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how to deal with relatively unfair "pay" situation

(29 Posts)
CarmineB Fri 17-May-13 20:04:35

Hi everyone,

I have been reading some threads about wages while DC is at nursery and the nanny does pick ups, drop offs and there are a few hours of no work during a shift. All posts say that there is, at least, a 50 percent charge.

I have not been offered getting paid, even if I will be on call, and being there for sick days and school holidays.

And this is the moment I get annoyed; my wages are down, my routine is gone, I am running here and there.

So, I have been considering quitting the job. And it is very hard. I am not sure whether I should talk to the parents first and ask for a more fair deal. However, it is very difficult since they have never offered to pay while I am not on duty and they know I am losing those hours; I doubt I should continue with a family like this.

Have you ever approached parents and asked for a better deal? have parents been approached?
Please help.


SalIAm Fri 17-May-13 20:45:37

Surely you set the fees, and then parents can either accept it or look somewhere else? I think it's a bit bizarre that you blame the parents for not offering to pay you more. Would you go to a shop, look at the price and then ask whether they would mind you paying more?

Do you have any childminder friends that you could compare contracts with? It's standard practice to charge a retainer, but you have to treat this as a type of business. If you don't make this clear in your contracts, you'll continue getting cross at parents being "unfair" to you.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 17-May-13 20:48:37

First of all, that thread is about childminders, not nannies. Childminders run their own childcare business and set their own charges. This is different to a nanny who is paid a set wage.

As a nanny I would expect to be paid whilst the children are at school. It's probably helpful to look at your overall wage though rather than on an hourly basis.

If you're not happy with your wage you can try and negotiate a payrise with your employer. I have done this in the past and have always been successful. Or you can try looking for another job, I would wait until you find one before quitting the one you have though.

SalIAm Fri 17-May-13 20:55:29

Ah yes, my reply to OP above obviously refers to childminders (as per the thread in question) - I didn't realise the OP is a nanny. If you are indeed a nanny, yes, you're an employee and everything Outraged has said.

CarmineB Fri 17-May-13 22:03:52

Thank you, OutragedFromLeeds and SalIAm.

I am indeed not happy with my wage as it does not reflect the lost hours. Also, my duties are very different to those by contract; no more play, just running up and down.

Not only that, I am annoyed at the parents for not considering paying full while I am just wasting time. Maybe there will be a Nanny interested in wasting time?
Should I tell them that things do not work like that?
But, I tell you, they are really convinced that they will pay for my worked hours, nothing else.

Thinking of quitting; however, a 2 month notice period by contract leaves me in an uncertain position. Also, I really want to hear other Nannies and Parents opinions.

I am really stressed. Any advice is welcome.

annh Fri 17-May-13 22:07:10

Do you have a contract with this family? How did the situation even arise that the family thought they could pay you less money when their child went to nursery? Surely the time to say that you were not happy and that this is not standard practice was when the child first went to nursery or the first time you realised you were being paid less?

if you are happy with the family and would prefer to continue with them rather than look for a new job, then you need to sit down and tell them that they cannot unilaterally decide to reduce your salary because their requirements have changed (this is where you need your contract). If you think that they will refuse to pay, then all you can do is look for a new job.

rubyslippers Fri 17-May-13 22:07:52

My nanny takes mine to school/nursery then had 3.5 hours free

In that time she shops, does laundry, nursery duties and also has a cuppa etc

Her wages are per day and have not decreased since September when this started

She previously had my youngest with her all day

It's not like she can get another job and I need her for sick days and holiday cover etc

I would hope if my nanny was unhappy she would have a good enough relationship with me to broach it with me

An unhappy nanny is not good for anyone

SalIAm Fri 17-May-13 22:15:17

With regards to your second paragraph:
"I have been reading some threads about wages while DC is at nursery and the nanny does pick ups, drop offs and there are a few hours of no work during a shift. All posts say that there is, at least, a 50 percent charge."

You are confusing nannies with childminders. Those threads refer to childminders.

How many hours are shown on your contract and at what rate? (Not actual £ on here, but is it at the rate you're being paid now?) Surely this is something you must consider before accepting a new job? If they pay what you agreed, they are not in the wrong.

