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Oh no!!! Help, help, help!! Nanny signed contract with us but has rung to say she has got a better offer and won't be coming!!

(128 Posts)
BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:10:11

So the BoffinMum childcare saga continues. We are just back from holiday, and the nanny who took five weeks to sign the employment contract at the end of July has just rung to say she has been headhunted and someone has made her a better offer, so she won't be starting on 1 September after all.

I have to say I feel sick to my stomach about this. The kids are very upset - they were looking forward to her coming. I phoned the agency straight away, and they are very shocked and trying to find me someone else, but I could have done without this on top of the usual upsets and anxieties about returning to work after maternity leave. sad I have also now lost the backup nursery place at work I had applied for, as I offered it back one she had signed on the dotted line.

What an unholy mess. sad sad

DrEvil Mon 24-Aug-09 14:15:02

I don'y have any prectical advice but Oh No! for you. What a pain.

I'm sure someone clever will be along in a min with knowledgable comments but can she really do this having signed the contract?

kathyis6incheshigh Mon 24-Aug-09 14:15:41

Oh no, that's terrible! Why did she sign the flipping contract if she didn't mean it? shock

DrEvil Mon 24-Aug-09 14:19:13

don't and practical rather.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:28:17

Quite right, Kathy. I kept asking her if she was sure and happy and everything, and she kept assuring me she was.

She's a flipping liar. She must have been talking to these people all along.

orangina Mon 24-Aug-09 14:36:43

Probably no comfort, but you are probably better off without her....

orangina Mon 24-Aug-09 14:37:36

(though those words of wisdom aren't going to look after your children next week..... sorry)

navyeyelasH Mon 24-Aug-09 14:43:30

boffinmum, where abouts do you live maybe someone here can help on a temp basis?

Look at it this way, it's better she did this now than after spending a few months with your children! Still, total pain in the bum for you.

nannynick Mon 24-Aug-09 14:45:12

Oh no... what bad luck you are having. Most nannies honestly are not like this... this nanny has been taking you for a ride and it is very unprofessional of them.

Agree with Orangina, if this is how she acts then you are better off without her... but boy it's such a pain to have that bombshell dropped and at such late notice.

Keep contacting the agency... with luck they will find a temp nanny at least, even better someone who want's the job permanently.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 14:52:45

<sniff, sniff> sad I know you are right, better that this relationship is nipped in the bud than creaks on for a few months. But we have been landed in it rather.

I am near Cambridge is anyone is free, by the way.

I am thinking of taking her to court for breach of contract, mainly so she has to ask her new employers (whom I hold equally responsible for this sad state of affairs) for the day off to trek over to Peterborough to defend herself. Let's incovenience them a bit as well.

Off to eat a chocolate biscuit now and phone a legal helpline.

GypsyMoth Mon 24-Aug-09 14:55:49

surelythe court fees will be alot more than any agency fees you have lost?

why were her new employers a more attractive option than you? thats one thing i'd be wondering?

BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 15:01:24

I asked her, and she said they offered her more money. However we offered her the salary she asked for (which was more than we originally budgeted) so that puzzled me a bit.

Small claims court action would probably only cost about £50-£100 so this is a viable option, I think.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 15:03:05

Anyway, a bit of me is thinking more fool her, if she turns down ethical people in favour of those who would encourage her to leave others in the lurch, then she may find herself unfairly jobless in the future if they are similarly without scruples.

bigdonna Mon 24-Aug-09 15:07:36

what goes around comes around,if shes only in it for the money you are better off without her.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Aug-09 15:12:51

Wide words bigdonna.

freber Mon 24-Aug-09 15:24:39

Although very distressing for you how many of you here have jobs? In the world of business headhunting is the norm and going for the better offer is expected. It always amazes me how few people realise that this doesn't reclude nannies.

Why should they have to feel guilty to want more money, why should parents feel it is ok to ask them if they are going to have children (which is against the rules in an interview), why do parents feel they have the right to own nannies body and soul?

I am not a nanny just in case you ask, but employment law and common sense applies across the board not just to those you don't employ. Nannies are no longer servants or "the help" they are qualified professionals who have the same rights as you do in the world of employment.

A contract isn't binding in the sense that when it is signed you then have to work, we can all change our minds and our circumstances.

A little bit of a balanced view point might be nice!!

nannynick Mon 24-Aug-09 15:32:11

I suspect we all have jobs. Just because we post on Mumsnet during the day, doesn't mean we don't work. Not that I'm at work now... I don't work on Mondays.

