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Planning nitty-gritty of our contract review - could use your opinions.

(18 Posts)
freudianslips Tue 22-Sep-09 17:36:53

ou all very kindly advised me when I was unsure about whether our nanny was likely to want to take on our second child. You also pointed out some issues that existed within my relationship with the nanny as well as some duties that she probably ought to be doing.

Having discussed this with DH, we've scheduled a contract review for all three of us to attend at the end of October - cannot do it sooner as he is in Afganistan shortly, and also because i would like to get my 20 week scan under my belt before making firmer plans.

These are the changes to the job description that we are proposing. My questions are:
1. Do they sound reasonable?
2. Are they too drastic - will she be in a position to legitimately claim that we are 'forcing' her out of the role by changing it to this extent?
3. If she accepts the changes, how should we best go about ensuring that the new salary reflects them i.e. what kind of a scale of a rise would you expect, roughly speaking?

I really appreciate any feedback you can give on these proposals and I apologise for coming on here yet again with my nanny drama.

Okay, so changes in brief are:

1. Increasing days worked to 5 per week rather than 4.
2. Increasing hours worked per day by 1.5 hours - changing from 8 to 4 to 8.30 til 6.
3. Enforcing at least 2 car-free days per week because the mileage claims are painful at the moment.
4. Asking for written details of mileage incurred to ensure it's actually being used for job and not, as today (grrrr) trips to marks and spencer to do nanny's shopping.
5. Asking nanny to walk dog, with baby, at least twice a week - we have a nearby park where the dog can basically run free and then just go back on lead next to road.
6. Asking nanny, baby(ies) and dog to spend at least an hour per day together in some capacity, allowing children to become properly socialised with dog.
7. Requesting assistance in completing the following household tasks:
- bottle washing and sterilisation
- doing baby's washing and hanging out to dry
- washing up after baby's meals
- preparation of fresh lunch for older child (will be 18 months) rather then pre-made by me or Hipp organic (blush).
- some light general tidying up after baby.
8. Emptying nappy bin (just placing bag outside) when full.

Do you think I'm missing anything key, particularly in terms of nursery duties? Am I being too prescriptive?

freudianslips Tue 22-Sep-09 17:38:15

Oh, and how could I forget the most important change - care of our DD and the new baby when the new baby passes the age of 4/6 months.

fridayschild Tue 22-Sep-09 17:57:41

"Requesting assistance completing" sounds a bit wet. I haven't followed the nanny drama you mention, but it seems to me that she Should Do All clothes washing and drying for both children and all bottle sterilising etc while she is on duty. With hours like that I would also expect her to do DC1's evening meal as well as lunch.

The only thing I would query is the dog - was it there before nanny started working for you? I did employ a nanny once who specified that we not get a dog while we employed her as she didn't want to clear up dog poo. She felt there was enough poo clearing up in a nanny's job already.

Otherwise I think it sounds OK. I think the pay should simply be pro rata for the extra hours.

It sounds as if you will be keeping her on during your maternity leave. You might want to specify some duties while you are at home, and some others for when you go back to work. It can be a tricky dynamic when you are on mat leave with number 2.

Millarkie Tue 22-Sep-09 17:59:54

I wouldn't ask a nanny to walk the dog (unless they were a great dog lover and offered), but apart from that it seems fine. And i would worry about asking a non-dog loving nanny to supervise dog+baby either (but I wouldn't want dogs and children to mix until kids get past the jerky movements/pulling tail age)
I would give a maximum mileage per week and daily mileage records (having been caught out by an au pair who used our car to the utmost but..just within our guidelines).

argento Tue 22-Sep-09 18:05:21

1. and 2. - what would happen if the nanny didn't want to increase her days and hours?

