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Nanny and time off problem.

(36 Posts)
knackeredmother Fri 17-May-13 22:11:34

I would be grateful for some help and opinions on how to handle this.
We've had our part time nanny 2 years, we had a LOT of teething problems, mainly around us being pushovers and not really managing things very well. She was very inflexible and we were too flexible (e.g she couldn't stay 15 mins over finishing time even once in an emergency despite regular early paid finishes).
Anyhow we had a frank chat and we improved our assertiveness skills and things have been much improved.
Fast forward to today, we mainly need our nanny to cover school holidays and obviously the 6 week holiday. We suck up the year round cost when kids are at school so that we don't have to worry about the long holidays.
She had asked for 2 weeks holiday in August which isn't ideal as I can't take 2 weeks leave then but I said yes as I appreciate the need for a holiday. Today however she has said she wants 3 weeks holiday (something to do with better for flights). She has suggested her nanny friend covers the extra week and she takes it unpaid (She doesnt have enough leave left to take 3 weeks as leave).
The other nanny can't work the same days as my nanny so we would have to do a lot of rearranging.
So basically, we employ a nanny mainly to give us cover for school holidays but our nanny wants HALF of the 6 week holiday off.
Now I can't work out if this is a piss take or the fact she has presented a solution is fine?
If it is fine how would this work? Would I have to employ the other nanny for that week? Could she invoice me and I just pay and she sort her own tax and NI?
I have no doubt that this is non negotiable for my nanny.She would leave if I say no although there are few other jobs where we are so she may stay but just hate us! If she leaves I then have the hassle of finding a new nanny.
This is long and rambling but I could do without this hassle. A nanny is supposed to make life easier surely?!
I would appreciate any thoughts, thank you for reading.

rubyslippers Fri 17-May-13 22:14:29

It's totally unreasonable IMO

What does her contract say re holidays?

She has not offered a reasonable alternative - ie her replacement can't even cover your days

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

Let her leave

Most employers don't offer three week holidays unless in exceptional circumstances like a honeymoon

nannynick Fri 17-May-13 22:18:58

>She doesnt have enough leave left to take 3 weeks as leave.

I feel that's important. She is wanting more leave than she has available to take, so as the employer you are perfectly entitled to refuse, in my view.

>we employ a nanny mainly to give us cover for school holidays
Does the contract or any other documents specify that... such as restricting holidays to be taken during term time only unless exceptional circumstance?

>If she leaves I then have the hassle of finding a new nanny.
That is something you need to consider. If she is a great nanny all round, then you don't want her leaving.

Tigglettchic Fri 17-May-13 22:19:05

When i was a nanny i would never have dreamed doing that!!

i would have a frank conversation with her but also start looking for a new one.

learn from this experience though.

ChippingInLovesSunshine Fri 17-May-13 22:19:57

Tell her it will be even cheaper in October??

nannynick Fri 17-May-13 22:22:03

Great point ChippingIn smile

If nanny is able to take holiday during term time, then surely doing so is cheaper than going in August, plus probably less busy at the airport.

Seb101 Fri 17-May-13 22:28:02

I had a job like this before and it was written into the contract that i couldn't take annual leave during the school holidays. It was very clear from the start. I was happy with this because I had a lot of free time while kids at school, and was still paid full time. In balance it was fair.
Your nanny is being unreasonable, as long as you've explained to her the rules from the onset. If no holiday restrictions have ever been discussed, it's not fair to suddenly decide that now.
However, either way I'd probably still say; tell her 'no' if she leaves, let her leave! I wouldnt like feeling that the nanny 'had me over a barrel!'
Makes no difference if she's offered an alternative, it's still a lot of hassle for you. You as an employer can say no to holiday, and in this case I think you should. She actually sounds a bit unpleasant; the way you say 'she'd prob stay and hate us!' That sounds very immature of her. I'm not sure I'd particularly like a nanny like that looking after my kids! Good luck with whatever you decide. Xx

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 17-May-13 22:37:59

I think it depends why she needs the holiday and what your contract says.

If it's something that is very important to her and she is offering to take it unpaid then I would consider getting a temp nanny or putting the kids into a holiday club for those days (you can get a full day 8:30-5:30 for £36 per child here).

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Fri 17-May-13 22:42:27

Let her resign. Sounds like she doesn't respect you.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 17-May-13 22:42:59

She's taking the piss. I hate to be brutal but there are plenty of nannies out there looking for work at the mo. i think you can put your foot down from a position of relative strength.

knackeredmother Fri 17-May-13 22:45:15

Thank you for your responses.
To reply to a few things;
Her contract states she can pick half of the leave and we pick the other half. So far this year we have picked one each (she gets 6 weeks April-April) so she can pick two more weeks, which she did in August. The two weeks we have left to pick will be used at oct half term and Xmas.
I don't think the contract says anything about avoiding school holiday time. She has dc too so I will always try to book my leave in school holidays as it benefits us both and she will only request leave in school holidays. However, I can't get leave at all in August, so whilst I will honour her chosen two weeks, it is difficult and 3 weeks is impossible.
I am clear that she is welcome to bring her dc to work during school holidays.
At Christmas last year she insisted on 2 weeks off despite us only able to get one weeks leave and it was very difficult and essentially we gave in to her demands as she wasn't prepared to compromise.
I feel I need to stand up for myself but don't want to be seen as unreasonable.

