New dress code, cell phone policies for Nipawin town staff

NIPAWIN — Nipawin council has passed the town’s first company cell phone policy for staff along with an update to their dress code.

Barry Elliott, the town’s administrator, said the new dress code was made to loosen the existing code, which was last changed in 2014.

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The code applies to only staff working for the town.

“It was felt that the previous version of the dress code was a little too restrictive, prohibitive.” Elliott said. He added that council wanted to give employees as much flexibility as they can.

“We’re not trying to be draconian here, but we have to realize we are working in some cases in professional environments. Dress code is important to be maintained.”

Elliott said the policy will be applied on a case-by-case basis. The policy makes exceptions for various jobs that have a casual day. It also makes an exception if an otherwise banned item is standard for the job, like lifeguards wearing beachwear,

The administrator said items that need to be worn for medical reasons will also be an exception.

“Of course within this policy too, we’ve written in the language that confirms any requirements for specific clothing under our occupation health and safety program will always take precedence over the policy language,” he said.

Unacceptable clothing that is considered too casual and/or inappropriate according to the new policy may include:

  • Revealing clothing that exposes the back, chest, stomach, navel, underwear (front or back) or that reveals too much cleavage
  • Tops with spaghetti straps, halter tops or muscle shirts
  • Tops that are transparent or see-through, or that give the appearance of such
  • Very short shorts or skirts
  • Excessively baggy pants or other clothing items
  • Items adorned with language or images that could be considered foul, vulgar or obscene
  • Apparel with holes, rips or tears
  • “Workout attire”, including sweat pants, sweat suits or sweatshirts
  • Beachwear, including swimwear, swimsuit cover-ups, or casual flip flops
  • Sweatbands or bandanas
  • Hats or caps (office staff)

 

Cell phones

The new cell phone policy only affects cell phones which the town provides for staff.

“Just as a matter of prudence and good oversight we want to make sure these cell phones that are being provided to employees are used properly,” Elliott said, adding the devices are to be used for work-related tasks only. “It’s pretty easy for someone with a cell phone to do something that’s not really appropriate.”

The new policy states that “personal cell phone use should not result in additional charges to the town or exceed the allowable limits for voice calls, text, and/or data”. It also states that “inappropriate content is always inappropriate, no matter whether it is being sent or received for business or personal reasons”.

Inappropriate content includes, but is not limited to, pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal acts or terrorism, or materials relating to cults, gambling and illegal drugs.

Elliott said while this new code is being added, the town doesn’t feel there is a problem with the staffs’ use of the phones.

“As I say, we’re always trying to make sure we have the proper control elements in place. Anything that has to do with taxpayers’ funds we want to make sure are being used as effective, as efficiently and as properly as possible,” Elliott said.

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