Toprapid Limited Company Handbook
This Handbook contains information, rules, policies and procedures concerning your employment and should be read in conjunction with your Statement of Main Terms of Employment ('Statement'), which should have been provided to you. Other or revised rules, policies and procedures may be issued at any time. If you have any queries or have not been provided with a 'Statement' for any reason, you should have no hesitation in raising this matter with your line manager.
Your normal hours of work are detailed in your 'Statement'. It is your responsibility to ensure that you attend punctually for work and follow all timekeeping and absence procedures. In order to help us to maintain optimum service levels, you may be required to work additional hours from time to time.
If you have a need to leave work prior to your normal finishing time or to have time away during the normal working period, you must not leave without first obtaining permission from your line manager. In such circumstances, you must report to your line manager upon leaving and, where appropriate, returning to work. Persistent lateness, unacceptable levels of absence and/or unauthorised absence will result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal, depending on the circumstances.
Hourly paid employees will only be paid for hours worked.
Pay and Review
The method of pay and payment intervals are set out in your 'Statement'. An itemised payslip will be issued to you at each pay period. If at any time you have any queries, you should raise them with management. Any change in your pay will be notified to you. The Company cannot guarantee that there will be an annual pay increase.
At the commencement of your employment you will have provided us with various personal details. You must notify the Company immediately of any change, e.g. name, address, telephone number, next of kin etc. It is in your interest to notify us of any such changes. The Company will not be responsible for any issues arising out of your failure to notify changes in your personal details.
Processing of Personal Data
Data Protection legislation regulates the way in which certain data about yourself, both in paper and electronic form, is held and used. The following will give you some useful information in terms of the type of data that the Company keeps about you and the purposes for which this is kept.
Throughout employment and for as long as is necessary after the termination of employment, the Company will need to process data about you for purposes connected with your employment, including your recruitment and termination of your employment. Processing includes the collection, storage, retrieval, alteration, disclosure or destruction of data. The kind of data that the Company will process includes:
1. Any references obtained during recruitment.
2. Details of terms of employment.
3. Payroll details.
4. Tax and national insurance information.
5. Details of job duties.
6. Details of health and sickness absence records.
7. Details of holiday records.
8. Information about performance.
9. Details of any disciplinary investigations and proceedings.
10. Training records.
11. Contact names and addresses.
12. Correspondence with the Company and other information that you have given the Company.
The Company believes that those records used are consistent with the employment relationship between the Company and yourself and with the data protection principles. The data the Company holds will be for management and administrative use only but the Company may, from time to time, need to disclose some data it holds about you to relevant third parties (e.g. where legally obliged to do so by HM Revenue & Customs or where requested to do so by yourself for the purpose of giving a reference).
In some cases the Company may hold sensitive data, as defined by the legislation, about you. For example, this could be information about health, racial or ethnic origin, criminal convictions, trade union membership or religious beliefs. This information may be processed not only to meet the Company's legal responsibilities but, for example, for purposes of personnel management and administration, suitability for employment and to comply with equal opportunity legislation. Since this information is considered sensitive, the processing of which may cause concern or distress, you will be asked to give express consent for this information to be processed, unless the Company has a specific legal requirement to process such data.
You may, within a period of forty days of your written request, inspect and/or have a copy, subject to the requirements of the legislation, of information in your own personnel file and/or other specified personal data and, if necessary, require corrections should such records be faulty. If you wish to do so you must make a written request to your line manager. The Company is entitled to change the above provisions at any time at its discretion.
Your holiday entitlement is detailed in your 'Statement'.
Holiday entitlement is subject to the following clauses and shall be taken at times to be approved by Mr Nigel Powell or his successors. A holiday request form must be signed by your line manager, who will pass it on for approval. Such approval is to be obtained before you have committed yourself to bookings or any other alternative positive arrangements.
The holiday year is the calendar year from April to March and you should take your holidays during this period. You will not be permitted to carry over unused holiday entitlement into a following holiday year. You will not be entitled to payment for any unused holiday entitlement.
You may not take as holiday more than 10 days consecutively out of your entitlement without the prior written consent of your line manager.
If you leave our employment with an outstanding holiday entitlement, you will, in addition to any other sums to which you may be entitled, be paid a sum representing salary for the number of days holiday entitlement outstanding. If you leave our employment having taken more than the accumulated holiday entitlement for the current holiday year, then a sum equivalent to wages for the additional holiday taken will be deducted from any final payment to you before the balance is paid to you. A day’s holiday pay for these purposes will be based upon 1/260th. of your annual basic pay.
Sickness Notification Procedure
You are required to telephone your line manager by 09.00 hours on the first day of sickness absence, stating why you are absent and when you expect to return. If your absence continues, you must contact your line manager regularly to update on your continuing absence.
Please note that personal contact is required at all times when contacting the Company. The sending of text messages or email will not be accepted as notification.
You must provide the appropriate certificates as referred to below at the relevant times, and complete any absence recording documentation as required on your return to work.
Failure to notify the Company as set out will result in the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure being used.
Notification of Infectious Diseases
You must notify your line manager if you are suffering from or have symptoms of a notifiable infectious disease i.e. mumps, measles, or food poisoning etc., or where you have been in close contact with someone with such an illness. Where you have been off work with this type of illness, you must contact your doctor prior to returning to work to ensure that it is safe to do so. You should notify your line manager accordingly.
