Help, My female Nursery Nurse has started a relationship with one of the Dads!
This actually isn’t that uncommon. We hear it probably a couple of times a year. When the Nursery Owner first hears it they tend to think the worse and then we come up with a plan and a way forward.
Here’s the thing. Private individuals are able to start relationships with whomever they choose. We shouldn’t be the employer who expresses a view on this.
What they can’t do is to allow it to impact your business.
So if you are in the above situation and a female Nursery Nurse announces a new relationship here’s what you do:
- Be friendly. It’s a new relationship, be genuinely happy for her.
- Be clear. You are not getting involved, but because of who the new relationship is with, you do need to have a little chat.
- Ask, rather than tell. Ask her how she feels her work may be impacted by this new relationship? She may have already identified that being the child’s key worker isn’t in the best interests of all the parties. If you are both on the same page, it will make everything easier for everyone.
- Ask her how she would handle this from a safeguarding perspective, how she can separate personal from professional.
- Explain that she does need to be very careful to avoid any suggestion of a conflict of interest. Explain how easy this can occur based on your experiences and training you’ve attended.
- Explain that other people may not be happy for her and ask her how she will handle this?
- Point out that confidentiality is harder when you are in a relationship with someone connected with work. Ask her how she going to make it work?
- Basically, set out your expectations and that you do not want your business to be negatively impacted by this new relationship but you wish her well.
You may be thinking, this is all well and good but can’t we just dismiss her to avoid any problems.
If you did discipline her she may allege sex discrimination?
Instead work with her.
It can get tricky particularly if there is another partner involved and when other staff decide to ‘take sides’. We’ve had clients where a baby is conceived and that can really add to the stakes.
Like many work challenges though, in our experience it will blow over as quick as it blew in.
If me of my team can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to call us on 01527 909436.