Platinum Financial Planning Employee Handbook

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Employee Handbook


INTRODUCTION This handbook has been compiled for all employees of Platinum Financial Planning in an effort to provide them with important information regarding the conditions of employment and relevant personnel policies and procedures. The main intention of the handbook is to provide the basics of the Policies and Procedures and other information, concerning employment. Any employee requiring more detailed information may contact the Operations Manager. This Employee Handbook along with our Policies and Procedures and your Contract of Employment is your essential guide to being part of Platinum. So, whether you’re new to Platinum or have been with us for some time it’s important you read and understand this Handbook and refer to it when you need to throughout your career with us. From time to time it might be necessary for us to change some of the details contained in this Handbook to reflect changes in company policy or to comply with new legislation, so it’s important you always refer to the most current and up to date policies and Handbook.



Dear Colleague, Thank you for choosing Platinum Financial Planning. I hope you will find it a positive working experience, where you will be able to grow and achieve your career goals. I would also like to wish you every success during your employment with us, whether you have recently joined Platinum or you are an existing colleague. This Employee Handbook is designed to introduce you to us and to be of continuing support to you during your career with us. Together with your offer letter and your contract of employment, this Handbook outlines the rewards and benefits you may want to take advantage of. It also lets you know where to find the main policies and procedures that cover your employment with us and outlines the high standards of conduct we expect of you. We want Platinum to empower and improve lives through providing insight. When we asked our clients what they valued most about Platinum they said it is our professional approach, that we are a trusted partner, and we are invested in them and their goals. How we approach our business is underpinned by our values and brought to life daily by each of you in how you interact with each other and our clients. So, I hope you’ll embrace our values of being Invested, Professional, Trusted and Always Improving, every day of your career with us. I look forward to working with you, Jonny



23 24 25 25 26 26 26 27 27 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30



18. Alcohol and Drugs 19. Stress at Work 20. Equal Opportunities 21. Dignity at Work 23. Social Media Policy 24. Data Protection

Policies and procedures

11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 14 16 17 17 20 20 22 22 22 22

1. Induction

2. Ongoing Learning 3. Rewarding You

22. Computer and Telephone Use policy

4. Appearance and Dress Code 5. Changes in Personal Particulars 6. Working Hours and Place of Work

25. Disclosures in the Public Interest 26. Health and Safety at Work 28. Anti-corruption and bribery policy 29. Reimbursement of Expenses 30. Gifts and hospitality 31. Protecting our Clients and Platinum Professional Standards 27. Fire Safety

6a. Remote Working 6b. Flexible Working

7. Holidays

8. Sickness Absence 9. Other Periods of Absence

10. Leavers 11. Maternity

32. Business Integrity 33. Conflicts of Interest

12. Parental Leave

13. Time Off for Dependants 14. Performance Management 15. Capability Procedure 16. Disciplinary Procedure 17. Grievance Procedure

34. Other Employment and Outside Interests

35. Intellectual Property

36. Meeting the Needs of Our Regulators


You would be forgiven for thinking our company name was chosen to mirror the prestige of the precious metal. That’s only half the story. Actually, less than one sixth of it. There’s more to Platinum than meets the eye. You probably know it’s one of the rarest elements in the world and you might even be aware of its tarnish-free reputation. Less well known is its flexibility - the most ductile material on Earth and also one of the most stable. In fact, the official metre stick and kilo weight measures are both made from pure Platinum, making it the most trusted substance in existence. It’s also one of the heaviest and a reliable partner in alloy form. Hard-working too, as a crucial component in every car’s catalytic convertor. Look beneath Platinum’s shiny surface and you’ll discover a wealth of useful, yet largely unknown qualities. Unless of course you happen to already work with us, in which case all of this will be reassuringly familiar. WHY THE NAME PLATINUM?

