Policies

FT 2020 Ltd, trading as Concept Maths and Reading 4Life.

EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY (Reviewed December 2020)

Contents

 

Part 1: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement

 

Part 2: Principles

 

Part 1: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement

 

FT 2020 is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. We aim to be truly representative of all sections of society and our customers, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. 

 

FT 2020 aim to make our products and services as accessible and responsive as possible to all existing and potential, and to provide products and services to them which recognise and respect their differences.

 

This policy is not contractual but indicates the way we wish to address diversity in the workplace.

 

Part 2: Principles

 

FT 2020 fully accepts its responsibilities under current legislation, and aims to go beyond this to:

 

  • recognise that everyone has a right to their distinctive and diverse identity.

  • have a workforce which generally reflects the clients and communities we serve.

  • understand how diversity can improve our ability to deliver better services.

  • provide services that are responsive to the needs of our clients and the communities which we serve.

  • provide all employees with the necessary training and development they need to contribute to our goals.

  • provide a supportive, open environment where employees may use their talents fully and where they are treated fairly and with dignity and respect, in an environment free from abuse or offensive behaviour, bullying or harassment, intimidation or prejudice regardless of a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or philosophical belief, sex or sexual orientation) or additionally, any impairment, responsibility for dependants, social background or any other individual characteristic which may unfairly affect their opportunities in life.

HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY (Reviewed December 2020)

 

Contents

 

Part 1: Health & Safety Policy Statement

 

Part 2: Safety Organisation

Objectives

Responsibilities

Risk Assessments

 

Part 3: Safety Arrangements

Introduction

Specific Arrangements for Health and Safety:

  • Accident Reporting

  • Accident Investigation

  • Reporting Procedures

  • Safe Working Procedures

  • Use of Equipment

  • Good Housekeeping

  • Smoking

  • Emergency Services

  • Visitors

  • Manual Handling of Loads

  • Risk assessment

  • Health & Safety Information & Advice

 

Part 1: Health & Safety Policy Statement 

 

The promotion of Health and Safety at Work is of the utmost importance for all personnel that work for, work with or visit FT 2020. Every reasonable step should be taken to prevent injury and ill-health to personnel by protecting individuals from hazards at work. 

 

This is approached by: 

 

·      Assessing and controlling risk as part of the day-to-day management.

·      Providing and maintaining safe, healthy and secure working conditions, training and instruction so that personnel are able to perform their various tasks safely and efficiently. 

·      Ensuring that a constant awareness with regard to Health and Safety at Work is maintained in respect of all activities performed by the business.

  • Periodic review of the safety policy as business activities and the associated risks change. 

 

 

All personnel employed within FT 2020 have a legal obligation to co-operate in the operation of this policy by not interfering with or misusing equipment that has been provided in the interests of Health and Safety. 

 

All employees within FT 2020 have a corresponding obligation to co-operate and comply with this policy so far as is reasonably practicable by: 

 

·      Complying with safety procedures, whether written or brought to their attention by other means for their own protection, protection of those under their supervision and others who may be affected by their actions. 

·      Reporting any incident to the Safety Officer (Buildings Manager) which has led, or could have led to damage or injury. 

  • Assisting in any investigation with regards to accidents, dangerous occurrences or near misses. 

 

Part 2: Safety Organisation 

 

Objectives 

 

2.1. The objectives FT 2020 Health & Safety Policy are:

 

  • To promote high standards of Safety, Health and Welfare in compliance with the Health and Safety at Work, Etc. Act 1974, other Statutory Instruments and Approved Codes of Practice. 

  • To ensure that places and methods of work are safe and healthy through the arrangements set out in Part 3 and others which are adopted from time to time as appropriate to changing circumstances. 

  • To protect personnel, whether they be employees, clients or any visitors, from any foreseeable hazards. 

  • To ensure adequate training, instruction, supervision and information is given to all employees in order that they may work in safety in so far as is reasonable and practicable. 

  • To ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all personnel and that there are sufficient facilities and arrangements for their welfare. 

  • To ensure that awareness with regards to all aspects of safety is fostered by all personnel. 

  • To ensure personnel are aware of their responsibility to take any steps necessary in order that the health and safety of both themselves and others may be safeguarded and to co-operate in all aspects with regard to safety. 

  • To ensure that full and effective consultation on all matters is encouraged. 

 

Responsibilities

 

2.2. Responsibilities of individuals within FT 2020 are as follows: 

 

·      Company Directors. The ultimate responsibility for all aspects of Health and Safety at Work within FT 2020 rests with the Company Directors through the safety organisation. 

·      Safety Officer. The Safety Officer is responsible for the effective implementation of the Health & Safety Policy and encouraging employees, through regular monitoring, to implement health and safety arrangements. 