3,4,7 and 8 are all very reasonable

5 and 6 depends on how much the nanny likes the dog. Care of a dog isn't the nanny's job, and she might not be happy to have her contract changed to include it. I think if you want the dog walked you need to employ a dog walker.

clayrebear Tue 22-Sep-09 18:33:41

As a nanny I do all of the above (except the doggie parts) as per normal nanny duties. Sounds like your nanny as lovely as she maybe will have to start doing something to earn her wages! My bosses quite often come home to a hot dinner in the oven for them tho it is not asked to be done or expected and I also hang out washing and empty the dishwasher when needed.
Regading the dog walking as it was not discussed at the interview and its not related to the children she may not be happy to do it and I would want to keep the dog away from young children especialy a baby as dogs as much as we think they are ok can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Good luck with your chat with her and I hope she agrees to the new changes.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 22-Sep-09 18:42:05

i must have missed the thread you did about asking if a nanny wants to look after new sibling - link please smile

1 and 2 - the nanny may not want to do 5 days instead of 4 and esp not if the hours are increasing each day as well

why the increase - are you changing jobs?

3 - depending on where the nanny is going and where you are based - i would go mad with cabin fever wink if i had to stay in all day for 2 days(work up country lane) and no where to go without using a car (tho sounds as if you are within walking distance of stuff, ) ie park

maybe fix a set mileage?

3,4,7,8 all reasonable asks for a nanny

5 and 6 - cheeky - my family got a dog about a year ago and I said no problem as long as I dont have to walk him - (i have 3dc to look after) so neighbour/db/dog walker does

tbh mb said she wouldnt expect me to look after him - though obv depending on what your nanny does, she will be restricted to where she goes and how long if you get a gog - ie dogs shouldnt be left alone for long periods every day

nbee84 Tue 22-Sep-09 18:52:34

Link for those that didn't see the last thread. It explains why the op is having to do a contract review and include the things that she has mentioned.

freudianslips Tue 22-Sep-09 18:57:31

Here is link, which clarifies our situation rather more. -current

Just to respond briefly to questions.

1. Dog predates nanny, but I too believe asking for the walking is a bit cheeky. I DO consider it important for DD to spend some quality time with dog during the day though.

2. Hours increasing because I will be coming off maternity leave, finishing my PhD asap and getting a job, hence hours needing to allow for increased workload.

3. Nanny is actually currently looking for someone else to work for just on fridays, because she wants a 5 day week. As for increased hours, I don't know, but she's worked much longer hours before.

4. We live in the centre of a lovely city with shops, cafes, playgrounds, playgroups, leisure centre, river etc. in very easy strolling distance. We don't use the car more than a couple of times a week because everything is so close by.

I love our nanny's relationship with DD but if she is not prepared to compromise on a few things - not necessarily all of them - (and see previous post for how much compromising I have done) then it may be best for both us and her that we ascertain this now, rather than keeping on with the status quo which is certainly making me fairly unhappy and giving me a rather big workload at the end of the day. I'm so sorry if that sounds callous - it's not meant to.

freudianslips Tue 22-Sep-09 18:58:37

Thank you nbee84 - cross-post!

argento Tue 22-Sep-09 23:49:17

It all sounds reasonable except for the dog stuff maybe. I think you'd need to be pretty confident with dogs, and confident with that dog in particular, to want to have them round small children. I am a dog person but I'd still keep dogs and children separated during the day if they weren't my dogs/children for safety's sake.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 23-Sep-09 13:42:31

thanks for link - your post was when i was on holiday

have just read it and im shock at how sodding lazy your nanny is and tbh i think she REALLY takes the piss - and more to the point she is saying " how exhausting she finds her job " her job is hmm

she works short hours, has one baby and doesnt do any nursery duites (like me) though i have 3 to look after YET she is tired hmm shock

you say she is experienced yet "was a bit wary of dealing with my expressed breast milk "

does seem weird to get a nanny who seems afraid of dogs

I think you need to sit down now and have a chat about how things will chnage - tell her that nursery duties will be part of her job, and that she will be looking after both, say about the hours and if she doesnt want to accept your new revised job then tbh you are batter off without her and look for a new nanny

