A complicated situation which has now come up .. some legal advice pls(8 Posts)
My nanny has been diagnosed with stress and now has been referred to counseling and anti depressents. She has indicated that her treatments are ad hoc (whenever the NHS can fit her in) so I would not know when she will need to take time off or for how long. Unfortunately this presents many issues not least of which her suitability to look after children, but critically I would like to understand what I need to be aware of from a legal perspective as an employer in deciding what I should do. ANy other non legal advice would also help.
I can't offer you any illegal advice, but I do sympathise. I had a nanny with health issues which led to problems with reliability and lots of time off. As both my dh and I work full time, it was a real headache. We were incredibly fair with her, and paid her nearly all of her days off sick - these numbered in the mid-teens in one year alone, made alternative cc arrangements when she had appointments. In the end we felt like our good natureness about it all was being abused.
Sorry, obviously none of this helps you but at least now I know what I would have done differently. Firstly, I would have established with her whether she felt there was a link between the job and illness. I think you need to establish with your nanny if it is her job that is causing her stress. If it is, it's not unreasonable that she should reconsider her suitability for the role. Secondly, if you have a contract with her, stick to the letter on what has been agreed to in terms of paid sickness. That was our biggest mistake. If you have household content insurance, this often includes £30k of legal insurance so you may be able to speak to a solicitor through them. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Good luck.
starmucks- thank you for sharing your experience. My nanny has been superb so far and I feel that her stress illness is driven mainly by family related reasons however the demanding role as a full time nanny probably is not helping things although its my assessment thus far. My concern on a personal level is that I want to be fair and accomodating as possible but at the same time I need to think about what is best for my kids and the disruption to their lives everytime a temp is employed. I guess I am trying to assess my legal responsbility as an employer so that I may all of these very sensitive issues.
Gildleigh it sounds a little odd to me that her treatments are ad hoc. If she is seeing an NHS counsellor, usually she would book appointments in advance. They have schedules just the same as anybody else so that bit doesn't quite add up!
SPS-it does appear odd but I do believe her as she has never been dishonest before. THis is why the situation going forward will be very difficult.
I had counseling. Sessions were for an hour, and to start off with only booked ahead one at a time because the counselor was figuring out what worked for me (and obviously had other commitments too). If your nanny hasn't started counseling yet then it may be more that she doesn't know how it will work than it will really be random.
nooka- I think you are right. I guess in the best case, she will have sessions booked well in advance and will have them mostly outside of her work hours. The worst is that the sessions frequent and reasonably short (ie. notice within a week) noticed to me and occurs mainly during her contract hours. In the first instance, so long as I feel confident she can cope it ought not to be an issue. On the latter, it would be impossible to work with.
Nooka- may I ask were you a nanny or employed when you had counselling? How did your employer accomodate your sessions?
I was employed (although I have also employed nannies so I know how tricky that can be). But firstly work recommended me for the counseling (it was via a scheme they bought into) and then shortly after I started it I had broken my arm, so was off work in any case. I think I had a few sessions whilst I was returning to work, but as that was part time it wasn't difficult to schedule around work (my counselor lived in the area too). Finally I worked for the NHS, and flexible working was one of the things they were very good at.
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