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Nanny not giving reference from most recent job

(53 Posts)
ConcernedintheCity Sat 22-Feb-14 17:19:58

Hi there,

We're about to employ a nanny, who worked for over 3 years in her current job.

Initially when we interviewed her she told us that she was available part time (she apparently wanted to remain working with the other family also). We thought about this, and realised that we needed more than part-time help, so offered her a full time position with us. She accepted immediately - we had upped her pay a bit, so it was a good offer for her.

I know it might seem a bit crap to 'poach' a nanny in this way, but these things happen.

I hadn't yet checked her references before making the job offer (silly, I know). She is now saying that she is on 'very bad terms' with the family because they felt let down by her etc. She has basically said that I shouldn't contact them for a reference.

I picked up on negative vibes towards the family when she told me this, which was in contrast to the impression she gave at first interview, where she was telling me how 'flexible' the mum was when it came to hours and days. Obviously, they can't be crazy people, otherwise why stay 3 years in the same job?

Instead she's given me numbers of people she's babysat for a few times etc.

Would this ring alarm bells for you?

LaurieFairyCake Sat 22-Feb-14 17:22:30

I would believe it, if she was crap they'd have got rid before 3 years was up. I would imagine they're feeling deserted and are miffed.

I'd still be calling them though.

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 22-Feb-14 17:24:25

I'm not sure about alarm bells, but no way on earth would I employ someone to look after my most precious things without checking their references first. So don't let her start until you have.

ConcernedintheCity Sat 22-Feb-14 17:33:13

Sure, I can understand why they would be miffed. But even if pissed off, I could understand her perspective (wanting one job rather than juggling two), and I would still provide a decent reference, even if a person had let me down.

She even said something in the interview about the family 'being so understanding' towards her needs. Now she's giving a very different impression.

I just feel she might be hiding something here.

I should get the number and call them shouldn't I?

A friend of mine said you'd be 'insane' not to contact the nanny's longest standing employer...

nannynick Sat 22-Feb-14 17:37:48

I would hope that most families would provide a reference however badly things turned out at point of nanny handing in notice. Notice periods are in contracts for a reason, so as long as nanny has given the correct amount of notice, I can't see why a family would not give a reference.

Yes, call them. If nanny has handed in notice then surely they are expecting to be called for a reference.

ConcernedintheCity Sat 22-Feb-14 17:44:08

The references she gave are people that she's babysat for a couple of times, plus someone not in the country.

Her manner about it all seems questionable.

TheScience Sat 22-Feb-14 19:01:46

I'd bear in mind what she has said, but I'd still want to speak to her most recent employers. You'll probably get a sense from talking to them if they are being vindictive.

NannyLouise29 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:22:44

This has happened to me. Admittedly not a longstanding employer but a lady I worked for for 8 months, I decided to leave as it was really unbearable and getting worse. I told her I'd stay until she found someone else as I was young, and not putting myself first (I should have given notice and gone). After a month, I broached the subject and she kicked me out - a foreign country, not a whole lot of money as she was forever late paying me. It was all a big mess, and ended terribly. I didn't even get to say goodbye to the little girl.

I wish I could leave this off my CV but can't as there is a lot in there that I use as experience (I learned a lot in 8 months!) but she has point blank refused to speak to any prospective employers, or even correspond via email.

I think most people are reasonable individuals, who despite being a bit put out that their nanny is leaving would understand the progression and give a reference. Some families really take it personally which can be particularly horrible for a nanny looking for a new job.

Was she happy for you to talk to her employer when she was applying for a part time job with you?

ConcernedintheCity Sat 22-Feb-14 19:51:44

Thanks all.

NannyLouise - I really got the impression initially that she wanted part-time work and wasn't looking for a 'way out'. There's a big difference between 8 months and 3 years. If the job wasn't good, you'd leave sooner.

Even if after a happy time she'd felt it was time to move on, why not look for a full-time role in the first place?

Her attitude towards the family suddenly comes across as negative. It's making me doubt her, tbh. I'll ask for their contact details and see what she says.

RandomMess Sat 22-Feb-14 19:54:18

So she hasn't had a nanny job previous to them?

Lottiedoubtie Sat 22-Feb-14 19:55:03

I'd insist on talking to them but reassure her that I would take anything they said with a pinch of salt under the circumstances.

I think you'd get a good feel from the family if they were vindictive or not.

Quinteszilla Sat 22-Feb-14 22:32:53

Well, I suppose they could have been understanding of her needs for a second job if the could only offer a part time position, but not do understanding of her leaving them?