·      Employees. The responsibility of applying Safety Procedures on a day-to-day basis rests with all employees. All accidents will be investigated by them in accordance with current procedures in order that the cause of any accident can be identified, and remedial action taken as appropriate. They are to ensure that they frequently make inspections of their area(s) of responsibility, taking prompt remedial action where necessary. Employees, clients and visitors have a responsibility to ensure that, they act with all reasonable care with regard to the health and safety of themselves and other employees of FT 2020, clients and visitors. They are required to co-operate with the Safety Officer and adhere to safety guidance given, in helping to maintain standards of health and safety within FT 2020 and its operations. 

  • Clients and visitors. It is the responsibility of clients and visitors to read and comply with FT 2020 Health and Safety Policy. 

 

Risk Assessments

 

2.3 Responsibility for assessing and controlling risks rests with all personnel within FT 2020. These are completed regularly. Risk assessment and training shall be performed in consultation with the Safety Officer. 

 

Part 3: Safety Arrangements

 

Introduction 

 

3.1 The safety arrangements set out below are for the information, guidance and compliance of all personnel in FT 2020. 

3.2 Health and safety are integral parts of management. They are key considerations which should under-pin and facilitate all activities of FT 2020.

3.3 In carrying out their normal functions, it is the duty of the Safety Officer to do everything possible to prevent injury to individuals. This will be achieved so far as is reasonably practicable by adoption of arrangements and procedures developed out of risk assessment for control of risk. These can be summarised as:

 

  • Providing and maintaining safe equipment and safe systems of work. 

  • Providing the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure all personnel are aware of their responsibilities for safety. 

  • Providing safe places of work with safe access to and egress from them. 

  • Providing a safe and healthy working environment. 

  • Providing a system for rapidly identifying and remedying hazards. 

  • Where hazardous conditions cannot be eliminated, providing suitable protective clothing and equipment. 

 

More specific arrangements are set out below and which will be supplemented from time to time as necessary to address new risks in the form of appendices. 

 

3.4 All personnel have a statutory duty to co-operate in fulfilling the objectives of the FT 2020 Health and Safety Policy and a personal responsibility to take reasonable care to ensure that their actions do not cause injury to themselves and to others. 

3.5 Employees are required to observe special rules and safe methods that apply to their own work and to report hazards discovered by them to the Safety Officer. 

3.6 No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.

 

Specific Arrangements for Health & Safety 

 

3.7 Accident Reporting. Any accident or injury is to be reported to the Safety Officer by the person or persons involved in the accident and entered in the Accident Report Book. Accident Books are held by the Safety Officer. Entrees can be made electronically (e.g. using email). The Safety Officer is to ensure that the Directors are informed of all accidents of a serious nature and any dangerous occurrences and where applicable follow the requirements of current legislation (RIDDOR, 1995).

 

3.8 Accident Investigation: 

 

  • All significant accidents or incidents that are considered to be dangerous 'near miss' situations are to be reported to the Safety Officer.

  • The Safety Officer is to carry out an immediate investigation into the incident in order that the cause of the accident can be identified and measures taken to prevent a recurrence. 

  • Investigations such as these are essential in order that accidents damage to equipment and property, and losses, are kept to a minimum. 

  • The Safety Officer is responsible for the co-ordination of such investigations. 

  • All clients and visitors must ensure that accidents involving their personnel connected to the operations of FT 2020 are reported to the Safety Officer as well as their own reporting chain. 

 

3.9 Reporting Procedures. Any practice or condition that is likely to have an adverse effect on health and safety of personnel, or damage to equipment or property, is to be reported to the Safety Officer. Such reports are to be recorded. 

 

3.10 Safe Working Procedures. The Safety Officer must ensure that safe working procedures detailed below are developed through: 

 

  • Assessing the tasks

  • Identifying the hazards

  • Defining a safe method

  • Implementing the system

  • Monitoring the system.

 

Once developed, safe working procedures must be promulgated to protect all personnel working within their area(s) of responsibility from dangers to their health and safety. They are also to familiarise themselves with laid down procedures and ensure that personnel under their control are fully conversant with these procedures. 

 

3.11 Use of Equipment. All equipment must be used in the correct manner, according to accompanying instructions. If any equipment is found to be defective following the guidelines listed below:

 

  • All defects found in any equipment must be reported immediately to the Safety Officer. 

  • The equipment concerned is to be withdrawn from service, clearly marked and isolated in an area where it cannot be re-issued for further use until repair has been affected.

 

3.12 Good Housekeeping. Tidiness, cleanliness and efficiency are essential factors in the promotion of health and safety. Accidents can be prevented by following the guidelines listed below: 

 

  • Keep corridors and passage ways unobstructed. 

  • Ensure shelves in storerooms are stacked neatly and not overloaded. 

  • Keep floors clean. 

  • Do not obstruct emergency exits. 

 

3.13 Smoking. Smoking is not permitted in any buildings or their surrounds, relating to the business activities of FT 2020.

 

3.14 Emergency Services. Fire, Police or Ambulance Services can be contacted by dialling 999 and asking for the Service required. Personnel are responsible for knowing the location of Fire Points and Fire Exits in any place where they conduct FT 2020’s activities. They should also know the location of the Assembly Point in the event of a fire.