For what it's worth, you don't sound happy, so I guess no harm in looking for other options, but I know now is not the ideal time to look for a nannying role unless you've got something else in the meantime - well, in London at least.

I'm talking as a parent, by the way. I've employed both nannies and childminders before, and I still have very good relationships with them years later. I think the important part is being honest with each other and a good contract.

CarmineB Fri 17-May-13 22:24:56

I really appreciate your answers.

The situation started not that long, less than a month, and I have tried to go with it but really felt it is not the right thing; then I checked in the forum.

I do, as rubyslippers says, some of those duties on the days they request. They have offered these extra hours just to "help me" to earn more money.

I also appreciate the guidance about sticking to the contract as per hours paid. Do you mean they are breaching our contract?

It is very difficult for me to ask. And I agree that an unhappy Nanny is not good; I feel like I am exploding soon.

rubyslippers Fri 17-May-13 22:28:41

This is a crazy situation for you

Those duties are generally part of your contract

They are in my nanny's contract

I would speak to them TBH

CarmineB Fri 17-May-13 22:36:33

Rubyslippers: they are not in mine (those tasks). I used to do a very different routine to the one now.

I feel it is time to say that I am not happy with the new situation and give my notice. I just cannot believe they are doing this to me; if other Nannies in the same situation do not have the same problem -or that is what it looks like.

Thank you for your replies

annh Fri 17-May-13 22:41:18

What does your contract actually say? Does it merely say £x per hour or does it specify how many hours per week you are working for the family?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 17-May-13 22:41:21

Speak to them. They don't know you're unhappy unless you tell them.

Don't give your notice until you've found a new job. One you don't like very much, is better than none at all.

Viviennemary Fri 17-May-13 22:43:14

I'm sorry you are in this difficult situation. But to clarify. What exactly has changed. Your duties, your hours and/or what you are paid. It seems a shame that you seemed to be happy before but are not happy now with the changes. What has changed? This might help people with suggestions of what you could say to your employers.

nannynick Fri 17-May-13 22:54:31

Has there not been any contract review, such as shortly before the big change in the job.

As a nanny, once all the children I care for go to school I would expect myself and the parents to have a chat about how things will work and as it is such a big change to the agreement, that an amendment sheet gets added to the contract.

If working hours stayed the same then it's not such a big issue but if the working hours change a lot, then I feel it is something that needs discussing in depth and both parties agreeing the revised terms.

You say your wages are down, so your working hours must be down as well... is that the case? Was there no discussion prior to that change in hours?

CarmineB Fri 17-May-13 23:35:48

Hi. Thank you all again.

It has changed my duties, hours AND what I am paid. I was told that they do not need me while charge is at nursery and that if my new wage is too low, they would give me some extra hours housekeeping -which is not in my contract- and babysitting, which is not the kind of job I want to do because I need my social hours.

We never sat to discuss, just told me what the new situation is, and we are 'trying" it out. And I am unhappy.

I think that I need to ask for a meeting, say I am not happy (mainly because I am paid less but still have to be available for any emergency, holiday; and 3 hours in the street, library or coffee shop is not in my plans).

I still need your views. I am so stressed I feel sick and confused.
Thank you

nannynick Fri 17-May-13 23:43:11

Certainly arrange a meeting. Trying it out is not working for you, so it needs discussion and another solution.

Dig up your contract and check what it says. Focus on the hours and pay rather than the duties, is my suggestion, as a nannies duties do vary quite a bit as children get older.

Overtime (such as babysitting) is not a solution as it does not suit you and I would wonder if they are guaranteeing that such babysitting would always be available (if not available, still paid).

Consider what you feel is the minimum number of paid hours work per week (or month) you are prepared to accept. That way you can try to reach a compromise.

CarmineB Sat 18-May-13 00:07:28

I want to comment on Nannynick phrase:
"Consider what you feel is the minimum number of paid hours work per week (or month) you are prepared to accept"

But, to accept not getting paid for the nursery hours means my waste of time.
I cannot waste time and not getting paid.
I have tried to do something useful that otherwise I would need to do after work; but it does not work for me, as fixed 3 hours are just too much for some things and too short for others. I always end up expending money that I should not,

I have considered studying something, such as short course to fill the time.

