Contents

Introduction

Hello and welcome to Revital!

We are very happy that you have joined us as a member of our team and we look forward to you having a successful and happy career with us! This staff handbook has been produced for your guidance whilst carrying out the duties of your employment. The handbook contains various Policies, Procedures and Information that will either directly apply to you or may impact on you and the way that you work during your employment with the company. The company reserves the right at its absolute discretion to update, amend or withdraw in any way any parts of the policies or procedures) It contains important and useful information which you should familiarise yourself with. This handbook is provided in addition to your contract of employment. Please note that you are bound by the terms and conditions of employment contained within your contract.

History of Revital and Company Ethics

Revital Limited was established in 1990 with the opening of the very first Revital Health store in London Willesden.  Over the past 15 years Revital have grown to become one of the leading names in the Health Food and Products Industry and are now the UK’s largest independent chain of Health Stores. With twelve thriving stores, and a busy mail order service operating from Head Office and warehouse premises in Middlesex, we are proud that Revital is a refreshing and different face on the High Street. Our customer service is second to none, as we believe that customer education on health and nutrition plays a very important role in the hectic and stressful world we live in today, and through our professionally trained team we aim to educate our customers on health and the many different products available on today’s market. The Revital Health Stores are unique, offering a wonderfully different retail environment for both staff and customers. Our Health Stores not only offer natural beauty treatments and complementary therapies, but some also have organic food and juice bars. The Revital Wigmore Street store contains an Education centre that is used for staff training and can also be booked out for seminars etc by other companies or therapists. Revital are always looking for unique individuals with a passion for people and a passion for health….  in hope that they can help us spread the word that healthy living is not only good for you, but can be fun too!


Mr Raj Vora
Managing Director

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

Policy statement

It is Revital Limited´s policy not to discriminate against its employees or workers on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability or age, pregnancy or trade union membership or the fact that they are a part-time worker or a fixed-term employee. Our workers and applicants for employment shall not be disadvantaged by any policies or conditions of service which cannot be justified as necessary for operational purposes. Revital Limited shall, at all times, strive to work within legislative requirements as well as promoting best practice. The board of Revital Limited’s long-term aim is that the composition of our workforce should reflect that of the community and that all workers should be offered equal opportunities to achieve their full potential. This policy, and the measures we take to implement it, have been devised on the basis of advice from the relevant government and professional bodies.

We are committed to a programme of action to make this policy effective and to bring it to the attention of all employees and workers. The principle of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity applies equally to the treatment of visitors, customers and suppliers by members of our workforce and also, in some circumstances, ex-employees.

The following paragraphs deal with the specific categories of employees and workers and areas of work which we have identified as potentially giving rise to equal opportunities issues and provides more specific guidance on the parameters of our policy and approach to equal opportunities.

This policy is for guidance only and shall be provided to all employees and workers, but does not form part of your contract of employment or to provide service to Revital Limited.

To whom does this policy apply?

This policy applies to Revital Limited's employees, whether permanent, temporary, casual, part-time or on fixed-term contracts, to ex-employees, to job applicants and to individuals such as agency staff and consultants and volunteers/work experience personnel who are not our employees, but who work at the Revital Limited (collectively workers).

All workers have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass other members of staff. In some situations, Revital Limited may be at risk of being held responsible for the acts of individual members of staff and will not therefore tolerate any discriminatory practices or behaviour.

The policy statement applies equally to the treatment of our visitors, customers and suppliers by our workers.

Personnel responsible for implementation of policy

The board has overall responsibility for the effective operation of Revital Limited's equal opportunities policy and for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory framework prohibiting discrimination. The board has delegated day-to-day responsibility for operating the policy and ensuring its maintenance and review to Raj Vora.

Those working at a management level have a specific responsibility to set an appropriate standard of behaviour, to lead by example and to ensure that those they manage adhere to the policy and promote the aims and objectives of Revital Limited with regard to equal opportunities. To facilitate this process, managers will be given training on equal opportunities awareness and equal opportunities recruitment and selection best practice.

All members of staff are responsible for the success of this policy and must ensure that they familiarise themselves with the policy and act in accordance with its aims and objectives. If you are involved in management or recruitment, or if you have any questions about the content or application of this policy, you should contact Sharon Manasseh (HR Department) to request training or an information pack.

Scope and purpose of policy

Revital Limited will not unlawfully discriminate on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, pregnancy, trade union membership, or part-time or fixed-term status and will not unlawfully discriminate on the ground of age where it is policy by law or cannot be justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

This policy applies to the advertising of jobs and recruitment and selection, to training and development, opportunities for promotion, to conditions of service, benefits and facilities and pay; to health and safety and to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures and to termination of employment, including redundancy.

Revital Limited will take appropriate steps to accommodate the requirements of workers' religions, cultures, and domestic responsibilities.

Forms of discrimination

Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more. For example, rejecting an applicant of one race because it is considered they would not "fit in" on the grounds of their race could be direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination occurs where an individual is subject to an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which puts them at a particular disadvantage because of, for example, their sex or race. For example, a height requirement would be likely to eliminate proportionately more women than men. If this criteria cannot be objectively justified for a reason unconnected with sex, it would be indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex. Discrimination also includes victimisation (less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that regard) and harassment.

CAPABILITY PROCEDURE FOR EMPLOYEES

INTRODUCTION

It is the policy of the Revital Ltd to require high standards of work and to provide support and training to help employees achieve this. The Company acknowledges that, at times, individual performance may be less than required due to personal or other problems. During such times, the Company would seek to provide support until the situation was resolved. However, the Company recognises that some employees will not be able to achieve the performance standard required. When this happens, a thorough enquiry will be made, additional training and support identified and time to improve given before appropriate action is taken. A written warning will be given if a continued failure to perform puts the employee at risk of losing employment. A procedure is provided to allow employees to appeal against any decision affecting them.

All employees are appointed to jobs in Revital on the basis that they have the ability, qualifications, skills and/or experience to carry out their responsibilities in order to contribute to the ongoing success of the business. To this end, the Company requires a reasonable amount of work of an acceptable quality on a regular basis. This is particularly important where the actions of an individual can have a significant impact on the business, its clients and the market. Accordingly, failure to meet these expectations may render an employee liable to appropriate capability measures, including dismissal from employment.

The purpose of the Capability Policy is positive; it is to ensure that employees are able to carry out work to the standard required of them and that, in the event that their performance falls short of what is required, every assistance is provided to help them improve. It is accepted that when applying the Capability Policy, the employee’s poor performance is unlikely to be due to wilful or flagrant activity entered into in order to fail to achieve work standards. It is only when it has not been possible to effect an improvement in performance that resort will be made to formal procedures.

Revital Ltd wishes to have defined capability procedures to ensure fair and consistent treatment of employees who become liable to action because they fail to achieve required work standards. This statement of policy and procedure determines the framework within which action will be taken in the event of ongoing poor performance.

SCOPE

This Policy applies to all employees of Revital Ltd.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR INSTITUTING THE CAPABILITY POLICY

The Company holds Supervisors, Assistant Managers, Store Managers and Senior Managers responsible for maintaining standards of work, and for ensuring that employees under their control are aware of the standards of work required of them. Revital Management is accountable for ensuring that employees attain work standards and, when employees fail to do so, for ensuring that appropriate support or training is given or, if necessary, appropriate formal action is taken.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

When it appears that an employee has continually failed to achieve or maintain a required standard of performance, their superior should, as soon as possible, try to establish the facts and circumstances of the matter.

If the investigation determines that there is action that can be taken by the Company to assist the employee in effecting an improvement, every effort will be made to progress such action to try to solve the problem.

INFORMAL PROCEDURE

If the decision is taken that the performance problem can be improved by training, additional support, adjustments to the job description or other means, or that there are mitigating circumstances, it may be decided that there is no need to resort to the formal procedure. This decision will be made if it is believed that it will be sufficient to discuss the matter with the employee, put appropriate remedies in place to ensure that the employee understands what is required and is likely to effect the required improvement.

If enquiry reveals that the seriousness of the matter makes it inappropriate to deal with the situation by the Informal Procedure, or if the Informal Procedure fails to bring about the desired result, then recourse should be had to the Formal Procedure.

FORMAL PROCEDURE

The employee should be advised by the Manager or HR (in writing) as to what aspect of performance appears to be deficient or unacceptable. He/she should also be told of any rights under this Procedure.

The employee will be given at least 5 working days’ notice of the capability hearing. If written statements from other staff or management are to be used at the hearing, these should be provided to the employee before the hearing wherever practicable.

CAPABILITY HEARING

The employee should be interviewed by the Manager and given the opportunity to make a response and be encouraged to provide any reasons or excuses for the level of performance.

The employee may request to be accompanied by another employee of the Company of his/her choice. The trade union representative must be a full-time officer employed by a trade union or a lay trade union officer or workplace representative who has been certified by the union as having received training or having experience of acting as a companion at disciplinary hearings. The person accompanying the employee may address the hearing and confer with the employee, but may not answer questions on his/her behalf.

Every effort should be made to convene the hearing at a time which is convenient for the employee and, if applicable, his/her companion to attend. If this means that the meeting cannot be held within a reasonable period (usually within 5 working days of the original date set), the employee should be asked to make arrangements with another companion who is available to attend. Any member of staff who is chosen to accompany a colleague in a disciplinary hearing is entitled to take paid time off from work for this purpose.

The Manager conducting the hearing should come to a clear view about the facts, any mitigating circumstances and what has already been done to improve the employee’s performance and all the available information.

If more time is needed to consider the matter or further enquiries are necessary, the hearing should be adjourned and resumed later.

If a hearing is adjourned, it must be made clear to all concerned that it is an adjournment and that the matter remains to be decided. A date and time for the resumption of the hearing should be fixed as soon as possible, preferably at the end of the adjourned meeting.

When the Manager has come to a conclusion he/she should inform the employee of the decision and recommendations for action and make an appropriate record of it. The employee will be provided with a formal note of the hearing. If he/she has any comments on this note, they will be appended to it.

The Company will attempt to ensure that each stage of the procedure is carried out without unreasonable delay, that the timing and location of meetings are reasonable and that meetings are conducted in a manner that enables all parties to explain their case.

DECIDING ON ACTION TO EFFECT AN IMPROVEMENT TO PERFORMANCE

Before deciding what action can be put into place to effect an improvement to the employee’s performance, consideration will be given to such matters as:

The length of time the employee has already been given to effect an improvement

The nature of the employee’s appointment, general record and length of service with the company

Whether the performance issue has arisen due to over promotion

What action has proved effective in similar cases in the past

Any mitigating circumstances

Whether the proposed action is reasonable in all the circumstances

What would be considered a reasonable timescale in which to effect an improvement

FORMAL CAPABILITY ACTIONS

The purpose of all warnings is to ensure that the employee understands what the shortfall in performance is, the required level of performance and what must be done to correct it.

All warnings must make clear:

What standards of performance are required of the employee;

The ways in which the individual falls short of the required standards;

The actions which have been agreed to effect an improvement;

The period of time given for improvement and a timetable for monitoring progress;

The likely consequences of failure to rectify the situation;

The nature of the warning.

WRITTEN WARNING

In the first instance the employee will receive an improvement note for unsatisfactory performance if performance does not meet acceptable standards. This will set out the performance problem, the improvement that is required, the timescale, and any help that may be given and the right of appeal. The employee will be advised that it constitutes the first stage of the formal procedure. A record of the improvement note will be kept on your personal record for 12 months but will be removed subject to achieving and sustaining satisfactory performance.

FINAL WRITTEN WARNING

In the event of a very serious failure to achieve a required work standard, or where there is no evidence of improvement by an employee who has already received a written warning regarding capability, a final written warning may be given.A final warning will also formally warn the employee that the continued failure to improve their performance will lead to dismissal.

DISIMASSAL

An employee who, after final written warning, fails to achieve the required standard of performance is liable to be dismissed.

Employees have the right to appeal against any formal capability warning taken against them.

If an employee is dissatisfied with any capability action he/she can appeal in writing directly to a nominated senior manager or the Managing Director within 5 working days of the decision he/she wishes to appeal. The nominated person will arrange an appeal meeting within 20 working days of receipt of such notice of appeal. The purpose of the meeting is to give the employee the opportunity to state his/her reasons for appealing. The decision of the nominated senior manager or Managing Director will be final and a note of the decision will be given to the employee.

Wherever possible, the person nominated by the Company to hear the appeal will be impartial and will not have been involved in the previous capability actions.

The senior manager hearing an appeal has the authority to uphold, dismiss or vary the capability decision being appealed.

If you are appealing against dismissal, the date on which dismissal takes effect will not be delayed pending the outcome of the appeal. However, if your appeal is successful, you will be reinstated with no loss of continuity or pay.

Recruitment and selection

Revital Limited aims to ensure that no job applicant receives less favourable treatment on any of the unlawful grounds listed in paragraph 0. Recruitment procedures will be reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities and that sufficiently diverse sectors of the community are reached. Job selection criteria are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are justifiable on non-discriminatory grounds as being essential for the effective performance of the job.

Revital Limited shall take steps to ensure that knowledge of vacancies reaches a wide labour market and, where relevant, groups under-represented in Revital Limited. Where appropriate, use may be made of lawful exemptions to recruit suitably-qualified people to cater for the special needs of particular groups. Vacancy advertisements shall include an appropriate short statement on our equal opportunities policy and a copy of this policy shall be sent to those who enquire about vacancies.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively with respect to recruitment and selection, and to identify those sections of the local community which may be under-represented in employment, Revital Limited monitors applicants' racial origins, gender, disability, sexual orientation and religion and age as part of the recruitment procedure. We also maintain records of this data in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Ongoing monitoring and regular analysis of the data provide the basis for taking appropriate positive steps to eliminate unlawful direct and indirect discrimination and implement this policy.

STAFF TRAINING AND PROMOTION AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

Staff training needs will be identified through regular staff appraisals. All workers will be given an equal opportunity and access to training to enable them to progress within the organisation. All promotion decisions will be made on the basis of merit.

The composition and movement of workers at different levels will be regularly monitored to ensure equality of opportunity at all levels of the organisation. Where appropriate, steps will be taken to identify and remove unnecessary or unjustifiable barriers and to provide appropriate facilities and conditions of service to meet the special needs of disadvantaged or under-represented groups.

Our conditions of service, benefits and facilities will be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are available to all workers who should have access to them and that there are no unlawful obstacles to accessing them. This includes pay, bonus criteria, policies and all benefits offered.

Termination of employment

We will monitor redundancy criteria and procedures to ensure that they are fair and objective and do not directly or indirectly discriminate against employees.

We will also ensure that disciplinary procedures are carried out fairly and uniformly for all workers, whether they result in the giving of disciplinary warnings, dismissal or other disciplinary action.

Disability discrimination

If you are disabled, or become disabled in the course of your employment with us, you are encouraged to tell us about your condition.  This is to enable us to support you as much as possible.  You may also wish to advise your line manager of any reasonable adjustments to your working conditions or the duties of your job which you consider to be necessary, or which would assist you in the performance of your duties.  Your line manager may wish to consult with you and with your medical adviser(s) about possible reasonable adjustments. Careful consideration will be given to any such proposals and they will be accommodated where possible and proportionate to the needs of your job.  Nevertheless, there may be circumstances where it will not be reasonable for us to accommodate the suggested adjustments and we will ensure that we provide you with information as to the basis of our decision not to make any adjustments.

Revital Limited carried out an access audit of its premises in advance of Part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 coming into force in October 2004 and will continue to monitor the physical features of its premises to consider whether they place disabled workers, job applicants or service users at a substantial disadvantage compared to other workers.  Where possible and proportionate, Revital Limited will take steps to improve access for disabled workers and service users.

Fixed-term employees and agency and temporary workers

We will monitor our use of fixed-term employees and agency workers, and their conditions of service, to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits, training, promotion and permanent employment opportunities. We will, where relevant, monitor their progress within Revital Limited to ensure that they are accessing permanent vacancies.

Part-time workers

Revital Limited will monitor the conditions of service of part-time employees and their progression within Revital Limited to ensure that they are being offered appropriate access to benefits and training and promotion opportunities. We will also ensure requests to alter working hours are dealt with appropriately.

Breaches of the policy

If you believe that you may have been disadvantaged on any of the unlawful grounds, you are encouraged to raise the matter through Revital Limited’s grievance procedure.  If you believe that you may have been harassed on any of the unlawful grounds, you are encouraged to raise the matter with your line manager or a Director. Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence and investigated in accordance with the relevant procedure. Workers who make such allegations in good faith will not be victimised or treated less favourably as a result. False allegations of a breach in this policy which are found to have been made in bad faith will, however, be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure.

If, after investigation, you are proven to have harassed any other worker on the grounds of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, disability or age or otherwise act in breach of this policy, you will be subject to disciplinary action. In serious cases, such behaviour may constitute gross misconduct and, as such, may result in summary dismissal. Revital Limited will always take a strict approach to serious breaches of this policy.

As this policy applies equally to Revital Limited workers' relations with visitors, customers and suppliers, if, after investigation, you are proven to have discriminated against or harassed a customer or supplier you will also be subject to disciplinary action.

Monitoring and revision of policy

This policy is reviewed annually by the Board. Policy last updated Jan 2009.

We will regularly monitor the effectiveness of this policy to ensure it is achieving the objectives stated in the Equal Opportunities Policy statement by monitoring the composition of job applicants and the benefits and career progression of its workers.