Self- Certificate and Medical Practitioner's Certificate
You should produce the following written evidence of absence and ensure that appropriate certificates are provided for the whole of your absence.
For absence of up to and including 7 calendar days; or
Medical Practitioner’s Certificate
For absence of more than 7 calendar days; or
when requested, where more than 3 periods of self-certificated absence occur in any 12 month period (this may have to be obtained at your own expense); or
for absence before or following an annual or bank/public holiday.
You should forward certificates and any correspondence to Mr Nigel Powell or his successors as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in sick pay being delayed or withheld and action under the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure being taken.
The Company reserves the right to require you to undertake a medical examination by a medical practitioner and/or specialist of the Company's choice and/or to seek a report from your Doctor.
Where the Company wishes to seek a report from your Doctor, you have rights under legislation; a summary of these rights is included later in this Handbook (under 'Access to Medical Reports').
Company Sick Pay Scheme
The sick pay scheme is at the discretion of the Company and the sick pay year is the calendar year from April to March. Details of your scheme are set out in your 'Statement'.
Where the Company makes a payment under the scheme, it is inclusive of any entitlement to statutory sick pay (SSP). You will forfeit entitlement to company sick pay if:
1. You fail to comply with notification and certification requirements.
2. You make or produce any misleading or untrue statement or document concerning your fitness to work.
3. Your incapacity has been caused by participation in dangerous sports or activities, or by alcohol or drug abuse.
Part time employees will be paid pro rata to full time employees.
Statutory Sick Pay
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be paid when you are absent from work due to sickness, provided that you have complied with the requirements and conditions attached to its payment.
When SSP is payable
SSP cannot be paid for the first 3 days of sickness. Therefore, payment usually starts on the 4th day of absence, and continues for as long as you are absent, up to a maximum of 28 weeks in any one period of sickness. SSP is paid in exactly the same way as normal earnings.
When SSP is not payable
SSP is not payable in certain circumstances, the principal ones being:
1. If your average weekly earnings are less than the figure set by the Government for the payment of National Insurance Contributions.
2. For absence of less than 4 days.
3. If you have failed to follow the sickness Notification Procedure.
4. If your employment has terminated.
5. Where Statutory Maternity Pay is being paid to you.
6. For days on which you do not normally work (e.g. if you work Monday to Friday and not at weekends, SSP will normally apply to those 5 days only).
The rules on SSP are very complex and you should not hesitate to raise any query you may have with the Company.
If you are absent from work due to injury or illness caused by a third party, any payments made by the Company as sickness payment will be classed as a loan which will be repayable to the Company by you if compensation for loss of earnings is recovered from the third party.
If you have been absent due to sickness and are found not to have been genuinely ill, you will be subject to action under the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure, which could include dismissal.
Return to Work Interviews
Having regard to its duty of care to its employees, the Company may complete a return to work interview after any sickness absence. This will ensure that you are fit for work and whether you anticipate any further absence relating to your illness. This will also give you an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your illness with your line manager.
Access to Medical Reports
In certain circumstances it may be necessary for the Company to obtain a Medical Report from your Doctor/Specialist in order to establish:
1. Reason for and likely duration of absence.
2. When you will be able to return to work, and whether the problem will recur.
3. What, if any, treatment is being prescribed.
4. Whether you can carry out all the duties of the job.
This will enable the Company to plan workloads. It is in the interests of both yourself and the Company to establish, with the benefit of expert medical opinion, your ability to work. You have certain rights under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988.
Your Doctor/Specialist cannot submit the report to the Company without your consent. You may withhold consent to the report being sought or can request to see the report prior to it being forwarded to the Company.
If you indicate that you wish to see the report in advance, you will be informed when the Company has written to the Doctor/Specialist. The Doctor/Specialist also will be notified that you wish to see the report. You then have 21 days to contact the Doctor/Specialist regarding arrangements to see the report.
Should you indicate that you do not wish to see the report before the Company, you still have the right to write to the Doctor/Specialist, if the report has not been provided to the Company, and have 21 days to contact the Doctor/Specialist regarding arrangements to see the report. You have the right to ask the Doctor/Specialist for a copy of the report for up to 6 months after it has been supplied. (There may be a charge for this.)
You may ask the Doctor/Specialist to amend any part of the report which you consider to be incorrect or misleading. If the Doctor/Specialist is not in agreement, you may attach a statement of your views with the report. If the Doctor/Specialist thinks that you or others would be harmed by the report, or any part of the report, it can be withheld from you.
No decision will be made that could affect your employment without careful consideration of all the circumstances.
Where the Company wishes to obtain a medical report, you will be asked for your written consent. Should you withhold such consent, the Company will take a decision regarding your continuing employment without the benefit of medical opinion.
Pregnancy and Maternity Rights
You have certain statutory rights if you are pregnant. These are addressed below.
The rules on pregnancy and maternity are very complex and any query should be raised with the Company.
You are entitled to reasonable time off work with pay to attend for ante-natal care at appointments made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health worker. If requested, you must provide a certificate of pregnancy and an appointment card.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
If you stop work and meet all of the following conditions you are entitled to receive SMP. To comply you must:
1. Have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC).
2. Have average weekly earnings of not less than the figure set by the Government for the payment of National Insurance contributions.
