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how many sick days is reasonable for a nanny/childminder?

(22 Posts)
MGMidget Tue 29-Jul-08 00:12:13

If a nanny or childminder works full-time (i.e. 5 days a week)how many sick days a year would you regard as normal/acceptable and is it usual to pay sick leave? Our nanny seems to get sick a lot and according to our contract we can pay her sick pay at our discretion. Have paid sick days until now but starting to wonder if we're being too nice!

Hannah81 Tue 29-Jul-08 00:20:56

do you get sick notes? I have no idea btw, but can you ask for a sick note from her gp?
is it the same problem every time?
I know you can't sack someone for being on the sick, but can you maybe consider a different nanny?
how many days has she been sick this year?

katiepotatie Tue 29-Jul-08 00:24:33

Is it just day here and there? or full weeks at a time?

jura Tue 29-Jul-08 00:25:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MGMidget Tue 29-Jul-08 00:30:20

With tomorrow's sick day included (she's already warned us) she'll have had nearly two weeks off sick during her first four months of employment with us. Never the same reason but I'm not convinced they've all been genuine sick days! Re: the sick note thing - haven't asked for them before now as felt that was a bit 'formal' and also doesn't look very trusting. The contract gives us the option to pay only statutory sick pay (everything else discretionary) and since she's never taken more than three days at once SSP would have been irrelevant up until now. If we exercise our option not to pay her for the first three days of any sickness then we'll just be docking her pay on future occasions. However, I'd really like to know what experience others have had with nanny and childminder sickness as I want to be a reasonable employer!

katiepotatie Tue 29-Jul-08 00:37:24

That is a lot of time off in four months shock, if you think she is at it, then I would be inclined not to pay her, I have been a nanny and worked for a lovely family and never took the piss like that.

MGMidget Tue 29-Jul-08 00:45:40

Yes, I'm starting to think that way - especially as latest reason for 'sickness' is that she had to go to A&E for an injury to her toe today so missed her bus back from the North. She could of course have caught the train. I don't think I would dare ring an employer up and say I wasn't coming to work because I missed my bus back from somewhere unless there was absolutely no reasonable alternative way of making it into work the following day! Not convinced a toe injury stops her doing her job - my son's not that demanding at 10 months!

katiepotatie Tue 29-Jul-08 00:52:15

You may need to find another nanny me thinks hmm What sort of reason is thatshock

SofiaAmes Tue 29-Jul-08 02:48:28

That's ridiculous. My normal rule of thumb for any profession is about 3-5 days in a year. If it's someone with a child who has to take sick days for their child on top of their own, I might make exceptions. But 2 weeks in 4 months is either taking the piss or someone who is not physically fit enough to do the job she has undertaken.

aGalChangedHerName Tue 29-Jul-08 07:14:41

That's a lot of sick time. I am a CM and because i don't get paid when off sick, i have had 3 days in nearly 14 years.

If you don't pay her you may find she just comes to work more often.

squiffy Tue 29-Jul-08 09:52:33

She's taking the p.

Missing the bus home is NOT sick either. She has a legal obligation to turn up for work unless ill. It is her hard cheese if she chooses not to ensure she can come to work on time.

You options are:-

1) Tell her she is getting no more sick pay and leave it at that
2) Give her a formal warning for poor attendance, citing the decision to not come home by train as being entirely within her control and a decision to not turn up for work.
3) Sack her for unacceptable levels of attendance and/or inability to perform her job. As she has served less than one year with you she has no legal recourse against you (even is she did have she would probably have a hard time in a tribunal anyway!)

Personally I would go for option 3 as the other 2 options will leave her resentful and that is not a good place for a nanny-employer relationship. It may shake her into realising that she is in the wrong (especially if you point out to her that any reference you give to a potential future employer will list each and every day of absence and NO person would employ her on the basis of such information, so why should you have to put up with it?)

IME 3-5 days a year would be about acceptable although my current nanny has been with us a year and not taken a single day off.

mummypoppins Tue 29-Jul-08 10:15:59

agree with squiffy.

despite all the problems I have with my nanny she has had 2 days off in 18 months ( and theye were in month 16th ) and she was really ill..........ended up goiing to the doctors for antibiotics for bronchitus.

