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Anyone had a nanny who's got pregnant soon after starting?

(22 Posts)
Rebecca41 Wed 16-Sep-09 20:22:06

I'm currently interviewing for a nanny to look after my sons (DS1 4 years, DS2 4 months), when I return to work in December.

Along with all the usual anxieties about leaving my children with someone, I keep wondering about the possibility of a nanny starting then getting pregnant.

The ladies I've had CVs for a all young, married, love children, but don't have any of their own. So surely the next step for them is to have children?

I dread the thought of employing someone who my children bond with, only to have her disappear for a year, leaving me to find someone else.

I don't mean to sound selfish, because of course people are entitled to do this, but I'm so worried my children will suffer. DS1 will be starting school at the same time as I return to work, so it's already going to be a difficult time for him.

So I'm wondering, does this actually happen? Has anyone had the experience of employing a nanny who gets pregnant soon afterwards? Has it happened to any nannies who may be reading this?

argento Wed 16-Sep-09 20:42:47

This message jumped out at me as I'm a nanny and just found out today that I'm pregnant! I've only been in my job a couple of months and this was totally unplanned - I am worried about how my boss will react.

nannynick Wed 16-Sep-09 20:44:02

Someone who starts work and falls pregnant very quickly, won't be entitled to maternity pay. To qualify for SMP they will need to have worked for you for at least 26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before the week the baby's due.

Maternity Pay - Overview

As employer of a nanny you won't be offering maternity pay beyond that which is statutory requirement (cost of which you claim back from HMRC). SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks. 33 weeks of that is paid at £123.06 (April 2009 rate) per week... so likely to be a lot less than the nanny would have been earning.

>Has it happened to any nannies who may be reading this?
Definitely has not happened to me (though in my case it would be Paternity pay)

Weegle Wed 16-Sep-09 20:51:18

sorry, not any advice - but NannyNick - doesn't that mean they only have to have worked for you for a week before they get pregnant to be entitled to pay? I'm not very good at maths so I may be wrong blush. A pregnancy is 40 weeks so 15 weeks before then leaves only 25 weeks... it would therefore exclude them from maternity pay if they were pregnant when they started working for you. But please - I really am not strong on maths, but being an ex-HR bod I'm fairly sure maternity rights (certainly antenatal ones e.g. time off for antenatal appts) start from commencement of employment. but I am not up on the new family legislation as it's a while since I've been practicing.

argento Wed 16-Sep-09 20:54:57

I hope you're right Weegle!

tummytickler Wed 16-Sep-09 20:58:25

Would you object to her bringing her baby to work? I have a friend who is a nanny (for 2 boys) and she took her baby to work with her for about 18 months and it seemed to be a really happy arrangement (the boys she was looking after were 2 and 4 at the time).
I appreciate though, that this might not suit everyone!

Rebecca41 Wed 16-Sep-09 21:07:13

Yes I think I would object. I think it would be unfair on my children, because of course every parent will always put their own children's needs first. So I'd end up paying someone to look after their own child! I guess that's one of the reasons child-minders are paid a lot less then nannies.

xoxcherylxox Wed 16-Sep-09 21:39:16

i no of a nanny who takes her we boy to wrk she looks after a we boy of a very similar age cant remember if she was already a nanny to the family before she had her we one but i doubt it if the children are of a similar age. i am a childminder but i find that its my child tht gets pushed to the side and told to wait till i deal with other peoples children which isnt fair on my child but its part and parcel of the job and saves me paying childcare and going out to wrk and leacing my child. but i personally couldnt be a nanny and leave my child all day to watch other peoples and do all there childs chores when mine is needing to be done at home.

nannynick Wed 16-Sep-09 21:52:19

As far as I understand SMP, the employee has to have worked for the employer for 26 weeks prior to the qualifying week (15 weeks before babies due date) - so a total of 41 weeks prior to birth of baby.

>it would therefore exclude them from maternity pay if they were pregnant when they started working for you.

Yes. They would still get Ordinary Maternity Leave and all contractual rights apart from wages. Depending on previous work, they may qualify for Maternity Allowance.