3. Still be pregnant at the 11th week before the EWC or have given birth by that time.
4. Give at least 28 days' notice in writing that you intend to stop work.
5. Provide medical evidence of the EWC.
For the first six weeks SMP is payable at the earnings related rate (equivalent to 90% of earnings) and for the remaining 33 weeks at the statutory rate as set by the Government, (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the standard rate).
If you stop work no earlier than the 11th week before the EWC, and you meet the following conditions, you are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave. To comply you must notify the Company in writing, as soon as possible or by the 15th week before the EWC unless that is not reasonably practicable, of the following:
1. That you are pregnant by submitting a MAT B1 form.
2. The EWC.
3. The date on which you intend your ordinary maternity leave to start.
4. If requested, provide medical evidence of the EWC.
The Company will confirm to you in writing the date upon which your 52 week maternity leave period will end.
You are legally prohibited from working during the two weeks immediately after the birth and four weeks if you are a factory worker. This is known as the ‘compulsory maternity leave period’ and is considered part of the maternity leave period.
If you give birth before your intended maternity leave start date, your maternity leave will start automatically on the day after the birth of the child.
During the 52 weeks’ maternity leave period all contractual benefits except for your pay will be maintained as if you were not absent.
If you wish to return to work before the end of the 52 week period of maternity leave you must give at least 8 weeks’ notice of your intended date of return.
If you decide to return to work early and this is at the end of the first 26 week period known as ‘ordinary maternity leave’, you are entitled to return to the job you were in before your absence. If you return to work either during or at the end of the second period of 26 weeks’ known as ‘additional maternity leave’, you may be able to return to your original job (or another job which is suitable and appropriate).
Keeping in Touch Days
During maternity leave the Company may offer to you the opportunity of taking up to 10 ‘Keeping in Touch Days’. These are days when you may work for the Company without bringing your maternity leave to an end. Work can be any work under your 'Statement' and may include any training or activity undertaken with the purpose of keeping in touch in the workplace. Any payment for these days will depend on the type of work, training or activity and will be agreed between you and the Company.
The above information is given for guidance purposes only and confers no extra rights to you beyond those provided by statute.
You are normally expected to ensure that appointments to visit the doctor, dentist, hospital, etc. are made in your own time and outside normal working hours. In the event that this is not reasonably practicable, time off work will be permitted to attend such appointments providing that the appointment is substantiated with an appointment card and the timing of the appointment causes as little disruption as possible i.e. at the beginning or end of the working day. You will not be paid for the time lost.
In the event of the death or funeral of a relative, civil partner or close friend, you may be granted appropriate time off work and payment at the discretion of the Company after careful and sympathetic consideration has been given to the circumstances surrounding each bereavement.
Statutory Time Off
You may be entitled to unpaid parental leave as follows if you:
1. Are a parent of a child born or placed for adoption on or after 15th December 1999.
2. If you have 1 years’ service with the Company, you are entitled to up to 13 weeks’ leave for the purpose of caring for a child. This entitlement must be exercised within 5 years of the birth or adoption of the child. In the case of adoption, the entitlement will not apply past the child’s 18th birthday.
3. Are the parent of a child entitled to a disability living allowance.
4. If you have 1 years’ service with the Company you are entitled to up to 18 weeks’ leave for the purpose of caring for the child up to the child’s 18th birthday.
Leave must be taken in a minimum of 1 week blocks (except for where a child is disabled then leave may be taken as single days or multiples of 1 day) and is limited to a maximum of 4 weeks in any year for each child.
At least 21 days’ notice must be provided and leave may be postponed apart from leave taken immediately after the birth or adoption, depending on the needs of the Company.
Paternity Leave Pay
If you are eligible you are entitled to choose to take either one week or two consecutive week’s paternity leave (not odd days) if you:
1. Have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) or by the week in which an Approved Adoption Agency matches you with a child.
2. Have given notice of your intention to take the leave in or before the 15th week before the EWC specifying the EWC, length of period you have chosen to take and the date you have chosen the leave to begin.
3. Take the leave within 56 days after the birth (or the date on which the child is placed for adoption) or if the child is born early, within a period from the actual date of birth up to 56 days after the first day of the expected week of birth.
You will be paid for this leave at the statutory rate or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is less.
Adoption Leave Pay
If you are adopting a child and you meet certain qualifying conditions you have the right to take 52 weeks' adoption leave. Statutory Adoption Pay is payable for up to 39 weeks at the statutory rate or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is less.
Keeping in Touch Days
During adoption leave the Company may offer to you the opportunity of taking up to 10 ‘Keeping in Touch Days’. These are days when you may work for the Company without bringing your adoption leave to an end. Work can be any work under your ‘Statement’ and may include any training or activity undertaken with the purpose of keeping in touch in the workplace. Any payment for these days will depend on the type of work, training or activity and will be agreed between you and the Company.
You are entitled to reasonable time off, without pay, for urgent incidents of real need involving a dependant, who is a member of your immediate family or someone who reasonably relies on you for help when they are ill or injured or for making arrangements for them to be cared for in the event of illness or injury.
The entitlement to time off in such circumstances is limited to what is reasonable for you to deal with the immediate problem and sort out any longer term arrangements.
