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  1. #1
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    Default A payment one.....!

    After some more advice pls, this time on a payment issue.
    A mindee told me about their holidays a while back and i noted them in my diary - all fine.
    Then on pick up last week mum said "oh i did tell you about our holiday next week didn't i"" - Err no you didn't. I'm guessing maybe she knew she didn't either in the way that she told me.
    I told her she had already paid and STUPIDLY(!) said oh sorry probably my mistake i will reimburse you. BUT its not my mistake, they didn't tell me (i searched my emails etc) and so i've invoiced the full amount. They are now asking for this week to be deducted but they are supposed to give me 4 week notice. I already do lots of favours for them - take child early and don't charge, kept child late when dad was running late last week - all at no charge and with no fuss made.
    I want to be firm that 4 weeks means 4 weeks otherwise whats the point of my contracts but am a total pushover generally with these matters.
    How can i tell them (nicely but firmly) that i wont reimburse them - OR do you think I should?
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    What do your contracts say? 4 weeks notice? No payment if they take holiday? If this is the case, out of curiosity, what are maximum weeks a family can take off in a year and not pay?
    My contracts state 4 weeks but if they don't stick to that it does not really affect me as they pay in full if they take holiday. No fees if I take a holiday hence they all keep asking me when I'm taking a holiday.

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  4. #3
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    Depends on your relationship with the family and how far you are willing to push. You may have to put this one down to experience and insist on holiday notice to be given in writing in future- revisit your contract and policy, you may need to revise it.

  5. #4
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    It's tricky because a) you knew the holiday dates and had written them in your diary (assuming the dates the child told you were correct) and b) you told parents it was probably your fault and you would refund them.

    Personally, when the child told you they were going on holiday, I would have checked the dates with parents before writing them in my diary. I know some will say it's not our place to ask parents and they should tell us, but I can't do with the wait and see approach so ask things like that straight out.

    As for saying it was probably your fault, try to practice taking a breath before you say anything and don't blurt anything out without thinking. You live to regret it! I used to have parents wanting to swap days, take extra holiday etc and I'd agree to it straight away. Even while I was saying "that's fine" I was kicking myself and wishing I had more confidence to say no. Over time I've learnt to say "it should be OK, but I need to get back to you about it". I say it automatically now, even when I know it's fine and I don't need time to think about it!

    It's now going to be harder to go back to parents and say they do need to pay, but if they haven't given you the correct notice (even if you did know the dates from the child), you should do it. I would explain to them that you have checked your diary and all emails and there is no mention of them having told you their holiday dates. Therefore you will have to charge them full fees as per the contract. I would also use it as the perfect time to remind them of some of the other points in the contract (early and late arrival) and decide whether or not you want to carry on doing the favours.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    After some more advice pls, this time on a payment issue.
    A mindee told me about their holidays a while back and i noted them in my diary - all fine.
    Then on pick up last week mum said "oh i did tell you about our holiday next week didn't i"" - Err no you didn't. I'm guessing maybe she knew she didn't either in the way that she told me.
    I told her she had already paid and STUPIDLY(!) said oh sorry probably my mistake i will reimburse you. BUT its not my mistake, they didn't tell me (i searched my emails etc) and so i've invoiced the full amount. They are now asking for this week to be deducted but they are supposed to give me 4 week notice. I already do lots of favours for them - take child early and don't charge, kept child late when dad was running late last week - all at no charge and with no fuss made.
    I want to be firm that 4 weeks means 4 weeks otherwise whats the point of my contracts but am a total pushover generally with these matters.
    How can i tell them (nicely but firmly) that i wont reimburse them - OR do you think I should?
    Thank you!
    I used to be the same and just agree to everything a parent asked but no more. So now if they are on holiday and I'm working they pay! I take 6 weeks holiday a year (this has built up over 30 years of minding) and they can take the same holidays as me and then not pay as I don't get paid if I don't work - keeps things simple and as yet no one wants to have more than 6 weeks! I used to do the 'well you can have 4 weeks holiday for half pay then full for any more' but then it meant more paperwork for checking how many weeks they took. With time your confidence will increase and you will be more assertive.

