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Taking advantage of Live In Nanny

(213 Posts)
ReasonablyIntelligent Thu 18-Feb-16 17:45:34

Hi all,
I'm looking for some advise on how to deal with my Employer as I'm becoming increasingly unhappy in my position.

I am contracted to work 48 hours a week, Mon to Fri - I am aware that this is unusually low hours for a Nanny, a week typically being 60, so I am grateful for that.
However, since I started (4 months ago) I have yet to work a 48 hour week.
I live in a granny flat attached to the family home so obviously don't have a commute and am easily accessible.
It started off with Mum asking me if I minded staying an extra half an hour at the end of the day, always very apologetic. So instead of finishing at 5.30/6.00 I would finish at 6.30. Fine, don't mind staying late if she really needs it once in a while.
Now, however, 6.30 seem to be my default finish time, and I actually now consider it to be an early finish as 7.00/7.30 is more common.

This isn't so much "asked" nowadays as "told" and since Christmas there has only been 2 weekends that I've had the full two days off. Most of the Sundays had been booked in advanced - fair enough - but almost every weekend now I've been asked to work "just a few hours" so that the Mum can catch up on work. The problem with this is that we live extremely rurally and I don't have a car* which means I rely on public transport. By working even a few hours - my entire day is taken over, as I have to plan around the time and rarely can go out, in case it'd make me late. I also feel uncomfortable knowing I have to be back for a certain time so generally don't risk going out anyway.

I'm also feeling quite put upon because this extra work that my Boss is having to complete could easily be done in her working hours but she spends a lot of time during the day fussing over me or getting distracted by the baby. She must spend about an hour in 10 minute increments throughout the day just basically faffing with the baby.

*The job I applied for was offering a separate apartment away from the house and a separate car - neither of which actually happened. They had trouble with their first nanny and I think didn't want to make more financial commitment early on (fair enough) and said that it'd be something they look after I'd settled in.

Anyway, sorry for the essay! Am I being completely ungrateful and unreasonable? I feel so trapped (we're in a very rural area in a foreign country where I don't speak the language) as I just don't seem to ever be away from work.

Duckdeamon Thu 18-Feb-16 17:48:19

YANBU. It sounds like they are poor employers: in your shoes I would be looking for a new job.

Have you been paid for the extra hours?

Duckdeamon Thu 18-Feb-16 17:49:21

You could start by refusing any hours at all during your days off without a decent amount of notice.

ReasonablyIntelligent Thu 18-Feb-16 18:02:17

I do get paid for the extra hours - I would be away like a shot if I didn't.
This week I will have done 20 hours overtime. Next week I'm scheduled to do at least 48 overtime!
You could argue that its a good thing as it does make up a significant chunk of my income...

I tried to refuse the hours for this Saturday but was met with such an atomosphere.
I get the impression that I'm meant to do the overtime, as in - that's what I'm there for as a Live In Nanny.

I'm trying to make friends and do some dating but everytime I'm asked out I can't go. I actually worked out that I don't have a free weekend until the end of May! (two of those weekends are me going home though, tbf)

magpie17 Thu 18-Feb-16 18:11:12

Could you ask for a 'meeting' (they are your employer after all) to discuss your working pattern? Just explain, like you have here, that you feel that the terms of your contract are not being adhered to and whilst you are happy to accommodate some overtime, you really don't want to do it every day/week.

Think about what you are willing to do so you have a starting point for negotiations. E.g are you happy to do the hours but want the car your were supposed to have? Would you agree to all overtime during the week, but want at least one day free at the weekend?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 18-Feb-16 20:05:57

do you have a contract?

you agreed to 48 mon to fri so 9.5hr day roughly

often live in do 2 nights bs a week in the agreed salary so late finishs could be then

weekends i would say no

and also discuss the car/use of theirs

sadly sounds like they are shit employers and if like this now they wont improve and i would look for another job

if it does improve then no need to accept any job offers but doesnt hurt to look

Duckdeamon Thu 18-Feb-16 23:09:41

Ignore the "atmosphere": arrange those dates! Or meeting friends or whatever. Don't sacrifice your free time to this job.

Is there any reason not to just seek a different job?

Surely that much overtime is in breach of the working time rules (if you're in Europe).

ReasonablyIntelligent Fri 19-Feb-16 08:51:15

This is not going to help my cause but I do get paid a lot, more than I would as a live out in London, so maybe that some where the attitude comes from.
But the pay is pretty standard for an international position.

