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Closed for health reasons, who should pay?

(22 Posts)
spongebrainmaternitypants Mon 22-Jun-09 09:48:57

Our childminder was closed for two days last week due to a localised outbreak of swine flu, so both dh and I had to take a day off work to keep DS at home.

The childminder was told to close by EHO, so who picks up the tab?

Should the childminder still charge us for those two days or do we pay? It obviously wasn't her fault she had to let us down at the last minute, but it wasn't ours either!

V complicated! blush

looneytune Mon 22-Jun-09 09:51:37

There is a thread about this somewhere but not sure where, maybe do a search? I'm a childminder and couldn't afford to have to close and pay all the parents back but I guess I'd have to if it happened here I can't remember what other thoughts came back from the other thread.

nannyL Mon 22-Jun-09 10:10:16

i think nursarys would be charging the parents therefore so should the childminders?

thebody Mon 22-Jun-09 10:14:39

were you paid for your time off by your employer.. if so then dont be mean.. pay your cm....

Summerfruit Mon 22-Jun-09 10:16:11

I'm a cm, I think I'll try to compromise, lets say half half ?

I would charge full fee if ordered to close down.
Mind you all mine are paid by full allowance of tax credits, if the parent was funding it fully themselves then I would go half and half if it was going to be a problem.

llareggub Mon 22-Jun-09 10:28:17

As a parent, I would expect to pay.

nannynick Mon 22-Jun-09 10:46:14

Link to the other message thread

Perhaps this is a question that needs to be asked of the local council - it was their decision to close the childminding facility. The childminder had no choice but to comply (I expect she/he put up some fight, but EHO had already made the decision and would not go back on that).

JenniPenni Mon 22-Jun-09 11:48:08

I have a policy re this - parents would pay me full fees should this happen.

ingles2 Mon 22-Jun-09 11:55:09

Going against the grain here but I don't think I'd be happy to pay.
A childminder is self employed, as am I and if I'm not available to work I'm not going to get paid, regardless of the reasons.
Unless there is something in your contract that states otherwise of course.

islandofsodor Mon 22-Jun-09 11:58:45

Same here. We run an activity for children and hire schools. If we were ordered to close we would pay our staff and refund parents meaning the only people losing out would me me and dh as we are self employed.

MrVibrating Mon 22-Jun-09 12:11:48

I Am Not A Lawyer But as none of the mumsnet legal pack have answered this highly topical question yet and I do have some knowledge...

This is a matter between the individual parents and their childminder, the Local Authority EHO, NCMA or whoever cannot tell parents they have to pay.

Contracts that run to dozens of pages often include terms that deal with this situation (known as force majeure - French for 'superior force'), but your childminding contract probably doesn't.

So if the contract doesn't help, hopefully the parents and the childminder can agree on something which they are both happy with - lots of unexpected things come up from time to time which require a bit of give and take from both childminders and parents. As a parent I would probably agree that if it was only a couple of days, I would pay. If it was longer than that (so I had to take unpaid time off work), I would not expect to pay for all of it. But if this became a big issue for my lovely childminder, I would not want to wreck our relationship over it so if she didn't see it this way, I would probably back down.

If the parents and childminder cannot agree, ultimately it would be up to a court to decide what should happen. The court is likely to decide that if the contract is temporarily 'frustrated' because the childminder (through no fault of her own) cannot fulfil her side of the contract by looking after the mindees, the parents don't have to fulfil their side by paying her.

If, as a childminder, you are not happy with this being the default legal outcome, you have two choices:

Amend your contracts to say that you should still be paid if you are closed down under certian circumstances (this is not easy because if you are too generous to yourself the terms could be judged by a court to be unfair and therefore unenforceable).

Get insurance which will pay out if you are closed down in certain circumstances. This is called Business Interruption Insurance (or sometimes Loss of Revenue Insurance).

nannynick Mon 22-Jun-09 12:42:31

MortonMichel mentions Loss of Revenue insurance, but only for policies such as Nursery, Pre-School, PlaySafe (indoor play). Anyone know if that insurance cover can be added to Childminder policy?

nannynick Mon 22-Jun-09 12:53:25

Have e-mailed MM to ask... if they come back with an answer, will let you know.

HSMM Mon 22-Jun-09 14:48:46

ingles2 - the CM is available to work, but has been closed down - I think they should be paid.

ingles2 Mon 22-Jun-09 16:26:26

but if she has been closed down she is not able to work
It's not great, but unfortunately that is the deal with being self employed.

nannynick Mon 22-Jun-09 17:15:26

I agree with ingles2 - if the childminder has to close, that is the childminder's problem not the parents. The parents should not have to pay if the service is not available.

CM's: Morton Michel have replied. They can't provide Loss of Revenue insurance for childminders or nannies. Perhaps another insurer can, but whom I don't know.

Has anyone been able to get NCMA insurance to respond to if they cover for Loss of Revenue?

spongebrainmaternitypants Mon 22-Jun-09 18:40:38

Thank you for all your helpful replies.

thebody, if you read my OP I'm not actually saying I shouldn't pay just asking where I stand!

Think the general consensus seems to be that I should pay (which I have done!) so no worries.

Thanks for checking the legal situation nannynick.

Katymac Mon 22-Jun-09 18:42:08

Yes Nick

NCMA said no to loss of revenue

littleducks Mon 22-Jun-09 18:52:03

I wouldnt have paid, i think you are very kind and generous

Blaze3 Mon 22-Jun-09 19:21:43

I'm a registered CM & I attende training on this subject last year...we were advised to have a policy which stated that should we have to close full fees are payable (all my parents sign to say that they have read, agree to & have received copies of all my policies & I have this added to my NCMA contracts)...NCMA also recommend this as they have a no loss of earnings stance.

atworknotworking Mon 22-Jun-09 19:41:35

I think the answer comes down to good will at the end of the day, I know a couple of my parents would pay, wheras others wouldnt or financially couldn't be able to afford to which I quite understand.

Usually if I am not available for work I don't charge, therefore I wouldn't expect payment, it's just part of being s/emp.

However if parents wanted to pay I would try to give extra days later to make up for the ones lost.

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