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Sacking nanny

(32 Posts)
Bobbiesmum Sun 12-Dec-10 13:57:19

After some wonderful advice on mn we are letting our nanny go. There have been a number of incidents of inflexibility on her part but one main one.
She irons/cleans one day per fortnight as part of her contracted hours (but childcare if needed instead). She often will take the ironing home which I am fine with.
Last week she planned to take ironing home but My ds was admitted to hospital. She refused to stay and care for dd instead of ironing as she needed to go food shopping.
She has been with us for 3 months and despite being given a contract has still not signed it.
Would her refusal to care for dd during paid time constitute gross misconduct and without a contract would I need to give paid notice?
I would be very grateful for any advice.

PosieParksHerSleigh Sun 12-Dec-10 14:01:56

Don't know, but if she's been with you for less than 12 weeks you can get rid of her without a reason, refusing to do as asked during paid time is definitely misconduct.

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 14:03:05

She was on her probationary wasn't she? Did you verbally confirm her appointment?

Bobbiesmum Sun 12-Dec-10 14:21:39

We never actually discussed end of probationay period and verbally confirmed appointment as I thought the 3 month period came to an end next week.
However, I have just looked at her ( unsigned) contract and it says probationary period is 1 month!
Tempted just to keep her it's all so stressful.

flowerytaleofNewYork Sun 12-Dec-10 14:25:17

Probationary period is meaningless in law other if your contract specifies that notice increases at that point. She can't claim unfair dismissal (other than for a few specific reasons) before 12 months.

Yes refusal to care for your daughter could probably be gross misconduct, but really, why not just give her whatever notice she's entitled to and bring it to an end? This early on there's no reason for sacking her to be that stressful.

flowerytaleofNewYork Sun 12-Dec-10 14:25:45

Sorry, other than if your contract says...

ChippingIn Sun 12-Dec-10 14:28:15

Do NOT keep her.

Someone will help you through this OK.


She is making your life more difficult, not easier - you wont regret getting a much better nanny than she is. It's a hassle now, but worth it x

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 14:28:41

Thats sounds good, say you won't be needing her any more. End of conversation. thank you very much and all that, ciao

mellicauli Sun 12-Dec-10 14:46:53

Actually it sounds like she wants to be sacked and she doesn't want the job anyway.

Otherwise why doesn't she sign the contract? I would have thought her continuing to turn up to work and take your money would constitute acceptance of the contract

I would give her a reason as she does need to know. I wouldn't use gross misconduct as that is an inflammatory term. I would say that you issued reasonable instructions which she did not follow.

Have a look at: t/contracts_of_employment.htm

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 14:55:59

As devils advocate why does she need to be told by Bobbiesmum (who has enough on her plate). Perhaps on this occasion let bobbiesmum take the easiest road as life seems a bit trying atm

Bobbiesmum Sun 12-Dec-10 15:01:17

I was thinking the same happy, however it seems unfair not to tell her why but also I feel I need to stAnd up for myself. On the other hand she is not shy in standing up for herself and it could degenerate into her taking control. I'll probably end up offering her a pay rise!

ItalianLady Sun 12-Dec-10 15:04:31

I was sacked from a nanny job. The contract said one month trial with one weeks notice from either side, then 3 months notice once the trial had passed.

The mother rang me at the beginning of my second week and said not to come back. She didn't give a reason nor gave me time to ask so maybe you don't need too?

BTW I knew why she had sacked me but no way would she have said.

flowerytaleofNewYork Sun 12-Dec-10 15:11:48

How could she take control of a situation where you are dismissing her? I'm confused.

Just say it's not working out, you are giving her her one month's notice, or whatever her notice period is, and you are not requiring her (presumably) to work her notice period. If she asks why, tell her you had been feeling for a while it wasn't really working and her refusal to take care of your DD confirmed your opinion and you have decided to end the employment.

You don't need to talk about gross misconduct or anything official or scary sounding. You don't need to use any drastic procedures or disciplinary stuff, anything like that. Really it's not difficult this early on. Not pleasant, but it's as stress-free as dismissing someone could ever be.

