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Staff Sickness


TORO
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Hello,

 

How do you deal with high level of sickness, one particular staff started in August/Sept, sick days taken off is 12 days in total. other staff are complaining, l once overheard her say to a staff that she should not be in the garden because she has a bad chest, she later called in sick, and was off for 5 days.

 

I called her into the office for a chat she told me she is stressed, because she cannot get a job in a school (she is a qualified teacher, and has been for few interviews) and is finding it difficult to manage 2 particular children, and would be okay if this 2 kids are not in her group, we have all had managing behaviour training. When i employed her we both had a mutual agreement that she would be with us for a year just to gain experience, and benefits we could gain from her has a teacher. She cannot control the children, and we are not gaining any benefits at all. She more or less said she is not happy because of her suitation, and on the other hand she said that the job is the only thing that is keeping her going. She has renegade on her agreement, and has been for interviews, am seriously thinking of letting her go, because her morale is very low at the moment.

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Hello,

 

How do you deal with high level of sickness, one particular staff started in August/Sept, sick days taken off is 12 days in total. other staff are complaining, l once overheard her say to a staff that she should not be in the garden because she has a bad chest, she later called in sick, and was off for 5 days.

 

I called her into the office for a chat she told me she is stressed, because she cannot get a job in a school (she is a qualified teacher, and has been for few interviews) and is finding it difficult to manage 2 particular children, and would be okay if this 2 kids are not in her group, we have all had managing behaviour training. When i employed her we both had a mutual agreement that she would be with us for a year just to gain experience, and benefits we could gain from her has a teacher. She cannot control the children, and we are not gaining any benefits at all. She more or less said she is not happy because of her suitation, and on the other hand she said that the job is the only thing that is keeping her going. She has renegade on her agreement, and has been for interviews, am seriously thinking of letting her go, because her morale is very low at the moment.

 

Im not sure about this but isn't sick days something to do with the amount of occasions taken rather than the amount of days, However it doesn't sound like she is very happy in what she is doing. Perhaps you could have an appraisal or a review if it is too early that will give you both the opportunity to talk over your concerns and set some targets for her. This might help her morale also if you can find some positive feedback for her.

 

Hope that helps

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I'd say that I knew she was going for interviews, which was not the original agreement and ask her what her intentions are regarding her continued employment at your setting.

If she says she intends to stay for the agreed year then as dmbz2000 say's, try to move forward in a positive manner but with clear expectations and time scales for specific areas of her performance which need improving.

The question to ask is: Are the children getting what they are entitled to from this member of staff? Who's doing who a favour here? If the quality of the setting is being compromised then this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

 

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh but it is so easy to slip into the 'over caring' mode with staff to the detriment of the children (and other staff morale), there is a balance between offering realistic support but also she needs to maintain the standards of work she was employed to provide.

 

Good luck, I do hope it sorts out in a quick and positive manner.

 

Peggy

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Thanks for the replies.

 

l have had discussions with her, and from what she is saying and acting she would continue to apply for jobs, because she feels that she is a failure working in a nursery instead of a school and is letting her parents down. I told her at one of our discussions that she can help with the pre-school planning which is near as can be to working in a school nursery, but i know that she would leave immediately she gets a job in a school. I am going to call her in on monday, (called in sick all week ) like you said Peggy, thanks.

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You can not insist that someone stays in your employment, nor can you insist that they do not apply for other jobs. A mutual agreement can not be upheld nor does it mean that someone will not be sick. Stress will contribute to the general well being of someone and perhaps she should be consulting her doctor.

You can talk to her and find out what support/ changes she needs to do her job more effectively/ efficiently.

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I agree Susan that an employer can't 'make' an employee stay and not apply for other jobs. However, I wonder whether this person was employed to attract the graduate funding that preschools can apply for, if this is the case and this funding has been budgeted for then it could be a condition of employment that they stay for the period of the funding maybe (not sure of how such a contract would stand in terms of employment law). If not allowed to be in contract then I would expect decent professional etiquet from an employee if they were not going to honour the agreement. The funding supports the salary but there is an element for preschool development and if tis is spent, then the graduate leaves it could end up with the preschool in debt having to pay back some of what has already beenspent.

 

Peggy

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