Human Resources Policy and Procedure Manual

Human Resources

Policy and Procedure Manual

Welcome

Guidance: It is important to welcome people to your organisation as well as explain the purpose of the manual. Below is an example to get you started.

Congratulations on your appointment and welcome to the team at {Business Name}! We are excited that you have decided to join us and look forward to a long, happy and successful partnership together. Our business is primarily about {insert relevant sentence such as delivering exceptional customer service}. You have been hired because we believe you can help us to deliver these high levels of customer satisfaction. We want to ensure that your interactions with other {Business Name} employees and our customers will reflect the value that {Business Name} places on {insert relevant information such as people, teamwork, bottom up management and our commitment to superior customer service}.

The purpose of this Manual is to introduce you to the {Business Name}, give you some information about our history, our clients and what we do. You will also find information about your terms and conditions and employment, our expectations around your behavior and our policies and procedures. This manual should be read in conjunction with your Contract of Employment.

This Manual is by no means an exhaustive guide to your employment with us. It has been developed to act as a resource and reference for you. The policies within this Manual are easily listed and easily accessed via the contents page. This Manual will be updated as required as our business evolves and grows. You will be notified of any changes as they occur. If you have any questions about the content please do not hesitate to contact {Insert Contact Name} on {03 9XXX XXXX}.

Our Company History

Guidance: In this section you should explain how your business started and how it has evolved into the business it is today, don’t be afraid to tell your personal story so that people can buy in to your vision and values. Below is an example to get you started.

The story of {Business Name} starts in 2008 when Janet Howie and Lucy Smith saw a gap in the SME market for quality Accounting Services. There was a need for more pragmatic, service focused providers who were willing to partner and grow with businesses and take on a role of a trusted business advisor.

Since 2008 {Business Name} now works with over 100 SME’s in Victoria across all industries..

{Business Name} aims to at all times maintain the upmost levels of service for our customers and strives to place itself at the forefront of Business Advisory Services within the Accounting industry.

What We Do

Guidance: In this section you should explain what your business does so an overview of products and services offered. Below is an example to get you started.

At {Business Name} we provide the following products and services to our clients:

  • Compliance & Risk services
  • Auditing services
  • Company Secretarial administration
  • Taxation services
  • Business Advisory services
  • General bookkeeping
  • Reporting

Our Clients

Guidance: In this section you should outline the clients and industries that you service. Below is an example to get you started.

At {Business Name} we service many businesses from a variety of industries, we are proud to list the following clients:

{Insert Logos of your biggest clients here}

Our mission, vision & values

Guidance: It is important to communicate your purpose or roadmap for success. This includes where you are headed and the expected values and behaviours you want your people to demonstrate on the way.

Mission Statement:

Your roadmap should start with your mission, it declares your purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which you weigh your actions and decisions. For example a Mission Statement for the Accounting businesses may be:

{Business Name}’s mission is to help our clients build and develop sustainable, profitable businesses.

Vision Statement:

Our aim is to be:

  • Known for high quality outcomes
  • Known for growth strategies

Values:

  • Respected
  • Trusted Advisors
  • Experts
  • Flexible

Your employment

Guidance: In this section you should tailor the information based on the general customs and practices of your business. Below is an example to get you started.

Your employment with {Business Name} is essentially governed by your contract of employment, {Business Name} Policies, in conjunction with this Manual. The following section provides general information regarding your pay, conditions and our expectations of you.

Payroll

Your pay cycle is {weekly/fortnightly/monthly}. Our pay cycle runs from Monday to Sunday over a two week period and pays are processed on Tuesdays, fortnightly. Depending on which bank you use, some people may be able to access their pay on Thursdays because this is the day payroll is actually processed.

Pays will be automatically deposited electronically into the bank account details provided to {Business Name}.

Taxation payments are automatically deducted from your salary. Superannuation payments are paid into your nominated fund.

Changing Pay Details

Please advise the {Insert Position Title} via email should you wish to change any pay details like changing or closing your bank account. Please ensure you notify us prior to the date you wish for the change to be effective by. Your payroll contact is the {Insert Position Title} and all requests for changes should be made via email.

Hours of Work

Office/Business hours are generally between 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Your hours of work will depend on business needs and the requirements of the work you are assigned.

Your Manager will work with you to establish your standard hours of work and break times.

{Business Name} adopts a common sense approach to managing work hours.

Overtime and Additional Hours

Guidance note (delete this later ) Delete or adapt this section as relevant.

Overtime is work which is performed at the direction of the manager and which is in excess of your contracted hours of work. If you cannot for some reason work reasonable additional or overtime hours you must notify your Manager as soon as practicable with the reasons as to why.

Lateness for work

Any absence or late arrival due to illness, injury or any other reason, and the expected duration of leave must be personally reported to your supervisor as soon as practicable (and prior to your normal starting time wherever possible). If you are unable to do this personally, you are requested to ask someone to telephone on your behalf.

Subsequent to this, you must keep your Manager informed of your progress.

Wherever possible you should make dental, medical, business or other appointments outside your normal working hours.

It is essential that you are ready to commence work at your normal commencement time as other employees and the business depend upon you and your contribution.

Reimbursment of Expenses

{Business Name} will reimburse employees for pre-approved expenses properly incurred by employees in the proper performance of their duties. Reimbursement will be subject to employees providing the Practice with receipts or other evidence of payment and of the purpose of each expense, in a form reasonably required by the {Business Name}. Employees will also be required to complete the Expense Reimbursement Form which is included in the Office Forms section of this Manual.

Travel

Reasonable travelling expenses, where incurred in the performance of an employee’s duties, will be reimbursed, provided that all claims are made on the appropriate form, signed by the appropriate Manager and supported with the necessary substantiating documentation. The payment of expenses is at all times subject to the prior authorisation of, and at the discretion of, the Practice.

Employees should arrange travel and accommodation through the {Business Name} preferred travel supplier prior to departure.

Generally air travel will be by economy class, with a carrier chosen by the {Business Name}.

Business Environment

Guidance: In this section you should tailor the information based on the general customs and practices of your business. Below is an example to get you started.

Work Areas

As many employees work in an open plan area, it is important that your workstation and or desk remains clean and tidy and free of boxes, papers and magazines. Our expectation is that your workstation will be cleared and tidied at the end of every day. Any items that require storage should be put away, hard copy paper files should be kept to a minimum, with soft copies of files stored on the relevant shared drive electronically. Laptops should not be left on desks overnight unless you have your own lockable office.

Security

Entry to the {Business Name} premises during and / or outside of normal business hours will be by way of keys/security pass.

It is the responsibility of every {Business Name} employee to ensure that this key/security pass is kept in safe custody. It must be returned on demand.

If building access devices are lost or misplaced, you must notify your Manager immediately so that they can be cancelled.

Employees must ensure that all confidential/sensitive documents are locked away at night. You should make sure that your personal belongings and valuables are locked away and secured. Personal property is not covered by Company insurance.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

Please keep the kitchen and bathroom areas clean at all times, cleaning up after use. You should be mindful that these are public areas and you should be respectful to others by always cleaning up after yourself. If you use dishes then wash them immediately after use.

