Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff member handed notice in on last day of term.


Miacat3
 Share

Recommended Posts

So yesterday was last day of term before we broke up for Easter and I was looking forward to sharing the children's excitement about the Easter bunny coming but it didn't happen as a staff member handed in her notice by thrusting her letter at me while I was talking to the business manager. She then had a rant that I would be happy she was leaving as I was never happy with anything she did and that I was the cause of her leaving. I was so shell shocked that I stood there while she listed all my faults towards her that were not true. This has all come about because I stood up to her this week in a staff meeting and told her that she had to change her practice in the setting as she was not allowing the children to be independent and a lot of them start school in September and will be expected to be able to put on and hang up their own coats.

So my question is what's the best way to deal with her now as I need to write her a letter confirming her last day at work in my role as manager. Should I address some of her claims against me in the letter as we have now broke up for the Easter break, she wouldn't speak to me for rest of session and she rushed out of the door as soon as it was home time so I didn't get chance to speak to her about her handing her notice in.

I know what is going to happen now as she is on the school PTA , knows a lot of the parents that use our setting and know a lot of the school staff and my concerns are that she will be bad mouthing the setting and blaming me for making her hand her notice in, which is not true. She had not tried to bring any of her problems with me and my so called behaviour to mine or the committee's attention before yesterday. I have not treated her any differently to the other staff and staff have moaned to me about her causing drama and stress when she is in the setting over the past month. She is a drama queen and I don't want her wreaking all the hard work myself and the other staff have put in to turn the setting reputation around when I became manager. Please can any of you advise me with the best way to deal with this situation as I want to try and have some of my Easter holidays without work stress!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would just write accepting her notice, expressing disappointment that she hasn't given you an opportunity to address any of her concerns and offering her the chance to come and discuss them with you and/or the chair of the committee in a meeting outside preschool hours if she feels this would be useful.

 



Edited by Upsy Daisy
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I endlessly worry about what parents/committee think about me and anything that happens but the truth is the vast majority are really happy. There are rare moments (strangely more often just recently) when they actually show that they are quite chuffed with me.

I am sure you are in the same position and trouble makers usually seem like trouble makers to the people that are moaning to as well.

 

I know from being a parent in the playground that rumours go round all the time but the vast majority of people take them with a pinch of salt and trust their own experience.

 

You were right to try to improve her practice and she is an idiot to throw away a job and any chance of a reference in such a silly way.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really hard and i dont envy you. From what you say, she probably felt you were getting at her at the staff meeting in front of everyone else and this embarrassed her. If there were issues that needed raising with her could they have been done during her supervision time? That said, it sounds like a minor thing you were bringing up so there is obviously more to it.

I do think you need to talk to her and clear the air. it would be better if there was someone else with you. How about someone from the committee?

We had a situation when a staff member was very unhappy with how we as a team felt the setting was progressing and it caused terrible friction.The atmosphere was awful and caused a lot of stress within a small team.

This was before the days of supervision and I know now our Manager is now really hot on keeping on top of brewing situations like this.

Do you have a supportive deputy? Does this staff member get on better with her? maybe if she does she would be better negotiating discussions. Good luck. Not the start to the hols you would have hoped for I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Miacat - so sorry to read your post - I very much agree with Upsy - I am a firm believer in 'least said, soonest mended' - this stance has stood me in good stead for a very long time! :1b (I am 103 you know! ;) )

It would seem that she likes a 'drama' - don't feed that for her......

You be a true professional - invite her to discuss her issues in the way that Upsy suggested - she almost certainly won't want to.

Don't 'stress' about this all holiday - it's really not worth it.

As Melba said - parents and school staff will almost certainly know what she's like and be perfectly able to make up their own minds.

I'm sending you a hug - sounds like you really need one x

Just back to say - remember to not discuss this yourself with any parents and if they try to begin a conversation just say that it is not appropriate for you to discuss nursery issues :1b

