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terrible payment muddle, please advise!

(39 Posts)
whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 10:53:49

have changed my name, just in case.

Lovely CM, all going really well, though she's had some time off and because we've not adjusted payments, she 'owes' me several days work which she's now working off gradually by doing a few extra hours each week: all fine, happy with that.

My work gives me a contribution towards childcare costs, and because of me being inefficient etc. they have paid 9 months in a block, which comes to about £800. I have just discovered, after ENDLESS pestering, that they sent cheques for a total of £800 straight to CM, without telling me (though I asked them to), without a proper covering note giving my/child's name back in AUGUST. CM has said NOTHING to me about this.

I'm seeing her for the first time this afternoon since this all came to light, and I really don't know what to do. She effectively now owes me 2 months pay, and I don't know how to manage this. I'm very upset about it all, because I feel my work has put me in an impossible position, and that a good relationship will be threatened by this mess.

CMs (or other mums!), what would you want a parent to do in these circumstances? How can we resolve this situation? I can't write this money off, it's only partly grant, and I pay tax on it, AND to add insult to injury they've over-paid me and I have to give some back...

Flossish Tue 21-Oct-08 10:56:51

i think you just need to say that work have only just told you a cheque was sent - take it from there?

I'm not totally sure I'm understanding it all tbh!

countPINKCHICKula Tue 21-Oct-08 10:59:15

id ring cm and ask for 5 mins when you drop off today, i would take with me letter, or even write down yourself if you havent got one, what you've been told now and whats happend!
If there was no letter with this chq she may have A-sent it back or B- obv not known it was your CC payments and spent it..either way it WAS your CC payments and you both need to discuss how you will sort it out via refund or whatever, speak to her, dont TELL her what she will be doing, she may well have spent the money now and wont actually HAVE it to pay you back!..i would def get all this confirmed by the people who send chq though!

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:01:15

Thanks Flossish. I guess you're right, and I do have to say that. The thing is, it's a hell of a lot of money, and if I say oh, sorry, you now owe me £800 and I won't pay you till that's paid off, then I won't be paying her anything till CHRISTMAS. Which is ridiculous. And seems unfair to me.
Though why she didn't even ask me about this weird cheque that turned up, I don't know...

KatyMac Tue 21-Oct-08 11:03:03

Did she cash it? or was it just sent?

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:03:22

countpinkchick - thank you too. Cheque has been cashed, and I would guess spent - who wouldn't spend a windfall like that? Really hard just to put it away. That's what I'm concerned about, that she won't HAVE the money, and that 'docking' her pay, even just to half rate for the next AGES is going to make things tight. And nasty. And Christmas is coming...

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:04:06

(oh, can't be certain that she cashed it, it could I suppose have been done fraudulently, but Finance says it has been cashed...)

countPINKCHICKula Tue 21-Oct-08 11:09:09

I can imagine it WILL be hard for her if she HAS spent that money and you have both only NOW just found out that these idiots sent her this lovely cheque with NO cover letter to say who it was from, BUT ATEOTD, it WAS your child care payment and you cant afford to pay her twice!..to be totally honest I wouldnt (really) have spent an amount like that without looking into it first for fear of things just like this!..so she MAY still have it/some..good lucksmile

countPINKCHICKula Tue 21-Oct-08 11:10:27

you arent docking her money tho chick, it is an awful mic up, but it was your money shes(may) have already spent and no one in their right mind would expect you to pay AGAIN as hard as it may be for her!

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:15:35

i know i know, and thank you for being supportive pinkchick, it's really helpful to have you say that.
i do feel really bad about this though. it feels like all that terrible overpaying tax credits and then clawing it back, which I think is so wrong.
her DH has a good job, so i don't think it'll be a disaster, but still...
And I REALLY don't want what has been an excellent relationship to go sour over this: DC loves her, and I would like him to go on going to her.

oops Tue 21-Oct-08 11:15:42

Message withdrawn

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:21:48

oops, yes, I have to say I agree with you and I worry about that as well.

However, in her defence: the cheque did not have my name, or DC's name on it, and I don't think CM knows where I work. That said, she doesn't look after many children at all, so I think she MUST have guessed the money came from us, surely?! It arrived during her holidays, which were then followed by ours, and a week's sickness, so I didn't see her for a month following when it was sent - might be another bit of explanation?

