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Not getting Sick pay when charges make me ill

(27 Posts)
dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 09:19:24


Im a nanny and I don't get sick pay, fair enough

A couple of weeks ago the little boy had a vomiting bug, gave it to me, I was off and I didn't get paid.

Now the little girl has a sickness bug and I will more than likely get it. And I won't get paid..

Completely understand if I am ill that I won't get paid but think it is unfair if the children give me something, and I have to take time off which I don't get paid for.

Understand it's hard for the parents, especially if they have to get someone else to look after the kids, but I can't keep losing money, but very aware that a nanny is employed to look after sick children...sad

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 09:55:53

As an employer what would you do?

As a nanny, How would you feel?

fairgroundsnack Mon 10-Nov-14 09:59:03

As a nanny employer I would (and do) totally pay sick pay in those circumstances. But in my nanny's contract I pay up to a certain number of sick days in any case.

LuckyLopez Mon 10-Nov-14 10:00:15

Have you spoken to them?

OddBoots Mon 10-Nov-14 10:00:49

I can understand your frustration, it's a tricky one though. If your terms when you started were no sick pay then the parents are not being unreasonable in not giving you sick pay and they can't really say 'only when the children make you sick' because that could be impossible to judge.

You could try to renegotiate for a limited number of sick days per year (for what it's worth I work in early years and get up to 3 paid sick days per year although I've been fortunate enough not to have needed them).

Alternatively you could put a little bit of money aside each month and use it to pay yourself sick pay if you find that things are tight financially when you have had sick days.

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 11:02:52

I haven't got any 'spare' money to put away

minipie Mon 10-Nov-14 11:10:16

Nanny employer here too, and I would definitely pay sick pay in those circumstances (contract says stat sick pay only but more payable at my discretion).

The only caveat is... have you definitely been too ill to work? (Sorry to ask this I'm sure the answer is yes!) For example if you just threw up once in the morning but then felt fine, I would be a little bit annoyed if you took the day off and in those circumstances I wouldn't feel too inclined to pay. Obviously if you have been really unwell and not able to look after DCs that is totally different.

I agree your best solution is to try to renegotiate the contract, say you really can't afford to keep losing days of pay.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 10-Nov-14 12:28:49

As an employer I think it's an unreasonable position. I'd take myself to work and be poorly there while the kids watched tv all day under those circs.

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 13:44:59

You would be willing to be at work while vomiting with children to look after? While the kids watch TV all day????

Really... a 11 month old and 3 year old do not watch TV all day, they need looking after

LuckyLopez Mon 10-Nov-14 13:56:52

Really tread ??

I'd not work for someone so mean spirited! I think it's perfectly reasonably to want to puke and have diarrhoea in your own home and snooze in your own bed whilst watching crap TV.

The fact that they caught it from your children makes it worse that you think she should just crack on and turn up for work anyway!

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 14:06:30

I hope I don't get it.

To make things worse, On Wednesday possibly both parents will be out of the country on flights and I will be the only one to look after them.
Obviously in that case I would look after them, just so hoping I don't get it confused

Graciescotland Mon 10-Nov-14 14:06:34

Maybe the parents only get unpaid parental leave when you're too sick to take care of the children so can't afford/ haven't budgeted to pay you when not well.

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 14:17:53

They get someone else to look after the children, another nanny

LuckyLopez Mon 10-Nov-14 14:23:11

gracie but that's the hit you take when you have young children in childcare, it shouldn't be the nanny taking the loss.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 10-Nov-14 15:40:41

I'd be doing my level best to be vomiting on their sofa was my point, albeit a flippant and poorly made one. By the sound of it, they'd charge you for the cleaning too. I appreciate that the reality of looking after two small children when that ill is not desirable in the slightest.

I don't think it's reasonable position to take provided you don't go off work with every sniffle the kids pass on. My DH and I "budget" 5 days holiday each a year to step in when our nanny is ill. You either have to take the holiday or pay for emergency childcare, it's a reality of life with small children.

dontgetsickpay Mon 10-Nov-14 19:00:20

Any other opinions please?

Especially from parents

Many thanks

Cullercoats88 Mon 10-Nov-14 20:01:29

I think you need to discuss renegotiating some, sick days into your contract, perhaps 3. However getting childrens illnesses is part and parcel of the job- you do tend to build up a hardy immune system over the years!! Not all parents want to pay this, how exactly would you prove the sickness came from their children? Some people could take advantage of this kind of contract clause which is why so many parents are skeptical to include it.