Providing you qualify and have caring responsibilities, you are entitled to request a flexible working arrangement, on a permanent basis, in terms of changes to hours, location and pattern of work, to enable you to care for a child or adult.
To make an application you must be an employee with 26 weeks service and have not made an application for flexible working during the last 12 months.
To make an application for flexible working if you care for a child who is aged under 6, or if disabled, aged under 18, you need to be either the mother, father, civil partner, partner or spouse of the child’s mother or father, adopter, guardian, special guardian (as appointed under the Children Act), foster parent or private foster carer and have responsibility for the upbringing of the child.
To be entitled to make a request for a 'Statement' variation to care for an adult (aged 18 or over) who is in need of care, you must be caring for or expect to care for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative. If the person does not fall into one of these categories, the adult in need of care has to live at the same address as the carer.
Partner means the other member of a couple, living together as if they were man and wife, or of a same sex couple living together as if they were civil partners.
All requests for flexible working will be seriously considered, but there is no automatic right to be granted a request. The request must be made in writing specifying that it is for this purpose, what flexible pattern you are proposing, detailing how you think any adverse effect on the Company can be dealt with and how you meet the eligibility criteria. You should be aware that if the Company accepts your proposal, this will normally mean a permanent change to terms and conditions. There is no statutory right to revert to the original working arrangements.
Any such request or further information on the procedure should be made to your immediate line manager in the first instance.
You are entitled to time off work to fulfil your obligations with regard to Jury Service. In the event of you being summoned to attend for Jury Service, you must notify Mr Nigel Powell or his successors immediately on receipt of the Jury Summons, giving details of the dates you are required to attend Court.
You may be requested to apply to the Court for your Jury Service to be either postponed or delayed if it is considered that your absence will cause substantial injury to the business. A failure or refusal to make a request when requested will lead to action being taken under the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure, which may include dismissal.
If you are retained on Jury Service for a prolonged period, you have an obligation to notify the Company and must keep in regular contact throughout. You must return to normal working immediately following your release from Jury duties.
You are reminded to ensure that an expenses claim is submitted to the Court in accordance with the available allowances for travelling, subsistence and your financial loss.
You are not entitled to payment for this time off, as you can claim allowances from the Court.
You are entitled to reasonable time off during working hours to perform the duties associated with certain positions, such as Justices of the Peace, members of a local authority, statutory tribunal or police authority. You are not, however, entitled to payment for this time.
Cash and Money Handling
Where you are involved in financial transactions with customers, you must ensure that you are aware of and comply fully with the Company's procedures as set out below.
You must where required log onto the till, using your unique number, for your transactions.
You must enter all transactions into the till and ensure that the customer is aware of the amount charged.
You must check the amount tendered and enter this into the till. You must then provide customers with the correct receipt and change.
You must report incorrect entries and shortages to your superior immediately.
It will be your responsibility to follow the Company's procedure when taking a chip and pin credit or debit card sale.
You will need to dip or swipe the card and the on-screen prompts will tell you how to proceed.
The terminal will read the card and request a PIN number. The terminal will automatically check that the card is valid and that the card has not been reported lost or stolen.
Although the vast majority of transactions will be the PIN, you should accept a signature from cardholders who have requested a special chip and signature card and cardholders from overseas who have an old style card. You should just insert the card into the terminal and follow the prompts - no matter what card is presented.
When accepting a signature in these circumstances you must continue to carry out the additional security checks (check the signature, the name on the back etc.).
Credit/refund transactions should be made in accordance with agreed practice unless you have been given prior authorisation.
In the event of a terminal breakdown or power failure you may only accept cheques or cash.
Cheques must not be accepted without a valid cheque card. You must ensure that the amount is within the cheque card authorisation limit as set out on the card and that the signature on the card matches the signature on the cheque. In addition, you must write the card number/expiry date on the reverse of the cheque and also obtain any authorisation necessary.
You must record all transactions on the appropriate documentation and issue a receipt where applicable.
If you are authorised to do end of day cashing up, all monies etc. received must be deposited in the safe with the relevant documentation. You must report any discrepancies/shortages as soon as possible to your line manager.
Fraudulent recording of financial transactions will result in dismissal.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is concerned with the processing of computerised and manual information about living individuals (personal data) and gives rights of access to the individuals who are the subject of that information. Further, the Act places certain obligations on the Company's data user, in respect of the personal information it processes or causes to be processed on its behalf by third parties.
A data user must notify the Information Commissioner unless covered by the exclusions in the Act. Thus, the Company must complete a notification covering all personal data presently held, specifying:
1. A general description of security measures.
2. The purposes for which the data is used.
3. A description of the data and the data subjects.
4. The sources and disclosures applicable to the information comprising the data.
5. Te countries outside the European Economic Area to which the data is transferred (overseas transfers).
Notification has to be updated as and when changes occur in any of the 'registrable particulars'. The holding and processing of unnotified data, which is covered by the Act, is a criminal offence and is subject to unlimited fines. The Company, therefore, must operate within the terms of its notification.
1. Not access, process or disclose any personal data other than is necessary, within the terms of the Company's notification, to carry out the role for which you are employed.
2. Understand that any change in 'purposes, description, sources, disclosures, overseas transfers' of the personal data under your control may require an amendment to what has been notified.
You must take the appropriate steps to guard against unauthorised access to, alteration, accidental loss, disclosure or destruction of data.
