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Nanny calling in sick

(63 Posts)
LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 08:01:40

Hello just wondering what the view of experienced nannies is regarding calling in sick. I am new to nanny employing but my nanny has called in sick 3 times in the past 3 months and it's been really inconvenient for me having to cancel work meetings with just a couple of hours notice and work late at night to make up the lost time.

Obviously people get sick but what can I do, if anything, to stop keep being left without childcare?

GatherlyGal Mon 25-Apr-16 08:04:43

We've had 4 or 5 nannies over the last 12 yeas and I can remember 2 occasions where they called in sick. Of course people get ill but bring reliable is a very important part of the job.

Is she just having a day off and then ok the next day? It's tough but I would be having a word about the number of absences.

Stillunexpected Mon 25-Apr-16 09:57:46

Time to sit her down and have a chat. Is there a pattern to this illness? Only one day/only Mondays? Does she ever indicate when she returns what the problem has been? She needs to understand that her not turning up is having a major impact on your job and if you are unable to fulfil your role properly the effect will be that she doesn't have a job either! Is she young or inexperienced?

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 10:38:25

Thank you both. There is no pattern so far and she has done a sickness self certificate for me so it seems genuine but it is incredibly inconvenient. She is quite inexperienced, and I'm not sure if she is in it for the long term as she didn't want to do the common core skills course even though I offered to pay for it for her. My DC have bonded really well with her but if I'm honest all these sick days are making me doubt her long term future with our family.

GatherlyGal Mon 25-Apr-16 11:04:22

I think you get a feel for whether she's committed or not and if she isn't she may not hang around for long.

I think you do need to talk to her and explain it is an issue so at least she is aware how much of a problem it is.

I would not be able to tolerate frequent absence as the reason you pay for a nanny is so you don't have to worry about having cover ! See what happens if you have a chat about it - she may not realise how much of a problem it creates for you and may make more of an effort to come to work in future.

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 11:49:15

Yes it does rather grate when I have to pay her and then also use up days of my annual leave and cancel all my work stuff and let other people down. Although its not her fault she's ill and I don't want to sound ungrateful!

I perhaps naively assumed that having a nanny would be easier than using a nursery but so far it has caused a lot of stress and takes up loads of my time when I'm supposed to be at work.

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 11:49:20

Yes it does rather grate when I have to pay her and then also use up days of my annual leave and cancel all my work stuff and let other people down. Although its not her fault she's ill and I don't want to sound ungrateful!

I perhaps naively assumed that having a nanny would be easier than using a nursery but so far it has caused a lot of stress and takes up loads of my time when I'm supposed to be at work.

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 11:49:54

Oops sorry for double post

jannier Mon 25-Apr-16 13:25:28

So has she had had 3 sick days in the last 90 days? Often when we are new to mixing with children we do pick up their bugs so that maybe it and in time it dies down...to be honest if you had used a nursery the chances are you would have taken at least a week or 2 off by now as children entering any type of child filled environment for the first time do tend to pick up a lot of bugs in the first 6 months or so.
I think I would treat someone in the way I would like to be treated, Have you ever had to take time off sick? If so was it assumed that you were swinging the led? Have you any reason to think she's not been ill?

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 14:21:01

Jannier I am not doubting the nanny and of course if she is ill then I would not want nor expect her to work. It's just knowing what to expect or not and whether it was common for nannies to have quite a few sick days when they start a new job. I have not employed a nanny before. I wasn't expecting to have to spend so much time calling round looking for cover but maybe it is just the norm.

Maryann1975 Mon 25-Apr-16 14:42:16

What does her contract say? Are you paying her for sick days? If there is no pay, nanny is more likely to turn up for work. I'm a cm now, but was a nanny and turned up for work really poorly, so as not to let them down. Parents wouldn't mind us having a quiet day and i remember them getting grandma round so I could leave early as I was flagging quite a bit with something I'd caught of the children.
A day off a month seems a lot to be taking of for illness. Where abouts do you live? Some nanny agencies have lists of emergency nannies (I did this a bit in one job as it was part time) and can get someone at very short notice. Downside is your child wouldn't know the nanny, but it could work if you were desperate.

Stillunexpected Mon 25-Apr-16 15:48:55

If you are paying her in full for sick days, you may want to revise that for future nannies. Many contracts specify SSP only although in practice many families will make the amount up to full pay if nanny is not ill very often. That is certainly what we used to do which meant we wouldn't suffer unduly if we had a nanny who was frequently missing days. The reality was we made the amount up on the rare occasions over about 10 years of having nannies if they were ill. If your contract does not specify full pay, I would also discuss with her that you cannot afford to keep this up. Presumably you cannot continue taking annual leave so at some point you will have to pay twice for childcare if she is ill.

nannynick Mon 25-Apr-16 16:08:57

As a nanny I am not sure if I have had any sick days in the last 10 years. Perhaps I am just lucky not to get ill to an extent where I feel I can not come to work.

