Jaquelin Fisher Associates Ltd GRIEVANCE AND DISCIPLINARY AT WORK Establishing and maintaining a constructive working environment is vital to the ongoing success of Jaquelin Fisher Associates Ltd. It is important that all employees are empowered to make the best possible contribution they can to the Company. As with any organisation, problems do occur and these are usually resolved by the parties affected. Where more fundamental issues arise, the Company has established a framework so that problems can be resolved with the least possible disruption to the business whilst ensuring that employees are treated fairly at all times. This framework is as follows:- Prior to invoking any formal stages of the warning procedures, it is expected that informal advice and counselling discussions will have been held with the employee and the Line Manager. GRIEVANCES If you have a problem at work, you should discuss this with your immediate supervisor/manager. Most problems are resolved in this way on an informal basis. Occasionally, an issue cannot be addressed in this way or the employee is dissatisfied with the decision. In these circumstances the grievance is referred to the next level of management. In this case, you will have the opportunity to put your grievance to your manager and may be accompanied by a colleague. The Manager will investigate the grievance, collecting evidence and interviewing staff where necessary, following which s/he will make a decision on the issue. A formal record will be made of the grievance, the redress sought, the outcome of the investigation and the final decision. You will be provided with a copy of this record. The decision is final and binding. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES Where a supervisor/manager has a problem with one of their staff, they will normally raise this with the employee concerned on an informal basis. In the event of serious disciplinary issues or where informal discussion fails, more formal steps will be taken. The procedure is outlined below. Disciplinary action will be taken for the following reasons, bearing in mind that this is not an exhaustive list:- Unauthorised absence from work -without permission or proper reason Persistent lateness-without permission or proper reason Misconduct Carrying out non-Company business in working hours Unacceptable performance Physical violence, theft or other criminal offence on Company/Customer's premises Flagrant disregard of safety regulations Wilful disregard of reasonable instruction This procedure will be followed for any employee that has completed their probationary period. Employees will not be dismissed without a warning first being given by the Manager orally and confirmed in writing, and employees will not be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except in the case of gross misconduct when the Company will not be obliged to give any prior warning. Prior to taking any disciplinary action, the manager shall inform the employee in writing of the complaint against them and that s/he will be required to attend a disciplinary meeting. A minimum of 3 working days notice of the date and copies of any relevant documentation will be given. At the meeting, the employee will be given the opportunity to present their case and produce evidence to support it. The opportunity to question evidence/testimony supporting the allegations will also be available. A colleague/trade Union representative may be invited to the meeting by the employee to support them. Where more extensive investigations are required, the Company shall, without prejudice, be entitled to suspend an employee from duties pending the investigation, Upon completion of the information gathering, the manager will review all the evidence and decide on an appropriate course of action. If subject to disciplinary action, the employee has the right of appeal procedure to appeal against the decision. Notification of the intention to appeal must be made in writing within 7 working days. A Director of the business who has not previously been involved in the disciplinary action will hear such an appeal. Prior to the Appeal, it is essential to ensure that the procedure was “Fair", the appellant had the opportunity to state their case, all documentation is reviewed and the decision reached can than be reassessed. There may be new evidence introduced at the discretion of the chairman of the Appeal. The decision of the Appeal Chairman is final. Step One Formal Verbal Warning: This should be carried out in a formal meeting. Line managers should give warnings only with a member of Personnel and an optional third person of the employee's choice (or a Trade Union representative) present. The verbal warning needs to be documented and signed by both parties and kept on record for up to 12 months. The documentation must give clear reasons for perception of poor performance and clear guidelines on improvement. Time must be given to the employee to put their reasons and points across which are documented and kept on record. Step Two Written Warning: This takes the form of a letter. This advises the employee of the lack of improvement since the verbal warning was given. Written warnings can only relate to a verbal warning given in the previous twelve months or it is considered a new procedure. The letter should be specific and give clear guidelines on time for improvement. The letter must be signed and kept on file for 12 months. It is possible to move to this step directly without a prior verbal warning. Step Three Final Written Warning: If after the period of time stated in the previous warning meeting, the employee is still causing complaint, then a Final Written Warning may be considered appropriate. The letter must give details of the cause of complaint/dissatisfaction how it can be rectified and what the employer can do to support the employee in meeting these standards. The Dismissal Meeting If the employee fails to respond positively within the time scale, then the final action may be dismissal. 'The full procedure must have been exhausted before this action is taken. Before taking this action, the following must be considered:- 1. Is it sufficiently serious to warrant dismissal? 2. Are there any mitigating circumstances/explanations? 3. Is this action a reasonable act by a reasonable employer? Dismissal is carried out in writing according to the contract of employment. It is the decision of the MD as to whether the notice is worked or pay in lieu received. Dismissal with out notice (summarily dismissal) usually means no notice or pay in lieu, prior to this action the employee will have been suspended pending a thorough investigation. MATERNITY LEAVE As a female employee you will be entitled to take a period of 18 weeks ordinary maternity leave if you are pregnant. This period of maternity cannot start any earlier than 11 weeks before the week in which the baby is due. If you have more then one year’s continuous service with the Company, you will be entitled to additional leave up to a maximum of 29 weeks. You must notify the Company in writing no later than 21 days prior to your return date of your intention to return. For the period of 18 weeks ML, you will continue to receive your contractual employment benefits (e.g. holidays). Maternity pay As a female employee, you are entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) providing:- (a) You have been employed by the Company for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks