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Employed by my friend as her nanny.

(108 Posts)
Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 20:45:32

My best friend, Let’s call her C, has recently employed me as her nanny. I previously worked in a nursery and was very unhappy. I was a nanny years ago and absolutely loved it so when I was offered the job I really wanted to accept it, however as we were best friends I was hesitant.

I was really worried about it affecting our friendship as money conversations are always really awkward so I didn’t accept the job straight away, but after being persuaded by C I accepted the job. In order to stop any future issues arising we made sure a proper contract was drawn up and signed, plus we spoke about everything including money, duties, holidays etc just to make sure we were both on the same page. Everything is above board and all tax and NI contributions are sorted (before anyone asks).

C and her husband have both just started new jobs. C doesn’t like nursery environments hence why she decided to employ a nanny instead, plus with three children it actually works out cheaper. I’m OFSTED registered so C also receives help towards the costs just as she would in a nursery setting.

Anyway, (bare with me, this is relevant) I am contracted to work 28hrs per week over 3 days between Monday-Friday. C works 3 days a week on a shift basis and her husband works FT Monday-Friday.
C gets her rota from work two weeks in advance and then let’s me know what days she needs me to work. I normally work my three full days however if C is working on a weekend then I only work two days as dad is home on the weekends. (This is their choice, I have always offered to work my three full days so C can have her day off to herself or do as she pleases however she wants to spend time with the kids which is fair enough).

I am always paid for 28hrs regardless of wether I work them or not and we agreed not to bank hours as I felt it would only benefit the parents and not myself (learnt from past experiences).

C understands that once she has confirmed which days she needs me to work each week then I am free to do as I please on my days off including taking work from other families. I have explained I am happy to work extra days if I have no other plans but that it would need to be paid as extra. This issue arose as two weeks ago she wanted me to work four days at the same rate of pay, i.e split 28hrs over four days instead. I did not agree to it and it was left at that.

I am really enjoying the job and I love the kids however a couple of issues have started to appear which is making me wonder wether this arrangement is going to work or not. Here they are -

1. The night before I was due to start work, C explained her starting date for her job had been pushed back and I did not need to start work until three days later. I was under the impression I would still be paid for the full 28hrs regardless as per the contract however I was only paid for the work I did at the end of the week. I was upset about this and explained to C that I felt it was unfair of her to cut my hours that week as it wasn’t my fault her start date was pushed back and that I was ready and willing to work. She did apologise however never rectified the payment. I decided to let it go but It made me feel uneasy. Since then C has agreed to pay me for the full hours regardless of wether I work them or not.

2. After my first week, C explained to me that she was still going to submit the child care claim stating I had worked 28hrs that week. When I spoke to her about it and said I didn’t realise she was going to pay me for the full hours that week (as stated above) she explained she wasn’t. In fact, C wanted to claim the full 28hrs from UC, put it through payroll as that but then have me transfer £70 back to her account. I told her I wasn’t prepared to do that, as I would then pay more tax and NI on money I hadn’t actually earned. She seemed disappointed by it but we haven’t spoken about it since. I have to admit, it has made me feel quite angry as she obviously knew I would pay extra tax on money she would then pocket. I also said that the registration number (which I pay for every year) isn’t a way for parents to make extra money, it’s there for them to get help towards the costs to pay the child care provider.

3. C keeps asking me to work extra hours at very short notice. For example - I popped over there today for a cuppa and a chat. I had pretty much spent the whole day with her and as I was about to leave she said “oh are you okay to work a few hours tomorrow by the way?”. I explained to C I had already made plans with another friend so couldn’t. C understood but I think she was disappointed and it did feel very awkward afterwards. I was confused as to why she was asking me to work an extra day as we had already agreed that I would only work three days a week as per the contract and if she wanted me to work an extra day she would need to pay it as extra time worked. C did not say she would pay the extra. As I am already booked to work Wednesday-Friday this week I wasn’t happy to work four days for the same rate of pay (as already explained) so declined. If C had maybe said “oh you can have Friday off instead if you want”, I may have agreed and possibly cancelled my plans, but she didn’t.

