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Childcare

Should I Give my nanny another chance or not??????

45 replies

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:12

Our p/t nanny has been with us for 10 weeks. She's a nice girl , great references but...

  1. she needs to be told how to do things several times. then still does them badly / fails to do them

  2. she has a very nervous disposition. scared of using tube / "weird looking people" in the park / etc

  3. She has poor soundproofing at home and came in last friday saying she hadn't slept at all

  4. she still doesn't feel confident to take my 3 year old and 4 month old out of the house together, I always have to share care.

  5. she seems unable to tidy up after herself or do the kids laundry desite numerous polite requests

  6. she pleaded for a weeks off this week at a few days notice holiday citing "homesickness" despite knowing my husband was away and her contract requesting 1 month's notice.

  7. she's 27 but I feel as though I've inherited a nice but dim teenager


    In short, instead of becoming less stressful my life with her is becoming more stressful each week.



    I want to dismiss her but I feel nervous about her hanging around for a month to work out her notice. However cannot afford to throw away £900 salary in lieu and be without any support for a month

    Any advice / tips / comments????

    yours both saddened and maddened
OP posts:
SleepySuzy · 14/09/2005 00:13

Get rid.

Tell her you're giving up work or something?

Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:16

I nannied at 17yrs and managed 2 kids on buses and trains into the city and other trips, did the laundry and cleaned kitchen and kids room. I was inexperienced but i suppose sensible and took to it very quickly.

She doesn't sound ideal at all. I would get advise on how to dismiss legally, probably have to give formal and written warnings.

Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:17

You really don't want a nervous, un-confident, sleepy, messy "teenager" looking after a 3yr old never mind a 4mth old.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:22

Thanks SleepySuzy

to clarify: You think its better to lie and say "I no longer need a nanny" and keep her around for a month, rather than be honest and say "you are not the nanny I want because etc etc" then keep her around for a month which I am dreading.

Problem is. She now knows I am seriously unhappy. I'd be interested to know where I stand legally on this.

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:24

Does she have a contract?

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:28

Thanks for your input Skribble. I'll be calling ACAS tomorrow to see if I can just get rid without too much bureaucracy.

I am so disappointed to have got it all so horribly wrong on my first attempt. I tried to do everything by the book!

Ideally she'd spend the last month being more of a "mother's Help" which would be of more use to me, but legally or emotionally I don't suppose there is any reason for her to assist me when I'm sacking her.

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:31

It really depends on what the initial arragement was you said she had to give notice for time of and she didn't so that is a breach of contract give her a written warning, if she is as dipsy as she sounds she may leave quite easily if you start formal procedings.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:32

Yes she has a contract stipulating one month's notice of termination.

I didn't really expect to be dismissing my nanny so I didn't think through the potential trickiness of the "working out notice" situation.

By the way, the contract also stipulates that she should give me one months notice of holiday (rather than a week), but I gave my permission anyway even though it was very inconvenient as she begged and pleaded I was so fed up with her by then.

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:36

I would get more advise, I'm sure there are people on here that know more, I never had a contract, if I had I'm sure I would of objected to the "Ironing their DF's shirts" clause and the "parents working from 8am to 12 midight" clause.

nightowl · 14/09/2005 00:41

i dont know anything about nannies but i think you should be honest with her even if you are getting rid of her. when she knows what she's doing wrong maybe she can remedy it for future employment or decide that maybe she's not cut out for nannying after all.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:42

That's the thing Skribble

I'm know I'm far from perfect but I've tried so hard to be fair and sympathetic; take things at her own slow pace; pay good wages; pay her taxes (this is her first job with NI paid); I've been late once - less than 10 minutes!!


I'm gutted. If I thought she could be improved with more guidance I'd give it but she seems so slow on the uptake. Also, I just don't have the time and energy. I've just had a baby and I'm also recovering from a fall. I've lost the will to be anymore supportive.

I need support dagnammit!

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:45

At the age of 27 and after 10 weeks she should be settled and more than able to take sole charge. I would explain that you no longer need her as you require to give sole charge.

My first day their DM came back after her day job for 15mins before leaving for her evening job in the DF's restruant.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:47

Hi Nightowl

I'd be happy to support her in improving her performance for future jobs, but if I am honest with her won't that make the last month a bit of a "mare' for the both of us?????

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:51

I think that the position you are in and the age of your kids you need someone experienced not someone who needs training and so much guidance. For £900 pound a month I would expect a lot more, you could offer students from the local college on a childcare course a placement and get better care .

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:53

I know

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 00:54

Sorry realised i have used loads of abreviations

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 00:56

Its ok, it's fairly obvious but I thought I'd make sure I was understanding things

OP posts:
colditz · 14/09/2005 00:58

Don't terminate her contract, line up a replacement and sack her for incompetance. Because she is incompetant.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 01:06

Thank you all for your comments. Here's what I've decided:


I'll talk to ACAS tomorrow and give her a straightforward dismissal, no chances, if its legal to do so.

I will then give her the least emotive but truthful reason possible for my decision i.e. I need a Mother's Help / or a sole charge nanny that can manage without supervision.

I will then keep her working till the end of her notice and keep my fingers crossed that she doesn't seek vengence in some form or other.


I'm of to bed now folks....hopefully it will be a slightly sweeter sleep now I've decided how to proceed

Thanks again

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 01:08

If you are dismissing you don't have to let her work her notice, you don't want someone you've basicly sacked looking after your kids and having free acess to your personal info.

nightowl · 14/09/2005 01:17

can you dismiss someone without a written warning though? i didnt think that was legal.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 01:20

I know Skribble.

Annoyingly, my DP and SBW* is complaining about the waste of money. However, it was him who insisted we get a nanny from internet, rather than pay agency fees (£800, how ironic).

It was also my DP that insisted we give her a legal contract and pay her taxes, rather than employ our child-loving, super-dooper, tax-evading cleaner of 3 years to be a mother's help.

However, I don't blame him as I'm too grown up for that and he was trying to do the right thing in the right way after all.

If he'd agree to me saying, "Here's your notice, now sling yer 'ook" I'd have done it yesterday.



*Sole Bread Winner!

OP posts:
Skribble · 14/09/2005 01:33

Go for the cleaner she sounds great.

pinotgrigio · 14/09/2005 03:49

Hi Flabulous. How did it go? Am also intrigued that she got good references. Were they verbal or written? Do you think you were misled, or just asked questions that didn't cover her deficiencies? Who would think to ask about tube phobia and thin walls?

Your problems are making me worry about the contents of the reference for my last nanny, who disappointed me towards the end of her time with me. Do I mention the raging hypochondria? The shagging my stepson? The inability to think up anything more creative than going to the park? I feel I should, but then again perhaps I could have influenced her behaviour more and taught her how to be a better nanny. Sigh.

Anyway, update please?!

nightowl · 14/09/2005 04:24

i think anyone who writes a reference needs to be very careful. different matter totally but when i last spoke to my ex employer (the one i won the tribunal against...yay!!) she threatened to give me a stinking reference (for no reason apart from that i rang her to see why the hell she had been arsy about giving me a reference after 8 years service). acas told me that she could not give me a bad reference...she could refuse one, but not give a bad one.

out of sheer spite, after i said that, she gave me a reference which although was not bad, (contained no direct slagging off) made me look totally incompetant. it was very short and somewhere along the lines of "well we employed her at first as an office junior and slowly she picked it up to a reasonable standard". (yeah right, i ran the admin office) not those words but near enough. in my case that was totally unjustified but that is the way to get around it for anyone who is interested.

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