freudianslips Wed 23-Sep-09 18:13:19

Thanks for your feedback everyone. I agree, on reflection, that the dog stuff probably isn't appropriate, more like wishful thinking i.e. this is what I'd do if I was at home all day.
I'm feeling pretty cynical about the whole nannying thing working for our family to be honest. If current nanny would like to embrace at least part of the new job description then we owe it to her to give her a go, but I've seen my household workload increase significantly since she joined us as well as my wallet become significantly lighter than I expected (I didn't factor in exactly how much driving would be involved, I guess ... I walk everywhere with DD!). I've been investigating local nurseries and even paying for two children, five days a week for most of the year they work out less than the nanny's current salary, and offer more hours. I grew up with some wonderful nannies and really wanted that closeness for my children, but I feel very disillusioned, very naive and a bit taken-advantage-of.
D'you think, if we decided to part ways, we'd have a chance of finding someone that suited us more? Especially if we made sure that she liked dogs, but didn't ask her to do any dog care ?

Millarkie Wed 23-Sep-09 18:35:24

There are some great nannies out there - and the vast majority will expect to do nursery duties as well as looking after 2 children (and the occasional one might be a dog-lover too).
We had 2 in nursery and changed to a nanny and the bonus of not having to get bags ready and organised (with 2 kids and the normal hold-ups of dirty nappies etc) and the joy of coming home to find them already there, clean and fed was worth the extra cost.(and the almost 1 to 1 when potty training etc). I think you have been taken for a ride by current nanny.
Get the job description sorted before you recruit and be strict with the other expenses - limit the miles paid for, limit expensive activities (give a fixed amount per week kitty or book classes that you want and say otherwise it's playgrounds and feeding ducks).

EverySingleStar Wed 23-Sep-09 18:55:29

Freudian, are you in London? If so and you decide to look for some other options, e-mail me on

I'm a nanny and would have no problem with most of your duties (and I happen to love doggies grin).

Also, I don't drive (walk or bus everywhere) so would save you some money

sweethoney Wed 23-Sep-09 19:33:28

I think your job description sounds fine (maybe apart from the doggy stuff but that depends on the nanny). You will have two v small children and I really wouldn't recommend putting them in nursery so young as they will do much better at home.
Having a nanny works really well if they work hard for you and you pay a fair wage. The nanny should do all things child related and this includes their washing and ironing, tidying and sorting toys and preparing fresh homecooked meals wherever possible (most days) and even freezing batches for the weekend for the baby.
I would speak with your nanny and say exactly the sort of role you will be requiring her to do. If she is not happy and unprepared to change then maybe a new nanny would be a good option who would be happy to do the role you describe.
Nannys cost a lot of money and they can be totally worth it if they love their job and become committed to it. No one likes to feel taken advantage off. There also appears to be many nannies looking for full time jobs at the moment just like the one you need, regardless of what people say, there are more nannies than jobs and if your nanny is unprepared to pull her weight then look for a new one.
As regards car mileage, unless she genuinely needs to use the car, state that the car can't be used unless it is needed and with prior consent. This may sound harsh to her, but it isn't her petrol she is using.
Hope you sort everything out, great nannies are brilliant.

happynanny22 Thu 24-Sep-09 01:30:46

I am a nanny with 3 charges (tho slightly older than most here - 5,7,9) and if the children's family decided to get a dog I would be delighted. I looooove dogs (and can't have one of my own)

Not only that I would be happy to walk it and would be sure that my charges looked after it responsibly (because I think being confident with animals is extremely important for young children).

So I don't think asking your nanny to do dog-related duties is unreasonable, as the dog IMVHO, is like another child and part of the family!!! grin There are nannies out there.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 24-Sep-09 15:53:06

"So I don't think asking your nanny to do dog-related duties is unreasonable, as the dog IMVHO, is like another child and part of the family!!!"

a nanny is there to look after children and not look after/walk/clear up poo from a dog

i get enough poo from a 2 legged person - and 4 legged ones poo more grin

mb/db are part of the family and i dont clear up their poo wink

it is reasonable to ask a nanny of older school aged children to maybe walk the dog during working hours if you pay her full time when children are at school

it is completley different trying to walk a dog with a double buggy or single buggy and child/toddler walking

regards to mileage - where is nanny going?

you said mileage is a lot - is she visiting friends far away?

ask for an itemised mileage bill - or set a limit of maybe x miles a week and pay that much petrol money

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