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What would you do?


MarshaD
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It is our H&S policy that all adults will wear sun hats when it is hot.

 

Today when I asked the staff to put on hats one team member told me she is really funny about things being on her head, when I reminded her that she had signed up to the policies, she said she thought it just applied to children and not the adults and as she was an adult she would make up her own mind about what she did. I'm not really happy about this - am I being over zealous. Would you insist or shall I just let it go?

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I myself can't stand anything on my head and would not expect staff to wear a hat if they didn't feel comfortable with it. I understand we have to set examples to children but staff also need to feel comfortable when working.

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Difficult one. Are you full day-care or sessional (not actually sure why I've asked- not sure it really makes a difference! just me being nosey I guess!! :D)

Anyway - we [staff] discuss the issue each year that really we should wear hats too..... however I hate them with a vengeance- so tend to not push the idea if no-one else does. However if all staff did want to adopt a policy of all staff wear hats- then I would 'suck it up' and do it - and I'm the manager!

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I leave it up to my staff, some do, some don't. But I think Sunnyday is right - if it's your policy then she should be doing it. She wouldn't say "I like to shut the door when I'm changing a nappy", or "I'm going to carry my cup of tea round the room to keep me warm."

I guess the alternative is to review the policy with everyone and get opinions and reasons for and against.

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I always wear a hat as I have such sensitive skin, but I very rarely see nursery staff wearing them, whilst at the same time insisting children do. Same with sun cream. I think what you need to ask is

 

Is your policy reasonable?

Do you have any other dress code (eg about shorts, jewellery, nail varnish etc) If so then how would you respond? You would need to be consistent with your approach.

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i advise adults to wear sun hats and sun cream but do not insist......the policy might cause you issues if you have staff who wear hijabs/ scarves for religious reasons so i would be careful about having it in any policy unless worded so that it says head covering.

Edited by finleysmaid
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Thanks for your opinions everyone. I've thought about it some more since I posted. My problem is that it's not fair to others to excuse one from following policy whilst they are expected to. If I just abandon it because one doesn't like it I think I might be making a rod for my own back. I think I will ask her to find some sort of head covering that she is comfortable with. In the longterm will review again when I am redoing policies in September.

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I would let it go and review this policy. I think it is daft and certainly as a mature adult I dont need to be told when I need to wear a hat! Whilst I agree, if you have made such a policy and she has read it and agreed to it, you could stand your ground, but you have to weigh up whether this is an important enough issue to potentially jeopardise losing a member of staff over. I just dont get it or understand why it was made in the first place. Staff are adults, not children.

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I suppose it depends on the rationale of why this was introduced in the first place.

Are the staff in the great outdoors for a lot of their working day.?

At the time were staff complaining they were too hot outside etc.

It's not something I feel we should have a policy about in our provision.

Some staff bring hats others don't, I think a good old spoonful of common sense is needed here.:)

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Policy is Policy. You start to make accomodation for some staff and you will no doubt open a can of worms!!!! Policy says hats have to be worn then hats HAVE to be worn. Indeed review the policy and include all the staff in the decision making process but as for now I would stick to policy.....This is a slippery road. Good luck!

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MegaMum the Institute for Cancer Research recommends that in a sunsafe policy adults should wear hats to role model. Secondly you have duty of care to your employees. You could argue that a mature adult could assess lifting risk but if you saw someone staggering around with heavy equipment you wouldn't let them do it.

Edited by MarshaD
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I have the same issue as you every single summer - and I insist on wearing hats.

The excuses I get are that staff don't like wearing them and children should do as they are told whether staff wear them or not!

Every person who has been negative towards it has not been able to give an answer when I ask what they would say to a child if they asked why the staff member wasn't wearing a hat - I wouldn't have an answer o that question myself either so I wear a hat. Our whole ethos is learning through example so we have to set an example. We have a staff presentation policy which includes minimum jewellery, no nail varnish, black trousers etc etc and wearing a hat is part of that.

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we too asked staff to act as role models for the children, so hats were always worn outside by all.. I supplies a few baseball caps for adults and children so there was always one for them to wear..

I had the biggest straw sun hat covered with flowers, the children helped me decorate it.. and we found that many of them turned up up similar creations.

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i can't really decide where I stand on this, part of me agrees we should practice what we preach...but then I'd have to insist they only bring water to drink and don't wear open toe sandals or crocs (other type jelly shoes are available),

It's also policy for staff not to wear flip flops (we do allow children opened toed sandals) :)

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While you still need to slather your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, a hat can help give added coverage for the skin on your ears and neck, and scalp . Not to mention the added eye protection that even sunglasses does not provide totally .The hat is not to keep you cool. The wider the brim the better it is.. we supplied legionnaires style for all the children.

 

There are so many different hats out there now.. must admit my current one is one I brought back from Oz..Cow hide . factor 50 protection and has mesh sides so hence the crown does not get hot..

I always felt children learn a lot from copying and imitating the adults that are role models in their life.. and that is what I always saw myself as.. in fact know I was when parents returned thanking me for being the one who managed to get their child to wear a hat and ask for one at home too..

 

Knowing that we had a staff member lose her brother to melanoma in his 20's spurred us on to keep to our sun safe policy - it was there when they started work and I did expect all to follow it.

(as an aside my son has a mole now being monitored.. he is in Oz where they check everyone annually anyway.. he had one removed a short while ago.. and he has always had full sunscreen, hats etc.. never had sunburn at all.. )

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I bought a dozen legionnaire style hats for preschool from eBay, and we've collected a few from unclaimed property over the years, so if the forget theirs we have a ready supply, and the rule is that they play in the shade behind the building if they won't keep it on.

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This is quite an interesting one! I've never been required to wear a hat at any setting I've worked, and I'm not particularly fond of the idea. That being said, I would wear one if it was policy and the reasoning behind the policy is sound. It makes total sense and sounds like good practice, but I still don't like wearing hats haha

I too agree that you should stick to your guns and make sure hats are worn, don't back down on any policy you set or they can all be bent and broken. It also signifies inequality to me if one doens't have to wear them and everyone else does. However, bring it up in the next staff meeting or less formally and see how everyone feels about it - but don't be afraid to disagree with them all and enforce the policy anyway if you feel strongly about it, it's your call.

On the flipside though, if the staff member feels really strongly about it and really does hate thing sbeing on her head, you may have to weigh up the potential dissatisfaction of the team with your idea of good pedagogy. If it will cause a lot of resentment, it might be best to let it go. If you do let it go, you'll have to revise the policy for everyone though to ensure equality.

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Oh we don't...I know how much it hurts when a child puts their chair leg down on your toes, apart from all the other things that could happen :/

Yes I agree with you - we recommend not having them but it was a bit of a compromise for the parents and staff who wanted flip flops lol

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If this is one of your policies then you should enforce it, if you let one person get away with it how may other people will start changing policies as and when they feel like it?! Also if you are telling children to wear hats to protect them from the sun then we as adults should be protecting ourselves too, a child is much more likely to put and keep their hat on if all the adults do too, it's about role modelling and keeping ourselves safe in the sun, you don't want someone off work with sun stroke when it could have been prevented.

 

my setting has this policy and like many others I don't really wear hats but it's work and they aren't that much of an annoyance!

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