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to not expect the soon to be ex-employer of my nanny to speak to me like sh*t?

(35 Posts)
Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 14:45:34

...Ok - so maybe it was a stupid idea.

Background. We are taking on a nanny to help for 4 months with our 2 DC over the birth of DC3. We agreed to take her on starting 17 November when I will be 34 weeks pg (and have severe spd). She currently works at the nursery we used to send our DC to - but is very unhappy there - and has kept in touch since our DC left. We did not approach her - she approached us and the timing happened to fit.

She gave 5 weeks notice thinking it was sufficient - hardly leaving them in the lurch. Turns out she misread her contract (that she was only given a few weeks ago, despite having been there nearly 3 weeks) saying that she had to work up to the end of the month - ie two weeks later than we need her from.

The lady who owns the nursery is a strong character and alienates a lot of staff (but in her defence runs a damn tight ship). The nanny has had no joy getting any leeway on the notice. English is not her first language and she find the owner very initimidating.

So, I thought, I will ring up and be reasonable and see if we can reach a compromise. She basically told me that it was tough luck, she can't vary the notice terms and that she will only give a factual reference. I said I personally would give a reference that said she had failed to comply with the full notice but leave the rest of it unaltered (morally I would not change what i said about someone when she had just made a mistake). She then turned on me and said I shouldn't be threatening this nanny that she won't get the job unless she starts on the 17th and that I was the one at fault etc etc. I hung up after thanking her for her time but it has really really upset me.

Was it totally inappropriate for me to approach her? I wanted to reach a compromise - maybe split the 2 weeks or some of the days - given that it all arose over a mistake (rather than the nanny wanting to walk out and leave her in the lurch).

Sorry this is a boring AIBU - but it really upset me to be spoken to like that....

luckylady74 Mon 20-Oct-08 14:48:07

She's reasonably pissed off and very unreasonably and unprofessionally took it out on you. Sorry for your bad day - I would feel crap after that call too.

UnfortunatelyMurderedMe Mon 20-Oct-08 14:49:26

from the bosses point of view you have poached one of her member of staff.
You should have rang her IMO.

UnfortunatelyMurderedMe Mon 20-Oct-08 14:49:56


Twiglett Mon 20-Oct-08 14:50:15

she has worked 3 weeks only and needs to give 7 weeks notice? That doesn't sound right. Was there no trial period?

Have you seen the contract?

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Mon 20-Oct-08 14:51:21

I can see what you were trying to achieve but YABU to call a soon to be ex-employer on someone else's behalf. Your soon to be lovely nanny is an adult - whether english is first language or not - and I think it should be up to her to negotiate terms. If she feels she has been badly treated she need to either sort it herself or look for impartial advice/mediation on her behalf. Sadly, thats not you.

pingping Mon 20-Oct-08 14:53:26

yanbu SHE IS A BITCH I would tell ur nanny to leave her in the lurch now

scaryfucker Mon 20-Oct-08 14:55:40

I understand why you rang her but also why she was shirty with you.

I agree though, that notice period seems unreasonably long. There is no legal requirement to complete a full calendar month. Notice is from the working day you give it.

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:01:35

sorry 3 years!

Simplysally Mon 20-Oct-08 15:01:37

İm not sure but I dont thınk that you need to gıve a contract at the point of begınnıng employment as long as ıt ıs wıthın 13 weeks ıyswım.

Excuse the typıng I am on a foreıgn keyboard hence the funny Is.

Can the gırl take some leave to offset the notıce perıod she ought to have accrued some leave even after 3 weeks and certaınly after 8.

edam Mon 20-Oct-08 15:06:36

No-one HAS to work their notice - crabby employer can't force her to stay. Obviously new nanny wants to be paid so should choose leaving date carefully but essentially she can go when she likes.

mayorquimby Mon 20-Oct-08 15:10:39

you poached a staff and then tried to infer that she was being unreasonable by obliging someone to stick to the terms of a contract that they signed.
i can't see how this other woman has been unreasonable in anyway. this was a matter between an employer and an had absolutely no business telling her what kind of reference she was morally obliged to give her fairness would you give someone a reference who was violating the terms of their contract and leaving early?

dilemma456 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:16:33

Message withdrawn

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 15:37:18

mayor - I didn't poach her. She was leaving and had already approached an agency by the time she called me. But that's by the by.
And, yes, if an employee who worked for me had worked really hard and been in all other respects a great employee - I would feel it morally wrong to change what I would say over the matter of 2 weeks. Especially when it was clear as in this case that it was a genuine mistake, rather than the employee or her new employer trying to shaft me.

