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HR policy and procedure manual

Introduction

The <Business> Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual provides the policies and procedures for managing and developing staff. It also provides guidelines <Business> will use to administer these policies, with the correct procedure to follow.

<Business> will keep HR policies current and relevant. Therefore, from time to time it will be necessary to modify and amend some sections of the policies and procedures, or to add new procedures.

Any suggestions, recommendations or feedback on the policies and procedures specified in this manual are welcome.

These policies and procedures apply to all employees.

PERSONAL CONDUCT

General policy on personal conduct

<Business> expects its employees to maintain a high standard of conduct and work performance to make sure the business maintains its good reputation with customers and clients. Good personal conduct contributes to a good work environment for all.

This involves all employees:

* observing all policies and procedures

* treating colleagues with courtesy and respect

* treating customers and clients in a professional manner at all times

* working safely at all times

Dress code policy

As a minimum standard, dress should be clean, neat and professional.

<Business> reserves the right to request an employee to dress to an appropriate standard as a condition of employment.

Personal communications policy

Guidance note (delete this later): Personal communications involve privacy issues. Spend some time talking with your staff to develop your policy to get their commitment and understanding.

Phone calls policy

Guidance note (delete this later): Choose one of the following two points.

Making and receiving personal phone calls is limited to five minutes for each call, unless otherwise approved by your manager.

Or

It is expected private phone calls will be kept to reasonable levels.

Email policy

* Email facilities are provided for formal business correspondence.

* Take care to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information. If emails need to be preserved, they should backed up and stored offsite.

* Limited private use of email is allowed if it doesn't interfere with or distract from an employee's work. However, management has the right to access incoming and outgoing email messages to check if an employee's usage or involvement is excessive or inappropriate.

* Non-essential email, including personal messages, should be deleted regularly from the 'Sent Items', 'Inbox' and 'Deleted Items' folders to avoid congestion.

* All emails sent must include the approved business disclaimer.

To protect <Business> from the potential effects of the misuse and abuse of email, the following instructions are for all users.

* No material is to be sent as email that is defamatory, in breach of copyright or business confidentiality, or prejudicial to the good standing of <Business> in the community or to its relationship with staff, customers, suppliers and any other person or business with whom it has a relationship.

* Email must not contain material that amounts to gossip about colleagues or that could be offensive, demeaning, persistently irritating, threatening, discriminatory, involves the harassment of others or concerns personal relationships.

* The email records of other persons are not to be accessed except by management (or persons authorised by management) ensuring compliance with this policy, or by authorised staff who have been requested to attend to a fault, upgrade or similar situation. Access in each case will be limited to the minimum needed for the task.

* When using email a person must not pretend to be another person or use another person's computer without permission.

* Excessive private use, including mass mailing, "reply to all" etc. that are not part of the person's duties, is not permitted.

* Failure to comply with these instructions is a performance improvement offence and will be investigated. In serious cases, the penalty for an offence, or repetition of an offence, may include dismissal.

Internet use policy

The internet is provided by <Business> for business use. Limited private use is permitted if the private use does not interfere with a person's work and that inappropriate sites are not accessed e.g. pornographic, gambling. Management has the right to access the system to check if private use is excessive or inappropriate.

Failure to comply with these instructions is an offence and will be subject to appropriate investigation. In serious cases, the penalty for an offence, or repetition of an offence, may include dismissal. Staff need to be continually aware that some forms of internet conduct may lead to criminal prosecution.

RECRUITMENT

Guidance note (delete this later): Decide which type of employment is applicable - permanent full time, permanent part time, casual, fixed, apprenticeships or trainees. Legally, it's important to get this right.

Policy

Our business always aims to employ the best candidates based on merit and competence.

Procedure

1. Create a simple position description for the job covering key activities, tasks, skills required, expectations, deliverables and safety considerations. When advertising, avoid discriminatory language e.g. young person. Target the attribute e.g. we seek an energetic person.

2. The recruitment process may include some or all of these: an application form, interviews, practical testing, reference checks, right to work in Australia checks.

3. Give the successful candidate a letter of appointment setting out clear terms and conditions. This includes the nature of employment e.g. permanent part time, casual. The letter should include a welcome note and start details.

4. Once the candidate has accepted, contact the unsuccessful candidates as a matter of courtesy.

INDUCTION

Guidance note (delete later): Do not underestimate the impact of a good induction. HR research has found a thorough and positive induction radically increases the likelihood the employee will stay with you long term.