Illness can strike at anytime, though often in the evening/overnight so late notice alas is common.

ArcheryAnnie Mon 25-Apr-16 16:09:41

Bit horrified at the people suggesting that you not pay sick pay to a genuinely ill nanny - sick pay is a pretty basic part of being a halfway decent employer.

If you think your nanny is genuinely ill, then of course you should pay sick pay. If you don't think your nanny is genuinely ill, then that's the problem that needs addressing.

Nannies do get ill, like everyone else - some more than others. If your nanny is genuinely ill, and if you do not want to live with the inconvenience, then perhaps a nursery would be better.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 25-Apr-16 16:15:18

Depends what she had,if it was sickness and diahorrea of course she couldn't come in,if it was a bit if a sniffle then you need to have a chat.

The PP is right, if your child was in nursery you'd more than likely be off due to them being exposed to new nursery bugs.

I also think Janier is right, people get sick and as an employer you have to factor that in.

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 16:42:29

I'm going to check the contract but so far I have paid full pay for all sick days (and then paid on top for cover/taken annual leave). The sicknesses are all contagious or have meant the nanny is not able to perform her duties so she has not come to work at all some weeks, which is fine in itself and what I would tell my office staff as well. The issue is more being repeatedly left with no cover and wondering if it's normal.

I have no family I can call on in emergencies so it impacts my and DH work a lot with being off so much.

Stillunexpected Mon 25-Apr-16 17:39:33

Wait, I thought she had taken three single days off in three months - are you saying that some of those absences have been full weeks?! How on earth are you managing to function with so much absence, surely it is only a matter of time until it becomes a problem for either you or your DH at work?

LovelyTrees Mon 25-Apr-16 18:15:01

Luckily I saved up a lot of annual leave from when I was on mat leave otherwise we would be lost but I'm running out now hence my question today!

The first absence was 3 days, the second was a whole week and this time looks like at least 3 days but might be longer as she has something very contagious and unable to work/on medication.

fingles Mon 25-Apr-16 18:17:40

She is taking the piss, imo.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 25-Apr-16 18:23:55

she didnt want to do a common core course tho you would pay for it hmm

that would ring alarm bells for me

does she have any quals in childcare at all?

you are paying her full pay every time she is ill, check contract? and stop paying full pay if doesnt say it

ive always had sick pay in my contract but i dont take the piss with it, tbh think had 2 days off over 25yrs both due to having cancer cells removed

and one 3 week period off work due to blood clot going to lung and collapsing it and 2 weeks in hospital

i think she is pulling a fast one

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 25-Apr-16 18:24:33

tho in answer, you get a temp nanny in, work from home, beg other mums who know who have nannies etc

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 25-Apr-16 18:31:13

I thought you meant 3 single days OP!

Akire Mon 25-Apr-16 18:40:42

I employ carers so similar sort of thing- at first I would pay full sick because that's decent right? But people did take the biscuit so now I only pay Satatory sick pay around £72 a week and then it's not paid for the first 4 days. Unless it's someone who has been with me for years and had excellent record and just happens to have run of bad luck.

The HMRC website have downloadable sick record forms and advice on what counts as days from same sickness (it gets confusing if it's within certain amount of time of last one) also advice how to run SSP

Unfortunately I've had to let people go who just get sick all the time, I'm sure they weren't putting it all on but I relied on them to get up and dressed if they didn't come I would be stuck for that day. Some jobs you just need people to be mostly reliable and if they are taking time off every month without fail they can't hold up their side of the contract either.

PotOfYoghurt Mon 25-Apr-16 19:19:00

God I thought you meant 3 days as well, I was sitting with YABU until you clarified!

That really is ridiculous, I think the only time I haven't been in to work in the last 6 years is when I've been in hospital, and once when I had D&V from food poisoning so badly that I was fainting from dehydration and was worried I would drop the baby.

Most employers are very fair in having quiet days when the nanny isn't feeling well. Your nanny may indeed be quite ill for all we behind screens know, but it does sound like she's taking the piss.

Have a chat.

nannynick Mon 25-Apr-16 19:25:30

Why is she getting these illnesses? Is there something about where she is living which is making her catch these? Getting something is something that happens but getting things on a regular basis does begin to point towards there being an issue - perhaps with hygiene, living accommodation, food, who she socialises with. You can't do much about these things (except for hygiene which may some education in to good hygiene practices) but she should be looking at any potential cause for these illnesses. It may be just bad luck but there may be things that could be improved which would reduce risk.

Is the nanny new to the country and thus potentially picking up viruses they have not encountered before?

Useful booklet from ACAS on managing attendance (pdf).

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