Jewellery at Work

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sairs.mesiti
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Jewellery at Work

Post by sairs.mesiti » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:11 am

Hi Everyone,

I am a centre director of a centre in NSW and am in the process of updating our staff handbook and wanted to get some opinions on educators wearing excessive jewellery whilst on the floor.

We have a guideline that limited jewellery is okay - short necklaces, wedding rings, non dangly earrings etc so that they don't pose a risk to children particularly in the babies room.
One team member has argued and thinks that it is ridiculous to limit the type and amount of jewellery worn whilst on the floor.

I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on the issue?

I don't want to introduce a blanket ban on jewellery because to me that is a bit drastic.

Thanks in advance,

Sarah


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KarenT
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Re: Jewellery at Work.

Post by KarenT » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:15 pm

Hi Sarah,

I use to work in a Daycare Centre about 10 years ago and they were strict about what jewellery we could wear. To be honest, I actually liked the strictness, it kept each person looking the same, and at the end of the day, the safety of everyone is paramount.

We were allowed to wear a pair of stud earrings and a wedding/engagement ring. I think from memory, we could also wear a short necklace, but as I'm not fond of necklaces anyway, that never really applied to me. I even chose not to wear my rings, just so I didn't have the worry of scratching children accidentally (my engagement ring setting is high). I loved to get in an play with the children in the sand to, so didn't want to worry bout lost stones and things like that.

Not sure if that helps you in anyway, but that was my perspective as an employee at a centre. To me, there's plenty of opportunity out of work hours to wear your jewellery! :)

Karen

sairs.mesiti
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Re: Jewellery at Work.

Post by sairs.mesiti » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:14 pm

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for your response, it absolutely helps!

I think I will go with the standard wedding rings, religious symbol and stud earrings.

Thanks again for your help :)

Sarah

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Lorina
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Re: Jewellery at Work.

Post by Lorina » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:17 pm

Hi Sarah,

Ok so I wear a lot of gold jewelry, it's part of my culture (well ever since I got married) - necklaces, bangles, rings (6), 3 earring studs in each ear and 2 nose rings (1 on either side), anklets and toe rings(which can't be seen unless I take my shoes off) . I know a lot right! While I was working in a center I never wore my bangles (I didn't want to get paint on them), however everything else I left on. As long as they were small studs from my earrings and my nose rings (I can't remove these as my nose rings are screws and if I don't continually wear a nose ring it will close up). My necklaces are long so you couldn't see them under my work t-shirt and due to my husband's culture I am not allowed to remove them at all.

I completely understand for safety reasons long earring should not be worn and maybe bracelets should be worn with caution (since they may slip off or be pulled off by a child) but other than that I don't think it's an issue for educators to wear . My jewlery is a part of me and who I am and I don't see why I should be made to remove any of it. If a child asks about my peircings etc. I'll be more than happy to explain each one and tell the stories behind it or where I got my rings from etc. Most jewlery worn means something to that person, it's special and it's important so I don't see why we have to remove it.

I just wanted to share my thoughts as I'm literally a walking jewlery store! :giggle: HAHAHAHA

Hope this gives you a different perspective!

:geek:,
Lorina

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by sairs.mesiti » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:10 am

Hi Lorina,

Thanks so much for the other side of the coin. I love that you are a walking Jewellery Store! hahaha

My jewellery is special and meaningful to me, and I do limit what I wear - (wedding rings, religious medallion, stud earrings nose piercing which is a clear stud) I have no issues with cultural jewellery or even the normal level of jewellery most people wear.
The one staff member in particular wears quite long dangly earrings, layers of chains, 2-3 rings on each hand and we have had a parent complain as her ring had scratched their child accidentall due to the high setting on her ring.

The jewellery she wears isn't for cultural or religious reasons - I asked her if it was - its not.

i'm torn between saying wear what you want but as we have had a parent complain about I feel I should address it in some way.

A blanket ban is a bit dramatic but I still want some guidelines as to what is deemed excessive and what is not.

To put it in perspective this staff member is in the babies room. Wears very high set massive gem rings that have quite sharp claws on them holding the gem in place, 4 quite long necklaces (a child was sucking on one and managed to dislodge a bead) is not able to do some tasks - cleaning, and wears really long dangly earrings to the point they are almost touching her shoulders (the big ones you may wear as costume jewellery when going out.)

I understand both sides but my main priority is the safety of the children in her room.

I will have a think and get some more opinions and go from there.

