With INMO director of industrial relations Phil Ní Sheaghdha
Query from member
Are there any guidelines regarding the use of social media for nurses and midwives?
A great deal of correspondence has been received by the INMO in respect of this matter. We had input into a guidance document in June 2013, which we have agreed, in conjunction with the regulation body, NMBI. This guidance document clearly sets out the boundaries between your personal life and professional life and discussions of same in public forums such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
These guidelines advise that the privacy and confidentiality and professionalism of nursing and midwifery values have to be protected at all times and the legal rights of privacy and confidentiality of patients and colleagues have to be respected at all times.
A simple recommendation of the guidelines is that you stay professional at all times. You do not post messages or information about something you wouldn’t want your colleagues and managers to see and if you are about to publish something that you wouldn’t say in a room full of people, then don’t do it.
You are always at risk of your employer taking offence at matters relating to your work or indeed they may also have concerns in respect of matters relating to patients or how nurses/midwives do their job, conduct their business, etc. if posted on a public forum.
The INMO will represent you if you require this service however it is important that you familiarise yourselves with these guidance notes and adhere to them. The best way to protect this aspect of your social media presence is to keep it separate from your professional life and free of any mention of patients, clients or colleagues.
Please see pages 10-11 for full details on the social media guidance document.
Query from member
Will there be a facility to purchase or transfer service under the new public service pension?
Under the new pension scheme (single scheme for the public service operational January 2013), there will be a facility to purchase temporary service and to allow private pension transfer.
The Department of Finance has to develop what is termed ‘purchase tables’ that will set out the value in the single scheme of other service being purchased or private pension. We are advised that the Department of Finance is in the process of completing these tables but they are not finalised as yet. When they are completed, they will consult with the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions prior to issuing them. We will update members of any progress in relation to this matter.
Query from member
My mother passed away recently on a Tuesday. I was not rostered to work on that day, however I was rostered to work the Wednesday and Thursday. The funeral took place on the Friday which was also my day off. What compassionate leave am I entitled to?
The granting of compassionate leave is at the discretion of the employer. However, standard guidelines exist in the public health service for the granting of compassionate leave with pay to employees on the death of a relative. In the case of the death of a mother a maximum of three working days may be granted.
Compassionate leave may only be granted provided staff are rostered for duty. As you were only rostered for duty on the Wednesday and Thursday you should apply for compassionate leave for these days.
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