Policy

<Business> will make sure all new employees feel welcome and are ready to start work safely and competently.

Procedure

Complete an induction plan for each new starter with details of:

* introductions

* welcome tea

* workplace tour

* business overview

* who's who

* nominated buddy

* a working safely plan

* training plan

* IT system orientation

* policy and procedural requirements, e.g. equal employment opportunity

TRAINING

Policy

<Business> will give employees adequate training to do their job safely and competently. Our business believes training is a two-way process. We encourage employees to participate and to highlight any gaps in their own skills or knowledge they believe they have.

Training includes internal on the job training, written instructions such as standard operating procedures, coaching, external training and courses. Safety training takes precedence.

PROBATION

Guidance note (delete this later): Probation periods can vary. Check the relevant award or workplace agreement for guidance.

Policy

Probation is a period of review and appraisal to make sure both the business and the employee are satisfied the role is as advertised, and is being performed satisfactorily. Ongoing permanent employment is given only when the employee satisfactorily completes their probation.

Procedure

  1. Give informal and formal appraisal during the probation period.
  2. Give at least one formal appraisal four weeks before the end of probation.
  3. At the end of the probation period, complete a final probation appraisal and advise the employee of the result.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OH&S)

Guidance note (delete this later): Worksafe Victoria has publications to help employers set up their OH&S policies and procedures. Once complete, make these easy for your employees to find.

Remember you are also obliged by law to consult with your employees on safety and provide protective personal equipment (PPE) to employees. For a full explanation of your legal obligations visit the WorkSafe website (worksafe.vic.gov.au) page "Employer Rights & Responsibilities" or phone Worksafe on 1800 136 089

Policy

<Business> will provide a safe work environment for the health, safety and welfare of our employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public who may be affected by our work.

To do this, <Business> will:

* develop and maintain safe systems of work, and a safe working environment

* consult with employees on safety

* provide protective clothing and equipment, and enforce its use

* provide information and training for employees

* assess all risks before work starts on new areas of operation, for example, buying new equipment and setting up new work methods, and regularly review these risks

* remove unacceptable risks to safety

* provide employees and contractors with adequate facilities (such as clean toilets, cool and clean drinking water, and hygienic eating areas)

All persons responsible for the work activities of other employees are accountable for:

* identifying practices and conditions that could injure employees, clients, members of the public or our environment

* controlling such situations or removing the risk to safety. If unable to control such practices and conditions, report these to their manager

* making sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE), training workers to use PPE correctly

* making sure PPE is maintained and working properly

<Business> demands a positive, proactive attitude and performance with respect to protecting health, safety and the environment by all employees, irrespective of their position.

Manual handling policy

It is <Business>'s policy to provide all employees with a safe and healthy workplace by identifying, assessing and controlling manual handling risks.

While management is ultimately responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all staff, <Business> expects all employees to participate by reporting potential and actual manual handling hazards.

Never lift or manually handle items larger or heavier than you can easily support. If you are in any doubt, do not hesitate to ask for help.

Workers' compensation policy

All employees are eligible for workers' compensation benefits if injured while at work.

Injury procedure

If there is an injury:

  1. The first priority is medical attention. The injured worker or nearest colleague should contact one of <Business>'s first aiders. For an apparently serious injury also call an ambulance.
  2. Any employee who is injured on-the-job, experiences a safety incident or a near miss, must report the incident to their manager
  3. The manager must write a report in the Register of Injuries, Incidents and Near Misses. This standard report must include:

* employee's name and job details

* time and date of injury

* exact location the injury/incident occurred

* how the injury/incident happened

* details of the injury/illness and the part/s of the body injured

* names of any witnesses

* name of the person entering details in the Register

* date the employer was notified.

  1. <Business> will let the injured employee know in writing that we have received notification of any injury or illness reported in the Register.

Smoking policy

<Business> has a non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted on <Business> property or in offices at any time.

Smokers who need to take breaks should do so in their allotted breaks (no more than X per day in addition to their lunch break). These breaks must be limited to X minutes from leaving the workplace to recommencing work. These breaks must not be taken at the entrance to <Business> offices. Excessive smoking breaks will be regarded as absenteeism and performance improvement action may be taken.

