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Is this fair - contract issues

(41 Posts)
SarahPatricia Mon 17-Feb-14 22:33:31

Ive been working woth a family one day a week as a nanny for a month without a contract, I wanted one in place before i started but tyhe mother insisted on being the one to write the contract and never had it ready in time for me to start with it.
The end of last week she handed me the contract to sign; in the contract is - no sick pay, 2 days off a year but they can say no to the dates i ask for after initially saying yes and i can not carry holiday over, no maternity provisions, i have to work bank holidays with no day off in lieu or addition payment, i have to inform them of an intent to concieve, notify them promtly when pregnent, when i am with their children and their child breaks something i must pay for it, list hobbies i can not do, there is nothing in the contract about termination of contract if they cannot pay me, nothing about a safe work enviroment for me, no pay increases, the family can terminate the contract immediatly for a list of resons but i have no resons and would need to work a 4 week notice period if i want to leave for any reason even gross misconduct on the familys part. If i hurt myself at work them they take no responsablity (they are having building work done) but if their children hurt themselves them it is my fault and the family can "recover damages" from me.
When i took this job the mother was as sweet as sugar. I have tolerated a lot - the children are very badly behaved (the three year old has been asked to leave nursery due to his behaviour) and the parents impossible to talk to.
I am a nursery nurse who has worked with prem babies born at 21 weeks, severe special eduactional, medical and developmental needs as well as working in high ranking nurseries. I have shown this contract to other childcare profesionals as well as legal people and they have all said to phone them and tell them i am walking away without any notice. Nothing was agreeed verbally and i have not signed anything.
Am i being unreasonable in walking away? The mother will only "tweek" parts, she wont change it as much as i want to make it more fair. I love children but i dont want to leave myself open to being walked all over by a family who i struggle to get along with.
What are peoples opinion?

Bettercallsaul1 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:47:16

Until you sign the contract, you are under no obligation to work for these people. - on what are obviously totally unreasonable terms! These people are looking for a slave, not an employee - walk away now!

Obviously, ask for payment for the days you have already worked, but do not work any more days and do not sign the contract.

scurryfunge Mon 17-Feb-14 22:51:50

Good god, run away now and think yourself lucky you are escaping.

sleeplessinderbyshire Mon 17-Feb-14 22:55:28

Good grief. I can't believe you're even asking. Run away. Run very fast and do not look back. As a nanny employer I am horrified anyone could consider writing a contract like that

insancerre Tue 18-Feb-14 07:10:10

I doubt that contract is even legal. as your employer they must have some legal responsibility for your health and safety while at work. thy can't escape their legal duties by making you sign a dodgy contract. legally you are also entitled to 4 weeks holiday although it is normal not to be able to carry it over
as employers they do have legal obligations towards you
I would walk away

HermioneWeasley Tue 18-Feb-14 07:42:38

RUN! The contract is unlawful and they are clearly going to be a nightmare to work for. Go now!

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Feb-14 07:49:50

That contract is unlawful in so many ways. I could enumerate them but it would take too much time. Just leave.

2Retts Tue 18-Feb-14 07:49:52

Your 'employer' is attempting to re-write vast swathes of employment law.

Minimum holiday entitlement is 5.6 x (number of days worked per week) = 5.6 PAID holiday days per year (if you work one day per week). There is no obligation to include bank holidays or to pay extra for bank holiday working.

There is too much wrong with the rest of the items to break it all down but I agree with the away!

Cindy34 Tue 18-Feb-14 08:19:21

ACAS can give you advice but I suspect they will be shocked by a contract like that.

I think you technically should give a weeks notice, presuming you have been paid something for any of the work done so far. A contract is formed when someone does work for someone else in return for payment.

However if you never go back to them, I doubt they would pursue via court. If you felt that you should do the right thing, then turn up for your final day... hand over written notice of leaving first thing, work the day, then leave.

Run! RUN!

SarahPatricia Tue 18-Feb-14 08:30:18

Thank you ask very much for your advice smile I think I was just looking for reassurance - this is the first job that I've ever had to walk away from! Everything else had ended naturally with babies getting better and children starting school and i'm still close friends with all the families.
Thank you all very much - i'm going to call her today to inform her that I won't be back.
Yay, no more being hit, bitten, kicked, sworn at and head butted by a 3yr old! Feel bad about leaving the 1yr old in that environment as she is a sweetie (spends most her time wrapped around your legs for protection her from jet brother)
Thanks again........anyone got any ideas how to word what i'm going to say about me leaving?

addictedtosugar Tue 18-Feb-14 08:33:46

Dear X

That contract is not one I am prepared to sign, and therefore I will not be returning.


Sounds like your well out of it.
Are you paid to date? ie is there any money owed to you?