Do you think she may not be employed after all and actually have a three year gap on her cv?

blueshoes Sat 22-Feb-14 22:52:46

Unless you are able to verify her employment with her previous family, how do you know if she was ever a nanny, much less for 3 years. She could basically say anything and have no relevant experience beyond babysitting.

If an employee wanted to move on after 3 years for whatever reason, I would generally be understanding and provide a good reference. It is only if she wanted to move on after a short stint without giving it a decent go would I be miffed.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 23-Feb-14 10:01:49

You def need to get their address and details and confirm she has worked there for 3years - if she worked there the family if possibly peeved and upset she is leaving

She has obv told them or they wouldn't be upset with her

Unless you think she is lieing?

Maybe ask for past bank statements /payslips /p45 to prove she worked there

cinnamondanish Sun 23-Feb-14 11:01:45

I just wanted to put my two cents worth in, addressing the issue of staying if the family were awful. I myself am a nanny, and I'm sure other nannies on here have been in the same situation, that I have stayed in a job that is not fantastic because of the children. If you are a good nanny you build up such a strong bond with the children and sometimes put up with an awful lot because you don't want to leave the children.
I had a previous job where the mum and I parted on bad terms and she refused to give a reference but luckily I had other employers for my current employer to call.
My current employer did actually call this mother anyway and after speaking to her she could judge for herself what actually happened and how things were left, and her bitterness and bad attitude was evident and backed up my story about her not being happy that I'd left. So my advice would be insist on a number to call and speak to the employer that way if her attitude has turned nasty because the nanny is leaving you should be able to hear it in the conversation. She hopefully will be able to tell you about the good things the nanny has done for the 3 years she's been there and if she just goes on about being without a nanny then you can see its sour grapes on her behalf.

Floggingmolly Sun 23-Feb-14 14:53:55

I don't understand this confused. Are you seriously considering not checking her references because she asked you not to??
Just call them hmm. They'll tell you everything you need to know.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 23-Feb-14 15:32:31

Make sure you have the real player when you do get a name and number I would also want an address

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 23-Feb-14 15:33:01

Ugh! The real name of the previous employer...

NomDeClavier Sun 23-Feb-14 15:40:12

I agree you need to check and make sure any details like the ages of the children match up. Google the employer too - you can usually work out whether it's reasonable for them to have employed a nanny or not based on what you can google.

I can definitely see them being miffed if they were super flexible on what days/hours to accommodate her getting a second job and she now turns around and says she's leaving, and I can see her being worried they'd give a bad ref, but they have to know the rules around references. It can't be bad unless there were issues that were raised with her and she had reasonable chance to improve etc.

So basically just check it anyway but with an open mind.

blueshoes Sun 23-Feb-14 16:09:52

It is defamatory to give a bad reference without a basis for it. And unless there was some dire reason I needed to warn another employer about the nanny, such as fraud or abuse (which is very unlikely where the nanny has been with the employer for 3 years), I would not be be so malicious as to mess about with someone's livelihood however pissed off I might feel about the departure.

If the previous employer was vindictive for no good reason, the OP would probably get a sense of it in the conversation. Ask for lots of examples. Query the answers. The more someone talks, the more likely they will give something away they did not intend to.

Agree with nom about googling. It is amazing how much you can find out through googling. And about keeping an open mind. You can reassure the nanny that that is what you will do. If she is still not convinced and won't release her previous host mum's details, I'd say bin.

SarahPatricia Sun 23-Feb-14 19:05:42

I'm a nanny and many times mothers say one thing and really when it comes to it they mean something else. ("oh don't worry about needing that extra day off for medical tests, you've given us lots of warning, its fine, don't worry darling" suddenly turned to "oh my God! How could you do this to me! You'll have to take the children with you to the hospital! So inconsiderate")
The fact that she had given other numbers shows she is trying to please you. If the mother from the old family is really annoyed she might tell you how she feels at having her nanny "poached"

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 23-Feb-14 21:21:50

The more I think about this - the more suss it seems

She has told you mum isn't happy and you appreciate that - so she needs to give you her employers name and number and again details will be on p45/wage slips and you need to call

If employer is rude etc about her then up to you how you take this

If nanny refuses to give no etc then avoid at all costs and look for new nanny

nannynick Sun 23-Feb-14 21:31:59

phone number won't be on P45 or wage slips. Least it isn't usual to be on those.

They have employed the nanny for 3 years, even if they just confirm that at least you will have confirmed that they were a nanny for that period of time.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 23-Feb-14 22:00:35

Sorry meant name and address would be on p45 so can check if gives right name and address and google/192 number

Not that their telephone would be on slip

Devious blondes smile

halfwayupthehill Sun 23-Feb-14 22:01:12

I was the previous employer in a similar situation. You shd call and ask searching questions. It doesnt matter how long she was employed.

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