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Non Contact Time!


kristina
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Hi Everyone

 

At present staff are paid 1 hour and 20 minutes a week for paperwork and staff meetings etc, 1 member of staff has just dropped her hours to 2 sessions a week and a new member of staff works the other 3 sessions. This has resulted in some staff who work all week having more key children than those who work less.

Staff have been talking resulting in me receivng a call this morning from one of them stating that they feel it is unfair that all staff are paid the same non contact as some have more key children!! Now this had already crossed my mind and I do realise I need to look at how this is paid (I have 6 key children and don't pay myself anything!!).

So how do you pay your non contact and do you include your staff meetings all rolled into the one monthly payment!!

 

Kris

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Hi Kristina,

 

my deputy and I are in the same boat as you, because we're salaries we don't get a penny for key files or staff meetings amoungst other things!

 

The rest of the team are paid 1 hour per half term, per key child, for key files and staff meetings are paid in addition. At the moment sm are fortnightly and they are paid their hourly rate which they claim for on their time sheets, they also claim for training etc.

 

I have just managed to wrangle in at least an hour non contact a week for staff to complete their additional roles like health and hygiene and first aid/medication. There isn't always enough work to fill this time which means I can either delegate some duties or they can complete key child paperwork.

 

Hope that helps! It doesn't matter how it's worked, there will never be enough money to truly reflect the work put in!

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I think your staff have raised a good point, and you are certainly 'on the ball' to have recognised this already yourself. :o

 

Maybe this is a time that you could review the current non contact time policy with your staff.

 

Maybe consider the ability of each staff, would it take a newer member of staff with less experience more time to do the paperwork than a higher qualified, more experienced member of staff? So an experienced person may only take x amount of hours to do the work for 10 key children whereas a less experienced person may take x times 2 hours for the same number of key children.

 

Maybe consider a certain amount of time per key child? considering the above.

 

If not per child, consider dividing time pro-rata for job share staff? ie: full time workers get x amount of hours, part time in your example one would get 2 x5th, the other 3 x 5th of hours allocated to full time workers.

 

Should the pay scale be the same as working hours, or at a different rate, the same for everyone? so.......

Maybe even consider a different pay scale for non contact time- I used to pay all my staff minimum wage for non contact time irrelevant of their contact time pay scale, including staff meetings. This was clearly stated in their contracts.

 

Consider also set time per other responsibilities such as SENCO role etc.? So not all staff will have the same amount of non-contact hours.

 

I think that staff will talk with each other about fairness of pay, but there are many considerations that they may not think about such as the example above about the time it takes each individual to do a task. Considerations that are the discretion / role of the employer.

So, is it always useful for staff to know what others are being paid, thus causing disquiet? I didn't think so as an emplyer, so I used to have it in my employment policy that terms of pay were to be kept confidential because each employee had different responsibilities, at different levels of expertise, paid for accordingly on an individual basis. As long as there are clear, fair criteria for such differences then I was covered in terms of equal pay / equal opportunities. I also made it clear that any employee could talk to me , should they have a problem, about their individual circumstances regarding pay. To me this approach helped build trusting relationships between employer and employee and not one based on employees 'talking' together about what is fair or not without having the full knowledge of what they were talking about.

 

 

Peggy

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we too paid a different rate for the non contact time,ours was the lowest rate we paid as a wage. .

 

all staff had this rate .. and we were paid per child..

 

or perhaps consider a job share for the 2 staff who work the part time hours - as Peggy suggested..

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Our staff do it during the session time, provided I'm there to provide support (bearing in mind we only have two members of staff 'officially' on duty at each session).

 

This is a really difficult one to answer - some practitioners who are more confident at analysing observations and being able to make links with the development matters statements will need less time than those who struggle with this aspect. The good thing about doing it in session time is that who is spending how much time is visible to all.

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My staff also do there paperwork on a rota basis in session time. I am lucky enough to be able to afford to employ a part time staff member for two days a week who covers thier non-contact time , in the long run have found this to be far more effective than paying for non-contact hours, and as Maz says it means I can keep an eye on how much is actually being done in that time. Time available is worked out based on number of keychildren, extra responsibilities (my INCO gets an extra half hour a week) and if there are sufficient staff available it means less confident staff can be supported by a skilled colleague if needed. :o

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Thank You for all the replies, some really helpful comments as always. Maybe the answer is to free up staff for an hour a week to complete their paperwork! At least that way it's fair as the staff with fewer children may only need 1/2 hour and other staff an hour!! Only concern will be if they look at it as a pay cut, although don't think the non contact is written into their contracts!! Off to double check!!

 

Kris

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