Feedback for the Fainthearted

Whilst preparing our new online training programme for Room Leaders, SHINE, I’ve been thinking about the struggles Managers have when it comes to structuring difficult conversations with their staff about performance. Questions they ask themselves include: What if they sulk for the rest of the shift? What if there are tears, who will cover the room […]

Employee Fraud- It Can Happen Anywhere

employee fraud

Today I have been talking to an employer about a case of employee fraud. This time the employee has been claiming for commission on sales they didn’t make, and the employer’s systems were not in place to spot the claim before many thousands of pounds had been paid out incorrectly. It’s a timely reminder that […]

Flexible Working Regulations Revised

Did you know that from 30th June 2014 every employee has the statutory right to request flexible working after they have just 26 weeks service with the employer. Before June 2014, the right was only offered to carers and parents, (with 6 months service) who had children under 17 years of age or 18 years […]

How to Hire Superstars in Early Years

Today’s blog is an extract from an article I have written for Nursery Management Today magazine which will be published in their Nov/Dec edition. Please look out for it when your copy drops through the door. Demand for spaces may be high, and about to get higher, but access to quality candidates to fill Early […]

What happens if your staff are stranded in Egypt?

According to the news 11,000 UK citizens are stranded on holiday in Sharm at the moment. That figure is made up of approx 9000 package holiday makes and 2,000 flight only guests. It would be fair to estimate that could be 6,000 or so employees of UK employers will not be back at work on […]

Checklist for handling grievances under the ACAS Code of Practice

From time to time, you may face handling a grievance under your organisation’s Grievance Policy & Procedures. Here’s a checklist for you to use when handling a grievance. Checklist when handling grievances under ACAS Code of Practice Has the matter been tried to be resolved informally, if not does the employee want the matter to […]

What do we do when the fit note says adjustments required?

I come across a lot of employers who tell me that they have had to find light duties for their employee, because the doctor told them to. When pressed about this, it is often apparent that no light duties existed and the employee is being paid to sit around. The employer felt obligated to allow […]

Disciplinary Hearing Checklist

Meetings rarely proceed in a neat fashion with orderly stages. Here a Disciplinary Hearing Checklist to use to get your disciplinary hearing off to a good start. If the employee has not brought an accompaniment – check that they do not want one and that they are happy to proceed unaccompanied. Make sure this check is […]

Can I Use Garden Leave?

Staff who are given notice of termination may not be the most motivated to continue to work. Whether they have resigned or you have dismissed them you may want to use Garden Leave.  So what is Garden Leave? You  can only use Garden Leave if its in their written terms and conditions. Without this there […]

Calculating Holidays for Term Time Only Staff in Early Years

[et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] It seems like holiday season is always upon us these days. For many early years’ settings calculating entitlement is an added pain. When calculating holiday for anyone its very important to remember 2 important principles: Be prepared to show you workings out, as everyone thinks the employer will ‘diddle […]

Is it reasonable for staff to remove cat poo?

Here’s an interesting question.  Is it reasonable for staff to remove cat poo from the garden of a day nursery, pre school or club that they find on their daily pre use inspection? It’s at this point I would normally say it depends what’s on your job description. However I doubt we would have ever thought […]

So Sorry Can’t Come Back From My Holidays On Time!

Over the years we’ve had a few of these ‘stories’. Ranging from people genuinely caught up in Volcanic Ash to not quite so believable tales of people’s car awaiting parts in the South of France. In your handbook you should have a section on failure to return from holiday on time. You may be suspicious if […]

Maternity – Are you aware of the rules?

Whilst pregnancy can be common to most workplaces, employers in childcare do seem to have more than most. There are client’s I’ve visited that have more than one worker pregnant at a time, as you can imagine, I don’t take a seat, and definitely don’t drink their coffee! Women who are pregnant are not the […]

But we are friends – What to do when your staff are friends with the parents!

This blog concerns a common issue of staff in a childcare setting being friends with the parents. One of the ways to be aware of any conflict of interest is to ask on the application form whether the candidate knows any staff, Directors or parents who attend the Nursery in a personal capacity, and if related […]

Contracts – are they really worth paying for them to be prepared?

Most weeks we see potential clients who are using contracts of employment that they were given by a friend as a favour.  The employers are convinced that what they have will do the job, and don’t want to talk about the alternative. When we talk to these employers about what they have included and not included […]

Discipline for under performance?

Here’s a question posted on social media today that caught my eye. “If a staff member consistently wasn’t completing their paperwork for their key children and other tasks and there are always discussions with this member of staff about stuff not being completed or followed through, would any of you go down the disciplinary route? If […]

Should I offer subsidised childcare for my staff?

wait disciplinary action

One of the benefits that an employer in Early Years can offer its staff, that very few employers can offer, is free or subsidised childcare, Whilst it can be very tempting to offer free or subsidised childcare for the staff. There are couple of issues to think about before introducing this: 1. Have you checked with […]

“She wants to bring her Dad into the Disciplinary”

From time to time, when you need to undertake a Disciplinary Hearing with a member of staff, you will be asked if they can bring someone in that is different from the work colleague or trade union representative that is covered under an employee’s right to accompaniment. This may come about in a number of […]

“I can’t believe she’s done that!”

This week’s blog is about what happens when a member of staff leaves without giving you the notice in the contract of employment. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, I am sorry to say that there is a very chance that it will happen one day, that or you don’t employ anyone! There’s many reasons […]

How do I deal with borderline aggressive staff?

At work, there will be times when you hire someone with qualities such as: being able to lead the team make decisions handle difficulties and they then turn out to be borderline aggressive. You wanted confidence, what you appointed was aggression.  But they were fine at interview. At interview they wanted to put across how useful they […]

Should I use exit interviews when my staff leave?

When someone leaves your employment it is a very good idea if you can have an exit interview with them. That’s not always going to be possible.  After all not all leavers are voluntary! Where someone is resigning from the employer, where they are giving you notice of their leaving, you should ask them to […]

I’ve had to refuse a flexible working request- what next?

In an ideal world it would be fabulous if to engage the workforce, we could allow them to work exactly the hours they wanted to meet their needs. Unfortunately in the real world, an employee needs to work when the organisation that employs them needs them, and from time to time this can cause a […]

What’s the difference between Appraisal and Supervisions?

We are often asked what’s the point of having annual appraisals and more regular supervision meetings. The answer is that they are different and in this week’s blog I hope to explain why. Appraisals are as old as the hills. The idea of reviewing where an employee has been in order to plot where they […]

Should I allow staff to smoke in their uniform?

This came up this week. Staff smoking is not as common as perhaps it was 10 years ago, but for many settings it’s still a challenge. If you have a Dress Code,  or a Smoking Policy in your employee handbook or policies and procedures manual you can update it with your expectations for staff who […]