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Staff Wearing Jewellery


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Hi, I need some back up on this one which is why I am on here!

 

I gave out a staff handbook just before half term, based largely on the PSLA one that was recommended by you lovely people (it was perfect, thanks!) I made a couple of small changes but mainly left it the same, as presumably it reflects best practice. Admittedly I didn't read every single word but I did skim through and it all looked reasonable to me.

 

Well, guess what, one member of staff has already complained about the mobile phone policy and the jewellery bit.

 

I had put that mobiles should be left in kitchen (staff only area) switched off. Does that sound reasonable or should I let them leave them switched on? She does have a good (personal) reason to need contact in case of an emergency at home.

 

The other issue is jewellery. There's a bit about removing jewellery which seems absolutely right to me when working with small children and also when handling food at snack time. She has an issue with this but I'm inclined to push through with this one. So, I'm just after your advice really on whether this is a reasonable expectation and best practice. My leader is happy to support me in this.

 

Good thing I didn't come into this to be liked!

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mobile phone.. if a good reason we left them on in the kitchen where we could hear them ring.. and only allowed to answer if it was the emergency reason ( she had a particular ring tone set up just for the emergency callers so very distinct and we all recognised it. I did the same when I needed to be always in contact for my son when he was ill and would often chat during the day at times he felt able to, all a case of individual circumstances/reasons). otherwise they were off and checked at break times...

 

we tried asking them to give preschool number and all phones off, but found we were often called when the person was not there , so decided a compromise .

 

jewellery.. I never worried about unless it was a real H&S issue because of the item in particular. I always felt we were childcare workers and not nurses or similar where it is removed for hygiene reasons.. Taking it off for handling food was done and returned it afterwards. no one ever caused an injury with it in all my years of working in childcare . maybe if it was a large ring or something which could cause injury to a child, but otherwise we all wore our usual jewellery.

 

and actually I often wore some that the children had given me over the years... one child was thrilled when I wore the necklace of beads she had specially chosen as a Christmas gift for me when out with mum.. and another the duck ear rings.. I have been given quite a few cheap very child chosen items - and still have all of them..

 

Inge

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I can see the benefit of both of those policies but one that noone seems to care about is the wearing of perfume. When I have had pumping baby hormones, I have had to restrain myself from harming some of the kindest, gentlest carers who have put their scent on my babies!

 

Best of luck with enforcing your policies - think you should stick to your guns with exceptions allowed under agreed circumstances. Maybe staff should make a request in writing for an exception, stating thier circumstances.

 

Fe

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Hi

 

I don't think its very professional answering calls during work time. Surely 'what shall we have for tea' be dealt with at some other time....

 

However, one of my staff does have a son with autism and he rings her at the end of his school day. Fine by me.

It's probably the camera's on phones that is more of an issue.

 

I don't mind my staff wearing jewellery, infact I prefer them to take pride in their appearance.

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It's more the health and safety risk I was concerned about, rather than the personal aspects of wearing jewellery, which I hadn't even considered to be honest.

 

We are talking a number of rings, maybe 5 or 6 or each hand, with chunky stones that could potentially catch on a child's clothing or skin. Also earrings that hang down, again which could potentially get ripped out of the staff member's ear.

 

Thanks for the responses. I wonder why the PSLA has this in the handbook if it is not considered best practice?

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Mobile phones: we have just had advise from our LEA to say that best practsie would be all mobile ohones to be swithched off and only used in case of emergency. As we have no landline and rely on a mobile for business we could not adhere to policy completely. All staff (they did anyway) leave phones in kitchen, if needs be then they will check when appropriate. I really dont buy this thing of 'having' to be contactable every second of th eday. Do these people nver switch their phones off at a funeral/wedding for instance/ A church service or meeting? If it is that important they are contacted then ring the settings number. It's only a couple of years since we all started carrying mobile phones. I used to go shopping for the day when my kids were at school. Can you imagine what would you think if you had to wait at the checkout in Tesco's because the cashier was taking a call, no matter whether it was from her child school or a friend ringing for a chat- you would still feel the same if you had to wait or if your child came home from school and said, this happened in class as Miss was on her phone and didn't see it. Sorry, had a bit of a thing about this myself ; lately and ended up with a this is our policy like it or lump it. Even if we didn't have a policy I was still pushing for mobiles to be left in another room, this was only a problem for one member of staff and as she only worked 3 mornings per week I didn't feel it should be an issue. However now we do have a policy we expect ALL visitors and parents staying to adhere to it as well. I dont really have nay thoughts on staff and jewellery, it's never really come up. I think if you really consider an item to be a h&s hazard then you are within your rights to insist on staff not wearing it

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:o

It's more the health and safety risk I was concerned about, rather than the personal aspects of wearing jewellery, which I hadn't even considered to be honest.

 

We are talking a number of rings, maybe 5 or 6 or each hand, with chunky stones that could potentially catch on a child's clothing or skin. Also earrings that hang down, again which could potentially get ripped out of the staff member's ear.

 

Thanks for the responses. I wonder why the PSLA has this in the handbook if it is not considered best practice?

 

Hi i presume you are working with preschool age children and not babies. I feel we do need to allow calls to be accepted incases of emergency, and would certailnly not object to my staff receiving them. Where has our human being element gone we are not robots, and the children in our care often comment on.....pretty necklace, with this in mind and putting everything into perspective a little quiet word to the person in a tactful way should suffice.

good luck

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I think you're right about the mobile phones, although if someone has a particularly good reason then perhaps they could leave there's on with the understanding that it's only used in an emergency.

 

As for the jewellery I think banning all jewellery is a little over the top! What about wedding rings and the like? Perhaps your policy needs to define 'reasonable' jewellery, much as schools do to their students so earings might be small hoops or studs allowed, short length necklaces and plain rings (limited number). I don't think that is so unreasonable at all.

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from personal experience there are some circumstances where you need to be contactable at any time... it is no good comparing it with 'in the past' as we live now and when the technology is there no reason not to use it..

 

I needed to be able to speak to my son when he needed it..(my blog explains why) any time of day or night and he was feeling the need to hear mum.. or dad.. his dad did the same at work regardless of where he was.. and yes did excuse himself and leave meetings if need be.. I carried a phone with no camera.. but I really did need to carry it.

 

I have also had a member of staff who was carer for her dad, so again if he had a fall or was taken ill he had her on speed dial so she again needed the contact.. we are not in a situation where it cannot be worked around.. it all led to a happy team who would do anything to help each other out..

 

each case has to be taken on its own merit and circumstances, and a blanket ban is , in my opinion, not one I would ever have insisted on. In the kitchen/somewhere not accessible at all times but able to get to it if needed..

 

Inge

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Guest jenpercy

We allow staff to keep phones switched on. Sometimes someone without a pocket will put setting phone down and leave it somewhere, so on occasion the only point of contact would be a staff members phone!!

 

I have allowed emergency phone calls in also. Phone calls out on breaks only - and as for the member of staff I caught texting on duty!!!!!

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