Edited by sunnyday
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your replies. Great advice as always. Should I put in her letter a small note that as part of her work contract she signed a confidently agreement that staff do not discuss the setting or setting business outside the setting in the hope it might stop some of the whispers in playground. Hubby keeps telling me not to worry but I do keep thinking things over and over and then end up sat up like last night at 3am trying to not think about things. I am cross and upset that she did come and speak to me as she usually come and talks to me when I'm in the office when she's not happy about things in the setting. She doesn't usually have a problem speaking about what's on her mind. She had been moaning pass couple of weeks about the increase in work due to two years old in setting so think she had made her mind up a while ago that she was going to leave but waited until yesterday to hand notice in so that she would have Easter holiday as 2 weeks of her 4 week notice period. Just want to do the job of supporting children's learning and development in the setting without the all the rubbish from government and certain staff members. Ahh roll on the summer break!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree with Upsy Daisy and Sunnyday. Accept her notice, offer her a chance to discuss her 'issues', don't fuel the fire or add to the drama. It's quite likely that she will calm down and not be bothered about spreading rumours or bad mouthing your setting. Time for her to move on, so let her do just that. Hope it all works out.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree about accepting her notice and giving her the chance to come in to talk. I agree about not worrying about gossip. BUT, please, please find a way to make a statement to parents that covers you and gives her some dignity. I resigned from my old setting after slogging my heart and soul out for it for over 25 years.. I resigned to save the group,i did nothing wrong, BUT a member of staff who had been back stabbing told the parents something that cast doubt on my integrity and honsty, so far from the truth, It caused me a lot of grief and heartache and to be honest I have never truly got over it. You might feel your lady deserves any sympathy, but you can be professional and fair to her. It maintains your integrity, and hers

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a member of staff hand their notice in at exactly the same time a couple of years ago although she didn't even hand it in to me she handed into the Chairperson.

We did have her back for the final 2 weeks as we didn't want it to seem as if anything had been 'going on' so to speak

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's an interesting point for our situation Cait, we work 38 weeks and have to give 4 weeks notice, until now everyone has taken that as 4 of our 38 wks, (a few years ago the committee dropped this from 12 weeks - which was totally unrealistic) I had a resignation letter week before holiday and doing 1 week after but has decided to include 2 weeks Easter hols, I wasn't happy about this, but statements of employment don't actually say 4 'working' weeks, so not sure how we stand, but has accumulated 3.7wks holiday so far, maybe should deduct that 2 weeks of Easter from the 3.7wks , would be interested to know what people think, and what the wording regarding notice in your contracts is, ours do say any monies/hours owed to preschool will be deducted from holiday pay at end of year or on leaving. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ours was in contract at 6 working weeks... held us in good stead as it gave more time to employ new staff... plus one staff member ended up not leaving as we worked around her chance at a second job , so she stayed.. she was very good at her job and did not want to leave but needed the extra money we could not offer.

 

as to holiday pay.. our contract also said when we would be paid for this.. so 1 week at christmas, 2 at easter and the rest in august..

 

to include the Easter as the holiday time due, they would have to be paid for this.. no reason not to do it that way.. and if I was really in need of the staff would be the way I would do it.. otherwise the holiday would be due before an employee leaves.. when it was amicable.. we used to find a solution with the staff member... which while not always totally legal was agreed by both of us..

 

the difficulty arises if you pay over 12 months so have worked out an annual salary .. that pays for holidays in that.. that really does complicate things when someone leaves mid year... working out if enough holiday has been paid.. or too much is a nightmare.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She will be back for two weeks after the Easter break as her contract says four weeks notice. As thumper rabbit says we don't want to look as if anything is going on to parents. Will send her a letter tomorrow which states I'm disappointed that she has spoke to me sooner and we can arrange a meeting if she still wants to discuss things. I will also make the point in the letter that she is not to discuss the setting or any business which relates to the setting even after she leaves as stated in her contract which she has signed. She will then only be in the setting for six days over the two weeks as she works part time just hope she won't sulk while she is in but she probably will but I will be professional in my dealings with her even though I could batter her right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hugs and sympathy to you Miacat - awful situation that as much as you tell yourself not to worry/stress about it you can't help but do exactly that! I think it's in our early years genes and is the compassion that makes us good at our jobs with little ones.

Examine the situation and accept those things you can't change/control (which is her reaction to the situation etc), address the ones you can i.e accepting her letter and move on - please don't dwell on it as it does eat away at you (I have had this exact same situation but along with the staff having a go her mother turned up too! (staff was in her 20's!!))

Is there anything going on at home with her? - I've also come to realise that when issues like this 'blow up' there are, more often than not, other stresses in the staffs lives and the work issue is the straw that broke the camels back so to speak (and is usually the part of their lives that they feel they can take control of, hence handing in notice)

'Least said, soonest mended' is good advice - if she's set on going, giving her chance to vent at you when there is no hope of achieving an outcome beneficial to you and your setting and it is only going to result in you feeling even more terrible. However, her leaving the session asap at the end of the last day suggests she doesn't feel terribly great about it either (if she was up for confrontation she would have probably hung around to have another go)

We have end of employment chats/forms to complete and they have been designed to protect us legally from compensation claims. One of the questions is 'Did any problems or issues arise in relation to your time at the setting?' and, crucially, 'If yes, did you discuss these within the appropriate time frames/ways with the manager Y/N and 'what actions were taken?'

