BBC Contracts of Employment Policy by uym49082

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									BBC Contracts of Employment Policy
This policy forms part of the contract of employment that applies to BBC employees in
the UK on Grades 2-11, and is an agreed statement between the BBC and recognised
joint unions which may only be varied by joint negotiation at the National Joint Council.

Definition

This policy sets out the basic elements of the BBC continuing and fixed term contracts of
employment.

Contents

    1. BBC Standard Contracts of Employment
    2. Key terms and additional information
    3. Issues specific to fixed term contracts
    4. Appendix A - Notice periods that apply to employees appointed prior to 1
       March 1996
    5. Appendix B – Salary and Pension provisions

1. BBC Standard Contracts of Employment

All written contracts of employment include terms and conditions such as hours, salary,
pension, notice and holidays. Employment contracts are also subject to a number of
terms implied by law such as the duty of mutual trust and confidence.

The BBC contracts of employment for Grades 2-11 incorporate the contractual
employment policies which are negotiated with the Trade Unions. These cover a wide
range of matters including maternity and adoption benefits, disciplinary procedures and
redundancy.

The BBC’s standard contracts of employment are known as employee contracts. They
are either ‘continuing’ or for a ‘fixed term’. Both types can be full or part time.

Part time is defined as working less than 35 hours a week, exclusive of meal breaks. Pay
and benefits are calculated on a pro-rata basis.

BBC Continuing contract
This contract is suitable when the requirement for the individual is on a continuing basis.
The contract is open ended with a normal retirement age of 65 (with a right to request to
continue working beyond 65, see below) and has notice provisions, so that the employee
may end the contract earlier by resignation and the BBC may end the contract by giving
notice of dismissal for a potentially fair reason, e.g. redundancy or some other substantial
business reason.

The present form of employee contract was introduced on 31 January 1972 to replace
Unestablished and Established contracts.

BBC Fixed Term contract
This is a contract of a known duration and with a specified expiry date, so is suitable
when the requirement for the individual is for a defined limited period. In other respects it
is the same as a continuing contract.



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BBC Guaranteed Minimum Work contracts (also known as ‘flexi contracts’)
This contract is suitable when the requirement for the individual is for a defined number
of days or hours over a limited period which are to be worked as the business requires
(e.g. fixed hours per week/month cannot be predicted or guaranteed). The contract is
simply a form of the BBC Fixed Term contract. Managers are required to indicate the
realistic minimum number of hours/days which can be predicted over the contracted
period e.g. 30 days per year.

Managers should review the minimum number of contracted hours/days regularly to
ensure that the employee is contracted to the appropriate minimum.

The employee may be asked to work additional hours or days above those stated in their
contract, however there is no obligation on the BBC to offer the additional hours or days
or an obligation on the employee to work those offered. Any additional hours or days
worked do not count towards contractual benefits, e.g. holiday or sickness accrual.

Payment for work carried out under a Flexi Contract may either be spread in equal
monthly instalments over the period of the contract or be made on an ad hoc basis when
the work is carried out.

2. Key terms and additional information

Probationary Periods
Where newly appointed employees are unknown to the BBC, or their work is unknown to
the BBC, the employees’ contract will include a probation period of six months.

Notice Periods
Unless individually agreed, notice periods on the part of the BBC and employees are as
follows:

Grades 2-11
   • during a normal probationary period: one month on either side.
    •    less than five years’ service: one month on either side;
    •    five or more years’ service, but less than nine years: two months on either
         side;
    •    nine or more years’ service: three months on either side;

No notice is required where there has been a fundamental breach by either party to the
contract and/or where the employee is found to have committed gross misconduct.

For notice periods that apply to employees appointed before 1 March 1996, please see
Appendix A.

Age of Retirement
All employees who are employed on a continuing or fixed term contract of employment
have a normal retirement age of 65.

Employees have the right to request to continue working beyond their retirement date
and the BBC has a duty to give consideration to such requests.

Prior to 1st October 2006, the normal age of retirement was 60. Employees who were
employed prior to 1st October 2006 may still continue to choose to retire at age 60, or
continue in employment up to the age of 65. (Employees who wish to retire before age 65
should confirm the pension options and benefits available to them with the Pension and
Benefits Centre).


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Mobility clause
All employees on continuing and fixed-term contracts are required as a term of their
employment to attend for work anywhere in the UK as required by the BBC. This is the
‘mobility clause’ upon which the BBC relies to move employees from one location to
another. [The clause will be applied reasonably taking into account the relevant
circumstances.]

Continuous employment
Any period of service spent as a non employee with the BBC will not count towards the
calculation of length of continuous employment. As a result periods engaged as a
freelancer, agency worker, casual worker etc will not count towards continuous
employment.

