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Old 26.09.2015, 10:07
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End of employment notice question - pregnancy

Our amazing nanny has decided to pursue a further education degree, and has thus asked us to let her go. Although we were against the idea, as we thought she should be the one giving us her notice, rather than the other way around, we finally came to an agreement (I don't want to debate this point - we thought about it for months, and I am slowly coming to terms with it). Her contract stipulates that we need to tell her a month in advance, so I have just drawn up the letter, and the dismissal will take effect at the end of October.

We were going to send our nanny the letter by registered mail today, but yesterday afternoon, she told me she might be pregnant, and was going to get a blood test to check! I know that pregnant women are protected by law (which is great), and that in this case, the dismissal is void until the end of her maternity leave. So should I wait until get get confirmation of a potential pregnancy, or send it anyways?

On the one hand, if she is pregnant, I'm happy that she might just stay on with us, since the babies love her, and I completely trust her with them. On the other hand, I don't really know what we will do if she needs to reduce her working hours, or stop all together, and during her maternity leave. We pay her well, and can't afford to pay two nanny salaries

So my main question is - how do these situations work? We don't have a special insurance for employee illness, so will her own insurance kick in at some point? Is there a point of information for this? I've looked online, but have only seen the question from the employee's perspective.

I'd love some inputs on this.
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Old 26.09.2015, 11:49
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

What a tough situation. In your shoes, I'd go ahead and wait for the test results. They're back within hours so you should know quickly. If she's not pregnant then you can proceed as planned with the notice. If she is, you can sit down and figure something else out.

Perhaps she wanted you to give the notice so she'd have less of a penalty from RAV or something? Remember although she feels very much a part of your family, you're still the employer and have your own rights as well.
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Old 26.09.2015, 12:14
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

Thanks for your reply. I know her reasons for wanting us to terminate her contract. You're right though, I should just wait and take it from there. I'd like to know what the different options are, since we've now found a suitable replacement for her.

P.s. we need to catch up! I'll email you tonight
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Old 26.09.2015, 12:50
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

On the pregnancy question, the urine strips never give a false positive. If she has had a positive test, the blood test is just a formality. Of course, it is also possible that she miscarries the pregnancy, but that is a bridge to cross when/if it comes to that.

Really, if she wanted to finish, she should have give notice. The only reason why she would want you to do it 'from your side' is because then she can get unemployment assistance/payments sooner than if she gave notice herself.

You are not actually allowed to give notice when she is pregnant, so it may actually look really bad (and open you up to a lot of problems) if she tells you first (which she has done) and then you give notice anyway...

Better to just sit on the letter...for a few days...or consult an employment specialist...this could get really messy...if she goes on sick leave with the pregnancy you will end up paying for a lot of work that she does not actually turn up to do, and I will assume you also have some sort of insurance that covers long-term illness.
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Old 26.09.2015, 16:25
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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On the pregnancy question, the urine strips never give a false positive. If she has had a positive test, the blood test is just a formality. Of course, it is also possible that she miscarries the pregnancy, but that is a bridge to cross when/if it comes to that.

Really, if she wanted to finish, she should have give notice. The only reason why she would want you to do it 'from your side' is because then she can get unemployment assistance/payments sooner than if she gave notice herself.

You are not actually allowed to give notice when she is pregnant, so it may actually look really bad (and open you up to a lot of problems) if she tells you first (which she has done) and then you give notice anyway...
She thinks she might be pregnant, but will only do a test on Monday... And yes, her reason for asking us to be the ones terminating her contract is so that she can get benefits sooner, but that's a whole other topic of conversation. I only included that information in my original post because I wanted to clarify that we were not looking to fire her because she might be pregnant. She told us a while ago she wanted to change career paths, and we were just looking for a suitable finish date. The pregnancy issue came out of the blue this week. This is such a twisted situation, as we would actually love to keep her as long as we can!

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Better to just sit on the letter...for a few days...or consult an employment specialist...this could get really messy...if she goes on sick leave with the pregnancy you will end up paying for a lot of work that she does not actually turn up to do, and I will assume you also have some sort of insurance that covers long-term illness.
These are my concerns. Where does one find an employment specialist? Are there information centers to contact? Specific insurance we need to think about? What happens when private individuals are in a similar situation, in terms of handling an employee that is on sick/maternity leave, while needing someone else to take over?
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Old 26.09.2015, 17:04
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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And yes, her reason for asking us to be the ones terminating her contract is so that she can get benefits sooner
That is so out of order! Also if becoming a student, you are surely not entitled to benefits anyway!
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Old 26.09.2015, 17:27
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

This could end up costing you a lot of money in replacement childcare if she does continue to work or go on sick leave and you cannot terminate her employment... However, that is a risk of any employee...

