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Staff Constantly Booking Appointments In The Middle Of The Day........


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Help!

 

I have a member of staff who has frequently been booking appointments in the middle of the working day. She gives me very little notice then claims they are non moveable when I explain that its not a convenient time. The appointments range from physio (new as double jointed), dental, drs etc. typically now other staff are now also following suit.........when i ask them to try rearrange or say its not suitable their attitude is terrible. II even get "my mum's furious as shes had to ring them again...." lol

 

I rang ACAS this morning and asked advice and unless they have a serious health problem, are pregnant or are having surgery etc, then we are under no legal obligation to allow them to attend appointments in the day.

 

So I am sending out a memo today which basically says.....................

 

All personal health appointments must be booked and taken in your own time. This means, either before your working shift, after your working shift, in your lunch hours, days off or at the weekend.

 

As your employer, I am under no obligation to allow you time for these appointments and due to the rise in members of staff booking appointments during the working day, feel this memo is appropriate.

 

Generally I am happy to occasionally allow appointments providing I am aware of them before they are booked, that I am asked, rather than told and that it is not at an inconvenient time for the setting i.e. when other staff are off etc.

 

If there is a genuine reason why these appointments cannot be taken in your own time, I will require a letter from the establishment to that effect. I will also be requesting evidence off appointments from now on, either in the form of an appointment card or letter. Please request these, if you do not already.

 

If appointments are taken in the middle of the working day, I DO expect staff to deduct their time away from the workplace from their timesheet, which has not been happening up until now.

 

We are a small nursery, and we all must work together to ensure the smooth running of the setting. If anyone wishes to discuss the contents of this memo in more detail or has any questions, please let me know.

 

Do you think I am being fair? Do you see where I am coming from?

 

What do you do in your setting?

 

 

Thanks in Advance

 

Nicola

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This does seem fair to me, I work in a school now and we are not allowed to have appointments in school time unless it cant be avoided. But as a previous nursery manager I felt the same, hospital appointments may be different but I always asked for appointment cards. Good luck with your memo.

killowengirl

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very fair...

 

i would probably put instead of 'feel this memo appropriate ' put something like , feel that this review of our current procedure appropriate.. and then perhaps produce a written policy/procedure for staff to go in their handbook/ terms of employment , new staff would know what is appropriate from the start.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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I think its totally fair. Some appointments cant be changed without a huge delay for a new one but most are easy to change. My GP and dentist can usually see me at a days notice and even when I had pysio I could change the appointments as each was made at the end of the previous one. :o

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Help!

 

Generally I am happy to occasionally allow appointments providing I am aware of them before they are booked, that I am asked, rather than told and that it is not at an inconvenient time for the setting i.e. when other staff are off etc.

 

Nicola

 

I might not include this line as you open the door for work time appointments and what do you then do if more than one person asks for a particular time on a certain day etc.

 

The general understanding is no time off in work time unless it is absolutely unavoidable; my staff usually come and ask individually if they can book time off during working hours and in the main I try to accomodate but it is not always possible to say yes.

 

I think you open the door for abuse of the system if you say you are generally happy to allow occasional appointments

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very fair

 

a. if time is taken out for appointments then time should be made up (my daughter has to do this for her accountancy company)

b. why is the mum making appointments ? she not grown up enough to do it herself? if they are old enough to work then they are old enough to make and break appointments

 

I also only accept absence notice from the employee themselves and not a third party unless it is they really cant make the call

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We are a small nursery, and we all must work together to ensure the smooth running of the setting. If anyone wishes to discuss the contents of this memo in more detail or has any questions, please let me know.

 

I might be inclined to say;

 

"...we need to work together for the benefit of the children in our care."

 

"If this causes you any personal difficulties please come and see me so that we can address the issues together"

 

Not sure why but it feels a bit more like you understand that they might have genuine concerns and you are willing to be reasonable. I'm just thinking of it from the point of view of a member of staff who hasn't taken advantage assuming you have any. It could replace your paragraph about being happy to allow appointments occasionally.

 

Feel free to ignore me if you think I'm being too critical!

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As your employer, I am under no obligation to allow you time for these appointments and due to the rise in members of staff booking appointments during the working day, feel this memo is appropriate.

 

Generally I am happy to occasionally allow appointments providing I am aware of them before they are booked, that I am asked, rather than told and that it is not at an inconvenient time for the setting i.e. when other staff are off etc.

 

If there is a genuine reason why these appointments cannot be taken in your own time, I will require a letter from the establishment to that effect. I will also be requesting evidence off appointments from now on, either in the form of an appointment card or letter. Please request these, if you do not already.

 

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Do you think I am being fair? Do you see where I am coming from?

 

What do you do in your setting?

 

 

Thanks in Advance

 

Nicola

 

 

I think this is very fair but I think you should add (except for pregnancy relations issues) where you say you are under no obligation....

 

and where you ask for evidence if should say 'of' not 'off' :oxD , which I think all Dr's ect do now anyway..

 

Not unreasonable at all.

 

Good luck!

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Sorry to pour a little doubt on the subject, but did you actually discuss with ACAS if sending out this message is OK. I really don't know but am slightly concerned that you could be changing an established condition of employment (even if it is not wirtten down) - and any change like this (I understood) should be fully discussed with staff. I am probably wrong, but just would not want to get myself into hot water. xD

In case it helps, we have a TOIL system (Time Off In Lieu). If staff stay late for staff meetings, training etc. they can earn TOIL time and then take it off for such things as appointments or days they just want to get home early. It has to be agreed in advance but can help to reduce the time taken for appointements etc. They would rather finish early one day than go to an appointment in the middle of one!

Gruffalo2 :o

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I think that you could get away with it anyway as you can justify it. People taking time out for appointments during the day can and usually affects ratios unless you are lucky enough to have a spare member of staff.

 

The staff are contracted to do a certain number of hours per day and they are breaking that contract if they take time out and don't fulfil it. I think employees forget that.

 

Definately make it part of your staff handbook, and I think asking for justification is certainly not unreasonable.

 

The only exceptions I make are pregnancy and hospital appointments. All other appointments must be arranged outside of their shift pattern.

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