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Dear All,

 

I hope your all well.

 

I have two rooms at my nursery and in 1 room a couple of staff have complained to me saying other staff are taking more than their 1 hour lunch break (for example, leaving at 12.30pm and returning at 1.40pm).

 

Should I send a memo to all staff reminding them that lunch breaks are 1hr and if staff continue to take longer tighter measures will be put into place (like signing in/out when they go on lunch) - or should I put that system into place?

 

Thanks

 

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Hello,

Staffing is always tricky and seems to take up almost more time than any other thing! Personally, I wouldn't put any new measures in place based on comments from other staff - unless you know what they are saying is true you could end up on a very sticky wicket if you are seen to take someone's word over another person's word without first hand 'evidence' yourself. It's very political.

If it were me I would remind all staff about your expectations - in a friendly way and to everyone. I would include your expectations about a wide range of things (as it's September it's a good time of year to get these things out the way!) You might remind staff about uniform, phoning in sick, being in the rooms when the children arrive, - those kind of 'general' things that staff can forget from time to time.

I would then monitor the situation to see if there was an issue - if there is an issue you can follow up according to your disciplinary procedures. What you don't want to do is be seen to take sides, or complain about something that staff might reasonably claim they didn't know about.

Let us know how you get on :1b

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Thank you for your reply - I did think of sending a general memo out.....but just wondered if my main point (regarding lateness) would get lost amongst the other points?...think it is the best option though.

 

Thanks again.x

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Hi

 

Could you be in the room when they return or the whole lunch time to monitor. Perhaps in reality they might not have left on time but others are so busy they didn't notice.

Edited by diesel10

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Do you have others who need to wait until the late ones return so that they can go on their breaks? That is the line I've taken in the past...If you're late back, the next person can't leave which makes them late back etc etc !

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I think we are talking the odd 5 minutes here and there.....but the other staff are getting annoyed (the old chestnut of worrying what others are doing rather than themselves!) - staff over-lap on lunch breaks (as around 6 staff go between 11.30 - 1pm) so I can't use the system of 1 having to wait until the next one is back.

I think what is happening is 11.30am lunchbreak - the staff member makes a tea/sandwich and goes into the office at 11.40am - this is when they then start their break!

 

I think a memo is a good idea (with a few other pointers so soften the blow?)

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I had the same problem, including staff arriving late to start their shift, often only by 1 minute but often by more. It seemed a bit petty at first to whinge about 5 mins here and there but i mentioned it at staff meetings repeatedly and it would improve for a while and then revert back. In the end i bought a clocking in machine and wrote a policy, getting them all to sign it, stating that their pay would be docked each time they were late, i round it to the next 15 minutes, so if they are 1-15 mins late they get 15 mins docked and so on. Lateness has happened a couple of times but i have seen a vast improvement. I know it seems very strict but it was affecting morale and a couple of times i was unable to open the door and let children inside in the morning at the correct time as staff were slightly late which puts a bad image on the setting. The machine has been worth every penny.

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I have found over the years that general messages/memos don't get the right result and can get peoples' backs up. When you send a message to everyone it always seems to be the ones that you want to get the message that don't think it's them!

I think you'd be better off monitoring for a bit and seeing who you need to speak to...

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We have always operated for years with staff having to sign in when they arrive in the morning, sign out for lunch then sign back in when they return from lunch and then have to sign out again when they leave at the end of the day, this way we monitor lateness and deduct any hours lost from that months wages however on the flip side if they arrive early and leave later than their contracted hours they will get overtime paid to them.

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