 

3.15 Visitors. All visitors must register when they arrive and leave the premises where FT 2020 conduct their business. It is the duty of all personnel within FT 2020 to ensure the health and safety of all visitors.

 

3.16 Manual Handling of Loads. Personnel are not to lift, drag, push or carry heavy or awkward loads unless training has been undertaken and risk assessments carried out.

 

3.17 Risk Assessment. The management of risk forms a central theme in this policy. All employees should be familiar with the principles of risk assessment as it impacts on all activities carried out by FT 2020. The principles below can be used:

 

  • Look for the hazards.

  • Employees doing the assessment should walk around their area of work and look afresh at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ignore the trivial and concentrate on significant hazards which could conceivably result in serious harm or affect a number of people.

  • Decide who might be harmed and how.

 

Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done. Employees need to consider how likely it is that each hazard could cause harm, and what can be done to reduce the risk. Once any precautions have been taken, it still remains to decide whether any remaining hazards still constitute a high, medium or low risk. In controlling risks, the following principles should be applied, in order if possible: 

 

·      try a less risky option 

·      prevent access to the hazard 

·      organise activity to reduce exposure to the hazard 

·      issue personal protective equipment, and insist it is worn 

  • provide welfare facilities, such as washing and first aid facilities 

 

Record any findings. Significant conclusions and findings from risk assessments need to be written down. Risk assessments must be suitable and sufficient, showing that: 

 

·      a proper check was made 

·      those potentially affected have been identified 

·      the obvious significant hazards have been dealt with 

  • the precautions taken were reasonable, leaving a remaining low risk 

 

Review the assessment and revise it if necessary. 

 

The written record needs to be periodically reviewed and revised if necessary. It is good practice to review assessments from time to time to ensure that any precautions taken are still working effectively. 

 

Simple Risk Assessment 

 

Hazard and risk. It is important to understand the meaning of these two terms to effectively carry out a risk assessment. Hazard is defined as the potential to cause harm. Risk is defined as the likelihood of an event occurring which will allow the hazard to be manifested. The level of risk depends upon a combination of these two factors, for example the act of carrying a heavy weight carries with it the attendant risk of it being dropped, thereby causing a foot injury. The likelihood of this being dropped will increase in line with the number of times the operation is carried out and the duration of the operation. Similarly, a flammable liquid presents a fire hazard, but the risk of this occurring is low whilst being correctly stored but will be high if used in an area where there is a source of ignition.

 

To allow for the possibility of dramatic consequences which may arise, then the potential consequences from a single event should also be incorporated into the evaluation. In the vast majority of situations, the consequences would be restricted to a single individual. A small number of situations could give rise to the event affecting a small number of people within the immediate vicinity of the incident, e.g. other occupants of a work room. At its most extreme an incident could endanger individuals beyond the locality, for example everyone else within the building. Higher consequence events will only be associated with higher hazard activities, typically activities which could result in a fire, explosion, toxic gas release or serious mechanical failure, e.g. of heavy lifting equipment.

 

Qualitative Ranking of Risk

 

To assist in prioritising areas requiring health and safety improvements then the level of risk may be qualitatively ranked. This can be done by scoring each of the three factors - hazard, risk and consequences from 1 to 3, 1 being the lowest, 3 being the highest. The product of this is numbered between 1 and 27 and the higher scoring action points will be seen as having the greater priority.

 

Risk severity = hazard x risk x consequences.

 

The severity of the hazard may be scored as follows:

 

3 - major (death or severe injury may result)

2 - serious (injuries requiring medical treatment or more than three days off work)

1 - slight (injuries requiring no more than first aid treatment, or brief absences from work)

 

Risk can be similarly ranked:

3 - high (event will occur frequently)

2 - medium (event will occur occasionally

1 - low (event will seldom occur)

 

In determining the likelihood of an event occurring, account needs to be taken of both the chance of it happening each time the task is carried out and the frequency/regularity of that task. Hence an infrequently carried out task which entails a near certainty of injury would be high risk. Similarly, a task which is carried out very frequently but for which the likelihood of mishap for each occasion is low, would also be high risk since it is inevitable that the mishap will occur within a realistic time period.

 

3.18 Health and Safety Information and Advice. Health and safety information and advice is available on all aspects of Health, Safety and Welfare from the Safety Officer.

 

Additional arrangements will be appended as they are developed out of risk assessments carried out in accordance with this policy.

ADDENDUM TO HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY (COVID-19)

Introduction

 

This addendum to the FT 2020 Ltd Health & Safety Policy relates specifically to COVID-19 and the actions required by both employers and employees to maintain a safe system and place of work.

 

The promotion of Health and Safety at Work is of the utmost importance for all personnel that work for, work with or visit FT 2020. Every reasonable step should be taken to protect the health and safety of its employees and others who may be affected by our activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In order to discharge our responsibilities, we will collectively:

 

  • Bring this Policy Statement to the attention of all staff.

  • Carry out and regularly review risk assessments to identify proportionate and pragmatic solutions to reducing the risk of COVID-19.

