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Nanny who is always off sick!

(51 Posts)
llamallama Fri 07-Dec-12 07:03:47

Is there anything we can do?

We have had our nanny for almost three months now and she has had 12 sick days already!! It's starting to get impossible with my work taking the time off to cover her!

Her contract is sick pay for first week so she is being paid but this rate of sickness is unsustainable for our family. I know we probably can't fire her or anything because she is off sick but this is meaning that a nanny is simply not working for us. Tempted to change arrangements to a childminder or nursery.

My DD has not been sick all year so if she was at a nursery we would have had childcare.

Any advice? I know it's awful and I do feel sorry for her but its really getting difficult! At this rate my annual leave will be gone in 6 months and I won't have actually had a holiday!!

ginmakesitallok Fri 07-Dec-12 07:09:33

You can fire her for being sick - assuming that it's not disability related?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 07:13:34

I thought you could terminate someone's employment without any reason during the probationary period / in the first year?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 07:14:00

excluding disability or on grounds of race/gender/etc of course.

llamallama Fri 07-Dec-12 07:15:32

No it's not disability related just sickness

GotMyGoat Fri 07-Dec-12 07:16:39

If i took that much sick at work, I would definitely be in trouble. 3-4 days a year seems to be acceptable at work, anymore and you get pulled into disciplinary meetings. As far as i'm aware, you can give the sack - especially as shes only been with you 3 months - but I would recommend a meeting to give her a warning, to find out more about the sickness, and say that you expect her to come to work, even with colds etc.

A nursery might be more reliable for you though, and on the bright side it's cheaper and less hassle! Though your dd might get ill more often.

FlourFace Fri 07-Dec-12 07:18:11

I'm not a nanny//self employed but we have a policy at work which means they can fire us eventually.

Something like you can have eight days or four periods of absence in 12 months. If you reach that within 12 months (could be over just 3) you get a warning and the same thing kicks in again. If you reach it again you get a second warning. And so on. Number four or five would be dismissal or something.

I'm guessing your nanny would be on warning 2 or 3 now!

ArtigeneAuberchoke Fri 07-Dec-12 07:19:59

This doesn't help you now but we have always offered contacts that pay statutory sick pay only after the first two days of sickness. Plus we give an incentive: for every 3 months without a day off sick she earns £100 bonus. In 4 years our nanny has had two days off. It is that reliability that makes having a nanny worth it for us.

I would find a reason to terminate the contract in your situation.

llamallama Fri 07-Dec-12 07:27:39

! Contract says we can proceed to disciplinary measures for "unreliability in time keeping or attendance" so I'm guessing I should call a meeting, give her a warning, then written warning then dismissal? But I can also just give her one months notice? I'm guessing legally I have to follow disciplinary if we will get another nanny or she could claim unfair dismissal but if we change childcare (ie nursery or childminder) then I'm guessing her role would become redundant and we could just give her notice? It's a bit tricky this time of year, especially as we would only be looking for 6 months childcare now!

llamallama Fri 07-Dec-12 07:28:27

Only looking for another 6 months as I'm pregnant and will be off on mat leave again soon - should have added that at the end!

llamallama Fri 07-Dec-12 07:30:59

I like the bonus idea! That's a good plan for next time! Though I must say this is putting me off having a nanny!

Ebb Fri 07-Dec-12 09:33:52

12 days in less than 3 months is shocking! I've had less than 12 days off in 15 years! Definitely give her a warning and change your contract to statutory sick pay only. It's then at your discretion as to whether you pay her or not. Parents need reliability. Of course nannies get sick - we're only human - but most nannies I know drag themselves in even when not well - bar D&V etc - and have a quiet day at work.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Fri 07-Dec-12 09:39:40

I would look for a nursery place for the next six months and then terminate the contract. Has she acknowledged that this is not good and made any attempts to explain why she has been off so much?