I have kept my eye on job listing to be honest. I'm renewing my first aid certificate in March and have been looking at CPD I can do to enhance my CV which would potential push my rate up so I wouldn't be taking such a salary hit if I came back to the UK (I'm becoming a Makaton Tutor first of all and then later in the year a Life Guard too).

I'm glad to know people don't think I'm being a cowbag (unless news of my salary changes things! 😕)

Duckdeamon Fri 19-Feb-16 08:58:45

The salary you were offered was for the terms you were offered, but they haven't been honoured.

ReasonablyIntelligent Sat 20-Feb-16 19:39:37

I feel even worse now, I was meant to be working this afternoon but by the time it came around I was so tired and worn down I could barely cope. After about half an hour I asked the Mum if she really needed me this afternoon as I was really tired and not feeling 100%, and as I won't have a full day off until mid Mar.
She was really really angry as I'd landed it on her last minute (which I know I shouldn't have done but I just couldn't cope). I tried to back track and stay working but she wouldn't let me and now I feel awful.

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Feb-16 19:41:38

She's really unfair. It's so much easier if you have a home away from the family home so you can put your coat on and just go; if you're nearby it can so easily be abused.

What did she need you for this afternoon?

Pretendingtobe31 Sat 20-Feb-16 19:44:33

Time to have a clear conversation. I know that's tough - but this is business, not personal.

You deserve time off and you need to make that clear to them.

You need to have the conversation (not chat!) with a copy of contract in front of you. And point of the glaring problems

ReasonablyIntelligent Sat 20-Feb-16 19:52:57

There's loads more problems as well. She's super germphobic so the baby and I are not really allowed to leave the house, except for 1 walk a day in the woods and one trip a week to playgroup. The rest of the time we have to stay indoors, where she's working from home and often comes and intervenes. I find this really difficult.
She needed me this afternoon because she has a work deadline and I know this is really unfair of me but she had a 2 hour hairdresser appointment this week, did an hour and a half at the home gym everyday and went swimming twice (2 hours each time) plus the usual fuss over the baby during the day - and so part of me was really resentful for having to work this afternoon. (Not my business though, I realise that).

ZenNudist Sat 20-Feb-16 19:57:11

I was going to suggest constructive things to help but actually sounds like you've been put under too much pressure.

Step 1 start looking for another job. Step 2, knowing about step 1 stop worrying about offending them and take your time back. Sit her down, tell her that the overtime has become onerous and you need to have a weekend off. You could also request car so that you aren't tied to the house when you work a few hours at weekends. That could be your fallback negotiating position that you will still do 2 hours on a Saturday in the understanding that you are given a car to get out and about.

Keep it friendly but professional. Know what your requests are and remind then if the terms if your contract. Your aim is to improve the situation you find yourself in until another role comes along. If it does improve and you stop feeling so isolated and miserable then you might end up staying but I'm not hopeful.

Also learn to say no. Stop agreeing to any extra every single time it is asked for. Routinely say no. As for evenings you could say that you will be finishing at x time and you would appreciate her making an effort to stick to it.

Tell her that just because they can offer payment they can't expect to monopolise your time.

shock sad for you... flowers

ZenNudist Sat 20-Feb-16 19:59:48

Just read your last post. An joe angry for you. That's awful that she gets all that time to herself whilst you do your job then does her job whilst forcing you to do overtime. I was originally sympathetic to workaholic and letting work take over her life behaviour but actually she gets to enjoy some leisure ... You deserve that too!!!

ReasonablyIntelligent Sat 20-Feb-16 20:03:49

Thank you, I'll make sure to do that.
I have been keeping my eye on job ads but I'm reluctant to leave here too early because it'll look bad on my CV, and if I left on a bad note there's obviously the lack of reference too.
(To cut a very long story short, my last Nanny position will not give me a reference. I was there for 2 years and caught the Dad beating his youngest son with a belt and had to report him to the police - so I'd have no references for my previous two jobs which obviously looks super dodgy).

I don't think the Mum sees the swimming and gym as leisure time as the physio has recommended she do it (I think) because she has a bad back.

selly24 Sun 21-Feb-16 01:27:50

Ask for a review so you can chat, ask how they think all going and you can air your concerns. Any hours outside contracted hrs are at your discretion and I hope you are paid for ?
Do explain the hassle of having to be available in in middle of weekend day and stress on using public transport- car would make this easier so maybe they will get a car for you once you have have explained ...
Be direct and clearly explain your point of view.

