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Carlisle council management tells employees to clock-out to chat

Carlisle council staff have been ordered to clock-out in order to have chats about the weather, babies or holidays.

Team leaders in Carlisle’s benefits department sent an e-mail to which warned staff that they should not be treating work like a “holiday camp”. A representative from the GMB Union has branded the email a “disgrace”.

Carlisle City Council apologised for the message and said that management fell short of their usual high standard. The e-mail read that the working ethos in the office needed to change in order to ensure maximum output. It continued that staff should remain aware of the reason they were here, to work and not to treat the office like a holiday camp.

The email continues that talking to fellow colleagues was not a requirement and that non-work-related conversations should be kept to a minimum. It stated that if employees wished to talk about babies, the weather or holidays then they should clock out.

Mr Craig from the GMB Union said that the email was ridiculous and branded it a disgrace. He added that the email was suggesting that if a worker was queuing for the photocopier having a chat then they should clock out. The e-mail continues to say that the way in which staff were working could not be sustained given the “current economic climate”.

Carlisle City Council’s deputy chief executive, Dr Jason Gooding, insisted that the issue was an “isolated incident” and said that lessons would be learned.

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