Our Theme Platinum is a brand with insight in its DNA. This insight helps clients improve their lives. We are promoting the Platinum brand, not just as a team of number crunchers, but a team of knowledgeable, caring, warm and accessible professionals who use insight to make the right financial decisions on behalf of their clients.This is what differentiates Platinum from their competitors. It’s Market Insight It’s the wealth of experience and the experience of wealth. It’s the deep and wide knowledge within the team. It’s the fact Platinum is trusted by the most demanding clients. It’s the Platinum team spirit - the knowledge sharing that powers intellectual value. It’s Platinum’s openness. It’s Platinum’s hunger for new ideas; always staying ahead of change, always improving. It’s Client Insight It’s Platinum’s understanding of each client’s unique situation The empathy and the time taken to understand the nuances of each set of circumstances. It’s about recommending the right products.




Platinum Financial Planning was first established in 2004 with the desire to operate with absolute integrity, loyalty and transparency at its very core. We have a very client-focused and completely independent perspective to offer clients and an unrestricted, fully accessible service, which has quickly earned the firm a reputation of empathy, reliability and insightfulness among many private and corporate clients.

Our Vision

“Using insight to empower and improve lives”.


Our Values




Always Improving I embrace change and look for better ways to do things I look for ways to develop myself and the business I look for ways to share information, learning and good ideas Platinum supports me to achieve qualifications in line with my career goals I seek opinions from people who think differently to me I support new ideas and look for ways to make them successful

I treat everybody with respect I speak openly and honestly with clients, partners and employees I put the client experience and outcome at the centre of what I do

I keep promises and do what I say I will I have the highest personal standards I take pride in my work I communicate in a constructive manner I keep up to date with knowledge relevant to the industry and my role

I motivate others with my positive can- do attitude I bring passion and energy and give my best I focus on common goals when I work with others I focus on solutions not problems I support my team to achieve their goals I get to know people as individuals I share my own strengths and skills with others I commit to making things happen




1. Induction - We believe that employees can perform competently and productively where clear goals and objectives are well communicated. To fulfil this commitment, we conduct induction training for newly appointed employees to familiarise them with the Company’s operations and its policies and procedures. This is the responsibility of the Operations Manager. 2. Ongoing Learning - We believe that giving you the chance to learn new skills, grow your knowledge and share your experiences will help us to achieve our business and your personal goals. Learning at Platinum is focused on achieving excellence in your current role as well development, guidance and support to progress your career. 3. Rewarding You - At Platinum we offer all employees the opportunity to save for their retirement through our tax efficient and flexible workplace pension scheme. We also provide a Death in Service Benefit equivalent to 4 times the employees annual salary (this may subject to underwriting). In addition, we offer a great selection of discretionary benefits for you to choose from including Tech-scheme, which allows you to enjoy savings on a wide range of tech products; Cycle to Work scheme, which allows you to save money on a new bike and spread the cost, and Financial support for role related industry qualifications to promote professional development. We are serious about supporting employees’ overall wellbeing and are happy to provide an Employee Assistance Programme. Finally, our rewards programme is complemented by a range of supportive HR policies and procedures, designed to help employees balance the needs of their home and work lives. 4. Appearance and Dress Code - The way you look at work creates an image of Platinum therefore it’s important that we all look smart and professional so whatever your role, we expect you to dress in a way that’s suitable to what you do and where you work. The following are items of inappropriate attire:

T shirts


Track suit

Trainers/gym shoes

No casual jackets or casual overcoats to be worn when meeting with clients.


5. Changes in Personal Particulars - Employees are advised to inform the Operations Manager regarding any change in their personal status, e.g. marital status, family changes, addresses, next of kin etc. Up-to-date records will eliminate problems in cases of emergency. 6. Working Hours and Place of Work - Working hours are from 830am to 5pm unless otherwise stipulated in your Contract of Employment. It may be possible for you to carry out your job duties and to start and leave work at flexible times. If you wish to do this from time to time, you must obtain the prior approval of your line manager to your proposed hours of work. The operational needs of the Company’s business are always paramount which means that it may not always be possible to accommodate your proposals. All employees are entitled to 45 mins for lunch. Where the employee requires any additional break time this must be authorised by your line manager. In particular, additional break time is not permitted for smoking and telephone calls. Any employee taking extended break time will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedures. 6. a) Remote Working - It is the Company’s view that, the promotion of remote working arrangements increases staff motivation, reduces employee stress, improves employee performance and productivity and encourages staff retention. Whilst your place of work will usually be at our Belfast or London offices, we fully support a blended working approach, where it is feasible to do so, allowing you to combine working remotely with working in our office. You will be required to agree whether it is feasible for you and the actual make-up of your working week with your direct line manager in advance and this will be subject to regular review. Full details of our Remote Working policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager. 6. b) Flexible Working - The statutory right to request flexible working is available to parents of young and disabled children and to carers of certain adults. We want to give you greater choice and flexibility about your working life whenever we can. However, we need to be able to balance this with making sure we give our clients the best service, giving them what they need, when they need it and being able to run all areas of our business successfully. Our Flexible Working Policies and Guidelines are where you can find all you need to know about how to request changes to your working arrangements and the range of options available to you. We also understand that things will happen in your life outside of work that mean you may need some time away unexpectedly, whether this is to deal with an emergency to care for a relative or to deal with a breakdown in childcare arrangements. That’s where our Flexible Leave & Time off for dependants policies and guidelines come in, and where you can find out the options available that you can discuss with your manager to agree the best way we can support you with your particular situation. Full details of our Flexible Working Policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager.


