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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:
Cam · 14/09/2005 08:15

What a tiring situation, Flabulous, I can hardly believe that a 27 year old grown woman can display such incompetence, it sounds like sheer laziness to me.

I would sack her as she is clearly refusing to do the job she was hired for, you shouldn't have to ask several times for a simple task to be carried out.

starshaker · 14/09/2005 08:24

this happened to me once well not exactly but i was given my notice to finnish as the previous nanny wanted to come back in the end i worked harder so i got a great referance. hated the job and the mum but needed the referance

edam · 14/09/2005 08:27

I think this is the sort of situation where a contract using a probationary period would come in handy - a thought for next time?

juliaemma · 14/09/2005 08:39

Hi. Ive been a Nanny for 15 years and its such a shame that these things happen, as it gives us "good" nannies a bad name! Please dont get put off by this situation.
She sounds a nightmare! I have never been like that in the whole of my nannying time, even when i first started i was out and about on my own with 2 children, with no worries. You need a nanny with confidence, with out a doubt. I would say she is incompitant and get rid of her immediatly, you dont need her around while she does her notice, very aquard situation.(please excuse the spellings!!)

uwila · 14/09/2005 09:22

I'm sorry I don't have time to read all of this now. But, I have an alomst 4 month old and a 2 1/2 yr old, and we have had our current nanny for just over a month. So my situation is very similar and I wanted to respond to your initial post. I have to say that if my nanny could be described by the same words you use to describe yours she would dismissed immediately on grounds of gross negligence. I would not give her the requested holiday. And I would not pay her a month's salary that I couldn't afford because of a situation the she and she alone has created.

You may want to look over your contract and ask yourself if you are letting her go because of circumstances out of her control (for example kids have grown up and you no longer have a position). This is redundancy. If you are letting her go and having to replace her becasue she is not performing the job she has been hired to do, then that is grounds for dismissal without notice in my book. But, have a look at your contract and see what you are legally bound to do. What is the discipline/dismissal procedure? And on what grounds can you dismiss immediately?

uwila · 14/09/2005 09:26

BTW, I hired my nanny from the internet. She is the third nanny I have employed. And she is truly a dream. I personally don't think agencies are worth their price.

Pol25 · 14/09/2005 10:50

what are you paying her for????
Sorry but she can't be this great after ten weeks you have a long list!!!

TracyK · 14/09/2005 11:00

are you sure she'll even come back after her hols?
I'd come to an arrangement with her - half price for her to go immediately? You don't want her around if you're dismissing her - she could get spiteful/careless!

uwila · 14/09/2005 11:06

Right, I've caught up now. You gave her the holiday. If she's entitles to four weeks annual holiday and works 5 day a week. Then, after 10 weeks of employment she is entitled to 3.85 days. Round it up to 4 (to be generous). And that means you can deduct one of her paid days from her final paycheque as she took more holiday than she earned.

expatinscotland · 14/09/2005 11:29

I'd get rid of her. Life is stressful enough w/o fretting over your childcare situation as well.

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 11:40

Thanks Everyone

Feedback on your ideas:

Instant Dismissal for Gross Misconduct: Not sure I can make this one stick. She hasn't been violent, abusive, or dishonest. just worn me down to shreds by a thousand inept little strokes.

However, ACAS said she can't take me to tribunal for unfair dismissal as she has been employed for less than a year.

Probation: I should have put a probabtionary period in her contract. Then I could have dismissed her with a weeks notice or extended the probation. I nearly put one in but as it was only a 13 month contract so we didn't bother. What fools!!!

PAY HER OFF: Love the paying her off with only two weeks pay. That would be so much less distressing for me, although that would require her not noticing that she is entitled to a full month in lieu. I'll call ACAS again and see what they say.

The Future: No disrespect to any Nanny out there, but I think I'll be nursing my bruises for a while yet and will try to cope alone for a while. Most nannies I know are great professionals and wonderful people. I have been unlucky & a bit foolhardy in having no probationary period.


OP posts:
namealtered · 14/09/2005 11:51

Flabulous - We all live and learn - definitely worth having a one week's notice clause for first 6 month probationary period. We had a similarly incompetent nanny - perhaps not quite so bad - who actyally resigned herself before we had to bite the bullet and sack her. If yours is miserable and not coping she may come back from her holiday and resign!

bigdonna · 14/09/2005 13:15

she sounds like a muppet get rid of her

Flabulous · 14/09/2005 14:13

BTW I have only employed flakynanny for 6 weeks so far. (including her unscheduled holiday) It will be 11 weeks employment if she works her months notice.

