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Advice Please


trekker
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Having never been faced with an issue like this before I want to ask what others would do.

In a committee run group, faced with an incident which clearly breached a couple of fairly core policies and the action was openly discussed with me by staff member (so suggesting they were clearly unaware what they had done was wrong - and I dont believe it would have happened if child concerned had not been that of a close family friend)...would you deal wth it informally - one to one meeting, recorded and signed by you and employee so employee is reminded of policies, warned that another case would result in formal action?

This is my initial thought...

 

Also if I do go down this route do I need to share the record with anyone else? Where should it be stored (chair has employee files) ...how long would it be kept for?.

Does the supervisor even have the authority to decide how it is dealt with without consultation? ... do I need a witness to my discussion (in person or signing the record?)...

 

Any thoughts?

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If its a clear breach of your policies then you have to follow your procedures for dealing with this. If it was me I would speak to member of staff concerned, making it clear that this was a verbal warning. I would then write up the verbal warning sign and date, give a copy to employee and copy in her personnel file. After, three months (you will need to check this with acas) the verbal warning can be removed, only if no other breaches happen within the three month period, if there was another breach it would then be a written warning, and so on and so forth.

 

I hope this is of some help to you. If you are still unsure you could give your local authority early years advisor a call.

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Yes, I definitely feel the employee needs to realise that even though they may have misunderstood the details I cannot just ignore what happened - however I think what im concerned about is whether I can go ahead with this informal action on my own and keep it between myself and the employee (with formal action I believe you need to give them notice of the disciplinary meeting and right to be accompanied...and form a discipinary panel - so others would have to be present as witness)...if I take informal action its likely I'll be the only one in the know.

I am thinking I should perhaps discuss what has happened and what action I feel is appropriate with the chair first even if I then deal with it myself - there is nothing to help me in our policy / procedure for this... if I dont share it no one else will be aware of a record being made...but my concern is it could then potentially become more formal depending on chairs take on the matter!

Basically the incident involves personal phone, a photo and facebook...I wonder if I'm being too soft opting for the infomal action in the first place...:o

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Hi i think if your setting clearly has a policy for personal phone, photography and facebook and it is a breach of them, then i feel some action should be taken, otherwise whats the point in having them.

Is the staff member generally a conscientious worker and this was just a grave error on their part, if yes i would take them to one side and explain the seriousness of the situation, and give them a verbal warning, documented your discussion.

Do you have day to day responsibility for the setting, if yes i think i would do this and then inform the Chairperson of your concerns and your actions taken.

I would also expect them to read the settings policies again and sign to say that they have understood them and will adhere to them.

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I think you need to go back to your discipline policy and look at what is characterised as mis-conduct and gross misconduct. From what you say re a picture and Facebook this could be a very serious matter indeed, however innocent the picture. Do you have a policy re taking pictures on mobile phones? I would assume that no-one should be taking pictures on their phones in the setting. Your policy will say what action you need to take. Always follow policies to the letter as these are for your protection, and also for the employee's protection. If there is nothing specific in policies about this then you need to talk with your Committee about changing them. I would involve the Chair rather than deal with this on your own, but what does your disciplinary policy say? Follow that. At the end of the day whether people are friends is immaterial, as this member of staff is an employee and should be behaving professionally.

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