7. Holidays - Your paid annual leave entitlement is set out in your contract of employment. Please note that the office closes between Christmas and New Year and this leave is in addition to that stated in your contract. The Company’s holiday year runs from 1st January to 31st December. You must use all your holiday entitlement by the last day of each holiday year. You may carry up to 5 days of your contractual holiday entitlement forward into the next holiday year. Contractual Holiday entitlement not used by the correct date will usually be lost and payment in lieu will not be made for holiday entitlement that is lost through not being exercised by the correct date. All requests for annual leave must submitted to the Operations Manager in good time. You must not book or arrange holidays until your request has been formally authorised. You should endeavour to give as much notice as possible of proposed annual leave dates. The Company will try to co-operate with your holiday plans where possible, but this is always subject to the requirements of the Company’s business in order that adequate staffing levels be maintained. Christmas, Easter and other popular holiday times will be operated on a rota basis where agreement cannot be reached. No more than 2 weeks paid annual leave will usually be allowed at any one time. Should you require an annual leave period more than that please speak to the Operations Manager in the first instance. Flexi-holidays - You have the option of requesting to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ one contractual working week’s holiday (pro-rated if you work part-time hours) subject to eligibility criteria and your manager’s agreement. In your first and last year of employment, your holiday entitlement will be that proportion of your annual holiday entitlement equivalent to the proportion of the holiday year in question during which you have been employed. This will be calculated to the nearest half day and assuming that holiday entitlement accrues at an even rate from day to day. During your first year of service, unless otherwise agreed, you will not normally be permitted to take more annual leave than you have accrued at the time the holiday is taken. Entitlement during your first year of service is calculated monthly in advance at the rate of one-twelfth of the full year’s entitlement. On the termination of your employment, you are entitled to be paid for any accrued annual leave for that holiday year that has not been taken by the date of termination. If, on the date of termination of your employment, you have taken more annual leave than you have accrued in that holiday year, you will be required to reimburse the Company in respect of such unearned annual leave. The Company shall be entitled, as a result of your agreement to the terms of your contract of employment, to deduct the value of the unearned annual leave from any final payment of salary to be made to you. Loyalty Leave - You are entitled to the following enhanced annual leave in recognition of long service:

After 5 years of continuous service After 10 years of continuous service After 15 years of continuous service After 20 years of continuous service

