It is essential that new members of staff are trained in all the relevant policies and procedures from the outset, if they are to avoid security and safety breaches.
A parent recently contacted a nursery to let them know that, due to circumstances beyond their control, a different person would be collecting their child at the end of that day. In accordance with the nursery’s procedures, the parent agreed a password with the nursery manager and it was arranged that nursery staff would ask for this password before allowing this person to take the child away from the nursery.
The message and password was communicated to the senior person in charge of the room, who was changing a nappy at the time the nominated person arrived to collect the child in question. A member of nursery staff with only 3 weeks service allowed this person to take the child away despite not recognising the adult collecting the child, and failed to ask for any identification or for the agreed password. This matter did not come to the attention of the nursery until the next morning when the child’s mother telephoned to complain.
Initially it would appear that this was serious breach of the employer’s procedures which could have put this child at serious risk. However, the management of the nursery investigated and found that, whilst part of the induction training plan, the new member of staff had not yet been provided with or trained in the end of day security procedures.
Because of this it was decided not to pursue with disciplinary action as this would not be reasonable in the circumstances. Instead the employee was thoroughly briefed on the relevant procedures and signed to confirm her understanding. In addition, the member of staff received a letter which clearly spelt out that if there was as a repetition of any similar breaches of procedures that this would result in disciplinary action and could result in her summary dismissal, so that the seriousness of the situation was made clear.
Carol Smith, Senior Employment Consultant at Croner says: “This case illustrates the need for employers to ensure that new members of staff are trained in relevant policies and procedures at the outset and in particular before they undertake, unsupervised, any aspect of their role which may impact on the security and safety of the children.
“In addition, giving greater priority to such training at an earlier stage in the induction process will ensure no such incidents occur going forward.”
We strongly recommend that you contact Croner’s team of employment law experts for advice on any HR matters arising in your nursery by calling 0844 561 8111 quoting scheme number 80439 – dot2dot