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Nanny termination or redundancy?

39 replies

uwila · 17/03/2005 11:09

I'm looking for some advice from employers who have had to let a nanny go, or from nanny's who have been let go. As you can read on other threads, my nanny has developed a rather unacceptable defiance to my instructions. I understand that what does she does because she believes it is in DD?s best interest. But, at the end of the day, DD is MY child and I will make the rules. I also have had a real dilemma on a rather short pending maternity leave. So, in deciding to let her go, this actually allows me an extra month of maternity leave (but this is a side benefit and not really the reason she will be leving). However, in an effort to make things a bit more comfortable around the house from the time I give her notice until such time when she leaves, I am considering making her redundant rather than actually firing her. However, if I make her redundant due to no fault of her own, then she will be in my house unsupervised with sole care of my toddler for four weeks. I am very nervous about this. She has never done anything to make me think she would me malicious or mistreat DD in any way. But, when you make someone redundant, you often find out they have some nasty personality traits you never considered. So, my question is, should I make her redundant or should be honest and tell her the cold hard truth that she is leaving because she refuses to perform her duties as required by the contract? If I do the latter, how much notice should I give? I think I can find plenty of evidence in the contract to support letting her go immediately, but I don?t really want to do that because I think it would be a bit mean.

I think I could convince my BIL to come and live with us for a couple of weeks and sort of supervise the situation just to make sure nothing really bad is going on whilst I?m at work. I?ll talk to him about it tonight (if he?s home? hopefully).

If I made nanny redundant, I was going to wait and do it 4 weeks before I begin maternity leave. But, I?m finding her resistance to my wishes is making me so mad that I just don?t know if it?s really wise to let it drag on for another 2 months (planning to start mat. Leave 22 May). And, I think that all of the stress this is causing is proably not a good thing for pregnancy/baby.

For a bit of background on my nanny troubles, click here

OP posts:
RTKangaMummy · 17/03/2005 12:32

I am DEFFO not saying that you are doing the wrong thing fro your DD in letting au pair go

I was just worried about DD adjustment and also when new one arrives whether it would affect her.
Wondering how long she will be there

But totally think you are doing right thing

soapbox · 17/03/2005 12:38

You cannot dismiss someone even if you have agreed a notice period without making them redundant - i.e. the job has been redundant. So you have to give notice, either allowing the employee to work their notice period or pay the employee in leiu of that notice. On top of this you must pay at least statutory redundancy pay.

There are separate rules to follow if poor performance has led to the decision to terminate employment. Generally you need to go through a process of verbal and then written warnings which can be time consuming and horrid I imagine in a nanny situation. Alternatively there are provisions for instant dismissal - generally these are due to gross misconduct and what constitutes gross misconduct will be set out in the employment contract with teh nanny.

elliott · 17/03/2005 12:47

that's interesting soapbox, so you can't just say 'I'm giving you 4 weeks notice and hiring another nanny' without you either having different requirements (and post being redundant) or going through the whole formal warning/dismissal stuff? hmmm, puts me off the idea of having a nanny really.
Regarding redundancy pay, don't you ahve to have been employed for 2 years or so to be entitled to that? Or have I picked up the wrong idea about that too

soapbox · 17/03/2005 12:52

Generally - IME you get away with just giving notice - but this is mainly beacuse the nanny doesn't know their rights

I really can't recall whether there is a minimum working period for eligibility for redundancy pay, but if there is I think it is shorter than 2 years.

Younger people get a smaller rate though, but older people (over 40) get higher rates.

Freckle · 17/03/2005 13:06

To be able to claim redundancy payments, the employee must normally have been employed by the same employer for a period of two years.

What are the terms relating to dismissal contained in the employment contract? I think this has to be your starting point.

soapbox · 17/03/2005 13:08

Oh thanks Freckle - that's longer than I thought - should get Uwilla off teh hook then!

uwila · 17/03/2005 13:10

Soapbox- I use Nannypaye, not Nannytax (Nannytax is much more expensive). And, she doesn't qualify for redundancy pay because we have employed her for less than 2 years.

Bundle- yes, I see your point now. I suppose the answer is that I don't want her looking after DD, but I also don't want to overreact. I guess that by posting this thread I am trying to find the fair middle ground. And, her blatant refusal to carry out my instruction is just making me madder and madder every day, and I am now at the point wher eI have to consider if I can really live like this for 2 months. And, is all of this stress going to have an ill effect on unborn child.