22 days 23 days 24 days 25 days


8. Sickness Absence - Should you be unable to attend work due to illness or injury, you must comply with the following sickness absence reporting procedure: On the first morning of your sickness absence, you must contact the Company and speak to your Line Manager at the earliest possible opportunity and as close to your normal start time as possible. In any event, this must be no later than 2 hours after your normal start time. If you are unable to speak to your manager personally, you should speak to the Managing Director. You should give details of the nature of your illness and, if the illness is of a minor nature, you should indicate when you believe you will be fit to return to work. You must inform your Line Manager as soon as possible of any change in the date of your anticipated return to work. For an absence of 7 consecutive calendar days or less, you are required to telephone your Line Manager on a daily basis in accordance with the reporting procedure set out above. You must also complete a self-certification of sickness absence form immediately on your return to work. You are reminded that it is a serious disciplinary offence to provide false information on a self-certification form. Should your sickness absence be for a period in excess of 7 calendar days, you are required to contact your Line Manager on a weekly basis in order to provide an update on your illness or injury. A doctor’s certificate must also be obtained. Your doctor’s certificate must be forwarded to the Operations Manager as quickly as possible and in any event no later than the end of the calendar week in respect of which the certificate applies. You should have certificates (either self-certification of sickness absence forms or doctor’s certificates) to cover the entire period of your sickness absence. On being fit to return to work, you must contact your Line Manager and let them know as far in advance as possible of the proposed date of your return. On return to work after absences of 7 days or more the Company may require you to present a certificate from your doctor stating that you are fit to resume work. In cases of serious illness, should the doctor advise a phased return to work our policy is that you will be paid in full for up to 2 weeks, thereafter you will only be paid for the hours that you work. For long-term sickness absence or frequent periods of sickness absence, the Company may request a medical report from your GP or consultant or alternatively request that you visit a doctor selected by the Company to undergo a medical examination. The cost of any such report or examination will be met by the Company and you are required to co-operate in the obtaining and disclosure of all results and reports to the Company. The Company will only request you to undergo a medical examination where reasonable to do so. The Company reserves the right to withhold sick pay in circumstances where the certification procedure described above has not been followed or where there is sufficient reason to doubt the validity of your sickness absence claim. In the latter circumstances, the Company may request you to undergo a medical examination by a doctor selected by it. Short-term absence All absences from work will be recorded and monitored as a matter of routine. Your Line Manager will formally review your absence record if in a 12 month rolling period there are 3 separate periods of absence and/or your total absence in a 12 month rolling period exceeds 12 days (whether these are certified or not), or if there is an unacceptable pattern of absence, for example, regular time off on Mondays or Fridays. Persistent short- term sickness absence is, in the absence of any underlying medical condition or other reasonable excuse, a disciplinary matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure.


Long-term absence ‘Long-term absence’ is a period of sickness which lasts longer than 2 weeks. The Company takes a sympathetic view about genuine ill-health problems and will provide a supportive approach to all employees in such circumstances. Your Line Manager will monitor your absence and will counsel you through a period of sickness absence and may request to visit you at home. If absence does reach unsustainable levels, then the Company may have no choice but to dismiss you. The point at which this action may be taken will depend on the difficulty caused to the Company by your continued absence. Dismissal will be regarded as the last resort and before any dismissal the Company will comply with any applicable statutory dismissal procedure. Return to work discussion - When you return to work from any absence (excluding holidays) your Line Manager may hold a discussion with you on the first day of your return to work to discuss the reasons for your absence and in particular whether it was work related. Sick Pay Scheme - Statutory Sick Pay- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is payable to employees for up to 28 weeks of sickness absence, providing they meet the qualifying criteria. For SSP purposes the Qualifying Days with this employer are those you are normally contracted to work. An employee, absent from work due to illness or injury, shall be paid SSP provided the qualifying conditions for receipt of such are satisfied; and provided that the requirement in respect of notification and supply of evidence of incapacity as set out above are complied with. Occupational Sick Pay- In addition to SSP, Occupational Sick Pay will be paid in accordance with your contract and subject to the limitations, conditions and exclusions set out in the following paragraphs. Occupational Sick pay is calculated and based on length of service, details of which can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager. The Company will normally accept self-certification for sickness absences of up to 7 days duration. However, the Company reserves the right, on giving notice, to insist on evidence from your doctor for the payment of Occupational Sick Pay, for any sickness absence of 7 days or less. The continued payment of salary during periods of sickness will be at the Company’s discretion, subject to the payment of the appropriate SSP when eligible. The Company will not normally consider making up any shortfall between normal salary and SSP for absence due to sickness or injury which occurs during the first 6 months of employment. Occupational Sick Pay means the difference between SSP and normal gross earnings. Where SSP is not payable Occupational Sick Pay means normal gross earnings subject to reduction by the amount of National Insurance Sickness Benefit paid or payable. If, during an employee’s absence, a customary closedown holiday occurs to which he/she has an entitlement, Occupational Sick Pay shall not be payable. The employee shall instead receive holiday pay inclusive of any SSP payable. Occupational Sick Pay will normally be paid on pay day together with any SSP or wages that may be due. The Company is required to keep absence records and should it be evident that an employee has been abusing the Occupational Sick Pay scheme, or has infringed the rules of the scheme, action will be taken under the disciplinary procedure.


