When Savernake Nannies was set up in 2017 Debbie wanted the ethos to be about supporting families and supporting nannies.
Clients are obviously our paying customers, but we also want the nannies to feel supported as our nannies are just as important as our families and play a huge part in our business. We pride ourselves on the personal touch and getting to know both the family and the nanny and therefore creating a better relationship.
When Coronavirus hit, nannies everywhere were confused.
Could they continue to work as cannot work from home?
Could they follow the 2m social distancing at work?
Could they be furloughed?
Should they only be working for keyworker families?
As an agency we can only follow Government guidelines. What we all must remember is that this was new to agencies, payroll companies and even the Government. The guidelines have been interpreted differently and vary from agency to agency and payroll company to payroll company. So, we felt the best thing we could do to avoid any more confusion was to signpost everyone to the Government and NHS websites.
We have kept in touch with our clients and nannies and made sure we know everyones status during the crisis. We have urged parents, who are not keyworkers, to send their nannies home to protect lives.
We found we have a mixture of situations and, after speaking to nannies and clients, we thought we’d write a non-biased blog purely for historical reasons. Below are snippets from their situations.
“I work in an office, alone, a few doors away from my home. I am not a keyworker, but I can continue to work. This means I require my nanny to continue to work for me. We are both following Gov. guidelines and being as careful as we can. “Both the Nanny and Employer are happy with this situation
“I’m 54, married with a high-risk husband and live with my son (who has asthma) and his wife.
At the beginning I spoke to the family about not working but MB said it would be difficult for them and that would mean they would have to work evenings. I understand this but I need my health as well and I was worried about my husband.
After Lockdown was announced it was agreed I would stop working and I was relieved. They agreed to furlough me.
They then decided they needed me to come in as the builders were still coming in so they felt so should I.I am therefore working with builders, electricians and painters in the house.
My feelings: I am angry that my family aren’t listening and because the gov state “you can go to work if you can’t work from home” I can go to work. I am sick to my tummy with fear. I am mixing with so many people I will pick this virus up and bring it home to my son and husband. I am cross and upset that they seem to have no respect for me and my family’s wellbeing.”
“Before lockdown we were following good hygiene practices and watching the daily briefings. As soon as they announced a lock down, we decided for the safety of all of us we would send our nanny home with full pay. “
“My nanny family have been amazing. I decided for the sake of my own health I would stop working just before lockdown. The family totally understood and as working from home they could share the childcare. They have told me they will now furlough me. Which I feel better about as I was so worried about my finances.”
“My feelings: I am scared, I wash everything down before it enters my house. My partner and I are not going out unless we are desperate for food. I worry about my parents as they are elderly. My nanny family are still paying me on full pay as they want me back as soon as we are allowed. I am worried about returning but I know they will be following advice and won’t put me or their children in any risk. For this I am feeling grateful as have read some sad stories regarding nannies and their employers”
“My family are not keyworkers and I am still working. I don’t mind as I live on my own and they are the only place I go. We order one food shop that gets delivered to the nanny family home and it includes my personal shopping too to enable me to literally go from my home to theirs and no where else. Both of my employers lock themselves in their office from the moment I get there til just before I leave, and we manage to keep a 2m distance. This obviously doesn’t happen with the children, but we are being extra careful with hygiene.
“I have been so confused with all the advice and so have my employers. The payroll company changed their minds in the early days about furloughing me, ‘so I was continuing to work but now I’m going to be furloughed. “
“My feelings: scared, frightened but I am trying to be positive. I ‘ve stopped watching the news 24-7. I keep in touch with my charges via facetime and I read them a bedtime story a couple of times a week. We felt it would help keep us connected as they are confused and don’t understand why I’m not seeing them. Their world has been turned upside down too. Regarding my employers they obviously would have liked me to move in with them during the crisis, but I have a dog, so this isn’t possible. As soon as lockdown was announced I didn’t go in.”
“I am 28 weeks pregnant so we decided early on that I would stop going to work. It’s a sad way to end my job but its for my own safety and my own baby”
“I am still working as I need the money.”
“I moved in with my family at the beginning but have since moved back out and they will furlough me”
“I have been following the advice from our nanny payroll company and to be honest it was all a bit confusing to start with but as the weeks have gone by it’s all become a lot clearer and we have decided to furlough our nanny as we can work from home and we felt it was the safest option for our family and our nanny. We are looking forward to welcoming her back when the time is right. These are strange times for all of us and we can’t wait for life to be back to normal”
“My nanny family don’t want to furlough me and unless they do, I have to continue to work. I do feel safe at work as we are all being extremely safety conscious, but I ‘d rather be home and furloughed”
THANK YOU to all our nannies and clients who spoke to us about their situation and their feelings.
I will repost this blog annually to show what time was like during Covid -19