BBC Benefits
The BBC makes a number of benefits available to its employees, such as enhanced
redundancy, maternity and adoption pay, leave, long service awards and sickness pay.
Entitlement to BBC benefits ceases on the employee’s termination date. In relation to
maternity/adoption Statutory Maternity Pay/Statutory Adoption Pay, payments will
continue beyond the date of termination if the employee is qualified to receive them.

3. Issues specific to fixed term contracts

When should a fixed term contract be offered?
A fixed term contract may be appropriate in the following circumstances, when:

    •    The contract is in relation to a specific project (or task), or to provide specialist
         skills/knowledge for a defined period with a clear conclusion date
    •    The contract is to cover an absent permanent employee (e.g. maternity leave,
         long term sickness, career break)
    •    The contract is to cover a clearly definable ‘peak’ of work that it can be shown
         that it was always expected to be for a specific duration

Fixed term contracts will generally be of short duration of less than 12 months, although
in limited circumstances contracts of 2 or 3 years may be required for specific business
reasons.

Employees who are employed on a continuing contract will not be transferred to a
contract on a fixed term basis.

When should a fixed term employee become a continuing employee?
One effect of the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment)
Regulations 2002 is that unless the BBC objectively justifies the use of a fixed-term
contract, an employee employed continuously by the BBC on either one fixed term
contract or a series of fixed-term contracts will be deemed to be a permanent employee
upon attaining four years’ continuous service.

In addition to the Regulations, the BBC made a commitment that any employee who has
been engaged continuously in the same grade/job for three years on one or more fixed-
term contracts will be offered a continuing contract, provided they have a commitment of
at least a further one year’s work and their performance is satisfactory, i.e. there are no
issues under consideration within the BBC’s disciplinary or capability procedures. The
exceptions to this commitment are where further work is project based or may not
continue beyond a further year.




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Issues to consider around the expiry of a fixed term contract
Non renewal of a fixed term contract is a dismissal and must be handled fairly. When a
fixed-term contract is brought to an end on its due date, notice is not required to
terminate it. However, the BBC will endeavour to give advance warning in writing when a
fixed term contract is not expected to be renewed. The period of advance warning will
normally not be less than the contractual notice that might otherwise be required.

In order to cover circumstances where it is necessary to bring a contract to an end before
its stated expiry date, fixed-term contracts contain a notice period equivalent to that for
employees on continuing contract, which is service related.

Terminal payments other than redundancy
Subject to the exclusions set out below, when a fixed-term contract expires without
renewal, the employee is eligible for a terminal payment.

This payment is calculated as one-twelfth of basic salary on cessation of employment,
multiplied by the number of complete years’ continuous fixed-term service prior to 15
January 1989 and aggregate short-term service thereafter.

Employees must have two years’ fixed-term service to qualify for a terminal payment.
The first two years service will be excluded from the payment calculation, therefore
employees will only be entitled to a payment if they have completed three years’
continuous or aggregate short term fixed term service or more. The calculation is as
follows:




The maximum terminal payment is 12 months’ salary.

Notes
   a. In this context, cessation of employment means a period of four weeks or
      longer, during which there is no contract of service with the BBC.
    b. In calculating fixed-term service, no account is taken of:
           •    fixed-term service that ended before 15 January 1989 or in respect of
                which a severance payment has already been paid; or
           •    any previous continuous service on a continuing contract of service; or
           •    any period of unpaid absence, other than maternity leave; or
           •    fixed-term service in respect of which no terminal payment was due by
                virtue of the exclusions set out below;
           •    any previous service provided to the BBC as a non-employee (e.g.
                freelancer, casual worker, agency worker).
    c. Basic salary includes London Weighting, when that is paid. It does not include
       any other additional allowances or payments.
    d. A terminal payment is subject to income tax and no relief is available to spread
       the payment over tax years.
    e. A terminal payment is reduced by:
           •    any other terminal payments such as severance pay or terminal
                gratuities.




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    f.   No terminal payment will be payable when employees on fixed-term contracts:
           •    resign;
           •    refuse a valid written offer to renew or vary the end date of their existing
                fixed-term contract. For an offer to be valid it must be made at least one
                calendar month before the existing fixed-term contract expires and must
                not involve less favourable terms and conditions of employment;
           •    are dismissed on grounds of capability or conduct;
           •    retire;
           •    transfer to a continuing contract of service without ceasing to be in
                employment with the BBC. Such a transfer does not affect statutory or
                contractual rights that depend on continuity of service; or
           •    die in service, when the provisions for Life Cover come into effect;
           •    dismissed on the grounds of redundancy.

Where an employee on a fixed term contract is redundant, i.e. the legal definition of
redundancy is met; they qualify for the level of redundancy payments set out in the
Redundancy & Reorganisation Policy.