9. Other Periods of Absence Religious holidays - Subject to complying with the relevant provisions as to notice set out in your contract of employment and to the requirements of the Company’s business, you will normally be allowed to use your annual leave entitlement to observe special religious holidays. Jury service and other public duties - Should you be called up for jury service or required to attend court to give evidence as a witness, you must notify your Line Manager as soon as reasonably practicable. Time off work will normally be granted in these circumstances. You will be required to provide a copy of the court summons to support your request for time off work. You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for time not worked due to jury service or other related public duties. Any payment of salary by the Company during this period is done so in its absolute discretion and will be subject to the deduction of any monies received from the court in respect of loss of earnings. You must therefore submit a claim to the court for loss of earnings and claim the full allowance available to you. If on any day on which you attend court you are told that your services are not required, you must then return to work and report to the Operations manager before starting work. Medical appointments - Appointments with doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners should, as far as reasonably practicable, be made outside of your normal hours of work or with the minimum disruption to the working day (i.e. made at the beginning or end of the working day). We provide up to 6hrs entitlement per year for medical appointments, including GPs, dentists and other specialists. You need to request this and receive approval from the Operations Manager prior to the appointment. Should you require additional time please speak to the Operations Manager in the first instance. Compassionate leave - Subject to your statutory right to time off to deal with a family emergency, the Company expects you to use your paid annual leave entitlement for time off needed to care for sick relatives or friends. Subject to your statutory right to time off to deal with a family emergency, if you suffer a bereavement or serious illness in your family or in a close relationship, compassionate leave must be approved by the Operations Manager. All requests for compassionate leave will be considered on an individual basis. The following leave will be available as a minimum in these circumstances.

Death of a member of immediate family (mother, father, spouse, sibling, child, partner) Death of a member of your partner/spouse’s immediate family

1 week

3 days

Death of Grandparent

1 day

Other cases (aunt, cousin, uncle)

appropriate time within reason to attend the funeral


Special unpaid leave The Company may, in certain circumstances, consider requests for special unpaid leave, for example, for the purposes of education, family responsibilities or for important personal reasons. However, the Company expects you to use your paid annual leave first. Otherwise, any further time off for special reasons will only be granted at the absolute discretion of the Company and you have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for this leave. If you wish to apply for special leave, you should do so in writing to the Operations Manager stating the period of leave requested and the reasons for it. Requests for special leave will be assessed on their individual merits and circumstances. Special leave is operated entirely at the discretion of the Company and it may be withdrawn at any time. General - Failure to return from leave and report for work on the due date of return without reasonable excuse is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. 10. Leavers On the last working day of your notice period all Platinum property should be returned: 11. Maternity- The Company implements the maternity rights set out in the current legislation that is in force from time to time. The maternity rules are complex and if you become pregnant you should clarify the relevant procedures with the Operations Manager to ensure you follow them correctly. It is also important that, as an expectant mother, you keep the Operations Manager updated regarding your intentions in relation to antenatal care and work (i.e. both when leaving to begin your maternity leave and when planning to return to work). We encourage open discussion between you and the Operations Manager to ensure that questions and problems about maternity rights can be discussed and resolved as quickly as possible. Maternity rights - You have the following key maternity rights: • Time off for antenatal care Laptop computer Alarm fob Computer discs and/or memory key Passwords for online websites Front door keys Client files

• Maternity pay • Maternity leave

Time off for antenatal care – During pregnancy, you are allowed time off work with pay to attend the antenatal clinic and other antenatal appointments made on the advice of your doctor or midwife. Except in the case of your first appointment, an appointment card must be produced to the Operations Manager. You must endeavour to give as much advance notice as possible of antenatal appointments and you should try to arrange them as close to the start or the end of your working day as possible.