Thanks again for your perspective, its good to see the other side of the coin.

Sarah :)

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Lorina
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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:30 pm

If a parent has had a complaint due to their child being hurt by an educators jewelry then you definitely need to take it into consideration! Yes, I often forget that some woman wear high gems (mine are flat) and you're right these should be removed at work since it could cause a safety concern to children. Regarding the chains, you could suggest to the educator that these can be pinned to her work top so they will not be swinging around easily grabbed by babies and the earrings should be removed. I really see an incident that may occur where a baby grabs hold of the dangling earring and rips it out of her ear! I had an incident when I was sleeping with my daughter and my nose piercing got stuck to her hair which we didn't know and she quickly got up and OMG that really hurt. Luckily it didn't rip through my nose but it made me cry! :giggle: Now when we lay together she always says "check your nose ring" hahaha. Anyway, accidents do happen and while working with the babies it's more likely to happen as they love to grab and hold anything in front of them.

It's really not practical wearing those dangling earrings! Instead of banning jewelry or limiting it you could make suggestions on what is acceptable to wear. For example - earring studs, nose studs,flat rings (I don't know the technical name for them), short chain etc. Educators may be more inclined to better perceive the policy if you tell them what's acceptable. However, you should also include in the policy that if any jewelry causes a safety concern or a parent complains that that particular piece of jewelry worn by the educator will be removed...

Hope this gives you some ideas!

:geek:,
Lorina

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:49 pm

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Have you considered discussing this with your insurer?

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:49 pm

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I think wearing lanyards pose more of a risk than jewellery.

I’ve been in the industry 33 years and I wear dangly earrings, necklace, bracelets and never once have I had any thing pulled out etc. the lanyard and name badges are a different story.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:51 pm

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100% same I have been in sector same 33 years never once had anything pulled off me
Badges big no no

Lanyards same

And with bigger children is less risk because we shouldn't be picking them up
We kneel or go down to their level and talk about boundaries

I wear a Greenstone from Nz and children sit with me when I come do my rounds as a director and we discuss the rules and can touch but no pulling and we discuss the greenstone

Same with toddlers you can set boundaries talk about rules.

Toddlers understand, it's about being consistent and doing the job. Engage with children.

Agree 100%

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:51 pm

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Make it a critical reflection backed up with evidence so that it’s not just seen as your opinion and that everyone feels they have had input into the decision.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:51 pm

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Can you explain the risks to the educator? Or put it in the policy that limited jewellery is preferred due to the safety risk it poses to children & educators. That way it isn't a ban, but it is a warning. If the educator chooses not to do it then it is at their own risk. But then you also need to consider the risk it poses to the children too. Consider why you limit each of those items & why they are necessary. For example why only wedding rings? Rings are rings & may pose a risk regardless. I have a ring given to me by family, & while for safety I choose not to wear it to work for others they may have something similar which they could never not wear. But your policy would say no as it isn't a wedding ring.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:51 pm

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You can also discuss the hygiene issues with excessive jewellery. It is difficult sometimes to clean underneath jewellery.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:52 pm

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I mean you can always not limit the amount of jewellery but create an “acknowledgment of potential risk” document to ensure the centre isn’t at fault if something gets pulled out.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:52 pm

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It is just common sense to wear minimal jewellery when working with infants, especially long earrings!

I suggest you set the expectation (so they are guidelines, not a ban) and if staff choose not to follow it, they do it at their own risk. Hence, Centre Management take no responsibility for damage or injury.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:52 pm

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It may be worth referencing OHS recommendations. Jewellery and other accessories can present as a hazard by carrying infectious diseases, earrings can being pulled at or become tangled in a childs hair. We would hope that common sense would prevail however if you foresee them presenting a risk of harm to the educator they could be asked to sign waivers. You probably need to consider if the policy is a matter of health and safety or if it is part of the companies dress code and be sure that it doesn't breech any discrimination laws.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:53 pm

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I was in the early childhood sector for 17 yrs, 7 of those as a director & knew no different, I thought all workplaces were like this but now I know better, other work places are inclusive, encourage personalities & allow their valued team to be themselves.

Early childhood workplaces are extremely controlling & marginalising.

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Re: Jewellery at Work

Post by Lorina » Thu Nov 23, 2023 3:53 pm

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I literally saw my colleague's earrings being pulled out by a toddler and she was bleeding, also the necklace was broken too...I personally don't wear any jewel to work.

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