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Hi,

 

I have always tried to enable a work/life balance with my staff but have a dilemma.

 

A member of staff needs to get her child to and from school, but is also needed as an employee for adult:child ratio's.

 

The school is in walking distance from the preschool.

 

Last term this was not such an issue because I had enough staff members to cover the "school run".

 

She is now required on ratio for opening and closing times.

She has asked neighbours, friends, and I have suggested she could ask parents who attend the preschool and have an older child at the local school to help. She has chosen not to do this.

 

I am unable to cover these times by changing other staff's shift hours.

 

She has now come to me and said she cannot do all her shift hours. She is contracted to flexible shifts to meet the ratio needs of the preschool.

 

Two other staff have children, they have organised their school run needs to fit in with employment obligations.

 

It seems I may have to replace her.

 

My questions are:

Am I being unreasonable?

Am I able to legally terminate her contract ( this is the last resort, I don't want to do this)

 

Any ideas of how we can get around this dilemma?

 

Peggy

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I don't think you are being unreasonable. I am having similar problems with staff wanting to keep chopping and changing their sessions at a drop of a hat, taking holidays during term time etc. I am not sure where you stand legally. Hopefully someone else on the forum may know.

Sue

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Guest tinkerbell

I also don't think you are being unreasonable peggy.perhaps you could point out that the other members of staff are in a similar situation and have sorted their child care arrangements and x must do like wise or perhaps look for a job elsewhere that would suit the school hours of her child?

Sorry i don't know the legal side to terminating her contract if she doesnt comply,but she is clearly in breach of her contract if she is not working the hours she needs to to do her job.

good luck i think you have to be firm Tinkerbell

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Hi Peggy

I don't think you're being unreasonable,

I'm not too sure where you stand legally, but I would think this would be within your right to terminate her contract. There should be something written into her employment contract somewhere and you will probably need to give a verbal warning, then a written warning and then you can terminate her contract if necessary. (Hope it doesn't come to that).

Sorry I can't be more definate - Hopefully someone will help you out.

Jo

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Dear Peggy

Thought everything had gone quiet on your staffing front but alas no - read your post earlier and had hoped that others would be in a better position of helping you with your quandry. You are not being unreasonable and I have tried to think of any more ways around this - but I cannot. You are obviously aware of who the other parents are who pick up from school and playgroup - and do you feel they would be willing to do this? You obviously need to get back to her. What about sounding out some of these parents about a potential pick up and then putting the ball back in her court saying that you know of a couple of parents who could help out. She must have some sort of issue with this, either its one of not feeling in control of someone else collecting her child, or she doesn't want to work the hours or who knows? Do you know what her reasons are? Perhaps she might feel she doesn't know these parents well enough and doesn't want to impose? Most people I know would be only too willing to help someone else out. Does she need the money/job. if she does then surely for her to give someone a little something for doing this might help everyone? I think you are going to have to reiterate to her that you cannot operate legally without her during this time and perhaps try and establish why she has not asked the parents. Not much help and I am sure you have thought of all these things. With regard to the contractual situation - I am afraid I cannot help you. But I would be interested to find out - any employment lawyers out there...............

Nikki

ps how's your fostering going? Any more progress?

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Am I being unreasonable?

38240[/snapback]

Unreasonable Peggy? Expecting employees to be where they are needed when they're needed? Hardly.

 

It does seem to me that you go the extra mile to make sure your staff are happy, but there are times when you have to put your legal responsibilities first. And this is one of them. Personally I think you've offered her enough alternatives to get around her difficulties with school pick up. Unfortunately your staff member might have to accept that her family responsibilities make it impossible for her to fulfill her contract.

 

If there's a doubt about whether something is legal when it comes to contract or employment law, I would always recommend checking it out with ACAS. They have a website and a helpline you can ring for help.

 

Sorry but I don't have a link or a number to offer you, but they should be in the Yellow Pages.

 

Good luck, Peggy. I hope you get it all sorted!

 

Maz

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Hi Peggy, we had one member of staff who always had to take her child to school, other staff let her take theirs but she wouldnt give her son over to anyone. She has real confidence issues, and is attachted so tightly to her children she took them on honeymoon (two nights away). At christmas assemblies etc she would stay the whole time while other staff nipped in for 10 minutes to show their face. In the same situation , bearing in mind our ratio's werent affected, I'd say something, she'd make promises not to stay so long next time and then break them.

I was once told that getting rid of an employee is very hard so make sure you take advice. And good luck :D

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Peggy

If you are a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance you can discuss legal issues with Lawcall (number is on your membership card ). I have found them helpful in the past. My insurance company (Morton Michel) also have a similar scheme where you can telephone for advice, so it might be worth your while checking your insurance details. Good luck, this is a difficult situation.

Deb W

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Thanks for that Debbie, yes I am a member but keep forgetting about law call. :o

 

Received her letter of resignation in the post this morning. xD

I will obviously have a chat with her, but I think ( as I think Nichola picked up on) there is more to this than childcare arrangements.

 

She has to work a months notice and if she can arrange school run for this length of time ( which she obviously has) why can't she in the longer term?

 

I have an "Exit" form for staff, so maybe this will help enlighten me. I will be offering her the opportunity to provide "Cover" in the future, if she wants it. I just think it is such a shame, and yet another staff change is always unsettling.

 

Hey ho, that's life, I'm sure it will all sort out. Thank you all for your input, much appreciated. :D

 

 

Peggy

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I'll try and post one tomorrow, (if the hangover isn't too bad- Grandson born 8:15am this morning :D )

 

Peggy

38571[/snapback]

Presumably he did this without the need for your exit leaving form, Peggy??

 

Maz

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