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Terminating a helper that's been stealing

  1. #1
    Jenster is offline Registered User
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    Terminating a helper that's been stealing

    Just wondering if anyone can tell me what the rules are about firing a helper who has been thieving? I verbally gave her four weeks notice, and I am in the process of writing her termination letter, but am I still obliged to pay her return flight back home? It's really awkward in the house at the mo, I have young children and I do not trust her. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    thatlady is offline Registered User
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    If you can prove she was stealing you can fire her without notice of one month.
    The law reads you have to give one month's written notice, or secondly you can choose to pay one month's salary instead and she goes the same day.
    My first comment was for a summary dismissal which is also defined under the law, but a bit tricky to prove sometimes.
    If she admits to stealing, pay her for the days she has worked, one way ticket home, (Cebu Pacific air is the cheapest and you can book online) travel allowance at $100 per day and she can leave your home today.
    Good luck
    Jenster likes this.

  3. #3
    Jenster is offline Registered User
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    We pay her at the beginning of the month, so she does have her salary already. Thanks for the airline tip.

  4. #4
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    I think if you terminate by giving a month's notice, that notice should be served in writing and signed by the helper as acknowledgement. The problem with a verbal notice is that your helper can turn around and say it never happened and then it would be your word against hers.

  5. #5
    satay sue is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenster View Post
    We pay her at the beginning of the month, so she does have her salary already. Thanks for the airline tip.
    Do you pay her in advance then? A month's notice is a month's pay. So if you've paid her for Feb, to "pay her notice" you need to give another month.

  6. #6
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by satay sue View Post
    Do you pay her in advance then? A month's notice is a month's pay. So if you've paid her for Feb, to "pay her notice" you need to give another month.
    Really? I understood OP as saying is she gave notice on say, Feb 1, then her helper leaves at the end of Feb and that's the month's notice served. Now usually we pay at the end of the month so helper gets her Feb salary then, plus airticket etc as termination. But in OP's case she already paid Feb salary at the beginning of the month of Feb, so technically no need to pay another month in that case.

    But what I think might be a prob is OP said she served verbal notice at the beginning of Feb, and I think contractually, we are supposed to give notice in writing and signed by both parties, in order to take effect.

  7. #7
    Jenster is offline Registered User
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    Actually we pay her on the 20th of every month, and yes its in advance. I gave her notice verbally last Thursday, but she was hysterical claiming it wasn't her etc. so I told her I would speak to my husband and see what the next step will be. I have tried to forgive her, knowing that she must be in a pretty desperate situation to steal from us, but I am so nervous about leaving the kids with her now. She comes across as such a lovely warm hearted girl, I feel so betrayed!

    We will in fact give her written notice tomorrow and pay her up until the 13th April (with air fare).

  8. #8
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Jenstar, be careful if you decide to do that. In general, employers tend to pay a month's wages instead of serving notice because once your helper knows she is being dismissed, there's always the chance that she may try to sabotage your household, or at the least, run up a lot of debts, knowing that she is leaving.

    Not saying that's always the case but that's what happened to us. Our previous DH wasn't working out and I had decided to replace her. But we felt bad kicking her out immediately (she had worked for us for one year) and so even though I paid her the extra month's wages as notice, I let her stay on working for us (paid of course) until my new helper arrived. In fact she told me she was homesick as well, so I thought there was little risk as we were parting more or less "amicably".

    Well after she left, we had months of phone calls from debt collectors - banks as well as phone companies (she managed to ring up a bill of almost $2000 in phone bills in 2 months!)
    Last edited by peainpod; 03-13-2012 at 06:50 PM.

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