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Nanny Pregnancy/Maternity Leave

(81 Posts)
NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:09:21

Our nanny is pregnant, this is now an established pregnancy and we have had sight of her MATB1. She disclosed this pregnancy the week after we employed her - I was and remain really pissed off by this, but accept that it's a risk you take when employing one.

We had discussed the possibility of the nanny returning after maternity leave to provide after school care for our four children and allow her to bring her own baby. I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with this as it becomes more of a reality. Our children are all under 10, our eldest is 9 and has ASD so complex needs that need a lot of specialised care. 2 are toddlers aged 4 and 2. I do not feel that any nanny could provide adequate care in these circumstances if they have their own newborn with them. Nanny wishes to return to work when baby is 6 weeks old hmm

As yet we have been unable to arrange any maternity cover. It may be possible for me to change my hours short term to cover myself but this won't be possible permanently. I'm facing the possibility of having to quit work if we don't accept nanny back as there seems to be no alternative, but I am just not OK with her coming back in this capacity.

Morally I feel that if we make that decision I will need to tell her as soon as possible. What is our legal position here? Presumably if I have to leave work myself we can legally make her redundant as the position really won't exist - but what if I don't? If I can, on the off chance, maintain the reduced hours can redundancy still apply? I recognise that as we've previously verbally agreed I can't offer anyone else then position permanently sad

FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 19:13:49

How about you offer her the exact same job as before which does not include her looking after her own baby. It means you are either in a situation where your nanny just looks after your children (which presumably you will be comfortable with as this is what you employed her to do) or else she will resign because she cannot do it - especially if she does not have any childcare for her baby or cannot afford it. The only problem is that she does not need to tell you of her intention to resign until whatever it is her notice period will be, so you won't have long to employ a replacement.

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:23:14

I'm not sure I can do that if I've previously said it was ok to bring the baby, but now changed my mind though.

KP86 Fri 27-May-16 19:26:49

If you've changed your mind let her know asap. It's only fair.

FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 19:30:17

Have you discussed the possibility with her or have you formally confirmed and made the change to her terms and conditions that after her maternity leave she can bring her newborn with her?

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:41:44

We have discussed, no formal change to her contract at all.

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:42:14

And from those discussions I know that if she cannot bring own child the position is untenable for her.

FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 19:47:07

If there is no formal change then you can just say to her that you have considered her request and regrettably it isn't possible to accommodate. When does her maternity leave start?

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:47:48


FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 19:54:40

I don't think this is particularly ethical or morally right but if you waited until a week or when she began her maternity leave to inform her that she couldn't bring her baby with her when she returned, she would have to immediately hand in her notice (assuming four weeks) because she has to give eight week notice to change her return to work date and would not have enough time to do so. Although, potentially, she could just go off sick...

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 19:57:20

I don't want to be an utter bastard though. Whilst I'm becoming increasingly sure that having a nanny at all may not be for us anyway, I don't want to treat her badly.

FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 20:01:11

Then tell her how that she can't return with her baby and hopefully she will have the decency to also behave well and hand in her notice.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 27-May-16 20:09:00

She hasn't behaved particularly professionally by not telling you about her pregnancy. She might not have too but a nanny is a unique job where if nanny isn't there the parents can't work.

You are allowed to change your mind but you need to tell her straight away.

FishWithABicycle Fri 27-May-16 20:12:13

if she cannot bring own child the position is untenable for her

That's not your problem or your responsibility though. You are legally obliged to keep her position open for her should she wish to return to it but your obligation is only for the same job she had before her mat leave. You have no obligation to alter her contract to allow her to bring her baby to work. It is fairest all around to let her know ASAP that a change of contract isn't an option. She will either hand in her notice, allowing you to recruit someone else, or will (unlikely) make other arrangements for care of her own child.

johendy Fri 27-May-16 20:12:34

In effect, she has informally asked for a change to her working arrangement when she returns from maternity leave and through an exploratory discussion you indicated that this may be possible. You've now had time to consider options and have decided is not feasible.
You are fine legally here (I'm in HR). She hasn't submitted a formal written request for starters and you haven't changed the terms and now want to change them back.
You need to have an honest conversation sooner rather than later and explain why it's not suitable. Legally you have to allow her to return to get current job, which is unlikely.
You may find she stays on maternity leave for the 9 months she's entitled to statutory maternity pay, (even if she doesn't intend to come back) or until she finds another job. This is really hard for your family to work around.

KP86 Fri 27-May-16 20:15:04

I don't blame the nanny for not disclosing her pregnancy. OP, honestly, would you have hired her if she had? If not (somewhat understandably), you would have been committing a discriminatory act.

But you are well within your rights to determine your family's needs and if you cannot accommodate a newborn plus three other children (remembering that baby will be very young, needing lots of naps/quiet/feeding/general attention which will affect what she can do with your other DC) then that's fine as well.

Your nanny can either choose to take a longer maternity leave, find alternative care or quit.

nannynick Fri 27-May-16 20:35:32

If she was pregnant before starting the job she would not be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay. She would need to look at claiming Maternity Allowance.

Your family comes first. Whilst you clearly want to be nice to your nanny, the job may not be possible to do with a young baby added in to the mix.

If you need legal advice, then if your nanny payroll company provides it, do have a chat with the legal helpline - probably need to wait till Tuesday now.

Are you in an area where nannies are uncommon thus why finding a cover nanny is proving hard? You want consistency of carer for your children, so a cover nanny is not ideal, but may be necessary as you do need to follow the process of keeping the job open for your current nanny to return to, on the same terms as before, if they decide to do so.

FuzzyOwl Fri 27-May-16 20:40:56

That depends nanny whether she was working during her qualifying period or not. That is what her SMP eligibility is based upon.

OVienna Fri 27-May-16 20:56:00

Isn't it five children she'd have to look after if she came back with her newborn? Not a goer I shouldn't think.

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 21:02:49

Yes it will be 5 children, the eldest of whom has extensive additional needs. He has violent meltdowns at times and needs very specific attention. We do not have a car to accommodate 5 children, and certainly will not provide one. The nanny is not eligible for SMP, she will need to claim MA.

I really don't want to treat her badly, she's a nice girl, but I do feel we were somewhat taken advantage of. This is my first time returning to work and/or seeking childcare. I, of course, didn't ask if she was pregnant at interview - you can't, but you're right that we wouldn't have employed her if she had disclosed it voluntarily. For this particular type of role, why would we?! She has effectively put my own job at risk with dishonesty, as I'm now in a position where the possible alternative childcare options we had when I first looked are no longer available. We are not in London, or any urban area, we are rural and most mothers stay at home here or work very part time, childcare is extremely limited.

I just don't know what the right, best thing is to do.

OVienna Fri 27-May-16 21:08:01

Is there any chance you have room for a live in nanny?

LittleNelle Fri 27-May-16 21:10:27

FuzzyOwl - why would that force the nanny to hand her notice in? Surely she could still take 9 or 12 months maternity leave?

KP86 Fri 27-May-16 21:11:17

But she wasn't dishonest by not disclosing.

How would you feel if an an employer said that about you, or a friend/relative?

nannynick Fri 27-May-16 21:13:54

We do not have a car to accommodate 5 children, and certainly will not provide one.
That is a good reason for why it would not work.
Transportation issues is something that has to be considered when deciding if a NWOC (nanny with own child) is possible or not. Being in a rural location, there is not going to be public transport that could be used instead.

NatashaRomanoff Fri 27-May-16 21:14:45

I would feel they were correct. I wouldn't take a job when I was pregnant knowing damn well it could risk my boss' position.

No we don't have room for a live in, and even if we did I don't want one.

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