  • Communicate and consult with our staff on matters affecting their health and safety.

  • Comply fully with all relevant legal requirements and government guidance.

  • Eliminate risks to health and safety, wherever possible.

  • Encourage staff to identify and report hazards in relation to COVID-19 so that we can all contribute towards improving safety.

  • Ensure that procedures are in place at all locations for dealing with the virus.

  • Maintain our premises and provide and maintain safe equipment.

  • Only engage with other parties who are able to demonstrate due regard to health and safety matters and who are effectively managing the risks from the virus.

  • Provide adequate resources to control the risks arising from our work activities in relation to the virus.

  • Provide adequate training and ensure that all employees are competent to do their tasks safely.

  • Provide information, instruction, training and supervision for employees; and

  • Regularly monitor and revise policies and procedures as guidance changes.

 

This policy statement will be reviewed and revised as necessary to reflect changes to the organisation’s activities and any changes to legislation or government.

Any changes to the policy will be brought to the attention of all employees.

 

COVID-19 Responsibilities

 

In addition to the responsibilities outlined in the full FT 2020 Health & Safety Policy, the following additional duties in relation to COVID-19 are acknowledged and recognised.

 

Responsibilities of the Directors

 

  • Ensure that a written policy statement is created, reviewed and updated as the situation regarding COVID-19 evolves and guidance changes.

  • Where necessary, they acknowledge and look to offer additional support to any employees

who are experiencing additional stress outside of work, e.g. bereavement, illness of family members or anxiety about the general safety of their loved ones.

 

Responsibilities of the Safety Officer

 

  • Ensure health and safety policies and procedures as adopted by the Directors are communicated to all staff and implemented consistently.

  • Ensure meaningful risk assessments are recorded to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19.

  • Maintain a current knowledge, with developments and guidance relating to COVID-19.

  • Ensure any issues concerning safety raised by anyone are thoroughly investigated and, when necessary, further effective controls implemented and communicated to staff.

  • Ensure safe systems of work are developed and implemented where needed.

  • Ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) is made available and maintained where appropriate, and relevant staff are aware of the correct use of this and the procedures for its replacement.

  • Ensure any COVID-19 incidents inside and outside of work are recorded, investigated, responded to and reported where necessary.

 

Responsibilities of all staff

 

  • Follow any information, instruction, training and supervision provided to them regarding looking after their health, safety and wellbeing (including mental health) during the COVID-

19 outbreak.

  • Raise any issues or concerns with the Safety Officer.

DISCIPLINE POLICY (Reviewed December 2020)

Contents

 

Part 1: Discipline Policy Statement

 

Part 2: Areas of Misconduct

 

Part 3: Informal Procedures

 

Part 4: Formal Disciplinary Procedure

 

Part 1: Discipline Policy Statement

 

FT 2020 is committed to ensuring that employees achieve and maintain a high standard of performance, attendance and conduct whilst at work. It is expected that employees treat colleagues, clients and others with respect and behave in a way that does not conflict with our activities or business dealings or which may adversely affect or undermine our reputation.

 

Whilst we recognise that most of our employees conduct themselves in a responsible manner, it is important that any breaches of our rules, or failure to achieve and maintain satisfactory standards of conduct, attendance or job performance, are dealt with effectively, fairly and consistently.

 

We will treat all matters as confidential between the employee and any individuals directly involved in the process. Witness statements and decisions will be kept confidentially and in accordance with data protection legislation.

 

The formal disciplinary procedure will not apply to a probationary employee who fails to meet the required standards of performance, attendance or behaviour. However, the employee will normally be informed of any shortfalls in performance, attendance or behaviour and given the opportunity to address the issues and thereafter, if no satisfactory improvement is made, the individual's contract may be terminated.

 

This policy is non-contractual and does not form part of any employee’s terms and conditions of employment. It sets out the procedure that will normally be followed, although we reserve the right, at our discretion, to vary, replace or terminate the procedure at any stage.

 

 

Part 2: Areas of Misconduct

 

  1.       It is not practical to list all types of misconduct, therefore the following lists serve as a guide:

 

  1.       General misconduct

 

  • absence from place of work without permission

  • bad behaviour 

  • breach of our policies or procedures

  • failure to adhere to our rules including failure to follow our absence notification procedures and failure to provide medical certificates when absent through illness or injury

  • persistent extended breaks

  • persistent poor timekeeping and/or attendance

  • poor work performance, capability or effort

  • undertaking unauthorised external employment.

 

  1.       Gross misconduct

 

            General:

 

  • wilful failure to carry out a reasonable request from a manager including refusing to undertake a task for which the employee is accountable

  • wilful breach of any of our rules, policies or expected standards

  • any action in serious breach of legislative requirements which may affect our business

bringing, or anything that may bring, our business or any individuals into disrepute - this includes taking part in activities which result in adverse publicity to ourselves, or which cause us to lose faith in the employee's integrity

  • conviction of a criminal offence that is relevant to the employee’s employment with us and renders them unsuitable for their work

  • working in competition with us or contacting any of our past, current or prospective suppliers or customers for any purpose other than for legitimate business interests

  • any other misconduct which, in the circumstances, is considered serious enough to warrant summary dismissal.