However I appreciate that is just me. I also appreciate (as a former lawyer) that there is an etiquette about who speaks to whom, and that it is a bit out of order for a new employer to speak to an old one about notice period. Guess I was being naive.

I did speak subsequently to Nannytax's legal advice line (great service grin) and they said that, yes the employer can give a purely factual reference - but that as so many people do that now, no matter how good someone is, it should not affect her future career. So basically, there is nothing she can do. In which case, I am going to tell the nanny if she wants to start at the end of this month, she can (and there is nothing the employer can do) and she how she likes them apples. Any moral obligation I felt to the nursery owner has disappeared I am afraid (no matter how unreasonable that is grin)

mayorquimby Mon 20-Oct-08 15:41:36

sorry didn't mean that you actively poached her.
should have qualified as i didn't mean to have a go and my post when read back does seem a bit hostile.
i meant to say at the start of that posts that "from her POV you poached an employee etc etc..." and then it would seem you were telling her how to act towards an employee who was breaking their contract with them to go an work for you.would seem a bit like over-stepping the boundaries

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:05:00

mayor I think you are right! Some people may not have minded, but she clearly did. Oh well.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Oct-08 16:11:57

Hang on. You were encouraging the nursery to give a reference for their longstanding member of staff that says "she had failed to comply with the notice period"? And YOU only plan to employ her for 4 months? And for her NEXT job, she may need a reference from the nursery she worked at, and they go back in ther file and read up "she failed to comply with notice period" - Damn! shock

Fucking hell, you only plan to use her 4 months, and you have no thought to her career, and just want to screw up her references with her current employer, because it suits you?

stillstanding Mon 20-Oct-08 16:15:16

I'm afraid I would be a bit pissed off (and think you pretty cheeky) if I was the employer too.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Oct-08 16:18:06

sorry I feel really shocked by this.

1. you poach their staff
2. you call current employer and try re-negotiate notice terms
3. you try to dictate what sort of reference they give

YA totally BU!

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:21:45

No - I wasn't encouraging them to say that, they said they will say that if she leaves on the the 17th November. She is coming to us for a minimum of 4 months, there is a very strong chance that we will keep her on afterwards (but as it is not definate, your point stands). This is something the nanny and I have discussed. This nursery owner is basically going to give a factual reference no matter what. She will have a very good reference direct from the teacher at the nursery, who she works with very closely. She will also have a glowing reference from me. Believe me, I have spent a lot of time trying to make sure her career is not affected.

She is also getting an £8k payrise by coming to me, a paid 14 day holiday - and won't have to spend an entire 7 hour per week period doing nothing except changing nappies....She ain't that hard done by, believe me.

I am as much inconvenienced by her having failed to understand her notice period as her ex-employer. I was just trying to reach a solution that worked for both of us

QuintessentialShadow Mon 20-Oct-08 16:22:55

ok, that sounds less shocking smile

ErnestTheBavarian Mon 20-Oct-08 16:32:47

" . She then turned on me and said I shouldn't be threatening this nanny that she won't get the job unless she starts on the 17th and that I was the one at fault etc etc" So does that mean you did get shirty with new nanny and threaten her she wouldn't get job unless she started at pre-agreed time, before the notice confusion arose?

IMO Ywere BVU to contact the nursery - not your place at all. Not surprised she got shirty with you.

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:43:37

am dead nice, honest ! grin

Turniphead1 Mon 20-Oct-08 16:47:58

Gosh, no, Ernest - when this issue with the nanny's notice arose, I told her we would sort it out and work something out. I most definately never said anything approaching that!

I don't know whether the owner either a) made that up entirely or b) whether the nanny said it, to try and get out of the notice period (ie by saying, I won't get this job if you don't let me go two weeks earlier.

But I didn't make that clear in my OP.

ErnestTheBavarian Mon 20-Oct-08 17:11:08

oh, okay I'm sure you are dead nice Have you managed to reach compromise? Good luck with birth and new baby btw

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