Gransnet forums


To ask what you would think here?

(77 Posts)
TopsyAndTim Thu 23-Sep-21 19:48:36

Relative is a nanny. She disclosed a chronic illness to her employers.
This week they said they were putting the kids into a breakfast club for the morning and did not give an explanation as to why. Relative normally covers before school and after school.
Aibu to say they are subtly trying to get rid of her and find a cheaper childcare option?
She has supported them through a lot this year and has run herself ragged helping them.

Cossy Fri 24-Sep-21 12:57:55

Your question was AIBU ? I’d simply say, without sounding too blunt, the arrangement and issue is between the employer and your relative and also you are only party to one side of this story

Secondwind Fri 24-Sep-21 12:59:34

It sounds, to me, as though they all need to have a chat. Your relative needs reassurance that her job is safe and they need to be honest about the reason for their sudden decision.
It must be such an unsettling and worrying situation for her.

esgt1967 Fri 24-Sep-21 13:05:46

If she has a contract of employment they can't just change it without consulting/agreeing it with her so she needs to speak to them about this.

Doodledog Fri 24-Sep-21 13:06:46

Is it an official arrangement (ie with tax and NI being paid) or is it an informal 'cash in hand' one?

If the latter, I doubt your relative has a leg to stand on, unfortunately. If the former, and if she has been there for two years, she should have employment rights, but if she had a contract in the first place, however long she's been employed it should spell out what happens when they no longer need her, which was always going to happen sooner rather than later - as has been said, it's the nature of nannying.

She might be better off going through an agency in future, as they will deal with that sort of thing and make sure that she is treated within the law.

humptydumpty Fri 24-Sep-21 13:39:44

I think the issue of a contract is very important. Does your relative feel that a contract wold restrict her flexibility too much? If so, she has to be prepared for the possibility of sudden changes by her employer.

highlanddreams Fri 24-Sep-21 13:48:22


Some of you are forgetting that a nanny role is a job. A job with the same rights as anyone else.
You wouldn't turn up for work one day in an office and be told that you won't be needed the next morning as there's an alternative arrangement. With no explanation as to why that is so it shouldn't be happening here.

The family are free to choose whatever childcare arrangements they want but they need to be honest and tell her. They also need to accept that she will not stay in the role if this is their decision.
This morning they tried paying her less but said there would be more hours next week. I have a feeling they will slowly phase her out of the mornings altogether and she agrees so she is looking for another role.

She's as important as them and doesn't deserve to be treated like this.

Paying her less wrong of them & very unfair. You relative should really look for another job & as others have suggested maybe through a reputable nanny agency so her rights are protected in future.
We used to have a child minder when my children were small and we always paid her the same amount even if I didn't need her for some of the time. We also paid her in full when we were off work & didn't need her and gave her holiday pay & sick pay when she was off ill. We really valued her & our children loved going to her house every afternoon too, but it was also to make sure we kept their places as they were so happy and settled. If we'd paid less for the times she wasn't needed, she'd have had to look for other children to mind to make up her wage and might have had to ask us to find another minder.

greenlady102 Fri 24-Sep-21 14:16:10

from what you have told us yabu

GoldenAge Fri 24-Sep-21 14:30:44

TopsyandTim - There are any number of reasons why your relative's employer has put the children into a breakfast club, but as you say it was just for one day, which suggests it was a trial - either they wanted to give this a go, or the children wanted it - and it may not have worked out. BUT, it is their decision to make, and your relative will obviously reach a point in her employment with this family when she is not needed because the children are growing and may start to stay for after school clubs or go early for other clubs, sports training etc.
It may well be that your relative's employers are re-thinking on the grounds of her chronic illness, for instance, what does this mean for them as employers, might they be worried that at some point in the future she might become worse and blame it on them? I'm not saying that this is a thought or judging it, but if my cleaner told me that she had just developed a second chronic illness I would definitely be considering whether anything in her 'job description' might aggravate her condition and I wouldn't want to be in that grey area two years down the line of a dispute about whether her bending to get in a low corner had provoked some inflammatory reaction, and that I might be responsible for it. So, sad as it may seem, your relative's chronic condition might well be something that her employers are weighing up and you do say that she gave them her all during the pandemic - if she is letting them know that, and then talking in the next sentence about her chronic condition, that in itself may be the trigger for her employers re-thinking their childcare arrangements. On the other hand, if it was just the one morning, then it's just a toe in the water. Maybe your relative should look for another job anyway, and this time flag her two chronic conditions and get everything out into the open from the start, i.e., what she is capable of doing, because it sounds as though she's allowed the boundaries to slip during the pandemic.

Supergranuation Fri 24-Sep-21 16:02:08

If she needs to know why her employer has made this decision she needs not be intimidated by them and ask them why!