            Conduct:

  • dishonesty

  • false declarations regarding work completed by computer, manual records or any other means

  • falsification of time sheets, attendance/sickness claims, expense claims, shared parental leave declarations or other documents for personal or another’s gain

  • serious breach of our money transaction procedures

  • fraudulent behaviour

  • the inclusion of incorrect or misleading information on the employee’s job application documents (including cv, letter of application or our application form) or the provision of false references

  • frivolous or vexatious claims made under the grievance procedure

  • use of foul language or any act that violates commonly accepted standards of behaviour

  • threatening, intimidating or abusive behaviour and/or physical assault

  • any act, or failure to report an incident or suspicion, of bribery (this includes commission, bonus, rebate, kickback, other payment, reward or benefit in kind arising from any transaction connected with a business relationship between us and any person or organisation)

  • deliberate misuse of our property, business or business relationships

  • theft or unauthorised possession of property belonging to us, our employees, contractors, visitors, clients/customers or any other third party

  • removal of any of our property from the premises without permission

  • unauthorised disclosure of confidential information

  • serious negligence which causes or might cause unacceptable loss, damage or injury

  • smoking/vaping on our premises or those of our clients

  • undertaking private work during working hours without express permission

            Discrimination/equal opportunity:

  • any act of bullying, harassment, victimisation or any other form of unlawful discrimination

  • any discrimination on any of the grounds listed in our equal opportunity policy. This includes any discrimination related to a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including nationality, ethnic or national origin))

            Health and Safety:

  • serious breach of health and safety rules, irrespective of whether this resulted in an accident

  • attending work unfit through alcohol, non-prescribed drugs or other substance abuse (including “legal highs”)

  • carrying or using any explosives or weapons

  • failure to notify us of any driving ban or any diagnosis of a health condition that may result in a driving ban (where the employee drives on business)

  • driving any vehicle on business whilst intoxicated

  • using a hand-held mobile whilst driving or in control of a company vehicle at any time, or whilst driving or in control of any vehicle whilst on our business

            IT misuse:

  • accessing and using unauthorised internet sites during working hours (including chat and social networking / social media sites)

  • accessing or downloading material that could offend others because of its racist, religious, political or violent nature, or material deemed to incite hatred, violence or slander towards a specific individual or group

  • creating, accessing or downloading inappropriate, offensive, obscene or indecent (ie pornographic, or sexually explicit) material on any of our computers and/or systems

  • accessing or downloading on-line gambling during working hours, including games

  • contravention of the Obscene Publications Act

  • downloading and/or installing unauthorised software

  • failure to comply with our Social Media policy 

  • installing unauthorised software that subsequently destroys part or all of our operating systems

  • unauthorised use of, or tampering with, our IT equipment or other equipment 

  • unauthorised use of another employee’s or user’s password or keys to gain access to confidential information.

 

Part 3: Informal Procedures

 

3.1      Employees who are aware that they are finding their jobs difficult, or who are unwell, and this is impacting on their performance, should raise this with their manager who will try to help in a supportive and constructive way.

 

3.2      Unsatisfactory performance, attendance or conduct may be improved by informal guidance or coaching. This can often be the most effective way to improve this without the need to initiate the formal disciplinary procedure.

 

  1.       Where informal approaches have been exhausted, but no (or insufficient) improvement has occurred, then the formal stages will be followed.

 

Part 4:  Formal Disciplinary Procedure

 

4.1      Suspension:

 

  • In any situation where gross or serious misconduct is suspected, we reserve the right to suspend all parties involved on full contractual pay and benefits whilst an investigation is carried out.

  • The suspension will be confirmed verbally at the time, with confirmation in writing being sent as soon as is reasonably practical and ideally within two working days. 

  • Suspension will only be imposed after careful consideration and would normally be for no longer than five working days, or a period agreed with the individual, dependent upon the nature of the investigation or availability of witnesses.

  • If a suspension meeting is held, there is no legal right for an employee to be accompanied.

  • We will consider whether there is a case of gross or serious misconduct to answer and whether suspension remains appropriate. If this is the case, the employee will be informed of the continued suspension and the reasons. 

  • During a period of paid suspension, the employee will be expected to be available for interviews during working hours. They will not be permitted to enter our premises, undertake any activity on our behalf nor have any contact with other employees. 

  • Every effort will be made to arrange the disciplinary hearing as soon as possible to minimise unnecessary anxiety and disruption.

  • Consideration may also be given to suspension if this is necessary to ensure impartiality, reduce the risk of evidence being tampered with or destroyed, to prevent any risk of reoccurrence of the behaviour in question or if the employee’s ability to continue working has been adversely affected by the situation being investigated. An alternative to suspension may be the requirement to undertake alternative duties during this time.

