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Need advice about family taking lots of holidays.... now i owe them babysitting to make up their time away!!!

(22 Posts)
ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 17:55:21

Please help me, i am a nanny and have been in my present job for nearly a year, i have 4 weeks holiday, i am to chose 2 and the family i work for chose their 2 weeks, only i have taken one weeks holiday and i have just counted the amount of days they have had for holidays, this totals to about 16 days and as i work 3 days this would mean they have had 5 weeks, well, they have told me that they are going away soon for 2 weeks ( i have already added this number to make the 16 days!!) and they will pay me but i have to do around 5 nights babysitting for them, does this sound like they are being fair, to you?hmm

overweightnoverdrawn Wed 03-Jun-09 18:12:39

No you are ready and willing to work . They are not there so tough luck really .

ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 18:17:31

Hi overweightnoverdrawn, i do a share so still available to work the same days,( and i will be working so it wont be a holiday for me!!) i have to owe them the 5 days babysitting when they get back from their holiday!!

LadyMuck Wed 03-Jun-09 18:17:49

Is there anything in your contract with them which lets them do it? I assume that they are asking for the 5 nights without any additional pay, ie to make up the time. If there isn't a clause which lets them ask this in your contract (or of course if the hours of your contract are worded in such a way that would allow this), then they're not keeping to the contract between you. It is obviously the norm for nanny-employers to have more leave than the 2 weeks. Slightly sneaky to try and get extra hours from you.

ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 18:23:16

I'm just a bit sad that they are thinking of themselves and having lots of time off, which is not my fault, then i have to do extra work for them, i work a 11 hour day so if i had babysitting on top of that i am going to be completely cream cracker-edwink i do have a contract, i'll go and find it to see what it says, it's just a shame that i have to be getting out the contract to see what my rights are, when i am supposed to be part of the family!!

shouldbeironing Wed 03-Jun-09 18:28:03

I guess it depends on your contract but I would imagine that they cannot make you babysit/work different hours if they have chosen to be away during your usual hours - as said above, it is their tough luck.

If you have been there almost a year, you probably need to use your second week's choice of holiday up as otherwise you might lose it - unless your contract says you can carry it over to the next year. So think about that as well before you talk to them - you might have to take one of those week's as holiday anyway.

If it wasnt a share situation I would say you should think whether you like them/the job enough to offer to do a couple of nights as a goodwill gesture as you have had a bit of time off but since you are still working for the other family and havent had time off I think they are pushing their luck.

ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 18:33:00

Hi shouldbeironing, what you say is so true, i do think they are pushing their luck, but i find it hard getting the courage to speak up and say something, i wouldn't have minded so much if they had given me plenty of notice but, i was only told 2 weeks before they go away, which really didn't give me enough time to sort the other job out, hence i still have to work!!

LadyMuck Wed 03-Jun-09 19:15:48

Sorry, but for your own sake i wouldn't opt for the "but I'm part of the family" line. Family members could well be treated less favourably than employees most of time!

Check your contract, which at least is an agreement with you. Does each party have to give notice of holidays to the other (and if so is the family sticking to it). Would be surprised if your contract allowed you to give only 2 weeks notice of holiday!

nannynick Wed 03-Jun-09 19:39:57

Check your contract, see what that says initially. You can chat with ACAS for advice about this kind of thing.

BusinessLink: Holiday Calculator
From 1 April 2009, your holiday entitlement may have increased, depending on if you get Bank Holidays off in addition to the 4-weeks holiday. May be worth putting your start date in the calculator to see how many days holiday it feels you should have in your first year.
For example, if you started working for this family on 1 July 2008, then you get 15 days holiday entitlement 1 July 2008-1 July 2009 (this is based on you working 3 days per week). Note: The number of days figure INCLUDES any bank holidays that fall on your working day, as an employer can choose to include those in your statutory holiday entitlement. If your contract is worded such that you get 4 weeks holiday (thus 12 days) plus bank holidays, then you need to see how many bank holidays there are in your working year to see if the contractual terms are actually better than the statutory minimum. Table showing Bank Holidays and Public Holidays in England, Wales, Northern Ireland in 2008 and 2009

If needed, you can point your employer to the BusinessLink guide - Know how much holiday to give your staff

If the family takes more holiday than you have in your annual leave, then I do not feel the family can ask you to work additional hours at another time. They can ask you to work your normal hours - so doing household duties during that time. Nice nanny employers let their nanny have the time as paid days off.

nannyL Wed 03-Jun-09 19:42:25


you are avaliable to work... they are choosing not to be there

you owe them nothing, they still owe you that extra week.