4. With the above example, I feel I cannot plan my life. It has happened around three times now and it is making me feel uncomfortable. I feel C thinks I am being awkward but she does not pay me to be on call therefor I don’t think I should be. She is my best friend and I love her but, I want our friendship and the work side to be kept separate (if possible). It is getting to the point where I don’t even want to pop around there on my day off anymore as I know the conversation will defer to work chat and that she may even possibly ask me to work on my day off.

I think C wants our work arrangement to be more relaxed, flexible etc than most work places which I do too but to an extent. I appreciate, in any job there is give and take and I would always be there for her and help her out if she needed me, but I have a life too.

I thought that drawing up the contract and chatting about everything beforehand would have prevented any of these issues arising, but there seems to be a new problem every week. As I say, I love the job and am so happy I’m finally in a role I enjoy but if I have to choose between our friendship and the job then our friendship will always come first. She means too much to me to fall out over something like this. I would rather find a new job and keep our friendship, but if we can make it work where both of us are happy then of course I would prefer that instead.

I was thinking about asking her for a chat and explaining all of these issues, but I just wanted to see if I was being unreasonable first. Am I? Do I need to be more flexible?

Can this arrangement between two friends actually work?

If anyone has any advice I would be really grateful! Thanks

FabLaura Mon 14-Oct-19 21:17:39

YANBU. You both set the scene with a contract before work started and it sounds like this worked for you both. I would therefore approach this problem in the same manner as it should work for you both now. Let her know you would like the opportunity to chat through the first couple of weeks in a sort of review and mention it then.
I would say you need to nip this in the butt quick because you are an experienced professional which she knows and responded to appropriately at the beginning but is starting to slide into behaving as if you are a friend offering childminder services cause you have no other option

midnightmisssuki Mon 14-Oct-19 21:25:13

I did this - it lasted a year. Like you my nanny came from a nursery.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:28:36

Thanks for your reply FabLaura!
Yes I do feel that it started off quite professional so to speak but has now started to become more of a “friendly arrangement” and very relaxed which I really don’t want it to be!

I’m happy to be flexible to an extent and I think maybe we need to talk over what both of our expectations are. smile

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:31:07

Was the nanny also your friend midnightmisssuki? Can I ask why the arrangement didn’t work? (Feel free to tell to get lost grin)

Elieza Mon 14-Oct-19 21:31:20

Yup, time to chat. You are probably both feeling a bit upset about everything not being as good as it used to be. Clear the air and clarify notice periods for extra working.

Excited101 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:32:44

If I’m honest, I think working for a friend (or family member) is a terrible idea, and only going to go one way... sorry

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:37:08

No need to be sorry Excited101 smile. I am starting to think this too unfortunately which is really disappointing as I was so excited to work for her.

I don’t want to completely write it off though as I love her kids.

I think I’ll have a chat about all of these issues, see if the situation improves and go from there.

itsboiledeggsagain Mon 14-Oct-19 21:41:05

we have a nanny who is our friend and she has always been very flexible, (although situation not the same as she has been self employed as she does other work too)

she has never charged us for cancelled work, and we have always paid her for the hours she works however many she does - eg if we are stuck on a closed motorway.

I think with these things it always boils down to everyone feeling that they are not being unequally treated. we started off very professional as we didnt really know each other, and then got more informal as time went on. but I feel that we have good groundrules.

weve always offered to pay cancelled days etc (not that there are many) but she has never accepted

Hellabove5 Mon 14-Oct-19 21:41:07

No advice but as a nanny you cannot accept any of the free funding hours like a nursery, even if you are OFSTED registered. You can however accept childcare vouchers and tax free childcare.

Hope you sort it out!

CatsOnCatnip Mon 14-Oct-19 21:44:04

Sounds like you’ve done everything above board and made sure things are in place, YANBU to reiterate what has already been discussed.

But, having employed friends (not that I asked them to do more hours or anything your friend is asking) in my experience it has made things difficult as times. I felt I wasn’t comfortable discussing things I wasn’t happy with the same way you feel in this situation. So in my experience, it can work, but it can be extra awkward, especially if you’re a bit of a people pleaser overall.

Witchinaditch Mon 14-Oct-19 21:48:06

I think if you work for a friend you have to be prepared to be totally flexible otherwise it’s just not going to work, if you don’t want to work like that then I would suggest a new nannying job.

NoNoOk Mon 14-Oct-19 22:03:20

Has your friend employed a nanny before?