  • Suspension on its own does not constitute formal action.

 

4.2      Investigation:

 

  • In most cases, an investigation will take place before formal disciplinary action is put into process.

  • Investigations should be carried out promptly before memory fades, to ensure all statements are as accurate as possible and to prevent any evidence being altered or destroyed. 

  • The manager or person undertaking the investigation should not chair the disciplinary hearing unless, due to the size of the organisation or complexity of the case, there are not enough suitable people to allow a separate investigator and hearing chairperson.

  • At this stage, information relating to any witnesses to an alleged incident (such as other employees or external individuals) should be checked and statements taken from these witnesses. All witnesses will be informed of the reason for this. Employees are required to fully co-operate with such investigations in a professional manner and to provide all information that may be relevant to the investigation.

  • Other employees are required not to discuss any information relating to the case with anyone outside of the meeting, either inside or outside our organisation: this will be regarded as a breach of confidentiality.

  • A witness may add written comments to be attached to their statement. The manager will inform the witness if their statement is to be presented at the disciplinary hearing; if so they may be requested to attend the hearing.

  • The investigation may also include examination of written or physical evidence, such as documents, photographs, CCTV footage or equipment.

  • Within the investigation, employees will have the opportunity to respond to any allegations and provide their version of events. It is important to note that the right to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative does not apply to meetings held at the investigatory stage.

  • Witnesses and informants may request to remain anonymous in certain instances. In order that a fair procedure is followed, we will, in such circumstances, explore the reasons for this request and decide whether the statements should be anonymous, disregarded or considered as holding less weight than statements from other named witnesses/informants. Where we agree to protect the identity of the witness/informant, statements and documents will be anonymised and relevant sections redacted.

  • When taking statements from a witness/informant who wishes to retain their anonymity, we will make them aware that this cannot be guaranteed at a later stage in the process and that if the matter results in legal proceedings, they may be subject to a witness order requiring their attendance at an employment tribunal to provide evidence in the proceedings.

  • The manager responsible for conducting the investigation will review the case including all the evidence collected to determine if a formal disciplinary hearing seems warranted.

 

4.3      Disciplinary hearing:

 

  • In most cases, formal disciplinary action will not be taken until the case has been fully investigated.

  • The employee will be advised in writing of the nature of the issue and provided with any relevant evidence that may exist.

  • To enable them to prepare, they will be given adequate notice (normally at least 24 hours) of any formal disciplinary hearing and provided, in writing, with full details of the case to answer, as well as a copy of our disciplinary policy (or access to this).

  • Employees have the right to be accompanied at all formal disciplinary hearings by a fellow worker of their choice, a trade union representative, or an official employed by a trade union. Any trade union representative must be certified in writing by their union as having experience of, or having received training in, acting as a worker's companion at disciplinary hearings. The employee should tell the person conducting the hearing in advance whom they have requested to act as a companion. If they do not wish to be accompanied, this will be noted. Fellow workers may not be compelled to attend as a companion.

  • Should the date and time not be convenient for the representative, we will reschedule the hearing to a date within five working days of the original date set.

  • The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the disciplinary hearing; failure to attend the hearing without notifying us or providing genuine reasons may be considered an act of misconduct itself.  Where an employee is persistently unable or unwilling to attend an agreed or rescheduled disciplinary hearing, without good reason, a decision may be made in their absence based on the evidence available at that time.

  • Dependent on the level of the case, the individual’s manager will normally conduct any formal disciplinary hearings. At all formal stages of this procedure, the person chairing the hearing is advised to be accompanied by a further suitable employee who will act as a witness and take full notes of everything that is said. Where no internal person of sufficient seniority or confidential status is available, or where preferred, an external party may be invited to attend in this capacity.

  • Both parties have the right to request witnesses to give evidence at the disciplinary hearing. However, it is recognised that this may not always be appropriate. If it is deemed that the witness(es) may have relevant information about the alleged offence(s), we will invite them to attend.

  • At every stage in the formal procedure, the employee will be advised, in writing, of the nature of the allegation(s) and provided with the relevant evidence gathered.

  • The employee will be given the opportunity to state their case and respond to the allegation(s) at the hearing before any decision is made.

  • The hearing will normally be adjourned to allow for full consideration of the evidence before a decision is made. It should be noted that further investigation may be required following the hearing, should new information/evidence emerge that was not previously known.

  • The employee and/or companion may also request an adjournment as required. The companion is there to act as a witness to what is said, to provide moral support and to assist and advise the employee in presenting the case. They may address the hearing (provided the employee wishes this), ask questions on the employee’s behalf and confer with the employee but not answer questions on their behalf, nor may they prevent us from explaining our case.

  • At all stages of the formal disciplinary procedure, notes will be taken. These will detail the nature of any breach of disciplinary rules or unsatisfactory performance, the employee’s defence or mitigation, the action taken and the reasons for our decision. The notes may not be verbatim but should be an accurate reflection of the hearing. The employee may be requested to sign the notes to confirm their accuracy and may be provided with a copy of them. Under no circumstances should any hearing or conversation be recorded without the prior permission of those present.

