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Advice needed for nanny

(13 Posts)
SausageLoverSarah21 Sun 27-Dec-15 20:18:39

Hi all, I'm a nanny just looking for some advice, if any one can offer some I would be extremely grateful.

I'm a nanny with over 7 years experience currently working for a single mum four days a week.
I absolutely adore the two girls I look after and I get on fairly well with MB so all in all I'm quite happy in my job.
The only thing that's starting to become a problem, in my opinion is MB is very unorganised.
For instance she will tell me I have a certain day off and then two days before that day tell me she needs me to come in.
Trust me, I understand she's a single mum with two kids rushed of her feet and no one is perfect, I get it.
I babysit on an adhoc basis for about 7 different families and I've had to let them down short notice on a few occasions due to MB giving me the day off and then changing her mind, by that time I've already agreed to babysit for a family or made other plans so as you can see it's a becoming a bit of pain.
I've let it go a few times now but it seems to be happening a lot more, I just don't think she realises that I have a life outside of work and that I can't just drop everything to come in when ever she decides she needs me.

About a month ago I had a family contact me to ask if I could babysit on New Year's Eve so I checked with MB if she needed me the next day as this family wanted me to stay quite late to which she said that she wasn't working so she didn't need me.
This has been planned for a while now and about an hour ago I had a text of her asking if I could work New Year's Day to which I replied "I'm so sorry but I don't think I'll be able to work New Year's Day as I have already made plans the night before to babysit and I will be there until the early hours of the morning so will be very tired the next day".
She then text me back saying what will she do, she can't get another person to look after the kids etc.
Basically trying to make me guilty.
I understand being a nanny, you have to be flexible, Which I think I have been up until this point but I don't think she realises how much problems she is causing for me by doing this.
If I have to cancel on this family I will feel so awful as we've had it planned for over a month now and I know they are excited to go out.
I just think MB is being very unfair and because she's so unorganised it's causing problems for me.

I just want to know am I being unreasonable, is she? What would you do if you were in my situation?
Am I suppose to be at her beck and call 24/7? As I understand some parents do treat their nannies like that.
Please be honest, I can take it! Lol
And if you've got this far, you deserve a medal!

Many Thanks

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 27-Dec-15 20:35:23

Do you have 4 set days a week?

If not and she swaps about them she needs to pay you for 5 days and you can't take in work elsewhere

If you work say mon to thur and she asks for a fri if you are free and want to do it then great but if you don't then say no and don't feel guilty

Nyd is a bank holiday and generally nannies don't work them but depends what your contract says

NannyC123 Sun 27-Dec-15 20:53:42

As a nanny myself I completely agree with having to be fairly flexible to what your employer needs but you have gone way beyond that! You are definitely not being unreasonable.
In my opinion, if the both of you agree that you are not going to be working a certain day, then it is stuck to and the mother looks after the girls herself or if something crops up then gets a friend/family member to have them. You should not have to be at her beck and call whenever she demands.

With regards to your predicament, New Years Day is a bank holiday, is it in your contract to have bank holidays off? Or do you work them and get another day off in lieu?
If I were you, I would stand my ground and say that I could not work NYD.
Before you accepted the babysitting job, you asked your employer if she needed you on NYD and she did not.
It is also unfair on you to cancel on the family that you're babysitting when it's less than a week to go. They'd struggle to find someone now unless they used an agency.

Stand up to your employer, not just about this date, but also in the future! Life is not enjoyable when you're worrying about whether you'll be needed to work constantly. Trust me- I've been there!

SausageLoverSarah21 Sun 27-Dec-15 20:59:01

Yes I have four set days a week, Mon, Tues, Fri and sat.
It's not that my nanny family and babysitting family are clashing because I don't babysit in the day as most the kids I look after are school age, so just evening and nights so the parents can go out etc.
My problem is, for example MB will give me a Saturday off, so I will agree to babysit for another family on a Friday night after I finish work until the early hours of the morning and then a couple days before I'm due to babysit she will ask me to work the Saturday she initially gave me off.
I can't really babysit until 3am and then go to work at 7 the next morning so the only option I have is to cancel on the adhoc family, which I think is very unfair as sometimes we have these dates planned for months.

MB is self employed and runs her own business you see and that's why I think she's so unorganised because she can decide what days she works and what days she doesn't.
(She couldn't actually find a nanny to work on an adhoc basis so had to end up doing set days).

I understand I'm contracted and paid four days a week so I should be available to work, which I am.
But if she decides to give a day off out of those days and I make plans, can she really be annoyed with me if she then changes her mind and I'm not available?

I would understand if it was an emergency or something but it's just basically her giving me the day off, forgetting about it two weeks later and then deciding she actually does want to work.

I'm going to ask her if we can have a chat on Wednesday (when I go back to work) and explain that it's causing a few problems for me but I just wanted to see what other people thought really...