If there are any issues with these facilities you should notify your Manager immediately.

Meeting rooms

If you need to book or use a meeting room please ensure that you book through the receptionist/office manager/booking system. Please tidy up after meetings, take away your dirty cups, files papers etc. Place chairs back in position and clean all work away.

Printing

Save costs on printing wherever possible by printing on both sides of paper. Please pick up all printed matter off the printer and ensure that the printer is stocked with paper at all times. Colour printing should be kept to a minimum.

Waste Bins

Most individuals will have these under their desk. These bins should be used for any items which are not recyclable eg; plastics, metal, a pen, food scraps etc. Please use your discretion and be mindful of disposing food scraps in the office. Liquids should not be poured/ placed into bins.

Recycling Bins

Please recycle where you can using the appropriate bins. Only paper and cardboard with NO company, client or candidate information is to be placed into these bins. NO general rubbish is to be placed in these bins.

Security Disposal/Shredders

Paperwork with any sensitive or confidential {Business Name} information needs to be disposed of by either being shredded or placed into the locked security disposal bin. The key for this bin will be the responsibility of the Practice Manager. Documents to be placed in the security bins include but are not limited to:

  • Company Information
  • Client information
  • Forms
  • Terms and conditions
  • Policies

The noise factor

Try to avoid shouting at each other across the office or on site at a client and respect people’s busy periods or meeting times. Or if someone is engrossed in something at their computer or there are more than two people meeting with someone, it usually means they are busy. Try to talk quietly when you are on the telephone and respect others around you.

Code of Conduct Policy

Guidance: The following section outlines a number of key HR policies and procedures that have been developed to assist you manage people in your business. Some sections are governed by state and federal legislation and it is important that you continually keep up to date with legal changes. This is not an exhaustive list of policies and all policies that are not relevant within your business should be deleted.

Purpose

This policy affirms {Business Name}’s belief in responsible social and ethical behaviour from all employees. This policy clarifies the standards of behaviour that {Business Name} expects of all employees.

Principles

Our employees contribute to the success of our organisation and that of our Clients. {Business Name} fully endorse that all employees are not deprived of their basic human rights.

Furthermore, our employees have an obligation to the Business, our Clients and themselves to observe high standards of integrity and fair dealing. Unlawful and unethical business practices undermine employee and Client trust.

Policy

Our Code of Conduct policy applies to all employees and provides the framework of principles for conducting business, dealing with other employees, Clients and suppliers. The Code of Conduct does not replace legislation and if any part of it is in conflict, then legislation takes precedence. This policy is based on the following:

  • Act and maintain a high standard of integrity and professionalism
  • Be responsible and scrupulous in the proper use of Company information, funds, equipment and facilities
  • Be considerate and respectful of the environment and others
  • Exercise fairness, equality, courtesy, consideration and sensitivity in dealing with other employees, clients and suppliers
  • Avoid apparent conflict of interests, promptly disclosing to a {Business Name} senior manager, any interest which may constitute a conflict of interest
  • Promote the interests of { Business }
  • Perform duties with skill, honesty, care and diligence
  • Abide by policies, procedures and lawful directions that relate to your employment with {Business Name} and/or our Clients
  • Avoid the perception that any business transaction may be influenced by offering or accepting gifts
  • Under no circumstances may employees offer or accept money
  • Any employee, who in good faith, raises a complaint or discloses an alleged breach of the Code, whilst following correct reporting procedures, will not be disadvantaged or prejudiced. All reports will be dealt with in a timely and confidential manner.

{ Business} expects co-operation from all employees in conducting themselves in a professional, ethical and socially acceptable manner of the highest standards.

Any employee in breach of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination.

Should an employee have doubts about any aspect of the Code of Conduct, they must seek clarification from the {Insert Manager Title}.

This policy will be regularly reviewed by {Business Name} and any necessary changes will be implemented by the {Insert Manager Title}.

Dress Code Policy

Guidance: Dress code policies must not be implemented in a discriminatory way.

{Business Name}’s objective in establishing a safe and comfortable environment includes setting some standards for workplace dress code. This is to enable all people to project a professional image that is in keeping with the needs of our clients and customers to trust us. Because our industry requires the appearance of trusted professionals a standard dress code is necessary for everyone. {Business Name}’s has a uniform that will be provided to everyone.

Office Employees

Office employees are expected to dress business casual during work hours. All office employees will be given an optional uniform consisting of {a polo and cardigan or sweater}. Bottoms may include neat jeans, slacks or skirt. Skirts must be knee length or longer. If not wearing the {Business Name}’s uniform, office employees must dress in a neat and well-presented manner at all times. When entering the {warehouse/workshop}, office employees should wear a high visibility safety vest.

Warehouse/Factory Employees/Drivers

All factory employees must wear high visibility clothing at all times. {Business Name} supplies options for high visibility uniform consisting of {e.g. polo and fleecy sweater}. All {warehouse/workshop} staff are required to wear {insert colour} shorts or pants. No other bottoms are permitted. Caps or beanies and jackets should be those offered by {Business Name}. Steel capped boots are to be worn and provided by employees. This is a safety requirement.

General

Sales/Management or other employees who attend meetings with clients or potential clients (valid only on meeting days)

Clothing should consist of a {Business Name} shirt and black slacks or skirt. Jackets should be the same colour as bottoms and should have a collar. Management may request an employee to wear {Business Name} uniform on any particular day. This may be due to client visits, or any other reason.

Prohibited Clothing

Employees should not wear ripped clothing of any sort, low cut clothing such as jeans and shirts, track suits (pants or windcheaters) or thongs or open toed shoes.

Supply and Purchasing

Employees will be supplied with uniform when they commence employment. Uniforms may need to be ordered in, therefore, employees will dress as per instruction from management until a uniform is distributed. Employees may purchase additional uniforms at cost price. New uniforms will be issued to staff when required at management’s discretion. When an employee leaves the company they are required to give all issues uniforms back.

Maintenance

All clothing worn, including uniform, should be clean and neatly pressed at all times.

Exceptions

{Business Name} will allow employees to wear casual clothing on Fridays only. For OH&S reasons, {warehouse/workshop} staff and drivers must still wear their high visibility clothing. Prohibited clothing as outlined above is still unacceptable on Fridays.

IT, Internet, Email & Social Media Policies

Guidance: Personal communications involve privacy issues. Spend some time talking with your staff to develop your policy to get their commitment and understanding.

Internet Use

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

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

Email Use

  1. Email facilities are provided for formal business correspondence.
  2. Take care to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information. If emails need to be preserved, they should be backed up and stored offsite.
  3. Limited private use of email is allowed if it doesn’t interfere with or distract from an employee’s work. However, management has the right to access incoming and outgoing email messages to check if an employee’s usage or involvement is excessive or inappropriate.
  4. Non-essential email, including personal messages, should be deleted regularly from the ‘Sent Items’, ‘Inbox’ and ‘Deleted Items’ folders to avoid congestion.
  5. All emails sent must include the approved business disclaimer.