ScarfHatSunglasses Fri 07-Dec-12 09:42:01

We had exactly the same situation with our first nanny. Kept texting hmm in the morning to say she wasn't coming in that day. We basically had a conversation with her about this (and a couple of other minor things). Her attitude was "well if I don't feel 100% I shouldn't have to work". When we pointed out that we had to go to work even when we didn't feel great and that every time she called in sick I had to take the time unpaid she just shrugged. 5 minutes later we had ended the employment. We paid her one weeks notice but were not required to.

Our next nanny never had one single instance of sickness in two years. There are great nannies out there. I remember reading once that a good nanny should make your life easier. It sounds like yours makes it harder. Get rid.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 07-Dec-12 09:56:55

Are you asking her for doctor's notes? I would.

Also, are you sure that it's not related to a chronic condition she didn't disclose at interview because she was afraid she wouldn't get the job?

You still have options if this is the case but I am wondering if that is what is really up.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 07-Dec-12 10:00:27

What did her references say about attendance?

Snazzyfeelingfestive Fri 07-Dec-12 10:09:57

LadyHarrietdeSpook I wondered that too which is why I asked if she has made any attempt to explain it. I can imagine a situation where someone doesn't declare a chronic condition at interview but if this was me and I had had to take 12 days off, I would feel I had to go to my employer and say 'Look, this is the situation, really sorry, this is what I'm going to do to try and improve things, and I hope you'll bear with me...' If the nanny hasn't done that then I would be a bit suspicious that she is just taking them for a ride. She must surely know that this doesn't look good.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 07-Dec-12 11:31:50

12 days in 3 mths is a lot -what is she claiming is wrong with her? ie days off for colds, s&d, etc or is there an underlieing medical problem

thats 4 a month, roughly once a week, does it ever happen to fall on a friday?

wasnt sure what you meant by first sentence,as in is she being paid for every day off, most contracts/nannies i know have a weeks sick pay, though in my last few jobs i asked for a 4 weeks (12days as was a 3 day jobs) just to cover my back as my oh is self employed and if i was really ill then needed to know i could cover my back

ssp i think only kicks in after 3 days and is £80ish a week, that doesnt even cover a days wages for me

in 21 years of nannying ive only had 3 weeks off work and that was nearly 6 yrs ago and was in hospital with a blood clot in my lung shock and what i call proper ill iyswim

i have never taken days off for a cold, i am a healthy person generally.

i would look at cm/nursery esp as only need childcare for next 6mths and mae nanny redundant

ArtigeneAuberchoke if only i worked for you, i would be £400 better off every year grin

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Fri 07-Dec-12 11:36:53

Try posting on the employment boards- the fact that she is a nanny is a red herring in terms of the legal position. You certainly can dismiss for lots of absence unless disability or pregnancy related.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Fri 07-Dec-12 11:40:18

If you get a new nanny I'd put in statutory sick pay only. This doesn't stop you paying someone who is actually ill but if you've got a scenario like you have now it disincentives a skiver from taking a couple of days off whenever they feel like it knowing they will still get paid.

hermioneweasley Fri 07-Dec-12 11:41:09

If she's only been with you for 3 months, then she has no unfair dismissal protection. Just give her her contractual notice and get someone more reliable. If someone is off that much in first 12 weeks they are clearly not reliable

Dozer Fri 07-Dec-12 11:43:34

You can fire her, no need for much process, as long as the absences were not disability or pregnancy related.

racingheart Fri 07-Dec-12 11:48:01

Get rid. She's either genuinely very sickly in which case she's in the wrong job, or she's pulling a fats one and unreliable. Really, I'd sack her while you still can, legally, without needing to explain or compensate.

CelineMcBean Fri 07-Dec-12 11:58:09

She needs two years service or to have been discriminated against as per protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 or for exercising a statutory right in order to claim unfair dismissal.

Give her notice and next time do not pay for sickness absence other than statutory sick pay. You are mad to be paying her for 12 days off sick in 3 months. Are you sure the first week paid doesn't just mean the first week in a year? Not the first week of every sick period?

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 07-Dec-12 12:07:25

what happens if she came back and said she was 6/8weeks pregnant

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