Use of mobile phone in the workplace

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Freelancer87, Jan 18, 2014.

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  1. Freelancer87

    Freelancer87 UKBF Contributor

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    Hello,

    We have an employee who seems to be sending text messages frequently during their shift.

    Is there a 'proper' way to handle something like this? Is there such thing as a 'fair use' policy for personal texting/phone calls with a mobile?

    If we don't have a policy in place, what type of wording would we use?

    Thanks!
     
    Posted: Jan 18, 2014 By: Freelancer87 Member since: Feb 28, 2010
    #1
  2. StevensOnln1

    StevensOnln1 UKBF Legend

    3,468 752
    Don't single out that one person, but on Monday make it clear to all your staff that personal phones shouldn't be used during work hours. That might make them stop, otherwise it should give you grounds to discipline them if they continue.
     
    Posted: Jan 18, 2014 By: StevensOnln1 Member since: Dec 10, 2011
    #2
  3. Freelancer87

    Freelancer87 UKBF Contributor

    343 19

    If there isn't a policy in place mentioning mobile phone use, can I tell them they will be disciplined or do I need to have that policy in place?
     
    Posted: Jan 19, 2014 By: Freelancer87 Member since: Feb 28, 2010
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Put the policy in lace first. Put up posters in the locker area to reinforce the policy. Then tell everyone.
     
    Posted: Jan 19, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  5. ej specialists

    ej specialists UKBF Newcomer

    18 3
    Hi,
    "Fair use" could mean different things to different people. there is no set rule of wording policies, just make sure it's clear, in plain English and free of jargon. This might be a good example: No use of mobile phones allowed during working hours, all mobile phones must be switched off and not on silent(underline) at all times. Failure to do this may lead to disciplinary and further investigation might take place which could also lead to Dismissal.
    Should you be expecting n important call and need to have your phone on, seek permission first from your line manager...

    Something like that
     
    Posted: Jan 20, 2014 By: ej specialists Member since: Oct 23, 2013
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  6. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Exactly. If you allow staff to use the office/workshop/shop phone to make calls then there is no need for them to use their mobile phone except on breaks and lunch.
     
    Posted: Jan 20, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price Verified Business ✔️

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    You could add a caveat that no phone use except for parents with young children immediately before and after school hours. Or for emergency use.

    We had a member of staff who, when she first started with us finished at 3pm so she could meet her son from school. As he got older he wanted to walk home with his mates (I mean who wants to walk home with their mum?), so she stayed until 4pm.

    She got him a cheap mobile phone and he would stay in "text contact" with her from when he left school until he got home. (He would text when he left school, en-route, and then when he got in.) We allowed her that half hour or so of replying to his texts, purely for peace of mind.

    We had another instance where a member of staff had a seriously ill relative (they were in a hospice). We allowed her to have her mobile on at all times. She would be texting during the day, but we gave her the benefit of the doubt as to the content of those texts.
     
    Posted: Jan 20, 2014 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
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  8. ej specialists

    ej specialists UKBF Newcomer

    18 3
    I suppose that's an option but(underline) be careful that the policy is not discriminating against other employees. What about employees that might be caring for elderly people. It's similar to a situation where smokers take more breaks than those that don't, it becomes unfair.
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2014 By: ej specialists Member since: Oct 23, 2013
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  9. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price Verified Business ✔️

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    I wouldn't say the situations are that similar. Someone who is elderly cannot help being elderly - it's a fact of life. But a smoker has made that decision to smoke. We had a smoker, and she didn't smoke, except in her own breaks.

    From checking a few HR sites, there is no obligation for an employer to give smokers additional breaks.
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2014 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #9
  10. ej specialists

    ej specialists UKBF Newcomer

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    All I'm trying to say is, policies should not discriminate others.
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2014 By: ej specialists Member since: Oct 23, 2013
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  11. SaltireTelecom

    SaltireTelecom UKBF Newcomer

    24 0
    I would just have a Strict No Phones, Where have a part just where speak to manager if you have a personal or emergency matter. Which means people know they need to ask and this makes workplace more open if the person is upset or anything.
     
    Posted: Feb 1, 2014 By: SaltireTelecom Member since: Jan 31, 2014
    #11
  12. RichardDee

    RichardDee UKBF Newcomer

    54 6
    In our workers' contract it states that phones can be carried around so long as they are on silent and don't stop a person doing their job. I'm happy for people to send a quick text during a minute of downtime, but I would have words if I thought they were taking liberties.
     
    Posted: Feb 5, 2014 By: RichardDee Member since: Oct 4, 2013
    #12
  13. IanG

    IanG UKBF Big Shot

    961 201
    Assuming you're going to enforce it.

    Its a gift to that guy if you pull him on those grounds and everyone else is using theirs, albeit less frequently.
     
    Posted: Feb 5, 2014 By: IanG Member since: May 8, 2011
    #13
  14. maxine

    maxine UKBF Legend

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    I agree with what others have said about putting a policy in place with rules for exception... "seek express permission from line manager".

    Unfortunately due to one person I've had to put a policy in last year and now all phones go out by the kettle and people read their texts and send texts when they are on a break. They can still hear their phone if it rings though and will ask if they can answer it.

    I've had to do the same with blocking facebook at work too now which is a shame but open to abuse.
     
    Posted: Feb 5, 2014 By: maxine Member since: Oct 13, 2007
    #14
  15. AnneLou

    AnneLou UKBF Enthusiast

    270 73
    My company has always had a policy in place for not using mobile phones during shift but that has been abused more than ever and our problems were getting worse. Our staff were neglecting our customers and standards were sinking because sneaky mobile phone use was their number one priority.

    I took firm action - re-drafted our policy and made a complete ban on the use during work shifts. I was very clear that ignoring would mean disciplinary action. Once or twice, someone has asked if they can use in their break for an emergency and I have allowed. I have already issued two verbal warnings and have noticed that production has improved and standards are much higher!

    Now, all I need is some help on the use of social media! I know some companies have a strict policy that staff must not ever mention the company in social media and stern action is taken if they do. How does that work?
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2014 By: AnneLou Member since: Aug 3, 2011
    #15
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