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Are my employers being unfair?

(62 Posts)
JonasRose Tue 10-May-16 23:53:51

Hi everyone! I'm new to this so please bare with.. I've been a nanny to two lovely young boys for the past year and have got along well with the parents. I work 50 hours a week, although most weeks I end up staying late and bite my tongue every time without fail.
In September 2015 my dear Nan whom I was incredibly close to past away at the grand age of 89.. I was distraught by this and told my employers I needed some time to myself. Not including the day she passed away, I was given one day off paid. I suggested I would have liked more time but they went on about alternative childcare and their workloads to the point where I felt too bad to not come in. With bloodshot and puffy eyes I came in.

I have been ill over the year for just 4 days, (2 days on 2 different occasions) where I was hospitalised, and 3 days with a fractured ankle after which I ended up coming in on crutches for weeks with no complaints.

This Monday just gone my only cousin just 26 years of age passed away unexpectedly when some surgery went wrong and caused a horrendous infection in her body and blood. I was off on Monday at the hospital with my family and after she past away I let my employers know I needed some time to myself, to which they replied "Sorry for your loss. See you Wednesday." I was shocked and didn't reply until Tuesday afternoon when I informed them I was not ready just yet to come back so soon and apologised repeatedly for the inconvenience.. After this I received a long paragraph stating money difficulties in paying me for days off and paying for alternative childcare and that they would no longer be paying for any bereavement days off and no more SSP. Once again they also made a point of their workloads and now that I need to be on Thursday.

My sister is a nanny and her family have been much more accommodating and understanding. I suppose a second opinion is what I'm after. Thanks in advance!

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 00:02:04

One more thing to add to this is that the Dad works from home, takes the oldest child to school and picks up almost everyday without fail.. On the occasions when I have been off from work the oldest has had play dates to save childcare costs and the youngest has gone to a local childminder within walking distance of the house and school.. On various occasions, the dad has been asleep in bed during the day and often blares his music on the surround system all day, yet I never speak of this..
In December 2015 I was denied of a weeks holiday with my family as they said "this time of year our workloads are ridiculous" and I didn't complain once.. I've worked there a year and have never taken my own holiday because I've been made to feel so bad about my SSP time off and my Nans death.

Opinions from nanny's and parents welcome!

OutToGetYou Wed 11-May-16 00:08:40

To be honest, from a legal perspective, giving you any time off is kindness.

Can you take holiday, you are entitled to 28 paid days a year.

OutToGetYou Wed 11-May-16 00:10:21

Sorry, missed your holiday comment. You are legally entitled to 28 days paid leave. Ask them what notice they want from you to book it and then book it.

Tell them you are entitled to it. They can turn it down for operational reasons but not forever. If they turn it down ask when they think you should take it.

BlueStringPudding Wed 11-May-16 00:15:30

I work for a large corporate and it is standard only to have time off due to bereavement where it is an immediate family member, ie parent, child or sibling.

So in the situation you describe we would be expected to take any time off as holiday, assuming it is convenient to take it from a business perspective.

So I don't think your employers are being unreasonable. Did you suggest that you would take the time off as holiday? It is really awkward to find childcare at short notice and this is just as important if you work from home, as you still need to work.

I am very sorry to hear about your cousin, that must have been a dreadful time.

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Wed 11-May-16 00:19:16

You're confusing different issues. You aren't entitled to days off for deaths of extended family members. They didn't have to give you any paid time off at all. Neither is it your concern you being off costs them in childcare cover. If you have problems with noise etc you should deal with it properly, it is unrelated.
So is your holiday, you need to book your full annual leave properly and take it, however they don't have to let you have it when eve r you like, which is common to many jobs.
You don't seem to be approaching this job very professionally.

ChablisTyrant Wed 11-May-16 00:23:04

I employ a nanny and I'm afraid I would also expect them to take annual leave if they wanted time off to deal with the deaths of indirect family. It is harsh but absolutely standard practice.

And I don't like your comments about what the father chooses to do with his time while you are employed. It is none of your business. He may sleep and play music because he likes working in the evenings. Regardless, you have a job to do.

It's absolutely none of your business what DadBoss does with his day, you're there to do your job regardless.

In any job you have you can only take holiday when it works for everyone, I can't take holidays in May or November because my bosses workload is ridiculous then. It's just one of those things.

I'm sorry for your loss, but in any job I've worked in, you don't get time off for a death in the family unless its parent/child/sibling...it's not unusual nor is it unfair of them

Alanna1 Wed 11-May-16 07:47:36

I don't think your employers should have to pay you, but they should give you time off unpaid. You should also get overtime if they are regularly late in my opinion - at least that's what I do. We have a 15 minute buffer but I pay overtime after that.

