Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Sacking the Aupair - do we owe her holiday pay?

(34 Posts)
Muminahurry0 Tue 09-Jun-15 20:03:48

Our Aupair has gone home for a holiday. When we emptied the bins we found an excessive number of wine bottles and other items there. She has confessed to having a party while we were away for the weekend.
We believe we can sack her for gross misconduct and she is not entitled to notice, pay especially holiday pay. Can you give us any advice please? Thanks

LaurieFairyCake Tue 09-Jun-15 20:05:24

Do you mean that she's 'confessed' while she's been away?

Is she not allowed (and it's clear in your contract with her) to have people over?

Oakmaiden Tue 09-Jun-15 20:06:27

I think you will find she is entitled to any holiday pay she has accrued whilst working for you.

Otherwise unscrupulous employers could just sack people before their holidays to save money...

I dunno... she had a few people round and left so little evidence you didn't know til you checked the bin? Seems harsh... But I guess you didn't ask if you were right to sack her...

LIZS Tue 09-Jun-15 20:08:34

She is due pay in lieu even if you dismiss her , plus prorata holiday pay unless she has already taken it.

BreadmakerFan Tue 09-Jun-15 20:09:19

What is your problem?

AuditAngel Tue 09-Jun-15 20:11:55

What were the "other items" normal detritus from a party such as food packaging, or your property that has been damaged/disposed of without warning?

Muminahurry0 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:01:19

We have spoken to the agency we found her through, and they agree with the way we have handled the situation. She was also supposed to be a non smoker but found her smoking in her room, she was given a verbal warning then.

She was not allowed to invite people over without permission. Had she asked we would have said yes. It is the deceit, lies and covering up, that we cannot condone.

We are not monsters, we have given her additional time off when she had a personal problem, when she had food poisoning, when she went to visit her boyfriend, her aunt, her sister.

I have decided to find out where we stand legally and have made an enquiry via the BAPAA as we want to do the right thing legally, regardless of how we are feeling emotionally.

Glitoris Tue 09-Jun-15 21:06:30

Any employee is entitled to accrued holiday pay,and pay in lieu of notice.

Muminahurry0 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:10:40

"Other items" were three boxes of wine, five cans of beer, a metal fork, full bottle of soya sauce, chinese chilli, uneaten bar of chocolate. Not typical party food, or any packaging of said food. We are suspicious that she may have been secretly drinking on her own, because we live in the country and she only had a few friends here locally. We cannot prove this. But the fact she has a history doing things secretly in her room, we felt we could not take the risk. The thought of letting an alcoholic drive our children around is unthinkable.

Muminahurry0 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:16:15

I have checked on the government website and Aupairs are not considered employees, hence my confusion regarding her entitlement to holiday pay.

She is not strictly paid, she receives pocket money, does not pay for food or board, does not pay tax, or contribute to national insurance.

BreadmakerFan Tue 09-Jun-15 21:17:55

She isn't meant to pay for food or board hmm. Do you know what employing an au pair involves?

Unreasonableandpetty Tue 09-Jun-15 21:26:17

How did you make the jump from drinking alone to alcoholic? hmm if she is the legal age for drinking and is turning up for work sober she can have a drink in her room if she wants.
Actually think the Aupair may be getting a lucky escape. You gave her time off for food poisoning how generous of you.

Artandco Tue 09-Jun-15 21:31:49

Are you sure she hasn't just been drinking the wine over time and had a tidy up and cleared out room whilst you were gone? It would make sense that stuff like unopened chocolate was in the bin then also as she could have been given it and didn't like that type so just throw away whilst tidying up.

I would presume she thought she didn't need permission to have few friends over whilst you were away as didn't want to bother you, and it hardly sounds like a party just a few friends over for pizza and wine

Haffdonga Tue 09-Jun-15 21:33:49

So you are sacking an adult for drinking alcohol in their own time at home. Seems a bit harsh. hmm

If you aren't happy with her for whatever reason, why not just have a polite conversation and let her know that you feel it's not working out and pay her notice?