  • An employee who is not happy with the accuracy of the notes can request, in writing, amendments to be made and we will consider this request.  Where it is agreed to revise the notes, a copy will then be provided to the employee with an additional copy retained on their personnel file. Where the suggested amendments are not agreed, a copy of the employee’s written comments will be filed alongside the original notes.

 

4.4      Approach:

 

  • A disciplinary penalty will only be issued once a formal hearing has taken place and all the evidence and the employee’s defence has been heard and considered. Before making any decision on disciplinary action, we will consider the employee’s disciplinary and general record; length of service; any similar precedents; any mitigating circumstances or explanations given; what would be reasonable under the circumstances and whether any training, additional support or adjustments to the role or workload are necessary.

  • Under normal circumstances, the formal disciplinary procedure will begin with a first written warning (or improvement note) and then will progress through the stages as necessary. 

  • However, if the matter is of a particularly serious nature, then we reserve the right to escalate the procedure, by omitting one or more stages, if it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances. This means that, on occasion, we may proceed directly to a final written warning for a first offence if this is viewed as a serious disciplinary matter which may, for example, fall just short of gross misconduct.  In such cases we will consider the seriousness of the conduct or poor performance, any past disciplinary history, length of service, the likelihood of effective corrective action by the employee and the extent to which our concerns have been notified to the employee other than through this procedure.

  • It is also important to recognise that any offence which constitutes gross misconduct may, following an investigation and disciplinary hearing, result in summary dismissal (dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice).

 

4.5      First written warning (or improvement note)

 

  • Following a disciplinary hearing, if we decide to issue a first written warning (or improvement note) this will be confirmed to the employee. This will provide details of the offence(s), the improvement required and the agreed timescales in which the improvement will be expected.

  • A copy of this first written warning (or improvement note) will be retained on the employee’s personnel file. Subject to future satisfactory conduct, attendance and/or performance and, where appropriate, no repetition of the offence or a similar offence this warning will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months from the date of issue.

 

4.6      Final written warning

 

  • Where there is a reoccurrence or a further disciplinary offence which is of a similar nature, or where the gravity of the offence warrants this, the employee will be invited to attend a disciplinary hearing, following which the employee may be given a final written warning. This will provide details of the offence(s), the improvement required and the agreed timescales in which the improvement will be expected.

  • This formal written warning will be retained on the employee’s personnel file. Subject to future satisfactory conduct and performance, and no repetition of the offence or a similar offence, this warning will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes, after 12 months from the date of issue.  

  • The employee will be informed that dismissal may be considered if there is either no satisfactory improvement, a repetition of the offence or if a similar offence occurs during the following 12 months. This period may be extended at our discretion or may be of an indefinite duration – the employee will be informed if this applies.

 

4.7      Dismissal

 

  • Dismissal will be considered if an employee is found to have committed an act or acts of gross misconduct or has failed to improve their performance, attendance and/or conduct despite a previous warning. 

  • The employee will be provided with written reasons for dismissal, the date on which employment will terminate and details of the right of appeal.

  • All records of the process and the outcome will be retained on the employee’s personnel file.

 

4.8      Penalties other than dismissal

 

  • There may be circumstances where we consider alternative disciplinary sanctions to be appropriate. These could include suspension without pay; demotion (which may result in a reduction in pay for the employee); or transfer to another position or working pattern which may result in a reduction in pay. Demotion, as an alternative to dismissal, would constitute a permanent change to the employee’s terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, job title, pay and other remuneration. An employee who does not accept this alternative will be dismissed from our employment.

4.9      Appeals

 

  • At any stage of the formal disciplinary procedure, including dismissal, employees have the right to appeal the outcome of the hearing.

  • When making an appeal, the employee will need to clearly state the grounds for the appeal. Typically, this will be based on procedural issues, new evidence or a belief that the penalty imposed is disproportionate to the offence.

  • All appeals must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable – we would normally expect this to be within five working days from the date of the hearing or the outcome letter.

  • On receipt of the appeal letter, acknowledgement will be made and an appeal hearing will be arranged without unreasonable delay.

  • The appeal will be reviewed by one of the directors dependent upon who chaired the original hearing. This may result in a full review of the evidence. The person conducting the appeal is advised to be accompanied by a suitable employee who will act as a witness and take full notes of everything that is said.

  • An independent external person (such as a professional adviser) may be appointed to attend the appeal or review the matter impartially and provide advice.

  • The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker of their choice, a trade union representative, or an official employed by a trade union.  As with a disciplinary hearing, the companion will be able to address the hearing, ask questions on the employee’s behalf and confer with the employee but not answer questions on their behalf. 

  • Should the date and time not be convenient for the companion, we will reschedule the hearing to a date within five working days of the original date set.

  • The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the appeal hearing. The grounds of the appeal will be considered when deciding the extent of any new investigation: it may be that a complete re-hearing will be held, should there be any suspected procedural defects.