Found an article that may help explain it:
Pregnant and starting a new job

Also see AdviceGuide: Maternity - SMP

Rebecca41 - childminders are not paid a lot less than nannies... they are paid differently, as they are paid Per Child. A childminder caring for 6 under 8's plus a few over 8's could have a turnover exceeding a nannies salary. I don't think you meant what you wrote... you probably meant something different along the lines of paying lower amount when childcare is not exclusive to your family.

There are other things like what happens if an employee becomes pregnant that you could worry about as an employer. Probably best not to worry about them until they happen. Otherwise you will constantly be worrying about things - nanny becomes sick, nanny gives notice after a few weeks/months - just to name two things you could worry about.
Children tend to adapt much better than you think they will, in the event that a childcarer leaves for whatever reason.

PixiNanny Wed 16-Sep-09 21:52:47

xoxcherylxox - I have to back you up on that point. My Mum was a childminder and quite often me and my sisters were told to entertain ourselves whilst she was looking after the other kids! I can only assume that when you look after other's children as well as your own, you would tend to favour the other person's children as you would be more worried about losing their business, hurting another person's child, etc, during working hours, even if subconciously?

Herecomesthesciencebint Wed 16-Sep-09 21:59:52

I felt this way when we were looking for a nanny, and basically for the reasons you cited. Not the hassle or any financial worry, but the fact that my kids would bond and then the nanny would leave. Also, you then have to find a temp as are obliged to leave the original nannys job open for her to come back to if she wishes.

But, from talking to friends, having a nanny with her own children (even if not bringing them to work with her) has its own difficulties as they are more likely to need time off eg if their child is sick, less flexible about changes in hours etc and less willing to babysit.

In the end we decided not to worry about something we couldnt predict and go for the candidiate we felt suited us best in terms of personality etc.
We found a lovely nanny who has met the man of her dreams in the last 9m and I know is hoping to get pregnant within a year. BUT, having got to know her I wish her nothing but joy and know she will make sure all runs smoothly.

If this is a major factor to you then you should maybe consider a nursery?

littlestarschildminding Thu 17-Sep-09 08:16:15

As a mum who has been a nanny taking kids to work and now as a cm...I can say for definate that my charges and mindees got a far better deal than my own children...mindees and charges always were put first in many respects...my children tagged along to their activities and their playdates and followed their routines.That said it has been of huge benefit to them. My children have grown up confident, sociable and incredibly adaptable. They are both boys who are now amazingly good with babies and will no doubt make brilliant dads!

I would have no problem employing a nanny with her own child.

Rebecca41 Thu 17-Sep-09 08:52:48

Thanks for the replies.

It seems to have turned into a discussion about caring for own and other people's children simultaneously! I can see that having a nanny with a baby would be OK with older children, but DS2 is only 4 months old. If a nanny got pregnant soon after starting work, DS2 would still be a baby himself when her baby was born. How does a nanny with 2 babies take them both out for a walk in a buggy? (unless I buy a double buggy, just for the nanny!) Maybe I'm being selfish and mean, but I'm a single parent, and I'm already looking at paying £10,000/year for the 2 days I need a nanny.

I think I'll just have to try not to worry, and hope that a lovely menopausal nanny comes along!

LadyMuck Thu 17-Sep-09 09:10:17

Rebecca41 - you are not obliged to allow the nanny to bring her baby to work. She would have to get her own childcare.

As far as I see it in practice 1 of 2 things happen when a nanny gets pg:

1) she works prior to birth, claims SMP and doesn't return (because practically she is unlikely to afford childcare). Employer hires another nanny to take over from the point pg nanny goes on maternity leave. Theoretically position is temporary but with understanding that it will be permanent eventually. Terms and conditions are identical for permanent and temporary, so not really an issue.

2) if she has been with the family for a while and the youngest family child is say at least 2 or 3, then she goes on maternity leave and returns, relatively quickly, with baby, possibly, but not always, on reduced salary.