To protect {Business Name} from the potential effects of the misuse and abuse of email, the following instructions are for all users:

  1. No material is to be sent as email that is defamatory, in breach of copyright or business confidentiality, or prejudicial to the good standing of {Business Name} in the community or to its relationship with staff, customers, suppliers and any other person or business with whom it has a relationship.
  2. Email must not contain material that amounts to gossip about colleagues or that could be offensive, demeaning, persistently irritating, threatening, discriminatory, involves the harassment of others or concerns personal relationships.
  3. The email records of other persons are not to be accessed except by management (or persons authorised by management) ensuring compliance with this policy, or by authorised staff who have been requested to attend to a fault, upgrade or similar situation. Access in each case will be limited to the minimum needed for the task.
  4. When using email a person must not pretend to be another person or use another person’s computer without permission.
  5. Excessive private use, including mass mailing, “reply to all” etc. that are not part of the person’s duties, is not permitted.
  6. Failure to comply with these instructions is a performance improvement offence and will be investigated. In serious cases, the penalty for breach of policy, or repetition of an offence, may include dismissal.

This policy also applies to all employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} who:

have an active profile on a social or business networking site such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster or Twitter;

write or maintain a personal or business’ blog; and/or

post comments on public and/or private web-based forums or message boards or any other internet sites.

This policy does not form part of an employee’s contract of employment. Nor does it form part of any contractor or sub-contractor’s contract for service.

Professional Use of Social Media

Guidance note (delete before publishing): The above list of duties is an optional checklist to include in your policy. Please retain or delete duties as applicable to your business.

{Business Name} expects its employees to maintain a certain standard of behaviour when using Social Media for work or personal purposes.

This policy applies to all employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} who contribute to or perform duties such as:

  • maintaining a profile page for {Business Name} on any social or business networking site (including, but not limited to LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster or Twitter);
  • making comments on such networking sites for and on behalf of {Business Name};
  • writing or contributing to a blog and/or commenting on other people’s or business’ blog posts for and on behalf of {Business Name}; and/or
  • posting comments for and on behalf of {Business Name} on any public and/or private web-based forums or message boards or other internet sites.

Procedure

Guidance note (delete before publishing): If any of your employees or contractors engage in the types of the behaviour listed above, you should initiate your performance improvement procedures. These are detailed in the Performance Improvement policy section.

No employee, contractor or sub-contractor of {Business Name} is to engage in Social Media as a representative or on behalf of {Business Name} unless they first obtain {Business Name}’s written approval.

If any employee, contractor or sub-contractor of {Business Name} is directed to contribute to or participate in any form of Social Media related work, they are to act in a professional manner at all times and in the best interests of {Business Name}.

All employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} must ensure they do not communicate any:

  • Confidential Information relating to {Business Name} or its clients, business partners or suppliers;
  • material that violates the privacy or publicity rights of another party; and/or
  • information, (regardless of whether it is confidential or public knowledge), about clients, business partners or suppliers of {Business Name} without their prior authorisation or approval to do so; on any social or business networking sites, web-based forums or message boards, or other internet sites.

Confidential Information includes any information in any form relating to {Business Name} and related bodies, clients or businesses, which is not in the public domain. This includes, but is not limited to information relating to {Insert examples}.

Private / Personal Use of Social Media

Procedure

Guidance note (delete before publishing): If any of your employees or contractors engage in the types of behaviour listed above then you should initiate your performance improvement procedures. These are generally detailed in the Performance Improvement policy section.

{Business Name} acknowledges its employees, contractors and sub-contractors have the right to contribute content to public communications on websites, blogs and business or social networking sites not operated by {Business Name}. However, inappropriate behaviour on such sites has the potential to cause damage to {Business Name}, as well as its employees, clients, business partners and/or suppliers.

For this reason, all employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} must agree to not publish any material, in any form, which identifies themselves as being associated with {Business Name} or its clients, business partners or suppliers.

All employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} must also refrain from posting, sending, forwarding or using, in any way, any inappropriate material including but not limited to material which:

  • is intended to (or could possibly) cause insult, offence, intimidation or humiliation to {Business Name} or its clients, business partners or suppliers;
  • is defamatory or could adversely affect the image, reputation, viability or profitability of {Business Name}, or its clients, business partners or suppliers; and/or
  • contains any form of Confidential Information relating to {Business Name}, or its clients, business partners or suppliers.

All employees, contractors and sub-contractors of {Business Name} must comply with this policy. Any breach of this policy will be treated as a serious matter and may result in disciplinary action including termination of employment or (for contractors and sub-contractors) the termination or non-renewal of contractual arrangements.

Other disciplinary action that may be taken includes, but is not limited to, issuing a formal warning, directing people to attend mandatory training, suspension from the workplace and/or permanently or temporarily denying access to all or part of {Business Name}’s computer network.

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Social Media includes all internet-based publishing technologies. Most forms of Social Media are interactive, allowing authors, readers and publishers to connect and interact with one another. The published material can often be accessed by anyone. Forms of Social Media include, but are not limited to, social or business networking sites (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn), video and/or photo sharing websites (ie. YouTube, Flickr), business/corporate and personal blogs, micro-blogs (i.e Twitter), chat rooms and forums and/or Social Media:

Recruitment

Guidance: Decide which type of employment is applicable – permanent full time, permanent part time, casual, fixed term, apprenticeships or trainees. Legally, it’s important to get this right. Also make sure your process is accessible and not discriminatory.

Policy

{Business Name} recognises a robust and professional approach to recruitment and selection helps us to attract and appoint individuals with the necessary skills and attributes to fulfil our aims and support our business goals.

All appointments should be made on the Principle of Merit, compliance with all relevant Federal & State Legislation and adherence to this policy and related processes.

Our Business recruits people via the following methods:

  • Internal
  • External
  • Employee Referred

Procedure

  1. Create a simple position description for the job covering key activities, tasks, skills required, expectations, deliverables and safety considerations. When advertising, avoid discriminatory language e.g. young person. Target the requirements of the job e.g. we seek an energetic person.
  2. The recruitment process may include some or all of these: an application form, interviews, practical testing, reference checks, right to work in Australia checks. If undertaking an interview ensure there are no possible discriminatory requests for information, for example Do you plan to have a family in the near future?
  3. Give the successful candidate a contract of employment setting out clear terms and conditions. This includes the nature of employment e.g. permanent part time, casual. The contract should include a welcome note and start details.
  4. Once the candidate has accepted, contact the unsuccessful candidates as a matter of courtesy.

Induction

Guidance: Do not underestimate the impact of a good induction. HR research has found a thorough and positive induction radically increases the likelihood the employee will stay with you long term. Use what’s relevant to your workplace. NB: Under the National Employment Standards (NES), you must give all new employees a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement which can be found at the Fair Work Online website: fairwork.gov.au

Policy

{Business Name} will make sure all new employees feel welcome and are ready to start work safely and competently through the use of a proper formal Induction process which this manual forms part of.

