Staff members bringing spinach into work is fraught with danger. As an employer, you need clear policies on your stance on this leafy green. Read our full guide to avoid bedlam.
Is Spinach Allowed at Work?
Yes, although there are still employers pushing to make the leafy green illegal on business premises.
This is because the vegetable is prone to become stuck in someone’s teeth, resulting in ghastly scenes of teeth-based unpleasantness.
If your business is largely about a customer or client-facing role, you can drive prospects away in their thousands due to spinach becoming stuck in employees’ teeth.
It’s every bit as annoying as employees eating apples at work.
Think about it. Would you have any interest in, for example, buying a TV from your shop if a sales assistant’s teeth look like snot? No. No, you wouldn’t.
As such, since the 1970s a series of laws have come about to tackle this issue that afflicts employers the world over.
What Laws Relate to Spinach at Work?
There are multiple laws governing spinach in the workplace, as this is one of the most complex areas of employment law. These are:
- The Eating Spinach at Work Act 1971
- The Eating Spinach at Work Health and Safety Act 1991
- The Spinach Becoming Stuck in an Employee’s Teeth Act 2001
- The Spinach at Work Equality Act 2004
- The Inclusion of Spinach in Workplace Sandwiches Act 2005
- The Spinach and Leafy Green (Miscellaneous) Act 2020
Despite the abundance of Acts, it’s still a contentious issue to bring any sort of spinach-based foodstuff into a working environment.
Employees argue they just want to eat the leafy green in privacy. We spoke with Penelope, in London, who’s a web designer. She said:
“It’s my right to eat a houmous, avocado, and spinach sandwich at lunch if I want to. Yet the Spinach Becoming Stuck in an Employee’s Teeth Act 2001 means that, by law, after eating such a sandwich I must lose an hour of my day (and wage) in the bathroom using a toothpick to remove all bits of spinach from my teeth before recommencing work. And I have to pay for the toothpicks! That’s mandatory by law. And I have no fear in saying I think that it’s nonsense! I just want more iron in my diet. What else should I do? Down a pint of Guiness during a break?!”
After making this statement, Penelope was sacked by her employer for gross misconduct and is now in jail for sedition.
To ensure the rest of your workforce avoids a similar fate, you should draw up a clear policy on what is, and isn’t, permissible in your workplace.
Your Spinach at Work Policy
It’s essential to make it clear in your policy you’re not willing to tolerate spinach at work. You can have an introduction such as:
“Spinach at work is disgusting and we do not allow it. We WILL NOT allow our employees to walk around and potentially smile (or smirk) at superiors and/or customers with giant clumps of green stuff in their mouths. We have a zero tolerance this vegetable. You can be as bigoted about anything else as you like, just refrain from all spinach-based foodstuffs.”
You should clearly indicate what you believe constitutes a food with the leafy green in it. This can include:
- Spinach on toast
- Saag aloo
- Salmon and spinach
- Marmite with spinach
- Spinach pesto
- Cheese (with spinach)
To ensure employees aren’t bringing the leafy green into your working environment, you should strip search all staff members before the beginning of a new working day.
This step may prove unpopular for your workforce, but you need to think of your CEO.
Should he greet your marketing manager one morning and be flashed a pearly smile integrated with clumps of greeny badness, bonuses will not be forthcoming.
It’s not just employee wellbeing that’s on the line.
The very survival of your business depends on you banning the vegetable outright, to hell with the Spinach at Work Equality Act 2004.