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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

shoebedobedobedobedoo Sun 20-Oct-19 14:17:06

But she was paid by the hour. I don’t get you wanting to be paid for work you haven’t done.

You were very lucky to get a nanny who agreed to that type of contract. Most nannies will have a contract that agrees to set hours over set days. It may or may not include overtime. Our nanny was contracted for 30 hours a week. Some weeks we needed all 30 hours, some weeks we only needed her for 20, but she got paid for 30 because that was her contract. No-one is likely to take a job where the hours change every week to suit the employer- the employee will have fixed out goings which need to be met. I have a colleague who worked 3 days a week, but it could be ANY 3 days. So the agreement she had with her nanny was full pay for 3 days then a retainer for days 4&5 (I think it was 50%), so although the nanny wasn’t working, she couldn’t work for anyone else either.
OP your friend was taking advantage of you. And I’d certainly threaten the small claims court.

Babynamechangerr Sun 20-Oct-19 03:53:54

Your 'friend' has been very unreasonable, it sounds like they don't expect to pay you overtime either when the husband is late from work either?

On the basis that the friendship is over anyway I would pursue the notice period.

I would just text and say, you still owe for a month's notice period and photograph the contract you both signed. It's her choice to throw her toys out of the pram and at this stage you've got nothing to lose.

I would also ring the hmrc and just tell them that the contract has ended with this family so she can't use your number.

I think she is soon going to realise how good she had it with you op, so possibly in time she may eventually apologise if she realises she can't go on like this with people she employs,but I doubt it.

Try not to feel too bad about the friendship, she's shown her true colours here and I honestly don't think a true friend would have behaved like this to someone they really cared about.

Mephisto Sun 20-Oct-19 02:27:03

OP, can you cancel your number and apply for a new one?

Countryescape Sun 20-Oct-19 00:27:00

No it’s not working. And I think she is being quite cheeky. Sounds very tight with money and wants something for nothing if she can get it. I’d be honest and tell her how you are feeling in a nice way. That you both agreed on the contract and she keeps trying to over ride it.

Joerev Sat 19-Oct-19 23:24:35

Sorry. Way to late to the party

Glad it got sorted. Sort of! Hope you e found a new job by now

Joerev Sat 19-Oct-19 23:15:45

I don’t get it. I had a nanny. That would work certain days each week. They could be changed. She was either avalible or she wasn’t. Simple as. If she wasn’t. Then I would have to make other arrangements. But she was paid by the hour. I don’t get you wanting to be paid for work you haven’t done. I never got that when I worked. I got paid for the exact hours I did

Elieza Sat 19-Oct-19 20:16:36

If the new employer claims on your number for you then she can’t also presumably? She’d get caught? I just don’t know about these things. Speak to where the number was issued from.

cstaff Sat 19-Oct-19 19:37:37

Can you ring or email them and let them know that you are no longer working for her. Can't think of any other way. Also if you start a new job will your new employer have to send in this number. If so you would imagine that it would come up as a duplicate.

bakesalesally Sat 19-Oct-19 19:21:40

Hope you get the new job: never work for a friend !

SandyY2K Sat 19-Oct-19 18:54:27

I wouldn't employ my friend or be her employee.

You've tried your best and in spite of drawing up a contract...she still seems to be trying to push boundaries.

Wagamama5 Sat 19-Oct-19 18:45:23

That I no longer work for her* I meant to say. I have only brought this up as I knew a parent who did the exact same thing and used her old nannies number to claim the money to pay her new non registered nanny. I don't think HMRC or the regulating body have no way of knowing unless the nanny actually reports it as they never contact the nanny to ask who she's working for (they never have with me anyway).

Wagamama5 Sat 19-Oct-19 18:42:19

Thank you so much for all the lovely replies!
It's good to know that I wasn't being unreasonable.

I've been thinking about everything that's happened all day and to be honest, it's like a weights been lifted off my shoulders. It was never going to end well so I just need to move on now.

I have been invited for an interview for a nanny job working away, 2 weeks on/2 weeks off which I think will work great as I'll still get to come home and see family and friends, plus it's a very generous salary and would be great experience. The family also seem lovely and, (which I think is the most important thing) - we are not personal friends so there is no awkwardness talking about these sorts of things grin

Fingers crossed I get it!

I just wanted to ask (hopefully someone knows) - My friend has used my registration number to claim help towards the costs in order to pay my wages. As I've said before there are only 3-4 nannies including myself who live here so I think she will struggle to find someone else.

I have a feeling (more of a hunch) she may hire a non registered nanny and use my number to claim the costs. I don't want to sound spiteful but I pay for that myself every year and I don't think she should benefit from using it if she's not employing me. Is there any way I can notify either the regulating body or HMRC that I no longer for her? Has anyone had to do this before?

MoaningMinniee Fri 18-Oct-19 22:48:38

I came onto the thread to say nooo don't do it... I was rather dispiritingly found to be correct when I read through. We do animal care rather than child care, although a lot of it is very similar. I have found from 17 years experience that making friends with clients once they are clients is not a problem at all, but staying friends with clients when they were friends before hasn't happened, the relationship just can't survive the nitty gritty of contracts.

Thehop Fri 18-Oct-19 22:32:30

I’m really sorry OP. I hope something comes up really soon.

StripeyDeckchair Fri 18-Oct-19 22:15:15

You need to start looking for a new job & move on. Learn from this experience NEVER work for a friend.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Fri 18-Oct-19 21:53:15

@Witchinaditch wouldn't have benefited OP? That's an understatement? She'd have been massively out of pocket and given why this employer thinks is reasonable notice, effectively stopped from working for anyone else.

MotherOfDragonite Fri 18-Oct-19 21:45:49

I'm so sorry, this is awful and she sounds very unreasonable. Glad to hear that you are still able to be positive and look for other work!

Witchinaditch Fri 18-Oct-19 21:45:21

This probably could have been avoided if you had just banked hours, that seems to be what she wanted all along but you felt you wouldn’t have benefited. Ah well lesson learned don’t work for your friends. I hope you find another job soon

Elieza Fri 18-Oct-19 20:30:17

Sorry it’s come to this OP. It sucks.

JasonPollack Fri 18-Oct-19 17:37:01

Absolutely ask to be paid your notice period. Why should you put up with anything else because she is a stroppy unprofessional cowbag?

Mesage her letting her know you need it. If it is not forthcoming then send an official letter telling her to expect legal action. Then small claims, you don't need a lawyer and its reasonably easy to file I think.

timeisnotaline Fri 18-Oct-19 17:27:00

The small claims court op is how you chase your notice period. Message her so it’s in writing - hi x just to be clear, I know you don’t want me in Tuesday but I have bills to pay and still need to be paid my 1m notice period, just as you would expect it paid at your work. Regards, op

BigChocFrenzy Fri 18-Oct-19 16:24:21

Have you actually reminded her of the 1 month clause in the contract and asked her to honour this ?

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 18-Oct-19 16:11:21

Lesson learned, don't work for your friends

Indeed ... it can work, but as you've found out, too often you end up with a weird hybrid situation which suits nobody

I'm sure you know deep down that you've done nothing wrong and that it's her unreasonable demands (and unfortunate attitude) which have led to this, but good luck to her when she discovers a "stranger nanny" won't put up with what you have

ibanez0815 Fri 18-Oct-19 15:44:23

if you enjoy the nanny job, find a role in another family or another role even.

friendship and business do not mix!!! I learned it the hard way too.

BradTomby Fri 18-Oct-19 15:35:29

It doesn't cost much the small claims cost and if you win you can claim it back as well.

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