Procedure

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

  • introductions
  • welcome tea
  • workplace tour
  • OH&S procedures and evacuation
  • business overview
  • who’s who
  • nominated buddy
  • a working safely plan
  • training plan
  • IT system orientation
  • copy of the Fair Work Information Statement
  • policy and procedural requirements, e.g. equal employment opportunity

Training & Development

Policy

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

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

{Business Name} commits to providing every employee with }X{ Training days annually.

Probation

Guidance: Probation periods can vary. Check the relevant award or workplace agreement for guidance. The Fair Work Act 2009 provides for a minimum qualifying period of six months in businesses of 15 employees and over or 12 months for small businesses under 15 employees (based on headcount, excluding irregular casuals), before an employee is protected from unfair dismissal provisions.

Policy

The {3/6} month probationary period is a time for both the employee and the business to assess suitability, fit and competency within a role. During this period the {Business Name} commits to reviewing employee performance and at the end of this time ongoing permanent employment will be confirmed. .

Procedure

  1. Use system to track and monitor probationary periods
  2. Managers to give informal and formal appraisal during the probation period.
  3. Give at least one formal appraisal four weeks before the end of probation.
  4. At the end of the probation period, complete a final probation appraisal and advise the employee of the result via a formal written letter.

Occupational Health & Safety

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

Remember, under the Occupational Health and Safety 2004 Act you are obliged to consult with your employees on safety and provide them with protective personal equipment (PPE). For a full explanation of your legal obligations visit the WorkSafe website (worksafe.vic.gov.au) or phone Worksafe on 1800 136 089.

Policy

{Business Name} will, as far as practicable, provide a safe work environment for the health, safety and welfare of our employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public who may be affected by our work.

To do this, {Business Name} will:

  • develop and maintain safe systems of work, and a safe working environment
  • consult with employees and health and safety reps on safety
  • provide protective clothing and equipment, and enforce its use
  • provide information and training for employees
  • assess all risks before work starts on new areas of operation, for example, buying new equipment and setting up new work methods, and regularly review these risks
  • remove unacceptable risks to safety
  • provide employees and contractors with adequate facilities (such as clean toilets, cool and clean drinking water, and hygienic eating areas)

Ultimately, everyone at the workplace is responsible for ensuring health and safety at that workplace.

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

  • identifying practices and conditions that could injure employees, clients, members of the public or the environment
  • controlling such situations or removing the risk to safety. If unable to control such practices and conditions, report these to their manager
  • making sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE), training workers to use PPE correctly
  • making sure PPE is maintained and working properly

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

Manual handling policy

It is {Business Name}’s policy to provide all employees with a safe and healthy workplace by identifying, assessing and controlling manual handling risks.

While management is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all staff, all employees must report potential and actual manual handling hazards.

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

Workers’ compensation policy

All employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if injured while at work.

Injury procedure

If there is an injury:

  1. The first priority is medical attention. The injured worker or nearest colleague should contact one of {Business Name}’s first aiders. For a serious injury also call an ambulance.
  2. Any employee who is injured on the job, experiences a safety incident or a near miss, must report the incident to their manager.
  3. The manager must write a report in the Register of Injuries, Incidents and Near Misses. This standard report must include:
  • employee’s name and job details
  • time and date of injury
  • exact location the injury/incident occurred
  • how the injury/incident happened
  • details of the injury/illness and the part/s of the body injured
  • names of any witnesses
  • name of the person entering details in the Register
  • date the employer was notified
  1. {Business Name} will let the injured employee know in writing that we have received notification of any injury or illness reported in the Register.

The manager must report serious injuries to WorkSafe immediately.

Smoking policy

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

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

Alcohol & drugs policy

{Business Name} is concerned by factors affecting an employee’s ability to safely and effectively do their work to a satisfactory standard. The business recognises alcohol or other drug abuse can impair short-term or long-term work performance and is an occupational health and safety risk.

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

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

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

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) & Anti Bullying

Guidance: EEO policies and procedures are important. Employees should be able to easily find out what they are, and managers should know the process. To keep up to date, refer to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s Employers webpage at humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/employers. The Commission offers training in equal opportunity policies and practices as well as consultancy services. Training can be provided onsite or at the Commission premises. Call 1300 891 848 for more information or visit humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/training.

Policy

This policy applies to all staff including contractors and covers all work-related functions and activities including external training courses sponsored by {Business Name}.

It also applies for all recruitment, selection and promotion decisions.

The objective of {Business Name}’s Equal Opportunity Policy is to improve business success by:

  • attracting and retaining the best possible employees
  • providing a safe, respectful and flexible work environment
  • delivering our services in a safe, respectful and reasonably flexible way

Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Bullying

{Business Name} is committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. Behaviour that constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or bullying will not be tolerated and will lead to action being taken, which may include dismissal.

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Discrimination:

Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfavourably because of a personal characteristic that is protected under Victorian law.

Indirect Discrimination occurs when a rule seems neutral, but has a discriminatory impact on certain people. For example a minimum height requirement of 6 foot for a particular job might be applied equally to men and women, but would indirectly discriminate on the basis of sex, as women tend to be shorter than men.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in circumstances in which it could reasonably be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Workplace bullying may include behaviour that is directed toward an employee, or group of employees, that creates a risk to health and safety e.g. physical and/or verbal abuse, excluding or isolating individuals; or giving impossible tasks.

{Business Name} provides equal opportunity in employment to people without discrimination based on a personal characteristic protected under state and federal equal opportunity legislation.

Under State legislation they include:

  • age
  • breastfeeding
  • carer status
  • disability
  • employment activity
  • gender identity
  • industrial activity
  • lawful sexual activity
  • marital status
  • parental status
  • personal association with someone having any of these characteristics
  • physical features
  • political activity/belief
  • pregnancy
  • race
  • religious activity/belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

Any employee found to have contravened this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include dismissal as outlined in the complaint procedure below.

Employees must report any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination to their manager.

Employees will not be victimised or treated unfairly for raising an issue or making a complaint.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are changes that allow people with a disability to work safely and productively.

{Business Name} will make reasonable adjustments for a person with a disability who:

  • applies for a job, is offered employment, or is an employee, and
  • requires the adjustments in order to participate in the recruitment process or perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the job.

Examples of reasonable adjustments can include:

  • reviewing and, if necessary, adjusting the performance requirements of the job
  • arranging flexibility in work hours (see ‘Flexible work arrangements’)
  • providing telephone typewriter (TTY) phone access for employees with hearing or speech impairments
  • purchasing screen reading software for employees with a vision impairment
  • approving more regular breaks for people with chronic pain or fatigue
  • buying desks with adjustable heights for people using a wheelchair.

When thinking about reasonable adjustments {Business Name} will weigh up the need for change with the expense or effort involved in making it. If making the adjustment means a very high cost or great disruption to the workplace, it is not likely to be reasonable.

