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Pregnant nanny help!

(19 Posts)
oldgreybird Mon 03-Dec-12 15:18:48

I think it has only been mentioned once in the discussion so far, so I thought I would point it out again that if the nanny wants to return to work and bring her baby with her then you have no obligation to accept this because it effectively alters the job she was initially employed to do. So you would then be able to refuse and could let her go. However, you would have to make sure that you did not employ another nanny with her own child as a replacement as she could then have you for unfair dismissal.
As for food - you should have discussed what sort of food you wanted your children to eat when you interviewed her or when you were drawing up the contract. And finding out how good a nanny is at preparing/cooking food is something you should always check with her referees.
If you never discussed food with the nanny, I am surprised that she didn't bring the subject up herself as any sensible nanny would want to know what your views were about feeding e.g. whether the occasional 'ready meal' is acceptable or whether you are an organic wholefoods cooked from scratch family or whatever!

GezFox Thu 29-Nov-12 20:37:58

I would give a final written warning for lying to me - its unacceptable - and then dismiss without notice if it happened again.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 28-Nov-12 23:46:26

Vivienne - perm nannies are not allowed to be self employed so I'm
Assuming op is paying her tax and ni from her salary

Viviennemary Wed 28-Nov-12 22:02:30

I think you need some legal advice regarding where you stand. Is she self employed or are you paying her NI and so on.

PurpleHeadedMountain Wed 28-Nov-12 21:51:30

mothered - i would definitely give a verbal warning on not going to classes. And it just destroys the trust you have in your nanny, really not on.

PurpleHeadedMountain Wed 28-Nov-12 21:50:39

I think I am going to have to redo our contracts shock. Don't think we even mention food, though I checked and like ladyharriet and fraktion mention, we have the endangering safety clause in. Though I don't think that applies to chips grin

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 28-Nov-12 13:31:46

mothered - if your nanny is lying to you and not carrying out her duties (ie going to swimming/tumbletots etc) then surely you can give a verbal/written warning - whatever it says in contract

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 28-Nov-12 10:10:48

If the nanny/au pair was scalding my children in a hot bath frankly I'd take my chances at an employment tribunal even if I had not specifically said in the contract please mind the temperature of said bath.

Our ap contract makes references to "Endangering the children's safety/negligence towards the children" as grounds for potential dismissal.

I would imagine that would cover it and iirc most of the off the shelf nanny contracts have something similar in there.

Food is a different matter though - you do need to check that you are on the same page as the carer with what suitable meals include. It should be a list of the questions asked at first interview. ALthough I have to say I agree totally with Purple's sentiments.

fraktion Wed 28-Nov-12 07:35:31

And squiffy - are you saying that you need to put in the contract 'no chips'? Surely any nanny knows about healthy eating? What next - how you want the bath run, and what temperature? Surely this isn't to be included in a contract.

Not as far as I understand it.

If the contract says 'feed the DC' then nanny could interpret that any way she likes and chips are ok.
If the contract says 'feed the DC healthy, homemade food' then chips, especially if bought, are out.

Likewise if your contract says 'keep children safe and physically comfortable at all times' that would cover baths at the right temperature as hot would be unsafe and cold at the very least uncomfortable.

If you're going to discipline someone you need to have evidence that you asked them to do it and they aren't following those instructions. The job description in the contract is the best way to ensure both parties know what's expected.

SavoyCabbage Wed 28-Nov-12 00:40:11

I would get some legal advice about the contract and I would take notes on the performance issues in case you need them
later. If she can't work the extra day can you not make her redundant?

mothered Wed 28-Nov-12 00:35:53

Oh poor you Vicsteria, we are in exactly the same boat! Nanny was mediocre but suddenly improved - or so I thought. Have found out a bit more since, such as she is lying to us about where she takes the kids during the day (we asked her to go to specific classes but she just invites her mates around).
I was recently worried about the impact on the twins if we had to change nannies and then change back again, but I am now becoming emboldened and will give her a formal warning. You CAN get rid of someone in the first year for just about anything but NOT on the grounds of race or sex discrimination. Under performance is a different story though.

Mosman Tue 27-Nov-12 22:35:13

That's not true at all pregnancy is not an excuse to be under performing in employment. And it wouldn't stand up in a tribunal of she wants to pay to go to one, there's no legal aid, written warning and then shape up or ship out.