Under no circumstances should you divulge your password to anyone else nor should you gain access or attempt to gain access to information stored electronically which is beyond the scope of your authorised access level.
Electronic Mail and the Internet
Misuse of the e-mail/internet can expose the Company to significant risk. Therefore, you must only use e-mail and access the internet on authorised and recognised business. Care must be taken when attaching documents to ensure there is no infringement of copyright and you must not disclose confidential information.
You must not send or download defamatory, offensive or pornographic e-mail.
Copies of e-mail should be retained where appropriate (as e-mail is a form of documentation which could be 'discoverable' in legal proceedings).
You are reminded that e-mail is not 'private' and the Company reserves the right to access e-mail and audit the use of the system.
Because of potential virus infection and consequent damage to the business, you must not load any software into any computer via any source, including memory sticks, flash drives, pen drives, or any portable memory devices, without the prior approval of the Company. Approval will only be given after virus checking.
Virus protection software will be maintained and periodically updated.
Under no circumstances must you load games or free issue software onto Company equipment.
If a specific application programme is necessary for your work, then it will be purchased by the Company for your use.
You must not make 'pirate' copies of Company owned software or software used under a licence agreement for use by other persons either inside or outside the Company. This not only breaks Company rules but it is an illegal practice.
Failure to comply with any procedure will result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal, depending on the circumstances.
Personal Mobile Phones
You must be aware that certain operations that may be performed on mobile phones may breach Company rules and procedures. You must understand that the sending of text messages or digital images that are or could be deemed offensive is strictly prohibited.
The photographing or filming of fellow employees, club members, any other customers and visitors or any member of the public without their consent may breach an individual’s right to privacy and could in certain circumstances constitute harassment.
It is against the principles of the Company for any person to be harassed in such way, and will not be tolerated. Any instance that comes to the Company's attention will be investigated. Should you be found to have used a mobile phone in such a way you will be subject to the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure, which could include dismissal.
If you feel that you have been a victim of this form of harassment, you should bring this to the attention of management immediately.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Alcohol and substance misuse can have a detrimental effect upon your health, can adversely influence your work performance, be a cause of danger to yourself, your work colleagues and members of the golf club and the public and your relationships with colleagues and customers. It can result in reduced efficiency and increased absenteeism.
The Company has a duty towards and is concerned about the health and welfare of all employees. It is therefore Company policy to:
1. Promote a responsible attitude to the consumption of alcohol amongst employees.
2. Offer assistance to those employees who require it.
3. Treat alcohol and substance abuse as a health problem and arrange for employees to seek professional assistance.
The Company will treat any absence due to alcohol and substance abuse in the same way as sickness absence on condition that you obtain professional treatment and maintain regular contact with the appropriate Occupational Health Department.
The Company will treat all relevant discussions in strict confidence.
If inadequate work performance or unacceptable behaviour, including poor work relationships, occur or persist, the matter may be dealt with under the Company's Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure. Careful consideration will be given if you have acknowledged the existence of a problem and/or have agreed to obtain medical help for the condition. However, any incident, which amounts to gross misconduct, would be considered a dismissible offence. If you fail to complete a prescribed course of treatment or have a relapse following treatment, the matter may be dealt with under the Company's Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure.
Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure
Our Disciplinary and Grievance procedure has been developed in line with legislative compliance and our desire to ensure we treat everyone regardless of sex, gender, etc fairly and consistently.
It is our aim to promote a culture of support. Therefore the Company will always discuss areas of concern with individual employees before embarking on any formal action wherever possible.
There may be instances where shortfall is related to lack of knowledge and or experience. Should this prove to be the case after initial investigations, our options may include, periods of re-training, coaching and/or shadowing. However, there may be instances when we have no alternative other than to take appropriate disciplinary action.
This procedure is designed to help and encourage everyone to achieve and maintain the required standards of conduct, attendance and performance. The Disciplinary Process applies to all employees regardless of status, and is seen to be an aid to good management. Where the disciplinary procedure is applied, it will be done so in a fair, clear, effective and consistent manner. Before any disciplinary procedure begins, all of the facts related to the case will be fully investigated fairly and objectively.
As a company we reserve the right to depart from this procedure in certain individual cases.
Before any formal disciplinary action is taken the following procedure will be applied in all cases;
We will hold an investigation meeting with those employees deemed to be involved in specific instances, you will be asked to attend that investigation meeting,
At the meeting the manager conducting the hearing will clearly state exactly what the allegation happens to be, and you will be given the opportunity to provide a response to the allegation.
As a result of this meeting, the nominated manager will make a decision based on “balance of probability” and decide if there is in fact a case to answer using evidence provided by you, witnesses and any supporting documentary evidence.
If the evidence supports the allegation, then you will be invited in writing to a disciplinary hearing. You will be given at least 24 hours’ notice and the right to be accompanied by a Recognised TU Representative or work colleague (as per individual Statutory Rights).
The invite letter will clearly state the allegation and include copies of all evidence that the company will rely upon during the course of any disciplinary hearing.
In circumstances where no further action is required following investigation a letter should be sent to you stating:-
“No further action will be taken on this occasion” and a copy placed on the Personnel Files of any individuals involved.
Before making any decision regardless of proposed sanction, the disciplining manager will adjourn the hearing in order to consider all of the facts, both in your defence and other evidence which may confirm shortfall or unacceptable conduct/behaviour.