Revital Limited is committed to providing relevant training for all staff on their responsibilities and duties under this policy.

STORE Dress CODE POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES

POLICY STATEMENT

Revital recognises that, like most companies, all employees act as representatives of the Organisation and should therefore be dressed accordingly. The way in which Revital’s employees dress and present themselves plays an important part in the image that Revital portrays to customers, suppliers and the general public.

For this reason, you are asked to be aware of good presentation & hygiene of yourself and to adhere to the dress code policy at all times when representing Revital.

All dress must be in good condition and should be kept neat and clean at all times. Creased and poor quality clothing is not permissible.

This policy applies to all employees of Revital Ltd (permanent, fixed term and casual).

Individual employees have primary responsibility for being aware of, and following, the dress code policy.

Dress CODE

Revital polo shirt, shirt or fleece. Must be of an appropriate fit and should not be too tight or of a revealing nature.

Tailored black or dark navy trousers, skirt or tailored knee length shorts no rips, logos or details on.

Skirts should be no shorter than knee length, or longer than midcalf length. They should be loose enough for movement,

i.e.bending and climbing ladders etc. Hosiery should be worn with skirts during the winter, but bare legs are acceptable in the summer.

Footwear. Must be sensible, dark coloured with low heels and closed toes to adhere to workplace health and safety regulations

(trainers, Doc Martens, UGG boots, Timberlands and Crocs are not acceptable)

Hair must be neat, tidy and present a professional image. If hair is shoulder length or below it must be kept tied back at all times, any extreme colours or styles do not present a professional image. Short hair should be well groomed and presentable.

Jewellery must be minimal. The only visible body piercing acceptable for male and female employees is conventional piercing in ear lobes (small stud earrings only) or piercing for cultural reasons. (In stores where food is prepared and served no jewellery is allowed with the exception of a small pair of stud earrings and wedding bands. If you need to wear any other jewellery for religious or cultural reasons please speak to your area manager)

Make up and perfume should be appropriate for the work place. As stores sell and prepare food products on our premises no perfume, body cream or anything that may contaminate food is allowed. This is particularly important for therapists that are providing treatments to people as smells may affect the client.

Nails must be kept short and tidy. Nail varnish and false nails are not permitted in any stores, as employees are handling food products and providing treatments.

Personal Hygiene. Employee presentation should be impeccable at all times. Use of a deodorant is essential and good oral hygiene is a must. Uniforms must be clean and pressed.

RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL Dress

Revital Ltd accepts that it is policy that the wearing of religious and cultural dress must not be discouraged. The exception to this protocol is where health, safety and welfare will be compromised by the wearing of such dress.

The following points should be borne in mind:

Some religions and cultures require a certain mode of dress.

Where necessary, Human Resources may be contacted to assist with disseminating

Appropriate information explaining cultural dress and customs.

Priority will be given to health and safety requirements, as laid down by national legislation.

MAINTENANCE OF UNIFORM

All employees are issued with a shirt and fleece when they commence employment with Revital. It is the employee’s responsibility to look after this uniform and maintain it in good condition. It is expected that shirts and fleeces will last a minimum of one year, any unnecessary wear and tear or damage before this will be paid for by the employee.

This uniform will remain the property of Revital Ltd and all employees are expected to return shirts and fleeces to their store manager upon leaving employment (if uniform is not returned a deduction of £20 per item will be made from the final wages)

BREACH OF POLICY

Employees who consistently abuse these guidelines may be dealt with under the Revital’s Disciplinary Procedure.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

This policy has been reviewed in accordance with Equalities Legislation on race, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, faith and belief

EMERGENCY LEAVE POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

The law recognises and we respect that there may be occasions when you will need to take time off work to deal with unexpected events involving one of your dependants or someone close to you.

This policy gives all employees the right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with certain situations affecting their dependants.

No-one who takes time off in accordance with this policy will be subjected to any detriment.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended at any time.

TIME OFF FOR DEPENDANTS

You have a right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work when it is necessary to:



Provide assistance when a dependant falls ill, gives birth, is injured or assaulted;

Make longer-term care arrangements for a dependant who is ill or injured;

Take action required in consequence of the death of a dependant;

Deal with the unexpected disruption, termination or breakdown of arrangements for the care of a dependant (such as a child-minder falling ill); and/or

Deal with an unexpected incident involving your child while a school or another educational establishment is responsible for them.

A "dependant" for the purposes of this policy is:

Your spouse, civil partner, parent or child;

A person who lives in the same household as you, but who is not your tenant, lodger, boarder or employee; or

Anyone else who reasonably relies on you to provide assistance, make arrangements or take action.

This policy applies to time off to take action which is necessary because of an immediate or unexpected crisis. This policy does not apply where you need to take planned time off or provide longer-term care for a dependant. If this is the case, you should take advice from your line manager or the Human Resources Department.

Whether action is considered necessary will depend on the circumstances, including nature of the problem, the closeness of the relationship between you and the dependant, and whether anyone else is available to assist. Action is unlikely to be considered necessary if you knew of a problem in advance but did not try to make alternative care arrangements.

Reasonable time off in relation to a particular problem will not normally be more than one or two days. However, we will always consider each set of circumstances on their facts.

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE

Compassionate leave is designed to help you cope with the death of a close relative, deal with necessary arrangements and attend their funeral. It may also be granted where a close relative is seriously or critically ill.

You are entitled to take compassionate leave of up to [7] days in any 12-month period in respect of a spouse or partner, child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, or brother or sister-in-law.

We may exercise our discretion to grant a compassionate leave in respect of any other relative or close friend, depending on the circumstances of each case.

If you are still unable to return to work following an authorised period of compassionate leave you should contact your line manager or the Human Resources Department. It may be appropriate to take a period of annual leave, subject to your manager's approval, or we may at our discretion grant you further unpaid leave in those circumstances.

EXERCISING THE RIGHT TO TIME OFF

We recognise that it may not always be possible to request emergency leave in advance. However, where it is possible, you should make a request to your line manager or the Human Resources Department.

You will only be entitled to time off under this policy if, as soon as is reasonably practicable, you tell your line manager or the Human Resources Department:

The reason for your absence; and

How long you expect to be away from work.

If you fail to notify us as set out above, you may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under our Disciplinary Procedure for taking unauthorised time off.

We may in some cases ask you to provide evidence for your reasons for taking the time off, either in advance or on your return to work. Suspected abuse of this policy will be dealt with as a disciplinary issue under our Disciplinary Procedure.

ADVERSE WEATHER POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This policy applies where it becomes impossible or dangerous for employees to travel in to work because of:

Extreme adverse weather such as heavy snow;

Industrial action affecting transport networks; or

Major incidents affecting travel or public safety.

On these occasions we recognise that a flexible approach to working arrangements may be necessary to accommodate the difficulties employees face and to protect health and safety, while still keeping the business running as effectively as possible.

This policy applies to all employees. It does not apply to agency workers, consultants or self-employed contractors.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

TRAVELLING TO WORK

Employees should make a genuine effort to report for work at their normal time. This may include leaving extra time for the journey and/or taking an alternative route. Travel on foot or by bicycle should be considered where appropriate and safe.

Employees who are unable to attend work on time or at all should telephone their line manager before their normal start time on each affected day.

Employees who are unable to attend work should check the situation throughout the day in case it improves. Information may be available from local radio stations, the police, transport providers or the internet. If conditions improve sufficiently, employees should report this to their line manager and attend work unless told otherwise.

Employees who do not make reasonable efforts to attend work or who fail to contact their manager without good reason may be subject to disciplinary proceedings for misconduct. We will consider all the circumstances including the distance they have to travel, local conditions in their area, the status of roads and/or public transport, and the efforts made by other employees in similar circumstances.

ALTERNATIVE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

Employees may be required to work from home, where possible, or from an alternative place of work, if available. Line managers will advise them of any such requirement. Such employees will receive their normal pay.

Employees who are able to work May sometimes be expected to carry out additional or varied duties during such periods. However, employees should not be required to do anything they cannot do competently or safely.

LATE STARTS AND EARLY FINISHES

Employees who arrive at work late or who ask to leave early will usually be expected to make up any lost time. Managers have the discretion to waive this requirement in minor cases or (in the case of lateness) where they are satisfied the employee has made a genuine attempt to arrive on time.

Managers have the discretion to allow staff to leave early and should have regard to the needs of the business and the employee's personal circumstances.

Where half the normal working day or more is lost this will be treated as absence and dealt with as set out below.

ABSENCE AND PAY

Employees who are absent from work due to extreme weather or other travel disruptions are not entitled to be paid for the time lost.

[However, as a gesture of good will, we will treat up to three days of absence caused by disruption in any annual leave year as special paid leave. Employees will only be eligible where their line manager is satisfied that they have made a genuine effort and could not reasonably be expected to attend work or work at home.]

Absence [in all other cases] can be treated in a variety of ways. Employees should discuss their preference with their line manager, who retains overall discretion in the matter. A number of options are set out below:

Treating the absence as annual leave.

Treating the absence as flexitime or time off in lieu.]

Making up the lost hours within a reasonable time.

Treating the absence as special unpaid leave.

If, in exceptional circumstances, we decide to close the workplace, employees will be paid as if they had worked their normal hours.

SCHOOL CLOSURES AND OTHER CHILDCARE ISSUES

Adverse weather sometimes leads to school or nursery closures or the unavailability of a nanny or childminder.

In cases such as these where childcare arrangements have been disrupted, employees may have a statutory right to reasonable time off without pay.

TIME OFF FOR PUBLIC DUTIES POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

We wish to enable employees to perform any public duties that they may be committed to undertake and so will give them time off to do so where it does not conflict with the operational needs of our business. We are not legally obliged to grant paid leave for these purposes. The circumstances in which we are prepared to do so are set out below.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

JURY SERVICE

You should tell your line manager as soon as you are summoned for jury service and provide a copy of your summons if requested.

Depending on the demands of our business we may request that you apply to be excused from or defer your jury service.

We Are not required by law to pay you while you are absent on jury service. You will be advised at court of the expenses and loss of earnings that you can claim. [However, we will pay basic pay to employees on jury service less any amounts you can claim from the court for lost earnings for up to [7] working days. Time off beyond [7] working days may be paid at our discretion.]

VOLUNTARY PUBLIC DUTIES

Employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to carry out certain public duties, including duties as a tribunal member, magistrate, local councillor, member of an NHS Trust, prison visitor, police station lay visitor or school governor.

If you are unsure whether a public service that you perform is covered by this policy you should speak to the Human Resources Department.

As soon as you are aware that you will require time off for performance of a public service you should notify your line manager in writing, providing full details of the time off that is being requested and the reasons for your request. In order that arrangements can be made to cover your duties in your absence you should make your request in good time.

Each request for time off will be considered on its merits taking account of all the circumstances, including how much time is reasonably required for the activity, how much time you have already taken, and how your absence will affect the business.

We may grant you up to [7] days' paid leave in any 12-month period to perform public duties that are not paid. Any additional leave will be granted on an unpaid basis subject to the exercise of our discretion to grant further paid leave.]

RESERVE FORCES DUTIES

We are aware that employees who are members of the Reserve Forces (the Territorial Army, Royal Navy Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve or Royal Auxiliary Air Force) may be called-up at any time to be deployed on full-time operations, and are expected to attend regular training.

[We are under no obligation to offer leave (either paid or unpaid) for reservists to undertake training and you should use existing holiday entitlement to meet training commitments ORWe offer up to 10 days special unpaid leave per year (in addition to existing paid holiday entitlements) for reservists to undertake training. [In exceptional circumstances we may grant additional unpaid leave in order for these commitments to be met.]

If we receive notice that you have been called-up for active service we may apply to an adjudication officer for the notice to be deferred or revoked if your absence would cause serious harm to our business (which could not be prevented by the grant of financial assistance).

Once your military service has ended you may submit a written application for reinstatement to your employment. This should be made by the third Monday following the end of your military service and you should notify us of the date on which you will be available to restart work.

If it is not reasonable and practicable to reinstate you into your former employment we will offer you the most favourable alternative on the most favourable terms and conditions which are reasonable and practicable.

When calculating the length of your continuous employment with us, the period of absence on military service will not be counted. The period of employment before your mobilisation and the period after your reinstatement will be treated as continuous.

MATERNITY POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This policy outlines the statutory rights and responsibilities of employees who are pregnant or have recently given birth, and sets out the arrangements for antenatal care, pregnancy-related sickness, health and safety, and maternity leave. It does not apply to agency workers or the self-employed.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

Personnel Responsible For This Policy

Managers have a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

ENTITLEMENT TO MATERNITY LEAVE

All employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks' maternity leave which is divided into:

Ordinary maternity leave of 26 weeks ("OML").

Additional maternity leave of a further 26 weeks immediately following OML ("AML"). provided they comply with the notification requirements set out in paragraph 0 below.

NOTIFICATION OF PREGNANCY

You should inform us as soon as possible that you are pregnant. This is important as there may be health and safety considerations (see paragraph 0).

Before the end of the fifteenth week before the week that you expect to give birth ("Qualifying Week"), or as soon as reasonably practical afterwards, you must tell us:

That you are pregnant;

The week, starting on a Sunday, in which your doctor or midwife expects you to give birth  ("Expected Week of Childbirth"); and

The date on which you would like to start your maternity leave ("Intended Start Date").

You must provide a certificate from a doctor or midwife (usually on a MAT B1 form) confirming your Expected Week of Childbirth.

TIME OFF FOR ANTENATAL CARE

If you are pregnant you may take reasonable paid time off during working hours for antenatal care. You should try to give us as much notice as possible of the appointment.

We may ask you to provide the following, unless it is the first appointment:

A certificate from the doctor, midwife or health visitor stating that you are pregnant; and

An appointment card.

SICKNESS

Periods of pregnancy-related sickness absence shall be paid in accordance with your contract of employment and our Sickness Absence Policy in the same manner as any other sickness absence.

Periods of pregnancy-related sickness absence from the start of your pregnancy until the end of your maternity leave will be recorded separately from other sickness records and will be disregarded in any future employment-related decisions.

If you are absent for a pregnancy-related reason during the four weeks before your Expected Week of Childbirth, your maternity leave will usually start automatically (see paragraph 0).

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Once you have notified us of your pregnancy, we will carry out a risk assessment, and identify any preventive and protective measures that we consider we need to take. We will take such steps as necessary to avoid any risks identified affecting your health and safety as a new or expectant mother. This may involve:

Changing your working conditions or hours of work;

Offering you suitable alternative work on terms and conditions that are the same or not substantially less favourable; or

Suspending you from duties, which will be on full pay unless you have unreasonably refused suitable alternative work.

STARTING MATERNITY LEAVE

The earliest date you can start maternity leave is 11 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth (unless your child is born prematurely before that date).

You can postpone your Intended Start Date by informing us in writing at least 28 days before the original Intended Start Date, or if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable.

You can bring forward the Intended Start Date by informing us at least 28 days before the new start date, or if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable.

Your maternity leave will start on the earliest of:

Your Intended Start Date (if notified to us in accordance with this policy).

The day after any day on which you are absent for a pregnancy-related reason during the four weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth. If this happens you must let us know as soon as possible in writing. Maternity leave will be triggered unless we agree to delay it.

The day after you give birth. If you give birth before your maternity leave was due to start, you must let us know the date of the birth in writing as soon as possible.

Shortly before your maternity leave starts we will discuss with you the arrangements for covering your work and the opportunities for you to remain in contact, should you wish to do so, during your leave. Unless you request otherwise, you will remain on circulation lists for internal news, job vacancies, training and work-related social events.

The law prohibits you from working during the two weeks following childbirth.

MATERNITY PAY

Statutory maternity pay ("SMP") is payable for up to9 weeks. SMP will stop being payable if you return to work (except where you are simply keeping in touch). You are entitled to SMP if:

You have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks at the end of the Qualifying Week and are still employed by us during that week;

Your average weekly earnings during the eight weeks ending with the Qualifying Week (the "Relevant Period") are not less than the lower earnings limit set by the government;

You provide us with a doctor's or midwife's certificate (MAT B1 form) stating your Expected Week of Childbirth;

You give at least 28 days' notice (or, if that is not possible, as much notice as you can) of your intention to take maternity leave; and

You are still pregnant 11 weeks before the start of the Expected Week of Childbirth or have already given birth.

SMP is calculated as follows:

First six weeks: SMP is paid at the Earnings-Related Rateof 90% of your average weekly earnings calculated over the Relevant Period;

Remaining 33 weeks: SMP is paid at the Prescribed Ratewhich is set by the government for the relevant tax year, or the Earnings-Related Rate if this is lower.

SMP accrues from the day on which you commence your OML and thereafter at the end of each complete week of absence. SMP payments shall be made on the next normal payroll date and income tax, National Insurance and pension contributions shall be deducted as appropriate.

You will still be eligible for SMP if you leave employment for any reason after the start of the Qualifying Week (for example, if you resign or are made redundant). In such cases, if your maternity leave has not already begun, SMP shall start to accrue in whichever is the later of:

The week following the week in which employment ends; or

The eleventh week before the Expected Week of Childbirth.