Alcohol & drugs policy

<Business> is concerned by factors affecting an employee's ability to safely and effectively do their work to a satisfactory standard. The business recognises alcohol or other drug abuse can impair short-term or long-term work performance.

<Business> will do its utmost to create and maintain a safe, healthy and productive workplace for all employees. <Business> has a zero tolerance policy in regards to the use of illicit drugs on their premises or the attending of other business related premises (e.g. clients) while under the influence of illicit drugs. Contravening either of these points may lead to instant dismissal.

<Business> does not tolerate attending work under the influence of alcohol. This may result in performance improvement action or dismissal.

<Business>, at times, makes alcohol available to staff over the age of 18. Limiting the consumption of any alcohol made available is the responsibility of the employee. Driving over the legal limit or under the influence of illicit drugs is illegal.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO)

Guidance note (delete this later): EEO policies and procedures are important. Employees should be able to easily find out what they are, and managers should know the process. To keep up-to-date, refer to 'Building eQuality in the Workplace - Employer guidelines', available online from The Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission. The Commission offers training in equal opportunity policies and practices. Training can be delivered onsite throughout Victoria or at their Melbourne training centre.

Policy

<Business> provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without discrimination or harassment. <Business> will make reasonable job accommodation for persons with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the position for which they are qualified and selected.

The objective of <Business>'s Equal Opportunity Policy is to improve business success by:

* attracting and retaining the best possible employees;

* providing a safe, respectful and flexible work environment; and

* delivering our services in a safe, respectful and reasonably flexible way

Procedure

<Business> will base all recruitment, selection and promotion decisions on the best-qualified and experienced candidate who can perform the occupational needs of the position.

<Business> provides equal opportunity in employment to all suitably able people without discrimination or harassment based on a personal characteristic protected under the Equal Employment Opportunity legislation.

They include:

* age

* breastfeeding

* carer status

* disability/impairment

* employment activity

* gender identity

* industrial activity

* lawful sexual activity

* marital status

* parental status

* physical features

* political activity/belief

* pregnancy

* race

* religious activity/belief

* sex

* sexual orientation

* personal association with someone having any of these characteristics

HARASSMENT

Policy

<Business> will do its utmost to treat employees fairly and equitably in an environment free of bullying and harassment. We aim to foster a professional, open and trusting workplace. This harassment policy aims to ensure all staff are treated on merit by their managers, peers, direct reports and all other staff members.

Procedure: To make a complaint

If you believe you are being, or have been, harassed, follow this procedure.

  1. Tell the offender the behaviour is offensive, unwelcome, and against business policy and should stop (only if you feel comfortable enough to approach them directly). Keep a written record of the incident(s).
  2. If the unwelcome behaviour continues, contact your supervisor or manager for support.
  3. If this is inappropriate, you feel uncomfortable, or the behaviour persists, contact another relevant senior manager.

Procedure: To receive a complaint

When a manager receives a complaint, they should follow this procedure.

  1. Listen to the complaint seriously and treat the complaint confidentially. Allow the complainant to bring another person to the interview if they choose to.
  2. Ask the complainant for the full story, including what happened, step-by-step.
  3. Take notes, using the complainant's own words.
  4. Ask the complainant to check your notes to ensure your record of the conversation is accurate.
  5. Explain and agree on the next action with the complainant.
  6. If investigation is not requested:

* act promptly

* maintain confidentiality

* pass your notes on to your manager

If an investigation is requested or is appropriate, follow the next procedure.

Procedure: To investigate a complaint

When a manager investigates a complaint, they should follow this procedure.

1. Do not assume guilt.

2. Interview all directly concerned, separately.

3. Interview witnesses, separately.

4. Keep records of interviews and investigation.

5. Interview the alleged harasser, separately and confidentially and let the alleged harasser know exactly of what they are being accused of. Give them a chance to respond to the accusation. Make it clear they do not have to answer any questions.

6. Listen carefully and record details.

7. Ensure confidentiality, minimise disclosure.

8. Decide on appropriate action based on investigation and evidence collected.

9. Check to ensure the action meets the needs of the complainant and <Business>.

10. If resolution is not immediately possible, refer the complainant to more senior management. If the resolution needs a more senior manager's authority, refer the complainant to this manager.

