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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

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:48:33

DelphiniumBlue, I receive sick pay if I provide a fit note after 7 days. Holidays are 50/50 between us and pension is all sorted through payroll.

In regards to your friends employer, that is absolutely bonkers! Glad to say I really don't think my friend would ever do anything like that grin

TatianaLarina Mon 14-Oct-19 22:51:54

This was a terrible idea, I don’t know why you two were naive enough to think it would work.

Don’t mix business and pleasure as they say.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 22:53:01

shoebedobedobedobedoo - sorry to hear you had such a shit time with your nanny. Some people really do take the mick.

I do realise it's give and take. I just feel at the moment she's taking more than she's actually giving so to speak.

Luckily I never had these issues with my past nanny employers as I wasn't afraid to speak up if something was bothering me, however when it's a friend it just makes it so much more awkward.

Maybe I need to be more flexible though, it really is a learning curve for the both of us I think.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 14-Oct-19 22:54:42

"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."

Paying tax made you mad?

LisaSimpsonsbff Mon 14-Oct-19 22:56:10

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.

I was thinking this too. If you two decided to end your arrangement then you'd almost certainly pick up other nannying work, but she'd find it really hard to find someone else who would agree to this. That tells us something about how fair the arrangement is.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:02:25

TatianaLarina, I don't know really. Like I said before, maybe because we talked everything over beforehand, had a contract signed. I thought we both knew what was expected of each other but as time has gone on small issues have kept cropping up.

She doesn't like nursery environments because children can't have 1-1 care (I think I would be the same personally if I had children myself) that's why she chose a nanny. Also because she knows me and trusts me she wanted me as her nanny and not some stranger off the internet.

shiningstar2 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:03:29

It seems that her shift work requires a lot of flexibility regarding which days are worked. Fair enough knew that when you accepted the job. However, from your point of view no-one wants to be paid 3 days work yet have to be available 6 days a week. I think she should be able to ask you to work 3 days a week when she knows her shift pattern, regardless of whether her husband is available or not. However I don't think she can expect to give 2 some weeks and 'bank' the rest which leaves you unable to accept other work.

NeedAnExpert Mon 14-Oct-19 23:04:58

nip this in the butt


LisaSimpsonsbff Mon 14-Oct-19 23:05:44

She doesn't like nursery environments because children can't have 1-1 care (I think I would be the same personally if I had children myself) that's why she chose a nanny.

Yeah, and because she'd never, ever have found a nursery that would have let her book different days every week and then frequently change them like she does with you.

AnneElliott Mon 14-Oct-19 23:07:06

YANBU op. I'm shocked that she wanted to try and defraud on the childcare payment! What sort of person does that, irrespective of the financial impact on you - which was incredibly cheeky of her.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:09:45

Yes your right shiningstar2, I knew there would be a certain degree of flexibility needed and I'm fine with that. I never book any work with other families until I have confirmed with her what days I'm needed that week. In all fairness, she understands that if I have booked work with another family on my day off and she then needs to change the working days that week for whatever reason then it's tough.

As I said before, I don't mind being flexible I just really don't want to work an extra day for the same pay, or work at such short notice unless it's an emergency.

(Didn't mean too drip feed!) but she asked me to work tomorrow for a few hours because she wanted to pop to the shops without having to drag the kids around with her. I really wouldn't class that as an emergency.

LisaSimpsonsbff Mon 14-Oct-19 23:10:11

Oh, and nurseries don't tend to facilitate benefit fraud, either, which is presumably another downside in her view.

EstebanTheMagnificent Mon 14-Oct-19 23:29:32

She doesn't like nursery environments because children can't have 1-1 care (I think I would be the same personally if I had children myself) that's why she chose a nanny.

But her children aren't getting 1:1 now. They're getting 1:3 - which is the ratio for under-twos in nurseries.

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:39:10

EstebanTheMagnificent - sorry, my fault for not saying. Her eldest is 6 so in full time school and doesn't need so much attention when at home as he'll entertain himself most of the time with toys and crafts.

Middle child is 3 and youngest is 8 months so I think I am able to divide my attention between the three better due to the age gaps as where in a nursery the children will tend to be in the same age bracket i.e 1 staff member to 3 babies (which I found harder personally)

Wagamama5 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:41:24

Again, she also has trust issues so I suppose in a nursery you don't really know what's going on behind closed doors (I know this is very rare though) but as we're friends and have been a long time she knows I would never hurt or bring harm to her children.