If you become eligible for a pay rise before the end of your maternity leave, you will be treated for SMP purposes as if the pay rise had applied throughout the Relevant Period. This means that your SMP will be recalculated and increased retrospectively, or that you may qualify for SMP if you did not previously qualify. We shall pay you a lump sum to make up the difference between any SMP already paid and the amount payable by virtue of the pay rise. Any future SMP payments at the Earnings-Related Rate (if any) will also be increased as necessary.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS DURING OML AND AML

All the terms and conditions of your employment remain in force during OML and AML, except for the terms relating to pay. In particular:

Benefits in kind [such as life insurance, health insurance, gym membership and use of a company vehicle if applicable] shall continue;

Annual leave entitlement under your contract shall continue to accrue; and

Pension benefits shall continue (see paragraph 0).

ANNUAL LEAVE

During OML and AML, holiday entitlement will accrue at the rate provided under your contract.

Our holiday year runs from [1 January to 1 December]. In many cases a period of maternity leave will last beyond the end of the holiday year. Any holiday entitlement for the year that cannot reasonably be taken before starting your maternity leave can be carried over to the next holiday year [and must be taken immediately before returning to work unless your manager agrees otherwise]. You should try to limit carry over to one week's holiday or less. Carry over of more than one week is at your manager's discretion.

You should discuss your holiday plans with your manager in good time before starting your maternity leave. All holiday dates are subject to approval by your manager.

PENSIONS

During OML and any further period of paid maternity leave we shall continue to make any employer contributions that we usually make into a money-purchase pension scheme, based on what your earnings would have been if you had not been on maternity leave provided that you continue to make contributions based on the maternity pay you are receiving. If you wish to increase your contributions to make up any shortfall from those based on your normal salary then please contact the Human Resources Department.

[The period of OML [and any further period of paid maternity leave] counts towards our final-salary pension scheme as pensionable service, provided you make the necessary minimum contributions based on the maternity pay you are receiving.]

During unpaid AML we shall not make any payments into a money purchase scheme [and the time shall not count as pensionable service under the final salary scheme]. You do not have to make any contributions but you may do so if you wish, or you may make up for missed contributions at a later date.

REDUNDANCIES DURING MATERNITY LEAVE

In the event that your post is affected by a redundancy situation occurring during your maternity leave, we shall write to inform you of any proposals and shall invite you to a meeting before any final decision is reached as to your continued employment. Employees on maternity leave shall be given first refusal on any suitable alternative vacancies that are appropriate to their skills.

KEEPING IN TOUCH

We may make reasonable contact with you from time to time during your maternity leave.

You may work (including attending training) for up to ten days during maternity leave without bringing your maternity leave or SMP to an end ("Keeping in Touch Day"). This is not compulsory and must be discussed and agreed with the Human Resources Department.  In any case, you must not work in the two weeks following birth.

You will be paid at your normal basic rate of pay for time spent working on a Keeping in Touch Day and this will be inclusive of any maternity pay entitlement. [Alternatively, you may agree with [your line manager ORthe Human Resources Department] to receive the equivalent paid time off in lieu.]

EXPECTED RETURN DATE

Once you have notified us in writing of your Intended Start Date, we shall send you a letter within 28 days to inform you of your Expected Return Date. If your start date has been changed (either because you gave us notice to change it, or because maternity leave started early due to illness or premature childbirth) we shall write to you within 28 days of the start of maternity leave with a revised Expected Return Date.

Shortly before you are due to return to work, we may invite you to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements for your return. This may cover:

Updating you on any changes that have occurred during your absence;

Any training needs you might have; and

Any changes to working arrangements (for example if you have made a request to work part-time).

CHANGING YOUR RETURN DATE

If you wish to return to work earlier than the Expected Return Date, you must give us eight weeks' prior notice. It is helpful if you give this notice in writing. If not enough notice is given, we may postpone your return date until eight weeks after you gave notice, or to the Expected Return Date if sooner.

If you wish to return later than the Expected Return Date, you should either:

request unpaid parental leave in accordance with our Parental Leave Policy, giving us as much notice as possible but not less than 21 days; or

Request paid annual leave in accordance with your contract, which will be at our discretion.

If you are unable to return to work due to sickness or injury, this will be treated as sickness absence and our Sickness Absence Policy will apply.

DECIDING NOT TO RETURN

If you do not intend to return to work, or are unsure, it is helpful if you discuss this with us as early as possible. If you decide not to return you should give notice of resignation in accordance with your contract. The amount of maternity leave left to run when you give notice must be at least equal to your contractual notice period, otherwise we may require you to return to work for the remainder of the notice period.

Once you have given notice that you will not be returning to work, you cannot change your mind without our agreement.

This does not affect your right to receive SMP.

YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU RETURN

You are normally entitled to return to work in the same position as you held before commencing leave. Your terms of employment shall be the same as they would have been had you not been absent.

However, if you have taken any period of AML or more than four weeks' parental leave, and it is not reasonably practicable for us to allow you to return into the same position, we may give you another suitable and appropriate job on terms and conditions that are not less favourable.

FLEXIBLE WORKING

We will deal with any requests by employees to change their working patterns (such as working part-time) after maternity leave on a case-by-case basis. There is no absolute right to insist on working part-time, but you do have a statutory right to request flexible working and we will try to accommodate your wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of our business. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible. The procedure for dealing with such requests is set out in our Flexible Work.

PATERNITY POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This policy outlines employees' entitlement to ordinary and additional paternity leave and sets out the arrangements for taking it. You will not be discriminated against or subjected to a detriment for taking leave in accordance with this policy. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

FREQUENTLY USED TERMS

The definitions in this paragraph apply in this policy.

"Partner" means spouse, civil partner or someone (of either sex) with whom you live in an enduring family relationship, but who is not your parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt or uncle.

"Expected Week of Childbirth" means the week, beginning on a Sunday, in which their doctor or midwife expects your spouse, civil partner or Partner to give birth.

"Expected Placement Date" means the date on which an adoption agency expects that it will place a child into your care with a view to adoption.

Personnel Responsible For This Policy

Managers have a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

ENTITLEMENT TO PATERNITY LEAVE

Paternity leave is available when a child is born or placed with you for adoption. However, in adoption cases paternity leave is not available to an employee who decides to take adoption leave.

You are entitled to ordinary paternity leave ("OPL") if you meet all the following conditions:

You have been continuously employed by us for at least 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth or the week in which you or your Partner are notified by an adoption agency that you/they have been matched with a child.

You:

Are the biological father of the child; or

Are the Partner of the child's mother or of someone who has been matched with a child by an adoption agency.

You:

Expect to have main responsibility (with the child's mother, co-adopter or adopter) for the child's upbringing; or

Are the child's biological father and you expect to have some responsibility for the child's upbringing.

The leave is for the purpose of caring for the child, or supporting the child's mother or co-adopter in caring for the child.

You are entitled to additional paternity leave ("APL") if, in addition to the conditions above:

You remain employed by us until the week before the first week of your APL;

The child's mother or co-adopter, as the case may be, has been entitled to maternity or adoption leave, statutory maternity or adoption pay or maternity allowance in respect of her pregnancy or adoption; and

The child's mother or co-adopter, as the case may be, has returned to work.

TIMING AND LENGTH OF PATERNITY LEAVE

OPL must be taken as a period of either one week or two consecutive weeks.It cannot be taken in instalments.

OPL can be taken from the date of the child's birth or adoption placement, but must end within 56 days of the child's placement or birth or the first day of the Expected Week of Childbirth (if born earlier than this).

APL must be taken as multiples of complete weeks and as one period. The minimum amount of APL that can be taken is two weeks and the maximum is 26 weeks and it must be taken in the period beginning 20 weeks after the child's date of birth, or adoption placement, and ending 12 months after that date of birth or adoption.

NOTIFICATION IF YOU WANT TO TAKE OPL

To take OPL you must give us written notice by the end of the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth or no more than seven days after you and/or your Partner were notified of having been matched with the child, or as soon as you reasonably can, stating:

The Expected Week of Childbirth or the Expected Placement Date;

The date you would like your leave to start (which may be a specified date after the start of the Expected Week of Childbirth or the Expected Placement Date, the actual date of birth or a specified number of days after birth); and

Whether you intend to take one week or two weeks' leave.

We may require a signed declaration from you that you are taking OPL to care for the child or to support the child's mother or co-adopter in caring for the child.

NOTIFICATION IF YOU WANT TO TAKE APL

To take APL you must provide us with the following at least eight weeks before the date you would like your leave to start:

A written "leave notice" stating:

The Expected Week of Childbirth or the date on which you were notified that you had been matched with the child;

The child's date of birth or the date on which the child was placed with you; and

The dates on which you would like your APL to start and finish.

A signed "employee declaration" confirming that:

You are eitherthe child's father orthe Partner of the child's mother or that you have been matched for adoption with the child;

Apart from the child's mother, you have or expect to have the main responsibility for the upbringing of the child or you are the Partner of the child's co-adopter; and

You wish to take APL in order to care for the child.

A written "mother declaration" from the child's mother or "adopter declaration" from the child's adopter stating:

Their name, address and National Insurance number;

The date they intend to return to work;

Their relationship with the child or that you are their Partner;

That, to her knowledge, you are the only person exercising an entitlement to APL in respect of the child; and

That they consent to us processing the information they have provided.

We will write to you to confirm the start and finish dates of your APL within 28 days of receiving your leave notice, your employee declaration and the child's mother's or adopter's declaration.

In birth cases, we may require you to provide a copy of the child's birth certificate and the name and address of the mother's employer or, if she is self-employed, her business address.

In adoption cases, we may require you to provide the name and address of the co-adopter's employer or, if they are self-employed, their business address. We may also require documentary evidence such as a matching certificate issued by the adoption agency confirming the agency's name and address, the date you were notified of the match, and the expected placement date.

CHANGING LEAVE DATES OR CANCELLING LEAVE

You may vary the start date of your OPL if you give notice as follows:

If you wish to start your leave on the day of the child's birth or on the day that the child is placed with you or the adopter, at least 28 days before the first day of the Expected Week of Childbirth or the Expected Placement Date.

If you wish to start your leave on a specified number of days after the child's birth or placement, at least 28 days (minus the specified number of days) before the first day of the Expected Week of Childbirth or the Expected Placement Date.

If you wish to start your leave on a specific date which is different to the original start date you informed us of, at least 28 days before that date.

If you are unable to give us 28 days' written notice as set out above, you should do so as soon as you can.

If you wish to cancel or vary the start and/or finish dates of your APL you must give us written notice at least six weeks before the original start date or (if you wish to start it earlier) the new start date.

If you are unable to give six weeks' notice you should give us written notice as soon as possible. However, if we are unable to accommodate the change on such short notice we may still require you to start APL as previously notified and/or finish APL six weeks after you gave us the written notice (or on the end date previously notified, if this is earlier). If you wish to discuss varying or cancelling your APL in these circumstances you should speak to your line manager or the Human Resources Department.

PATERNITY PAY

In this paragraph, "Relevant Period" means the eight-week period ending with the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth or with the week in which you or your Partner were notified of being matched with the child.

If you take OPL in accordance with this policy, you will be entitled to ordinary statutory paternity pay ("OSPP") if, during the Relevant Period, your average weekly earnings are not less than the lower earnings limit set by the government.

If you take APL in accordance with this policy, you may be entitled to additional statutory paternity pay ("ASPP"). Whether and, if so, for how long you may be entitled to ASPP will depend on:

Your average weekly earnings being not less than the lower earnings limit set by the government during the Relevant Period; and

The child's mother or co-adopter, as the case may be, having returned to work with at least two weeks of their maternity allowance, maternity pay or adoption pay period remaining. Your entitlement to ASPP will equate to the number of weeks of unexpired maternity allowance, maternity pay or adoption pay that remained when the child's mother or co-adopter returned to work.

OSPP and ASPP are paid at a prescribed rate which is set by the government for the relevant tax year, or at 90% of your average weekly earnings calculated over the Relevant Period if this is lower. For details of the current prescribed rate, please contact the Human Resources Department.

[You will qualify for company paternity pay if you have been continuously employed during the [12] month period ending with the Qualifying Week [and have not been on additional paternity leave, maternity leave or adoption leave from our employment during the [12] month period ending with the Qualifying Week]. This is paid at the rate of your normal basic salary during OPL [and for the first [NUMBER] months of any APL,] and includes any OSPP [or ASPP] that may be due for that period.]

[Payment of company paternity pay is conditional upon you confirming in writing, before starting OPL, that you intend to return to work for at least [six] months after OPL (and APL, if applicable). If you later decide not to return to work for this minimum period, you must repay any company paternity pay (but not OSPP or ASPP).]

TERMS AND CONDITIONS DURING PATERNITY LEAVE

All the terms and conditions of your employment remain in force during OPL and APL, except for the terms relating to pay. In particular:

Benefits in kind such as life insurance, health insurance, gym membership and use of a company vehicle if applicable shall continue;

Annual leave entitlement under your contract shall continue to accrue; and

Pension benefits shall continue (see paragraph 0).

ANNUAL LEAVE

During OPL and APL, annual leave will accrue at the rate provided under your contract.

Our holiday year runs from [1 January to1 December]. If you are taking a period of OPL or APL which will continue into the next holiday year, any holiday entitlement for the year that cannot reasonably be taken before starting your adoption leave can be carried over to the next holiday year [and must be taken immediately before returning to work unless your manager agrees otherwise]. You should try to limit carry over to one week's holiday or less. Carry over of more than one week is at your manager's discretion.

You should discuss your holiday plans with your manager in good time before starting your paternity leave. All holiday dates are subject to approval by your manager.

PENSIONS

[During OPL and any further paid period of APL we shall continue to make any employer contributions that we usually make into a money-purchase pension scheme, based on what your earnings would have been if you had not been on paternity leave [provided that you continue to make contributions based on the paternity pay you are receiving]. If you wish to increase your contributions to make up any shortfall you should contact the Human Resources Department.

[During any unpaid APL we shall not make any payments into a money purchase scheme. You do not have to make any contributions but you may do so if you wish. You may also have the option to make up for missed contributions at a later date.]

[[The period of OPL and any further period of paid additional paternity leave counts towards our final-salary pension scheme as pensionable service, provided you make the necessary minimum employee contributions based on the paternity pay you are receiving. Any unpaid period of APL shall not be counted as pensionable service under our final salary scheme.]]

REDUNDANCIES DURING APL

In the event that your post is affected by a redundancy situation occurring during paternity leave, we shall write to inform you of any proposals and shall invite you to a meeting before any final decision is reached as to your continued employment. Employees on APL will be among those given priority with regard to suitable alternative vacancies that are appropriate to their skills.

KEEPING IN TOUCH DURING APL

We may make reasonable contact with you from time to time during your APL.

You may work (including attending training) for up to ten days during APL without bringing your paternity leave or your ASPP to an end. The arrangements, including pay, would be set by agreement with your line manager or the Human Resources Department. You are not obliged to undertake any such work during paternity leave.

Shortly before you are due to return to work, we may invite you to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements on your return. This may cover:

Updating you on any changes that have occurred during your absence;

Any training needs you might have; and

Any changes to working arrangements (for example, that you may have requested come into effect on your return).

RETURNING TO WORK

If you wish to return early from APL, you must give us at least six weeks' prior notice. If you fail to do this we may postpone your return date until six weeks' after you gave notice or your original return date if sooner.

If you wish to postpone your return from APL, you should either:

Request unpaid parental leave in accordance with our Parental Leave Policy, giving us as much notice as possible but not less than 21 days; or

Request paid annual leave in accordance with your contract, which will be at our discretion.

Shortly before you are due to return to work, we may invite you to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements on your return. This may cover:

Updating you on any changes that have occurred during your absence;

Any training needs you might have; and

Any changes to working arrangements. You cannot insist on working part-time, but you do have a statutory right to request flexible working and we will try to accommodate your wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of our business. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible. The procedure for dealing with such requests is set out in our Flexible Working Policy.

You are normally entitled to return to work following either OPL or APL to the same position you held before commencing leave. Your terms of employment will be the same as they would have been had you not been absent.

However, if you have combined your OPL or APL with a period of:

Additional maternity leave;

Additional adoption leave; or

Parental leave of more than four weeks,

And it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to the same job, we will offer you a suitable and appropriate alternative position.

If you are unable to return to work from APL as expected due to sickness or injury, this will be treated as sickness absence and our Sickness Absence Policy will apply.

In any other case, a late return will be treated as unauthorised absence.

If you decide not to return you should give notice of resignation in accordance with your contract.

FLEXIBLE WORKING

We will deal with any requests by employees to change their working patterns (such as working part time) after paternity leave on a case-by-case basis. We will try to accommodate your wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of our business. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible. The procedure for making and dealing with such requests is set out in our Flexible Working Policy.

ADOPTION POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This policy sets out the arrangements for adoption leave and pay for employees who are adopting a child through a UK adoption agency. If you are adopting through an overseas adoption agency see paragraph 0 below.

This policy only applies to all employees. It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors. It does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

Personnel Responsible For This Policy

Managers have a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

ENTITLEMENT TO ADOPTION LEAVE

You are entitled to adoption leave if you meet all the following conditions:

You are adopting a child through a UK or overseas adoption agency.

The adoption agency has given you written notice that it has matched you with a child for adoption and tells you the date the child is expected to be placed into your care with a view to adoption ("Expected Placement Date").

You have notified the agency that you agree to the child being placed with you on the Expected Placement Date.

