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working 3 days - family stop me getting a job for the other two 'just in case'

(22 Posts)
sunshinebehindeverycloud Mon 13-Jun-11 23:22:40

I currently work 3 days a week monday to wednesday - the little girl is looked after by her grandparents on the other two days. MB had previously mentioned that she'd need me to be available on thursdays and fridays to look after LO in case the grandparents went on holiday - but that would only one or two weeks a year (equal to 2 or 4 days)

I agreed to a lower wage than what I'd been asking for because the days were perfect but due to a change in circumstances I'm now finding it difficult to get by on what I get paid. I mentioned to MB that I may have to look for a second job on thursdays and fridays but that I'd still honour my word to her and be available to look after LO if and when the grandparents go on holiday by using my holiday allowance in my second job.

She basically turned around and said that no, that wouldn't be happening as they need me. So she expects me to miss out on a second job - 8 days a month which could be anything up to 80 hours a month so that I'm available IF a holiday happens - which I tried to explain but she was having none of it.

AIBU? I understand what was said in the beginning and I still would be there when they needed me so I really don't see what the problem is?

diggingintheribs Mon 13-Jun-11 23:29:43

Unless they are paying you for the 5 days and you have a contrct saying you can't work those days, well they can't stop you!

I would quietly look for another job if I were you!

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 13-Jun-11 23:35:06

She can't do that to you! she can't tell you not to get a job on the other two days, but not pay you for them. Agree with digging.

nannynick Mon 13-Jun-11 23:51:20

What is in your written statement / contract with regard to working hours/days?

ElizabethDarcy Tue 14-Jun-11 10:54:55

She contracts you on a Monday-Wednesday, what you do on Thurs/Friday is up to you... not her business. If she wants you to keep those days free for her in case she needs you... she needs to pay you a retainer (agreed by you), to keep you available. I think she's VERY cheeky to expect this of you.

twolittlemonkeys Tue 14-Jun-11 10:57:34

Absolutely agree with the others - they pay for 3 days, they get 3 days. What you do with your other two is entirely up to you. Cheeky! I'd be sorely tempted to suggest they look for another childminder if they expect to pay for 3 days but have you available for 5. I strongly suspect they won't find anyone willing to do that arrangement!

MrsArmstrong Tue 14-Jun-11 11:02:35

Agree with everyone.

But what does your contract say?

Penthesileia Tue 14-Jun-11 11:10:45

My nanny's contract stipulates X number of hours which, in theory - and indeed legally - I, as her employer, can distribute across the week as I see fit.

In practice, we agreed a 3 day week. We therefore have a gentlewoman's agreement wink that any day she does beyond the 3, I reimburse her travel costs (since the expectation was that she should only need to travel in 3 days), and if she finds work on those other days, it is none of my business. We simply keep each other informed of what works best for us.

It sounds as if your employer is being very unreasonable and ungentlewomanly (!); she may well have the law on her side if your contract states hours rather than days (iyswim), but she is not behaving very kindly towards another human being with financial responsibilities, etc.

tiggersreturn Tue 14-Jun-11 11:13:51

Some contracts do contain a clause saying you can't have another job without the employer's permission but that is far more usual for a full time job. If your contract does not contain anything official then there is nothing to stop you (although you will need to factor in that you may not be given holiday when you want it in your other job).

My nanny is an afterschool nanny so that is 20 hours a week term time and full time school holidays. It has suited us both very well because initially her visa restricted her from working hours outside of this and she is a student so has classes and other things to do in the other times. The salary is averaged out over the year and if she does overtime (which she can now do) for sickness of ds or babysitting then that's added each month.

I also have another lady who walks ds to school and will do emergency care if she can. She has a dd as well but has now found another job with funny hours so sometimes she can't even manage the basic job let alone the emergency part. When she can though she does. Either way for the amount I'm paying her (5 hours pw and the odd bit of sick care/care when nanny is sick or on holiday) I wouldn't feel that it would be appropriate to restrict her rights to work.

If somebody requires you to keep 2 full days at their beck and call then they have to pay for that privilege. You can't keep employees hanging around with no compensation -it's not fair and doesn't make for a good relationship.

aliceliddell Tue 14-Jun-11 11:17:46

I have assistants as I am disabled; I pay them for days I might (but rarely do) need them.

StillSquiffy Tue 14-Jun-11 14:57:14

It depends entirely on the contract. If your contract states you can't get another job, or that she can vary your hours to suit her needs, then your only option would be to call her bluff and resign.

