Talk

Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Gross Misconduct

(38 Posts)
mranchovy Mon 10-Oct-11 16:03:56

Without going into the background (e.g. here), there are various draft Gross Misconduct clauses available on the internet, but nothing tailored towards nanny/au pair contracts.

So here are my bullet points:

* Negligence: any negligent act or omission with the potential to endanger the children
* Breach of confidence: disclosure to or discussion with any third party of any information relating to the children or the employer or the employer's family unless required for the perfomance of the duties or specifically authorised by the employer. Pictures or details relating to the family must not be posted on any blog, forum, social networing or any other public or private web site whether anonymously or otherwise.
* Drunk driving: driving a car belonging to the employer at any time while unfit through drink or drugs
* Alcohol/drug abuse: intoxication or incapcity through use of alcohol or drugs while on duty
* Illegal drugs: posession or use of illegal drugs [while on duty or in the home/at any time]
* Violence/abuse: violent or abusive behaviour to any person
* Theft
* Willful or reckless damage to property
* Computer/internet/technology misuse: use of any equipment or service provided by the family (e.g. WiFi, broadband, mobile phone) to access any pornographic material or for any illegal act
* Any other act or omission which may reasonably be considered by the employer as gross misconduct
* [Insubordination: failure to comply with any reasonable instruction given by the employer - I personally don't like this one as it sounds officious and antiquated and if any non-compliance were serious enough not to be dealt with as an ordinary disciplinary matter it would be covered under the previous catch-all]

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 10-Oct-11 17:39:43

<waves> at MrA

as you were

nannynick Mon 10-Oct-11 17:44:50

So this would replace:

~~~ From ANA ~~~
Reasoned for summary dismissal include the following

Child Abuse
Drunkenness
Illegal drug taking
Theft
~~~

~~~ NannyJob ~~~
6.3 Misconduct which may be deemed gross misconduct includes but is not limited to theft, drunkenness, illegal drug taking, child abuse and violent or threatening behaviour (be it verbal or physical).
~~~

Your version sounds much better and much clearer.
I agree that the insubordination one is probably not necessary given that it would need to be sufficiently serious not to be dealt with under disciplinary procedure for misconduct, plus if it was sufficiently serious it would be caught by the catch all.

My view with regard to the Gross Misconduct section is that it should be clear as to what the employer considers is grounds for being Gross Misconduct rather than being dealt with as Misconduct.

PigfartsPigfartsHereICome Mon 10-Oct-11 20:30:39

I like the breach of confidence bit- I have friends teaching English abroad and they like to post pics and vids of the children on FB, I always feel like telling them off.

I would perhaps change the bit about drunk driving to drunk or willfully reckless driving (though that may be covered by the negligence bit?) in the employers car and in employees car if in use for the job, if that makes sense? I've had that in a contract before though I've never driven my own car for work.

mranchovy Mon 10-Oct-11 20:50:32

Hmm, problem is it is too long and wordy.

Perhaps the definitions would work better split out into the disciplinary and grievance procedures (part of the principal statement) and just summarised or referred to in the contract.

mranchovy Mon 10-Oct-11 20:51:25

Sorry PigFarts, I didn't mean your addition is too wordy, I meant the whole thing grin

StillSquiffy Tue 11-Oct-11 10:58:20

I also have:

* undertaking, without advance permission, any activity which is primarily for the benefit of the employee and not of benefit to the children. This specifically includes taking the children to the homes of friends and family of the nanny
* allowing, without advance permission, other people into the family home

My negligence clause also states that evidence of extensive use of telephone or internet during working hours would be examples of negligence sufficient to potentially endanger the welfare of children (heaven knows if that would stand up in court though)

mranchovy Tue 11-Oct-11 13:13:57

Ooo Squiffy, they are interesting ones. Gross misconduct should only include things that MUST NOT HAPPEN, not even once. So taking them in turn...

undertaking, without advance permission, any activity which is primarily for the benefit of the employee and not of benefit to the children. This specifically includes taking the children to the homes of friends and family of the nanny

Now I would cover that by explaining the duties and what outings are and are not OK. If there was a problem I would deal with it in a normal disciplinary manner - I don't see it as something that warrants instant dismissal without notice. What do others think?

allowing, without advance permission, other people into the family home

Yes, that should go in

My negligence clause also states that evidence of extensive use of telephone or internet during working hours would be examples of negligence sufficient to potentially endanger the welfare of children (heaven knows if that would stand up in court though)

In that situation rather than negligence you would probably find it easier to prove repudiation (if an employee decides they are not going to do the work they are being paid to do but does something else instead, that may be a breach of contract so fundamental that it entitles you to terminate the contract without notice). But again, would you really need to dismiss without notice for this? It is the sort of thing that usually emerges in a probationary period so only costs you a week.

fraktious Tue 11-Oct-11 15:29:29

mra I'd fire my nanny for taking DS to a friends house, or anywhere we weren't okay with really.