You have been continuously employed by us for at least 26 weeks ending with the week in which the agency notifies you in writing of the match ("Qualifying Week").

Your spouse or partner will not be taking adoption leave with their employer (although they may be entitled to take paternity leave).

The maximum adoption leave entitlement is 52 weeks, consisting of 26 weeks' Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) and 26 weeks' Additional Adoption Leave (AAL).

NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Not more than seven days after the agency notifies you in writing that it has matched you with a child (or where that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as reasonably practicable), you must give us notice in writing of the Expected Placement Date, and your intended start date for adoption leave ("Intended Start Date").

We will then write to you within 28 days to inform you of your expected return date assuming you take your full entitlement to adoption leave.

Once you receive the matching certificate issued by the adoption agency, you must provide us with a copy.

OVERSEAS ADOPTIONS

If you are adopting a child from overseas, the following will apply, in addition to the rest of this policy:

You must have received notification that the adoption has been approved by the relevant UK authority ("Official Notification").

You must give us notice in writing of:

Your intention to take adoption leave;

The date you received Official Notification; and

The date the child is expected to arrive in Great Britain.

This notice should be given as early as possible but in any case within 28 days of receiving Official Notification (or, if you have less than 26 weeks' employment with us at the date of Official Notification, within0 weeks of starting employment).

You must also give us at least 28 days' notice in writing of your Intended Start Date. This can be the date the child arrives in Great Britain or a predetermined date no more than 28 days after the child's arrival in Great Britain.

You must also notify us of the date the child arrives in Great Britain within 28 days of that date.

We may also ask for a copy of the Official Notification and evidence of the date the child arrived in Great Britain.

STARTING ADOPTION LEAVE

OAL may start on a predetermined date no more than 14 days before the Expected Placement Date, or on the date of placement itself, but no later.

If you want to change your Intended Start Date please tell us in writing. You should give us as much notice as you can, but wherever possible you must tell us at least 28 days before the original Intended Start Date (or the new start date if you are bringing the date forward). We will then write to you within 28 days to tell you your new expected return date.

Shortly before your adoption leave starts we will discuss with you the arrangements for covering your work and the opportunities for you to remain in contact, should you wish to do so, during your leave. Unless you request otherwise, you will remain on circulation lists for internal news, job vacancies, training and work-related social events.

ADOPTION PAY

Statutory adoption pay ("SAP") is payable for up to9 weeks. It stops being payable if you return to work sooner or if the placement is disrupted. You are entitled to SAP if:

You have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks at the end of your Qualifying Week and are still employed by us during that week;

your average weekly earnings during the eight weeks ending with the Qualifying Week ("Relevant Period") are not less than the lower earnings limit set by the government; and

You have given us the relevant notifications.

SAP is paid at a prescribed rate which is set by the government for the relevant tax year, or at 90% of your average weekly earnings calculated over the Relevant Period if this is lower.

SAP accrues with each complete week of absence but payments shall be made on the next normal payroll date. Income tax, National Insurance and pension contributions shall be deducted as appropriate.

If you leave employment for any reason (for example, if you resign or are made redundant) you shall still be eligible for SAP if you have already been notified by an agency that you have been matched with a child. In such cases, SAP shall start:

14 days before the Expected Placement Date; or

The day after your employment ends,

Whichever is the later.

If you become eligible for a pay rise before the end of your adoption leave, you will be treated for SAP purposes as if the pay rise had applied throughout the Relevant Period. This means that your SAP will be recalculated and increased retrospectively, or that you may qualify for SAP if you did not previously qualify. We shall pay you a lump sum to make up the difference between any SAP already paid and the amount payable by virtue of the pay rise. Any future SAP payments at the Earnings-Related Rate (if any) will also be increased as necessary.

[Payment of company adoption pay is conditional upon you confirming in writing, prior to starting adoption leave, that you intend to return to work for at least [NUMBER] months after adoption leave. If you do not return to work for this minimum period any company adoption pay (but not SAP) must be repaid.]

TERMS AND CONDITIONS DURING ADOPTION LEAVE

All the terms and conditions of your employment remain in force during OAL and AAL, except for the terms relating to pay.

In particular:

Benefits in kind such as life insurance, health insurance, gym membership and use of a company vehicle if applicable shall continue;

Annual leave entitlement under your contract shall continue to accrue;

and Pension benefits shall continue.

ANNUAL LEAVE

Annual leave will accrue at the rate provided under your contract. Our holiday year runs from [1 January to1 December]. Any holiday entitlement for the year that cannot reasonably be taken before starting your adoption leave can be carried over to the next holiday year [and must be taken immediately before returning to work unless your manager agrees otherwise]. You should try to limit carry over to one week's holiday or less. Carry over of more than one week is at your manager's discretion.

You should discuss your holiday plans with your manager in good time before starting your adoption leave. All holiday dates are subject to approval by your manager.

PENSIONS

During OAL and any further period of paid adoption leave we shall continue to make any employer contributions that we usually make into a money-purchase pension scheme, based on what your earnings would have been if you had not been on adoption leave [provided that you continue to make contributions based on the adoption pay you are receiving]. If you wish to increase your contributions to make up any shortfall from those based on your normal salary then please contact the Human Resources Department.

[The period of OAL [and any further period of paid adoption leave] counts towards our final-salary pension scheme as pensionable service, provided you make the necessary minimum contributions based on the adoption pay you are receiving.]

During unpaid AAL we shall [not] make any payments into a money purchase scheme [and the time shall not count as pensionable service under the final salary scheme]. You do not have to make any contributions but you may do so if you wish, or you may make up for missed contributions at a later date.

REDUNDANCIES DURING ADOPTION LEAVE

In the event that your post is affected by a redundancy situation occurring during your adoption leave, we shall write to inform you of any proposals and shall invite you to a meeting before any final decision is reached as to your continued employment. Employees on maternity and adoption leave shall be given first refusal on any suitable alternative vacancies that are appropriate to their skills.

DISRUPTED ADOPTION

Adoption leave is disrupted if it has started but:

You are notified that the placement will not take place;

The child is returned to the adoption agency after placement; or

The child dies after placement.

In case of disruption your entitlement to adoption leave and pay (if applicable) will continue for a further eight weeks from the end of the week in which disruption occurred, unless your entitlement to leave or pay would have ended earlier in the normal course of events.

KEEPING IN TOUCH

We may make reasonable contact with you from time to time during your adoption leave.

You may work (including attending training) on up to ten days ("Keeping in Touch Days") during adoption leave without bringing your adoption leave to an end. This is not compulsory and must be discussed and agreed with the Human Resources Department.

You will be paid at your normal basic rate of pay for time spent working on a Keeping in Touch Day and this will be inclusive of any adoption pay entitlement ORYou may agree with [your line manager or the Human Resources Department] to receive time off in lieu instead of being paid your normal basic rate of pay for time spent working on a Keeping in Touch Day.

Shortly before you are due to return to work, we may invite you to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements for your return. This may cover:

Updating you on any changes that have occurred during your absence;

Any training needs you might have; and

Any changes to working arrangements (for example, if you have made a request to work part time).

RETURNING TO WORK

We will expect you back at work on your expected return date unless you tell us otherwise. It will help us if, during your adoption leave, you are able to confirm that you will be returning to work as expected.

If you wish to return to work earlier than the expected return date, you must give us at least eight weeks' notice. It is helpful if you give this notice in writing. If you do not give enough notice, we may postpone your return date until eight weeks after you gave notice, or to the expected return date if sooner.

If you wish to return later than the expected return date, you should either:

request unpaid parental leave in accordance with our Parental Leave Policy, giving us as much notice as possible but not less than 21 days; or

Request paid annual leave in accordance with your contract, which will be at our discretion.

If you are unable to return to work due to sickness or injury, this will be treated as sickness absence and our usual sickness policy will apply.

In any other case, late return will be treated as unauthorised absence.

You are normally entitled to return to work in the same position, and with the same terms of employment, as you held before commencing leave. However, if you have taken any period of AAL or more than four weeks' parental leave, and it is not reasonably practicable for us to allow you to return to the same position, we may give you another suitable and appropriate job on terms and conditions that are not less favourable.

DECIDING NOT TO RETURN

If you do not intend to return to work, or are unsure, it is helpful if you discuss this with us as early as possible. If you decide not to return you should give notice of resignation in accordance with your contract. The amount of adoption leave left to run when you give notice must be at least equal to your contractual notice period, otherwise we may require you to return to work for the remainder of the notice period.

Once you have given notice that you will not be returning to work, you cannot change your mind without our agreement.

This does not affect your right to receive SAP.

FLEXIBLE WORKING

We will deal with any requests by employees to change their working patterns (such as working part time) after adoption leave on a case-by-case basis. There is no absolute right to insist on working part time, but you do have a statutory right to request flexible working and we will try to accommodate your wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of our business. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible. The procedure for making and dealing with such requests is set out in our Flexible Working Policy.

PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

The law recognises and we respect that there will be occasions when working parents wish to take time off work to care for or spend time with their child or children.

This policy reflects the statutory right of employees with at least one year's continuous service to take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave in respect of each child.

This policy applies to employees. It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors.

You will not be subjected to a detriment for taking or seeking to take parental leave in accordance with this policy.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

Personnel Responsible For This Policy

Managers have a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

ENTITLEMENT TO PARENTAL LEAVE

Employees who meet the criteria set out below are entitled to take up to 18 weeks' parental leave in relation to each child for whom they are responsible.

To take a period of parental leave in relation to a child, you must:

Have at least one year's continuous employment Have or expect to have responsibility for the child; and

Be taking the leave to spend time with or otherwise care for the child.

You have responsibility for a child if you:

Are the child's biological mother or father (whether or not you are living with the child);

Are the child's adoptive parent; or

Otherwise have legal parental responsibility for the child, for example, if you are the child's guardian, or a step-parent who has a parental responsibility agreement or parental responsibility order.

If you are responsible for bringing up a child who lives with you but do not have legal parental responsibility, we may at our discretion give you parental leave under this policy.

Any parental leave taken while working for another employer counts towards the 18-week entitlement. If you have taken parental leave during previous or concurrent employment, you should provide details to the Human Resources Department.

TAKING PARENTAL LEAVE

You can only take parental leave:

Before the child's fifth birthday;

In the case of an adopted child, before the fifth anniversary of the date of placement for adoption or,

if sooner, the child's 18th birthday; or In the case of a disabled child, before the child's 18th birthday.

You may not take more than four weeks' parental leave each year in relation to each child. A year for this purpose begins on the date when you became entitled to take parental leave in relation to the child in question.

Parental leave must be taken in blocks of a whole week or a whole number of weeks, unless the leave is to be taken in respect of a disabled child.

For the purposes of this policy, a disabled child means a child who is entitled to a disability living allowance, armed forces independence allowance or personal independence allowance.

NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

You must give the Human Resources Department notice of your intention to take parental leave. It would be helpful if you can give this notice in writing. The notice requirements are as follows:

If you wish to take parental leave commencing immediately on the birth of a child, you must give notice of this intention at least 21 days before the start of the expected week of childbirth ("EWC"). The notice must specify the EWC and the duration of the period of leave required.

If you wish to take parental leave commencing immediately on the adoption of a child, you should give notice of this intention at least 21 days before the start of the expected week of placement ("EWP"). If this is not possible, you must give as much notice as you can. The notice must specify the EWP and the duration of the period of leave required.

In all other circumstances, you must give notice of your intention to take parental leave at least 21 days before you intend the leave to start. The notice must specify the dates on which the period of leave is to begin and end.

If you wish to take a period of parental leave immediately after a period of ordinary paternity leave, it would be helpful if you could give the Human Resources Department notice of that intention at least 21 days before the start of the EWC (or EWP, if applicable). If this is not possible, you should give as much notice as you can. If you do not give notice at least seven days before your period of ordinary paternity leave starts, we might not allow you to take the period of parental leave requested. However, we shall consider each case on its merits.

EVIDENCE OF ENTITLEMENT

Before you take a period of parental leave under this policy, we may ask to see evidence of:

your responsibility or expected responsibility for the child, such as a birth certificate, adoption or matching certificate, parental responsibility agreement or court order;

The child's date of birth or date of adoption placement; and

If applicable, the child's entitlement to a disability living allowance, armed forces independence allowance or personal independence allowance.

For details of what evidence is required in your particular circumstances, or if you have difficulties obtaining the evidence, please contact the Human Resources Department.

OUR RIGHT TO POSTPONE PARENTAL LEAVE

Although we will always try to accommodate your request for parental leave, we might postpone a requested period of parental leave for up to six months where the requested leave would unduly disrupt our business, for example, where:

You wish to take parental leave during a peak period;

A number of employees wish to take leave at the same time;

Your work at that time is of importance to a time-critical project; or

Cover for your work cannot be found before the date on which your parental leave is due to start.

If we need to postpone your request for parental leave, we will consult with you about alternative dates. We will notify you in writing of the reason for postponement and the new start and end dates for your parental leave, no more than seven days after receipt of your request for leave.

We will not postpone parental leave if you have requested it to start immediately on the birth or adoption of a child.

You will not lose your parental leave entitlement if, because of our postponement of such leave, the leave remains untaken on your child's fifth birthday (or on the fifth anniversary of the child's adoption placement, if applicable).

We will not postpone parental leave if, in the case of an adopted or disabled child, the postponement would result in the leave being taken after the child's 18th birthday.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS DURING PARENTAL LEAVE

Parental leave under this policy is unpaid. Your contractual provisions relating to pay and benefits are suspended during parental leave.

However, during parental leave you are entitled to benefit from any terms and conditions in relation to being given notice, redundancy compensation and disciplinary and grievance procedures. Holiday entitlement will continue to accrue.

During parental leave you will remain bound by your obligation of good faith towards us, any contractual terms relating to the giving of notice, and any contractual restrictions on the disclosure of confidential information, the acceptance of gifts and benefits, or participation in another business (for example, by working for a third party).

PENSIONS

If you are a member of a defined benefit (final salary) pension scheme, a period of parental leave under this policy will count towards your pensionable service.

If you are a member of a defined contribution (money purchase) pension scheme, we shall not make contributions during a period of unpaid parental leave.

RETURNING TO WORK

You are normally entitled to return to work following parental leave to the same position you held before commencing leave. Your terms of employment will be the same as they would have been had you not been absent.

However, where your period of parental leave has been longer than four weeks, or has been combined with a period of additional maternity, paternity or adoption leave, it might not be possible in some cases for you to return to the same job. In such circumstances, we will offer you a suitable and appropriate alternative position on no less favourable terms.

We will deal with any requests by employees to change their working patterns (such as working part-time) after parental leave on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with our Flexible Working Policy. We will try to accommodate your wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of our business. It is helpful if flexible working requests are made as early as possible.

ABUSE OF THIS POLICY

Where an employee takes a period of parental leave under this policy for purposes other than spending time with or otherwise caring for their child, this will be dealt with as a disciplinary issue under our Disciplinary Procedure.

FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This flexible working policy gives eligible employees an opportunity to request a change to their working pattern.

We will deal with flexible working requests in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable time. In any event the time between making a request and notifying you of a final decision (including the outcome of any appeal) will be less than three months unless we have agreed a longer period with you.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible to make a flexible working request, you must:

Be an employee;

Have worked for us continuously for at least 26 weeks at the date your request is made; and

Not have made a flexible working request during the last 12 months (even if you withdrew that request).

WHAT IS A FLEXIBLE WORKING REQUEST?

A flexible working request under this policy means a request to do any or all of the following:

To reduce or vary you’re working hours;

To reduce or vary the days you work;

To work from a different location (for example, from home).

MAKING A FLEXIBLE WORKING REQUEST

Your flexible working request should be submitted to us in writing and dated. It should:

State that it is a flexible working request;

Explain the change being requested and propose a start date;

Identify the impact the change would have on the business and how that might be dealt with; and

State whether you have made any previous flexible working requests.

MEETING

We will arrange a meeting at a convenient time and place to discuss your request. You may be accompanied at the meeting by a colleague of your choice. They will be entitled to speak and confer privately with you, but may not answer questions on your behalf.

We may decide to grant your request in full without a meeting, in which case we will write to you with our decision.

DECISION

We will inform you in writing of our decision as soon as possible after the meeting.

If your request is accepted, we will write to you with details of the new working arrangements and the date on which they will commence. You will be asked to sign and return a copy of the letter.

If we cannot immediately accept your request we may require you to undertake a trial period before reaching a final decision on your request.

Unless otherwise agreed, changes to your terms of employment will be permanent.

We may reject your request for one or more of the following business reasons:

The burden of additional costs;

Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;

Inability to reorganise work among existing staff;

Inability to recruit additional staff;

Detrimental impact on quality;

Detrimental impact on performance;

Insufficiency of work during the periods that you propose to work; or

Planned changes.

If we are unable to agree to your request, we will write to tell you which of those reasons applies in your case. We will also set out the appeal procedure.

APPEAL

You may appeal in writing within 14 days of receiving our written decision. This includes a decision following a trial period.

Your appeal must be dated and must set out the grounds on which you are appealing.

We will hold a meeting with you to discuss your appeal. You may bring a colleague to the meeting.

We will tell you in writing of our final decision as soon as possible after the appeal meeting, including reasons. There is no further right of appeal.

IT POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

Our IT and communications systems are intended to promote effective communication and working practices within our organisation. This policy outlines the standards you must observe when using these systems, the circumstances in which we will monitor your use, and the action we will take in respect of breaches of these standards.

