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Nanny asks for day off, is refused, and calls in sick anyway

(154 Posts)
oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 07:51:24

Our nanny asked for today off to greet her boyfriend when he gets back from holiday. I did try to accomodate her request but just couldn't. But her sister has now texted me to say she's not coming in. I have no choice but to believe her but it looks fishy. Can or should I say something? She calls in sick quite often and I've never said anything before than get well soon. And we give loads annual leave- 8 weeks a year, just on the understanding that it's taken at a time that suits us. I have also always said yes before for requests for time off, even if IRS inconvenient but today is really, really tough. Am wondering if we should look at nurseries instead.

ChristinedePizan Mon 19-Sep-11 07:58:23

Her sister has texted you? Is she so ill that she can't call you?

I would be suspicious but I think it's really crap to take a lot of time off sick anyway. Does she have some kind of underlying condition? The whole point of nannies is that they are more reliable than nurseries/CMs because they will still look after your child if your child is ill. If your nanny is off sick a lot, then you're not really getting that benefit are you?

EightiesChick Mon 19-Sep-11 08:06:18

I haven't used a nanny myself so can't comment from that perspective but that does sound like a low-level reason to ask for a day off (and does it take a whole day to pick him up from the airport which is presumably the main issue?) The sister calling also looks suspicious. Doesn't sound like it is working well for you atm. How many dc do you have? How good is she otherwise?

rainbowinthesky Mon 19-Sep-11 08:08:39

You need to have something in writing to say that she must call you herself if ill. Texting by anyone to be ill is unacceptable but getting someone else to text on behalf even worse.

rainbowinthesky Mon 19-Sep-11 08:10:37

Should clarify what I mean by "need". I have no idea legally about this I just meant it would be a good idea.

Iggly Mon 19-Sep-11 08:11:03

When she comes back to work you can ask her directly what was wrong and how she is.

Suss out from that whether she was really ill or not.

Have you had any issues in the past with her?

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:12:14

Fire her, I would, she's taking the mickey.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:12:45

Just make sure you follow the rules yknow but I would get rid.

oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 08:13:27

She's good otherwise - lively and great with the kids. We have had a few issues with her time keeping and reliability, and I have spoken to her about that. I'm genuinely disappointed in today, as I've always operated with good will and trust, and given her whatever she's asked for. We have 2 children - ds is 5 and at school and dd is 18 months.
The boyfriend also landed at the weekend - she just wanted this an an extra day with him.
She's had about 7 days off sick since she started work 6 months ago, which seems high. She's young and I think she's just overdoing it - not partying as such but she runs club nights and stuff like that in the evenings and weekends.
I've asked her "sister" if she can bring me a gp's note. Dh has taken the day off work, which now means he can't take his dad to hospital for a brain tumour biopsy. sad

Iggly Mon 19-Sep-11 08:13:53

I don't think you can just fire her.

You need to give written warnings, put her on notice etc.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 19-Sep-11 08:14:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iggly Mon 19-Sep-11 08:15:05

Also not sure you can legally ask for a GP's note for one day? I think you can self certify up to a certain number of days.

oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 08:16:58

So what can I say, legally? If she says she's sick, she's sick, and I can hardly give her a warning about that. The only think I can do is look for other childcare and give her notice, but that seems drastic too.

oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 08:17:42

I asked for the gps note as official notification of illness, iyswim? If she's too sick to text me herself.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:23:25

yy you have to do it legally but there must be a notice period in the contract

Just give her the notice period. She'll want a reference from you I assume.

EightiesChick Mon 19-Sep-11 08:24:26

No way anyone would get a GP note for one day's illness, so I don't think that angle will work for you. I would go with the discussing her sick record and saying it's not very good - 7 days in 6 months isn't (take it these are all/mostly 1-day illnesses? that's definitely dodgy) and saying you will be looking for this to improve. What is in her contract about pay for time off sick or how do these things work? (don't know much about nanny t&c)

Did you tell her about the appointment your DH will now have to miss, when you told her she couldn't have the day off? If not (and not that you should have to have done), I would say so when you speak to her about the sickness. It sounds as though she has not fully 'got' the consequences for others of her taking random days off, or just doesn't care - hopefully the former.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:25:04

Lots of people are lively and good with children.

If you don't want to fire her then give her a really good talking to, but just check within the law exactly what you can say,exactly what you can ask for and so on. She's totally taking the mickey. She's acting like a child.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:26:01

I mean, frankly, is she working to make your lives easier or is it the other way round?

oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 08:28:56

I didn't want to discuss dh's father's illness with her, but I have said in the past, when she's let me down, that if dh or I get fired, she loses her job too. But I don't know what to say to her about today. She will insist she was ill, so I can't call her a liar. She often takes one day illness for stuff like "dodgy tummy"

oranges Mon 19-Sep-11 08:30:13

And originally dh was due to be away at a conference today, which she knew - that was part of the reason I I had to decline her original request.

pinkyp Mon 19-Sep-11 08:30:15

Fire here! Give her notice when she comes back

WorkingItOutAsIGo Mon 19-Sep-11 08:30:24

Its very easy to get caught in the trap of thinking this nanny is great with the kids so I have to put up with bad behaviour - but there are very many wonderful nannies, and children cope fine with change.

You don't need to switch to nursery and in fact that's worse because everytime one of your kids is sick they cannot go - but you may need to put her on warning that if this doesnt improve you will let her go.

Iggly Mon 19-Sep-11 08:31:13

You can have a discussion about performance, time keeping etc. What does your contract say?

juneau Mon 19-Sep-11 08:32:44

I'd look into other childcare arrangements if it was me. She sounds immature and unreliable.

Blueberties Mon 19-Sep-11 08:33:25

I wouldn't do that, I don't trust people easily so once someone's on warning or notice I wouldn't want them around.

I would definitely give her a roasting about the "sick" day and see how she responds. Then I would find someone else, give her a start day and fire the old one, giving her obviously the paid notice. It's costs more because you're paying two nannies for one month or whatever the notice period is. But worth it, and the new nanny will see you mean business too.

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