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Nannyshare possibly ending but nanny pregnant

(17 Posts)
SoundandVision Thu 19-Dec-13 21:29:56

We have a dilemma with regard to our nanny. We started a nanny-share with another family and employed a nanny 5 weeks ago. We have just found out that the nanny is 11 weeks pregnant (and so was pregnant when she started with us).

The other family would ideally like to end the nanny share and sack the nanny asap, before the end of her probationary period. They have had doubts from the start, but had not made a decision before she announced her pregnancy. The DH of the other family also may be made redundant in the near future so they have money worries. Things have not gone completely smoothly from the beginning. mostly due to the nanny being quite young and not having fantastic English, but we were working through the issues with her.

As well as the legal obligation not to discriminate in any way against an employee because she is pregnant, my OH and I also feel huge sympathy for her situation and would like to continue to employ her, but there's absolutely no way we could pay her full salary on our own for more than a few weeks.

Each family has a separate contract with the nanny, specifying a certain number of hours of her working week that we are responsible for, even though in practice she looks after the children from both families for all the time she is employed (4 days a week). The contracts are set up this way on the advice of the payroll company we use.

So, my questions are...

Does the dissolution of a nanny share constitute a legitimate change in circumstances that would allow both families to terminate our contracts with the nanny?
I know that she will not be entitled to SMP but will get MA. If we (both families) continue to employ her do we have to pay her for accrued annual leave while on mat leave?
If the nanny share ends and we end her employment, could my OH and I legally re-employ her (at a reduced rate) on a short-term contract, thereby giving her some income and buying us time to find alternative childcare?

Sorry if this all sounds very clinical and uncaring for the nanny's situation - I really want to do the right thing by her, and not just from a legal point of view. I'm just exhausted and very stressed as I'm only just returning to a very demanding, inflexible (but not well-paid) job after mat leave.

rubyslippers Thu 19-Dec-13 21:36:53

do you have a payroll company that you can call for advice?

pregnant employees - nannies or otherwise - are protected by law

i have a pregnant nanny - we are legally bound to pay her mat leave as she is employed by us at her 15th week of pregancy and has been with us for 26 weeks prior to that

if she is on probation, then i assume you can terminate her contract IF it is non pregnancy related but i would advise that you call ACAS

rubyslippers Thu 19-Dec-13 21:38:07

i don't see how you could re-employ her when you have dissolved the agreement ... i really think it is very tricky and needs some legal advice

SoundandVision Thu 19-Dec-13 22:10:16

rubyslippers the payroll company didn't know the answer to the crucial question - i.e. is the end of a nanny share agreement a legitimate reason for terminating a contract. but I will try ACAS - thanks.

Elletorro Thu 19-Dec-13 22:15:48

I think the nanny share breaking down probably constitutes the frustration of the contract due to circumstances outside both your control and the nanny's.

Possibly ask her if she can find another family to share with...almost impossible I should think but you never know...

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 19-Dec-13 22:53:23

The nanny wouldn't be able to work for both of you after the baby is born if she brings to work as would be 3 families and nannies only allowed 2 per day

I don't see why you can't give her notice as Tech the role isn't there anymore (the share) so making her redundant - but then can't see why you can't offer her the role at the new rate and up to her if she accepts

A nwoc often accepts / agrees a lower wage do maybe you could afford your nanny by yourself once she has had the baby - tho obv this is in the future

Obv I am not a lawyer so not sure if what I have suggested is legal - maybe also post on legal

Flowery used to be around to give legal advice but never see her now unless nc

SoundandVision Fri 20-Dec-13 11:46:12

Thanks Blondes, I've spoken to ACAS this morning and they also suggested that we could offer her the role at reduced rate. But they said that it would be ongoing, and that we would therefore be responsible for her accrued leave and have to keep her job open for her while on mat leave. The big problem with this is that we couldn't enter into another nanny share to cover her mat leave if we were holding her job.

She may not bring the baby back to work with her, so that might not be an issue.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 20-Dec-13 13:18:50

TBH I would let her go and get a new nanny, not because she's pregnant but because of her 'being quite young and not having fantastic English'. Unless you're paying well under market-rates get someone more experienced with good English, it's so important for young children (that's why it's not advised to leave au pairs with under 3's).

I think that the share breaking down would be good reason to end her employment, but not if both families then enter into another share. As she's only been with you a short time, I don't think you need to worry too much about it though, that's the point of probation, that you can get rid of them if it's not working out.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 20-Dec-13 13:26:10

It is good you want to be fair but you also have to be practical about what you can afford and the possible disruption to your child.

I used to work in a nanny share and when one mum became pregnant I was given notice and stayed with the other family, eventually being joined by another share.

New baby family wanted me to stay with both, not new baby family didn't so it wasn't really up to me what happened though it was up to me which family I stayed with. I can't remember what happened about the contract.

BonaDea Fri 20-Dec-13 21:28:35

Pregnant employees are protected bit that doesn't mean you can't make them redundant or terminate if they don't work out. Of course the inference will be that you are letting her go because she is pregnant but that all comes down to proving that the arrangement was coming to an end anyway (although why on earth was she hired if the other family was about to quit??).

nannynick Fri 20-Dec-13 21:54:28

>Each family has a separate contract with the nanny, specifying a certain number of hours of her working week that we are responsible for, even though in practice she looks after the children from both families for all the time she is employed (4 days a week).

That is a potential worry in my view. Does the contract state what happens if one family leaves the share? Does a family leaving the share terminate both the contracts (contract between family A and nanny, plus contract between family B and nanny)?

>The other family would ideally like to end the nanny share and sack the nanny asap, before the end of her probationary period.

Have they raised issues with the nanny? Are they intending to use another form of childcare?

If the share does end, are you looking to use another form of childcare?

I do agree that it is better to end things sooner rather than later if it is not working out. However it is important that it is for reasons to do with the ability of the nanny to do the job, or to do with the job not existing.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 21-Dec-13 15:50:31

I have been thinking about this and in my three different shares I did, I did have joint contracts. How it should be imo as shown by the dilemma you are in now.

SoundandVision Sat 21-Dec-13 17:57:57

Thanks all for your input, much appreciated.

The contracts are the way they are on the advice of the (reputable) payroll company. Between the families we have an agreement about how we want the children to be cared for etc., but not a legal contract.

Yes the other family want to use a different form of childcare. I think they've decided a nursery would suit them better.

Oh it's all such bad timing and I know I'm not going to be able to relax and forget about it over Christmas sad

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 21-Dec-13 19:47:55

Don't let it spoil Christmas.,

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sat 21-Dec-13 21:41:34

Blondes, flowery is still posting as flowery on Employment Issues.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 21-Dec-13 23:00:37

Thanks doctrine I rarely go on there

NomDeClavier Tue 24-Dec-13 09:13:02

I agree with nick that the way the contracts are set up is a worry. If there was an agreement saying the position was a share then when the share dissolves the position is automatically redundant. As it stands it looks like two employments where she just happens to be caring for children from both families so half the job could disappear but the other half wouldn't as long as you need a nanny.

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