This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers, agency workers and anyone who has access to our IT and communication systems.

Misuse of IT and communications systems can damage the business and our reputation. Breach of this policy may be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure and, in serious cases, may be treated as gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POLICY

Managers have a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

EQUIPMENT SECURITY AND PASSWORDS

You are responsible for the security of the equipment allocated to or used by you, and must not allow it to be used by anyone other than in accordance with this policy.

You are responsible for the security of any computer terminal used by you. You should lock your terminal or log off when leaving it unattended or on leaving the office, to prevent unauthorised users accessing the system in your absence. Anyone who is not authorised to access our network should only be allowed to use terminals under supervision.

Desktop PCs and cabling for telephones or computer equipment should not be moved or tampered with without first consulting the IT Department.

You should use passwords on all IT equipment, particularly items that you take out of the office. You must keep your passwords confidential and change them regularly. You must not use another person's username and password or make available or allow anyone else to log on using your username and password unless authorised by your line manager. On the termination of employment (for any reason) you must provide details of your passwords to your line manager and return any equipment, key fobs or cards.

If you have been issued with a laptop, PDA or BlackBerry, you must ensure that it is kept secure at all times, especially when travelling. Passwords must be used to secure access to data kept on such equipment to ensure that confidential data is protected in the event of loss or theft. You should also be aware that when using equipment away from the workplace, documents may be read by third parties, for example, passengers on public transport.

SYSTEMS AND DATA SECURITY

You should not delete, destroy or modify existing systems, programs, information or data (except as authorised in the proper performance of your duties).

You must not download or install software from external sources without authorisation. This includes software programs, instant messaging programs, screensavers, photos, video clips and music files. Incoming files and data should always be virus-checked before they are downloaded.

You must not attach any device or equipment to our systems without authorisation from your line manager. This includes any USB flash drive, MP3 or similar device, PDA or telephone, whether connected via the USB port, infra-red connection port or in any other way.

We monitor all e-mails passing through our system for viruses. You should exercise particular caution when opening unsolicited e-mails from unknown sources or an e-mail which appears suspicious (for example, if it contains a file whose name ends in .exe). Inform your line manager immediately if you suspect your computer may have a virus. We reserve the right to delete or block access to e-mails or attachments in the interests of security. We also reserve the right not to transmit any e-mail message.

You should not attempt to gain access to restricted areas of the network, or to any password-protected information, except as authorised in the proper performance of your duties.

If you use laptops or wi-fi enabled equipment, you must be particularly vigilant about its use outside the office and take such precautions as we may require from time to time against importing viruses or compromising system security. The system contains information which is confidential to our business and/or which is subject to data protection legislation. Such information must be treated with extreme care and in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

E-MAIL

Although e-mail is a vital business tool, you should always consider if it is the appropriate method for a particular communication. Correspondence with third parties by e-mail should be written as professionally as a letter. Messages should be concise and directed only to relevant individuals. Our standard disclaimer should always be included.

You must not send abusive, obscene, discriminatory, racist, harassing, derogatory, defamatory, or otherwise inappropriate e-mails. Anyone who feels that they have been harassed or bullied, or are offended by material received from a colleague via e-mail should inform their line manager or the Human Resources Department.

You should take care with the content of e-mail messages, as incorrect or improper statements can give rise to claims for discrimination, harassment, defamation, breach of confidentiality or breach of contract. Staff should assume that e-mail messages may be read by others and not include anything which would offend or embarrass any reader, or themselves, if it found its way into the public domain.

E-mail messages may be disclosed in legal proceedings in the same way as paper documents. Deletion from a user's inbox or archives does not mean that an e-mail cannot be recovered for the purposes of disclosure. All e-mail messages should be treated as potentially retrievable, either from the main server or using specialist software.

In general, you should not:

Send or forward private e-mails at work which you would not want a third party to read;

Send or forward chain mail, junk mail, cartoons, jokes or gossip;

Contribute to system congestion by sending trivial messages or unnecessarily copying or forwarding e-mails to those who do not have a real need to receive them; Sell or advertise using our communication systems or broadcast messages about lost property, sponsorship or charitable appeals;

Agree to terms, enter into contractual commitments or make representations by e-mail unless appropriate authority has been obtained. A name typed at the end of an e-mail is a signature in the same way as a name written at the end of a letter;

Download or e-mail text, music and other content on the internet subject to copyright protection, unless it is clear that the owner of such works allows this;

Send messages from another person's e-mail address (unless authorised) or under an assumed name; or

Send confidential messages via e-mail or the internet, or by other means of external communication which are known not to be secure.

You should return any wrongly-delivered e-mail received to the sender.

Do not use your own personal e-mail account to send or receive e-mail for the purposes of our business. Only use the e-mail account we have provided for you.

USING THE INTERNET

When a website is visited, devices such as cookies, tags or web beacons may be employed to enable the site owner to identify and monitor visitors. If the website is of a kind described in paragraph 0, such a marker could be a source of embarrassment to the visitor and us, especially if inappropriate material has been accessed, downloaded, stored or forwarded from the website. Such actions may also, in certain circumstances, amount to a criminal offence if, for example, the material is pornographic in nature.

You should not access any web page or download any image, document or other file from the internet which could be regarded as illegal, offensive, in bad taste or immoral. Even web content legal in the UK may be in sufficient bad taste to fall within this prohibition. As a general rule, if any person (whether intended to view the page or not) might be offended by the contents of a page, or if the fact that our software has accessed the page or file might be a source of embarrassment if made public, then viewing it will be a breach of this policy.

You should not under any circumstances use our systems to participate in any internet chat room, post messages on any internet message board or set up or log text or information on a blog or wiki, even in your own time.

PERSONAL USE OF OUR SYSTEMS

We permit the incidental use of internet, e-mail and telephone systems to send personal e-mail, browse the internet and make personal telephone calls subject to certain conditions set out below. Personal use is a privilege and not a right. It must not be overused or abused. We may withdraw permission for it at any time or restrict access at our discretion.

Personal use must meet the following conditions:

Use must be minimal and take place substantially out of normal working hours (that is, during lunch hours, before 9 am or after 5.30 pm);

Personal e-mails must be labelled "personal" in the subject header;

Use must not interfere with business or office commitments;

Use must not commit us to any marginal costs; and

Use must comply with our policies including the Equal Opportunities Policy, Anti-harassment Policy, Data Protection Policy and Disciplinary Procedure.

You should be aware that personal use of our systems may be monitored and, where breaches of this policy are found, action may be taken under the disciplinary procedure. We reserve the right to restrict or prevent access to certain telephone numbers or internet sites if we consider personal use to be excessive.

Social media

This policy deals with the use of all forms of social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Wikipedia , Whisper, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and all other social networking sites, internet postings and blogs. It applies to use of social media for business purposes as well as personal use that may affect our business in any way.

Social media should never be used in a way that breaches any of our other policies. If an internet post would breach any of our policies in another forum, it will also breach them in an online forum. For example, you are prohibited from using social media to:

Breach our obligations with respect to the rules of relevant regulatory bodies;

Breach any obligations contained in those policies relating to confidentiality;

Breach our Disciplinary Policy or procedures;

Harass or bully other staff in any way or breach our Bullying and Harassment Policy;

Unlawfully discriminate against other staff or third partiesor breach our Equal Opportunities Policy;

Breach our Data Protection Policy (for example, never disclose personal information about a colleague online); or

Breach any other laws or regulatory requirements.

Staff should never provide references for other individuals on social or professional networking sites, as such references, positive and negative, can be attributed to the organisation and create legal liability for both the author of the reference and the organisation.

Staffs who breach any of the above policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

[Personal use of social media is never permitted during working hours or by means of our computers, networks and other IT resources and communications systems.]

OR

Occasional personal use of social media during working hours is permitted so long as it does not involve unprofessional or inappropriate content, does not interfere with your employment responsibilities or productivity and complies with this policy. You must avoid making any social media communications that could damage our business interests or reputation, even indirectly.

You must not use social media to defame or disparage us, our staff or any third party; to harass, bully or unlawfully discriminate against staff or third parties; to make false or misleading statements; or to impersonate colleagues or third parties.

You must not express opinions on our behalf via social media, unless expressly authorised to do so by your manager. You may be required to undergo training in order to obtain such authorisation.

You must not post comments about sensitive business-related topics, such as our performance, or do anything to jeopardise our trade secrets, confidential information and intellectual property. You must not include our logos or other trademarks in any social media posting or in your profile on any social media.

[You are not permitted to add business contacts made during the course of your employment to personal social networking accounts.]

OR

[The contact details of business contacts made during the course of your employment are our confidential information. On termination of employment you must provide us with a copy of all such information, delete all such information from your personal social networking accounts and destroy any further copies of such information that you may have.]

Any misuse of social media should be reported to your line manager or to the Human Resources Department.

BUSINESS USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

If your duties require you to speak on behalf of the organisation in a social media environment, you must still seek approval for such communication from your manager, who may require you to undergo training before you do so and impose certain requirements and restrictions with regard to your activities.

Likewise, if you are contacted for comments about the organisation for publication anywhere, including in any social media outlet, direct the enquiry to the Human Resources Department and do not respond without written approval.

GUIDELINES FOR RESPONSIBLE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

You should make it clear in social media postings, or in your personal profile, that you are speaking on your own behalf. Write in the first person and use a personal e-mail address.

Be respectful to others when making any statement on social media and be aware that you are personally responsible for all communications which will be published on the internet for anyone to see.

If you disclose your affiliation with us on your profile or in any social media postings, you must state that your views do not represent those of your employer. You should also ensure that your profile and any content you post are consistent with the professional image you present to clients and colleagues.

If you are uncertain or concerned about the appropriateness of any statement or posting, refrain from posting it until you have discussed it with your manager.

If you see social media content that disparages or reflects poorly on us, you should contact your manager.

MONITORING

Our systems enable us to monitor telephone, e-mail, voicemail, internet and other communications. For business reasons, and in order to carry out legal obligations in our role as an employer, use of our systems including the telephone and computer systems, and any personal use of them, may be continually monitored by automated software or otherwise. Monitoring is only carried out to the extent permitted or as required by law and as necessary and justifiable for business purposes.

We reserve the right to retrieve the contents of e-mail messages or check internet usage (including pages visited and searches made) as reasonably necessary in the interests of the business, including for the following purposes (this list is not exhaustive):

To monitor whether the use of the e-mail system or the internet is legitimate and in accordance with this policy;

To find lost messages or to retrieve messages lost due to computer failure;

To assist in the investigation of alleged wrongdoing; or

To comply with any legal obligation.

PROHIBITED USE OF OUR SYSTEMS

Access is granted to the internet, telephones and other electronic systems for legitimate business purposes only. Incidental personal use is permissible provided it is in full compliance with our rules, policies and procedures (including this policy, the Equal Opportunities Policy, Anti-harassment Policy, Data Protection Policy and Disciplinary Procedure). See paragraph 0, Personal use of systems.

Misuse or excessive personal use of our telephone or e-mail system or inappropriate internet use will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure. Misuse of the internet can in some circumstances be a criminal offence. In particular, misuse of the e-mail system or inappropriate use of the internet by participating in online gambling or chain letters or by creating, viewing, accessing, transmitting or downloading any of the following material will usually amount to gross misconduct (this list is not exhaustive):

Pornographic material (that is, writing, pictures, films and video clips of a sexually explicit or arousing nature);

Offensive, obscene, or criminal material or material which is liable to cause embarrassment to us or to our clients;

A false and defamatory statement about any person or organisation;

Material which is discriminatory, offensive, derogatory or may cause embarrassment to others (including material which breaches our Equal Opportunities Policy or our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy);

Confidential information about us or any of our staff or clients (except as authorised in the proper performance of your duties);

Any other statement which is likely to create any criminal or civil liability (for you or us); or

Material in breach of copyright.

Any such action will be treated very seriously and is likely to result in summary dismissal.

Where evidence of misuse is found we may undertake a more detailed investigation in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure, involving the examination and disclosure of monitoring records to those nominated to undertake the investigation and any witnesses or managers involved in the Disciplinary Procedure. If necessary such information may be handed to the police in connection with a criminal investigation.

BREACH OF THIS POLICY

Breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Any member of staff suspected of committing a breach of this policy will be required to co-operate with our investigation, which may involve handing over relevant passwords and login details.

You may be required to remove any social media content that we consider to constitute a breach of this policy. Failure to comply with such a request may in itself result in disciplinary action.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

ABOUT THIS PROCEDURE

The aims of this Disciplinary Procedure are to provide a framework within which managers can work with employees to maintain satisfactory standards of conduct and to encourage improvement where necessary. The standards of conduct expected of all employees are set out in the Disciplinary Rules which are appended to this procedure.

It is our policy to ensure that any disciplinary matter is dealt with fairly and that steps are taken to establish the facts and to give employees the opportunity to respond before taking any formal action.

The procedure applies to all employees regardless of length of service. It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors.

This procedure is used to deal with misconduct. It does not apply to cases involving genuine sickness absence, proposed redundancies or poor performance. In those cases reference should be made to the appropriate policy or procedure in the Staff Handbook.

This procedure does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended at any time. We may also vary this procedure, including any time limits, as appropriate in any case.

MINOR CONDUCT ISSUES

Minor conduct issues can often be resolved informally between you and your line manager. These discussions should be held in private and without undue delay whenever there is cause for concern. Where appropriate, a note of any such informal discussions may be placed on your personnel file but will be ignored for the purposes of any future disciplinary hearings. In some cases an informal verbal warning may be given, which will not form part of your disciplinary records. Formal steps will be taken under this procedure if the matter is not resolved, or if informal discussion is not appropriate (for example, because of the seriousness of the allegation).

If you have difficulty at any stage of the procedure because of a disability, you should discuss the situation with your line manager or a member of the Human Resources Department as soon as possible.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Our aim is to deal with disciplinary matters sensitively and with due respect for the privacy of any individuals involved. All employees must treat as confidential any information communicated to them in connection with an investigation or disciplinary matter.

You, and anyone accompanying you (including witnesses), must not make electronic recordings of any meetings or hearings conducted under this procedure.

You will normally be told the names of any witnesses whose evidence is relevant to disciplinary proceedings against you, unless we believe that a witness's identity should remain confidential.

INVESTIGATIONS

The purpose of an investigation is for us to establish a fair and balanced view of the facts relating to any disciplinary allegations against you, before deciding whether to proceed with a disciplinary hearing. The amount of investigation required will depend on the nature of the allegations and will vary from case to case. It may involve interviewing and taking statements from you and any witnesses, and/or reviewing relevant documents.

Investigative interviews are solely for the purpose of fact-finding and no decision on disciplinary action will be taken until after a disciplinary hearing has been held.

You do not normally have the right to bring a companion to an investigative interview. However, we may allow you to bring a companion if it helps you to overcome any disability, or any difficulty in understanding English.

You must co-operate fully and promptly in any investigation. This will include informing us of the names of any relevant witnesses, disclosing any relevant documents to us and attending investigative interviews if required.

CRIMINAL ALLEGATIONS

Where your conduct is the subject of a criminal investigation, charge or conviction we will investigate the facts before deciding whether to take formal disciplinary action.

We will not usually wait for the outcome of any prosecution before deciding what action, if any, to take. Where you are unable or have been advised not to attend a disciplinary hearing or say anything about a pending criminal matter, we may have to take a decision based on the available evidence.

A criminal investigation, charge or conviction relating to conduct outside work may be treated as a disciplinary matter if we consider that it is relevant to your employment.

SUSPENSION

In some circumstances we may need to suspend you from work. The suspension will be for no longer than is necessary to investigate the allegations and we will confirm the arrangements to you in writing. While suspended you should not visit our premises or contact any of our clients, customers, suppliers, contractors or staff, unless you have been authorised to do so by [HR Manager].

Suspension of this kind is not a disciplinary penalty and does not imply that any decision has already been made about the allegations. You will continue to receive your full basic salary and benefits during the period of suspension.

NOTIFICATION OF A HEARING

Following any investigation, if we consider there are grounds for disciplinary action, you will be required to attend a disciplinary hearing. We will inform you in writing of the allegations against you, the basis for those allegations, and what the likely range of consequences will be if we decide after the hearing that the allegations are true. We will also include the following where appropriate:

A summary of relevant information gathered during the investigation;

A copy of any relevant documents which will be used at the disciplinary hearing; and

A copy of any relevant witness statements, except where a witness's identity is to be kept confidential, in which case we will give you as much information as possible while maintaining confidentiality.

We will give you written notice of the date, time and place of the disciplinary hearing. The hearing will be held as soon as reasonably practicable, but you will be given a reasonable amount of time, usually two to seven days, to prepare your case based on the information we have given you.

THE RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED

You may bring a companion to any disciplinary hearing or appeal hearing under this procedure. The companion may be either a trade union representative or a colleague. You must tell [POSITION] who your chosen companion is, in good time before the hearing.

A companion is allowed reasonable time off from duties without loss of pay but no-one is obliged to act as a companion if they do not wish to do so.

If your companion is unavailable at the time a meeting is scheduled and will not be available for more than five working days afterwards, we may ask you to choose someone else.

We may, at our discretion, allow you to bring a companion who is not a colleague or union representative (for example, a member of your family) if this will help overcome a disability, or if you have difficulty understanding English.

