Health workers on the New South Wales north coast are being told they cannot call colleagues or patients "mate".
A memo was sent out by the Northern NSW Local Health District last week, reminding community and allied health workers in the region about the need for professional language within the workplace at all times.
It specifically referred to terms that could be seen as affectionate or endearing such as "mate", "darling", "sweetheart" and "honey".
"The utilisation of this language within the work place at any time is not appropriate and may be perceived as disrespectful, disempowering and non-professional," the memo says.
"This type of language should not be used across any level of the organisation such as employee to employee or employee to client."