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Appendix A

Notice periods that apply to employees appointed prior to 1 March 1996
Employees appointed before 1 March 1996, and whose contracts remain in force, are
subject to the following notice periods:

Former band 2-5 and associated employees:
   • three months’ notice on either side

Former band 1 and associated employees:
   • less than five years’ service: one month on either side;
    •    five or more years’ service, but less than nine years’ service: two months from
         the BBC, one month from the individual;
    •    nine or more years’ service: three months from the BBC, one month from the
         individual.

Note
The former Band 1 and Associated employees, and other employees appointed before 1
March 1996 who have a contract of employment which specifies less than three months’
notice from the BBC are eligible for the following provision:

If employment of such employees is terminated with notice, e.g. by reason of
redundancy, they will be entitled to no less notice from the BBC than the former band 2-5
staff referenced above, in comparable circumstances, i.e. three months’ notice (after a
probationary period where appropriate).

Appendix B

Salary and Pension provisions

1. Continuing contract – benefit provisions

Salary
The salary will be that appropriate to Grades 2-11 in the job evaluation system. The
Guide to Salary Ranges for Days Conditions and Hours Conditions and Guide to Salary
Progression can be found on Gateway.

Pensions
The BBC has a defined benefit pension arrangement, the BBC Pension Scheme (the
Scheme), which employees on continuing contracts may choose to join, subject to
satisfying the eligibility conditions. The provisions of the Scheme including the eligibility
conditions and benefits are set out in the relevant Members’ Handbook which are
available to employees. The definitive provisions of the Scheme are set out in the Trust
Deed and Rules which supplement and override this Policy or Members’ Handbook in the
event of any difference.

Employees on continuing contracts who choose not to join the Scheme are eligible to join
the Group Personal Pension Scheme (GPPS). The BBC will match the employee's own
regular contribution up to 6.0% of base salary. A summary of the provisions of the GPPS
is set out in a handbook available to all employees.

Life assurance membership of the BBC Pension Scheme




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The lump sum death in service benefit for active members of the Scheme is 4 x
pensionable salary. For employees who are not active members of the Scheme, life
cover is 2 x pensionable salary (as defined by the BBC).
In the event of the death of an employee who is also a Scheme pensioner, in respect of
the current period of employment, the lump sum payable outlined above will be reduced
by any commutation lump sum taken previously and any five year guarantee payable
(applicable to Old and New Benefits members) in respect of the pension in payment.
The Scheme’s flexible payment provisions provide further detail.

2. Fixed term contracts – benefit provisions

Salary
The salaries of employees employed on fixed-term contracts will be set within the
established pay structures and employees will be eligible for pay increases appropriate to
the structure, subject to performance and conduct.

A fixed term employee may not receive the annual pay increase or other terms where the
overall salary package taken as a whole results in no less favourable treatment than if
the individual were employed on a continuous basis.

The conditions of service and terms of employment for employees on fixed-term
contracts are the same as for other employees in the same pay structure, unless stated
otherwise.

Pensions
BBC Group Personal Pension Scheme
Employees who are on a fixed-term contract are eligible to join the GPPS. For employees
on a fixed term contract of 13 weeks or more, or the total of consecutive contracts is 13
weeks or more, the BBC will match the employee's own regular contribution up to 6.0%
of base salary. Details are provided to new staff by the Pension and Benefits Centre.

BBC Pension Scheme
Employees on fixed term contracts are eligible to join the BBC Pension Scheme (the
Scheme) after completing 2 years’ continuous service. Details of the Scheme are
contained in the Members’ Handbook.

Notes
   • ‘Service’ means employment on a continuing or fixed-term employee ‘contract
      of service’. It does not include casual engagements or periods covered by a
      ‘contract for services’.
    •    When considering whether service has been ‘continuous’, any break in
         employment of six calendar weeks or less will be ignored except when a
         redundancy payment, terminal payment or compromise agreement settlement
         was made.
    •    Employees whose membership of the Scheme was terminated automatically
         when they transferred to short-term contract will not be treated as having
         opted-out.
    •    Any question as to whether employees are eligible or not shall be determined
         by the BBC.

Reference to provisions of the Scheme is included for completeness and is intended only
as guidance. The Scheme is governed by a Trust Deed and Rules, and Regulations
issued by the Trustees which supplement and override this Policy or Members’
Handbook in the event of any difference.



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Life Assurance Membership of the BBC Pension Scheme
For employees on fixed term contracts who are not active members of the Scheme, life
cover is 2 x pensionable salary (as defined by the BBC).
The lump sum death in service benefit for active members of the Scheme is 4 x
pensionable salary.

In the event of the death of an employee who is also a Scheme pensioner, in respect of
the current period of employment, the lump sum payable outlined above will be reduced
by any commutation lump sum taken previously and any five year guarantee payable
(applicable to Old and New Benefits members) in respect of the pension in payment.
The Scheme’s flexible payment provisions provide further detail.




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