Could you do something like this?; it keeps it structured and timely but is not the place to go into the ins and outs as they should have been addressed at the time. I tell staff it's about ruling off just as we ruled them in when we did their induction and they acknowledge (even the less friendly exits) that it's like having closure

- what it doesn't and can't prevent is playground gossip - confidentiality agreements and all are one thing in employment but once they are no longer employed there aren't really any consequences.

Narnia's point about integrity is very very valid and possibly key to how she will continue to react

Don't let your break be spoiled; don't spend too much time thinking about it - our owner is very wise and tells me what seems like a war today is a squabble tomorrow and forgotten by the end of the week and time and time again they have proved that true

Try and enjoy well deserved time with your family

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

We have end of employment chats/forms to complete
Hi gingerbreadman, I really like the sound of this and wondered if you could post an example of it please? Also liked your today feels like war comment and will try really hard to remember this from now on :1b
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not on my work laptop but do have paper copies with me (putting off updating SEF/policies!) so here's a list of things on it - we have tweaked over the years to mirror the situation of the person leaving - so, for example, if there was a history of not completing work etc a question would be put on to address this. As they are the ones completing it, it does get them to see there's been 'a picture forming' - even the fieriest of characters have mellowed as they've gone down the list and seen their behaviour condensed on to one sheet - it should be worded to be able to capture positives too and this adds to their realisation that what was done in terms of 'discipline' or managing a situation (which likely led to them leaving) was simply responding to their behaviour/practice

the information can also be used to feed in to a future reference; if you are putting on the reference a less favourable comment you can say 'acknowledged and recorded by staff member in end of employment chat'

name start date end date notice period given

Reason for leaving

Age groups worked with

Sickness/absence level

Disciplinary status at end of employment

Previous disciplinary actions

Key person responsibilities (you could list and they could initial) up to date - space to comment

other responsibilities held?

Training/staff meeting attendance - good etc

problems or issues arising in relation to your employment? Y/N (space for them to give an outline)

If yes, did you discuss these within the appropriate time frames/ways with the manager Y/N and what actions were taken?

space for general comments - the ones leaving on good terms tend to put something in here - the 'others' don't bother

things I feel I've done well - (if you disagree with this, I guess on a reference you could put 'the staff feels she does... well' If I was to receive this, the fact that you'd put 'the staff member would make me think it wasn't agreed)

things I need to develop - again on a reference you could put 'in addition to the staff feeling a,b and c is an area of improvement she would benefit from....)

Staff signature/date

Discussed with Manager/Deputy Sig/date

 

hope it helps - if anyone has any other questions they would put on, please feed back - we all have different experiences of staff performance which are valuable to learn from and to be fair, the distasteful ones are less often than the good ones (my sanity is thankful for!!)

Edited by gingerbreadman
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely is nice to say goodbye LKeyteach :1b , this example probably comes across as a bit 'heavy' as they were initially introduced when a difficult member of staff was hell bent on causing trouble, not just for the setting, but other innocent members of staff and have been tweaked over the years.

I find they also help to 'draw a line' under things - psychologically as well as metaphorically ;)

In general they are filled with lots of positives and they a filed away with a touch of sadness at seeing someone leave but also with a sense of pride that you helped and watched them 'grow' in to their new role as opposed to a satisfying slam of the filing cabinet door as the 'orrible ones are 'kicked in to touch!

Edited by gingerbreadman
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone who has taken time to reply and offer advice. I knew I would get some great advice and this is why this forum is a life line to me. Gingerbreadman you have made me giggle. The hugs and advice have helped me to smile and think to myself that I'll get through this and come out the other side.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Miacat sorry have only just caught up with the forum this week , so sorry to hear about your situation but some fab advice given as always , I feel your pain but please don't let it spoil your holidays , easier said then done , I know from experience , ensure you have t ,he support from your committee and staff team , relax , have a glass of something , as my mother says" if they talking about you they are leaving someone else alone", people will hopefully know you and not listen to idle gossip from someone else, sending big hugs, xxx

Edited by lashes2508
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)