Perhaps I don't know enough about the background.

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 15:22:42

lol bobbiesmum. Make up some reasonable codswallop to get rid. I agree in principle you should stand up for yourself, however with a child in hospital you are not at your strongest and perhaps this isn't the time to start. I feel she has taken advantage of you and your family, given that you are less strong and able to cope with life and its nuts and bolts than usual. And to put her shopping before your child needs goes against the grain for me. I would do this for a stranger and for a person I have a relationship far more. In fact I have done (a very good friend of mine she and her three children stayed with me for three weeks while her house was being finished and another time when her youngest was very seriously ill in hospital her children stayed with me for nearly 2 weeks; I fed them all and looks after them all). In my experience life gives you what you give it and this I expect will be her experience.

Enough waffling; organise in your mind what you want from her and how you will cope after and make. Then do it. Where is the father of your children, can he not help you or back you up?

Bobbiesmum Sun 12-Dec-10 15:30:47

Thanks everyone. Happy- dh is laid up with ( real not man) flu but is happy to do the dirty work. I think I may well cop out and let him it's just I have had most contact with nanny so far (and I always feel I like to do everything myself even if I don't do it so well!)

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 15:37:43

from what Ive seen I think probably you do it together is best. Only because as you say you have had the most contact and she probably think of you as her employer. Just back him up and talk about what you are going to say before hand so you are ready

also I would decide if you want her to work out her notice, given you have to pay her; are you willing to put up with the awkwardness in that time?

happychappy Sun 12-Dec-10 15:45:27

start a thread about what codswallop you can say to get rid of crap nanny

Bobbiesmum Sun 12-Dec-10 16:44:51

ha ha thanks!

mranchovy Mon 13-Dec-10 01:21:30

Listen to what Flowery says, the other posters are just guessing which isn't much help really is it?

The idea of working out "what codswallop you can say to get rid of crap nanny" is frankly offensive. Treat people honestly and fairly, whether they are employers or employees, customers, suppliers, neighbours or whoever, and the law is generally on your side. Treat people and the law with disrespect and you deserve to end up in court.

To answer your questions specifically, refusing to follow instructions is not always gross misconduct, this isn't the army. There are a whole load of defences that she could raise in an employment tribunal that you would have to pay a lawyer to defeat.

You offered her 1 months notice when you employed her, you must honour that (or pay in lieu) - the lack of her signature on a piece of paper does not change the agreement between you.

melymoo Mon 13-Dec-10 02:29:57

Surely if she hasn't signed the contract, the one month probation period stated on it isn't applicable? With no contract signed on her behalf I don't think she could do anything if you decide to go with immediate dismissal, no notice but I'm not 100%, could be thinking I know when I really don't grin

happychappy Mon 13-Dec-10 06:34:42

Mranchovy, I think you've misunderstood me. She doesn't want to get into a slagging match. She just wants it done. With a child back and forth from hospital, the last thing she needs is a defensive aggressive nanny. I agree in principle honesty is the best policy but sure in her circumstances the road of least resistance is best. Agree the notice period and pay and say goodbye with the argument or bad feeling

mranchovy Mon 13-Dec-10 10:41:26

Happychappy, I hope I have smile.

As you say, the path of least resistance is simply to terminate her employment in accordance with the terms of the contract, which is (we are told) to give one month's notice.

happychappy Mon 13-Dec-10 10:45:04

exactly but she doesn't need to go into the why and wheres of it. Just get it over with as painlessly as possible. Which is being nicer than her nanny was to her leaving her to try and find childcare (while she was being paid to by bobbiesmum). But not ironing but shopping instead.

PinkElephantsOnParade Mon 13-Dec-10 10:51:10

mranchovy is absolutely right, quit messing about, just prepare an envelope containing her p45 and a cheque for one month's notice pay.

Then ask her in for a short chat with you and DH, say it's not working out and you are giving her notice. Then hand her the envelope.

Don't get into a discussion, just make your statement then ask her to leave.

mousymouse Mon 13-Dec-10 10:51:58

melymoo, even if she didn't sign the contract her starting work means she accepted the conditions.

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