In some cases {Business Name} can discriminate on the basis of disability, if:

  • the adjustments needed are not reasonable, or
  • the person with the disability could not perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the job even if the adjustments were made.

Procedure: To make a complaint

If you believe you are being, or have been, discriminated against, sexually harassed or bullied, you should follow this procedure.

  1. Tell the offender the behaviour is offensive, unwelcome, and against business policy and should stop (only if you feel comfortable enough to approach them directly, otherwise speak to your manager). Keep a written record of the incident(s).
  2. If the unwelcome behaviour continues, contact your supervisor or manager for support.
  3. If this is inappropriate, you feel uncomfortable, or the behaviour persists, contact another relevant senior manager. Employees may also lodge a complaint with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission, or take action under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Employees should feel confident that any complaint they make is to be treated as confidential as far as possible.

Procedure: To receive a complaint

When a manager receives a complaint or becomes aware of an incident that may contravene {Business Name} EEO Policies, they should follow this procedure.

  1. Listen to the complaint seriously and treat the complaint confidentially. Allow the complainant to bring another person to the interview if they choose to.
  2. Ask the complainant for the full story, including what happened, step by step.
  3. Take notes, using the complainant’s own words.
  4. Ask the complainant to check your notes to ensure your record of the conversation is accurate.
  5. Explain and agree on the next action with the complainant.
  6. If investigation is not requested (and the manager is satisfied that the conduct complained is not in breach of {Business Name} EEO policies) then the manager should:
  • act promptly
  • maintain confidentiality
  • pass any notes on to the manager’s manager

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

Procedure: To investigate a complaint

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

  1. Do not assume guilt.
  2. Advise on the potential outcomes of the investigation if the allegations are substantiated.
  3. Interview all directly concerned, separately.
  4. Interview witnesses, separately.
  5. Keep records of interviews and the investigation.
  6. Interview the alleged harasser, separately and confidentially and let the alleged harasser know exactly of what they are being accused. Give them a chance to respond to the accusation. Make it clear they do not have to answer any questions, however, the manager will still make a decision regardless.
  7. Listen carefully and record details.
  8. Ensure confidentiality, minimise disclosure.
  9. Decide on appropriate action based on investigation and evidence collected.
  10. Check to ensure the action meets the needs of the complainant and {Business Name}.
  11. If resolution is not immediately possible, refer the complainant to more senior management. If the resolution needs a more senior manager’s authority, refer the complainant to this manager.
  12. Discuss any outcomes affecting the complainant with them to make sure where appropriate you meet their needs.

Possible outcomes

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Note that legal action could also be taken against the individual employee responsible for the conduct and the business.

If after investigation management finds the complaint is justified, management will discuss with the complainant the appropriate outcomes which may include:

  • disciplinary action to be taken against the perpetrator (counselling, warning or dismissal)
  • staff training
  • additional training for the perpetrator or all staff, as appropriate
  • counselling for the complainant
  • an apology (the particulars of such an apology to be agreed between all involved)

Pregnancy at Work

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Entitlements listed here are based on the Fair Work Act 2009. (Cth) National Employment Standards and the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).

Advising of pregnancy

{Business Name} encourages employees to inform their manager of their pregnancy as soon as possible. However, we respect that an employee may not wish to advise us of her pregnancy earlier than the minimum notice period.

We also respect an employee’s wishes regarding when it is appropriate to tell colleagues about the pregnancy.

See the Parental leave policy on page 28 about requirements for taking unpaid parental leave, including notice periods.

Harassment while pregnant

{Business Name} is committed to ensuring the safety of pregnant employees and considers harassment, bullying and discrimination to be unacceptable behaviour.

(See the Equal Employment Opportunity policy on page 16 for our general policy and procedure on harassment, bullying and discrimination.)

Safety at work

{Business Name} understands pregnancy to be a healthy and normal process and recognises that women have different experiences. When an employee notifies her manager that she is pregnant, the manager will ask the employee to let them know if they experience any changes to their work capacity during the pregnancy. The employee and her manager will then discuss what is needed to keep the employee safe at work and adjustments will be made accordingly where possible.

Options to reduce hours, change of duties, light duties, rotated tasks, provision of a chair and provision of additional breaks are common ways to ensure safety at work, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer to a safe job

If it's not safe (due to illness, risks or hazards) for a pregnant employee who is entitled to parental leave to continue in her usual position, she can be transferred to a 'safe job' with no change to terms and conditions.

The employee needs to provide {Business Name} with reasonable evidence that she is fit for work, but it would be inadvisable to continue in her present position. {Business Name} may insist on a medical certificate.

If {Business Name} can’t transfer the employee to a safe job, she may take (or be required by {Business Name} to take) paid ‘no safe job’ leave for the time stated in the medical certificate or until the pregnancy ends (either by giving birth or otherwise).

'No safe job' leave is not sick leave – it is a separate paid leave type (pregnancy- no safe job). This leave will be paid at the rate specified in the award or agreement which, at a minimum, can be no lower than the employee’s base rate of pay for her ordinary hours of work. In the six weeks prior to the expected date of the birth of the child, an employer may ask an employee on safe job leave for medical certificates stating that she would be fit to perform a safe job, if one were available to her.

An employee may be required to take unpaid parental leave (instead of paid no safe job leave) if she does not provide a medical certificate within seven days or if she provides a medical certificate stating she is not fit for any work.

Working until the birth

A pregnant employee may work until the expected date of birth of her child. If she wishes to continue working in the last six weeks of her pregnancy she may be requested to provide a medical certificate within seven days confirming she is fit to work.

If the medical certificate indicates the employee is not fit for work, she may be required to start parental leave or take a period of unpaid leave as soon as practicable. (See the Parental leave policy on page 28.)

Return to work

If the employee has agreed to contact during leave, then towards the end of the leave period, the manager should confirm the employee’s intention to return on the agreed date. The employee also may want to discuss any requests for flexible work arrangements at this time (see Flexible Working Arrangements policy on page 24).

An employee must provide four weeks notice if they want to extend their leave beyond the return date that was initially advised (see the Parental leave policy on page 28.)

The employee on parental leave has the right to return to the job they held prior to going on leave, including any promotion. If that position no longer exists, the employee will be given whichever other available position is nearest in status and remuneration to the position they held prior to going on leave.

If an employee was placed in a safe work position prior to leave, the employee is entitled to return to the position they held immediately before the safe work position.

If the pre-parental leave position no longer exists, {Business Name} will follow its redeployment and redundancy procedures to determine if a suitable alternative position is available.

Breastfeeding at work

{Business Name} aims to understand and support mothers in the workplace, including accommodating breastfeeding as much as possible e.g. providing a private space.

An employee should discuss her needs with her manager and {Business Name} will endeavour to make a private space available or other arrangements made by agreement. Depending on the employee’s duties this may include cover while she is away from her work environment.

Other forms of parental support

Guidance note (delete afterwards): List what is available, for example child care location assistance, return to work buddy, parents club, mini- induction back into work etc. Note: Paid Parental Leave is covered in the Leave section

Flexible Working Arrangements

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Entitlements listed here are based on National Employment Standards and the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).