Have you provided any mitigation related to the incident?
Documentary evidence, which supports the case, or you.
Witness statements in support of either side.
They will also consider if there are any previous precedents that have been set in the company for the same offence.
Any decision taken will be based on the balance of probability and not beyond all reasonable doubt which is required under criminal law.
Once a decision has been made and conveyed either verbally or in writing, offering the right of appeal this should to all intent and purposes complete the process.
You need to be aware that the Company is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment.
Accordingly, management will ensure that recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion procedures result in no job applicant or employee receiving less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic i.e. race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, trade union membership or non-membership, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, age, or on the basis of being a part-time or fixed term worker. The Company’s objective is to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and otherwise treated solely on the basis of their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.
Management has the primary responsibility for successfully meeting these objectives by:
1. Not discriminating in the course of employment against employees or job applicants.
2. Not inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.
3. Bringing to the attention of employees that they will be subject to action under the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure for discrimination of any kind.
You can contribute by:
1. Not discriminating against fellow employees, customers, clients, suppliers or members of the public with whom you come into contact during the course of your duties.
2. Not inducing or attempting to induce others to practise unlawful discrimination.
3. Reporting any discriminatory action to Mr Nigel Powell or his successors.
The successful achievement of these objectives necessitates a contribution from everyone and you have an obligation to report any act of discrimination known to you. If you consider that you are a victim of unlawful discrimination you may raise the issue through the Grievance Procedure.
Positive Work Environment Policy
Statement of the Policy
The Company is committed to creating a harmonious working environment, which is free from harassment and bullying and in which every employee is treated with respect and dignity.
It is committed to ensuring that individuals do not feel apprehensive because of their religious belief, gender, marital/civil partnership status, sexual orientation, race, age, disability or as a result of being subjected to any inappropriate behaviour.
Harassment and bullying are unacceptable behaviour at work and will be treated as misconduct, which may include gross misconduct warranting dismissal. All employees must comply with this policy.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
Harassment may take many forms. It can range from extreme forms such as violence to less obvious actions such as persistently ignoring someone at work. The following, though not an exhaustive list, may constitute harassment:
1. Physical contact ranging from touching to serious assault.
2. Verbal and written harassment through jokes, offensive language, gossip, slander and letters.
3. Isolation or non-cooperation at work, exclusion from social activities.
4. Intrusion by pestering, spying, following etc.
Definition of Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate, offensive behaviour, which is often an abuse of power or position. It can be direct or indirect, either verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.
The following examples may constitute bullying:
1. Threats, abuse, teasing, gossip and practical jokes.
2. Humiliation and ridicule either in private, at meetings or in front of customers/clients.
3. Name calling, insults, devaluing with reference to age, physical appearance.
4. Setting impossible deadlines.
5. Imposing excessive workloads.
6. Making unjustified criticisms.
7. Excessive monitoring.
8. Removing responsibilities.
9. Allocating menial and pointless tasks.
10. Withholding information.
11. Refusing requests for leave, holiday or training.
It should be noted that it is the impact of the behaviour which is relevant and not the motive or intent behind it.
All employees have a responsibility to help create and maintain a working environment that respects the dignity of employees. You should be aware of the serious and genuine problems, which harassment and bullying can cause, ensure that your behaviour is beyond question and could not be considered in any way to be harassment or bullying. You should discourage such behaviour by making it clear that you find it unacceptable and by supporting colleagues if they are experiencing harassment or bullying and are considering making a complaint. You should alert a line manager to any incidents to enable the Company to deal with the matter.
Managers have a responsibility to ensure that harassment or bullying does not occur in work areas for which they are responsible.
Managers also have a responsibility to explain the Company's policy to their staff and take steps to promote it positively. They will be responsive and supportive to any member of staff who makes a complaint, provide full and clear advice on the procedure to be adopted, maintain confidentiality in all cases and ensure that there is no further problem or any victimisation after a complaint has been resolved.
The Company will ensure that all managers and staff are fully aware of this policy and the procedures for dealing with harassment and bullying.
Procedure for Dealing with Alleged Harassment or Bullying
If you believe that you have been the subject of harassment or bullying, you should, in the first instance, ask the person responsible to stop the behaviour, as it is unacceptable to you. Person to person discussion at an early stage will often be sufficient to stop the behaviour.
You should report the incident to your line manager as soon as possible to enable the Company to deal with the matter.
If you decide to make a formal complaint you should do so through the Grievance Procedure as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. All complaints will be handled in a timely and confidential manner. You will be guaranteed a fair and impartial hearing and the matter will be investigated thoroughly. If the investigation reveals that your complaint is valid, prompt attention and action designed to stop the behaviour immediately and prevent its recurrence will be taken.
You will be protected from intimidation, victimisation or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation. Retaliating against an employee for complaining about harassment or bullying is a disciplinary offence.
Whilst this procedure is designed to assist genuine victims of harassment or bullying, you should be aware that if you raise complaints, which are proven to be deliberately vexatious, you will become subject to proceedings under the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure.
Health and Safety
The Company will do all in its power to ensure your well-being and safety whilst at work. If you become aware of any potential hazard or unsafe working conditions, you should have no hesitation raising them with the Company. You are required to take all reasonable steps to safeguard your health and safety, and that of any other person who may be affected by your actions, and to observe at all times published safety and fire rules and procedures. You must report to management and enter into the Accident Book all accidents, no matter how minor.