continuing into the 15m week before the Expected Week of Confinement (EWC). (b) You give your manager at least 21 days notice. in writing, that you are stopping work due to pregnancy and the certificate MAT B1 from a Doctor or Midwife, showing the EWC Statutory maternity Pay (SMP) is paid at two rates: higher and lower: The first 6 weeks is paid at 9056 Of your average earnings The following 12 weeks is paid at the lower rate of Maternity Pay (this is set by the Contributions Agency) and may be subject to change Excused Absence with Pay Under certain circumstances, the Company may provide absence with pay:- (a) Jury Service - the Company recognises that an employee may be required to attend jury service and will ensure that the employee suffers no reduction in base salary. (b) Compassionate Leave - The Company acknowledges the traumatic time when an employee may suffer serious illness or death in his/her immediate family and will be give paid leave to the employee accordingly (usually applies to husband, wife, children. parents, siblings). Up to a maximum of 5 days paid leave may be given at the manager’s discretion - additional unpaid leave may be granted if necessary. PARENTAL LEAVE Provided they have one years continuous service, Mothers and Fathers are entitled to take 13 weeks unpaid parental leave at any time over the first 5 years of a child's life for any child born on or after December 15th 1999. If this child is disabled, the qualifying birth date remains the same but the leave may be taken up to the child's in 18th birthday. This is in addition to paid maternity leave provisions. REDUNDANCY Whilst it is the Company's intention to develop and expand its business activities and thus provide a reasonable security of employment for its employees, it must ensure the economic viability of its business in a changing environment. As a result, circumstances may arise where changes in the market, technology and organisation necessitate the need for reductions in employee levels leading to subsequent redundancies. Prior to the declaration of a redundancy, the directors will take into account the likely circumstances of both the direct costs of redundancies and the resulting effects on employee relations and customer service The situation will be reviewed with the directors to ensure that other means of overcoming the surplus have been thoroughly investigated. The redundancy relates to the job - not to the employee. Any redundancy must be handled in a fair and reasonable manner to minimise hardship, observe legal requirements and observe the criteria for selection, these criteria need to be established well in advance and ensure that the remaining staff are appropriate to the current and future needs of the business. Examples of Criteria Temporary contracts Assigned to particular project/contract/job Accurate assessment of actual and anticipated job/client requirements (specific skills/experience) Capability, competency and standard of work performance Employment history/conduct (Qualifications Length of service egg LIFO It is essential that a period of consultation is entered into pnor to redundancy - this may be with Union or employee representatives and the individuals concerned. This must occur prior to the decision being made and enable the employee to be fully informed of the situation. Time must be given to enable a response to be obtained and this response must be fairly considered by the employer. Any opportunity of alternative work must be thoroughly investigated (even if the salary is lower) or the redundancy may be considered "unfair". The subject of discrimination must also be checked to ensure that part-timers are not selected above full-time employees. The employee needs to receive a warning notice at least 2 weeks prior to the notice of termination. During this period s/he has the right of appeal under the Grievance Procedure. At the end of this period, notice may be given - the minimum being the contractual period. The full terms of redundancy and benefits/options available will need to be explained. If a new role is found, a trial period is usually offered to establish suitability of the role. Statutory entitlement:- Less than 1 year’s employment None (Service under the age of 18 or over 65 does not count) Each year between ages of 18 and 22 0.5 week's pay or £230, whichever is the lesser. Each year of service between 1 week's pay ages of 22 and 41 (using actual birthday) Each year of service over 41 up to 65 1.5 week's pay (as above) Maximum service to be taken into account is 20 years and the maximum payable is 30 weeks. Redundancy pay is free of tax up to £30,000 (NB Figures may change) ANNUAL APPRAISAL SYSTEM Through the Appraisal System, training requirements and plans will be compiled relating to the needs of the business. The plans will define training needs end outline priorities to enable the progress of training to be continually assessed against the business plans. Responsibility The MD is responsible for ensuring that the appraisal system is implemented correctly and that all employees are appraised and the records maintained. It is mandatory that all employees be given an annual appraisal interview, The manager most familiar with the employee's work and performance should carry out the appraisal. The appraiser should:- Notify the employee of the date of the interview at least one week before the appraisal and provide the employee with a form, Ensure a confidential location for the interview with no interruptions. The appraisal interview is the most important part of the process and should be held in an open and frank manner. An honest view of strengths and weaknesses along with problems encountered during the review period is discussed. DATA PROTECTION ACT 1997 The Company aims to fulfil its obligation under the Data Protection Act 1984 to the fullest extent. From time to time you may want the Company to provide information to a third party (landlord, bank or building society) for rent or loan purposes. Under the Data Protection Act 1984, we are prohibited from passing information to third parties without the employee's express authorisation. If you expect such a request to be sent to the Company, please inform us end authorise us to release the information. This will ensure a quick turnaround of the request. STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND APPEARANCE The Company expects its employees to maintain high standards of conduct and appearance at all times, observe all safety regulations and treat all Company property with care. Employees should carry out all duties in a responsible, courteous and helpful manner. PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE ACT The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 aims to protect employees who reasonably believe one or more of the following has occurred:- a criminal offence has been committed or is likely to be committed a person has failed or is likely to fail to comply with a legal obligation a miscarriage of justice has occurred or is likely to occur the health or safety of an individual has been endangered the environment has been damaged or is likely to be damaged information relating to the above has been deliberately concealed or is likely to be concealed. In general terms, the Act protects such disclosures to the employer or an appropriate regulatory body provided in all cases the employee acted in good faith. The offices of Jaquelin Fisher Associates Ltd are a NO smoking environment.