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Nanny returning from maternity leave

(29 Posts)
Octonought Sun 15-Nov-15 15:43:50

My nanny went on maternity leave and has just emailed me to give me her return to work date.
I'm very surprised she wants to return as we had a big falling out before she went off because she was completely unreliable and I felt she did not take her job very seriously. she caused a lot of stress for me at work due to her frequent time off. After this disagreement, she went on long term sick citing pregnancy complications, then onto mat leave and we have not heard from her since. I had noticed that she was advertising for work on childcare.co.uk on completion of her maternity leave, so was happy that it looked like she did not want to come back.
We have a wonderful and reliable nanny who is currently covering her leave and who would like to stay and we would like to keep her.
My job and days/hours have recently changed so are different to what my previous nanny was working.
I've spoken to a lawyer who has suggested I let the old nanny know the new (longer) hours, and await a response with the hope that she won't want the job. The problem is, that she is not responding.
It's very frustrating. I suspect my old nanny will return to us until she finds a different job, which means I lose our current nanny and my children get messed around. Apparently I have no control who works in my house with my children. It's infuriating.
I'm not looking for legal advice as I know where I stand, but anyone been through anything similar and had a good outcome? Thanks.

jclm Sun 15-Nov-15 15:54:07

Has the old nanny been with you for two years or more?
What have you agreed with the old nanny about returning to work - is she expecting to bring her baby? You could simply say you don't want the baby in your house and that may change her mind.

Octonought Sun 15-Nov-15 16:02:58

She has been with us for about 18m but we can't get rid of her as in pregnancy/mat leave you have more rights and she could sue us for unfair dismissal claiming it was pregnancy related.
She knows she can't bring the baby, we discussed that before relationships soured and I made it clear.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 15-Nov-15 17:47:00

legally yes you have to offer old job back,but not with her bringing baby but if hours and days have changed and she cant bring baby then she may not want to come back

maybe try and meet up but yes you need to instruct her of the new hours etc and maybe say you totally understand if she cant commit to these and find childcare for her baby and say you are happy for her to give her notice

when does she want to come back

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 15-Nov-15 18:49:43

Speak to ACAS, see if there is any way you can dismiss her if she does not respond to your communications regarding the new hours within a reasonable time.

Did you follow any disciplinary procedures before her maternity leave? You may be able to dismiss her if you have.

You cannot dismiss her because of her pregnancy / maternity leave but if you can construct a case to prove that in fact you are dismissing her due to the unworkable relationship and her failure to carry out her duties, then you might be OK. Talk to ACAS, they will help.

Good luck, having a nanny is difficult when things go wrong. The best outcome would be for you to convince her that the job is no longer right for her. I hope you can make that option work.

brokenmouse Sun 15-Nov-15 18:53:23

Not a lawyer obviously, but if the job has changed I would assume you can offer her the new hours and then if she says no make her redundant from the old job. do speak to a lawyer though because of the maternity aspect.

Octonought Sun 15-Nov-15 21:05:45

Thanks everyone. I've spoken to the lawyer so many times but no way to get rid of her. I just hope she will decide not to come back. In all honesty, I wouldn't let her past my front door as I would no longer trust her alone with my children (who won't even remember her as she'll have been off a year).
If she does want to come back, we'll have to send them to nursery instead so that I can make her redundant.
I know employees have rights but isn't it strange that her rights come above my children needs?? They are happy and settled with a nanny they like and she's going to screw that up for them. Sigh.

iwannadancewithsomebody Sun 15-Nov-15 21:21:02

Not a legal expert, but can you make her redundant from you as her employer and the new nanny be transferred to the employment of DH/DP?

Want2bSupermum Sun 15-Nov-15 21:35:52

It's really hard because it could be argued that your relationship soured because of her pregnancy.

It's good you have a lawyer. I would see what timeframe they need to reply to your message. Here in the US when it comes to childcare it's totally at will employment. I fired our afternoon babysitter on Thursday for not picking the kids up from school on time. I do really feel for you but the rules have been a huge benefit for the vast majority of mothers.

homeaway Sun 15-Nov-15 23:09:47

Have you sent her the notice by email that the hours have changed ? Can you not give her a time frame by which she has to reply to ? Hope you get it sorted soon.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 16-Nov-15 08:58:29

I am surprised your employment lawyer has given you clearer direction. I would write and send recorded delivery inviting get to a return to work meeting making it clear that this meeting is required as the hours have changed.
Once you have had this meeting you will have a clearer view of whether your nanny can do the new hours or not.

Karoleann Mon 16-Nov-15 21:24:09

A friend of mine just paid her nanny off when she didn't want her to come back after maternity leave. Could that be an option?

Otherwise, I think you'd struggle to make it a genuine redundancy, but one way of doing it may be to send out a new contract with the new hours by registered post.
You are entitled to offer her a similar job if she has been on AML but it does not need to be exactly the same one. The extra hours may put her off from coming back.
But, You can't force her to come in for a meeting.

Hope it goes well,

Octonought Tue 17-Nov-15 20:03:17

Thanks all. I've emailed her again at the weekend asking her to respond by timorrow. If she doesn't, I'll be speaking to the lawyer again (thankfully I get free legal advice through my payroll company).
I'm just feeling really frustrated... angry

tootiredtothink Wed 18-Nov-15 22:55:49

Did she reply op ?

wizzywig Thu 19-Nov-15 21:58:02

Is she wanting to bring her baby to work?