Foxred10 Fri 17-May-13 22:50:52

Total and utter piss take. If she's employed year-round mainly to cover the school holidays (at considerable expense to you), doesn't have to do much for the rest of the year (assuming the kids are all in school?) then wants half the school holidays off???

It should be written into your contract that annual leave cannot be taken during school holiday time. But tbh even without that she should be aware you rely on her for those times and have a bit more gumption! Does not sound like she has a great attitude to her job at all .

I would let her go if at all possible, and make sure holiday time working is written into any new nannies contract.

knackeredmother Fri 17-May-13 22:51:31

Outraged- she takes a 2 week holiday every year to visit family abroad. The flights are cheaper if she takes 3 weeks apparently.
We do have a good school club the whole point of getting a nanny was to so I didn't have any hassle sorting holiday childcare and dc could be at home.
I also have never had a job where I can take 3 weeks annual leave (in fact I can't take more than 1 week in one go).
And bingo - she doesn't respect us no, or at least she didn't, I thought things had improved.
She doesn't see it as a big deal as she has found cover, I suppose from her viewpoint it isn't. Perhaps it isn't?!!

Foxred10 Fri 17-May-13 22:53:16

X post sorry didn't see your reply. Even more convinced now you need a new nanny - you are paying the wages yet it seems like you have to organise your life around her convenience and not vice versashock

emstats Fri 17-May-13 22:55:58

Do you think your child/children would be OK with a stranger landing on them for a week? I don't think it sounds reasonable, who gets to take 3 weeks off in august?!

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 17-May-13 23:04:48

Then tell her no.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 17-May-13 23:07:51

I too would refuse the extra week and if she leaves I would have it written into the next nanny's contract that she must choose her leave during term time. Your nanny is definitely taking the piss, so don't feel bad about saying no.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 17-May-13 23:15:19

Sorry but you need to get rid of her, her attitude sounds awful - not staying for 15 minutes in an emergency wtf?
Honestly I know short tem it will feel like extra work for you, but you will be happy to see the back of her!

Daiso Sat 18-May-13 11:27:20

I'm a nanny and think she's taking the piss!!
I am off at the end of August for 2 weeks (their choice) and although I have a DS, he is only 18months old, so no requirement to go away in the school hols and pay those prices. I do however, understand that it is difficult for my employers to go away in term time so I am going last week August/first week Sept but only taking 1 day extra to when they are off so that it is not a full week they need to cover, in effect 3 weeks in total.
I would refuse it, explain why and say that the 2 weeks is a struggle and there will be no way you can cover the 3rd week. Sounds like she very much calls the shots here.

Cathyrina Sat 18-May-13 14:38:08

This is something that should have been made clear from the very beginning - in the contract. If the contract says no Nanny holidays in school holidays, then she can't take holidays during that time. Easy as that.... if it's not in the contract then just sit down with her and explain, also, it really is much less in October! If she doesn't understand this then replace her

knackeredmother Sat 18-May-13 17:02:30

Thanks for further replies.
I am happy for her to take her 3 weeks of chosen leave whenever she wants, school holidays or not. However she has already had a week at Easter and the further two were booked for August.
This third week is a week she does not have enough annual leave left for (hence wanting it unpaid) never mind any choice over when it is.
We have 2 weeks of our 'allocation' left to pick. I will pick these for Xmas and October half term, which she also would like as she has dc.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 18-May-13 17:14:06

'I am happy for her to take her 3 weeks of chosen leave whenever she wants, school holidays or not'

I don't think you help yourself with this^ attitude. Under normal circumstances the nanny is out of order, but if you've told her the above then she really hasn't done much wrong.

If she knows you need her for the holidays and don't want her taking leave, then yes, she's out of order. If you tell her 'I'm happy for you to take your leave whenever you want, school holidays or not' then you can't blame her for taking holiday in the school holidays!!

If she knows you can't take 3 weeks leave off and it's very difficult for you, then yes, she's taking the piss. If you tell her 'I'm happy for you to take your 3 weeks whenever you want', then you can't blame her for taking 3 weeks in a row.

So, essentially the problem is she wants an extra week of holiday, which she would like to take as unpaid leave. That's hardly massively unreasonable. Just say no, sorry, we can't accommodate that.

knackeredmother Sat 18-May-13 19:34:26

I don't think I have been clear. She gets to choose 3 weeks and we choose 3 weeks. She gets 6 weeks leave a year.
She chose one week at Easter and 2 weeks in August. All approved so she has had 'her ' 3 weeks leave. She now wants 3 weeks in August. She does not have enough leave left to take 3 weeks in August. She wants it as unpaid.
The second issue is taking 3 weeks off in one go at any time, but she is aware we have difficulty covering the 6 week holiday childcare. We discussed this verbally sometime ago when she insisted on a fortnight chunk ( I have found her contract it says no more than 1 week leave in one go).

RandomMess Sat 18-May-13 19:41:10

Honestly she sounds a lot of hassle, let her resign.

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