11. Discuss any outcomes affecting the complainant with them to make sure where appropriate you meet their needs.

Possible outcomes

If after investigation management finds the complaint is justified, the complainant may be entitled to any or all of the following:

* a commitment the behaviour will cease

* a private apology (verbal or written)

* payment of medical or counselling expenses, or both

ENVIRONMENTAL BEST PRACTICE

Guidance note (delete later): Just keep the items you will do or are relevant, and delete the rest. Being more sustainable will usually reduce energy and water bills and the cost of disposing waste. It also identifies the business as being environmentally responsible. Several schemes are available for advice and support. Check the "Creating a Green Business" section of the Business Victoria website (business.vic.gov.au) for more details.

Policy

<Business> will comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations on:

* disposing of hazardous waste (including what the EPA lists as prescribed industrial waste), trade waste (i.e. waste added to the sewer) and waste water

* safe handling, storage and transport of hazardous waste and dangerous goods

* noise

* land use

* air pollution and carbon emissions

<Business> will set targets each year to increase our energy and water efficiency, and seek opportunities for reducing and recycling waste

Procedure

To do this, <Business> will:

General

* investigate ways to reduce consumption or recycle waste

* publish monthly energy and water use on the staff notice board including savings made, and report on greenhouse gas emissions

* give preference to maintenance and other contractors using green products

Energy

* buy electrical and lighting systems rated as energy efficient

* use accredited GreenPower, either in part or whole

Water

* buy appliances rated as water efficient

* buy plumbing devices (e.g. taps) with built-in flow restrictors in kitchen and washing up areas, or add these to existing fittings

Waste

* look for opportunities to exchange waste on the waste exchange database website (wasteexchange.net.au)

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Guidance note (delete later): Undertaking performance management once or twice a year is enough if the lines of communication and feedback between management and employees are working reasonably well.

Policy

The purpose of performance management is to improve performance. It is an ongoing process. It should include informal and formal review. We encourage a two-way process, that is, employees can also give management feedback on performance.

All employees will undergo a formal performance review with their immediate managers at least X times a year.

Procedure

1. The manager and the employee agree on the date for a performance appraisal meeting to allow time to prepare.

2. The manager and employee will meet and openly and constructively discuss performance over the period.

3. The manager and the employee will agree any objectives for the next appraisal period.

4. Training and development will be considered as part of the process.

5. Notes should be taken of the meeting and copies kept.

6. Outside of this formal process, employees are encouraged to raise any issues they have when they arise.

LEAVE POLICY

Guidance note (delete afterwards): The standards referred to here are taken from the Fair Pay and Conditions Standard.

General leave policy

All employees are entitled to leave in accordance with the relevant awards/agreements and statutory provisions. Where the entitlements or practices in this document conflict, the applicable award, workplace agreement, employment contract or employment law takes precedence.

All planned leave has to be mutually agreed, and take into account workloads and the employee's needs. Leave must be approved in advance, except when the employee can't anticipate the absence.

Annual leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Typically, annual leave is four weeks' paid leave accrued for each 12 months of employment. This varies in some awards and workplace or employment agreements. A holiday close-down may be specified in the award or workplace agreement.

Each employee is entitled to a minimum of X days annual leave a year when they complete 12 months of service. Leave entitlements are calculated from the date they started work. Annual leave counts towards continuous service (used when calculating long service leave). Applications for annual leave need to be lodged X weeks in advance.

An employee is expected to take accrued annual leave when the business closes for the Christmas break.

In some circumstances, leave in advance of what leave has accrued may be approved. This is conditional on the employee agreeing to the business deducting any advance in the event of termination, or to the employee accepting leave without pay.

Personal (sick) leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Sick leave is part of personal leave. Personal leave is an employee entitlement which is contained in awards and workplace agreements or employment agreements, and is subject to federal workplace laws. Depending on the award or agreement covering the workplace it may accrue incrementally. Alternatively it can accumulate for a defined period and then be lost after this if not used. It is separate to workers' compensation, which is paid to compensate for an injury or illness incurred while at work.

An employee is entitled to X days of personal leave every 12 months. Paid personal leave accrues at the rate of X days per month of service and is cumulative/is lost after X months if not used.

An employee should notify his/her manager as soon as possible if they are unable to attend work due to illness or injury. If an employee is absent for two or more days in a row, or on the day before or after a public holiday, or in any other situation if requested by management, the employee must give the employer evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that they were entitled to take personal leave during the relevant period.

Carer's leave policy

Carer's leave is available to an employee to take direct care of an ill family or household member. It is typically part of personal (sick) leave and is dealt with similarly to above.