My GM includes breach of terms of the contract and our consent is required to take DS places.

harrietthespook Tue 11-Oct-11 16:40:41

Really? Fire them the first time?

fraktious Tue 11-Oct-11 17:04:26

Yep, but I freely admit the situation would be different if we were in the UK. We give blanket consent for quite a few places though.

nannynick Tue 11-Oct-11 17:48:18

*allowing, without advance permission, other people into the family home*

Person coming to read the electric meter (with electric meter located inside the home)

I would suspect that letting that person in would be reasonable (having checked their ID card).

mranchovy Tue 11-Oct-11 17:57:27

My GM includes breach of terms of the contract

That wouldn't work under English Law (by definition a breach that is a minor breach does not warrant termination without notice and a clause that attempts to elevate any minor breach by one party to an event that excuses the other party of his contractual responsibilities would be struck out. Furthermore a dismissal for gross misconduct (after 12 months service) still has to be fair, and summary dismissal for breaching the contract by turning up 5 minutes late one day for example would not be fair).

mranchovy Tue 11-Oct-11 18:01:28

Yes Nick, that one needs more careful wording (for example 'other than a member of the emergency services or where required by law').

StillSquiffy Wed 12-Oct-11 06:30:05

Of course, the scenario under which you could reasonably consider firing instantly without notice would be their inviting their partner round whilst they are working, or going round their partners' house with the kids whilst they are working.

Whether or not breaching this clause would warrant instant dismissal without notice would depend entirely on the circs, and whether the nanny had fundamentally breached your trust to the point you could no longer leave the children in her/his care

Unfortunately, the reason I have this in the contract is because of a nanny I once had, long gone, who I discovered spent almost every day going round her boyfriends' house with my baby... current nanny has been with us years and often takes the kids to her and her BF's home with my approval (it's an excellent spot for crabbing)

By the way, do electricity men still come and read meters? I haven't seen one for at least 10 years...

Iggly Wed 12-Oct-11 06:33:11

Yep we have meter readers for gas, electricity and water!

Interesting - I don't know what clauses are in our contract. Will have to go and read now!

harrietthespook Wed 12-Oct-11 09:21:17

That is often the trouble with the gross misconduct clause - so many things depends on the circs.

Yes we have gas and electric meters read too!

harrietthespook Wed 12-Oct-11 09:25:50

I have wondered if the nanny did something that was technically classed as gross misconduct in the contract but because of the particular circumstances of an event you DIDN'T DISMISS immediately...does this somehow expose you as an employer...like would it undermine the contract if you later did decide to rely on your list of things that would result in instant dismissal to dismiss her? Can you see what I mean? confused

StillSquiffy Wed 12-Oct-11 16:23:58

Potentially yes, Harriet, it can undermine future reprimanding. EG if you know the nanny is (for example) smoking in front of children and you don't pick them up on it then you would struggle to then dismiss them for it. You could however include it in a list of 'issues' in a 'last straw' situation (although then you would probably have to give notice and follow normal dismissal route, rather than do GM route)

mranchovy Wed 12-Oct-11 16:41:27

Yes Harriet, that is one reason why a clause like "allowing, without advance permission, other people into the family home" needs to be worded more carefully - they will breach it every time they let the meter man in.

chickadee87 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:37:35

"disclosure to or discussion with any third party of any information relating to the children or the employer or the employer's family unless required for the perfomance of the duties or specifically authorised by the employer"

So does this mean you cant talk about your work to family and friends?

chickadee87 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:41:04

And by talk about work, i mean, saying things like 'Had a fab day with A today, his walking is really coming along - cant wait for the summer so we can run around in the park' to your partner/mum/dad ?

Obviously discussing things like health or relationship issues you may be privy to are a nono.

Any nanny who posts on internet forums, asking for advice, would surely be breaking this clause?

mranchovy Thu 13-Oct-11 23:18:17

That's right - I don't want you discussing my children's development with your partner. And nor do I want you searching for advice on internet forums - they are full of nutters who don't know what they are talking about wink

In all seriousness, if you really want to find help and information on line it is easy to do that without giving out any information. But if you have a problem with my children, or any other aspect of your job, I'd expect you to discuss it with me first - and if you want to look for help online, I might well agree to it.

harrietthespook Fri 14-Oct-11 11:50:47

I can see chickadee's point - these things are extremely hard to police anyway.

Half the au pairs my first au pair knew would have been let go if this had been applied rigorously in their cases.

Mr A have you ever had to dismiss for this reason or do you know someone who has.

StillSquiffy Fri 14-Oct-11 11:59:49

Harriet - we have had this problem with au-pairs. We tend to lay it on as thick as paint that if we ever hear that they are discussing our lives with anyone they will potentially be dismissed. We point out that the employee/employer relationship is fundamentally different in a live-in situation and that we require absolute adherence to our demand for privacy.

In terms of enforcement, we have given one of our APs a first and final warning for this.

Policing it is actually fairly easy. They usually make friends with the people in the local pub (who always report back to us), and with other au pairs in our community (who talk to their employers, who talk to me). Obviously they could be talking also to people we never come in contact with, but to be honest, they're not the people I care about, in terms of gossip...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now