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Nanny termination or redundancy?

(40 Posts)
uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 11:09:51

I'm looking for some advice from employers who have had to let a nanny go, or from nanny's who have been let go. As you can read on other threads, my nanny has developed a rather unacceptable defiance to my instructions. I understand that what does she does because she believes it is in DD’s best interest. But, at the end of the day, DD is MY child and I will make the rules. I also have had a real dilemma on a rather short pending maternity leave. So, in deciding to let her go, this actually allows me an extra month of maternity leave (but this is a side benefit and not really the reason she will be leving). However, in an effort to make things a bit more comfortable around the house from the time I give her notice until such time when she leaves, I am considering making her redundant rather than actually firing her. However, if I make her redundant due to no fault of her own, then she will be in my house unsupervised with sole care of my toddler for four weeks. I am very nervous about this. She has never done anything to make me think she would me malicious or mistreat DD in any way. But, when you make someone redundant, you often find out they have some nasty personality traits you never considered. So, my question is, should I make her redundant or should be honest and tell her the cold hard truth that she is leaving because she refuses to perform her duties as required by the contract? If I do the latter, how much notice should I give? I think I can find plenty of evidence in the contract to support letting her go immediately, but I don’t really want to do that because I think it would be a bit mean.

I think I could convince my BIL to come and live with us for a couple of weeks and sort of supervise the situation just to make sure nothing really bad is going on whilst I’m at work. I’ll talk to him about it tonight (if he’s home… hopefully).

If I made nanny redundant, I was going to wait and do it 4 weeks before I begin maternity leave. But, I’m finding her resistance to my wishes is making me so mad that I just don’t know if it’s really wise to let it drag on for another 2 months (planning to start mat. Leave 22 May). And, I think that all of the stress this is causing is proably not a good thing for pregnancy/baby.

For a bit of background on my nanny troubles, click here

binkie Thu 17-Mar-05 11:25:36

Have you been in contact with ACAS before now? If you are going to call it redundancy you do need to be sure that you are fulfilling the conditions for that. On the other hand, if you are terminating for non-performance you should make sure you have gone through any verbal warning/written warning sequence your contract, written or implied, requires. Sorry, it is complicated - hence ACAS. I hear that its helplines are good, both for employees and employers.

HandbagAddiction Thu 17-Mar-05 11:28:26

Not sure I can be of too much help, given that I am not a nanny and dd is in nursery and therefore, I have never had a need to us one. However, from a human nature point of view, I would think that if she was the type to get vindictive and therefore do something horrid to your dd as you suggest, then it would be more likely to occur if you take the route of giving her notice on the grounds of her defiance, rather than the redundancy route.

You have good grounds to make her redundant given that you will be going on maternity leave yourself and therefore will not need the extra support she provides. Whether you subsequently choose to go back to work or not, that is none of her business. Ok - it will mean you need to hire another nanny, but it will not affect your 'ability' to make her redundant as at this particular point in time, you do not need her.

Hope you manage to sort something out that works for you.

annh Thu 17-Mar-05 11:38:00

Are you using a payroll bureau to manage her tax and pay slips? If so, they will have a helpline who should be able to advise. I certainly feel I pay mine enough to be calling on their support if I ever need to make a nanny redundant. Will be facing a similar-ish situation when ds2 goes to school after summer hols as I cannot afford to have a full-time nanny for only after-school care. Will be watching this with interest to find out the correct way to do things!

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 11:39:11

Not sure about having fulfilled redundancy rules, but as I am headed off on maternity leave, it does seem there is no job for the role. Wil have to look at that link and see if there is a minimum time that there has to be no position. I will only be off work for 3 months.

I have fulfilled the dismissal criteria, which stipulates:
1. verbal warning
2. written warning
3. Dismissal.

I am currently gathering the evidence to give her written warning on Monday morning. If she fails to comply next week -- and I have every expectation that she will fail to comply) then I can dismiss her.

If I do this, how much notice do you think would be fair? I know where I work, you would be dismissed and told to clear your desk by the end of the day, but then my company isn't exactly know for it's compassion.

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 11:43:35

Yes, Annh, we use nannypaye.co.uk (I think that's the address?). But, they aren't the greates in the world. They seem a bit too relaxed about things... like when they forgot to send me a slip for my taxes due to IR. I was a bit panicky and he just said, oh don't worry, it's just a pink slip. I'm considering switching to nannytax, but they are twice the price.

RE: your timing... hmmm.... I'll be needing a new nanny about the time you need to get rid of yours. What's she like?

RTKangaMummy Thu 17-Mar-05 11:47:16

How have you prepared DD for the departure?

Have you explained what is going to happen?

How bright is she?

eg how is her language?

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 11:54:29

ugh... I haven't!

This has occurred to me, but I do not yet have a plan. And she is defintely not smart enough to comprehend any explanation. "Nanny all gone" is about all she will understand.

bundle Thu 17-Mar-05 11:57:25

i can't understand why you'd want her looking after your daughter if she's not doing what you ask her to

LIZS Thu 17-Mar-05 12:00:36

For redundancy I believe there is a stipulation as to how much time should elapse between her departure and reemploying anyone in a similar capacity ie. you may not be able to employ a full time nanny within a fixed period of time without her having a claim for unfair dismissal. Plus you may need to allow her time off to seek another position.