Going for a better offer is one thing... agreeing to do the job, signing the contract, then changing your mind... morally I don't feel right about that.

Everyone will have their own opinion on that though... some people have no morals, so will happily switch to a higher paid job even if they have agreed in principle to accept another job.

kathyis6incheshigh Mon 24-Aug-09 15:34:48

I think you will find that most people on these thread have jobs Freber, that's why they need the childcare hmm

'Qualified professionals' tend to view their jobs in terms of responsibilities as well as rights; it's part of what professionalism means.

littlenamelessunrememberedacts Mon 24-Aug-09 15:37:02

it is slightly different though feber in that letting down a family at the last minute - messing the children about, messing up somebody's else's childcare stability - isn't quite the same as ringing up an estate agents' or a shoe shop and saying you've had a better offer

Obviously nannies are professionals and entitled to the same employment rights, yada yada, but there is no sense in pretending that it doesn't have a different dynamic from many other jobs and that a different level of consideration and reliability is required.

Which would piss you off more, a TV repair man postponing your appointment slot by a couple of days, or an emergency heart surgeon deciding he fancies a duvet day and won't be coming into work?

this nanny has behaved really badly IMO

yipping about rights and making inferences aout domestic staff/servant relationships is just not very helpful

AxisofEvil Mon 24-Aug-09 15:38:31

Whilst its tempting to want to punish the new employers are you actually sure they "headhunted" her and knew her circumstances? More likely is she kept looking for jobs whilst she accepted yours and her new employers may know little if anything as to your situation but she spun it this way to take some of the heat off her.

Freber - quite an unhelpful post frankly. the OP seems to have behaved well throughout this including agreeing to pay the nanny the money she asked for. You can sue someone in contract if they don't turn up to a job or leave without the requisite notice - the fact that employers rarely do this doesn't mean the option isn't open to them.

snickersnack Mon 24-Aug-09 15:41:42

I have a job and a nanny. I fully appreciate and respect all her rights as an employee, and consider myself a good employer. I would be furious if someone signed a contract and turned me down for a better offer without a word of apology or contrition. I'd be pretty angry if they did it and were apologetic about it.

Freber, you're right, of course, that you can't force someone to work for you, and nor would you want to. But I wouldn't sign a contract until I was damn sure I was going to take the job and a better one wasn't going to come along shortly. And I wouldn't expect a nanny too either. Not very professional, even if it is legal.

And hmm at "Why should they have to feel guilty to want more money, why should parents feel it is ok to ask them if they are going to have children (which is against the rules in an interview), why do parents feel they have the right to own nannies body and soul?" I don't think this is the situation here - BoffinMum is understandably upset that a nanny that she employed in good faith has let her down at the eleventh hour after signing a contract. Nothing at all to do with owning her body and soul. That's a very different thing.

IsItMeOr Mon 24-Aug-09 15:48:59

I have a contract with my employer and it requires me to give a minimum period of notice if I choose to stop working there.

This nanny sounds pretty shallow and immature and, from painful experience in my workplace, rather than anything as important as looking after my PFB, I would agree with those who say you are better off without her. She would have let you down later, probably after having been a bit of a nuisance to you. Then she'd blame you. Oh no, that was my experience!!

Best of luck finding a better replacement. The agency should be mortified that somebody they presumably charged you to put you in touch with has let you down in this way. They should be pulling out all the stops to find you a suitable alternative, at no extra charge.

chandellina Mon 24-Aug-09 15:49:48

it's completely unprofessional to accept a job and then back out of it - with a week's notice - no matter who does it. a nanny should be equally annoyed if an employer backed out.

choosyfloosy Mon 24-Aug-09 15:49:49

BoffinMum I really feel for you but I hope you don't pursue her through the courts... many people will go for what they can get, that's life. I agree this is really pants though and I hope I wouldn't have done it.

If she's being paid as much as that she may find unfortunately that her employers can't afford to keep her for long!

Why not get on to a waiting list at the work nursery? At the very least you'll feel better if there's something in the pipeline?

Cosette Mon 24-Aug-09 15:58:29

If you're going to be financially worse off as a result of her backing out of a signed contract - then yes, you should of course take her to the small claims court. A signed contract is a 2 way commitment, if you'd decided you didn't want her after signing, then you would have had to pay her a notice period.

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