Shelbel Fri 24-Sep-21 16:16:26

She should go to the citizens advice bureau with any payslips or tax papers etc to prove she works there and how long.

ElderlyPerson Fri 24-Sep-21 17:43:01


from what you have told us yabu

The question is

Am I being unreasonable To ask what you would think here?

So the OP is not being unreasonable for asking here what we think, my opinion based on the evidence that the OP has received lots of replies.

A feature of Gransnet is that the OP, who is clearly concerned about her relative, is able to discuss the matter with people who are not involved and without disclosing details of the name of her relative, of the people, nor the part of the country where this is all happening, which might not be the case if she could only ask friends or relatives.

kevincharley Fri 24-Sep-21 18:30:27


It's not exactly fair treatment right now though is it?
She will leave if they try and reduce her hours as it wouldn't be worth doing any longer. I just think some honesty and transparency on their side is long overdue. Not a very nice way to treat someone.

If she was employed by a company then you wouldn't expect honesty and transparency.
They're her employers not her friends.

TopsyAndTim Fri 24-Sep-21 18:33:14

Of course you would expect honesty and transparency if you worked for a company. confused

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 24-Sep-21 18:38:28

I’m afraid you’re wrong there Topsy.

Grammaretto Fri 24-Sep-21 18:44:48

Is your friend in a union?

She should be. This is why unions were started to protect employees from this kind of ruthless behaviour.
Good luck to her and well done for supporting her.


Bugbabe2019 Fri 24-Sep-21 19:51:11

I’m presuming she’s an adult….why doesn’t she just ask ?‍♀️

Daftbag1 Fri 24-Sep-21 19:59:49

Why doesn't this lady ask her employers if there is a plan to move away from using a nanny, I'm guessing the children are in school? Assuming yes, it would be normal for them to become more independent and move away from needing a nanny.

kevincharley Fri 24-Sep-21 20:00:49

'I also believe that a verbal contract is as binding as a written one.'
Theoretically, yes.
But even written contracts can be ignored when it suits the employer. My husband was sat at home for 6 months whilst 2 companies argued who owned him. There were solicitors and trade unions pulling their hair out trying to prove that as company A had lost a contract to company B then they had to take on the staff that were involved in the work under a TUPE ruling. Company B eventually gave in, waited the legal 3 monthsperiod then made him (and 3 of his colleagues) redundant.
So expect nothing from a contract. Especially now we don't have Europe's backing.

Sooze58 Fri 24-Sep-21 21:01:39

Nannying is a time limited job - as children grow their needs change so nannies move on. It may be connected but likely not!

ElderlyPerson Fri 24-Sep-21 21:24:39

A lot of these so-called employment rights come down to the employee/former employee paying to bring his or her own case with the risk of that he or she loses possibly having to pay the employer's legal costs.

Unions sometimes give support but their promises on the glossy leaflets when they are recruiting can be meaningless when push comes to shove.

ElderlyPerson Fri 24-Sep-21 21:29:44


Of course you would expect honesty and transparency if you worked for a company. confused

You might expect it and all the talk of the team and the value in the people and blah blah blah supports that, but if they want to save money or whatever then suddenly people are treated as if what they have done for years was rubbish and of no value and that their job has disappeared.

MissAdventure Fri 24-Sep-21 21:56:28

How very true!

BlueBelle Sat 25-Sep-21 06:56:20

I think you ARE being unreasonable because it’s all being done second hand and without any firm knowledge of ANYTHING

ONE morning means nothing but she’s only going to know if she asks …..Whats wrong with her asking ?
there’s no point in asking us we have no idea of her medical illnesses or if they re are anything for the parents to be concerned about or not We don’t know what her verbal contract said or covered
The best advice you can give is to tell her to talk with the family and clarify her situation

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 25-Sep-21 09:39:06

OP hasn’t disclosed the nature of this latest chronic illness but as her relative decided she should tell her employers about it I can only think it is something that is likely to impact on her work at some point, either by enforced absences or by restricting her capability to look after the children, or both. If that is the case then I would think any parents would be concerned about disruption of the childcare on which they rely in order to work, and look to other arrangements. The relative having worked very hard for them during the pandemic is neither here nor there. Their first duty is to their children, which includes being able to carry on with their own jobs in order to feed and clothe them. Obviously the relative can neither know what is in the employers’ minds, nor can she reassure them about her ability to do the job, unless she initiates a discussion with them.

DaisyL Sat 25-Sep-21 11:02:17

What is the problem with just asking the employers? If they don't want to discuss it then she is probably right to look for another job but if they are reasonable people who have not given it much thought - just thought of it as a one-off for the children, then they should be happy to discuss it and plan for the future. Communication always key in relationships and employment - avoids so much ill feeling and misunderstanding!