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Nannies working in the'real world'

(21 Posts)
LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Tue 18-Aug-09 20:57:01

I was speaking with some nanny friends on the weekend and we were discussing what would happen in nannies suddenly started implementing the rules and regs that 'normal' jobs take for granted. E.g. refusing to lift something over a certain weight. Timesheets itemised to the last minute (and charging for every bit worked), saying no to certain requests (as in anything not in job description), not working in an unsafe environment (wobbly banisters on stairs etc) and so on.
We were wondering if there would be a shift in the way that nannies are viewed and treated? Any thoughts?

Penthesileia Tue 18-Aug-09 21:03:47

I think that nannies could be better protected by law, and that the industry could be more fairly regulated.

However, it's not all fun and games in the "real world". I usually work loads more than my contracted hours, but don't get paid a bean for it. Not all jobs operate that way!

Likewise, no contract can be specific down to the last detail of a job. My contract states that I should bear reasonable responsibilities, etc. - who's to say what those are? Not me, most times!

Nannies also enjoy some perks which are not in "normal" jobs: food while at work, fun outings (if working with older kids), no need for a dress code (unless you're a Norland nanny wink), no line manager breathing down your neck, etc.

So, all of which is to say, "yes, nannies could be better protected to prevent unscrupulous employers taking advantage. But, be careful what you wish for: not everyone in a "real life" job has it that good!"

hocuspontas Tue 18-Aug-09 21:09:02

Regards saying no to anything not in the job description - your job description would read like mine (teaching assistant). At the end of the list of duties comes 'Anything else the Senior Management Team ask of you'. grin

AtheneNoctua Tue 18-Aug-09 21:20:38

I think you are dillusioned if you think the "real world" has more perks than being a nanny. Maybe if you work for the government, but I'm not sure I'd qualify that as the real world.

I don't ask for overtime. I travel overnight for free and pick up any personal costs (like childcare) that are incurred as a consequence. The only think I stipulate on travel restrictions is that I want to be home on the weekends (to see my kids).

I've never queried whether something is too heavy to lift. In fact, I am more likely to pick up heavy things when the health and safety police aren't looking than I am to say something is too heavy. I wouldn't complain about a wobbly banister. I would just get on with it. I get up at 4:00am on occassion for a red eye flight to Aberdeen. I don't ask for anything in return. It's my job. I just do what it takes to get it done.

nannynick Tue 18-Aug-09 21:48:59

Been there, worn the Shirt and Tie! Far prefer being a nanny, thank you very much.

Working for a small company I liked, working for the Government I hated... nannying I love. If I had to get a job in what you are calling the "real world" (not sure why nannying isn't in this "real world") then I would steer well away from large office work and head to the small (often family run) companies... I far prefer being a "jack of all trades" type of employee than someone hot desking it around a large company where I couldn't use my initiative.

choosyfloosy Tue 18-Aug-09 22:01:30

Timesheets are frequently there to make sure that the employee is billing enough to justify their employment, and are very often used as justification for sackings, warnings etc. You REALLY don't want to go there, even if you think it would bring home to your employer what you actually do. I think most parents do have a clue about what nannies do, at least i hope so.

Working for the government is not usually a massive featherbed of perks either. The private sector jobs I've had (office ones, admittedly) often had e.g. free tea and coffee, which I've never had or expected in NHS admin. A lot more security in the latter though.

why not admit that we all live in the real world in some way or other? We're in this together IMO.

Bink Tue 18-Aug-09 22:03:00

I guess you and your friends aren't in jobs at the moment where you feel appreciated, so you're thinking the grass is greener?

But my nanny worked 11 till 5.30 today (instead of her contracted hours 8 till 7). Did I dock her pay? Of course not!! But if she were a time-sheet worker (eg supermarket) she'd have been paid only for exactly what she did.

lalalenny Tue 18-Aug-09 22:11:28

I think the thing is that parents who post about the extra demands that their jobs place on them are in a position where they are building their career and therefore expect to get some benefit from the work they are putting in now at some point in the future, either in pay or increased status. This doesn't apply to nannies who therefore feel a bit aggrieved at having to go above and beyond. What does the nanny get out of it? Usually nothing so no wonder they get fed up.

Penthesileia Tue 18-Aug-09 22:22:16

I see your point, lala, but it's not necessarily nothing. The nanny who goes that little bit further for her employer is likely to get an excellent reference when she asks for one, which will improve her chances of getting better pay/better terms, etc. in her next job, etc. etc.

Alternatively, if her employer is fair, the nanny's efforts will be rewarded with a pay rise, or a bonus, etc.

So, arguably, by being an all-round good-egg, the nanny is furthering her career.

Penthesileia Tue 18-Aug-09 22:23:00

Or his career.