PROCEDURE AT DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS

If you or your companion cannot attend the hearing you should inform us immediately and we will arrange an alternative time. You must make every effort to attend the hearing, and failure to attend without good reason may be treated as misconduct in itself. If you fail to attend without good reason, or are persistently unable to do so (for example for health reasons), we may have to take a decision based on the available evidence.

The hearing will be chaired by a manager. You may bring a companion with you to the disciplinary hearing.

At the disciplinary hearing we will go through the allegations against you and the evidence that has been gathered. You will be able to respond and present any evidence of your own. Your companion may make representations to us and ask questions, but should not answer questions on your behalf. You may confer privately with your companion at any time during the hearing.

You may ask relevant witnesses to appear at the hearing, provided you give us sufficient advance notice to arrange their attendance. You will be given the opportunity to respond to any information given by a witness. However, you will not normally be permitted to cross-examine witnesses unless, in exceptional circumstances, we decide that a fair hearing could not be held otherwise.

We may adjourn the disciplinary hearing if we need to carry out any further investigations such as re-interviewing witnesses in the light of any new points you have raised at the hearing. You will be given a reasonable opportunity to consider any new information obtained before the hearing is reconvened.

We will inform you in writing of our decision and our reasons for it, usually within one week of the disciplinary hearing. Where possible we will also explain this information to you in person.

DISCIPLINARY PENALTIES

The usual penalties for misconduct are set out below. No penalty should be imposed without a hearing. We aim to treat all employees fairly and consistently, and a penalty imposed on another employee for similar misconduct will usually be taken into account but should not be treated as a precedent. Each case will be assessed on its own merits.

You will not normally be dismissed for a first act of misconduct, unless we decide it amounts to gross misconduct or you have not yet completed your probationary period.

Stage 1 - First written warning.A first written warning may be authorised by a manager. It will usually be appropriate for a first act of misconduct where there are no other active written warnings on your disciplinary record.

Stage 2 - Final written warning.A final written warning may be authorised by a manager. It will usually be appropriate for:

Misconduct where there is already an active written warning on your record; or

Misconduct that we consider sufficiently serious to warrant a final written warning even though there are no other active warnings on your record.

Stage - Dismissal.Dismissal may be authorised by a manager. It will usually only be appropriate for:

Any misconduct during your probationary period;

Further misconduct where there is an active final written warning on your record; or

Any gross misconduct regardless of whether there are active warnings on your record. Gross misconduct will usually result in immediate dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice (summary dismissal). Examples of gross misconduct are set out in our Disciplinary Rules, which are appended to this procedure.

Alternatives to dismissal.In some cases we may at our discretion consider alternatives to dismissal. These may be authorised by a manager and will usually be accompanied by a final written warning. Examples include:

Demotion.

Transfer to another department or job.

A period of suspension without pay.

Loss of seniority.

Reduction in pay.

Loss of future pay increment or bonus.

Loss of overtime.

THE EFFECT OF A WARNING

Written warnings will set out the nature of the misconduct, the change in behaviour required, the period for which the warning will remain active, and the likely consequences of further misconduct in that active period.

A first written warning will usually remain active for six months and a final written warning will usually remain active for 12 months. Your conduct may be reviewed at the end of a warning's active period and if it has not improved sufficiently we may decide to extend the active period.

After the active period, the warning will remain permanently on your personnel file but will be disregarded in deciding the outcome of future disciplinary proceedings.

APPEALS

If you feel that disciplinary action taken against you is wrong or unjust you should appeal in writing, stating your full grounds of appeal, within one week of the date on which you were informed of the decision.

If you are appealing against dismissal, the date on which dismissal takes effect will not be delayed pending the outcome of the appeal. However, if your appeal is successful you will be reinstated with no loss of continuity or pay.

If you raise any new matters in your appeal, we may need to carry out further investigation. If any new information comes to light we will provide you with a summary including, where appropriate, copies of additional relevant documents and witness statements. You will have a reasonable opportunity to consider this information before the hearing, and you or your companion may comment on any new evidence arising during the appeal before any decision is taken.

We will give you written notice of the date, time and place of the appeal hearing. This will normally be two to seven days after you receive the written notice.

The appeal hearing may be a complete re-hearing of the matter or it may be a review of the fairness of the original decision in the light of the procedure that was followed and any new information that may have come to light. This will be at our discretion depending on the circumstances of your case. In any event the appeal will be dealt with as impartially as possible.

Where possible, the appeal hearing will be conducted impartially by a manager who has not been previously involved in the case. You may bring a companion with you to the appeal hearing.

We may adjourn the appeal hearing if we need to carry out any further investigations in the light of any new points you have raised at the hearing. You will be given a reasonable opportunity to consider any new information obtained before the hearing is reconvened.

Following the appeal hearing we may:

Confirm the original decision;

Revoke the original decision; or

Substitute a different penalty.

We will inform you in writing of our final decision as soon as possible, usually within one week of the appeal hearing. Where possible we will also explain this to you in person. There will be no further right of appeal.

DISCIPLINARY RULES

POLICY STATEMENT

These Disciplinary Rules should be read in conjunction with our Disciplinary Procedure. The aim of the Disciplinary Rules and Disciplinary Procedure is to set out the standards of conduct expected of all staff and to provide a framework within which managers can work with staff to maintain those standards and encourage improvement where necessary.

It is our policy to ensure that any disciplinary matter is dealt with fairly and in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

If you are in any doubt as to your responsibilities or the standards of conduct expected you should speak to your line manager or a member of the Human Resources Department.

RULES OF CONDUCT

While working for us you should at all times maintain professional and responsible standards of conduct. In particular you should:

Observe the terms and conditions of your contract, particularly with regard to:

Hours of work;

Confidentiality;

Observe all our policies, procedures and regulations which are included in the Staff Handbook or notified to you from time to time by means of notice boards, e-mail, the intranet or otherwise;

Take reasonable care in respect of the health and safety of colleagues and third parties;

Comply with all reasonable instructions given by managers; and

Act at all times in good faith and in the best interests of our business, customers and staff.

Failure to maintain satisfactory standards of conduct may result in action being taken under our Disciplinary Procedure.

MISCONDUCT

The following are examples of matters that will normally be regarded as misconduct and will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure:

Minor breaches of our policies including the Sickness Absence Policy, IT Policy, and Health and Safety Policy;

Minor breaches of your contract;

Damage to, or unauthorised use of, our property; Poor timekeeping;

Time wasting; Unauthorised absence from work;

Refusal to follow instructions; Excessive use of our telephones for personal calls;

Excessive personal e-mail or internet usage

Obscene language or other offensive behaviour;

Negligence in the performance of your duties;

or Smoking in no-smoking areas. This list is intended as a guide and is not exhaustive.

GROSS MISCONDUCT

Gross misconduct is a serious breach of contract and includes misconduct which, in our opinion, is likely to prejudice our business or reputation or irreparably damage the working relationship and trust between us. Gross misconduct will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure and will normally lead to dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice (summary dismissal).

The following are examples of matters that are normally regarded as gross misconduct:

Theft or unauthorised removal of our property or the property of a colleague, contractor, customer or member of the public;

Fraud, forgery or other dishonesty, including fabrication of expense claims and time sheets;

Actual or threatened violence or bullying, or behaviour which provokes violence;

Deliberate damage to our buildings, fittings, property or equipment, or the property of a colleague, contractor, customer or member of the public;

Serious misuse of our property or name;

Deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscene material;

Repeated or serious failure to obey instructions, or any other serious act of insubordination;

Unlawful discrimination or harassment;

Bringing the organisation into serious disrepute;

Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or other substances during working hours;

Causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence;

Serious or repeated breach of health and safety rules or serious misuse of safety equipment;

Unauthorised use or disclosure of confidential information or failure to ensure that confidential information in your possession is kept secure;

Accepting or offering a bribe or other secret payment or other breach of our Anti-corruption and bribery policy;

Conviction for a criminal offence that in our opinion may affect our reputation or our relationships with our staff, customers or the public, or otherwise affects your suitability to continue to work for us; Possession, use, supply or attempted supply of illegal drugs;

Serious neglect of duties or a serious or deliberate breach of your contract or operating procedures;

Knowing breach of statutory rules affecting your work;

Unauthorised use, processing or disclosure of personal data contrary to our Data Protection Policy;

Harassment of, or discrimination against, employees, contractors, clients or members of the public, related to gender, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion or belief or age contrary to our Equal Opportunities Policy or our Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy;

Refusal to disclose any of the information required by your employment or any other information that may have a bearing on the performance of your duties;

Giving false information as to qualifications or entitlement to work (including immigration status) in order to gain employment or other benefits;

Knowingly taking parental, paternity or adoption leave when not eligible to do so or for a purpose other than supporting a child;

Making a disclosure of false or misleading information under our Whistle blowing Policy maliciously, for personal gain, or otherwise in bad faith;

Making untrue allegations in bad faith against a colleague;

Victimising a colleague who has raised concerns, made a complaint or given evidence or information under our Whistle blowing Policy, Anti-corruption and bribery policy, Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy, Grievance Procedure, Disciplinary Procedure or otherwise;

Serious misuse of our information technology systems (including misuse of developed or licensed software, use of unauthorised software and misuse of e-mail and the internet) contrary to our Information and Communications Systems Policy;

Undertaking unauthorised paid or unpaid employment during your working hours;

Unauthorised entry into an area of the premises to which access is prohibited.

This list is intended as a guide and is not exhaustive

CLAUSES

Holiday during garden leave Holiday during notice Lay-off clause

GARDEN LEAVE

Any accrued but unused holiday entitlement shall be deemed to be taken during any period of Garden Leave.

Holiday during Notice

Where an employee resigns from their position giving the Company notice and this is accepted, the Company reserve the right to make that employee use all of their outstanding holiday entitlement during their notice period. This right remains at the Company’s absolute discretion.

LAY-OFF AND SHORT-TIME WORKING

If there is a reduced need for employees to perform work of a particular kind on a temporary or permanent basis, or any other occurrence which affects normal working, the Company shall be entitled to lay you off or impose short-time working indefinitely or for such period as the Company shall decide. While you are laid off you shall not be required to work and shall have no right to remuneration While you are on short-time working your working hours may be reduced as the Company sees fit and your remuneration shall be correspondingly reduced. The Company shall give as much notice as is reasonably practicable of lay-off or short-time working. Thereafter it shall give as much notice as is reasonably practicable of any further change to your hours including a return to normal working hours. During any period of lay-off or short-time working the Company shall pay statutory guarantee pay in accordance with legislation in force from time to time.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

ABOUT THIS PROCEDURE

It is our policy to ensure that all employees have access to a procedure to help deal with any grievances relating to their employment fairly and without unreasonable delay. We aim to investigate any formal grievance you raise, hold a meeting to discuss it with you, inform you in writing of the outcome, and give you a right of appeal if you are not satisfied.

This procedure applies to all employees regardless of length of service. It does not apply to agency workers or self-employed contractors.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

USING THIS PROCEDURE

Issues that could cause grievances may include:

Terms and conditions of employment;

Health and safety;

Work relations;

Bullying and harassment;

New working practices;

Working environment;

Organisational change; and

Discrimination.

This Grievance Procedure should not be used to complain about dismissal or disciplinary action. If you are dissatisfied with any disciplinary action, you should submit an appeal under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

We have a separate Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy that may be useful if you have been the victim of bullying or harassment or wish to report an incident of bullying or harassment involving other people.

We operate a separate Whistleblowing Policy to enable employees to report illegal activities, wrongdoing or malpractice. However, where you are directly affected by the matter in question, or where you feel you have been victimised for an act of whistleblowing, you may raise the matter under this Grievance Procedure.

If you have difficulty at any stage of the Grievance Procedure because of a disability or because English is not your first language, you should discuss the situation with your line manager as soon as possible.

Written grievances will be placed on your personnel file along with a record of any decisions taken and any notes or other documents compiled during the grievance process. These will be processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

RAISING GRIEVANCES INFORMALLY

Most grievances can be resolved quickly and informally through discussion with your line manager. If you feel unable to speak to your manager, for example, because the complaint concerns him or her, then you should speak informally to a more senior manager or a member of the Human Resource department. If this does not resolve the issue, you should follow the formal procedure below.

FORMAL WRITTEN GRIEVANCES

If your grievance cannot be resolved informally you should put it in writing and submit it to your line manager, indicating that it is a formal grievance. If the grievance concerns your line manager, you may submit it to a more senior manager or a member of the Human Resource department instead.

The written grievance should contain a brief description of the nature of your complaint, including any relevant facts, dates, and names of individuals involved. In some situations we may ask you to provide further information.

INVESTIGATIONS

It may be necessary for us to carry out an investigation into your grievance. The amount of any investigation required will depend on the nature of the allegations and will vary from case to case. It may involve interviewing and taking statements from you and any witnesses, and/or reviewing relevant documents.

You must co-operate fully and promptly in any investigation. This may include informing us of the names of any relevant witnesses, disclosing any relevant documents to us and attending interviews, as part of our investigation.

We may initiate an investigation before holding a grievance meeting where we consider this appropriate. In other cases we may hold a grievance meeting before deciding what investigation (if any) to carry out. In those cases we will hold a further grievance meeting with you after our investigation and before we reach a decision.

RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED

You may bring a companion to any grievance meeting or appeal meeting under this procedure. The companion may be either a trade union representative or a colleague. You must tell the person holding the grievance meeting who your chosen companion is, in good time before the meeting.

At the meeting, your companion may make representations to us and ask questions, but should not answer questions on your behalf. You may talk privately with them at any time during the meeting.

Acting as a companion is voluntary and your colleagues are under no obligation to do so. If they agree to do so they will be allowed reasonable time off from duties without loss of pay to act as a companion.

If your chosen companion is unavailable at the time a meeting is scheduled and will not be available for more than five working days afterwards, we may ask you to choose someone else.

We may, at our discretion, allow you to bring a companion who is not a colleague or union representative (for example, a member of your family) if this will help overcome a disability, or if you have difficulty understanding English.

GRIEVANCE MEETINGS

We will arrange a grievance meeting, normally within one week of receiving your written grievance.

You and your companion (if any) should make every effort to attend grievance meetings. If you or your companion cannot attend at the time specified, you should inform us immediately and we will try, within reason, to agree an alternative time.

The purpose of a grievance meeting is to enable you to explain your grievance and how you think it should be resolved, and to assist us to reach a decision based on the available evidence and the representations you have made.

After an initial grievance meeting we may carry out further investigations and hold further grievance meetings as we consider appropriate. Such meetings will be arranged without unreasonable delay.

We will write to you, usually within one week of the final grievance meeting, to inform you of the outcome of your grievance and any further action that we intend to take to resolve the grievance. We will also remind you of your right of appeal. Where appropriate we may hold a meeting to give you this information in person.

APPEALS

If the grievance has not been resolved to your satisfaction you may appeal in writing to [POSITION], stating your full grounds of appeal, within one week of the date on which the decision was sent or given to you.

We will hold an appeal meeting, normally within one week of receiving your written appeal. This will be dealt with impartially by a more senior manager who has not previously been involved in the case (although they may ask anyone previously involved to be present). You have a right to bring a companion to the meeting (see paragraph 0).

We will confirm our final decision in writing, usually within one week of the appeal hearing. This is the end of the procedure and there is no further appeal.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

We are committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive working environment. This includes ensuring that all staff are fit to carry out their jobs safely and effectively in an environment which is free from alcohol and drug misuse.

The purpose of this policy is to increase awareness of the effects of alcohol and drug misuse and its likely symptoms and to ensure that:

All staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding alcohol and drug misuse and related problems.

Staff who have an alcohol or drug-related problem are encouraged to seek help, in confidence, at an early stage.

Staff who have an alcohol or drug-related problem affecting their work are dealt with sympathetically, fairly and consistently.

This policy is not intended to apply to "one-off" incidents or offences caused by alcohol or drug misuse at or outside work where there is no evidence of an ongoing problem, which may damage our reputation, and which are likely to be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.

This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

Personnel Responsible For This Policy

All managers have a specific responsibility to operate within the boundaries of this policy, to ensure that all staff understand the standards of behaviour expected of them and to take action when behaviour falls below its requirements.

IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM

If you notice a change in a colleague's pattern of behaviour you should encourage them to seek assistance through their manager or the Human Resources Department. If they will not seek help themselves you should draw the matter to the attention of your manager. You should not attempt to cover up for a colleague whose work or behaviour is suffering as a result of an alcohol or drug-related problem.

If you believe that you have an alcohol or drug-related problem you should seek specialist advice and support as soon as possible.

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS AT WORK

Misuse of alcohol and drugs can lead to reduced levels of attendance, reduced efficiency and performance, impaired judgement and decision making and increased health and safety risks for you and other people. Irresponsible behaviour or the commission of offences resulting from the misuse of alcohol or drugs may damage our reputation and, as a result, our business.

You are expected to arrive at work fit to carry out your job and to be able to performe your duties safely without any limitations due to the use or after effects of alcohol or drugs (whether prescribed, over the counter or illegal).

You should not drink alcohol during the normal working day, at lunchtime, at

Other official breaks and at official work-based meetings and events. Drinking alcohol while at work without authorisation or working under the influence of alcohol may be considered serious misconduct

OR

We expect you to demonstrate responsible behaviour at work, work-related functions and work-related social events and to act in a way that will not have a detrimental effect on our reputation. If you entertain clients or represent us at external events where alcohol is served, you are considered to be "at work" regardless of whether you do so outside normal working hours. Consequently, we will expect you to remain professional and fit for work at all times.

