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Nanny help(13 Posts)
Hi there, I've signed up to basically just get some advice and see if I'm being fair or unreasonable.
I'm contracted for 25 hours over 4 days a week.
Love my charges and get on very well with MB.
Unfortunately MB's ex makes things difficult because of the days he has my youngest charge. Most the time has him on the days I work so I start later in the day to pick eldest up from school at 3pm.
Initially I agreed to bank the hours I didn't work each week and MB could use them in an emergency or if she needed an extra day etc.
My problem at the moment is that MB keeps asking me to work on my days off... When we agreed to bank hours she said it wouldn't be very often that she would ask for an extra day, just now and again. But now it keeps happening all the time, every other week I would say. And she doesn't ask either, just tells me.
Obviously I'm more than happy to bank hours as she has paid for them but at the moment i feel like I can't make any plans outside of work Incase she asks me to come in.
She doesn't give me much notice either, just 2 or 3 days before and I think that's where the problem lies, as by then I've already made plans.
Ive brought it up to her before and explained that it's making it difficult for me to plan things outside of work but she basically just saids how difficult it is for her to plan childcare as her ex makes things difficult.
Whilst I sympathise with her, it's not really my problem is it?
I'm more than happy to be flexible and I feel like I have been up to this point, always cancelling plans etc to come in but it's just starting to get me down.
How do I say to her nicely that I'm happy to bank hours and work extra days here and there but it needs to be mutually agreed by both parties? And if for whatever reason I can't do it one day she needs to be prepared to sort out alternative child care.
We have a great relationship and I don't want to upset her but I can't go on like this.
I've also been looking to work for another family on the days I don't work as 25 hours isn't enough for me and she thinks it's a great idea but I don't think she realises once I do, I won't be able to do extra days here or there as I'll be with another family...
What can I do???
You don't bank hours. That was your mistake. She pays you for your days and she either uses them (she can ask you to do nursery duties or some ironing). If she wants you on your day off she pays you extra and you tell her if it's convenient. If you are happy to be that flexible, your hourly rate should reflect it and be significantly higher than the average for your are.
Before we agreed to bank hours that is exactly what I wanted to do but she confided in me that she wouldn't be able to afford to pay me over time. (My wages are paid by tax credits) so she wanted to bank them otherwise she'd have to pay out of her own money.
I'm more than happy to bank hours, that's not the problem. Although it can be a pain at times.
I just wish she'd ask me rather than just tell me and assume that I'm free.
She hasn't got any family support and the ex just gives her grief 24/7 so I honestly don't mind helping her as she has no one else but some times I wish she'd realise that I too have a life outside of work.
It's just frustrating, you want to bend over backwards and help as much as you can but at the same time you don't want to be taken advantage off! :/
If you are booked you should be paid. You are contracted to be available and can't do anything else with the time. Start with this and if you are asked to work extra you can offer it for free if you chose to.
But it's better to be clear and business like in your work to avoid exploitation or misinderstandings.
Your say 'I would help you but I already have plans'. If you get grief, you repeat. She may be unhappy about that but what she's asking for goes beyond what most nannies would be able to offer so she's unlikely to be able to find anyone to do that.
Be firm but kind. She needs to have a formal contact arrangement with her ex. Your contract needs to be built around this.
Then, either you are happy to be flexible within agreed guidelines, (notice required, situations where you could decline) or not.
If you get another job for your remaining 2 days, how would you ever work the banked hours? You need to spell this out to her.
Could you agree to work from 3pm on your work days every second week and then work an extra day until 3, that same week? This won't work if you have another job.
She has to tell tax credits if what she pays for childcare changes, so it is better if the amount she pays does not change. So if you did the same number of hours each month but the hours per week varied that might work. It is important that you carefully track when you are and are not working as tax credits will at some point contact you to confirm when you care for the children.
Your problem seems to be about the amount of notice you get of the working days. Your employer assumes you are always available. You cannot make plans to do things you want to do. So you need to get MB and MBx to realise that they need to plan in advance and whilst you will try to help them out last minute, there will be times when you are busy.
Wouldn't ever bank hours but you seem happy to.
If you work 4 days then if she asks for 5th day to use hours say no. You are busy etc
You have a right to a life but only you can stop this happening by saying no
Agree if she is claiming hours but not actually using you then could be dodgy ground
Why don't you change your agreement, so that you work 25 hours flexibly over 4 days a week? You can put in writing that she needs to give you the schedule 10 days? 1 week? in advance. But you still have one day a week that is always free so that you can either plan stuff or work that day. Plus you'll have more notice of your rota.
Remember, you're helping her out by being so flexible.
If its a week where the LO is seeing her dad quite a bit, then maybe you could babysit one of the days instead (as long as you're given notice)
I started with a job once where it was agreed I would bank hours. I was young and naive and was told the old nanny had done it. When I started it was only one hour a week I was banking. By the forth week, I think I banked more than 10 and it was clear this was what was going to be the norm, saving hours for school holidays. I handed my notice in. I like to know when I'm working and don't appriciate being messed around.
My first nanny job was a bit like this! So if they let me go at 6 instead of 7 I wouldn't get paid for the last hour, under worked hours carried on to the next month for overtime! The only difference was... I could turn down overtime as they had other childcare arrangements if I couldn't do it. When I started my new job, I clearly stated that hours would not be banked unless it was me who asked to leave early. At the end of the day, if they come back early that's up to them!
I've been a nanny for 29 years. You really do live and learn! I have my own contract now and there is very little wiggle room in it! I am a very flexible nanny and will go out of my way to help out my employers, as long as they are the same.
If you have agreed to things, there really isn't a lot you can do about it. But you will know not to agree in future.
Trust me, there will something else in the next position, and the one after that and the one after that etc! I think I had been a nanny for a good 10-12 years until I got my contract locked down. I tell them at interview what I expect and do not expect and then again when we go through the contract together if I am offered/want the position. If they don't agree after I have given my reasons for certain clauses then I don't want to work for them.
But do talk to her, tell her that you are happy to make up a percentage of the hours but you need x amount of days/weeks notice as you cannot plan things/are cancelling plans with friends/family at short notice and they are getting a bit upset about it. (I also tell potential employers at interview that I am terrible at confrontation/telling them there is a problem, that I trip over my words and things end up coming out completely wrong and would they mind if I e-mailed if there was something I needed to tell them. I usually tell them while they are at work so they have time to mull things over and are calm by the time they get home (like the time the car crashed into the front door (I was not in the car at the time, I had parked it about 20 minutes before and it was on a slope, garage said there was nothing wrong with the handbrake!) and the time I cracked the Belfast sink! I did offer to pay insurance excess for both accidents.))
Wow, I have never heard of banking hours and think it's a bad idea. If my nanny is supposed to work 11-4, and there's not much on and I get off work early and let her go home at 2pm, I pay her til 4pm. No banking. It just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
I have no family to help me either, and feel for your boss, but nannies have to have time off and a social life or they won't be a good nanny to your children as they will be knackered and resentful.
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