Nanny dispute - next steps(13 Posts)
We recently had to let our nanny go after six months because she simply wasn't turning up for work. During that time she took 15 days off sick (always with different ailments), was late most days and it got to the stage where we just didn't trust her. We paid her the full salary throughout, plus 4 weeks notice which we said she didn't have to work.
Since we let her go, she's texted me several times daily, becoming increasingly belligerent / threatening. She's claiming that we owe her money for babysitting and that we haven't given her all her payslips, and will therefore be 'taking us to court'. She hasn't returned our house keys and says she will only do so when we have given her the extra money & payslips we owe her. I'm going to get our locks changed but I'd still like this resolved.
Re. babysitting, we had provision in our contract for one day per month for no extra charge. She babysat for us 3 times, so as far as I concerned we don't owe her anything for that. However the contract also refers to payment for additional overtime at £10ph - she's suggesting that we should pay her that amount for any babysitting she did, which she's also inflating.
I've discussed all of this with our payroll agency who have confirmed that we've done everything we need to. But I'd like to draw a line under this now. Is the best thing to appoint a solicitor and ask her to address complaints to them? I would just block her texts / calls but I worry she might turn violent - clearly she knows where we live.
Install cctv outside your home and block her altogether. .
Then move on. .
Dont think she has a leg to stand on.
Ignore her and ask any claim she thinks she has is put in writing to a solicitor- will soon put her off!
Thanks both - that's what I thought, I just wanted to sense check. Calling locksmiths now, and will look into CCTV too!
Change the locks and ignore. If she wants to try legal action against you she can but it does not sound that there are any grounds on which to do so.
You mention an issue with payslips - could the payroll provider resend any payslips which she feels are missing? If you use an online system, you may be able to login, print off the payslips and then put them in the post to her - recorded delivery so you get tracking of them being delivered. Then her argument is over the babysitting money, which the contract should set out, so a court would look at the paperwork. Print off online calendar or photocopy/scan diary and keep the printouts as evidence of what evenings were babysitting (ideally with the times involved) and of course keep the contract... put them all together and put in a file drawer, should going to small claims court ever actually happen.
Keep a detailed account of any contact she makes with you and add that to the file. Don't respond to her unless she is sending you a letter to try to settle the dispute - reply to that via a letter, recorded delivery.
Can I ask where you got the contract from? Was it drawn up by a solicitor? On the face of it it sounds like she doesn't have a leg to stand on but it may hinge on how tight your contract is. If you average her pay across all hours including the babysitting is she above minimum wage? We had a disputed with a nanny years ago and it did get messy but it worked out in our favour in the end.
DrE, good to hear you were able to resolve it. Did it end up going to tribunal or small claims court, or settled without getting that far?
I agree that it may well fall down to the exact wording in the contract. As a nanny I don't have babysitting included in my contract as it is easier to do that simply as optional overtime.
DrE, I used a template that I was given by a nanny agency several years ago, and haven't ever had a problem with it. But this particular nanny is reading it selectively. I'm not a lawyer but I think it's written very clearly.
I think it also speaks volumes that she never asked for payment until after her employment ended. If she first babysat in October and truly believed she was owed money for it, it would be strange for her not to raise this until April.
I'm feeling much safer having had the locks changed. I imagine she's sent a flurry of text messages but having blocked her I'm not seeing them. Let's see what she comes back with.
And thanks for the advice nannynick, I've worked out how to download all our text & WhatsApp conversations and listed all the days she was late / absent.
If I was in her position I'd be so embarrassed at having been so bad at my job that I'd slink away quietly but she seems to think we owe her something.
Very sad when a nanny behaves like this it gives the rest of us a bad reputation. Is it worth reporting the threatening texts to the police maybe so if things escalate they already have a complaint logged against her
Are ACAS any help in the situation? (Or is that for high organisations?) They have advice links on their site..
Argh my phone. ...!
High was supposed to say larger organisations
I think if you have to change the locks because she's kept a key and is sending you hostile messages saying she's holding onto it, then she should be liable for the cost of new locks. Lucky you've got rid of her now!
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