Managers should act to prevent excessive consumption of alcohol by any member of staff and should take steps to deal with any unacceptable conduct. Any such behaviour may lead to disciplinary action.]

You must comply with drink-driving laws at all times. Conviction of a drink-driving offence may harm our reputation and, if your job requires you to drive, you may be unable to continue to do your job. Committing a drink-driving offence while working for us [or outside working hours] may lead to action under our Disciplinary Procedure and could result in dismissal.

If you are prescribed medication you must seek advice from your GP or pharmacist about the possible effect on your ability to carry out your job and whether your duties should be modified or you should be temporarily reassigned to a different role. If so you must tell your line manager without delay.

SEARCHES

We reserve the right to conduct searches for alcohol or drugs on our premises, including, but not limited to, searches of lockers, filing cabinets and desks, bags, clothing, packages.

Any alcohol or drugs found as a result of a search will be confiscated and action may be taken under our Disciplinary Procedure.

SCREENING

All candidates AND/OR internal appointment and promotion AND/OR staff subject to annual medicals AND/OR in cases where there is reasonable cause to suspect that an individual's performance is impaired as the result of drug misuse] will be asked to participate in a drug screening programme.

OR

We will operate a rolling programme of random drug testing.] Drug screening will be conducted by an external provider [(to avoid compromising the confidential and supportive nature of our Occupational Health Department)]. Arrangements will be discussed with affected members of staff at the start of each screening programme.]

MANAGING SUSPECTED SUBSTANCE MISUSE

Where a manager considers that deterioration in work performance and/or changes in patterns of behaviour may be due to alcohol or drug misuse they should seek advice and assistance from the Human Resources Department. If your manager has reason to believe that you are suffering the effects of alcohol or drug misuse, they will invite you to an investigatory interview. The purpose of the interview is to: Discuss the reason for the investigation and seek your views on, for example, the deterioration of your work performance and/or behaviour; and Where appropriate, offer to refer you to Occupational Health Department for medical and/or specialist advice. If you arrive at work and a manager reasonably believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they shall immediately contact Human Resources in order that you can be provided with assistance and an investigation can be undertaken. The Company may ask for your consent to approach your GP for advice. A report will be sent to your manager who will then reassess the reasons for their investigatory meeting with you and decide on the way forward. If, as the result of the meeting or investigation, your manager continues to believe that you are suffering the effects of alcohol or drugs misuse and you refuse an offer of referral to appropriate treatment providers the matter may be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure.

PROVIDING SUPPORT

Alcohol and drug-related problems may develop for a variety of reasons and over a considerable period of time. We are committed, in so far as possible, to treating these problems in a similar way to other health issues. We will provide support where possible with a view to a return to full duties. This may include:

Referral to appropriate treatment providers, where necessary in conjunction with your GP.

Time off work to attend treatment [and recognition of any periods of absence for such treatment as periods of sickness absence].

Adjusting your duties or other support during treatment and for an agreed period thereafter, subject to operational requirements and feasibility.

If you do not finish a programme of treatment, or your recovery and return to work does not go as planned, we will meet with you to decide what further action if any should be taken.

CONFIDENTIALITY

We aim to ensure that the confidentiality of any member of staff experiencing alcohol or drug-related problems is maintained appropriately. However, it needs to be recognised that, in supporting staff, some degree of information sharing is likely to be necessary.

If you seek help with an alcohol or drug-related problem directly from Human Resources and you wish to keep matters confidential from your manager and colleagues, this will be respected unless there is reason to believe that this could put you, your colleagues or anyone else at risk or carries some other material risk for the business. In those circumstances we will encourage you to inform your manager and will give you sufficient time to do so before discussing the matter with them.

PERFORMANCE AND DISCIPLINARY ISSUES

If you agree to undertake appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation for an acknowledged alcohol or drug-related problem, we may decide to suspend any ongoing disciplinary action against you for related misconduct or poor performance, pending the outcome of the treatment.

Our intention is to support all staff with alcohol or drug-related problems to regain good health. Depending on the progress made on the course of treatment, any disciplinary action may be suspended for a specified period, discontinued or restarted at any time as we see fit.

COMPANY CCTV POLICY

Revital Limited (“the ‘Company’) is committed to ensuring the welfare of all its employees and the security of its customers, employees and workers. Therefore it has CCTV cameras installed in its premises.

This policy applies to the operators of the CCTV scheme and is primarily intended for use by the operators of the CCTV scheme in setting out the applicable rules and their responsibilities regarding its use.  For the avoidance of doubt this policy is contractual.

A supplementary guidance note on the use of CCTV cameras on site has been published which outlines best practice in relation to the implementation and running of the CCTV Scheme (the ‘Guidance Note’). A copy can be obtained. The use of CCTV on site does not reduce the necessity for employees to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or unlawful acts to the Company.

The purpose of the CCTV system is:

To act as a deterrent to intruders;

To assist in the prevention or investigation of crime or fraud;

To provide evidence of any act that is the subject of an investigation and/or disciplinary or grievance hearing.

The unlawful use of CCTV may result in the Company being fined and may put at risk the welfare of employees and the security of the Company’s systems.  Operators of the CCTV system should therefore exercise care when using it.  Any inappropriate use of the CCTV cameras or film, whether under this CCTV Policy or otherwise, may lead to disciplinary action being taken against you under the Company's disciplinary procedures. This may include summary dismissal.

It is important therefore that as an operator of the CCTV system you read this CCTV Policy carefully. If there is anything that you do not understand, please discuss it with your Manager.

POLICY STATEMENT

We trust you to use the CCTV cameras and film sensibly, professionally, lawfully, consistently with your duties, with respect for your colleagues and visitors to the Company’s premises and in accordance with this CCTV Policy and the Company’s rules and procedures.

USE OF THE CCTV SYSTEM

As an operator of the CCTV system you must be aware of the purpose for which each camera has been installed and any restrictions placed on employees concerning the use of the CCTV system. These are outlined in more detail in the Guidance Note. Any adjustment by the operator of cameras must not be done so as to overlook spaces that are not intended to be covered. Operators must not use the CCTV system in a way which may damage, overload or affect its performance. If instructed to erase recordings of CCTV images, this should be done promptly in accordance with the instructions issued.

ACCESS TO RECORDED IMAGES

Access to recorded images is restricted to those persons who need to use the CCTV system and have been granted authority to access the recorded images.

The following must be documented by any person who has access to the recorded images:

The date and time at which access was allowed;

The identification of any third party who was allowed access;

The reasons for allowing access; and

The extent of the information to which access was allowed.

VIEWING OF RECORDED IMAGES

Recorded images should only be viewed in an area designated for such viewing. Access to this area is restricted to those persons who have been granted the authority to view the images.

REMOVAL OF CCTV IMAGES

If a tape, disk or other media (‘tape’) containing recorded images is removed from the place where it is normally stored for the purpose of viewing, the following should be documented:

The date and time of removal;

The name of the person removing the tape;

The name of the person viewing the images on the tape, including any third parties;

The reason for removing the tape;

The outcome, if any, of the viewing; and

The date and time that the tape was returned to the place from which it was removed or, if not returned, whether the tape was retained for evidential purposes.

If any tape, disk or other media containing recorded images is removed for use in legal proceedings, the following must also be documented:

Any crime incident number to which the images recorded on the tape may be relevant; and

The location of the tape.

STORAGE

All recordings of CCTV images must be retained in a secure place to which access is controlled. CCTV images must not be retained for longer than 28 days and must be erased unless required for evidential purposes in legal proceedings.

PASSWORD SECURITY

Under no circumstances should a user of the CCTV system disclose his password to a third party.

TRAINING

The Company will provide training in the use of the CCTV system which employees must undertake if requested to do so.

DISCLOSURE OF CCTV IMAGES

No CCTV images should be disclosed unless you have checked that the person to whom you are disclosing the images has the authority to receive them. In normal circumstances this will be the police and the person whose image has been processed on the system. You should be aware of the disclosure procedures that have been implemented by the Company. These are outlined in a published Guidance Note. Recorded images must not be routinely made available, for example to the media or on the internet. If images are made available in this way, the individuals appearing on the images must be disguised or blurred so that they are not readily identifiable. If the CCTV system does not have the facility to edit, disguise or blur images in this way, an editing company should be hired to perform this function. A written contract must be put in place between the Company and the editing company that includes the following: A description of all the tasks to be carried out by the editing company; An obligation upon the editing company to act only in accordance with the instructions of the Company; The steps to be taken by the editing company to ensure the reliability of its employees who have access to the recorded images; a description of the technical and organisational security measures to be taken by the editing company in order to safeguard the recorded images against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage; An obligation by the editing company to allow the Company to audit the editing company’s systems to ensure the security of the recorded images is maintained.

DISCLOSURE TO DATA SUBJECTS

Individuals are entitled to access any recorded images of themselves on the CCTVsystem. Any individual making a request for such access should be provided with the following information: The types of images recorded; The purposes for which those images were recorded; and Any further information concerning the Company's disclosure policy in respect of those images.

CESSATION OF MONITORING

As an employee, you have the right to ask the Company to cease or not to begin CCTV monitoring in the workplace if it is causing or likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to you which is unwarranted. I have read through and fully understand the terms of this CCTV Policy. I also understand that the Company may alter this Policy from time to time and that I will be issued with an amended copy.

WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

We are committed to conducting our business with honesty and integrity, and we expect all staff to maintain high standards in accordance with our Code of Conduct. However, all organisations face the risk of things going wrong from time to time, or of unknowingly harbouring illegal or unethical conduct. A culture of openness and accountability is essential in order to prevent such situations occurring and to address them when they do occur. The aims of this policy are: To encourage staff to report suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, in the knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate, and that their confidentiality will be respected. To provide staff with guidance as to how to raise those concerns. To reassure staff that they should be able to raise genuine concerns without fear of reprisals, even if they turn out to be mistaken. This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

PERSONNEL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POLICY

The Whistleblowing Officer has day-to-day operational responsibility for this policy, and must ensure that all managers and other staff who may deal with concerns or investigations under this policy receive regular and appropriate training. The Whistleblowing Officer, in conjunction with the board should review this policy from a legal and operational perspective at least once a year. All staff are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure that they use it to disclose any suspected danger or wrongdoing. Staff are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries should be addressed to the Whistleblowing Officer.

WHAT IS WHISTLEBLOWING?

"Whistleblowing" is the disclosure of information which relates to suspected wrongdoing or dangers at work.  This may include: Criminal activity; Failure to comply with any legal or professional obligation or regulatory requirements; Miscarriages of justice; Danger to health and safety; Damage to the environment; Bribery under our Anti-corruption and Bribery Policy; Financial fraud or mismanagement; Negligence Breach of our internal policies and procedures including our Code of Conduct; Conduct likely to damage our reputation; Unauthorised disclosure of confidential information; The deliberate concealment of any of the above matters. A "whistleblower" is a person who raises a genuine concern relating to any of the above. If you have any genuine concerns related to suspected wrongdoing or danger affecting any of our activities (a "whistleblowing concern") you should report it under this policy. This policy should not be used for complaints relating to your own personal circumstances, such as the way you have been treated at work. In those cases you should use the Grievance Procedure or Anti-harassment and Bullying Policy as appropriate. If you are uncertain whether something is within the scope of this policy you should seek advice from the Whistleblowing Officer, whose contact details are at the end of this policy.

RAISING A WHISTLEBLOWING CONCERN

We hope that in many cases you will be able to raise any concerns with your line manager. You may tell them in person or put the matter in writing if you prefer. They may be able to agree a way of resolving your concern quickly and effectively. In some cases they may refer the matter to the Whistleblowing Officer. However, where the matter is more serious, or you feel that your line manager has not addressed your concern, or you prefer not to raise it with them for any reason, you should contact one of the following: The Whistleblowing Officer, Sharon Manasseh The Managing Director, Raj Vora. Contact details are set out at the end of this policy. We will arrange a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss your concern. You may bring a colleague or union representative to any meetings under this policy. Your companion must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and any subsequent investigation. We will take down a written summary of your concern and provide you with a copy after the meeting. We will also aim to give you an indication of how we propose to deal with the matter.

CONFIDENTIALITY

We hope that staff will feel able to voice whistleblowing concerns openly under this policy. However, if you want to raise your concern confidentially, we will make every effort to keep your identity secret. If it is necessary for anyone investigating your concern to know your identity, we will discuss this with you. We do not encourage staff to make disclosures anonymously. Proper investigation may be more difficult or impossible if we cannot obtain further information from you. It is also more difficult to establish whether any allegations are credible. Whistleblowers who are concerned about possible reprisals if their identity is revealed should come forward to the Whistleblowing Officer or one of the other contact points listed in paragraph 0 and appropriate measures can then be taken to preserve confidentiality. If you are in any doubt you can seek advice from Public Concern at Work, the independent whistleblowing charity, who offer a confidential helpline. Their contact details are at the end of this policy.

INVESTIGATION AND OUTCOME

Once you have raised a concern, we will carry out an initial assessment to determine the scope of any investigation. We will inform you of the outcome of our assessment. You may be required to attend additional meetings in order to provide further information. In some cases we may appoint an investigator or team of investigators including staff with relevant experience of investigations or specialist knowledge of the subject matter. The investigator(s) may make recommendations for change to enable us to minimise the risk of future wrongdoing. We will aim to keep you informed of the progress of the investigation and its likely timescale. However, sometimes the need for confidentiality may prevent us giving you specific details of the investigation or any disciplinary action taken as a result. You should treat any information about the investigation as confidential. If we conclude that a whistleblower has made false allegations maliciously or with a view to personal gain, the whistleblower will be subject to disciplinary action.

IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED

While we cannot always guarantee the outcome you are seeking, we will try to deal with your concern fairly and in an appropriate way. By using this policy you can help us to achieve this. If you are not happy with the way in which your concern has been handled, you can raise it with one of the other key contacts in paragraph 0. Alternatively you may contact the board of directors or our external auditors. Contact details are set out at the end of this policy.

EXTERNAL DISCLOSURES

The aim of this policy is to provide an internal mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying any wrongdoing in the workplace. In most cases you should not find it necessary to alert anyone externally. The law recognises that in some circumstances it may be appropriate for you to report your concerns to an external body such as a regulator. It will very rarely if ever be appropriate to alert the media. We strongly encourage you to seek advice before reporting a concern to anyone external. The independent whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work, operates a confidential helpline. They also have a list of prescribed regulators for reporting certain types of concern. Their contact details are at the end of this policy. Whistleblowing concerns usually relate to the conduct of our staff, but they may sometimes relate to the actions of a third party, such as a customer, supplier or service provider. In some circumstances the law will protect you if you raise the matter with the third party directly. However, we encourage you to report such concerns internally first. You should contact your line manager or one of the other individuals set out in paragraph 0 for guidance.

PROTECTION AND SUPPORT FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS

It is understandable that whistleblowers are sometimes worried about possible repercussions. We aim to encourage openness and will support staff who raise genuine concerns under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. Whistleblowers must not suffer any detrimental treatment as a result of raising a concern. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the Whistleblowing Officer immediately. If the matter is not remedied you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure. You must not threaten or retaliate against whistleblowers in any way. If you are involved in such conduct you may be subject to disciplinary action.

Contacts

Whistleblowing Officer Sharon Manaseh
02088390863
Sharon@revital.com
Managing Director Raj Vora
020 8845 4118
raj@revital.com
Public Concern at Work
(Independent whistleblowing charity)
Helpline: (020) 7404 6609
E-mail: whistle@pcaw.co.uk
Website: www.pcaw.co.uk

 

RELATIONSHIP AT WORK POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to all employees regarding personal relationships in the work place, in order to avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest, or any misuse of authority.

WHO MUST COMPLY WITH THIS POLICY?

This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, officers, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.

Definition of ‘Personal Relationship’

The following are examples of personal relationships which may give rise to conflicts of interest in the workplace, however personal relationships are not restricted to these examples and anyone who considers that they are in a potential conflict of interest should declare it as outlined in the policy below;
A family relationship;
A romantic/sexual relationship.

Good practice

Employees should conduct themselves at all times in ways that are consistent with their role and duties, and in compliance with all of the Company’s policies including those relating to equal opportunity, harassment and all codes of conduct.

The recruitment, selection, treatment, development and promotion of all employees should be based solely on evidence and not be in any way affected by personal relationships at work.

Where personal relationships occur between members of staff, it is the responsibility of both individuals to avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest.

Indentifying and declaring a personal relationship at work.

Employees should notify their line manager of any existing or new personal relationship they have with other members of staff, consultants, contractors or suppliers, which may give rise to an actual or potential conflict of interest, trust or breach of confidentiality.

The line manager will treat these matters in confidence and in consultation with the employee(s), find ways in which potential conflicts of interest can be avoided.

All declarations should be treated in confidence, recorded in writing and placed on the employees Personal File. Should there be any changes in the future, the employee should request that the document should be removed from the file and destroyed.

Employees who declare a personal relationship at work, should be treated fairly and with due regard to equality of treatment issues.

Employees who are uncertain about whether there is likely to be any risk of a potential conflict of interest emerging from a personal relationship at work, should discuss the matter with their line manager (or a manager higher within the management structure where the issue may involve the immediate line manager) in the first instance.

