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nanny's expenses

(43 Posts)
nannyQnamechange Tue 09-Feb-10 19:35:02

Sorry, am regular but have namechanged as usual talk name is a give-away!

We have a fantastic p/t nanny who has been with us for almost a year. DD adores her, and we feel very lucky to have found her. I am very keen not to rock the boat, however am just a little shock at latest expenses claim.

I feel that we have been fairly generous re expenses and do not usually limit these in any way, i.e. nanny decides which groups to take DD to, arranges fun outings etc and we pay. We live in a rural area, so mileage is often quite high, but I have never questioned this before or asked nanny to keep it down (even though I would secretly like to), as I know she prefers to get out and about with DD.

However, last week she submitted an expenses claim which inlcuded 46 miles into the city and back and lunch for her and DD for what was essentially a shopping trip for her. She had said that she had a wedding coming up and had to get an outfit and a few other bits and pieces, and did I mind if she took DD into the city with her to do this during work hours. I have no real issue with this as a one-off (and regularly sanction trips to the local shops), but really, although I know she'll have tried to make it as interesting as possible for DD, no part of the trip was for DD's benefit, and as far as I am aware there were no toddler-friendly activities incorporated.

I was taken aback to notice that she expected us to pay her mileage (at 40p / mile) and for her lunch for this trip. Am I being unreasonable? Any suggestions on how to handle this? I really don't want to get into an argument with her, but don't want her to think I'm a total pushover and she can just take the p'. I wondered if it might be easier to set a weekly mileage "not to be exceeded without agreement" limit rather than borach this specific issue, or is this being weak? I know fine well that my employers would have something to say if I tried to claim mileage for a personal shopping trip in work time!

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

drinkyourmilk Tue 09-Feb-10 19:43:52

My employers are amazing when it comes to expenses - they are just like you in that I can go anywhere, do anything etc (and I look after 3 - so almost triple cost!).

They are fine with me having lunch etc out if I feel like it - but in all fairness its generally because i just can't be bothered to cook(we're talking about once every 2 or 3 months btw), so they pay one time, then I cover the next (unless it's a meal out due to a trip etc when ob they pay).

I think your nanny is being very cheeky. I think you are well within your rights to refuse to pay anything towards this trip. If this doesn't sit comfortably then pay half the costs, and explain that you are fair with her and expect the same.

I rather suspect that this is why many families set a weekly/monthly budget.

wrinklyraisin Tue 09-Feb-10 19:49:22

She should pay as the errand was HER errand not yours. It was really nice of you to let her do something like that in her working hours. She's taking the mick.

nbee84 Tue 09-Feb-10 19:49:32

I think you are better to address the issue of her shopping trip rather than a "mileage not to be exceeded" If my employer was unhappy with something that I had done I would rather know than have something like that and know that something wasn't right but not know exactly what.

BTW - I do think she has been a bit cheeky!

narna Tue 09-Feb-10 20:43:27

I agree with wrinklyraisin.

nannyQnamechange Tue 09-Feb-10 21:25:20

Thanks all for replies, really appreciate them and glad to hear I'm not just being mean. Will raise with nanny tomorrow, really hate these types of situation!

Strix Tue 09-Feb-10 21:38:46

You probably should have had this conversation when first secretly wanted to and you be here now. But, what;s done is done. She is taking the mick (but possibly doesn't realise it). So, yeas, sit down and clarify as soon as you can.

And, yes, this is exactly why we have a month budget. My nanny gets £70 a month to spend however she chooses. I don't question it. She never asks for more (except in school hols which is fine). The kids are both in school full time and all of their activities are paid for separately by me so the £70 goes on... actually, I have no idea what it goes on. But, nanny is lovely and I'm not fussed.

But, a shopping trip into the city would fly like a lead baloon with me.

frakkinaround Tue 09-Feb-10 22:11:55

Normal expenses are fair enough. Shopping trip into the city, no. That was for her and she should be bloody grateful you let her do it whilst she's being paid.

Say "I'm really sorry but we just can't afford to pay the expenses for this shopping trip, especially as it wasn't for DD." And then do as strix does and put a limit on the kitty.

diamond2101 Wed 10-Feb-10 00:05:32

If I'd asked my employers to allow me to personal shop, I wouldn't expect them to pay for my mileage etc as it's my choice to do so during work hrs. Also I would've told my boss that I would not be expecting him/her to reimburse me for the expenses prior to the shopping trip.
I usually always take lunch on the go - homemade sandwiches etc so think your nanny could've done that instead of eating out on that particular day.
Could she not have taken the train/tube into the city instead? Oyster would've been so much cheaper and am sure your DD would've found that a very exciting trip!
But I guess it's already done now so no going back but just be straight with her: tell her exactly what you think in a diplomatic way as you're well within your rights - she's definately been cheeky!!

nannynick Wed 10-Feb-10 07:29:01

Oyster is only London isn't it? City could be used to describe any city. Also you can't seem to get an Oyster card on the same day you want to travel - at least, I've not found a way to do it.

What's done is done. Employer gave permission for the trip but didn't give any conditions to that, such as not expecting there to be a mileage claim, or a lunch claim.