OP posts:
ChicPea · 18/09/2005 01:35

Flabulous, she may come back from her hols and resign...hopefully. She doesn't sound happy and probably knows that you are not happy.

Employing nannies or indeed anyone in the home to help with household duties and children is very difficult in that they all profess to be able to do the job and it's not until you see them in action that you can judge them. This is whether you use an agency or not and also whether somebody has glowing references or not. It's all about what suits you the employer. I have been through the interviewing phase for about three weeks looking for a HK/Mother's Help and took calls non-stop for one week (advertised in the Lady - I had a headache everyday), interviewed alot of applicants and trialled four of them, one after the other. I do get them to come back for a second interview and I either ask them to come and work for a day which I will pay them for but if they can't because they are still employed, I ask them to come for the second interview at 12noon or 5.30pm when I am preparing lunch/supper for 2-3 hours. I do the supper time thing as I can see immediately if they have inititative to help me or distract the children while I am cooking, etc. I have had people here who in the first hour of a full day I have known that it won't work out because I have asked them to clean the kitchen and they haven't been thorough so I know that if they are not thorough when they are trying to impress/get the job, they won't be any better in the job. I have wised up to this no obligation trial thing as I have employed nannies in the past who when they have moved in I have regretted employing them and putting up with them or asking them to leave is unpleasant to say the least.

When is your nanny due back? Could you talk to her in the kitchen casually over coffee and start off asking how her holiday was etc and then without her expecting it, say that you didn't think she looked very happy before she left for her holiday and go on to say how important it is for somebody to enjoy the job they do as they are doing it five days a week, etc and give her the opportunity to express her concerns/worries. She may open up to you so that you can suggest she is better suited to a position with maybe just one toddler or one baby as working on a one-to-one basis can be more rewarding - really sell her the idea that she find a better job!! If that doesn't work you could ask her if it has lived up to her expectations. She may open up to you, re: not being confident to take your children out and you could maybe manipulate a resignation. You could say also that its important for you and your children that the person helping you is enjoying her role in your family home etc. By talking to her she may find a way to resign which after a few weeks is difficult for somebody who sounds quite immature. If she doesn't resign after all this its you who should take control of the situation and say that after 4 weeks you expect her to know how to do the job without being reminded of certain things as you are relying heavily on her as you a small baby (as well as another child) and have recently had an accident. If she says she is not happy but doesn't resign and you say you are not happy, you could then ask her what is fair bearing in mind that September is a busy month for nannies and she is bound to find a position very easily.

September is a very busy month for agencies/families as nannies finish contracts in August/bed Sept as children start school and nanny is no longer needed OR nannies after the summer hols need a change and resign. This is the best month for her to find another position. I would also suggest she takes a couple of days off (she is useless anyway) to go to various agencies to register to start the process of getting her out.

You need to take control of an irritating and very annoying situation.

Good luck.

ChicPea · 18/09/2005 01:41

And if you have to say that you are not happy, I would suggest that you say it in the nicest possible way and say how much you all like her, etc so that you let her down gently. I would imagine that she wouldn't want to work for you for a month alongside you knowing that you are unhappy with her and may offer to leave earlier.

Flabulous · 08/10/2005 23:11

Thank you lovely helpful posters. An Update:

I gave her one month's notice with pay when she returned from her holiday.

I made her post redundant rather than dismiss her which would have left me open to any legal challenges.

I did get my gripes off my chest however, but I was very kindly and gentle in explaining my issues (I hope).

She's lucky. For one months work she got 11 week'
s pay including a week off!

Warning all - Please remember a probabtion period in any employers contract you write!!!!

OP posts:
mishmash · 08/10/2005 23:26

Great to hear it has turned out amicably - I have been down this road too so I know what you have been going through plus the possible implications - hope the right one turns up but I do admit that when it is someone in your house it can become a fraught relationship. I read a thread (sorry am not puter literate enough to paste it here) but Binkie seemed to have it sussed to a point where it was more of a working relationship. It was on this forum. Will try and find it and at least tell you which one it was.

mishmash · 08/10/2005 23:28

Told you - that sounds too long will get name of thread instead

mishmash · 08/10/2005 23:29

issues with new nanny - how to approach

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