Personal relationship at work involving a more senior role

In order to avoid any actual or potential conflict of interest, members of staff who are in a line management or supervisory role or in a more senior position should not be involved in:

The performance review, promotion or discipline or any other management activity or process involving an employee with whom they have a declared personal relationship;

The authorisation of any financial payments/decisions relating to financial matters e.g. timesheets, fees payments, expense claims, salary changes for an employee with whom they have a declared a personal relationship;

The recruitment, selection or appointment of any applicant with whom the employee has declared a personal relationship. Where it is not practical to remove an employee from the recruitment process, all panel members should be made aware of the personal relationship and every panel decision should be justified as fair and equitable, without bias or conflict of interest.

Where any employee feels that there is a possible or actual misuse of power/authority or conflict of interest relating to a personal relationship at work involving a line manager/supervisor, they should raise this in the first instance with the next higher level of the management structure. Where there is evidence that a conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality or unfair advantage may result from a personal relationship, the manager to whom the personal relationship has been disclosed should discuss the issue with the Human Resources Department. They may then consider an alternative arrangement e.g. a change in reporting arrangements, or duties within a team; investigating one party being moved to another area of work or work location, if appropriate in the circumstances. In all instances any changes should be of equal status.

Personal relationships at work not involving a more senior role

In establishing whether there is a potential conflict of interest, managers should consider the following:

Are any employees likely to be made uncomfortable in their dealings with either of the two staff members because of the existence of a known personal relationship?

Is a personal relationship seen to offer an advantage to an employee?

Is the relationship potentially interfering with the professional conduct of the Company?

Is the relationship potentially having a negative effect on the workings of a team?

Where there is evidence that a conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality or unfair advantage may occur as a result of an employee with a personal relationship, the manager to whom the personal relationship has been disclosed should discuss the issue with the Human Resources Department. They may wish to consider an alternative arrangement, e.g. a change in reporting arrangements, or duties within a team; investigating one party being moved to another area of work or work location, if appropriate in the circumstances. In all instances any changes should be of equal status.

Breach

Where either a personal relationship, or failure to comply with this policy results in an unfair advantage or disadvantage to either of the parties to the relationship or any other breach of this policy, the matter will be considered seriously and may result in formal action being taken in accordance with the Company’s Disciplinary Policy.

ANTI-HARASSMENT AND BULLYING POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

Revital is committed to providing a working environment free from harassment and bullying and ensuring all staff are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect. This policy covers harassment or bullying which occurs at work and out of the workplace, such as on business trips or at work-related events or social functions. It covers bullying and harassment by staff (which may include consultants, contractors and agency workers) and also by third parties such as customers, suppliers or visitors to our premises. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

WHAT IS HARASSMENT?

Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment. It also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past. Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment), or it may be related to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Harassment may include, for example: Unwanted physical conduct or "horseplay", including touching, pinching, pushing and grabbing; Unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour (which the harasser may perceive as harmless); Offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content; Mocking, mimicking or belittling a person's disability. A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if the jokes create an offensive environment.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation. Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. Bullying may include, by way of example: Physical or psychological threats; Overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision; Inappropriate derogatory remarks about someone's performance; Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of a worker's performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to workers in the course of their employment, will not amount to bullying on their own.

IF YOU ARE BEING HARASSED OR BULLIED

If you are being harassed or bullied, consider whether you feel able to raise the problem informally with the person responsible. You should explain clearly to them that their behaviour is not welcome or makes you uncomfortable. If this is too difficult or embarrassing, you should speak to the Human Resources Department, who can provide confidential advice and assistance in resolving the issue formally or informally. If informal steps are not appropriate, or have not been successful, you should raise the matter formally under our Grievance Procedure. We will investigate complaints in a timely and confidential manner. The investigation will be conducted by someone with appropriate experience and no prior involvement in the complaint, where possible. Details of the investigation and the names of the person making the complaint and the person accused must only be disclosed on a "need to know" basis. We will consider whether any steps are necessary to manage any ongoing relationship between you and the person accused during the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, we will inform you of our decision. If we consider you have been harassed or bullied by an employee the matter will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure as a case of possible misconduct or gross misconduct. If the harasser or bully is a third party such as a customer or other visitor, we will consider what action would be appropriate to deal with the problem. Whether or not your complaint is upheld, we will consider how best to manage any ongoing working relationship between you and the person concerned.

PROTECTION AND SUPPORT FOR THOSE INVOLVED

Staff who make complaints or who participate in good faith in any investigation must not suffer any form of retaliation or victimisation as a result. Anyone found to have retaliated against or victimised someone in this way will be subject to disciplinary action under our Disciplinary Procedure.

RECORD-KEEPING

Information about a complaint by or about an employee may be placed on the employee's personnel file, along with a record of the outcome and of any notes or other documents compiled during the process. These will be processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

DATA PROTECTION POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

During the course of our activities we will process personal data (which may be held on paper, electronically, or otherwise) about our staff and we recognise the need to treat it in an appropriate and lawful manner, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The purpose of this policy is to make you aware of how we will handle your personal data. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES

We will comply with the eight data protection principles in the DPA, which say that personal data must be: Processed fairly and lawfully. Processed for limited purposes and in an appropriate way. Adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose. Accurate. Not kept longer than necessary for the purpose. Processed in line with individuals' rights. Secure. Not transferred to people or organisations situated in countries without adequate protection. "Personal data" means recorded information we hold about you from which you can be identified. It may include contact details, other personal information, photographs, expressions of opinion about you or indications as to our intentions about you. "Processing" means doing anything with the data, such as accessing, disclosing, destroying or using the data in any way.

FAIR AND LAWFUL PROCESSING

We will usually only process your personal data where you have given your consent or where the processing is necessary to comply with our legal obligations. In other cases, processing may be necessary for the protection of your vital interests, for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of others. The full list of conditions is set out in the DPA. We will only process "sensitive personal data" about ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life, criminal proceedings or convictions, where a further condition is also met. Usually this will mean that you have given your explicit consent, or that the processing is legally required for employment purposes. The full list of conditions is set out in the DPA.

HOW WE ARE LIKELY TO USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We will process data about staff for legal, personnel, administrative and management purposes and to enable us to meet our legal obligations as an employer, for example to pay you, monitor your performance and to confer benefits in connection with your employment. We may process sensitive personal data relating to staff including, as appropriate: Information about an employee's physical or mental health or condition in order to monitor sick leave and take decisions as to the employee's fitness for work; The employee's racial or ethnic origin or religious or similar information in order to monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation; In order to comply with legal requirements and obligations to third parties.

PROCESSING FOR LIMITED PURPOSES

We will only process your personal data for the specific purpose or purposes notified to you or for any other purposes specifically permitted by the DPA.

ADEQUATE, RELEVANT AND NON-EXCESSIVE PROCESSING

Your personal data will only be processed to the extent that it is necessary for the specific purposes notified to you.

ACCURATE DATA

We will keep the personal data we store about you accurate and up to date. Data that is inaccurate or out of date will be destroyed. Please notify us if your personal details change or if you become aware of any inaccuracies in the personal data we hold about you.

DATA RETENTION

We will not keep your personal data for longer than is necessary for the purpose. This means that data will be destroyed or erased from our systems when it is no longer required.PROCESSING IN LINE WITH YOUR RIGHTS You have the right to: Request access to any personal data we hold about you. Prevent the processing of your data for direct-marketing purposes. Ask to have inaccurate data held about you amended. Prevent processing that is likely to cause unwarranted substantial damage or distress to you or anyone else. Object to any decision that significantly affects you being taken solely by a computer or other automated process.

DATA SECURITY

We will ensure that appropriate measures are taken against unlawful or unauthorised processing of personal data, and against the accidental loss of, or damage to, personal data. We have in place procedures and technologies to maintain the security of all personal data from the point of collection to the point of destruction. We will only transfer personal data to a third party if he agrees to comply with those procedures and policies, or if he puts in place adequate measures himself. Maintaining data security means guaranteeing the confidentiality, integrity and availability (for authorised purposes) of the personal data.

PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THIRD PARTIES

We will not disclose your personal data to a third party without your consent unless we are satisfied that they are legally entitled to the data. Where we do disclose your personal data to a third party, we will have regard to the eight data protection principles.

SUBJECT ACCESS REQUESTS

If you wish to know what personal data we hold about you, you must make the request in writing, with an accompanying fee of £10. All such written requests should be forwarded to the HR Department

BREACHES OF THIS POLICY

If you consider that this policy has not been followed in respect of personal data about yourself or others you should raise the matter with your line manager. Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action.

NO SMOKING POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

We are committed to protecting your health, safety and welfare and that of all those who work for us by providing a safe place of work and protecting all workers, service users, customers and visitors from exposure to smoke. All of our workplaces (including our vehicles) are smoke-free in accordance with the Health Act 2006 and associated regulations. All staff and visitors have the right to a smoke-free environment. This policy covers all employees, officers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers. Anyone visiting our premises or using our vehicles must comply with the smoking restrictions set out in this policy. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended at any time. If you wish to suggest improvements to the policy or experience particular difficulty complying with it you should discuss the situation with your line manager.

WHERE IS SMOKING BANNED?

Smoking is not permitted anywhere in our workplace. The ban applies to anything that can be smoked and includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, pipes (including water pipes such as shisha and hookah pipes), cigars and herbal cigarettes. No-smoking signs are displayed at the entrances to [enclosed or substantially enclosed premises at] our workplace. Anyone using our vehicles, whether as a driver or passenger, must ensure the vehicles remain smoke-free. Any of our vehicles that are used primarily for private purposes are excluded from the smoking ban.

WHERE IS SMOKING PERMITTED?

You may only smoke outside in designated areas during breaks. When smoking outside, you must dispose of cigarette butts and other litter appropriately in the receptacles provided.

BREACHES OF THE POLICY

Breaches of this policy by any employee will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure and, in serious cases, may be treated as gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal. Smoking in smoke-free premises or vehicles is also a criminal offence and may result in a fixed penalty fine and/or prosecution.

SICKNESS ABSENCE POLICY

ABOUT THIS POLICY

This policy sets out our arrangements for sick pay and for reporting and managing sickness absence. Abuse of sickness absence, including failing to report absence or falsely claiming sick pay will be treated as misconduct under our Disciplinary Procedure. This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.

REPORTING WHEN YOU ARE SICK

If you cannot attend work because you are sick or injured you should telephone your manager as early as possible and no later than0 minutes after the time when you are normally expected to start work.

EVIDENCE OF INCAPACITY

You must complete a self-certification form for sickness absence of up to seven calendar days. For absence of more than a week you must provide a doctor's certificate stating that you are not fit for work and giving the reason. You must also complete a self-certification form to cover the first seven days. If absence continues beyond the expiry of a certificate, a further certificate must be provided. If your doctor provides a certificate stating that you "may be fit for work" you must inform your manager immediately. We will hold a discussion with you about how to facilitate your return to work, taking account of your doctor's advice. If appropriate measures cannot be taken, you will remain on sick leave and we will set a date for review.

STATUTORY SICK PAY

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you satisfy the relevant statutory requirements. Qualifying days for SSP are Monday to Friday, or as set out in your employment contract. The rate of SSP is set by the government in April each year. No SSP is payable for the first three consecutive days of absence. It starts on the fourth day of absence and may be payable for up to 28 weeks.

FIT FOR WORK SERVICE (FFW)

FFW is a government-funded occupational health assessment service. The service is intended to assist employees return to work, using a return-to-work plan where appropriate. If you want to know more about FFW please speak to Human Resources. Once you have been absent for four weeks, either we or your doctor may suggest referring you to FFW. Your doctor may do this before you have been absent for four weeks if they think it would be beneficial for you. If your doctor refers you to FFW please let the HR department know, unless you would prefer not to tell us. If your case manager at FFW wishes to speak to us, please ask them to contact the Human Resources department.

RETURN-TO-WORK INTERVIEWS

After a period of sick leave your manager may hold a return-to-work interview with you. The purposes may include: Ensuring you are fit for work and agreeing any actions necessary to facilitate your return; Confirming you have submitted the necessary certificates; Updating you on anything that may have happened during your absence; Raising any other concerns regarding your absence record or your return to work.

MANAGING LONG-TERM OR PERSISTENT ABSENCE

The following paragraphs set out our procedure for dealing with long-term absence or where your level or frequency of short-term absence has given us cause for concern. The purpose of the procedure is to investigate and discuss the reasons for your absence, whether it is likely to continue or recur, and whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance. We may decide that medical evidence, or further medical evidence, is required before deciding on a course of action. We will notify you in writing of the time, date and place of any meeting, and why it is being held. We will usually give you a week's notice of the meeting. Meetings will normally be conducted by your line manager and will be attended by a member of the Human Resources department. If you cannot attend at the time specified you should let us know as soon as possible and we will try, within reason, to agree an alternative time. If you have a disability, we will consider whether reasonable adjustments may need to be made to the sickness absence meetings procedure, or to your role or working arrangements.

MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

We may ask you to consent to a medical examination by a doctor or occupational health professional or other specialist nominated by us (at our expense). You will be asked to agree that any medical report produced may be disclosed to us and that we may discuss the contents of the report with the specialist and with our advisers. All medical reports will be kept confidential.

INITIAL SICKNESS ABSENCE MEETING

The purposes of a sickness absence meeting or meetings will be to discuss the reasons for your absence, how long it is likely to continue, whether it is likely to recur, whether to obtain a medical report, and whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance. In cases of long-term absence, we may seek to agree a return-to-work programme, possibly on a phased basis. In cases of short-term, intermittent absence, we may set a target for improved attendance within a certain timescale.

IF MATTERS DO NOT IMPROVE

If, after a reasonable time, you have not been able to return to work or if your attendance has not improved within the agreed timescale, we will hold a further meeting or meetings. We will seek to establish whether the situation is likely to change, and may consider redeployment opportunities at that stage. If it is considered unlikely that you will return to work or that your attendance will improve within a short time, we may give you a written warning you that you are at risk of dismissal. We may also set a further date for review.

FINAL SICKNESS ABSENCE MEETING

Where you have been warned that you are at risk of dismissal, and the situation has not changed significantly, we will hold a meeting to consider the possible termination of your employment. Before we make a decision, we will consider any matters you wish to raise and whether there have been any changes since the last meeting.

APPEALS

You may appeal against the outcome of any stage of this procedure. If you wish to appeal you should set out your appeal in writing to the Human Resources department, stating your grounds of appeal, within one week of the date on which the decision was sent or given to you. If you are appealing against a decision to dismiss you, we will hold an appeal meeting, normally within two weeks of receiving the appeal. This will be dealt with impartially and, where possible, by a more senior manager who has not previously been involved in the case. We will confirm our final decision in writing, usually within one week of the appeal hearing. There is no further right of appeal. The date that any dismissal takes effect will not be delayed pending the outcome of an appeal. However, if the appeal is successful, the decision to dismiss will be revoked with no loss of continuity or pay.

EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT

As a Revital employee, you are currently entitled to a 25%-20% discount on the following items

  1. 25% on all items
  2. 20% on food items

This discount privilege applies only to purchases you make for:

  1. Your spouse.
  2. Dependents living in your household.
  3. Gifts from you to anyone you personally know.

You may not apply your employee discount to purchases you make for anyone from whom you will be reimbursed. Violations of Employee Discount policy/procedure will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. In order to receive your discount, inform the staff member prior to the beginning of the transaction.

PURCHASES

You may make purchases before and after work, or on breaks, but not while you are on duty. If you make a purchase while on a break, immediately place your purchase in your bag/locker. Personal belongings are not permitted on the shop floor or in the staff room. You may not purchase your own item. Instead, when you wish to make a purchase from your store, another customer service representative must complete the transaction. Also, the Store reserves the right to check the package of an employee, which they carry out of the Store.

EMPLOYEE THEFT

Any employee apprehended stealing from Revital Stores property or merchandise will immediately be dismissed in addition to facing the disciplinary actions which adhere to all shoplifters. This pertains to items in storage areas and in other Revital Divisions, as well as to merchandise within the Store. Purposely charging a lower price than listed or omitting an item, or making change for yourself are all additional grounds for disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal.

DISMISSABLE OFFENSES

  1. The following lists some examples of grounds for immediate dismissal (this list is not intended to be all inclusive):
  2. Theft/dishonesty, including misappropriation of Association time, property, money, merchandise or product, and engaging in any illicit activity.
  3. Use of verbal or physical violence or force.
  4. Unauthorised destruction of company property.
  5. Falsification of records or documents.
  6. Insubordination.
  7. Failure to comply with policies and procedures.
  8. Violations/misuse of employee discount.
  9. Failing to notify your supervisor/manager.
  10. Providing false testimony in the course of an investigation.
  11. Bringing forth false or malicious complaints about others in the work place; failing to comply with an investigation into work place complaints.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Revital retains the right to establish or modify compensation, benefits, working conditions, positions, duties, and other terms and conditions of employment with or without advance notice. This includes the right to impose discipline of whatever type and for whatever reasons that Revital, at its sole discretion, determines to be appropriate. Individuals who have been involuntarily separated from prior employment with Revital due to unsatisfactory job performance and/or misconduct are not eligible for rehire at any time in the future. Individuals who have been convicted of theft from Revital or who have admitted to theft are not eligible for employment with Revital at any time in the future.