SarahPatricia Tue 18-Feb-14 10:09:18

They owe me quite a bit of money - they were meant to pay me weekly but haven't for the last two Weeks. They kept saying they'd transfer the money or add it on to next Week but do far they haven't.
Should I phone them or just write a letter? Or both? Feel like just a letter is being a bit of a coward. I.don't want to antagonise her as she is pretty volatile and could react by withholding pay and I wouldn't put it past her to spread gossip. However a letter would save me a lot of stress.....I've been sleep walking and losing weight over this!
I am certain I won't see her in person (she hits her husband when he loads the dishwasher wrongly, i'm not going near her when she gets the news i'm Leaving!)
Is hiding behind a letter wrong? My boyfriend thinks I should just write to them and avoid all other contact.
But my mother thinks phone first then write. My agency are being no help.
What are parents opinion?

Cindy34 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:16:39

If you do not get payment, then write them a letter stating how much you feel you are owed and giving a timeframe by which you expect payment to be made.

You could take things through small claim court procedure if they don't pay but it will cost you, money and time plus stress, so you may need to consider writing it off.

Would I be right in guessing that when they did pay you, they did not give you a payslip showing tax deductions?

Cindy34 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:19:07

If you are due in to work soon, then I would call them out of politeness to say that you will not be turning up as you will not agree to the contract, plus that you want them to send payment for work done.

Avoid getting into discussion with them, be insistent that the contract is unfair and you will not work under that.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 18-Feb-14 11:18:56

Def not fair or legal !!!!!

As nom said so many things wrong with it

You have worked there a month so assume they owe you 4 days money

Ask for wages (cash or directly transferred) not cheq as could cancel it - are they paying tax and ni or is that a silly question

If they won't pay then tell then you won't be working anymore. When they do pay then hand notice in of a week or (and I never say this as it's unprofessional) but at end of day just say you won't be returning

SarahPatricia Tue 18-Feb-14 11:23:40

No pay slips. It was decided that they would sort out my tax and NIand they would give me the money after they have made the deductions. But in the contract it says that i'm responsible for paying all my own tax out of the amount they've given me. I was meant to be on £10 per hour net but now its £10 per hour gross as they haven't paid any tax or ni for me and i'm going to have to sort that after I've left.
And I footed the bill for ofsted reg for them to give me Childcare vouchers (not that they've paid me with them!).....I've lost money working for this family!
I'm not due to work for them til the end of the week.

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 18-Feb-14 11:30:25

Don't walk, run! Mother is a loon, no wonder the children are badly behaved.

wonderpants Tue 18-Feb-14 11:31:42

OP, I'm sorry I know it isn't what you were asking, but you have raised several safeguarding issues! You feel bad about leaving a child in an environment where you have also said there is domestic abuse. Please, all things aside, raise those safeguarding concerns. Don't go back, but please make sure someone else is aware of what is going on.

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 18-Feb-14 11:36:09

Sounds like it will be more hassle than its worth to try and chase any money from them too sad I think you may have to consider this a lesson learned the hard way. Be scrupulous about your next contract and get everything in writing before you do a day's work for your new employer.

Regarding tax to pay, perhaps you could speak to an accountant or book-keeper for some advice. I'd have thought that once you factor in the cost of your OFSTED reg. and any other costs incurred you won't have to pay any tax on what you've earned anyway (depending on what you do for the rest of the week, obviously).

SarahPatricia Tue 18-Feb-14 12:44:58

I've already raised concerns about the fichildrens safety with the parents (got told to mind my Penn business) and a few Weeks ago I called the childrens gp to say that although I don't think the children are being hurt physically the enviroment isn't great, explained everything and he said he would keep an eye out for "warning signs". Was considering speaking to social services but not sure as the childrens basic needs are being met and they aren't the ones being hurt. My boyfriend is a paramedic and has explained that in the eyes of the law the Children are fine so social service prob won't do anything. confused

SarahPatricia Tue 18-Feb-14 12:58:28

That's why i'm so upset at having to leave the children, especially the sweet little 1yr old who is a little star sad

Ilisten2thesoundofdrums Tue 18-Feb-14 13:12:14

If you are in the UK - I presume you are? Then the person employing you is responsible for tax and NI - once you have your money report them!
The minimum legal holiday allowance is 28 days to include 8 bank holidays - although if you work them you get a day off in lieu. You have to be entitled to Statutory maternity and sick pay as a minimum or they are breaking the law too. If you wo;rk in their house they are supposed to have employers liability insurance and it is their responsibility to ensure you have a safe working environment.
In law if anything were to happen to the children I think that you could only be held liable if it were due to negligance on your part and not if it were an accident or due to something about the conditions in the house. so them persuing you for damages sounds unlikely to succeed.
All in all it sounds like they are asking for a slave as no-one would be expected to work here under those conditons.
Definitely RUN.
Also put it in writing that you are leaving and why - 9 not accepting illegal contract!) and that you are expecting your pay of £xx for days worked by Y date or you will be persuing them in the small claims courts.

drinkyourmilk Tue 18-Feb-14 13:34:15

Good grief! They sound terrible. Agree with RUN! As quick as you can.
I suspect you will end up reclaiming money owed through the courts.

BumpBirthBaby Tue 18-Feb-14 15:12:38

Don't walk away, RUN and RUN FAST!!

This women sounds like a total idiot, and has no realistic expectations and just horrible demands. I honestly cannot believe this is true!

Leave now (or at the end of the working day if with the kids)


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