Employees may request flexible working arrangements based on parental and carer responsibilities. Employees are encouraged to put the request in writing.

To comply with the Equal Opportunity Act, {Business Name} will consider this request, and consider all relevant facts and circumstances in deciding whether or not to agree to the request. Such a request will not be refused unless it is reasonable to do so.

Circumstances that may be relevant to determining whether a refusal is or is not reasonable include:

  • the nature of the employee's work and parental or carer responsibilities
  • the nature and cost of the arrangements required for an employee to fulfil their family or carer responsibilities
  • the financial circumstances of the employer
  • the size and nature of the workplace and the employer's business
  • the effect of the flexible working arrangements on the workplace, including the financial impact on the business
  • the consequences for the employer of having the flexible working arrangements
  • the consequences for the employee of not having the flexible working arrangements

Other factors that might be relevant in a particular case include:

  • when the arrangements are to commence
  • how long the arrangements will last
  • information that has been provided by the employee about their situation
  • the accrued entitlements of the employee, such as personal, carer's or annual leave
  • whether any legal or other constraints affect the feasibility of the employer accommodating the responsibilities, such as occupational health and safety laws or award penalty rates.

In addition, under the National Employment Standards, employees who have at least 12 months continuous service, with responsibility for the care of a child under school age, or for care of a child under 18 with a disability have the right to request flexible working arrangements.

Flexible work arrangements will also be considered as a form of reasonable adjustments to allow people with a disability to work safely and productively (see information on reasonable adjustments above).

This right applies to all employees including permanent full-time and part-time employees, as well as casual employees, regardless of role of job function.

Employees must put such a request in writing.

{Business Name} will provide a written response granting or refusing the request within 21 days and will only refuse such requests on reasonable business grounds. These reasons will be detailed in the written refusal.

Options for flexible work practices

Flexible work options which may be considered by {Business Name} include:

  • permanent, part-time work
  • graduated return to work (for employees returning from parental leave), e.g. the employee returns part time and then builds up to full-time work flexible start and finish times for staff to accommodate child care and school pick-up requirements
  • flexible rostering such as working split shifts
  • job-sharing - where two or more employees share one full-time position, each working on a part-time basis
  • work from home
  • purchased leave (48/52 leave) – where employees take an additional four weeks leave per year by adjusting their salary to 48 weeks paid over the full 52 weeks
  • compressed hours – where the employee works additional daily hours to provide for a shorter working week or fortnight

This is not an exhaustive list, and other options may be agreed.

Employees utilising flexible work practices will be treated no less favourably than any other employee. Flexible working is not a barrier to promotion or supervisory responsibilities.

Leave

Guidance note (delete afterwards): The standards referred to here are taken from the Fair Work Act 2009.

General leave policy

Unless specified otherwise, employees referred to in this policy mean permanent full-time or part-time employees.

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

All planned leave has to be mutually agreed, and take into account workloads and the employee’s needs. Leave must be approved in advance, except when the employee can’t anticipate the absence. Any documents regarding leave will be kept on the employee’s personnel file.

Annual leave policy

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

Each employee is entitled to a minimum of {X} days annual leave a year (pro-rata for part-time). Leave entitlements are calculated from the date they started work and accrue in accordance with workplace relations legislation or industrial instruments. Annual leave counts towards continuous service (used when calculating long service leave). Applications for annual leave need to be lodged {X} weeks in advance.

An employee is expected to take accrued annual leave for business close down periods. If insufficient leave is accrued, {Business Name} may direct an employee to take unpaid leave.

{Business Name} will decide on a case-by-case basis whether it will agree with an employee to ‘cash out’ annual leave as permitted by workplace relations legislation or any industrial instrument.

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

Personal (sick) leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Sick leave is part of personal/carer’s leave. Personal/Carer’s leave is an employee entitlement which is contained in the National Employment Standards. It is separate to workers’ compensation, which is paid to compensate for an injury or illness incurred while at work.

An employee is entitled to a minimum of 10 days of personal/carer’s leave every 12 months which can all be taken as carer’s leave if required. Paid personal leave accrues at the rate of {X} days per month of service and is cumulative.

An employee should notify his/her manager as soon as possible if they are unable to attend work due to illness or injury. Management, at its discretion, may request evidence such as a medical certificate showing that the employee was entitled to take personal leave during the relevant period.

Carer's leave policy

Carer's leave is available to an employee for the care or support of an ill family or household member or if an unexpected emergency affects a family or household member. It is typically part of personal (sick) leave and is dealt with similarly to above.

Employees including casual employees are entitled to take up to two days unpaid carer’s leave for each occasion of family or household member illness or unexpected emergency. An employee cannot take unpaid carer’s leave if they could instead take paid carer’s leave.

Compassionate leave policy

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

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

Casual employees are entitled to two days unpaid compassionate leave for each occasion.\ Long service leave policy

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

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

Parental leave policy

Guidance note (delete afterwards): Entitlements listed here are based on the National Employment Standards.

Unpaid parental leave

Employees (including a de facto or same sex partner, or single person) who are expecting a child or adopting a child are eligible for 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave if they are:

  • permanent full-time or part-time with at least 12 months service prior to the expected date of birth or adoption placement
  • casual with 12 months regular and systemic service who have a reasonable expectation of continuing regular and systematic work

After birth or adoption, the parent with responsibility for the care of the child is entitled to unpaid parental leave. Employees who are pregnant may commence leave up to six weeks before the expected date.

Employees may request to extend their leave by a further 12 months (for a total of 24 months maximum), to be submitted in writing at least four weeks before the end of the original 12 months unpaid parental leave.

{Business Name} will respond in writing within 21 days and may refuse only on reasonable business grounds. The written response will include details if the request is refused.

Parental Leave types:

Available Parental Leave types at {Business Name} include:

  • Parental Leave
  • Concurrent Leave
  • Special Maternity Leave

Parental Leave

If you are the primary caregiver of your child, you can access up to 52 weeks of Parental Leave. Parental leave is unpaid except in the instances where an employee is eligible for Parental Leave Pay in line with legislation. Parental Leave with Pay is described in full in the following section.

Concurrent Leave

Both employees of an employee couple may take leave at the same time for a maximum period of 8 weeks. This leave must be taken within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child. The concurrent leave may be taken in separate periods. Each period must be no shorter than 2 weeks unless the employer agrees.

Special Maternity Leave

Unpaid Special Maternity Leave is available to pregnant female employees in the case of pregnancy-related illness or if the pregnancy ends within 28 weeks of the expected date of birth. The duration of this leave should be agreed with the {Business Owners} as soon as is practically possible, and any unpaid Special Maternity leave will reduce the amount of Maternity Leave you are entitled to take by the same amount.