Compassionate leave policy

Compassionate leave is paid leave taken by an employee to spend time with a family member/member of employee's household, who has a personal illness, or injury, that poses a serious threat to his/her life, or after the death of a family member/member of the employee's household.

Each employee is entitled to a period of two days' paid compassionate leave for each occasion where a family member has died, or the employee needs to spend time with a seriously ill family member. Additional unpaid leave maybe granted at management discretion.

Long service leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Federal awards, Victorian laws, and workplace agreements set out entitlements to long service leave.

Employees are entitled to long service leave in line with Victorian long service leave laws (or per a relevant Award, Agreement or employment contract).

Parental leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Entitlements listed here are based on the Fair Pay and Conditions Standard.

Parental leave covers maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

Employees are entitled to:

* up to 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave (including maternity, paternity and adoption leave) for parents to take on a shared basis to care for their newborn child or newly adopted child under the age of five years. Other than three weeks at the time of the birth or adoption, both parents cannot be on parental leave at the same time;

* special maternity leave of an amount as recommended by a registered medical practitioner for a pregnancy-related illness, if the pregnancy ends other than by a live birth;

* a period of short paternity leave for non-primary carer employees of three weeks commenced within the week their spouse or de facto partner gives birth;

* the right to transfer to a safe job if, in the opinion of a registered medical practitioner, a female employee is unable to continue in her present position because of illness or risks arising out of her pregnancy or hazards connected with that position. If it is not reasonably practicable to transfer the employee to a safe job, then the employee is entitled to take paid leave (or may be directed by the employer to take paid leave) until the earliest of the end of the period stated in the medical certificate or the date of birth. Such paid leave does not reduce the total period of parental leave;

* in the case of adoption, up to two days of unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend any interviews or examinations required to obtain approval for the adoption unless the employee can take other authorised leave for such purposes.

If an employee takes parental leave, they are entitled to:

* return to the position the employee held immediately before the start of parental leave or a position that has the same terms and conditions of employment as the former position;

* take other leave (for example, annual leave) for the birth or adoption of the child in combination with parental leave. The 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave is reduced by other relatedauthorised leave taken by the employee and by the amount of any paid or unpaid parental leave taken by the employee's spouse;

* extend parental leave once within the 52 week period, provided they give 14 days' written notice;

* at least 4 weeks before the end of the first 52 week parental leave period, request that <Business> agree to an extension of unpaid parental leave for a further period of up to 12 months immediately following the end of the first period of parental leave. <Business> will only refuse this request on reasonable business grounds; and

* vary or shorten parental leave, but generally only with <Business> agreement, by giving at least four weeks' notice.

A woman may start a period of maternity leave at any time within the six week period immediately before the expected date of birth. Where she continues to work within that period, she may be required to provide a medical certificate stating if she is fit to work in her present role.

All leave associated with the child's birth must be taken in a continuous, unbroken period of leave.

Extra eligibility criteria for parental leave

To apply for parental leave, an employee must have completed at least 12 months of continuous service by the expected date of birth.

The employee must also:

* provide a medical certificate from a medical practitioner no later than 10 weeks before the expected date of birth (where possible);

* apply formally for parental leave by providing a written application stating the dates for leave 10 weeks before the first day of the intended leave. At least 4 weeks before the intended start date specified in the written application, the employee must confirm the intended start and end dates of the leave, or advise the employer of any changes to the intended start and end dates of the leave. Note these requirements do not apply to an employee if there are circumstances beyond their control, for example, if there is a premature birth;

* provide a signed statutory declaration detailing their leave periods and their partner's leave arrangements, as well as stating they will be the child's primary care-giver and they will not do other work that conflicts with their employment while on parental leave e.g. work with a competitor.

Some casual employees are entitled to parental leave. An eligible casual employee is one who has worked regularly for at least 12 months (or a sequence of periods totalling at least 12 months) and reasonably expects to continue employment with <Business> after taking parental leave.

Time in lieu policy

Guidance note (delete this later): Overtime might be payable instead of time-in-lieu. Make sure you know and follow the procedures set by an award or workplace agreement covering your workplace. Check with Fair Work Australia by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

<Business> will grant time-in-lieu to an employee who is required to work outside their normal hours. Time worked towards time-in-lieu must be approved in advance unless exceptional circumstances exist, in which case management will consider granting approval after the time is worked.