I am so grateful for your replies.

Isatdownandwept Sat 18-May-13 05:12:11

It is perfectly normal for a nanny to be asked to do housekeeping and/or chores as an alternative to being made redundant and it sounds as if in their minds they have already sat down with you and had 'that' chat. But they have obviously not clarified it.

you need to work out what 'result' you want to have and then discuss it again with the family. The possible outcomes are:-
1) they cancel the nursery and you get your hours back. Almost certainly will not happen.
2) they pay you for your lost hours but you do not work them because no nannying required. Will not happen
3) you accept to do different work but insist on having same no of hours. You will then have to do even more housekeeping stuff which you say you don't want.
4) you accept that role has changed and hours reduced, continue to look for other work.
5) you tell them they have changed the contract unilaterally and you do to agree to the changes and will not do different duties, and they need to make you redundant if they are no longer going to honour it.

You can't stop children from growing up and the needs of the family changing. You either flex what you yourself do in order to stay with the same family or you decide to do just the core nannying role and accept that you will need to switch families more often. It is as simple as that. You make your choice and work with it.

Getting upset about the situation is pointless because once the kids go to school or nursery then situations fundamentally changes and wishing it were not so or getting angry about it won't make that go away.

CarmineB Sat 18-May-13 09:04:02

Hi Isatdownandwept,

Thanks for the outline. It s very helpful.
I did not say I do not like housekeeping, however, it is not the role I am looking for.

Point 5. This will help.

I know the situation should change with nursery and school.
BUt I still I think it is unfair not to get paid for those "middle" hours but have to be available for emergencies and holidays.

nannynick Sat 18-May-13 09:29:20

If it is not the role you are looking for, then its time to move on, or change what you are lookomg for.

Look at salary over a year, not per hour. Maybe that different view will show that it is still quite a lot of money for the hours being worked, though I do appreciate that it will be less than what you go in the past.

Could you start any days from collecting from nursery? I do that 2 days per week, start at midday. I used to start earlier but the job changed over time, though my annual salary did not. I work a few less hours per week now but get paid the same.

CarmineB Sat 18-May-13 09:57:34

nannynick, when you say: "I used to start earlier but the job changed over time, though my annual salary did not. I work a few less hours per week now but get paid the same", means that am right to think that a nanny gets the same wage even when working "a few" less hours (?).

I would have about 10-12 hours less a week, and a reduced salary: some days starting at pick up from school, some days wasted "middle" hours and other 2 days I do full normal hours to housekeep.

The idea does not sound so bad, but it is about the reduction of salary, which leaves me down. And I end up feeling that I have been at work during wasted hours but, in fact, I was not earning a penny, just wasting time.

I might just ask for a redundancy, as Isatdownandwept mentioned in point 5.

thanks for all the brainstorm! Really appreciate your ideas. THANK YOU

SalIAm Sat 18-May-13 10:50:35

If you choose to opt for redundancy, keep in mind that statutory redundancy payouts only start once you've been in the job for 2 full years. Once this has been established, the amount legally due if made redundant will be one week's salary per full year worked. If you are sure you want to leave, I would think carefully about the other options (eg look for other role first etc) before demanding redundancy.

Viviennemary Sat 18-May-13 12:47:35

I think if it's not what you want, that is lots of housework while the child is at nursery, then I think you should just explain that it isn't really the role you are looking for. This is quite reasonable. If you want to take care of children and not do housework that's fine. Not sure if you would be entitled to redundancy though if the job has just changed and not disappeared completely.

Sounds as if this family wants the best of both worlds and you aren't being treated very fairly. Could you not just say that you need to work more hours and the situation isn't really suitable for your needs.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 18-May-13 12:56:04

'BUt I still I think it is unfair not to get paid for those "middle" hours but have to be available for emergencies and holidays.'

Carmine, I think you misunderstand. Most nannies who get paid for the 'middle hours', will be working during those hours. They will do the childrens laundry, do some cooking, change beds, tidy/clean toys, go to the shops/drycleaner/post office. There are very few nannies getting paid for nothing during those middle hours. If you don't want to do those sort of jobs then the family are right not to pay your really. Or maybe just to pay a small retainer for emergencies.

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