Parental Leave Pay

Guidance note (to be deleted): If your business has paid leave, include the details here including eligibility, length of leave and options for pay during leave. (This section includes reference to the government funded Paid Parental Leave Scheme)

Available Parental Leave Pay types at {Business Name} include:

  • Primary Caregiver Pay
  • Dad and Partner Pay

Please note that {Business Name} will only make payments in line with the two types of Parental Leave Pay detailed below. Where relevant, Parental Leave Pay will be paid in line with the standard {Business Name} pay cycles.

Primary Caregiver Pay

In line with legislation, eligible employees who are the primary caregiver may be entitled to 18 weeks paid leave, paid at the minimum wage. Please note that a child’s primary caregiver is the person who is most meeting the child’s physical needs. This will usually be the birth mother of a newborn child or the initial primary caregiver of an adopted child, even if your child is in hospital.

This leave is not in addition to the 52 weeks parental leave mentioned above. Any periods of unpaid and paid Parental leave must not exceed 52 weeks in total.

Employees may take subsequent periods of paid Parental Leave, however, in order to be eligible for this, you must return to work and complete a minimum of 12 months continuous service following your return from any previous paid Parental Leave.

Dad and Partner Pay

If your partner is the primary caregiver of your child, you may be entitled to 2 weeks of Government funded paid Dad and Partner Pay whilst on Concurrent Leave. It is your responsibility to check your entitlement to this payment with the Department of Human Services.

Parental leave for partners

Generally, only the parent with responsibility for the care and welfare of the child is entitled to take unpaid parental leave. However, up to three weeks unpaid parental leave may be taken at the same time by both members of an employee couple, with the period of concurrent leave starting on the day of the birth (unless the manager agrees to other arrangements).

Applying for leave

An employee wishing to take unpaid parental leave must provide written notice at least 10 weeks before starting the leave (or as soon as is practicable) including the intended leave start and end dates.

Leave dates or any changes of dates must be confirmed at least four weeks before the leave starts. The manager will confirm the leave and any affected entitlements such as continuous service in writing.

Adoption

Because {Business Name} recognises that the timing of placement for an adopted child may be uncertain, employees should keep their manager informed of any changes to the likely placement date and commencement of leave.

Other Paid leave

Annual leave

If the employee has paid annual leave available, he or she may, in agreement with the manager, take some or all of that leave at the same time as the unpaid parental leave.

Time off for antenatal appointments, adoption interviews or examinations

Personal leave may be available for attendance at medical appointments. Appointment times and the availability of leave should be discussed with the manager.

An employee may take up to two days unpaid pre- adoption leave. Employees must provide notice of the leave including expected leave period as soon as practicable (which may be after the leave has started).

If an employee requires more than two days pre-adoption leave, they should discuss their requirements with their manager.

Leave for pregnancy related illness

If an employee is ill during her pregnancy, she may access her ordinary sick leave entitlements, including any accrued leave.

If an employee experiences extended illness due to pregnancy, she can access unpaid ‘special maternity leave’ for the period her treating doctor certifies is necessary. Special maternity leave is included in the 52 weeks available unpaid parental leave period.

The employee must make a special maternity leave application as soon as practicable which details the period of leave required. The manager may request a medical certificate and if so, this must be provided by the employee.

Loss of a child while pregnant

If the pregnancy ends within 28 weeks before the due date without a live birth, the employee may take unpaid ‘special maternity leave’ for the period her treating doctor certifies is necessary. Unpaid parental leave is not available in this situation, instead special maternity leave applies.

The employee must make a special maternity leave application as soon as practicable, specifying the expected leave period and providing a medical certificate, if this is requested by the manager.

{Business Name} will be sensitive to the personal issues associated with this type of leave.

During parental leave

Even though the employee is on leave, they will continue to be protected against discrimination as an employee. See the Equal Employment Opportunity policy on page 16.

{Business Name} respects that some employees do not want any contact while on leave, and others do. The manager should discuss with the employee what sort of communication the employee would like while on leave, and record this agreement.

While an employee is on unpaid parental leave, {Business Name} will ensure that the employee is considered and kept informed of significant changes that may occur in the business.

Where a decision will have a significant effect on the status, pay or location of the pre-parental leave position, the {Business Name} will take all reasonable steps to inform the employee and discuss the effect of the decision. During any restructures, employees on parental leave will be treated no less favourably than other employees and will be kept informed of the process.

If an employee has applied for less than 52 weeks unpaid parental leave, they can extend the period of leave once to take the total leave up to a maximum of 52 weeks. The employee must give at least four weeks notice prior to the end date of the original leave period. A period of unpaid parental leave may be reduced by agreement between {Business Name} and the employee.

An employee can resign while on parental leave but they must give the required notice of resignation as set out in {insert award/contract/letter of offer}.

Employees should not undertake any activity during leave which is inconsistent with the employment contract, including other employment and they should remain responsible for the care of the child.

The employee’s position may be filled on a temporary basis while they are on leave. {Business Name} will notify the replacement employee that their employment in this role is temporary and that the pregnant employee has the right to return to the position.

Time in lieu policy

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

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

Time in lieu will be added to the employee’s annual leave. {Business Name} will record time-in-lieu credits and debits. Generally, employee should take time in lieu in the same financial year within which they accrue it. A manager must approve time-in-lieu leave. An employee cannot accrue more than {X} hours of time in lieu.

Leave without pay policy

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

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

Jury duty policy

An employee is entitled to paid leave for jury duty in accordance with legislation. An employee on jury service should supply the official request to attend, the details of attendance and the amount the court has paid them. {Business Name} will reimburse the employee the difference between this amount and their base salary. If an employee is absent because of jury service of more than 10 days in total, the employer is only required to pay the employee for the first ten days of absence.

Emergency services leave policy

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

{Business Name} will support such activities wherever possible, as an important community service.

{Business Name} may require evidence of these activities at its discretion.

Performance Management

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

Policy

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

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

Procedure

  1. The manager and the employee agree on the date for a performance appraisal meeting to allow time to prepare.
  2. The manager and employee will meet and openly and constructively discuss performance over the period.
  3. The manager and the employee will agree any objectives and outcomes for the next appraisal period.
  4. Training and development will be considered as part of the process.
  5. Notes should be taken of the meeting and copies kept.
  6. Outside of this formal process, employees are encouraged to raise any issues they have when they arise.

Performance improvement

Policy

Guidance: Make sure you follow the procedures set by industrial law, awards, or employment or workplace agreements that apply in your workplace.

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

This is also an area where you will need to consider your obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act. Where relevant, you need to consider whether reasonable adjustments can be made to allow people with a disability to work safely and productively.

Where warranted {Business Name} will use improvement processes to improve performance. Should such improvement processes be unsuccessful in improving an employee’s performance, {Business Name} may decide to end an employee’s employment. Depending on the circumstances, performance improvement action may include verbal or written warnings, counselling or retraining.

{Business Name} requires a minimum standard of conduct and performance which will be made clear to employees in management appraisals. If an employee does not meet this standard, {Business Name} will take appropriate corrective action, such as training. Formal performance improvement procedures will generally only start when other corrective action fails.

