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Making nanny on maternity leave redundant

(10 Posts)
ridiculouslife Thu 28-Feb-13 22:07:19

Quick straw poll among you employment law expert Mumsnetters if you would be so kind.. it's a peculiar one.

My live-out Nanny is currently on mat leave (OML).

Due to my hours at work getting worse and worse over the last few months (I recently started a new full on job), DH and I are seriously considering getting a live in nanny. Mat cover nanny is already getting hacked off about the office hours I am keeping and it is looking like the only workable solution as the children become increasingly more demanding - not to mention the soaring nanny costs!

Question is, if we do go down the live-in route, do I need to offer original nanny the live-in position or can I make her redundant?

I mean, clearly it would be completely fanciful for her to want to take it and move in with us when she has a husband and baby at home (bringing her baby to work is not an option). Can I make her redundant on the basis that it's objectively not practicable for her to take up the alternative role (even if she says she'll take it for the sake of protecting her holiday accrual)?

The reason I ask is that I would obviously rather be able to advertise the live-in role as a permanent position rather than as mat cover only.

I have heard that if the nanny tells me she wants the live-in position (even though it is clear she won't practically be able to/want to do it), I would need to give it to her her. Otherwise it's sex discrimination.

Is this true? It seems utterly ludicrous!

Any views appreciated! Many thanks!

SandraJB Fri 01-Mar-13 11:30:48

You will need to follow a proper process to make her redundant ie consult with her above the situation and your intentions. If you have alternative work ie the live in position you have to offer it to her. If you don't then make her redundant she could take you to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal provided she has sufficient length of service. Check out the ACAS website for guidance on what you need to do. Make sure you document the process you follow with letters and emails.

This needs to be a true redundancy situation rather than seen to be a situation concocted to get rid of her in which case she could claim maternity discrimination.

prh47bridge Fri 01-Mar-13 12:41:55

As she is on maternity leave you are required to offer her any suitable alternative job. I think you would struggle to argue that the live-in position is not a suitable alternative however convinced you may be that she wouldn't actually want to move in with you.

SarkyPants Fri 01-Mar-13 13:15:20

her personal cirumstances don't come into it in terms of whether the job is a suitable alternative.

Viviennemary Fri 01-Mar-13 14:48:31

How long has she worked for you. Perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau could give you some advice on the best way forward for this situation.

Xenia Sat 02-Mar-13 08:15:28

The thing is she might be prepared to leave her baby at home and live in and just see it at weekends and in her time off.
If there is sex discrimination then she doesn't need to have worked for 1/2 years to claim unfair dismissal. You might however choose to pay her off. Lots of employees are let go with a lump sum so it is quickly done and everyone is happy. We had two nannies off on maternity leave. The first did it twice and brought one and then two babies back which worked fine as our oldest 2 were in school. The second chose to move hundreds of miles away to be with family and not to come back which was fine too.

It is very very different having a nanny on maternity leave than any other employee and it is unfair that the law seems to make no distinction when you are talking about that close relationship between a baby and its nanny rather than getting someone else in for a few months whilst an employee is off sick or pregnant who works on the shop floor.

flowery Sat 02-Mar-13 08:20:19

You can't decide for her. She can decide its not practicable. You can't.

You need to offer it to her.

Pufflemum Sat 02-Mar-13 08:32:53

Be really careful and take formal, documented legal advice. I was in a very similar situation and ended up bring sued by the nanny because I didn't. It was very stressful and expensive!

ridiculouslife Mon 04-Mar-13 22:20:57

Thank you so much for all your advice - very very helpful.

Xenia, I have often considered it is strange that the law makes no distinction for this very unique relationship but then I suppose I would be arguing the other way if I was a nanny!

Thanks again all - much appreciated.

Xenia Tue 05-Mar-13 11:03:50

It is hard. It is a bit like a famous operate singer. If she had a baby she couldn't just substitute her sister to do the singing whilst she was away - her skills are unique.

I think most people sort out a compromise. We had a live in nanny temporarily for about 4 - 6 weeks and then our nanny of 6 years came back with her baby. She was with us 10 years in total. In other words she came back very quickly to help us and we worked around her own situation.

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