Time-in-lieu will be added to the employee's annual leave. <Business> will record time-in-lieu credits and debits. Generally, employee should take time-in-lieu in the same financial year within which they accrue it. A manager must approve time-in-lieu leave.

Leave without pay policy

Guidance note (delete this later): Leave without pay may or may not count towards Long Service Leave, depending on the conditions of employment of your employees. If they are entitled to Long Service Leave under the Victorian Long Service Leave Act, you may be able to agree in writing with your employees prior to them taking discretionary unpaid leave that it does not count towards Long Service Leave. Seek advice from an employer organisation, the Victorian Business Line, or check with Fair Work Australia by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 .

Management has the discretion to approve leave without pay that an employee is not otherwise entitled to.

Jury duty policy

An employee is entitled to paid leave for jury duty in accordance with legislation. An employee on jury service should supply the official request to attend, the details of attendance and the amount the court has paid them. <Business> will reimburse the employee the difference between this amount and their base salary.

Emergency services leave policy

If an employee needs to take temporary absence from work because of voluntary emergency management activities (for example, as a volunteer dealing with an emergency or natural disaster as a member of SES, CFA or Army Reserve) then they should ask management for leave as soon as possible after they become aware of the need to take leave.

<Business> will support such activities wherever possible, as an important community service.

<Business> may require evidence of these activities at its discretion.

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT

Policy

Guidance note (delete this later): Make sure you follow the procedures set by industrial law, awards, or employment or workplace agreements that apply in your workplace.

A performance improvement policy needs to promote a fair process using a robust procedure. Managers should know their role and be able to respond quickly. It should be clear who has the power to end an employee's employment. You also need to make sure employees know the process. This is an area where good note taking is crucial. If there is a legal dispute, your legal representative will ask you for your notes when they prepare their case.

Where warranted the business will use improvement processes to improve performance or to end an employee's employment. Depending on the circumstances, performance improvement action may include verbal or written warnings, suspension, counselling or retraining.

<Business> requires a minimum standard of conduct and performance. If an employee does not meet this standard, <Business> will take appropriate corrective action, such as training. Formal performance improvement procedures will generally only start when other corrective action fails.

If an employee deliberately breaches business policy or procedure, or engages in misconduct, <Business> will start improvement procedures.

Each employee must understand their responsibilities, be counselled and given the opportunity to reach the standards expected of them. <Business> will give an employee the opportunity to defend themselves before management takes further action.

Guidance note (delete this later): In the case of dismissal, legal advice or contact with an employer association could be money and time well spent.

Procedure

  1. <Business> will advise the employee of any shortfall in their performance, and give them an opportunity to respond.
  2. Once they respond, the manager will consider their response and decide if performance improvement action should be taken. <Business> will provide support such as training where relevant.
  3. If the employee is given a verbal warning, the manager should make a note of it, date it and sign it.
  4. The manager will advise the employee in clear terms what they see as the performance problem or the unacceptable conduct. To highlight the deficiency they should use specific examples, and refer to the correct policy or procedure.

5. The manager will allow the employee to respond before making a decision and consider the employee's responses. The employee may have a support person.

  1. The manager will decide if more action is needed.
  2. If a written warning is to follow, the manager is to:

* document it and give the employee a copy

* give the employee the opportunity (and their support person the opportunity) to sign the warning

* keep a copy on file.

  1. The warning must clearly define:

* the deficiency

* a clear explanation of the expected standard

* by when the employee needs to achieve it

* how the business will help the employee achieve the improvement required, and the consequences of failing to do so.

  1. The manager concerned will keep a record of all meetings, training and/or coaching given and a summary of discussions, and put a copy on the employee's personnel file. This should include date, location and time of discussion.
  2. They will continue to support the employee and note the support they give, for example, training or counselling.
  3. If the employee's performance or conduct doesn't improve, the manager will give the employee a final written warning and follow steps 4-10 above. This document needs to warn the employee in clear terms <Business> will terminate their employment if there is not enough improvement, and a sustained improvement in, their performance.

Note: some circumstances justify going straight to a second or final warning.

Gross or serious misconduct policy

Summary (instant) dismissal for gross or very serious misconduct is possible (depending on the facts involved). Management should seek advice before taking this step.