I'm worried now about the redundancy option. I'm afraid that hiring another nanny in 3 months might get me into trouble. I've looked on the internet and I can't find anything that defines how long I would have to wait to hire a new one.

The notice period in her contract is 4 weeks, but I think the if being dismissed due to failure to perform on the job then 4 weeks is not required. I'm not sure about this, but this is how I read it.

OP posts:
uwila · 17/03/2005 13:14

The contract says:


Reasons which might give rise to the need for disciplinary measures include the following:

? Causing disruptive influence
? Incompetence
? Unsatisfactory standard of dress or appearance
? Conduct during or outside working hours prejudicial to the interest or reputation of the Employer
? Unreliable time keeping or attendance
? Failure to comply with instructions or procedure
? Rudeness or lack of consideration
? Breach of confidentiality
? Actions which cause damage to employer?s home or other property

Serious cases may result in instant dismissal, but the normal procedure will be:

  1. Verbal warning
  2. Written warning
  3. Dismissal

    Gross misconduct, which will result in immediate dismissal includes the following:

    ? Actions which could endanger or cause harm to the children
    ? Drunkenness or use of illegal drugs
    ? Theft or dishonesty
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uwila · 17/03/2005 13:18

Oh looky! Does this get me off the hook on hiring another nanny after September 5? I could always use a childminder for a few weeks to cover my return to work in mid august until after 05 September.

Contract says:


This is a fixed term contract, and will terminate on 05 September, 2005. Either the Employee or the Employer may terminate this contract before this date by giving 4 weeks written notice. The written notice shall indicate the last day of employment.

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Freckle · 17/03/2005 13:42

If it is a fixed term contract, then, provided you give the required notice to expire at the end of the term of the contract, that should be an end to the matter. If you don't give adequate notice, then I suspect the contract will just "roll over", i.e. continue under the same terms and conditions as before.

However, you have set out terms relating to dismissal and, provided you follow the correct procedure, it would appear to me that you can dismiss her for persistently failing to follow instructions.

I'm not certain what instructions she is refusing to follow, but the contract clearly states that this is one reason for dismissal.

majorstress · 17/03/2005 15:46

Well, Uwila, I don't know about the legal decent and truthful side of it all, but my very recent experience (about to end today with a trip to Luton airport for my darling ex-AP Inertia, DH and DD1!! hurrah) has been that, against my judgement at the time, that giving her notice for an non-contentious reason like you are about to go on maternity leave (or in my case my mum is moving in for 6 months while I recover my health), even though the real reason is she isn't doing what I tell her and she is too annoying to live with, has worked a treat. She is sad to be leaving but has worked out her notice without leaving me stuck, with good grace and even with a bit more vigour than ever seen before. While I felt then I couldn't stand another minute in the same house, and I have had to swallow some angry moments, mostly I have felt happy enough knowing the end was nigh, and this easing out period of adjustment has really helped me and my family I now believe, and even her.

annh · 18/03/2005 09:15

Uwila, sorry didn't log on last night so only saw your message this a.m. With regards to my nanny, she does a good job but I think is hoping to move on from nannying when she leaves me. She is Hungarian and a qualified teacher and in June this year she will have been employed under contract with me for 12 months so will be free to move jobs or do whatever she wants. Long term, I don't think nannying is what she wants to do. Shame, as I think we live not so far from you.

Interested to read your comments about nannytax as I was considering moving to them when my subscription to nannypaye runs out soon. Maybe not, then!

uwila · 18/03/2005 12:03

No no... I use nannypaye. It is they who does not perform so well. I would actually like to move to Nannytax, but since their price is so much higher (and my budget is in shambles) I just can't justify it. I have no experience with nannytax, but if their website is anything to go by I would guess that they are good.

OP posts:
uwila · 18/03/2005 14:36

Thanks everyone. I'm hoping nanny resigns shortly (as I think she may because I think she too is unhappy living in my house). We are soon to have a chat where I write out overthing I expect and give her written warning that if she doesn't comply it is grounds for dismissal.

If she doesn't I'll have to make a decision on redundancy or termination. Hope it doesn't come to that. But, it might. Perhaps just a conversation on "Look this isn't working, is it?" will encourage her to take the initiative on her own.

OP posts:
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