ZenNudist Sun 21-Feb-16 09:34:45

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to stay in the job for a reference it's going to wear you down and make you feel trapped.

Even if you do want to stay longer you've got to say no more often and stop being guilt tripped into no leisure time. Set your own boundaries. No one else will.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 23-Feb-16 13:34:38

They had trouble with their first nanny
Did they? I can't imagine why..... You could bend over backwards for this family by the sound of it and as and when you choose to leave I think it is highly unlikely it will go down well.

Couple of points:
What the mum does during her "working day" is irrelevant and for the love of god don't raise that as an issue. She and her husband will need to find the time to allow her to work late if she needs to do other things within your contracted working hours.
You were contractually promised certain hours and the use of a car. Both have not been honoured and you have presumably passed your probation period? If you are still within that probation period then now is a good time to raise the issues as your notice period should be shorter?

Its time for a chat/3 month review whatever
Simply put, you are happy to extend your contracted hours up to a point but will require sufficient time off to recharge your batteries and have some sort of a life outside of their family. A car or a serious taxi allowance is a necessity and is actually restricting your ability to flexible because of transport scheduling. You need to state at a minimum how many hours/weekends fully off you need on a weekend. They will need to employ a babysitter/weekend nanny if they really can't manage.

Finally, you are a professional nanny. You should be able to make a case for her child's development that he/she needs to get out and about more. It doesn't all have to be in sweaty, snotty ball pits and soft play. And a car would obviously reduce exposure to germs on nasty public transport.... grin

Were you employed via an agency? It might be helpful to seek their advice?

ReasonablyIntelligent Sun 28-Feb-16 15:37:20

Not sure if I mentioned earlier but when I spoke to my boss about having last Saturday off I said "I won't have another full day off until Mid March"and in amongst her shouting she said I'd have this Sunday off.
Well, it's Sunday and guess who's been working since 8am...
It was meant to be "just 3 or 4 hours" and I'm still here, 7.5hours later sad

Just wanted to whinge! Sorry!

PhoebeMcPeePee Sun 28-Feb-16 22:11:12

I agree with another poster who said get job hunting sharpish and then ask for a formal chat - you can't carry on like this so its time to either confront mb or end up just walking out. In your shoes I would insist:
Sunday's off. Non negotiable and access to car or taxi allowance.

Happy to do paid overtime, but within fixed/pre-agreed hours only - I can't believe you're still working mid afternoon despite being promised a day off. She's really taking the piss here.

I think you also need to try and convince her to let you get on with your job and have a bit more freedom. Whether it's worth pushing this is up to you but I suspect whatever she agrees not much will change here.

Pigeonpost Mon 29-Feb-16 10:13:16

Woah. It just gets worse with every post. They didn't have trouble with their first nanny, she had trouble with them. Get a new job and get out. You can justify the short employment period by saying that the reality of the job wasn't what was promised. It wouldn't put me off as a potential employer.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 29-Feb-16 19:42:08

You didn't get the job via an agency that's a colour and item of clothing?

Things will not change here

You need to leave

Money isn't everything

We have to safeguard so you did the right thing to report ex db. Was that job tho an agency. Can they give you a ref or the mum - I'm assuming she supported you : believed her child?

iamtotallyserious Mon 29-Feb-16 19:51:27

This is really bad. I cannot imagine treating a nanny like this. Ours is live out in central London but is also on a very healthy salary. I would not dream of doing what your boss is doing. I would occasionally ask her to stay an extra 15 mins if I was running late or having a shocker and by occasionally I mean maybe once or twice month at the most, but I will often let her leave half an hour early (def more than once a week I reckon) - we just had a new baby and I am on mat leave so bedtime is crunch time at the mo but I don't keep her after hours as she has a life too!

ReasonablyIntelligent Tue 01-Mar-16 09:18:43

Blondes - yes the abusive job was through an agency but they haven't been very supportive at all. In fact I think they went and found them a replacement nanny at a later date...

Despite all of the above, this job has actually been the best job I've had as far as treatment by the parents goes. I've had a lot of nanny jobs and this is the first that has paid overtime, not treated me and the other staff like dirt, not had an abusive parent etc etc.

I'm worried that if I quit I won't find another job where the parents are nice people, let alone one with similar pay. (Not saying all parents are horrible at all, but I've done a lot of nanny jobs and the treatment has all been about the same).

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