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Unacceptable Behavior by Helper?

  1. #1
    lily1221 is offline Registered User
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    Unacceptable Behavior by Helper?

    My helper told me a couple of days ago that she is feeling unwell and wanted to have the rest of that day off. She said she would go back to rest at her boarding house and come back to work the next day. I agreed. Since then, I have not heard from her. I tried to call her and text her to see how she was doing, but her phone line was cut off completely. I became increasingly alarmed and annoyed at her disappearnce. I have a toddler and a newborn and things are really hectic around the house, and she knows that we rely on her help. She did not bother to call or text me on the second day to say whether she will be coming back or whether she wanted another day off. I got only silence from her.

    Finally, today, late in the evening, she sent me a message saying "I still feel unwell. If I feel better tomorrow, I will come back".

    In the past, when she was sick with the flu, I have let her have almost a whole week to recover. And even then, it was me who called her everyday to see how she was doing. If I didn't call her, she would never call me and ask if I wanted her to come back or anything like that.

    I texted her back today, saying that I was disappointed in her lack of communication with me, and that she should tell me earlier next time if she wanted another day off, etc. And she never responded. So, now I don't know if she is even coming back!

    Am I being unreasonable, or is this totally unaccpetable? I think at least she should let me know each day whether she wants another sick day or if she is coming back.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    it's completely unacceptable, but there isn't much you can do about it as you've both broken the immigration rules by having her live out. (unless of course you had specific permission for this arrangement before 2003.) as such, your options are extremely limited. she could easily take you to the labour tribunal and you may be forbidden from hiring another helper, possibly fined and maybe worse.

    i hope that you are able to resolve this issue with your helper. i can't imagine the pressure you must be under. good luck!

  3. #3
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    That is unacceptable behavior, not just for a helper, but for any employee.
    If I called my office to say I was sick, but would be back the next day, I'd be back the next day. If I weren't, they would have every right to complain.
    If my boss kept calling and texting, and I refused to answer my phone, my company would also have the right to complain about me.
    Even when I had a pregnancy complication and was told to rush to hospital, I texted my boss from the taxi. I also sent a follow-up email on how many days I needed, and presented a medical note on my return.

    I hate to scare you -- but we had one PT helper who suddenly took lots of sick days without telling us, and acted in a cagey way like this. It turned out that she got pregnant on a date, but didn't want to "lose face" by telling us. I'm not saying this is definitely the case with your helper, but maybe there's a reason she's acting so strangely.

    I wouldn't let the fact that she's live out corner you into doing nothing at all. When you get a hold of her, give her a stern talking to. Find out what's going on. If her agency was good and responsive, call and ask their advice. If it's out of control, start looking for another and replace her.

  4. #4
    Louiseamanda is offline Registered User
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    She has quit.
    I don't know whether you signed her but best to terminate and get a new helper.

  5. #5
    Anne1212 is offline Registered User
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    For work or school one day sick leave work or school would need to be notified, and for work at least sick leave for more than one day would need to be supported by a doctor's note. A sick employee is entitled to sick leaves but at the same time responsible to notify the employer and not abuse the system.
    Your helper should have at least let you know first thing every morning whether she's well enough to work that day or not. One thing that might not allow her to do that would be that she's very very ill. If she's that ill she might really need to see a doctor. From what u say about this time and previous times it sounds like the helper could be quite immature and irresponsible. Having said that depression might be a possible cause too.
    Have a chat with her and lay everything on the table and see if she could explain. Would there be something bothering her e.g. family issue? If from the conversation u could tell that her heart's not in the job already then u better let her go asap. Both sides might be happier at the end.

  6. #6
    lily1221 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks, everyone! FYI, she doesn't actually live out. She lives in with us, but her sister has a boarding house, which my helper goes to on her days off (Sundays). She also prefers to stay there sometimes when she feels sick, apparently!

    Anyway, has anyone hired PT helper before and had any problems? I think I need to hire a PT helper while I look for a new full time one.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    just to clarify, i wasn't being judgemental, only pointing out that if indeed she was living out, you may be up the creek without a paddle...

    good luck hiring... i'm going through it right now, too.

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