I have had this debate with my boss (whose chose there 2 6 weeks at the beginning of the year then said if you have more its not fair, and i said sorry as per my contract i can (and will) choose my days.... and i am very happy to work while you are on holiday...

ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 21:39:16

Oh you are all fab, so thankyou for getting back to me, i now have to bring this matter up with them when they return from their lovely relaxing break!!
I have just looked at my contract, the only thing it states is that i am entitled to 10 days holiday each year, half to be chosen by me and the other half by my employee, i am also entitled to paid bank and other public holidays, which fall during my working week.
Thanks Nannynick, will look at the links you gave me and thanks NannyL wish you could talk to my bosseswink

foxinsocks Wed 03-Jun-09 21:43:36

sounds a bit mean. I always give our nanny the time off when we are away on holiday! I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't tbh!

ilovethecake Wed 03-Jun-09 21:53:06

foxinsocks i wish i was working for you then!! I do love the job, but with my previous jobs i have felt like i was doing my employers a favour by looking after their little ones, but i do feel like this is a job!(does that make sense?)

AtheneNoctua Wed 03-Jun-09 21:55:26

Doesn't your contract have you contracted hours of work? Does it say you work from 8:00-6:00 or whatever the hours are? Or does it say hours subject to chang or something similar?

nannyL Wed 03-Jun-09 21:59:06

legally you have to have 5.6 weeks so 10 days isnt even legal

it clearly says you choose half therefore you choose half!

theoriginalmummypoppins Wed 03-Jun-09 22:02:43

I think they are being unfair. I always say to our nannies that its reduced duties when we are away.

Our nanny lives in so unless otherwise agreed I expect them to be here and there are some things to be done.

feeding cats, taking in milk , keeping swimming pool chlorined and deliveries if they happen. It is taken as read that all washing and ironing is up to date and there is food for when we get back ( bread , milk etc ).

There may be a bit of tidying of childrens toys and clothes but other than that its free time.

It works in nannies favour but that is part of the goodwill.

Oligo Wed 03-Jun-09 22:21:40

Do you think it is the case that they did not know before hiring you how many holidays they would be taking?
I think it is totally wrong that they expect you to do this if not agreed prior to been hired.

I assume though they didn't mention this and what their expectations of you would be under those circumstances?

I don't know any non-nanny employer who would expect their staff to come in eve/weekends because their workplace had been closed e.g. due to snow, less or lack of work available on a given day. (They might exist though!)

I know it must be hard to bring this up, as they obviously think it is fine, but you really need to let them know your persepctive. You (and others!) feel it is very unfair for reasons mentioned before, you wouldn't expect them to let you organise extra time off this way etc. If nothing else they will at least know you are not happy about it.

ilovethecake Thu 04-Jun-09 00:30:06

Thankyou so so much to everyone who has written something, you have all helped me!! I have the confidence now to say something as so many people share the same view, that they are not being fair!! Thankyou all once again.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 04-Jun-09 15:45:58

they are def not being fair

it is their choice to go away for that extra time not yours

foxinsocks - you sound just like my mb - they go away more than their 2 weeks and i always get the time off and paid - my cotract says 5 weeks holiday but normally i get 7/8 paid

i often go away when they do

ilovethecake Thu 04-Jun-09 18:48:35

This situation has now got me thinking......bad i know, but how little do they think of me? i wonder if next month it maybe something else, i thought we had a good working relationship!!I have never had this problem before (in previous nanny jobs) i was always treated as an equal, hence me coming and chatting to all of you, i feel sad that they nearly got away with it!!

AtheneNoctua Sat 06-Jun-09 17:04:41

I think communication is a two way street and it's probably fair to say you let it get to the point where you were really quite upset before you raised the the issue. They probably didn't mean to be offensive, just trying to tighten their belts like everyone else. This doesn't mean they were right or justified in their thinking. Just that it probably wasn't malicious intent and was probably not personal.

ilovethecake Sat 06-Jun-09 23:25:05

Hi AtheneNoctua you know what? I think you are right i've calmed down now, and now hope i can compromise with them and do half the amount of babysitting for them rather than none, i do love them and my charge so wouldn't want to leave nor want them to want me to leave!! Communication is paramount so when they get back form there hols i shall defo sit down with them for a chat!!smile

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