If the contract says nothing then you need to tell her that you are only willing to keep those days free if she is prepared to pay you for the contingency cover she is insisting on. If she says no then you will have to tell her that you are sorry but it is none of her business what you do in your own time, so long as you keep with the arrangement you made of providing additional childcare on these days a couple of times a year. And go take another job.

However, you are only protected by law if you have served more than 1 year (and this will shortly be increasing to 2 yrs). If you have worked for less than a year she can turn around and dismiss you (with notice) and you would have no recourse to law to stop her.

mranchovy Tue 14-Jun-11 15:12:08

>your only option would be to call her bluff and resign.

Well no, another option would be to call her bluff and take on the other job, telling her that you will only be available for additional days with whatever notice the other job would require. Whatever is written in the contract it is possible that the custom and practice of working 3 days Monday to Friday is an unwritten contract term so you may be entitled to do this anyway, and it is unlikely that a 'no other work' clause would be upheld as fair in a 3 day a week contract.

However, as you have been there less than a year she can sack you if she wants to.

tiggersreturn Tue 14-Jun-11 15:29:03

Just to clarify if she sacks you then unless she's got grounds for gross misconduct (which without a direct breach of a contract term I can't see any grounds for) she would still have to pay you your notice period and outstanding holiday as otherwise that would be wrongful dismissal which is not subject to any period which you've worked for her. Also if this is a fixed term contract then again she might have to pay you until the end of the fixed term if she has no right to terminate the contract before that point.

However, if you've worked less than a year then you don't have a right to claim for unfair dismissal which is when an employer either dismisses or commits an act leading to dismissal through an unfair process or for an unfair reason. These are legally defined.

I think you have a few options subject to your contract not containing a clause preventing you from taking up another job.

1. Ask to have a discussion with your current employer explain your position and explain that while you are willing to provide this cover if she wants you solely at her beck and call she needs to pay for it. After all what does she do if you're sick or on holiday? Regarding the latter she only has the right to dictate about half of when you take your holidays so you could be taking a number over the year at times inconvenient to her.

2. State to your employer that there is nothing restricting you in the contract from taking another job and that therefore you will be doing so as you need to pay your rent/utilities/food bill and are not a charity! You will try and provide her with cover subject to adequate notice being given and agree a procedure on how this will work.

3. Find a job for 5 days a week and resign.

sunshinebehindeverycloud Tue 14-Jun-11 18:29:22

Hi all, thank you for your replies - I've read my contract and it says nothing about getting another job and specifically states my days monday-wednesday and the specific hours I work on those days so i guess that'll work in my favour. Of course there's always the possibility she could turn around and sack me but I'm prepared for that. I just wanted to know if i was being unreasonable as that's how I was made to feel.

Dozer Tue 14-Jun-11 19:41:14

Yanbu! Think it is v disrespectful of her.

Summersoon Tue 14-Jun-11 19:49:21

I cannot believe what some people try on, as reported on this and other threads on this forum! It would never even have occurred to me (as a former employer of nannies) to ask for this from a p-t nanny!

nanny101 Tue 14-Jun-11 20:24:51

I would def say that if your contract does not say that you can get a job for those days and if she's not paying you for those days and if you need to get another job to support your self then i would get another job for those 2 days......

tiggersreturn Tue 14-Jun-11 20:33:57

As an employer I think yanbu.

PickleMyster Tue 14-Jun-11 22:42:44

If she wants you available to work then she should pay you to be available...cheeky not to.

I once had a job where I worked 3 days per week, but because the days changed each week and I needed to be available each day of the week my boss paid me for 4 days which suited me fine. I always knew early on in the week what days I was needed the following week giving me time to plan for my days off.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 14-Jun-11 23:14:14

if yr mb wants you to possibly be free then she needs to pay you for 5 days

i work mon tue and wed and what i do in my own time ie thur and fr is up to me

some times mb asks me to swap days and if im free then i will, but sometimes i am working for other people and cant

i would NEVER accept a job where the parents ask me not to work elsewhere

what i do in my own time whether bs/night nannying etc, as long as i do my job properly and give 100% then none of their business

my advice - go and find a new job

LittleOneMum Wed 15-Jun-11 09:17:02

I'm an employer and YANBU. I can't understand other employers sometimes. Don't they realise people have lives too? Don't even get me started ...

<littleonemum runs off into a corner raving and ranting>

Katiebeau Wed 15-Jun-11 09:20:36

YANBU - she wants 2 days "on call" without payment or security for you. She is been VBU!

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