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advice on change in employment circumstances? LONG

(3 Posts)
aibuaiwo Thu 02-May-13 23:27:58

Dear MNers

I would be grateful for any advice you can offer me, as I try to support a friend in a difficult situation.

My friend has been a live out nanny to a family in the SEast for a few years. The family has recently told her they don't want to lose her, but they plan to change the terms of her job - she will be required to live in, to work the same hours Mon-Fri, but live in only 4 nights a week. She will be expected to live elsewhere for the remaining 3 nights. They have also told her she will receive a lower wage (without having details to hand of the scale of the reduction) as she will have her food/utilities etc paid for on live in days.

My friend does not want to live in, but is desperate to stay in employment. But she can't afford to take a drop in wages, as she will obviously have to keep on separate rented accommodation to be able to stay elsewhere on her live out days, and would still have the same basic outgoings for her own flat.

She is so anxious about losing her job if she sticks to her guns re wages. She has a contract governing her current live out role, and specifying her salary for xx hours worked. Is there anything she can do to protect her interests, or does she really have no choice but to agree to something so negative to her just to keep her job? In some respects my friend feels she is in a strong position, as the child she looks after is apparently so fond of her, and she has had glowing feedback until now. But they seem to be trying to get great childcare, their preferred childcare, at a cut price level. Everything seems stacked in the employer's favour: she may have no choice but to resign if they can't agree on salary. I also wonder if my friend has misread the situation, and that this is the employer's (rather cowardly) way of making her redundant so they can renegotiate a lower wage with a new nanny? Could this offer of such a major change in terms and conditions be considered constructive dismissal?

Separately, it seems very unfair that the family will not grant her a room in their large house as they require her 4 out of 7 nights (the mother travels a lot): they have said they don't want her around at weekends. Is this common, or would a live in f/t nanny normally get their own room to use even on the days they are not working?

Sorry for the (very) long post - it is difficult to explain the situation clearly. Can anybody offer any insights or advice in this rather difficult situation?

Thank you.

nannynick Fri 03-May-13 06:17:27

Job is changing, they are giving first refusal on the new job.

Not sure why there would be a salary drop. Would the working hours change, as if not, then why the need for it to be live in? If mum is not going to be there overnight on occasion, then wouldn't the working hours increase?

20 years ago the family who lives next door to us had a nanny who lived in Mon-Fri and went home at weekends. So I suspect some may still do that now.

If she did do live in Mon-Fri, would she not get a bedroom to use? Are you saying she won't, or that it's not for use at weekends?

NomDeClavier Fri 03-May-13 20:58:26

I think they are effectively saying they need 24hr care from Monday morning to Friday evening and therefore need live in care but don't want her there at weekends. Which means it isn't live in as she has to live somewhere else. They're providing on call accommodation.

The wage should not decrease. The hours are in fact increasing and they need her to stay but they're dressing it up as live in. That reduction usually only apples where the accommodation is for the nanny's exclusive use, including weekends, which they can obviously choose not to take up.

She would be in line for redundancy if she disagrees to the changes but they may genuinely need live in and just not thought it through.

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