If not, she is going to think all the 'downsides' to employing a nanny are down to you not being flexible.

If she has employed one before, then she is taking you for a ride as any nanny employer knows this isn't how it works.

She should always be paying you for cancelled hours. You have a contract. This is not doing you a favour!

CallieCat19 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:04:23

I think you’re being a little unreasonable about the hours, I wouldn’t expect to pay someone for hours they hadn’t worked. For example with the 4 days instead of 3, if you normally work 7 hours a day but that was split to 3.5 hours with an additional day I wouldn’t expect to pay more because your still working the same amount of hours? Idk that might just be me though!

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:17:37

It is her first time employing a nanny NoNoOk and I think this is where things may be going wrong. Having been a nanny years ago I did explain to her how things usually work and again having drawn up the contract and talked over everything beforehand I thought we had squashed any potential issues but I guess not.

CallieCat19 - sorry, maybe I didn’t explain it properly in my op. When she offered me the job she stated it would be over three days a week as that’s what she works and I am basically following her shift pattern. I appreciate it may look like I’m expecting her to pay me for hours I haven’t worked but if we hadn’t of agreed on contracted hours then that would potentially leave me open to not being paid for anything.
What do you think would happen if she just decided to take the day off work? I would then not be paid for it and potentially have no money to pay my own bills.

Of course I would never expect to be paid if I was off ill or couldn’t attend work for some reason but If they decide not to use me for the full hours I think that’s their choice and I shouldn’t have to suffer because of it.

I think my issue is that we agreed I would work three days a week which was documented in the contract and she is now trying to change that without having the proper discussion with me first, and also expecting it for the same rate of pay.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:21:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Playingforkeeps Mon 14-Oct-19 22:24:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maddening Mon 14-Oct-19 22:25:32

She is on to a good thing being that she needs flexible childcare where her days change, she would not find a childminder or nursery that would and I am sure that most nannies would want set days if not full time.

TakeMe2Insanity Mon 14-Oct-19 22:26:23

I think you can either survive as the nanny or the best friend. I think something has to give. It may have been ideal but it is naïve to assume you can remain in both positions.

Butchyrestingface Mon 14-Oct-19 22:26:40

She is my best friend and I love her but, I want our friendship and the work side to be kept separate (if possible).

Oh dear. I hope you can get something sorted OP, otherwise the friendship as well as the job may suffer.

Ginseng1 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:27:42

Are you expecting to be paid more per hour if you work over the contracted 28 hrs & is this partly why you wouldn't work the extra hours This I don't understand?

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:32:59

Ginseng1 no the hourly rate is the same even if I work over the contracted hours.

I don’t think she wants to pay more than the contracted hours that’s why she keeps asking me to split the 28hrs over four days, so she technically gets an extra day but for the same price. If that makes sense?

I would be happy to work extra hrs and be more flexible but I want to be paid for it.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 14-Oct-19 22:37:22

You raise a good point- what happens if You are ill? Any employee should get sick pay and holiday pay and pension. It sounds as if you don't get that.
I think it is very hard working for a friend and it is almost inevitable that the friendship will suffer. The balance of power shifts, she will feel she has a right to comment on your decisions. I knew someone who employed a friend, who actually thought she could veto whether or not the employee could ttc!

shoebedobedobedobedoo Mon 14-Oct-19 22:43:16

I don’t think this will work OP. We had a nanny for 5 years. We knew her from our social circle to begin with (which should have been a red flag), and I honestly don’t know if she was ever a real friend or not. She was contracted for 30 hours over 3 set days. If she worked a 4th day she got the additional hourly pay for the hours she worked on day 4, even if she only actually worked 1 or 2 days that week. She got paid for every second of over time she did plus countless hours of time she didn’t actually work as she was always late but got paid from her start time regardless of the time she actually showed up. Because we moved in the same social circle I didn’t want to rock the boat of be seen as a difficult/tight/mean employer. By the end she totally took the piss, IMHO. If you end this now you can probably salvage the friendship.

shoebedobedobedobedoo Mon 14-Oct-19 22:45:50

Any employee should get sick pay and holiday pay and pension and you should def be getting this. Ours did. She didn’t even let us pay overtime in cash, it all had to go through the books. Makes me mad just thinking about it.

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