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 08:22:32

BlueAtringPudding - Holiday has to be booked with a months notice which is what I did do in November when I wanted a week off in December but was denied of this. I wasnt told their would be months I couldnt take holiday when I applied/got the job. Unfortunately it deems very difficult to get any time off and I feel bad for asking now which I don't think I should.

Thank you for your condolence.

WellErrr Wed 11-May-16 08:28:12

If it's not s good fit then look for a new job.

Sorry for your loss flowers

MadHattersWineParty Wed 11-May-16 08:33:25

Should be 50/50 as across or of thumb re holiday, although it doesn't always work out like that in practice. I'm a nanny and have had numerous holiday requests turned down as not convenient to my employer. We usually manage to compromise and age is generous over Christmas to be fair.

Any paid bereavement time off is at their discretion- as with any employer, lots of workplaces are the same. I know this sounds harsh but your bereavement and subsequent time off just leaves them in the lurch childcare wise and means they may be paying double to get a temp in or piss off their own employers. It's a delicate balancing act. If it was me (and it has been) I'd be expected to come in, maybe get to leave early, or have a bit of a related day with the children but I'd still have to be there and functioning. Same as if you were responsible for your own children after a bereavement.

You do have a legal requirement to holiday- they should know that, so try and get some guidelines down in writing for that- do you have any kind of contract?

Sorry for your losses flowers

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 08:34:21

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou -
I'm sorry you feel this way but I can assure you I am very professional about my job and have never disagreed or caused any problems in this position..
It has deemed very difficult to take any holiday and it seems as though I am expected to not take holiday anymore because of the time I have had off for being in hospital.

I never once said I was entitled to bereavement pay for extended family members and I do understand any pay they have given me beforehand is down to pure kindness.
It is a hard time right now for me and all I would have liked was a little understanding in having some time to get my head around things rather then be rushed back into work and I do feel as though I'm being forced.
Also, to your comment about alternative childcare costs I'm not sure what you meant here but I have never said anything about this, it is my employers that are telling me they cannot afford to pay myself and alternative on days I am off from now on. Which again relates back to taking holiday as they will need to find alternative.
Thanks.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 11-May-16 08:34:41

Ffs autocorrect. I mean have a quiet day with the children of I was feeling delicate after a family loss.

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 08:41:55

ChablisTyrant -
I do appreciate your comment in saying it is none of my business but when I am in your home 50 hours a week I would feel more understanding about not being allowed to take holiday if things were otherwise. There have been times where I've hardly been needed for the whole day as the Dad comes and plays with the kids, does the school pick up and drop offs and has even cooked at points.
Feeling like Im not being allowed to take time off (unpaid even) for anything and being denied holiday seems unfair to me.
Thanks for your comment.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Wed 11-May-16 08:50:57

Sorry for your loss but I agree that your employers don't sound U. 7 days off sick (I think?) over a year is rather a lot. It's more than double the number of days I have taken in the last 5 years, for example. Of course you can't help being ill, but with the bereavement time added in they may just be getting a bit exasperated.

It's much easier for them to plan for your holidays if you give them plenty of notice. They may be planning to cover that with their own AL so I think you should try to see a month's notice as a minimum really. It will be costing them an awful lot to arrange last minute childcare - it's not your "problem" but I think showing some appreciation of this would go a long way towards creating more goodwill.

At the end of the day, your job is to look after their kids and they are left up shit creek every time you don't show up for work. However I do think you should speak to them about booking holidays and agree a process for that - they don't seem to be making sure that you actually take your leave, which any decent employer should do.

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 08:50:58

IHOPEYOUSTEPONALEGOPIECE -
Thanks for your comment.
On various occasions DB has played with the children, come along to activities and even cooked at points along with doing school run everyday. I'm sorry but I didn't sign up for a shared charge role and I like to feel needed in my job just as I'm sure most people do.
I am not asking for paid time off, nor have I ever asked for it. All I was trying to explain is that I would have liked to have been able to take some time to get my head around things before returning. I'm not asking for anything unreasonable in my opinion. It would have been nice to have been spoken to with a bit of compassion and not have been hit with all their financial difficulties for when I am not around.

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 08:59:41

MadHattersWineParty -
Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate it.
It is completely at their discretion of course and this is stated in my contact. It is not about the money for me, I am happy to take this time unpaid but the text I was sent stated "if you don't come in after today were not paying you and we're not obliged to." - This to me feels like a threat in hopes of me turning around and saying that I've changed my mind and will be in. With or without pay, I have just lost someone very close to me and need my time. We all deal with loss differently.