If I were to do a trip like that, I would not have claimed for lunch. If we were eating out at a restaurant (rather than taking lunch with us) then that would have been my treat to pay for, I would not have expected my boss to cover that.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Feb-10 08:17:17

so she wanted you to pay £18ish in petrol charges and lunch for her to do shopping trip which tech as part time she could have done in her own time (and prob much easier without child/buggy)wink

she has seriously taken the piss - yes i did wedding stuff sometimes, ie if had to pick up flowers etc on a certian day, but not dress shopping while working

my family (as have all my others) are very generous about a kitty, i get free reign to go out about to zoo's/beaches/lunch etc and a credit card and they have never quereied anything, though as with drink your milk - i have 3 and things triple, esp in summer hols

on the good side, she asked if you minded before going

i would simply say that as it was an errand for her that you are not going to pay milegae and lunch

frakkinaround Wed 10-Feb-10 08:25:54

nick you can buy an Oyster and travel the same day. There are machines at most tubes and I think they're £5, £2 for the Oyster and £3 credit. Or you can get it from a ticket office.

Bonsoir Wed 10-Feb-10 08:36:58

I think that you need to use this opportunity to make your expenses policy clear.

In your position, I would pay the nanny's expense claim this time, apologise for not having been clear that you didn't expect to meet petrol and lunch costs in advance (it is actually your duty as employer to be very clear about this - your nanny did ask permission to make the trip, after all, and you should have, IMO, clarified who was paying for what) and tell her that you are going to use this opportunity to write down an explicit expenses policy about what you will and will not cover.

foxinsocks Wed 10-Feb-10 08:49:42

yes I agree with Bonsoir. She asked beforehand and because it wasn't clarified, she's just gone ahead.

Sit her down, thank her for asking permission but tell her that if she wants to go shopping like that, she must fund the trip herself but you'll pay this time as this wasn't clear between the two of you but just for future reference.

greybird Wed 10-Feb-10 10:43:14

It's funny how she thought it was acceptable especially as she is part time, and thus should have time to shop outside working hours. I've had this problem with nannies and expenses so often - one who spent £35 for a meal at 4pm for herself and two preschool children, another who kept on buying things for the kids even after we asked her not to and another who told me at the end of the day that she had "borrowed" £25 from the kitty. I had not thought of telling them beforehand "don't spend £35 on a meal at 4pm" or "don't borrow money from the kitty".

You just can't expect other people to have the same standards as you, and I agree that you have to set it out clearly, but I totally symphathise that it't not easy -- if nanny mentions something like that to me during the morning rush, I wouldn't be concentrating enough to think of setting out the expenses clearly there and then (who would??)

HarrietTheSpy Wed 10-Feb-10 10:59:21

No, just tell her while you were happy to help her out as a one off with this errand she needed to do during working hours hmm but that you can't really cover expenses for something like this AS WELL, as it's not a DC related activity. Keep it simple, don't apologise.

Strix Wed 10-Feb-10 11:54:35

Mind if I ask how much this bill was? I think if it was £20 in toal I'd pay it and move on. If it was £60, I might offer to pay half as a good gesture. If I asked my boos if I culd go to Disnet Land in the half term, I'm prettyu sure he would think I was asking for hols and would be quite surprised if I submitted my expenses.

Saying she could go and saying you would pay for it are two different things, in my opinion.

nannyQnamechange Wed 10-Feb-10 13:07:36

Expenses were just under £35. Have discussed with DH and think we will pay this time on the basis that there may have been some confusion (someone above pointed out that she may not realise that she is taking the mick, and I think this hit the nail on the head - am sure that she's not doing this deliberately). But we will discuss it with her and use it as an opportunity to set ground rules for future - I'm just going to set a general rule though rather than having to make it clear every time what we will pay for and what we wont, as just don't have time in the morning to have those kinds of discussions.

Re previous posts - we're not south east, so city wasn't London - where we are is very rural, we don't even have trains! So no issue with her driving.

Thanks for all responses, have found these really helpful.

Missus84 Wed 10-Feb-10 13:49:51

If you haven't set any rules on expenses then I feel it's kind of your fault tbh.

wrinklyraisin Wed 10-Feb-10 14:11:59

But also isn't it the nanny's responsibility to use a little initiative and think to herself "who's benefitting from this trip? Me,not the child." I know I would not expect my boss to pay for expenses incurred during work hours, if those expenses had nothing to do with my job! She chose to run her own errand during work hours. The OP was really reasonable and nice to give her permission to do so. The OP is NOT responsible for any expenses incurred though.

BoffinMum Wed 10-Feb-10 15:15:15

I think she's cheeky, and you should refuse to pay and charge her rent for borrowing your DS as well! wink

Bonsoir Wed 10-Feb-10 19:16:27

Boffinmum - the OP has a DD who I am sure will have been invaluable in selecting a wedding outfit wink. The OP should be charging for personal shopping services...

nannyQnamechange Wed 10-Feb-10 19:38:32

That made me laugh! I didn't ask to see the outfit that she bought - now I am very curious! If it's pink and frilly with fairy wings that would at least verify that actually DD was kept fully involved with the whole process... maybe I should thank my nanny for training her up in shopping etiquette at such a young age!

BoffinMum Thu 11-Feb-10 07:59:07

Well, I sincerely hope she looks like a cross between a meringue, a fairy and a rap artist on the day after being so utterly cheeky. grin

My last nanny came up with this scheme whereby I was supposed to drive her to and from the station during her off duty time so she could go home to Leeds every w/e, and that if I was unable to do this (for example because I was putting the kids to bed or indeed one was already asleep) then I for some reason was supposed to pay for a taxi for her from the nursery float. When I refused to go along with this, she got very moody and started going bad as a nanny.

Where do these people get such ideas from? With current temp nanny I have stopped having a nursery float and only reimburse retrospectively funnily enough I am saving a fortune and the kids still get to do all the same things as before. Interesting ....

Laquitar Thu 11-Feb-10 09:50:02

I wouldn't like to pay the petrol for personal errands. You need to set a specific weekly ammount and make it clear that this is for the childrens activities.

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