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Where do I stand with nanny?

(32 Posts)
Yabing Sat 18-Jul-15 10:46:11

Nanny has been with us for 3 years. In April we made her an offer for July this year (reduced hours but increased hourly pay), to account for a change in circumstances. She accepted this offer verbally.

Yesterday she told me that she was going for an interview today, and has given me one week's notice this morning.

The notice terms on her contract are 8 weeks, with a statutory minimum of 4 weeks due to her length of service.

I know that I cannot stop her from leaving, but if you have been in this situation before, please can you share how you handled it? I cannot think straight at the moment, as I feel so disappointed. I know that the first priority is to put new childcare into place. This is the first nanny that we employed, so not sure how to terminate the arrangement properly given the breach of contract.

Many thanks for your advice.

totallybewildered Sat 18-Jul-15 10:49:50

terms of notice in childcare are a bit silly, because you would never leave your child with someone who doesn't want them, or expect to keep a child who's parent doesn't trust you any more. It's fine as a guideline, but even so, 8 weeks is ridiculous! a teacher doesn't have to give that much notice, with 30 children!

Just make the last week a happy one, or if you feel like you can't trust her, explain why nicely, and make new arrangements as of today.

Redspottygranola Sat 18-Jul-15 10:50:55

I don't have experience with a nanny but if she is in breach of a contract she has previously signed that I suppose you could take her to court over it. An awful way to end 3 yrs of employment however and a real shame for your DC who must have come to love her. Will she not negotiate at all? If she is only going for an interview then she may not have Nother job lined up so it's odd she would give her notice like that! Has something happened? A row with you or something with the DC?

Cantkinsale Sat 18-Jul-15 10:51:33

Not very professional at all. I have no advise for you on the legal side of things, I'm sure there will be someone come along who can help. More fool her though if she doesn't get offered the job today, karma I'd say.
Good luck though. Good riddance to her if that's the way she can treat you at the end.

Redspottygranola Sat 18-Jul-15 10:53:15

Sorry re-reading the op - I guess she just got a better offer but still a bad way to end the relationship sad

Yabing Sat 18-Jul-15 11:27:35

The 8 weeks was to protect both parties, I would not have dreamt of giving her 1 week's notice of our intent to terminate her employment!

We have had an excellent relationship over the past 3 years, so this had come as a real shock. I am actually really upset. Luckily we are ok for childcare for the next month or so, but it is an added stress to now have to put something into place before September.

Zhx3 Sat 18-Jul-15 11:31:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunshineAndShadows Sat 18-Jul-15 11:37:33

If she's expecting a reference you can be clear that she's been unreliable and breeched her contract. You just need to be factually correct.

yabing Sat 18-Jul-15 12:59:21

I won't be taking anyone to court, but I feel so let down. As employers we have bent over backwards to accommodate her and supported her during some times of real personal difficulty. She did ask for a reference, and has offerred her friendship. I don't know how to feel about that. I think I need some time to consider, I would have called us friends and we always said we would keep in touch, but I feel as if some time needs to pass first.

She has recommended a nanny friend who might be interested in the job we are offering.

PinkPearlClutcher Sat 18-Jul-15 14:47:47

Nothing much you can do but you can certainly tell her next employee when they ask for a reference!

Yabing Sat 18-Jul-15 15:13:01

I've been asked for a reference this afternoon (I haven't responded yet). I'm not thinking calmly enough at the moment. New employer said "I understand she worked for you previously" which bothered me, as I have not yet had written notice, unless a text this morning counts!

2plus1 Sat 18-Jul-15 15:51:11

A text does not constitute notice. I understand it should be verbally or in writing, that way you know it came from them. Anyone could send a text from someone's phone. Also check your contact as ours stated that notice was to be in writing.
If your nanny insists on less notice than the contractual notice then I would write to them detailing the contractual agreement and that if she chooses to leave early, then you as the employer is entitled to stop her pay and benefits. Obviously, you cannot force her to stay and carry out her work but you can make it clear that her reference will reflect the situation.
As far as her reference goes, I would clarify that she is still employed by you rather than being an ex employee. Sorry to hear you are having to go through this.

Karoleann Sat 18-Jul-15 18:13:54

Don't respond to the reference request, legally you don't have to give one.
It's very very unlikely she will get a job without an up to date reference.

I would just remind your current nanny that she has an 8 week notice period and you will not be supplying a reference until that notice period has expired.

IcecreamHavoc Sat 18-Jul-15 18:20:30

I had three months notice in all my nanny jobs. It worked fine. Whichever side received notice (mostly me as is stayed long term in all my jobs) was able to work professionally until the three months were up.

Your nanny has acted unprofessionally and certainly shot herself in the foot. I wonder if it is all a ploy to get more money/her hours back...