As with holiday, now they are saying they can't afford alternative childcare and to pay me at the same time I'm not sure how I will even take holiday? Any suggestions?

MadHattersWineParty Wed 11-May-16 09:01:42

The shared-care problems you're having are a separate issue.

It doesn't sound like you're happy in the job overall. Do you have any sort of appraisal? They probably have things they'd like to raise too and it can be tricky to arrange a time to chat if the kids are usually around.

The problem is a nanny is needed to be absolutely reliable. I know we're human and sometimes life doesn't work out that way. But there's no escaping the fact that if we don't/can't turn up for work without being able to give much notice, that can cause quite a few problems for our employers. Are both the kids at school? Ie, do you get downtime during the day where you can have a bit of quiet reflection after your recent loss?

MadHattersWineParty Wed 11-May-16 09:05:05

Holiday is a legal requirement- they need to sort that and try and compromise a time where it could fall in with their own annual leave- so they're not paying you and a temp or whatever. They are surely taking holiday at some point during the year, at the very least they need to plan for it to coincide with when you can have your own time off. I couldn't take time off in June even though I asked in January. Five months notice! Frustrating but I was given the holiday at another time.

Twasthecatthatdidit Wed 11-May-16 09:08:40

12 days at very short notice in one year is a hell of a lot. It really is a very unfortunate run of luck for you, but it would be an absolute disaster for us if we had such an unreliable nanny. I'm considering getting a nanny but a story like this would really put me off. I'm very sorry for your losses though. I can see where they're coming from though

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 09:10:18

YoingGirlGrowingOld -
Thanks for your comment, and thank you for shining some light on both perspectives. I appreciate it a lot.

In November I gave over a months notice for the holiday I wanted to take in December. I was denied of this. I had no previous knowledge that there would be months that their workload left me unable to take my time off. This I found disheartening.

I understand my time off leaves them in the lurch, as you said it is not my fault when I am ill but I do always show appreciation without fail and I've felt awful when I have been off. - I was hospitalised twice for dehydration once and food poisoning another, I felt awful for letting them down but I do feel as though I shouldn't be made to feel awful for when I am unwell.

Also, they do have alternative childcare who is a family friend that is a childminder that lives on the same road as them. They told me yesterday they pay £79 a day for alternative childcare and that is actually more than they pay me net. I didn't ask for figures, I was thrown them when I asked for one more day off.

I'm just trying to find a balance and figure out if I'm wrong for feeling this way or if I wouldn't be the only one.
Hope to hear from you again smile

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 09:17:51

MadHattersWineParty -

They don't have any holiday booked as of yet.
5 months notice and still denied must have left you feeling very disheartened! If they had told me there would be months when I couldn't take holiday I would completely understand but it just seems like my time off has stopped me from being allowed my holiday.
I admit I don't have much of a backbone and sometimes I do just smile and say "no problem."
The smallest child is 3 years old and he is with me all day, (he doesn't nap) so there's no time really.

I will check my contract in regards to Appraisals but MB is hardly ever around so I'm unsure when they'd even find the time for that either.

MrsFogi Wed 11-May-16 09:18:01

No I'm afraid I'm with your employer here - you have had a significant amount of sickness, whilst it may feel tough you should be taking annual leave if you want time to yourself after a bereavement for an indirect family member, you seem to be look for points to back up your point of view (whether the father works at home, what he does whilst you are working, distance of local childminder are all irrelevant) they are paying you to do a job and in return expect a reliable and non-judgemental nanny.

JonasRose Wed 11-May-16 09:31:55

Twaathecatthatdidit -

I find your comment quite hurtful. Maybe I am being defensive but I asked for some advice on this post, not to be told I am the reason you would be put off having a nanny.. I would neve take time off for anything unreasonable, I was in hospital on 2 occasions and the other 2 are family deaths. These things happen in life to anyone. I shouldn't be deemed as unreliable when someone in my family dies and I need a day to pull myself together, nor should I when I am sat in a hospital ward. I work very hard and adore the 2 boys I care for and we are incredibly close. They are safe and happy in my care. I have grown to love them and will be very sad to leave when the day comes.

Illness and death are unexpected, I cannot inform my employers of who may pass away or when I will be ill. It's life. You will find things can happen to anyone at any point.. Even a nanny that has never taken a day off in her life before.
Good luck in your search for childcare.

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