May saw us celebrating our 4th birthday with a Facebook campaign around nannies’ rights, and fair treatment. We called it #nanniesnotice because, in a nutshell, we do, but in such an isolated and variable job we as nannies can doubt ourselves. It was a strange campaign – on the one hand we wanted people to get involved and speak out, but on the other hand we knew that speaking out was confirmation that nannies were experiencing unfair or downright illegal treatment.
#nanniesnotice wasn’t about complaining. It was about telling people that these things matter to nannies. It was about putting issues out there and it was about encouraging nannies to speak up. We received so many messages, some heartbreaking stories about how nannies don’t dare say a word against their employers because they fear they will lose their job so they have to keep silent about not getting paid holiday or not getting minimum wage, about working overtime for no thanks or pay.
Our mission is to help and support nannies, through the ups and downs of everyday life and especially through the tough times where you don’t know where to turn. That, at the end of the day, is what we’re here for.
“#nanniesnotice when you’re not given payslips” – I never had a payslip in 9 years, Bex
“#nanniesnotice when there’s a ‘hidden’ nannycam at work that you find by accident” – I had a nanny cam! When I found it I had it out with my boss and told if her she didn’t trust me I would go there and then, Rochelle
“#nanniesnotice when your job is devalued because ‘looking after children is easy’ and ‘you don’t have to do any paperwork” – Other childcarers often say this especially if they are in nurseries. I find a lot of negativity from mums at toddler groups though who think of us as more like babysitters with no value, Emma
“#nanniesnotice when you’re paid late” – Previous family insisted on weekly pay and would spend my weekend texting asking her to transfer it, Lisa
“#nanniesnotice when you’re constantly asked to run extra errands” – Every week!, Harriet
“#nanniesnotice when the house is left untidy, dishes are on the side and no laundry has been done since the last time you were there” – And you get told off if you haven’t don’t it by the time they come back…, Ophelie
“#nanniesnotice when you’re asked to become self-employed or coerced into becoming self-employed in order to get a job” – A previous employer attempted this with me. Luckily it was at interview stage and I would have no taken the job had they refused to employ me!, Nikki
“#nanniesnotice when you’re made redundant while pregnant, and you suspect your pregnancy is a factor” – I am being made redundant because I’ve had a baby, Rana
“#nanniesnotice when employers expect overtime and don’t give any warning” – This happens to me every week, always the night that I have made plans to meet friends at a certain time…, Stephanie
And where are we going with this now? Somewhere we were hoping it would be a bit of a flop, that there was nowhere to go, but it seems that there is. It seems we need to carry your voice forward to the Employment Minister so nannies rights as members of the childcare workforce are respected.