Procedure

1. The manager is to investigate the alleged offence thoroughly, including talking to witnesses, if any.

2. The manager should ask the employee for their response to the allegation (taking notes of this discussion) and allow them to have representation. The manager should also have a witness present. The manager shall give genuine consideration to the employee's response and circumstances.

3. If still appropriate, following a thorough investigation, the manager can terminate/dismiss the employee.

4. The manager should keep a file of all evidence collected and action taken in these circumstances.

5. <Business> will send the employee a letter of termination noting brief details.

GRIEVANCES

Policy

<Business> supports the right of every employee to lodge a grievance with their manager if they believe a decision, behaviour or action affecting their employment is unfair. An employee may raise a grievance about any performance improvement action taken against them.

We aim to resolve problems and grievances promptly and as close to the source as possible. When necessary, <Business> will escalate a grievance to the next higher level of authority for more discussion and resolution, and continue escalating it to the level above until it is resolved.

Managers will do their utmost to action grievances objectively, discreetly and promptly.

Procedure

1. The employee should try to resolve the grievance as close to the source as possible. This can be informal and verbal. At this stage, every possible effort should be made to settle a grievance before the formal grievance process starts. If the matter still can't be resolved, the process continues and becomes formal.

2. To start the formal grievance the complainants must fully describe their grievance in writing, with dates and locations wherever possible and how they have already tried to settle the grievance.

3. The person(s) against whom the grievance/complaint is made should be given the full details of the allegation(s) against them. They should have the opportunity and a reasonable time to respond before the process continues.

4. If the grievance still can't be resolved, refer the matter to the most senior manager for consideration and a final decision. A grievance taken to this level must be in writing from the employee.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Policy

Conflict of interest arises whenever the personal, professional or business interests of an employee are potentially at odds with the best interests of <Business>.

All employees are required to act in good faith towards <Business>. Employees need to be aware of the potential for a conflict of interest to arise, and should always act in the best interests of <Business>.

As individuals, employees may have private interests that from time to time conflict, or appear to conflict, with their employment with <Business>. Employees should aim to avoid being put in a situation where there may be a conflict between the interests of <Business> and their own personal or professional interests, or those of relatives or friends. Where such a conflict occurs (or is perceived to occur), the interests of <Business> will be balanced against the interests of the staff member and, unless exceptional circumstances exist, resolved in favour of <Business>.

It is impossible to define all potential areas of conflict of interest. If an employee is in doubt as to whether a conflict exists, they should raise the matter with their manager.

Procedure

Employees must:

* declare any potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest that exist on becoming employed by <Business> to management;

* declare any potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest that arise or are likely to arise during employment by <Business> to management;

* avoid being placed in a situation where there is potential, actual or perceived conflict of interest if at all possible.

If an employee declares such an interest, <Business> will review the potential areas of conflict with the employee and mutually agree on practical arrangements to resolve the situation.

Employees must disclose any other employment that might cause a conflict of interest with <Business> to their manager. Where there are external involvements that do not represent a conflict of interest, these must not affect performance or attendance whilst working at <Business>. If such involvement does affect performance or attendance it will be considered a conflict of interest.

Employees must not set up or engage in private business or undertake other employment in direct or indirect competition with <Business> using knowledge and/or materials gained during the course of employment with <Business>.

Engaging in other business interests during work hours will result in strong performance improvement action.

Failure to declare a potential, actual or perceived conflict of interest or to take remedial action agreed with <Business>, in a timely manner, may result in performance improvement proceedings including dismissal.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND SECURITY

All intellectual property developed by employees during their employment with <Business>, including discoveries or inventions made in the performance of their duties related in any way to the business of <Business>, will remain the property of <Business>.

Employees may be given access to confidential information, data, business property, keys to premises or any other business related property/information in the performance of their duties. This must be protected and used only in the interests of <Business>.

Employees must not:

* disclose or use any part of any confidential information outside of the performance of their duties and in the interests of <Business>; or

* authorise or be involved in the improper use or disclosure of confidential information;

during or after their employment without the Employer's written consent, other than as required by law.

'Confidential information' includes any information in any form relating to <Business> and related bodies, clients or businesses, which is not in the public domain.

Employees must act in good faith towards <Business> and must prevent (or if impractical, report) the unauthorised disclosure of any confidential information.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in performance improvement proceedings including dismissal, and <Business> may also pursue monetary damages or other remedies.

Document valid when printed only Last printed 24/02/2009 9:43:00 AM Page 6 of 26