LIZS Sun 27-Dec-15 21:04:43

If you are paid for those 4 days regardless of whether she needs you then it seems as if you need to assume those are working days. If she only pays you for hours you work then if she tells you you are off then you can take other work and she bears the consequences. Can you request a review and ask for your days to be confirmed a week in advance, say.

Coldest Sun 27-Dec-15 21:05:27

UANBU. It mist be very stressful for you not knowing if she will stick to her plans. And cancelling on the other family is also very unfair. Does it sour your relationship with the babysitting family if you have to cancel on short notice.

NannyC123 Sun 27-Dec-15 21:10:49

If she has agreed that you can have a day off then it should be written on a calendar or in a diary (which is what my boss does if I need a day off or an early finish) so you've got it in writing. If she then goes and changes her mind then no, I don't think she can be annoyed at you if you aren't free to work as she did agree to it and wrote it down. Yes I agree, if it's an emergency and you're free to work then great, if it's just a matter of her just changing her mind though then stand your ground.
I do question you having to work on New Year's Day though as it's a bank holiday?! Unless you're contracted to.

Hope you get it sorted out smile

Cindy34 Sun 27-Dec-15 21:12:34

You are contracted for certain days so not working any of those days would be annual leave, unless you are swapping for a different day. It is unreasonable for to give annual leave and then cancel it at short notice, except in exceptional circumstances. There is flexibility and there is taking the p... this sounds like the latter.

Difficulty is that there is little you can do. You could devise all sorts of systems that need to be followed for having time off, changing arrangements but would mumboss follow them? Sounds like she probably would not, so what is the point. You can say No, you agreed that I have that day off and not turn up, or you go in to work.

If you said you were not able to go in, would she sack you? Unlikely I suspect as not many people would put up with her changing arrangements frequently.

SausageLoverSarah21 Sun 27-Dec-15 21:13:07

Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to comment, sorry I can't reply to everyone.

Yes, It is very stressful not knowing whether she will stick to her plans or not as sometimes she will give me the day off and I will not make any plans and then be stuck at home all day and other times I'll make plans and then she'll ask me to come in.

Yes unfortunately I had a family who I babysat for regularly at least 5-6 times a month who I'd been with for just over a year, I had to cancel on them twice in the past due to MB calling me into work. I haven't heard of this family in about 2 months now which is very unlike them.
It could be that they just don't need me but I genuinely think it's because I've let them down in the past and they just got fed up which I totally understand, So I have lost quite a bit of extra income.

I just think it's silly if she's going to give me a day off but I can't make any plans just incase she changes her mind. I don't really want to live my life that way.

I think the problem is that she doesn't have any family support, her family lives miles away so they can't help her and Dads not in the perfect so I am the only support she has, which makes me feel guilty when I tell her I can't work...

SausageLoverSarah21 Sun 27-Dec-15 21:16:40

Bank Hols no problem she still works them and I agreed that was fine...
It's more just her giving me days off and then changing her mind really...

Cindy34 Sun 27-Dec-15 22:51:05

Don't let her give you days off, only book annual leave. That way maybe she will think more about you not being at work, unable to come in to work, so she has to make other plans.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 27-Dec-15 23:45:15

If she gives you a day off then get it in writing /on a Calender etc

Tho sounds like you are having extra days off On top of your holiday so tech if she changes her mind and asks you to work you either need to say no you've given me the day off or go and cancel any plans you've made

If you are ok to work bh that's fine. Just make sure you do get 22.4 days off pro rota

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 28-Dec-15 01:27:54

On the flip side of this I was in the position of being one of the other families. Our babysitter cancelled at a day's notice because her nanny employer wanted her to work. It was infuriating because I had to miss an important GP appointment I had waited ages for and one of the dc's parents' evening plus an important charity social thing. I didn't book the babysitter again - what's the point if you can't rely on them? I book a babysitter to enable me to do stuff I can't do with the kids around and one who cancels is no good to me.

If your Mb is giving you one of your regular days off as extra paid leave then I think you need to stop thinking of it as your time. While she's paying it's her time. Arrange your babysitting on any of the other evenings or just take on jobs that finish at 11pm or whatever.

If mb is expecting to pay you for 4 days while swapping them about then you need to have a discussion about how that will work and what sort of notice is reasonable. If, for example, MB asked to swap your usual Tuesday for Wednesday at very short notice you could consider saying "sorry, that's too short notice, I can't do it". If she says "I don't need you on Saturday in 3 weeks time and I don't need you to swap to another day so just have it off paid" then you can say "great, thank you very much. If you change your mind or something comes up can you let me know by X date please, because I'm going to make plans I can't change after that.".

Messing people about is not on.

Why are you going in on Wednesday? That's not one of your days confused

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