  • Where possible, the employee will be informed verbally of the decision reached. The findings of the appeal will then be notified in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, unless otherwise notified.

  • The outcome of the appeal is final.

  • Decisions previously imposed may be upheld or removed, or alternative sanctions may be imposed, but any sanction or penalty will not be increased. 

  • In cases where a decision to dismiss is upheld, the termination date will be the original date of termination. If a decision is taken to overturn a dismissal, both parties revert to the position as it was on the day of dismissal and continuity of service is preserved. 

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Contents

 

Part 1: Grievance Procedure Statement

 

Part 2: Formal Grievance Procedure

 

 

Part 1: Grievance Procedure Statement

 

FT 2020 is committed to supporting its staff and wish to act in line with Acas guidance (www.acas.org.uk).

 

We encourage employees to raise any grievances informally with their manager or either of the company directors in order to reach an agreeable resolution.

 

If the matter is serious and/or the employee wishes to raise the matter formally, follow the formal grievance procedure set out in Part 2.

 

Part 2: Formal Grievance Procedure 

 

  • Formal grievance: If wish to raise a grievance formally you should set out the grievance in writing to your manager. You should stick to the facts and avoid language that is insulting or abusive. Where your grievance is against the manager and you feel unable to approach him or her you should talk to a company director.

 

  • Grievance hearing. Your manager/the company director will call you to a meeting, normally within five days, to discuss your grievance. You have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative at this meeting if you make a reasonable request. After the meeting you will give you a decision in writing, normally within 24 hours. If it is necessary to gather further information before making a decision the manager/ company director will inform you of this and the likely timescale involved.

 

  • Appeal. If you are unhappy with the manager/director’s decision and you wish to appeal you should let the other director know. You will be invited to an appeal meeting, normally within five days, and your appeal will be heard by the other director. You have the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative at this meeting if you make a reasonable request. After the meeting the director will give you a decision, normally within 24 hours. The director’s decision is final.

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY (Reviewed December 2020)

Contents

 

Part 1: Social Media Policy Statement

 

Part 2: Principles

 

Part 1: Social Media Policy Statement 

 

FT 2020 recognises and embraces the benefits and opportunities that social media can bring as a tool.  For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as a type of interactive online media that allows parties to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum.  This includes online social forums, anonymous apps, blogs, video-and image-sharing websites and similar facilities.  It can be used to share news, information and successes, keep staff and clients up to date with important developments and promote healthy discussion.

 

There is, however, an inherent risk involved in using social media, in that, it is an instantaneous and far reaching form of communication and inappropriate use can impact upon staff, clients and the reputation of FT 2020.

 

FT 2020 encourages employees to engage, collaborate and innovate through social media; however, wherever and whenever the employee does this, they must be aware of the potential impact on both themselves and the company.

 

Part 2: Principles

 

Staff should follow the Social Media Policy at all times. In all communications –external or internal -staff are reminded of their responsibility to serve the interests of FT 2020 and to ensure appropriate content at all times.

 

Communications should be used with the highest professional standards and be mindful of the following:

 

  • Staff should not communicate in haste. Consider the facts and consequences of the message.  

  • Staff should be wary of what they say about others. Messages are easily forwarded. 

  • Staff should be aware of copyright and libel issues e.g., when sending scanned text, pictures or information downloaded from the internet. 

  • Staff should avoid expressing personal views.  These can be misinterpreted as belonging to the company.

  • Staff should never send messages that are offensive, threatening, defamatory or illegal. 

  • Staff must not engage in inappropriate use of social network sites which may bring themselves, FT 2020 and its clients into disrepute

  • Staff should be mindful of their digital footprint and exercise caution in all their use of social media and any other web-based presence they have. This includes written content, videos or photographs and views expressed either directly or by ‘liking’ certain pages or posts or following certain individuals or groups. 

SAFEGUARDING POLICY (Reviewed December 2021)

Contents

Part 1: Safeguarding Statement

 

Part 2: Principles

 

Part 1: Safeguarding Statement 

 

FT 2020 seek, at every opportunity, to protect children and young people who use our services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services. FT 2020 look to provide all staff and volunteers, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

 

Part 2: Principles

 

FT 2020 believe that:

 

  • the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse 

  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues 

  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and 

other agencies is essential in promoting young people's welfare.

 

FT 2020 will keep children and young people safe by:

 

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them 

  • appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people, a 

deputy and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding 

  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, 

procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers

  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related 

procedures 

  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, 

support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently 

  • recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made 

  • recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions 

  • making sure that children, young people and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern 

  • using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately 

  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately 

  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise 

  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place 

  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance 

  • building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

 

Nominated child protection lead(s) 

Name: Paul Rowbotham

Email: paul@ft2020.org

Phone: 07956 507 562

Schools and other organisations that FT 2020 work with, are expected to have their own safeguarding policies in place, with nominated child protection leads. 

Matters concerning the children and young people of those organisations need to be addressed, in the first instance, to the school or organisation they belong to.