JeffsanArsehole Thu 19-Nov-15 22:11:56

Any news?

fastdaytears Thu 19-Nov-15 22:19:24

(thankfully I get free legal advice through my payroll company)

As a lawyer but not an employment one, I'd check who this advice is coming from and think about a second opinion. I know that's annoying as it'll cost but the advice on these free deals is quite often given by unqualified staff and even if it is a solicitor, one who's in a massive hurry to get on to chargeable work.

I understand you won't want to pay for more advice when this is provided but if you're going to risk losing the awesome nanny then it might be worth thinking about.

Fridayschild Sun 22-Nov-15 07:59:11

My nanny was less than great when pregnant - lots of passive aggressive comments, nothing was up to scratch in my life. I tried hard to not get bothered but was really worried about her return to work. She's been back to normal now she's back. I think she must just have been really tired when pregnant. You're obviously very concerned, and we all are about our children. But it might not be as bad as you fear?

sarahbanshee Sun 22-Nov-15 08:09:14

How would everyone feel if I posted saying "I am a bank manager and one of my employees was a right pain when she was pregnant, moaning all the time and nothing seemed good enough for her. She has emailed me to say she is coming back to work but I am dreading it, I want to keep her maternity cover instead. To be honest I don't want to let her into the bank."

Nannies are employed in your home but they are still your employees and you have to act as a responsible employer and within the law.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 22-Nov-15 10:33:19

As annoying as it is a nanny or any employee is entitled to time off esp of due to pregnancy complications - but agree it's different when presonal in a home and not a Person in an office

But if you had time off when preg how would your employers be?

When is she due to come back? Think legally an employee doesn't need to say they are coming back till 4 weeks before due date so if you keep contacting her to ask what is happening it could be seen as pestering ?

And you've had no contact at all in the past year? You didn't go round to hers to meet baby /send a congrats card and pressie etc?

How much has job days and hours changed ?

harshbuttrue1980 Sun 22-Nov-15 17:27:40

I agree with Sarahbanshee. Why is it that people who would be up in arms about their own employers breaking the law regarding maternity rights are totally OK about this being done to nannies?? OP, presumably YOU had maternity leave when you had your child, and your employer let you come back?? Its irrelevant that your children are now used to another nanny - you made the choice to outsource childcare, and you and your children will have to cope. No doubt your employer hired a temp to fill in for you when you went on ML, and maybe they would have preferred to keep the temp rather than have you back? It is a woman's right to return to work after ML - end of.

uhoh1973 Mon 23-Nov-15 10:43:50

I had a similar experience with a girl working at our nursery who waited til the last minute to tell us whether she wanted to come back or not from maternity leave. I know legally you can do this (I have been on maternity leave myself!) but it made staff management v tricky.

Before the baby came she said she would come back full time when it was 3 months old which i told her was probably unrealistic - when it came to it she did not return - then she said in another 3 months. She did not return after 6 months. She said I may want to come back full time or part time, I cant make my mind up. Then four weeks before the end of her 12 months she wrote to say she wouldn't be coming back at all. Arrg. If we had known we would have taken on a different member of staff to replace her so we ended up with a far from optimal solution. I did my best to keep in touch with her during her leave. All I can suggest is to meet with her sooner than later to try to find out what is happening. We also said she couldn't bring her baby to work with her....

What people seem to be missing here is that you fell out with her before she went on maternity leave and now you are not looking forward to the idea of her looking after your children. I think the analogy with running a bank doesn't really work as the bank clerk is not spending the day in your home looking after your children. Its a more intimate set up.

How far are you through the maternity leave? As other posters have said try not to harass her. Keep on good terms with the new nanny and explain the situation and that you are not sure if the other nanny is coming back or not. From my experience the change of hours and saying she cant bring her child to work should be enough to put her off coming back ;-). I would take this as my basecase but then you need a plan B. Plan B could be to pay her off?

brokenmouse Mon 23-Nov-15 21:13:29

I'm very surprised she wants to return as we had a big falling out before she went off because she was completely unreliable and I felt she did not take her job very seriously. she caused a lot of stress for me at work due to her frequent time off.

Surely this is the issue for the OP, not the fact that she has taken maternity leave per se?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 23-Nov-15 21:54:35

Seems if someone is pregnant they get a lot of leeway and even if don't perform job well (ie being late) that there is nothing the employer can do incase it seems they are discriminating against being pregnant

If the job isn't being done properly then surely Should be given a warning even if pregnant

sarahbanshee Mon 23-Nov-15 22:58:40

Of course you can follow the normal procedures for poor performance, lateness etc with a pregnant employee (although you would be sensible to consider any reasonable adjustments first eg can you be flexible about start time if the commute is tiring). But the OP hasn't said that - it seems as though she has never tried to manage the poor performance but simply wants to get rid of the nanny.

Uhoh1973 I'm afraid the fact that you employ a nanny in your home makes no difference at all. Employees on maternity leave are entitled to return to their job if it still exists and that is no different whether you are employed in a house, shop or office.

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