Glitoris Tue 09-Jun-15 21:45:50

Which is it....she had a party with friends,or was drinking alone as she few friends nearby?I would think that she is perfectly entitled to eat/drink what she wants on her time off when she was not in charge of the children.

Be honest with don't like her and you want rid of her.Now that she is away,you don't want her to come back.How much pay are you talking about?How long has she been with you?

ChocolateWombat Tue 09-Jun-15 21:58:16

Your description of what you found in the bin and 'evidence' for either a party or her being an alcoholic are ludicrous.
If this is an adult working for you, she is entitled to have time off at leisure and to have privacy to spend that time in her private space as she wishes - drinking is fine. Do you have evidence of her being drunk on duty?
Have you actually asked her about the stuff you have found or if she had a party?

You sound like you have decided to get rid of her without speaking to her about your concerns or giving her a chance to answer them. You refer to gross misconduct which can warrant immediate dismissal - there is no evidence in what you say of this.

You need to question yourselves in this - you may want rid of this au pair - if so you need to admit this to yourself and go about it in the right way, giving notice. If you just don't like her, you can give notice and pay and simply say it hasn't worked out. This would be disappointing for her, but acceptable behaviour from you.
What wouldn't be decent behaviour on your part, is to get rid of her whilst she is away, based on charges for which you really have no evidence and don't seem prepared to give her a chance to answer to.

It sounds to me like you don't want her with you. Be honest with yourselves and accept it if it simply a relationship that hasn't worked out, rather than trying to justify yourself in terms of behaving inappropriately when really there is no evidence of this. And absolutely do the right thing about paying her. This is a young girl who is abroad and depends on you as the HOST family behaving right here. You don't really sound like you are prepared to do this, but I hope you re-think.

BreadmakerFan Tue 09-Jun-15 21:58:37

I hope you're going to pay her notice and for all her things to be sent back to her.

nbee84 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:59:42

If someone is sacked for gross misconduct than you do not have to pay any notice pay, but you do have to pay any accrued holiday.

But whether the aupairs actions are classed as gross misconduct or not is down to what actually happened - not what you think has happened. You need to have a proper discussion with her to get the full facts.

Glitoris Tue 09-Jun-15 22:17:43

I think 'gross misconduct' would be a debatable term in this case.One minute the contents of the bin were because of a party,next they were a result of solitary alcoholism.

TranmereRover Tue 09-Jun-15 22:21:50

nickel and dimeing her over her accrued holiday pay and quibbling over her employment status does not make you look like a host family the agency can recommend again

msgrinch Tue 09-Jun-15 22:47:31

You owe her holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice. It's not gross misconduct for an adult to drink on their own time.

Muminahurry0 Wed 10-Jun-15 07:57:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 10-Jun-15 08:02:45

People can only respond on the facts provided and on the facts provided, you do not have enough to sack her for gross misconduct. As you are in touch with the agency who apparently agree with your actions, I'm surprised they couldn't answer your questions.

Pit of angry mums? Hmm.

WellErrr Wed 10-Jun-15 08:07:17

She's not an employee so you can just ask her to leave.

AlternativeTentacles Wed 10-Jun-15 08:13:47

I won't be coming on here again, I cannot believe what a pit of angry mums I have found while reaching out for help. Shocking.

a - we are not all mums. some people on here aren't even female. shock
b - the responders above were perfectly reasonably in responding to the words you typed
c - what is shocking is your attitude to your au pair.

But the fact she has a history doing things secretly in her room

Yes that is what happens when you have a 'boss' who thinks they should control your whole life.

Web trolls back in your box.

People disagreeing with you or questioning your odd judgements are not trolls. They are just people disagreeing with you. I take it you do not like people disagreeing with you, hence the au pair's secrecy and drinking alone?

From this thread I suspect she is well shot of you. And yes of course you should be paying her accrued holiday pay, why wouldn't you?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now