  8. #6
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    Sorry - my contract state they can take 4 weeks holiday per year but that they are to give me 4 weeks notice.
    They havent given notice for this holiday.........

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    It's tricky because a) you knew the holiday dates and had written them in your diary (assuming the dates the child told you were correct) and b) you told parents it was probably your fault and you would refund them.

    Personally, when the child told you they were going on holiday, I would have checked the dates with parents before writing them in my diary. I know some will say it's not our place to ask parents and they should tell us, but I can't do with the wait and see approach so ask things like that straight out.

    As for saying it was probably your fault, try to practice taking a breath before you say anything and don't blurt anything out without thinking. You live to regret it! I used to have parents wanting to swap days, take extra holiday etc and I'd agree to it straight away. Even while I was saying "that's fine" I was kicking myself and wishing I had more confidence to say no. Over time I've learnt to say "it should be OK, but I need to get back to you about it". I say it automatically now, even when I know it's fine and I don't need time to think about it!

    It's now going to be harder to go back to parents and say they do need to pay, but if they haven't given you the correct notice (even if you did know the dates from the child), you should do it. I would explain to them that you have checked your diary and all emails and there is no mention of them having told you their holiday dates. Therefore you will have to charge them full fees as per the contract. I would also use it as the perfect time to remind them of some of the other points in the contract (early and late arrival) and decide whether or not you want to carry on doing the favours.
    Sorry i worded my post a bit wrong. So it was the Mum who told me of some holidays they were taking this year via an email. Not the child.
    I wrote these in my diary.
    So its this week they didnt tell me about....

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Sorry i worded my post a bit wrong. So it was the Mum who told me of some holidays they were taking this year via an email. Not the child.
    I wrote these in my diary.
    So its this week they didnt tell me about....
    Ah, I see. In that case I would definitely charge. You have the email telling you the holidays they were taking and this week wasn't included. I would just tell them that when mum mentioned the holiday you assumed you had overlooked it on the email of (whatever) date. Having checked that email and seeing that it doesn't mention this holiday you have charged full fee as per the contract as 4 weeks notice wasn't given. You could say to mum that if she thinks she has already told you in an email could she tell you the date she sent it so you can have another look. I would say you're right and mum knows very well she didn't tell you. She's trying her luck and hoping you'll back down.

    It can be really hard to stand up for yourself, but the more you do it the easier it gets

  11. #9
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    Hope you get it sorted.

    In future, would you consider changing your contracts so that they pay for all their holidays? like someone else mentioned, it's just more straight forward and they can also take the same holidays as you (you MUST start taking some holidays for yourself - I know you mentioned previously that you don't). It's amazing how it tends to work out and I would find that all my families and me would be going on holiday at the same time - thankfully to different destinations! Win win situation - well, I wouldn't be getting paid for my holiday time but it was all budgeted for.

  12. #10
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    My old boss used to say, "staff make their own rules." By this, he meant everything worked fine whilst everyone was reasonable, until an employee started being childish or selfish or stupid, then he had to impose some formal rule or system to make people act reasonably.

    I find the same applies to some clients.

    If the mum can't be reasonable or sensible, then sadly you have to impose some system to avoid future disagreements. I've had to do this with a couple of families over holiday dates.

    In future, this mum must give you holiday dates in writing. Not emailed: emails can go astray. You must each sign and date the list, to show you both agree them. Give mum a photocopy and you keep the original on file.

    Think of it as a behavioural plan for mums. If she wants to act like a selfish child, she can expect to be treated.....

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  14. #11
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    Thanks everyone, they caught me on a bad day so i did end up saying that 4 weeks notice of any holidays was required. They dont lose the holiday they can just move it to another time but give me 4 weeks notice. So they haven't lost out on anything. I did feel a bit of a b!tch saying it but my contract end up being useless if i dont adhere to their terms and i do already do the family a lot of favours i feel. Hopefully it doesnt harm our relationship though

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