I don't do sick as an employer. You are either in hospital or at work! LOL

Page62 Tue 29-Jul-08 11:06:41

agree with most posts here.
She is definitely taking the piss
I had a nanny for 2 1/2 years and she took two days off in that entire time as she had a minor operation in the hospital
My current nanny, now nearly two years with has have never taken a day off sick
I honestly can't remember the last time i took a day off sick from work.

imananny Tue 29-Jul-08 11:31:47

i think 2 weeks sick pay is fair, but know many of you will disagree with this, just beacuse it is in my contract DOESNT mean i will take the piss with it (though sure some nannies will) - only time I have been off in my current job (been here over 2 yrs) is when I have been in hospital and on death door sad

Before that - in 15 years of nannying, I have 2 days off sick, again both days in hospital and pre booked in advance

I will go in on death door, and if have a cold, chill out on sofa and have a tv day with kids - mb and db are appreicate that i come in - but generally i am not ill smile

def sounds that your nanny is takeing the piss, 2 weeks in 4mths hmm

as your contract states sick pay is at your discresion, that you need to have a chat with your nanny, and say that no more sick days will be paid unless gets a note from doctor (these cost £15), or wait till she rings up, mention on phone that you are sorry she is ill, and then mention that obv her pay will reflect on pay day, and see what happens - wonder if she will come in

why has she got tomorrow off? Does she know she is going to be ill? grin

MGMidget Tue 29-Jul-08 13:07:45

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think I will let her know tomorrow that her next pay packet will reflect the day off since we feel we've paid for quite a few sick days in a short space of time and sick pay is after all discretionary in her contract. I suspect she will come to work more often after that but I'm starting to think about alternatives anyway as I can't have that degree of unreliability on a regular basis! She's already caused us other problems (mentioned in another posting some of you commented on) regarding what to do with our childcare vouchers as she's changed her mind about OFSTED registration so I'm thinking enough is enough!

fridayschild Tue 29-Jul-08 13:18:32

I think private sector average is 8 days sick a year.

I had a nanny who I suspected took liberties with sick days. Once we started enforcing the SSP terms of her contract her health improved no end hmm

SofiaAmes Tue 29-Jul-08 14:08:58

Is this really someone you want looking after your child. She sounds dishonest and unethical. Surely there is not such a shortage of nannies (or other forms of childcare) that you have to resort to leaving your child with someone who thinks it's ok to lie and cheat and mislead you.

squiffy Tue 29-Jul-08 14:13:18

<penny drops> This isn't the nanny sleeping on a mates floor, is it? Now it all comes together.

Get rid...

flowerybeanbag Tue 29-Jul-08 14:16:55

She doesn't sound like a good nanny, but if you want to keep her, stopping sick pay tends to have a miraculous healing effect on most unnecessary short term absences. You can still decide to pay her if she breaks a leg or comes down with pneumonia or something, but for the odd 'headache' or 'tummy upset', don't pay.

imananny Tue 29-Jul-08 15:19:43

*penny also drops and clinks with me*

didnt reliese who you were

agree with squiffy - get rid of now

Page62 Tue 29-Jul-08 16:01:42

Oh my, that nanny
she's still with you?
get rid! there's enough of them out there!

nannyL Tue 29-Jul-08 19:29:31

in 8 years of nannying until this year i had never had 1 day off sick

then within a year...

i had a day and a half off with proper flu. and on the otehr half of the day i wnet home i really was very poorly and just collapsed on their sofa (different from feeling a bit ill sniffling on sofa)

then i got norovirus courtesy of my 4 year old vomiting directly oevr me twice...
Every single person in that house (including my nanny friend and her charge) got it too.
I ahve never felt so ill in my life,

i was sent straght home on thursday am (my boss said i 'looked green', and made me go home).... that night i was violently sick...
24 hours later i was just poorly i found it a huge effort to evn pick up tthe phone right next to me and call...
I went back to work Tuesday (monday was my day off) and was poorly all weekend and even if i was suppsoed to work on monday i would not have gone in...

then my dad had a stroke and i had 3 days off

2 weeks later i was in a huge car crash and had another whole week off

Have been paid for the whole lot, no questions.
Also claiming back my weeks wages for the car crash from the insurance. My bosses paid me but i strongly feel that the insurance should cover my wages, not them)

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