From time to time I see a post on Facebook Group that makes me wonder why we don’t get calls on the above.
It seems love bites aren’t confined to our teenage years and that employees up and down the Country are driving their bosses nuts by attending work with love bites in visible areas.
So it got me thinking. Does having a visible lovebite need to be an issue for a Early Years’ employer?
It all boils down to dress code. If you have issued a dress code to your staff that states no lovebites on show. Then the employee in question would know that if they present themselves for work with a lovebite then they will be asked to cover it with a plaster or scarf.
Similarly if you wear earrings in some workplaces they are covered by a plaster if they can’t be removed. The employee wouldn’t know this unless it was in the dresscode. The dresscode sets out the expectations the employer has, then its down to the employer. It applies to everyone, its what we call ‘process’ not ‘personal’.
This is fair and reasonable behaviour.
In terms of what to do if the employee attends with a lovebite, well the consequence of sending someone home on full pay (otherwise known as suspension) or sending home on nil pay (unlawful deduction from wages) could be seen as an unreasonable reaction from an employer towards its employee.
Dresscodes should say what will happen and the consequence needs to be proportionate.
Remember the lovebite may not have been something they consented to? They may be embarrassed and need your support rather than judgement. We want our employees to make better choices not to feel they need to lie or be dishonest with you. If they are young it is our job to set them back on the rails when they drift off. I always try and remember that someone set us back on those tracks, otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are today.
In my mind as a parent, if I was to see a Nursery worker with a lovebite to me that reflects more on them than it does you their employer.
I wouldn’t consider the Nursery any less professional because of the mark. I may think the Nursery worker made a poor choice but I would also know that it wasn’t permanent. It’s not as if they have had the word HATE tattooed across their knuckles!
Our parents were teenagers and young once, they will probably get it. In fact some will be so confident as to ask what it is on the Nursery Workers neck.
Do you need to have said anything if the parents might? It probably doesn’t get any more embarrassing than when a parent asks “What happened to you then?” Snigger Snigger!
So in summary, if you want your staff to cover up any lovebites say so in your dress policy. It’s perfectly reasonable to do so.
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