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 18-Jul-15 19:01:17

I'd reply: Ms X is still in my employment and I'm yet to receive a verbal or written 8 week notice as per her contract.

Grewupinafield Sat 18-Jul-15 19:09:03

Just to clarify that a previous poster said, teachers have to give at least half a term notice, which is 8 weeks. Some schools require a full term.

Op, I would reflect what she's done in the reference. "Previous employee"' sounds like she's told them she's left your employment already.

Sorry you're experiencing this. She needs to fulfil her contract or come to an agreement with you

Aridane Sat 18-Jul-15 19:29:13

I guess nanny wasn't happy that you changed her contractual terms and conditions - and which she hadn't formally accepted in writing. So I'm sort of with her on this one.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 18-Jul-15 19:31:10

She could have declined in April!

swlondonnanny Sat 18-Jul-15 19:37:28

Just a thought - does she by any chance thinks that her contract finished at the end of June and new one (which you said was verbal agreement) started in July??? So she would technically be in trial period when 1week notice is acceptable?
Not saying that is what happened but wonder where 1week notice would be acceptable....

Yabing Sat 18-Jul-15 20:35:26

What has happened in the past is that we have had a review every year to discuss pay and hours, and agreed them between us. We did the same in April this year, and I was very clear that she was under no obligation to accept, which would have given us both 3 months to sort things out. I do think that the more professional thing to do would have been to decline in April, if she had been unhappy, as you mention Aridane.

The job has been offered and accepted, so I guess a reference is neither here nor there.

Strawberrybubblegum Sat 18-Jul-15 21:34:59

The job has been offered and accepted, so I guess a reference is neither here nor there.

That's not necessarily the case. Most jobs (whether nanny or otherwise) are offered "subject to satisfactory references" and breaking a contract with only 1 week notice - especially when that will cause real problems for the employer - would make many employers think twice (unless poaching nannies is par for the course near you, as I hear can be the case in some parts of London).

It's not only the possibility that the employee might do the same thing again, it's also the unprofessional, inconsiderate attitude it shows. If they have only just offered, then the new family could presumably just continue their search - disappointing but not inconvenient for them.

It's your choice whether you tell the new family what has happened (carefully, so as not to get into legal trouble) or whether you gracefully just allow it to slide, perhaps trying to avoid giving a reference. It's a difficult decision because your nanny's life might become very difficult if you choose to tell them. You wouldn't continue her employment now, because she has breached your trust, and she could find it hard to get another job without a good reference.

Although this has made life difficult for you, you don't sound like the kind of person who would make things difficult for her out of vindictiveness. So it probably comes down to whether you feel more responsibility for her well-being, or for the risk of the new family being let down as you have been.

Yabing Sun 19-Jul-15 00:19:40

I just wanted to say thank you to you all for your responses, I appreciate them! I have asked Nanny to come over next week to say goodbye to the children and hand over keys, sort out admin etc. She will not be required to work and I will tell the children beforehand that she is leaving us.

I am not a vindictive person, and have no desire to make her life difficult for the sake of it. I still don't know whether to provide a reference. I feel incredibly sad for my children, especially my youngest.

I will inform her that she is in breach of contract, to make sure she is fully aware of this, but I have no expectation that she will work her notice.

sunshinenanny Sun 19-Jul-15 00:27:22

She was with you for 3 years without any problems, so can you think of any other reason why she has done this?

She may have felt in April that she had no choice but to accept the new hours. Would this have meant a substantial reduction in wages for her?

Whatever happens be fair about how she has performed as a nanny during the past 3 years.

It may be she has had to accept a quick start in the new job and feels she needs to take it as you wish to cut her hours.

I would not do this myself and I have really put myself out for some of my employers when it comes to notice but can see where she might be coming from!

Yabing Sun 19-Jul-15 01:35:19

Hi Sunshine,
Yes, I think there is a lot in what you say. The cut in hours did amount to a salary reduction, although we increased her hourly rate very substantially to try and compensate. I can understand why she has done what she has. I do not think it is personal, and suspect that the reasons are more logistical and practical. She mentioned that she loves us like family. However, she has still dropped us in it.

I don't think that she was left without a choice, as we gave her 3 months' notice of the changes and asked her to come back after talking it through with her family. So no pressure to accept and plenty of time to look for alternatives if she was unhappy with the proposal. I understand that finding another job to work around our requirements was not very easy (but not impossible), and we had said we would be as flexible as we could if needed.

I do feel that as employers we went above and beyond many times for our Nanny. I guess this is partly why I'm so shocked and upset by what has happened in the last two days.

Yabing Sun 19-Jul-15 02:15:46

I do also think that there has been the requirement for as early a start as possible.

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