How do you currently manage her sick leave / accident insurance etc? Maybe you need to check with whoever is providing that insurance what the cover is for longer illness.

I know where I work we are covered for 80% of our salary through an insurance system that cuts in after 20 days absence for the same illness/injury. There can be a gap between how many days of paid sick leave the employee is entitled to, and when this insurance system starts to pay.

Personally, I would probably delay the decision... If you can give written notice on Tuesday or Wednesday (it probably needs to be by the end of the month)... If you don't want to terminate her contract, then don't...make her give notice properly!

And in the meantime, discuss with your partner/family what other backup plans you have, so you can move on quickly if it does unravel (have you already started to look for someone to replace her).
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Old 26.09.2015, 18:45
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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That is so out of order! Also if becoming a student, you are surely not entitled to benefits anyway!
I completely agree with you. But I don't want this to be the main theme of this post, otherwise, I won't get the advice I'm looking for

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This could end up costing you a lot of money in replacement childcare if she does continue to work or go on sick leave and you cannot terminate her employment... However, that is a risk of any employee...
. I know... Even covering her maternity leave will be very expensive. Although I completely agree with the regulations, and was thankful for them myself when I ended up on hospital bed-rest during my high-risk pregnancy, it still makes it hard for families in this situation.

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How do you currently manage her sick leave / accident insurance etc? Maybe you need to check with whoever is providing that insurance what the cover is for longer illness. I know where I work we are covered for 80% of our salary through an insurance system that cuts in after 20 days absence for the same illness/injury. There can be a gap between how many days of paid sick leave the employee is entitled to, and when this insurance system starts to pay.
That's the first thing on my to-do list on Monday, once I hear back from her.

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Personally, I would probably delay the decision... If you can give written notice on Tuesday or Wednesday (it probably needs to be by the end of the month)... If you don't want to terminate her contract, then don't...make her give notice properly!

And in the meantime, discuss with your partner/family what other backup plans you have, so you can move on quickly if it does unravel (have you already started to look for someone to replace her).
We wanted to wait until she gave us her notice, but recently met someone through a friend who could replace her at the end of next month, and is currently available for the dates we need. She has great references, and we liked her a lot. Hiring her would make our lives easier, rather than having to look for a new nanny with a month's notice, and juggling work commitments at the same time. We don't have any family here, so back-up plans are limited. I do have the Red Cross emergency child care option, but couldn't use it on a regular basis.

I guess we'll wait until early next week and see what happens.

Last edited by Mag; 26.09.2015 at 18:58.
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Old 26.09.2015, 19:25
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

Worth looking into this more closely before proceeding. Your obligations - or hers - may not be exactly what you think.

In particular, workers in private households are specifically exempted from the federal employment law, which includes all the standard provisions for maternity leave, job protection during pregnancy etc.

What you need to look at instead is cantonal: google Normalarbeitsvertrag Hauswirtschaft + your canton of residence.
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Old 26.09.2015, 22:05
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

If you dont have a Krankentaggeld insurance you will anyway only be liable to pay her sickleave according to the praxis where you live. Usually 3 weeks first year of employment and 4 to 8 weeks second year. So your liabilities are not endless. Maternity leave (14 weeks) is paid by the AHV.
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Old 26.09.2015, 23:55
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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...What you need to look at instead is cantonal: google Normalarbeitsvertrag Hauswirtschaft + your canton of residence.
Any idea what the French equivalent is? OP is in Fribourg and it may help her as well as other members in Romandie in the future.
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Old 27.09.2015, 01:21
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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Any idea what the French equivalent is? OP is in Fribourg and it may help her as well as other members in Romandie in the future.
I don't even know what the English equivalent is, sorry! But Fribourg/Freiburg is on the Röstigraben and the canton's website seems to be available in both languages.
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Old 27.09.2015, 01:57
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

This may be what the OP is looking for:

https://www.fr.ch/spe/files/pdf66/222.5.91-12-1.fr.pdf
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Old 27.09.2015, 09:39
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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Any idea what the French equivalent is? OP is in Fribourg and it may help her as well as other members in Romandie in the future.
Conventions collectives de travail /contrat type de travail Fribourg being a bilingual canton, it was relatively easy to find the document.
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Old 27.09.2015, 09:50
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Re: End of employment notice question - pregnancy

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This may be what the OP is looking for:

https://www.fr.ch/spe/files/pdf66/222.5.91-12-1.fr.pdf
If you look at Art 14 of the pdf you will see how long you have to pay the person in case of illness according to art 324a of the Swiss Code of Obligations. Pregnancy is covered by art. 324 a. You don't say how long she has been with you, but even if she has been with you for just under 5 years you would only be liable for 3 months.
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