Do you have a contract with her which specifies notice periods ? Once you have dismissed her she may not reappear and you perhaps need to have a back up for that eventuality.

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 12:01:03

I may be wrong here but surely you are not technically talking about 'redundancy' but about giving notice as per the terms of your contract? as opposed to firing her for non-performance.
Two points come to mind (in addition to RTKanga's very pertinent one about how to handle the transition from dd's pov): firstly do you really have so little trust in her that you think she would harm dd while working her notice? you have trusted her up until now with sole charge for 60 hours a week, I guess you can expect her not to be very happy with you but would she really take that out on your dd? Secondly since she lives with you (and would therefore need to find housing when she leaves as well as employment), and since the grounds for dismissal on performance are really not hugely serious (its not like she has harmed dd or been dishonest, she jsut likes to have more control over her diet than you want her to), I think it would be pretty mean to not to allow her to work the 4 week notice period.

LIZS Thu 17-Mar-05 12:02:23

Even if she "clears her desk" immediately you 'd have to pay her the notice period - so you may have to fork out for her and a replacement arrangement in the interim.

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 12:02:31

Bundle,
Your post confuses me. This thread is all about how to let her go because I do not want her looking after my daughter.

What did you mean? Are you suggesting I let her go on the spot? I just want to be fair to her, but of course DD is more important. Trying to avoid being a cold heartless employer who throws the poor employee out on the street at a moments notice. She has no home in this country (although I suspect she could go stay with boyfriend in Wales)

RTKangaMummy Thu 17-Mar-05 12:02:49

I was just thinking of her emotions

Obviously if she has her Mummy at home with her she will love that

But if nanny has been her primary carer for so long she will miss her, won't she?

I do think she should go.

btw I think the idea of having degree in nutrition and so therefore know what toddlers should eat is quite funny all you need is a bit of info and common sense.

bundle Thu 17-Mar-05 12:03:55

"However, if I make her redundant due to no fault of her own, then she will be in my house unsupervised with sole care of my toddler for four weeks. I am very nervous about this. " this is the bit i meant - why would you want her looking after your dd now? also she wouldn't be redundant, as you still "need" a nanny don't you? (until your mat leave begins)

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 12:17:38

Bundle, if I make her redundant it would be for when my mat leave begins. So I won't need another one until I return to work (three months later).

My concerns are more of considering worst case scenarios, and not based in previous behavior. She has never been mean or neglectful to DD in any way. Althou in recent conversations, she has been very argumentative with me, and literally told my why my desires were wrong and that she just "could not do it". I don't regard this as acceptable employee behaviour. I would NEVER speak to my boss the way she speaks to me. If I did, I would expect to find myself not working for him anymore.

catgirl Thu 17-Mar-05 12:17:41

Am not a nanny and have never employed a nanny, but a thid option occured to me: could you just not tell her that in order to take more time off on maternity leave you are going to have to 'let her go' and give her four weeks notice, as per contract, and will have to find someone else when are you are due to return to work? That avoids conflict I would think? Just an idea.

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 12:20:05

catgirl that is what I was thinking/trying to say...

SoupDragon Thu 17-Mar-05 12:21:25

I can't help thinking you'd be on dodgy ground by making her redundant and then employing someone to do her job 3 months later. At least you would in any other employment situation.

uwila Thu 17-Mar-05 12:21:35

RTK, yes, I have those concerns. She has been with this nanny since September, and she does love her. But, when we left the chilminder last summer, I was very worried about the change (which was abrupt). We have stayed in touch with this childminder, and about two weeks after DD left her care, she came to pick her up for the day because her boys missed DD. The 2 boys stood at the door gleaming with smiles of excitement. DDs reaction, just stood there looking at them like she had never before met these people. Two weeks after being at their house for 10 hours a day. I was so embarrassed, but also glad that DD had not in fact been traumatised by the change.

Although she is older now, so presumably her memory is a bit better. But, still, as a parent I have to just get on with what I think suits her (and the rest of my family) even if she has to go through a bit of an adjustment.

soapbox Thu 17-Mar-05 12:21:59

Uwilla - I recall you saying that you used Nannytax. They have an excellent legal advise hotline service. I recommend you to talk to them as I doubt you have grounds for gross misconduct which is the basis on which you could instantly dismiss an employee.

If making her redundant then you will need to pay redunancy pay.

bundle Thu 17-Mar-05 12:22:17

"Bundle, if I make her redundant it would be for when my mat leave begins. So I won't need another one until I return to work (three months later). "

I know this - but why would you want her looking after your child for another 4 weeks ??? you have already outlined she is not doing what you want her to do. so why even contemplate making her "redundant"? if you feel as strongly as you appear to about the feeding etc then you should tell her and let her go.

SoupDragon Thu 17-Mar-05 12:23:50

I'd be inclined to have a polite "I don't like the way you ignore my wishes/instructions wrt DDs care I'm going to have to let you go when I start maternity leave" type conversation and give the 4 weeks notice. Or even in excess of the 4 weeks notice (so you appear reasonable!) if you can cover the extra time should she leave after the 4 weeks.

MissCheef Thu 17-Mar-05 12:24:32

RTKangaMummy - there are a lot of lines to read between there

RTKangaMummy Thu 17-Mar-05 12:25:41

Where will she go to live?

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