View Full Version : Do parents need to give notice if they are dropping hours?

30-12-2013, 06:30 PM
I have a three year old for two days a week but as of next week she will be starting nursery. As her nursery falls on a day I would usually mind her I knew her hours would be changing and when she started her mother stated she would prob be changing to thurs, fri ( she was mon, thurs). Now a week before she starts I asked her mum if I would be having her thurs fri from next week and she informs me im only needed thurs! Do they need to pay notice? I've been through the contract (pacey) and it doesn't mention it, only the end of contract notice which I put at 4 weeks. Am I within my rights to charge?
Thank in advance!

30-12-2013, 07:01 PM
IMHO I'd say "yes" you're probably within your rights to expect more notice of such a change and therefore probably entitled to charge payment in lieu of that notice. It's a substantive change to the contracted terms. If this had been the other way around, the client would not be at all happy if their CM suddenly said, "oh, by the way, I can't look after XXXX on Thursdays as from next week" would they? :huh:

I'm not 100% sure on this as a legal point, so you'd be best to refer it to your legal team for professional advice.

All that said, your decision may eventually rest on more than legal facts/rights. It's possibly more important to ask, "do I want to risk the business relationship over this?" or, conversely "how much am I prepared to take of being mucked about in such an inconsiderate manner?"

You are far more familiar with the CM-client relationship here, so only you can really judge in that respect.

Chatterbox Childcare
30-12-2013, 08:26 PM
Yes you are entitled to 4 weeks notice of how many days are on the contract. Also consider do you want just 1 day and is the rate what you want for that day as you originally had two?

31-12-2013, 08:55 AM
What did you write in your contract? If you wrote x amount of days or weeks is needed to change hours then that is what is it, if you didn't write anything then I doubt you have a leg to stand on (sorry). I personally write into contracts that they have to give me 4 weeks notice to reduce hours but that I may be able to increase with immediate effect.

31-12-2013, 10:36 AM
Effectively if there is a major change to a contract, such as a reduction/change in days, then 4 weeks notice should be given to end the contract as a new contract should be written.

As Bunyip says this can antagonise a parent and may make your relationship deteriorate on the same token why should you be dictated to by the parent. It is you choice

Good luck

31-12-2013, 05:42 PM
IIRC the current pacey contracts say a written agreement is required to "vary" the hours. I'm not 100% sure if this means "variable hours from week to week" or "vary" as in the sense of "making a variation (ie. change) to the original contracted hours"

Jingle, IIUC you seem to be suggesting either party can change hours at the drop of a hat if no specific 'notice for change of hours' has been defined. I don't believe that's true. Four weeks notice for a contract means the contents of that contract apply in full unless/until 4 weeks notice is given. If you're right, then there is nothing to stop a parent (or CM for that matter) saying "I'm reducing our hours to zero with immediate effect" and walking away from the contract. And why not do the same with other contracted terms, then? If there's no specific notice period for changing contracted terms, then can't we all change our fees to £20ph, effective immediately? No, I don't think so.

The contract is what it is in its entirety. No way would it make sense to have to define a separate notice period for every clause or element of the contract. You might define it for a particular case, such as a shift worker who has different weekly hours, therefore they need to give you #-days notice of their childcare requirements. But that's a specific exception to the 4 weeks' notice designated for the contracted as a whole.

Anything else would make the contract utterly meaningless, allowing either party to twist it as they wish.

01-01-2014, 09:22 PM
Yes i add a hand written bit onto the contract saying that 4 weeks written notice is to be given for any reduction in days and hours (that 4 wks is to not include any off my time off) I started doing this after i had an immediate reduction in days and had nothing in place to say i wasnt allowing it,so therfore i lost a fair bit of money that month.
Glad i then wrote in on my contract for any new parent,as it happened again but this time the parent had to give the 4 wks notice.At least 4 weeks notice gives you time to adjust to the drop in fee and also work out if its still worth you keeping that child.

02-01-2014, 10:34 AM
Do parents need to give notice if they are dropping hours was the original question...the answer is yes and that goes for increasing hours as well...although in that instance you can be more flexible...if you have a space available you can up the days or hours immediately.

I would say 4 weeks notice ...does your contract not state that anywhere?
and if parents are increasing the days then make sure you also ask for the deposit to reflect that increase too.

02-01-2014, 04:52 PM
As others have said, it depends entirely on how your contract is written. I do not use NCMA/PACEY contracts as I find they are too generic. My own contracts require 4 weeks (28 days) notice on either side to vary anything in the contract or give notice of termination

02-01-2014, 05:05 PM
We all do different. I just ask parents to give verbal notice for any change 2-4 weeks before ;)

23-10-2014, 10:24 AM
Thanks all for your replies (all be it a little late :blush:), I asked for notice and the parent was happy to do so!

23-10-2014, 04:55 PM
hi I use the mm contracts and I have stated 4 weeks notice for change of hours and make parents awaear if I am unable to work those hours e. g reduction in hours that I may give notice x