PurpleHeadedMountain Tue 27-Nov-12 22:02:30

I agree with Blondes. Job done.

And squiffy - are you saying that you need to put in the contract 'no chips'? Surely any nanny knows about healthy eating? What next - how you want the bath run, and what temperature? Surely this isn't to be included in a contract.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 27-Nov-12 18:44:55

Surely if you need a nanny to do 5 days instead of 4 and pregnant nanny doesn't want to work 5 then she resigns?

StillSquiffy Tue 27-Nov-12 17:33:42

I disagree with the other posters.

It's one thing calling out someone who is clearly not pulling their weight and trying to stamp this out. It's entirely different when they are PG. It shouldn't be, but it is. The very state of her being PG could lead a tribunal to suspect that your disciplining her or dismissing her may be related to her PG rather than general performance issues, and if there is reasonable suspicion of discrimination then the onus is on the employer to prove it wasn't - very difficult to do in practice.

Sounds as if she has just gone on OML? You need to allow her to return (without the baby, of course) and then ensure that she is performing her job properly. If not then you need to document it, discuss it with her and implement a performance improvement plan. If she is still not performing then you can dismiss for capability. You must however give her sufficient time to address your concerns, and act reasonably in your demands. Be careful about ensuring that your concerns relate to contractual obligations and Ts and Cs - giving them chips is only wrong if your contract clearly states that she needs to feed them healthy food - so you need to be careful not to discipline her for stuff you haven't set out as requirements in the first place.

Mosman Tue 27-Nov-12 13:36:07

Can't you let her go in the first year for performance without any reasons being required ?
I would sit down with her document the underperformance and offer her pay in luie of notice the longer this goes on the weaker your case is for getting rid of her and you will have to have her back after mat leave which doesn't sound like she's going to suddenly get less lazy once she has a small child of her own to care for too.

2plus1 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:43:10

You will have to honour accrued leave during maternity leave by either allowing her to take the time off at the end of her mat leave or by paying her the leave. The leave accrued will include holiday and bank holidays during the duration of maternity leave. This is regardless of her length of service with you. It is only smp that is affected by her length of service with you, ie you need to have worked 26 weeks for your employer by the time you are 25 weeks pregnant.

Obviously, you cannot dismiss your nanny due to her being pregnant. If she is not performing to your requirements have you advised her of this. Ideally, write it down in a comms book and both of you sign/date it. If she is still not performing at an appropriate level then you will have to implement your disciplinary procedure in the hope that she will improve her standards. If her standards do not improve sufficiently then she is at risk of dismissal. Obviously this cannot be done during mat leave, only before or after return to work. She may also decide herself not to return to work after her baby is born, many mums change their plans once baby has arrived.

During mat leave, if your hours change then she is to be offered her job back but under the new hours. I believe that after 6 months mat leave your employer can change the T and Cs if the needs of the business have change. (Do check with a legal bod, ACAS or gov website about that). This may be an option for you if your hours/days change.

PurpleHeadedMountain Mon 26-Nov-12 21:24:09

I don't know the legal ins and outs of this but she sounds like she's not doing the job properly regardless of her pregnancy.

vicsterla Mon 26-Nov-12 21:00:42

We hired a permanent nanny 5 months ago, who after the first week of starting told us that she was pregnant. Since then, she has had 7 days off sick as well as 2 days off for maternity appointments. On top of that, she has had 2 days holiday and has asked for her final week to be paid as holiday (she was meant to come in for her final week but let me down the day before through non pregnancy related issues).

If she wasn't pregnant, I would have dismissed her because of being so unreliable, but felt that I couldn't because of the implications for me as an employer. Her work has been sub standard, not doing the children's laundry very often and cooking way too much pizza/ chips (easy) rather than the healthy food I prefer. I also suspect that she spends way more time on the Internet than playing with the girls.

It fills me with dread that she is going to come back in 6 months, but don't know how I can avoid it. What makes it worse is that I hope to be promoted and will need more cover as she works 4 days and I will need someone who can do 5 more often (which she can't do).

Does anyone know what I can do? Do I also have to pay her accrued holiday for the next 12 months, even though she's only been with us for 5 months?


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