Smoke-Free Workplace Policy
As required by law smoking is prohibited throughout all Company buildings with no exceptions.
Failure to adhere to this policy will result in formal disciplinary action being taken against you, as set out in the Company’s Disciplinary Dismissal Procedures.
You should be aware that enforcement authorities can issue penalties and fines if you are found guilty of smoking in a smoke-free place. You will be personally liable for any fine or fixed penalty imposed for non-compliance.
Rules and Procedures
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the following rules and procedures. Any breaches will result in action being taken in accordance with the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure. If you have any concerns or require clarification on any issues, please raise them with management.
The Company may need to change the rules from time to time and any such changes will be notified to you as appropriate.
General Rules (This list is not exhaustive). You must conduct yourself and perform your work at all times in a manner that is in the interests of the Company. Any conduct detrimental to its interests or its relations with any third party, or damaging to its public image, shall be considered to be a breach of the Company's rules.
You have an obligation to ensure that you do not act in a manner, which could be considered to be of an unlawful discriminatory nature, which includes harassment and bullying.
You are expected to achieve and maintain a good standard of work and to show a conscientious approach to the job or to the detail of that job to a standard that may reasonably be expected.
You are expected to show the skill or aptitude required for the job, especially where such skills are claimed or implied at the time your employment commenced.
You are expected to read and observe all authorised notices that are displayed by the Company on designated notice board.
You must not perform, arrange or carry out any work or activity, which could be considered to be in competition with or affect in any way the Company's interests.
You are engaged on the basis that you must be prepared to undertake reasonable duties other than those for which you have been specifically engaged to ensure maximum efficiency.
You must not make use of Company telephones, faxes, e-mail or postal facilities or any other communication mode for personal purposes without the prior permission of management. You must adhere to the Company's policy with regard to the use of mobile phones.
You are not permitted to remove material or equipment of any kind from the Company without prior permission.
You must notify the Company immediately of any incident causing damage to property belonging to the Company (e.g. building, machinery and equipment) or to the property of fellow employees or visitors.
Working time and/or the Company's material or equipment must not be used for any unauthorised work.
You must act in accordance with the Company's rules and procedures.
Personal hygiene and appearance must be of a very high standard.
An orderly and courteous manner must be maintained in front of visitors and Club Members
Socialising is not permitted on the premises without prior authorisation.
You are required to submit your person or property, including vehicles, to being searched whilst on the Company's premises, or at any time at the reasonable requirement of the Company.
Smoking is not permitted inside any company building or company vehicle.
You must not accept gifts in any form from suppliers.
The following acts are examples of Gross Misconduct offences and as such will render you liable to Summary Dismissal (i.e. Dismissal without notice and without previous warnings). This list is not exhaustive:
1. Fighting, physical assault or dangerous horseplay.
2. Deliberate refusal or wilful failure to carry out a reasonable and lawful direct instruction given by management during working hours.
3. Serious insubordination.
4. Serious cases of bullying, offensive, aggressive, threatening or intimidating behaviour or excessive bad language.
5. Theft, or misappropriation of the Company’s property.
6. Wilful damage or negligence involving damage to property belonging to the Company, customers/clients, other employees or the general public.
7. Performing, arranging or carrying out any work or activity which could be considered to be in competition with, or which adversely affects in any way, the Company’s interests.
8. Fraud or any other illegal offence committed against the Company.
9. Drinking alcohol during working hours, being under the influence of alcohol/drugs and/or drug abuse.
10. Being in possession of or dealing in illegal drugs whilst at work.
11. Breach of safety rules and/or any action, which seriously endangers the health or safety of an employee, or any other person whilst at work.
12. Deliberately making a false entry in the written records of the Company.
13. Knowingly giving false information or deliberately omitting relevant information on the job application form or curriculum vitae.
14. Unlawful discrimination harassment and bullying.
15. Receipt of bribes to effect the placing of business with a supplier of goods or services.
16. Inaccurate or fraudulent recording of financial transactions.
17. Unauthorised access to or disclosure of any confidential information from whatever source including any personal data under Data Protection legislation.
18. Falsification of working hours.
19. Criminal offence causing harm to the reputation of the Company or relations with the Company's employees.
20. Unauthorised access to or disclosure of any part of the Company's computer data.
21. Loss of driving licence on conviction when driving is all or an essential part of the job requirements.
22. Indecent or lewd behaviour of a serious nature.
23. Smoking in designated non-smoking areas.
24. Serious misuse of the Company's e-mail/internet or other computing resources.
25. Abandoning duty without notification.
26. Bringing the Company into disrepute, including but not limited to, making negative or disparaging comments on social media sites or similar.
General Rules of Conduct
All employees are expected to behave in a reasonable and professional manner and to adhere to the company rules when carrying out their duties, and following reasonable requests from members of management teams, including Directors and Managers.
In order to ensure that all employees understand what options we have under the procedure we have detailed the procedure and potential sanctions available under normal circumstances.
Stage 1 – Verbal Warning
This is the first stage of the disciplinary procedure and would normally apply for a first incident of unacceptable conduct, attendance or negligent performance. A record of the verbal warning will be kept on your file for a period of six months but, subject to satisfactory improvement, will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after his time. If there is a further misconduct or there is no satisfactory improvement in behaviour, disciplinary action under the next stage of the procedure will be considered.