Sorry, nick! wink

MarshaBrady Tue 18-Aug-09 22:34:29

Timesheets are a pita and are for the employer to assess whether they are billing the right amount, they usually don't effect how much you get paid.

Having a career with clients has it's own things to deal with. A client is less likely to care if you are working too hard, an employer of a nanny has good reason to be polite and courteous - you are looking after their child.

An employer in a competitive industry isn't going to look favourably on someone who says no to something outside job description without good reason.

MarshaBrady Tue 18-Aug-09 22:36:00

Of course there are good things too, but there must be nice things with being a nanny.

nannyL Wed 19-Aug-09 00:50:50

Personally id soon be a nanny working for a lovely family (with a wobbly bannister), picking up my charge when he has fallen over (cause thats what you do, even if he does weigh over 25 kg) working a few minutes over time some days (but then being given 6+ weeks holiday in addition to the days that i choose and bank holidays that i always get off too, and always being allowed to leave early on the (very rare) occasion it suits me to leave early).
Ok, i could say no to random requests, but then in the past my bosses have done other things to help me out, which are beyond the call of being my boss duty.

Yes, Im certain I would rather be a nanny in the actual world I work in, then work in an office / alternative environment!

What a bit of luck for me thats exactly what i am grin

LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Wed 19-Aug-09 09:36:55

I am not saying that this is my choice. I was merely asking for other opinions. Everyone involved in the discussion has a job. Most of us have had positions in fields other then childcare (I am an ex ministerial advisor to a senior MP) and we enjoy the freedom that our current positions have. I was merely wondering what others thought would happen IF nannying went down that route, that's all.

StillSquiffy Wed 19-Aug-09 12:47:17

IF nannying went down that route, we would all use nurseries instead. SImples. And those that have the luxury of being able to afford it would band together to demand (and get) the kind of nursery provision 'extras' that we use nannying for at the moment.... variety and outdoor play (cue forest nurseries that are already springing up), longer hours (look at the nursery times in Canary Wharf - far more family friendly, and places offering these hours are growing all the time), 3 to 1, or 2 to 1 ratios (already being offered at some places), continuous care (my DD has 2 days of nursery being cared for by people who cared for DS (6) when he was a baby), and so on and so on.

You ask 'Would there be a shift in the way that nannies are viewed and treated?' You betcha....

BoffinMum Wed 26-Aug-09 22:33:23

Um, I think if I took this type of approach to being an employee in the 'real world' I wouldn't hang on to my job for very long. We're all expected to do a lot of give and take. Conferences are my main bugbear - I work 3-4 days with hardly any breaks, far away from home, and I usually get back on a Sunday knackered, only to start work yet again on the Monday morning. Sometimes we even have to pay our own way on conferences although we're expected/required to attend them - this can be hundreds of pounds. It's really hard on the people who don't have permanent jobs. It's just life in the modern workplace IMO.

BTW I even get charged to park at work despite the fact that I am disabled and have a permit, and there is no public transport nearby I can use.

I get charged for coffee and tea, at about £2 a cup (I actually bought a kettle in the end).

I am not allowed to take a packed lunch and eat it in the staff room without giving up my seat for someone who has bought lunch there.

I am not allowed to put in an expenses claim for a round amount, or it will not be paid (this is supposed to be some sort of anti-fraud measure).

I work evenings on demand and have been known to deal with students' housing problems via my mobile at 11pm.

I go in for open days at the weekend for no extra pay.

If I invent a non-work-related widget in my spare time and go on Dragon's Den and end up making a few million out of it, my employers will get 30% of the profits for doing nothing at all.

I can't see nannies being subject to any of this stuff, can you?

pinkandpurple Thu 27-Aug-09 11:44:54

Completely off the topic but

If I invent a non-work-related widget in my spare time and go on Dragon's Den and end up making a few million out of it, my employers will get 30% of the profits for doing nothing at all.

No way, that would be infringing on your statutory rights (Patents Act 1977 S39). If you have such a contract with your employers, it would be unenforceable. So it's still worth going to Dragon's Den with that widget.

Treeesa Thu 27-Aug-09 13:08:25

|What if your nanny does 95% of the colouring in or painting with your children, who owns the creative design rights?


Don't normally do days... Worked last night and should be in bed as I have another full night to do this evening, but today my DD has just been to get her GCSEs and I can't go back to sleep now so I thought I'd read what others are up to..

BoffinMum Thu 27-Aug-09 15:53:05

Oooh, Pinkandpurple, is that really true? I am going to mention it to the union ...

pinkandpurple Thu 27-Aug-09 16:18:32

Yes definitely, they don't have a leg to stand on (and I'm a patent lawyer). Go for it.

BoffinMum Thu 27-Aug-09 16:30:21

Well I do have a widget as it happens. Do you know a handy venture capitalist? (I am too scared of Ms Meaden to go on Dragon's Den).

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