Now there are several other potential possibilities - you could get a newish nanny who was desperate to return, or you might feel that even in 6 months you have such a gem of a nanny that you want her to return under any circs. But you are never obliged to have a nanny who brings her own child.

StillSquiffy Thu 17-Sep-09 10:51:10

Lots of these posts are interesting, but nothing to do with what the OP is actually asking....

Reb41 - yes am sure it happens but pointless to fret over it. I went for a 47YO once because I wanted continuity of care and thought I would have someone reliable, experienced etc etc. Without going into details, it fell apart within a year and I learnt then that you simply cannot eliminate risks completely. I also learnt that my DC's are pretty relaxed when it comes to switching between carers (we have a regular turnover of AP's now) - far more relaxed than I am.

I think we all hope to find a lovely Mary Poppins who stays with us for years and becomes a treasured member of the family. In reality the best we can actually expect is a loving nanny who may or may not need to be replaced every couple of years or so. by knocking out the majority of applicants (as you propose) you will limit your options, but not the risks.

StoryTime Thu 17-Sep-09 21:04:54

You can suggest that potential nannys will have to undergo surgical removal of the womb if they are offered the job hmm. You know 'in the current climate' and all that.

How the hell did you type this post with no shame? It is not as if you have a nanny and she is pregnant and you are asking about the legal stuff. No you are interviewing and worrying whether these women are fertile!

And you hope that 'a lovely menopausal nanny will come'.hmm hmm

It is shocking that people - including nannys - have responded to your OP in such helpful manner.

So women of fertile age are not employable? We -women - sabotage our own rights? Great!

xoxcherylxox Thu 17-Sep-09 21:16:44

maybe if the nanny did want to bring a child to wrk and would understand she would need a double pram and would mayb buy it herself so she could carry out her job properly

frakkinpannikin Thu 17-Sep-09 22:48:45

I think I can understand where the OP is coming from (as a young, about to be married, child-loving nanny). You want a job/employee that will stay relatively constant for a few years because this whole recruiting/interviewing malarkey is pretty stressful. More so if you just recruited a nanny, thought you were home dry and then find out you need to do it again in under a year!

I've just left my job, after a year, to get married because I was live-in and couldn't continue. When I took the job I was planning to stay for two years at least....it just didn't work out that way. I'm getting married much sooner than I had ever planned because of my DH2Bs job.

So it would be nice to have a nanny who stays constant but you're never going to eliminate the risks and some of those young, married nannies may not want to have children just yet. I'm not planning them for 5 years or so (but best laid plans....)

Tarenath Fri 18-Sep-09 07:57:11

As much as I can see where you're coming from, it's just a risk you have to take and the same risk you take when you employ anyone in any sector!

Yes the nanny may fall pregnant shortly after starting work. She may also have an accident or an illness which means she'll be off work long term too.

Northernlurker Fri 18-Sep-09 08:17:48

If you only need childcare for two days a week then I think you should look at a nursery rather than a nanny. Obviouslt continuity of staff can be a concern there too but it's easier on the children when someone leaves because they still have familiar faces. Actually in the 14 months my daughter's been at nursery only one person has left - for maternity leave!

Rebecca41 Fri 18-Sep-09 11:34:56

Thank you your replies.

Sadly I can't use a nursery because my hours are too long - 13 hours on one of the days.

Storytime I think you're being unfair. What is wrong with thinking of my children and them bonding with a carer? This is the real world - of course I accept that women get pregnant (I'm on maternity leave myself after all), but let's not pretend that it doesn't make life harder for the people we work with. I know for a fact that my partners are struggling and my patients miss me. One of the reasons I'm sometimes wary of posting on MN is because some people seem to love to get into arguments, for no apparent reason. Perhaps you have nothing better to do.

But thanks again to everyone else for their input. It's scary venturing into the unknown.

Mumtosago Mon 21-Sep-09 21:30:34

Yes it happened to me as the nanny. It was raised at interview stages.
I returned approx 3weeks after having my baby. Exactly the same scenario with my nanny friends, we took approx £2 an hr paycuts and continued working with baby.

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