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Would you give this nanny a reference?

(17 Posts)
feelingfedup Thu 28-Aug-08 15:49:02

And what would you say?

Said nanny worked for us for just over 6 months - was not sacked, but left of her own accord (thank goodness).

Nice girl, but not a good nanny - very disorganised - constantly taking baby out without nappies/wipes/changing bag.

Poor timekeeper - lost count of how many times she was late

Kids never really bonded with her - were always desperate to see me, used to cling to me whan I came in the front door.

Spent much of her spare time getting drunk, and telling me how bad her hangover was when she arrived at work the next day.

I know, I know, I should have got rid of her after the first month, but she was going through a messy divorce at the time, and she did demonstrate real affection for the children. Just could not kick her when she was down, so to speak, and luckily she left.

She told me she was not going to do nanny work again as she prefered bar work - which she was probably better suited to, but have now received a message from a family asking for a reference on her suitability to be a nanny.

What should i say?

Should I just confirm the facts - ie dates to and from and say no comment to everything else?

Can I say - she might be better with older children (school age) rather than babies (implying she was not very good with mine).

Would you say anything about the timekeeping, drinking, disorganisation?

bran Thu 28-Aug-08 15:52:14

I would give dates only and give your phone number and ask them to phone you if they have any questions about how well she would suit their family. I think giving a bad reference is legally quite dodgey ground now, but you can say pretty much whatever you want in conversation (so long as it's the truth obviously).

CarGirl Thu 28-Aug-08 15:54:49

I would give a very brief factual reference, one positive attribute - real affection for children and leave it like that, I would hope that the lack of attributes would speak volumes.

MeanBeans Thu 28-Aug-08 15:55:38

I suggest

"X worked from X to X. She took X days sick leave. I would be happy to discuss further."

I wouldn't write anything down that hopefully implies something, because you never know how it will be read and how it might come back to you.

If there is a phonecall, you can then talk about good and bad points (key is to be fair).

MeanBeans Thu 28-Aug-08 15:57:23

PS I'm glad I'm not the only one who put up with a ** nanny.

WideWebWitch Thu 28-Aug-08 15:58:31

Oh please tell them, don't inflict her on someone else! I'd want to know if I was hiring family, wouldn't you? It's all factual, you're not doing anything wrong, just telling the truth.

WideWebWitch Thu 28-Aug-08 15:59:16

You can tell the truth in a reference, search on here, lots of people have posted about it. If you're worried make it verbal.

Stars22 Thu 28-Aug-08 18:11:07

Wickedwaterwitch-I dont think you can give a bad written reference even if it is the truth.

WideWebWitch Thu 28-Aug-08 19:09:36

see this thread re refs, flowerybeanbag is HR person

squiffy Thu 28-Aug-08 19:31:51

it's a bit complicated because (a) you are supposed to give full refs for childcare roles (it's specifically stated in law somewhere) and (b) you are on v dodgy territory if you have complaints but you never raised them at the time with her, and then mention them in a reference. So you can't mention the bad bits, unless you formally pulled her up for them at the time.

I would say in a reference that she was very good natured and the kids were well cared for. Then add that you were surprised she had changed her mind about not wanting to be a nanny any more, especially as she had left you after workign for you for so short a period. I migh tbe tempted to be enigmatic and say something like "It was an interesting experience from which we learnt a lot about nannying, and we very much hope X learnt a lot from the experience too, so that she continues to advance in her skills."

imananny Thu 28-Aug-08 20:31:25

seems a bit scatty to me, and unreliable if late and forgets chnaging bag/nappies

we all go out and get drunk grin- but not the night before working

Something simple stating facts of when she worked for you, and say that your children got on well with her

hopefully they will ring you and ask more questions

you never know she may have improved since she worked for you

CrushWithEyeliner Thu 28-Aug-08 20:33:05

do what MeanBeans says

fridayschild Thu 28-Aug-08 21:50:04

I would be careful what you put in writing and be honest in conversation if they phone you. Basically I agree with mean beans.

Simplyme Thu 28-Aug-08 22:19:51

I would put as little as possible just dates etc! Any parent reading that would be concerned because you haven't elaborated if you know what I mean. Put down your number and then be honest if they phone.

squiffy Fri 29-Aug-08 09:58:53

IF you only give brief outline such as worked from X date to X date, you are not complying with the law (a stiff legal letter from her could force you to elaborate....)

IF you elaborate either by letter or verbally on the phone and say stuff which you have not raised with her in a formal disciplinary situation - even if it is fair - you could be sued by her if her job falls through as a result.

I think flowery is on holiday at the moment as I haven't seen her on the boards, but anyway here is a similar thread where all this stuff was discussed and flowery made some comments.

HarrietTheSpy Fri 29-Aug-08 10:52:43

I agree and was about to say last night before I got turfed off computer, don't ignore Squiffy's comments. Especially with the neutral reference on paper, bad reference verbally.

And I'm probably being paranoid (in a spy sort of way) but how can you be absolutely sure this isn't a friend of hers calling to find out what you MIGHT say to a potential referee? Probably not, but it's something to be alert to. So, you need to be absolutely clear that whatever you do say is consistent with what she was told when she was worjking for you.

feelingfedup Sun 31-Aug-08 11:39:40

many thanks for all the sound advice.
rather than commit myself to paperI rang the number on the ref and took a deep breath.

turns out the job is not a nanny job at all, more of an assistant in a playscheme for primaryschool aged kids.

so i said she was affectionate (true) but her timekeeping needed a bit more work (also true, and somthing I said to her face on many occassions).

feel relieived she is not a (real) nanny anymore.

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