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Sick pay for our nanny?

(10 Posts)
Maria2007 Thu 15-Oct-09 16:44:26

Quick (and kind of urgent) question for you wise MNetters.

We have a part-time nanny, 20 hours a week. Very good relationship, have had her for almost a year now.

She is paid with a gross salary of around 165£ per week, plus 15£ per week (kitty for playgroups, travel etc). We have a contract but sick pay is a bit unclear (and she's never taken a day off0.

Yesterday she called in sick. Actually it was a virus that both me & DP had, so we had given it to her! Today she's back to work normally. But yesterday her good friend- who sometimes fills in for her when for various reasons she can't make it- filled in too, because I had a work meeting & really needed childcare at that particular time. Normally, when she takes a day off & her friend comes instead (this happens about 1-2 times a month) she then pays her the correct amount from her salary. This time though she asked me whether this would still be the case since she was off sick.

It feels somehow harsh for her not to get paid, as if she's sanctioned for her sickness. On the other hand, it also feels too much for us to pay twice for that day. We already are at the limits of what we can afford with the 20 hours childcare each week.

What do you think? All this was discussed with her in a good atmosphere but we both agreed we didn't know what's right! So she said I should ask someone who knows better...so here I am!

Maria2007 Thu 15-Oct-09 16:45:06

(Sorry, gross salary 172 per week, 165 is her net pay).

overweightnoverdrawn Thu 15-Oct-09 16:47:37

you get paid when you are sick so she should too .

ruddynorah Thu 15-Oct-09 16:53:24

you need this

unless otherwise stated in her contract then she is only entitled to SSP. this means she is unpaid for the first 3 days of sickness.

Maria2007 Thu 15-Oct-09 17:12:47

Overweightnoverdrawn, but the problem is that her work was done by someone else on that particular day Which would mean that I would have to pay for that day twice. Hardly seems fair...

In our contract it says 'first 3 days unpaid / then SSP' but we had never actually come to discuss this, it was just in the original contract & neither she nor I looked at it twice when we signed (although we've gone through other things in detail). So not sure what's most fair to do.

nannynick Thu 15-Oct-09 17:22:42

You say that she's never taken a day off but then go on to say that when she takes a day off (happens 1-2 times a month) then her friend covers. Did you mean that she has never taken a day off sick before? On the other occasions when she has had time off and her friend has covered - were those known about in advance, pre-arranged time off?

Yesterday her friend covered at the last minute... is that right? If your nanny didn't have a friend who could cover last minute like that... what would you have done?

"Normally, when she takes a day off & her friend comes instead (this happens about 1-2 times a month) she then pays her the correct amount from her salary."
Sounds a little odd to me, as she is sort of sub-contracting the job.

In my view, the friend providing cover when your nanny is unable to attend for whatever reason, I feel is muddying the water. If your nanny didn't have a friend who could help out like this... then you or your partner would have had to take the day off, or arrange alternative childcare.

So if we remove the friend from the equation... how many days per year would you have paid her in full when she took a day off (authorised in advance, or last minute/sickness)? I feel a lot of bosses, both in nannying and in other work places would pay a small number of days off per year (even if they didn't put that in the contract - some contracts say that x number of days absence is paid per year, then rest are SSP).

Consider how you would like your boss to treat you in your job. If you worked for a year and didn't take any sick days, then you became ill and took a day off... would you get paid?

Legally I suspect your contract is worded such that you don't provide full pay for sick days - it's SSP only. That is typical for nanny contracts in my view. It then enables the employer to consider on a case by case basis as to if will provide pay for a particular day off, or not.

I do not feel it is very common for a nanny to have a friend who can step into their job at the last minute. That must be a big help to you and is not something most nannies would provide.

So I feel you should pay on this occasion, as a good will gesture. You should make it clear that this is happening on this occasion only and any subsequent sick days may be paid at your discretion, or be unpaid until SSP kicks in.

argento Thu 15-Oct-09 17:44:44

Presumably you could have chosen to take the day off and cover her sickness instead of the friend doing it?

If this is her first day off sick in almost a year, and you know it is genuine, then I feel you should pay her. You used the friend as a temp/cover nanny so she should be paid too.

Maria2007 Thu 15-Oct-09 17:49:10

NannyNick:

Yes, she's never taken a day off sick before. The days that she takes off & her friend cover are usually discussed & agreed in advance. I know & like her friend, and DS likes her too (at some point she covered for 2 weeks full time)- and she does occasional babysitting for us too. So it's worked well on an informal friendly level.

Yesterday, if this friend couldn't cover at the last minute I basically would have had to take DS with me to my work meeting, & that would have been a problem! Usually I work from home (I'm doing a PhD) but sometimes I have meetings with supervisors eg yesterday, and this particular meeting yesterday was very crucial, couldn't miss it. Basically I would have been in a very difficult position if her friend could not have covered! And I only found out 1 hour before leaving home that she could...

I actually had a chat 20 mins ago, before reading your post NannyNick. And I told her that even though the law says '3 days unpaid / then SSP' she & I have such a good relationship that I want her to get paid for sick days off. So I've decided, as you actually suggested, that I'll be paying on this occasion- both she AND her friend will get paid. A small compromise we made is that tomorrow she'll do some extra babysitting hours & she'll get paid 2 pounds less per hour.

I also told her that I want her to be paid when sick, but obviously this is because I know her for almost a year now & she never takes days off sick & is generally very reliable. If of course she starts taking sick days all the time (which I know she won't) our agreement will change. That's why I'm happy that in our contract we have the official 'legal' '3 days unpaid' thing.

Hope that sounds fair...

Maria2007 Thu 15-Oct-09 17:55:27

(Normally if she would take sick days off either DP or me would stay with DS, which mostly isn't a problem because we work part-time both).

nannynick Thu 15-Oct-09 17:57:45

Sounds fair and it's great that you have reached a conclusion to this so quickly.

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