Carlisle City Council has ordered employees to clock out of they want to take about the weather, holidays or babies and its not the first local authority to implement bizarre rules for staff.
Earlier this month it was reported that a council was to tell staff that “intimate behaviour during work time” could be deemed gross misconduct and lead to disciplinary action.
Staff at Fenland district council, in March, Cambs, must declare any “close personal relationship” with a colleague to their manager in writing, the policy proposed.
The information would then be recorded on their personal files – a move which critics claimed was “Orwellian”. At a later meeting the idea was rejected and has not been introduced.
One councillor labelled the proposal the “bonk and be booted out” policy and said it had come from the “database of daft ideas”. Another said publicity about the plan had turned the council into a “laughing stock”.
In December 2008 it was disclosed that Hampshire County Council had banned a lollipop man from tying tinsel to his stick because it was a health and safety risk.
The council took the action after a member of the public complained that the school crossing patrol officer had placed extra tinsel around the edge of the circular sign.
Kevin Simpson, 45, said he thought he had been told to remove the tinsel because there were concerns it had obscured part of the sign.
In the summer of 2009 a council banned its workers from cutting grass on slopes because it was deemed to be too dangerous.
Fife Council ruled that employees weren’t allowed to use a mower on an incline of more than 15 degrees in case it toppled over and fell on them.
The council said the ban was necessary to meet health and safety requirements.