I'm sure you do already but you need to think about anti-bac all the toys, using the anti-bac hand gel on the children and yourself, especially before meals, and this should contain the spread of some illnesses.

Unfortunately I would accept, if I were you, that it is the exception, and not the norm, to be paid for sick days, even when caught from your charges!

OVienna Mon 10-Nov-14 22:55:19

I think it's outrageous for the parents not to pay you like that when you clearly picked it up from their child. I would personally only not pay sickness if I were really convinced I was being played. But a nanny who came to work in good faith and got poorly- that is bad form from them.

Hamsolo Mon 10-Nov-14 23:14:38

We have a nanny, and I would expect to pay sick pay if she were sick. Full pay initially, and then if it were an ongoing issue, SSP. I'm actually surprised any employer can get away with less. I thought it was a legal requirement.

I don't think it matters much who infects who, though I can see that it rubs salt into the wound if it's your charges who are making you sick!

unlucky83 Mon 10-Nov-14 23:34:13

First I have to say I do think you should get sick pay - if nothing else if you earn enough you will be due statutory sick pay - it used to be (might have changed) that you only got it after 3 days and it wasn't your full wage...
However just to muddy the waters - I think it is worth mentioning likely if you were a SAHM you would have to look after your DCs whether you were sick or not ...
And if the DCs were sick and in childcare (nursery/cm) they wouldn't be allowed to go - the parent would have to make alternative arrangements (eg unpaid leave) - so I thought that was one advantage of having a nanny -that you (the parent) didn't have to take (as much) time off work for sick children?
(Advantage of a nursery rather than a cm is more carers - so less likely to have no childcare because someone is sick)

FlorenceMattell Mon 10-Nov-14 23:52:46

The trouble is a lot of nannies work for more than one employer. Is it fair to potentially affect another baby/child?
With diarrhoea and vomiting it should be 48 hours. So those parents who are saying they go into work if they have suckness need to consider their colleagues.
Yes as a nanny I look after sick charges. If there is sickness vomiting I wear gloves for nappy changes/helping with toileting. Plus wash my hands lots and lots , use own towel for hand drying.
Upto now I have never caught anything from a child. If I did I would be annoyed not to be paid sickness. I would offer to swop days or use holiday but if this wasn't possible I would expect payment.

Cullercoats88 Tue 11-Nov-14 00:02:26

It's the downside of childcare. I've worked as a nanny, in nurseries, for children's well known charities and behavioural units, and now I'm a CM. I have only been paid for sickness once, it was when I worked for a school holiday scheme run by the council.
It's lovely to see so many generous parents on here, but as I mentioned in my PP I think it's the exception and not the rule to pay nannies for their sick!! (Unfortunately)

Thereshallbeaspirin Tue 11-Nov-14 00:07:08

Depends on the nanny more than the circumstances. Previous nanny never got paid. Current nanny (now with us more than 7 years) always gets paid. Discretionary sick pay needs to be used with, well, discretion. So it doesn't matter to me whether the nanny got a bug from my kids, her own kids, or from snogging a random on a Saturday night. She works her socks off for the us and when she's ill she takes time off and gets paid.

LightTripper Tue 11-Nov-14 00:13:14

My nanny didn't ask for more than SSP so that's what's in the contract. My worry with offering more is I only have 2 more days holiday a year than my nanny, so I'd have no flexibility to deal with somebody who took it "because it is there" IYSWIM.

On the other hand her referees mentioned how little sick time she took, so in practice my starting premise would be to assume if she calls in sick she really is and give full pay for sick days: but might have to rethink going beyond the contractual terms if it became a regular thing. All this is really regardless of whether she caught it from my DD or not.

Have you been working there long OP?

Lucylouby Tue 11-Nov-14 13:58:24

A pp upthread commented that if you were a SAHM you would have to look after your own children if you were suffering a sickness bug. But I have seen other threads on mn where SAHM were being urged to phone their dp back from work to come and relieve her off her children so she can rest and get better.
As a mother I have had two sickness bugs that left me unable to care for my children for any length of time. All I could do was put the tv on and hope they would be ok while I drifted in and out of sleep because I was that ill I couldn't do anything else for them and had no one else to call.
I think it is only fair that a nanny get paid sick pay in these circumstances. As long as the nanny isn't taking the mickey and doesn't go overboard. When I was a nanny I didn't take any sick days, but went to work when I was clearly unwell, so had I have taken a sick day the family would have known I was really ill. Bit of give and take needed in these situations I think.

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