Stage 2 – First Written Warning
If the offence is of a more serious nature, or there is a failure to improve, a first written warning will normally be given.
A record of the first written warning will be kept on your file for a period of 12 months but, subject to satisfactory improvement, will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after this time. If there is a further misconduct or there is no satisfactory improvement in behaviour, disciplinary action under the next stage will be considered.
Stage 3 – Final Written Warning
If an act of misconduct is sufficiently serious or if there is still a failure to improve, a final written warning will normally be given.
A record of the final written warning will be kept on your file for a period of 12 months but, subject to satisfactory improvement, will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after this time. In exceptional cases the period may be extended.
If you fail to make a satisfactory improvement, this will normally result in your dismissal under Stage 4 of the procedure.
Stage 4 – Dismissal
If you still fail to reach the expected standards of conduct after a final written warning, dismissal would normally be the result.
At the time of your dismissal you will be provided with the written reasons for the dismissal and the date on which your employment terminates. You will also be told about the details of your rights to appeal.
At each stage, full written records will be kept of all investigations, interviews and hearings during the disciplinary procedure. You will be entitled to copies of any official notes made during the procedure. At each stage you will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action that is taken against you.
In circumstances where your behaviour or conduct is viewed as serious, or where it is appropriate in order to facilitate further investigation, we may decide to suspend you from work on full basic pay. This is contractual. We will make every effort to restrict your suspension to the shortest time possible.
Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure
The purpose of the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure is to outline a recognised and consistent system to deal with any issues of conduct, capability or other circumstances which may result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal. The Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure does not form part of your 'Statement'.
At any stage of the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure you may be suspended, on full pay, whilst investigations are carried out. This does not mean that you have been, or will be found guilty of any particular offence or act of misconduct.
If it is necessary for the Company to take action under the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure you will be issued with a written statement setting out the nature of the conduct, capability or other circumstances that may result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal. You will only be issued with a disciplinary warning or dismissed following a formal disciplinary meeting, at which you will have been given the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or an accredited trade union official. You should take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting. Throughout the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure you will be given the opportunity to respond to any complaint before any decision on a disciplinary warning or dismissal is taken.
The Company may commence the Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure, depending on the circumstances, at any stage outlined in the General Rules of Conduct:
Dismissal may be with or without notice depending on the circumstances, and may occur whether or not warnings have been issued.
You will be entitled to appeal against any disciplinary or dismissal decision taken, such appeal being held in accordance with the Appeal Procedure, which is outlined below.
The Appeal Procedure does not form part of your 'Statement'.
Wherever possible, you should address your appeal to the next higher level of managerial authority immediately above the person who determined the disciplinary warning or a decision to dismiss.
In the event there is no higher level of managerial authority then the appeal should be raised with the person who determined the disciplinary warning or a decision to dismiss.
Your appeal should be to the next higher level in the line of management than the level, which handled the disciplinary matter or the decision to dismiss. Where this is not possible due to the management structure of the business, you may appeal to the person who handled the disciplinary matter or the decision to dismiss or to someone at the same level of management, who has the authority to overturn the original disciplinary decision. Your Statement of Main Terms of Employment sets out the designation of the person to whom you should direct your appeal.
You will be given the opportunity to be accompanied at the meeting by a fellow employee or accredited trade union official.
Shortage of Work and Redundancy Policy
Every attempt will be made to ensure your continuing employment in the event that the Company is faced with a shortage of work situation or is unable to provide you with work for any other reason. However, this could include temporarily placing you on short-time working or laying you off from work. In these circumstances you will be paid for those hours worked, or in accordance with the statutory guarantee pay provisions.
If the need arises to reduce the number of employees, the overriding consideration at all times will be the future viability of the business. The Company will use such criteria, as it considers appropriate to the circumstances at the time of redundancy.
Employee Grievance Procedure
Where you have a grievance relating to any aspect of your employment you should have no hesitation in raising the matter with your line manager, as stated in your 'Statement'.
The grievance must be set out in writing.
It is the Company’s intention to consider all grievances as soon as possible, and a meeting will be held usually within 5 days of you raising the grievance. The meeting will enable you to give full details.
You are entitled to be accompanied by a fellow employee or accredited trade union official at the grievance meeting.
It may not be appropriate to take up your grievance with your line manager if your grievance is about that person. In this case you should raise it with a more senior member of management, or, if not possible, another member of management at the same level.
After the meeting the Manager will inform you of his or her decision in response to the grievance. You have the right to appeal against this decision. If you wish to appeal, you must inform the Company in writing. You will then be invited to attend another meeting, after which you will be informed of the final decision.
Termination of Employment
If you wish to resign, you should do so in writing giving such notice as is specified in your 'Statement'.
By the Company
You will be entitled to receive from the Company the notice as is specified in your 'Statement'.
For Gross Misconduct
You will be summarily dismissed (i.e. without notice) if there has been an act of Gross Misconduct. Generally this includes a fundamental breach of your 'Statement', conduct which brings the Company into disrepute or action which is inconsistent with the relationship required between employee and employer; but further examples are contained at Gross Misconduct in Rules and Procedures.