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 11:47:06

anyone else?

and assuming she IS reasonable about it, and I trust that she will be, what should I suggest?

countPINKCHICKula Tue 21-Oct-08 12:01:01

i think she will be reasonable about it, shes ben paid upfront a huge sum of money and was bound to catch p with her...did the cheque actually say were it was from ie child care tax credits or something??..is so then i have to agree, i would be wondering why she didnt bring it up sooner??

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 21-Oct-08 12:25:34

It all seems a bit odd to me, but as you want the relationship to continue, I think you need to have a chat and get to the bottom of it.

State that as she has received the cheque (interesting to know whether she connected it with you, and if not where she thought the windfall had come from) you estimate that no further payments are due until x December. Ask if she agrees. Then ask if she doesn't, whether that presents any problems.

Good luck.

PS At work we have had someone who was overpaid for 5 months. Said nothing. Sacked for fraud. Went to tribunal and lost. Salutary tale for those who receive "windfalls".

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 13:15:58

gosh, mum22boys, fraud? I'd always imagined that in such circumstances you'd just pay the money back - it wouldn't be fraud. How could they prove you knew about it?
But yes, of course, windfalls do need to be treated with caution...
I'd like to get our feet clear on this, ie her pay me back, or pay nothing till it's all sorted out, but I definitely don't feel I can insist on this.

Just wanted to say, this has been really helpful. And has made me feel much better about not being COMPLETELY in the wrong. Which in turn I hope will mean that I handle the whole situation better - not being too apologetic about it.

SammyK Tue 21-Oct-08 13:36:06

Wow what an odd situation to get into! I too am hmm that CM didn't question it. (I am a cm and a mum)

You need to work out exactly how much you are 'n credit' with her, and then how she will pay it back.

TBH I think it is her own daftness and you shouldn't feel bad about not paying her until her debt is paid off. She is running a business and should know what money is coming in and out, alos you (and the other parents) have all been paying her, with her having 800£ cheque landing on her doormat. Odd. I wuld want to know where £800 had come from!

TheOtherMaryPumpkins Tue 21-Oct-08 13:42:29

Can we not give the CM benefit of the doubt for now and assume she thinks it's just advance payment for childcare rather than bandying terms like fraud about or assuming she will have spent it all?

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 13:48:50

marypumpkins - I guess this thread originated in my putting myself in the CM's position: she has a big family, a lot of (unexpected) calls on money just now, and she's scatty (super-nice though, and DC really loves her). I felt that I'd unwittingly put her in an unreasonable position, and that it would have been perfectly understandable if she had spent the money - it's two months since she got it, after all (bloody work, I have been chasing them about this since BEFORE they sent the cheques out).

What I'm trying to do is to find a way out of this that isn't too painful for her, and which doesn't leave me massively out of pocket. Of course, if she has just put the money into a savings account then all is fine and dandy, and she can just give me a cheque and all goes on as normal. I just know that if I was in her shoes, inevitably, at least some of it would have been eaten away...

whatamuddle Tue 21-Oct-08 13:50:27

of course, though, that's a good way of thinking of it: advance payment.
(problem is, I've been paying her effectively double for 2 months without realising - that's why there's an issue!)

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 21-Oct-08 14:40:46

Just to answer your query re the fraud...I imagine that paying it back might have been an option. However it is not one that the individual pursued. He said he hadn't noticed it which was frankly unbelievable. When I first heard the facts I thought it was harsh to sack him - but the Employment Trib upheld the decision.

Good luck with CM.

lizziemun Tue 21-Oct-08 15:04:16

Can you ask your finance dept to get a copy of the cheque from their bank as it will/should show the account details of where it was banked.

oops Tue 21-Oct-08 15:07:10

Message withdrawn

ActiveC Tue 21-Oct-08 15:07:53

Oops hit the nail on the head!

Whatamuddle, Well done for wanting to be diplomatic abut the situation. However your childminder is a professional business woman. How the heck she didn't question a cheque for £800 I don't know. Surely the cheque had your company name, SHE COULD HAVE MADE ENQUIRIES, BUT CHOOSE NOT TO. I assume that you have been paying her, so you have/ are paying her double.

Tell her straight that you know its been cashed and should she try and plead innocent, tell her you'll report her for fraud.

Was it a crossed cheque? How likely it it that the cheque fell into the hands of another bearing the same full as your childminder.

In my opinon, your cm has one option; to work it off and if she says no, contact the NCMA, who I'm sure will be none to pleased that one of their members has brought its name into disrepute.

I'm a CM and would never do this. Disgusting.

oops Tue 21-Oct-08 15:10:18

Message withdrawn

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