If an employee deliberately breaches business policy or procedure, or engages in misconduct, {Business Name} may start improvement procedures, or, in cases of serious misconduct or breach of policy, may dismiss an employee.

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

Note: If employees have a disability that requires reasonable adjustments to be made to the workplace or job to allow you to work safely and productively, they should raise this with their manager. {Business Name} will only refuse such requests on reasonable business grounds.

Guidance: In the case of dismissal, legal advice or contact with an employer association prior to dismissing an employee could be money and time well spent.

Additionally, the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code applies to businesses with fewer than 15 employees (excluding irregular casuals) If a small business follows this code, a dismissal will not be unfair. Although not legally required, use the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code Checklist as your guide to the right procedure. Keep completed copies and records of meetings and discussions as a record you’ve done the right thing. You can find a copy by doing a search for ‘dismissal code’ on the Fair Work Online website (fairwork.gov.au)

Procedure

  1. {Business Name} will advise the employee of any shortfall in their performance, and give them an opportunity to respond.
  2. Once they respond, the manager will consider their response and decide if performance improvement action should be taken. {Business Name} will provide support such as training where appropriate.
  3. If the employee is given a verbal warning, the manager should make a note of it, date it and sign it.
  4. The manager will advise the employee in clear terms what they see as the performance problem or the unacceptable conduct. To highlight the deficiency they should use specific examples, and refer to the correct policy or procedure.
  5. The manager will allow the employee to respond before making a decision and consider the employee’s responses. The employee may have a support person present at such meetings.
  6. The manager will decide if more action is needed.
  7. If a written warning is to follow, the manager is to:
  • document it and give the employee a copy
  • give the employee the opportunity (and their support person the opportunity) to sign the warning
  • keep a copy on file
  1. The warning must clearly define:
  • the deficiency
  • a clear explanation of the expected standard
  • by when the employee needs to achieve it
  • how the business will help the employee achieve the improvement required
  • consequences of failing to improve
  1. The manager concerned will keep a record of all meetings, training and/or coaching given and a summary of discussions, and put a copy on the employee’s personnel file. This should include date, location and time of discussion.
  2. They will continue to support the employee and note the support they give, for example, training or counselling.
  3. If the employee’s performance or conduct doesn’t improve, the manager will give the employee a final written warning and follow steps 4–10 above. This document needs to warn the employee in clear terms {Business Name} will terminate their employment if there is not enough improvement, and a sustained improvement in, their performance.

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

Gross or serious misconduct policy

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

Procedure

  1. The manager is to investigate the alleged offence thoroughly, including talking to witnesses, if any.
  2. The manager should ask the employee for their response to the allegation (taking notes of this discussion) and allow them to have representation. The manager should also have a witness present. The manager shall give genuine consideration to the employee’s response and circumstances.
  3. If still appropriate, following a thorough investigation, the manager can terminate/dismiss the employee.
  4. The manager should keep a file of all evidence collected and action taken in these circumstances.
  5. {Business Name} will send the employee a letter of termination noting brief details.

Grievance complaints

Policy

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

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

Managers will do their utmost to action grievances objectively, discreetly and promptly. Be aware that grievances that are misconceived, vexatious, and lacking substance may result in disciplinary action being taken against the employee lodging the grievance.

Procedure

  1. The employee should try to resolve the grievance as close to the source as possible. This can be informal and verbal. At this stage, every possible effort should be made to settle a grievance before the formal grievance process starts. If the matter still can’t be resolved, the process continues and becomes formal.
  2. To start the formal grievance the complainants must fully describe their grievance in writing, with dates and locations wherever possible and how they have already tried to settle the grievance.
  3. The person(s) against whom the grievance/complaint is made should be given the full details of the allegation(s) against them. They should have the opportunity and a reasonable time to respond before the process continues.
  4. If the grievance still can’t be resolved, refer the matter to the most senior manager for consideration and a final decision. A grievance taken to this level must be in writing from the employee.

Conflict of Interest

Policy

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

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

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

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

Procedure

Employees must:

  • declare any potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest that exist on becoming employed by {Business Name} to management
  • declare any potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest that arise or are likely to arise during employment by {Business Name} to management
  • avoid being placed in a situation where there is potential, actual or perceived conflict of interest if at all possible

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

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

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

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

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

Intellectual Property & Security

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

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

Employees must not:

  • disclose or use any part of any confidential information outside of the performance of their duties and in the interests of {Business Name}; or
  • authorise or be involved in the improper use or disclosure of confidential information;
  • during or after their employment without the Employer's written consent, other than as required by law.

‘Confidential information’ includes any information in any form relating to {Business Name} and related bodies, clients or businesses, which is not in the public domain.

Employees must act in good faith towards {Business Name} and must prevent (or if impractical, report) the unauthorised disclosure of any confidential information. Failure to comply with this policy may result in performance improvement proceedings including dismissal, and {Business Name} may also pursue monetary damages or other remedies.

Environmental Best Practice

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

Policy

{Business Name} will comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations on:

  • disposing of hazardous waste (including EPA’s list of prescribed industrial waste), trade waste (i.e. waste added to the sewer) and waste water
  • safe handling, storage and transport of hazardous waste and dangerous goods
  • noise
  • land use
  • air pollution and carbon emissions

Procedure

{Business Name} will set targets each year to increase energy and water efficiency, and seek opportunities for reducing and recycling waste. To do this, we will:

General

  • investigate ways to reduce consumption or recycle waste
  • publish monthly energy and water use on the staff notice board including savings made, and report on greenhouse gas emissions
  • give preference to maintenance and other contractors using green products

Energy

  • buy electrical and lighting systems rated as energy efficient
  • use accredited GreenPower, either in part or whole

Water

  • buy appliances rated as water efficient
  • buy plumbing devices (e.g. taps) with built-in flow restrictors in kitchen and washing up areas, or add these to existing fittings

Waste

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

{Business Name} - Policies and Declaration

Guidance: Including this section is important to ensure you can manage your employees when breaches of policies and procedures occur. Keep this page in your employee files to ensure you can performance manage later. Delete policies that do not apply to your business.

You must read all the policies contained in this document and listed below. Company policies are a part of your employment contract and therefore must be read and understood to ensure you are fully aware of your responsibilities as an employee of {Business Name}.

Please read each of the policies listed below and tick where shown to indicate you are aware of the rules and responsibilities you have whilst employed by {Business Name}.

  1. Code of Conduct Policy
  2. Dress Code Policy
  3. IT, Email and Internet Policy
  4. Recruitment & Selection Policy
  5. Induction Policy
  6. Training & Development Policy
  7. Probation Policy
  8. Occupational Health & Safety Policy
  9. EEO and Anti-Bullying Policy
  10. Pregnancy at work policy
  11. Flexible Work Arrangements Policy
  12. Leave Policy
  13. Performance Management Policy
  14. Performance Improvement Policy
  15. Gross & Serious Misconduct Policy
  16. Grievance and Complaint Policy
  17. Conflict of interest Policy
  18. Intellectual Property & Security Policy
  19. Environmental Best Practice
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