-Sep-16 06:37:10

I'd have sacked her long before. What was the thing she did that you sacked her for.

Icecreamontoast Tue 20-Sep-16 06:42:22

Inappropriate stories. Apparently just "messing about" with dc writing short stories but the content unacceptable for their ages (contained arson, making fun of disabilities, too much wee/poo talk and reference to drugs)

phillipp Tue 20-Sep-16 06:50:14

I think you have muddied the waters by making TTC the push you needed to get rid of her.

She deserves to lose her job. No doubt about that, but the TTC shouldn't have formed part of the decision.

Blankiefan Tue 20-Sep-16 06:54:35


Her performance and her potential pregnancy should be separate - morally/legally. If it was only her performance that made you sack get then fine but you've said the last straw was the thought of paying her mat pay.

And for info, you claim mat pay back for employees so you wouldn't have been paying it anyway.

Evergreen17 Tue 20-Sep-16 06:55:42

Mmmhh if you had sacked her because of her poor performance only, even when pregnant you would have been ok in the eyes of the law.
But getting rid of her because she was TTC is illegal which is what you have done, lets not kid ourselves you had plenty of chances before and you didnt.
I can see why you have done it but just leave with it, dont expect others to justify your illegal action

Evergreen17 Tue 20-Sep-16 06:56:19

What blankie said

Rockfuckingbottom Tue 20-Sep-16 06:58:23

It's not illegal. FFS. If it were illegal to fire every woman who was TTC despite poor performance there would be a real problem.

Morally you might feel uncomfortable but you dismissed here due to poor performance. That's not U.

(I took my employer to tribunal as I was dismissed for being pregnant. They lost).

phillipp Tue 20-Sep-16 07:03:39

It's not illegal. FFS. If it were illegal to fire every woman who was TTC despite poor performance there would be a real problem.

Ttc or being pregnant should not form any part of the decision. That's the bit that could be illegal.

Op clearly said it did.

Icecreamontoast Tue 20-Sep-16 07:04:17

I'd have sacked her regardless but if that incident hadn't happened I think I'd have found any other misdemeanour a good reason I just felt that I would begrudge the extra work paying maternity pay would be and having to hand over money to someone who hadn't done the job properly a way a massive pain and that they she didn't deserve it. I'm sure morally as an employer that's wrong but it was a knee jerk reaction/feeling
I employed her to help us and it didn't help it just caused more hassle and I felt really very much in the way of why should she benefit

MsJamieFraser Tue 20-Sep-16 07:09:32

Under 2 years service you can dismiss anyone and not give a reason, after that time you have to give a reason, her poor performance was the biggest factor in your dismissing of her.

However what I don't get is that you say you would have to pay her maternity pay, would you, I'd have thought due to her hours she would only receive SMP

Ditsy4 Tue 20-Sep-16 07:12:29

This is why people should pay more and get a trained nanny.

Would you have continued if you didn't know she was ttc?

Icecreamontoast Tue 20-Sep-16 07:14:11

Maternity pay or SMP of still have had to pay something and that would have been work, calls to hmrc etc etc wouldn't it and just more paperwork which we didn't need so I felt the fact she wasn't actually helping yet would end up increasing out workload just annoyed the hell out of me. It's petty and probably morally questionable having ttc as anything to do with terminating employment but she handed it to me on a plate really and being stressed and overworked anyway I took the chance to get rid, not have to do any more work and pay maternity pay of any description

Icecreamontoast Tue 20-Sep-16 07:14:50

Not after the story incident. Absolutely not. Had that not happened though it would have been the next thing, anything

Evergreen17 Tue 20-Sep-16 07:15:25

Ricking it is illegal to dismiss someone because you dont want pay maternity leave.
If you can prove that you fired someone for other reasons other than that then you are off the hook.
But it is illegal to fire someone on the grounds of pregnancy or possible pregnancy.
Surprised you dont know that if you went to tribunal tbh

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Tue 20-Sep-16 07:16:30

I'd have done the same to be honest, I don't give a stuff whether it might be construed as discriminatory or not. If she'd been a great and reliable nanny then it would have been different but it sounds like you were teetering on the brink of sacking her anyway and always giving her another chance to sort herself out.

It would really stick in my craw to think I'd given her so many chances when she wasn't PG only to find that there was no improvement and I was unable to sack her once she was PG, in case she claimed unfair dismissal and used her pregnancy as the reason.

And to add insult to injury having to pay maternity pay on top of expensive temp cover to hold a job open to someone who was shit anyway. Sod that for a game of soldiers.

The knowledge that she might have been TTC just galvanized you to do what you needed to do sooner rather than later.

MoonStar07 Tue 20-Sep-16 07:24:11

Her TTC should not have impacted your decision the way it did! Why didn't you get rid of her anyway? Why wait til you had this info? She must have been useful in some way as you had her for months. You don't have to do much as an employer for SMP literally sign one form that she would have filled in. very morally wrong and illegal that you would use a potential pregnancy as a factor.

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