MangoSalsa Mon 14-Oct-19 23:46:53

Don’t think this will work out. If I were you I’d say you are happy to work for her til she finds another nanny, for a maximum of x weeks (whatever you are comfortable with).

Tbh, I don’t think working for friends ever works out- working with them is different, like a couple of friends starting a business together as equal partners.

Years ago, I was made redundant. An friend from school offered me a job with his then fledging events company as I had relevant experience and I’d helped him out with some initial ideas/input before he started out. He really meant well by it, but he had also confided in me about thinking his existing employees didn’t work as hard on the business as he did (pointed out that he just needed to realise they weren’t as invested as him, were they doing good work or not was a fairer standard.

So I said that’s a lovely offer, I’d be happy to help out p/t whilst I looked for something else, no need to pay me, just buy me lunch or a couple of drinks after work on the days I’ve been in. Did that for about a month before I had something else.

GabsAlot Mon 14-Oct-19 23:53:23

Youre being as aflexible as agreed- anymore no-PP are right she wouldnt find a nanny who wold move their days along with hers-she obvuously doesnt realise that but you need to discuss again the arrangement

Fweakout Tue 15-Oct-19 00:06:22

i don't know why it's that bad to work two mornings rather than one full day? Unless you rely on picking up the extra 2 days/week work with other families to pay your bills.

scittlescatter Tue 15-Oct-19 00:07:19

I was going to employ a friend as a nanny, but in hindsight, I was naive to think it could have worked.

She started asking for more money before starting(compared to the pre-agreed salary which we had decided, and was what she had asked for). She asked for a rediculous, and completely unrealistic amount, so I said it wouldn't work out. I think she had decided she didn't want to do it, which was fine, but I wish she had just say so. I found it really hurtful that she made an agreement, let me think that childcare was sorted, and got the children to know her, before deciding that she couldn't be bothered unless she got way above the going rate

Wagamama5 Tue 15-Oct-19 00:23:05

I'm not saying it's a bad thing Fweakout, it's just not what was agreed in the beginning.

I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy working those hours. I prefer longer days personally, that way I can work less days over the week.

I think I'm more upset because she's changing the goalposts so soon. I've only been employed by her for two months and already things are changing. I appreciate, especially in nanny jobs working hours often change as the children get older, start school etc but just not this soon after starting with them.

Also, we haven't even had a proper discussion about it. If she had come to me and said "can we discuss the working hours?", I could of explained my reasonings for not wanting to work more days but it's almost as if she's changed my working hours without even notifying me confused

monkeymonkey2010 Tue 15-Oct-19 00:50:24

You're too emotionally involved for this to be the same as any other nannying job.
YOU have been professional all the way through and on the ball re the tricks employers can play......and they are tricks, we all play them to some extent.

she asked me to work tomorrow for a few hours because she wanted to pop to the shops without having to drag the kids around with her. I really wouldn't class that as an emergency
This though, is crossing the friendship-CFuckery boundary....and that's on top of repeated attempts at employer-CFuckery boundary crossing.

If you are any more 'flexible' you're going to find the boundaries constantly being pushed.
I'm sure she is a LOT more self aware than she's making out.

Derbee Tue 15-Oct-19 00:50:26

YANBU. Your friend may not be a CF, she might just not understand how employing a nanny works. You sound great, because you have set boundaries and stuck to them. Keep on being clear, and hopefully she’ll get it. Hope it works out

LittlePaintBox Tue 15-Oct-19 01:40:53

she'd never, ever have found a nursery that would have let her book different days every week and then frequently change them like she does with you.

Yes. She's either very bad at planning, or taking advantage of your good nature.

IMO the only way you can make this work is by stating your boundaries in terms of the time you're offering, and sticking to them. I'm not clear why a nanny should be expected to be available outside her contracted hours for an emergency, but I agree that needing to get to the shops on her own isn't an emergency. As a friend, you might step in to free her up to do that, but not as her nanny. I think the friend/nanny boundary might just be too difficult to establish, unless she's prepared to work with you and stop asking you to do things at short notice.

Wilmalovescake Tue 15-Oct-19 02:09:43

Honestly, I think this will end up ruining your friendship.

Thatoneoverthere Tue 15-Oct-19 02:28:07

Firstly I would never work for a friend, it's just asking for trouble.
I have had a few job interviews where parents wanted to pay for 35 ish hours a week but also wanted who ever took the job to keep 60 hours a week free just incase they needed them (and not do a nanny share either to bridge the gap). Oddly enough I said no to ones like that. Same kind of parent who asks if you'll take part of your pay in cash in my experience and will begrudge every penny they pay you.

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