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please help me - car problem

(11 Posts)
clairetwick Wed 04-Nov-09 18:24:08

Hi I have joined here as I could really do with some help and advice about my rights.

I am a self employed nanny, working for different families. My problem is about one family I worked for 6 hours a week, with no written contract.

As part of my job I use my own car to transport the children I look after. Recently the 5 year old child flipped the handle to slide the passenger seat forwards, didnt do it to the full extent, and then shoved the seat forwards causing the movement mechanism to break. This was while I was on duty, I had picked him up from school.

I feel it is reasonable to expect the family to pay the costs of repairs, since their child did it. They will not pay, they do not feel they owe me any money and have said they will pay £50 towards it, I am expecting costs to be £200 ish.

I find it disgusting to be honest how they have no morals and manners. In the light of this i have said I am not prepared to transport their children in my car. Same as quitting, but not.

Everyone I have spoken to agrees with me. Does anybody know legally what is right?

thank you

atworknotworking Wed 04-Nov-09 18:49:35

I have no idea what your legal rights are, but as a CM who transports up to 20ish mindees every day using my own vehicle I expect things to get broken its part and parcel of using your own equipment/resources, can't say I'm happy about it, just part of working life.

I wouldn't expect my mindees parents to cover any repair costs unless it was wilful damage IYSWIM. But not sure what Nanny ettiquete is on the subject.

nannynick Wed 04-Nov-09 18:54:02

Firstly it is vital that you have some kind of written contract/agreement with your customer. This may even be a condition of your public liability insurance. So I feel you need to produce some kind of written agreement for that family to sign as soon as possible.

Your car insurance should cover costs of damage to the vehicle by passengers. Have you talked with your insurer? I do not feel it is the responsibility of the parents of the child, as the child was not in their care at the time... I do not feel a 5 year old child can be held liable.

Them saying that they will pay £50 towards it I feel is generous of them... as I don't feel they have to pay anything. So morally they feel a bit guilty and are offering a gesture.

You are providing a service and your business terms are your terms... so if you no longer wish to provide the service on the terms previously agreed (I presume that was agreed verbally) then you can terminate the agreement.

For a legal view, have you called your nanny insurer's free legal advice line? (If with MortonMichel, details are on page 4 of the policy booklet.) In the past when I've called, you leave your details and a lawyer gets back to you... think it's up to 30 minutes or maybe an hour of legal advice. You may also have a similar service provided with your car insurance, so you could get two legal opinions.

Ripeberry Wed 04-Nov-09 20:38:12

You should have a contract with this familly as your insurance won't be valid. Either get a contract or find another employer (unless you are a self-employed nanny)

Ripeberry Wed 04-Nov-09 20:39:28

Note to the post carefully (sorry). But you do need a contract for each familly. Are you registered with Ofsted?

StillSquiffy Wed 04-Nov-09 20:49:03

1) YABU and don't have a legal leg to stand on.

2) Repairs should be part and parcel of the job if they are part of the service you agreed, and if you did not factor in the costs of the odd bit of accidental damage when fixing your rates with your families, then that is your fault - these 'overheads' are one of those things you always need to factor in when you are self-employed.

Sorry, but you are the one in the wrong here.

As an aside, have you upped your car insurance to cover the use of your car for business purposes? If not, you could be convicted for driving without insurance if caught, or if there was an accident.

frakkinaround Wed 04-Nov-09 21:26:10

If you're paid mileage that should cover wear and tea/damage to your car. If you're self-employed and legitimately claiming it back then you can't exactly ask them for money.

Don't work without a contract.

nannynick slightly OT - are MMs legal advice line any good? I may have to call them...

BradfordMum Sat 07-Nov-09 08:37:49


nannynick Sat 07-Nov-09 09:17:39

frakkin - I've only called them once and it was a few years back, so can't remember in detail. But basically the person agreed with me. Helpful though to get the view of someone trained in law.

nannyneedshelp Sat 07-Nov-09 13:58:44

Thanks for your replies, I thought I had deleted this post and as I couldnt see it anywhere. In reply, yes I am covered by my insurance for business purposes. Thanks for your opinions, there are obviously more issues than I had considered in using my own car for work such as accidental damage by children.
I will be making sure that I include this in future agreements. Thanks everyone

FourArms Sun 08-Nov-09 08:27:15

If you want to get this thread deleted (assuming the first post is your real name?) then you can click on report thread and ask for it to be deleted.

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