Maternity pay - We currently provide statutory and enhanced maternity pay as detailed below. Statutory - During the first 6 weeks of maternity leave, we will pay 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax). Enhanced - Over the next 14 weeks we will pay you enhanced maternity pay at the following rates- 6 weeks on 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax). 4 weeks on 75% of your average weekly earnings (before tax). 4 weeks on 50% of your average weekly earnings (before tax). To be eligible, you must have worked continuously for Platinum Financial Planning for at least 26 weeks ending the 15th week before the baby is due. Maternity leave - All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave (OML) and up to 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave (AML), making a total of 52 weeks. This is regardless of the number of hours worked or length of service. AML begins on the day after OML ends. OML can start at any time after the beginning of the 11th week before your expected week of childbirth (EWC) unless your child is born prematurely before that date. Maternity leave will start on whichever date is the earlier of: • Your chosen start date. • The day after you give birth. • The day after any day on which you are absent for a pregnancy-related reason in the four weeks before the EWC. If you give birth before your maternity leave was due to start, you must notify the Company in writing of the date of the birth as soon as reasonably practicable. The law obliges all employees to take a minimum of two weeks of compulsory maternity leave immediately after the birth of their child. Ordinary maternity leave (OML) - During the period of OML, your contract of employment continues in force and you are entitled to receive all your contractual benefits, except for salary. In particular, any benefits in kind (such as life assurance) will continue, contractual annual leave entitlement will continue to accrue and pension contributions will continue to be made. Your pension contributions will be based on the amount of actual pay you are receiving whilst the Company’s contributions will be based on the salary you would have received had you not gone on maternity leave (i.e. it will continue to make any employer contributions that it usually makes). You may wish to increase your own contributions to make good any shortfall whilst you are in receipt of less than your usual salary. Salary will be replaced by statutory maternity pay for the 1st 6 weeks and then enhanced maternity pay for the next 14 weeks (amounts outlined above) if you are eligible to receive it. On resuming work after maternity leave, you will be entitled to benefit from any general pay increases that may have been awarded in your absence.


You are encouraged to take any outstanding annual leave due to you before the commencement of OML. You are reminded that, as a general rule, holiday should normally be taken in the year that it is earned and therefore if the holiday year is due to end during maternity leave, you should try to take the full year’s entitlement before starting your maternity leave. Additional maternity leave (AML) - During the period of AML, your contract of employment again continues in force and, as is the case during the period of OML, you are entitled to receive all your contractual benefits, except for salary. Any benefits in kind will continue and contractual annual leave entitlement will continue to accrue. During the period of paid AML (i.e. when you are still receiving SMP), your pension contributions will be based on the amount of actual pay you are receiving whilst the Company’s contributions will be based on the salary you would have received had you not gone on maternity leave. You may wish to increase your own contributions to make good any shortfall whilst you are in receipt of less than your usual salary. However, unless the pension scheme rules or your contract of employment provide otherwise, the Company will not make contributions during any period of unpaid AML. Subject to the pension scheme rules, you may make member contributions during this time. Full details of the Maternity Policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager. Paternity Leave - The Company implements the paternity leave rights set out in current legislation that is in force from time to time. Paternity leave is additional to both parental leave and time off to deal with family emergencies (see the sections on Parental Leave and Time Off for Dependants). It is also additional to paid annual leave entitlement. In order to qualify for the right to take paternity leave, you must have worked for the Company for a continuous period of 26 weeks by the week that falls 15 weeks before the week in which the child is expected to be born. In respect of an adopted child, the period is calculated as at the week in which the child’s adopter is notified of having been matched with the child for adoption. Assuming you are eligible, you can take up to 2 weeks paternity leave. You may take this in a single block of either one or 2 weeks. Odd days cannot be taken. Paternity leave can start either from the date the child is born or from a chosen number of days or weeks after the date of childbirth (or, in respect of an adopted child, from the date of placing for adoption). It can start on any day of the week, but it must be completed within 8 weeks of the date of childbirth (or date of placement for adoption). If the child is born early, it must be completed within the period from the date of childbirth up to 8 weeks after the expected date of childbirth. During paternity leave, most employees will be entitled to statutory paternity pay. If you wish to request to take paternity leave, you must inform the Operations Manager in writing of your request no later than the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. You must provide written details of when the child is due, whether you wish to take one or 2 weeks’ paternity leave and when you want your paternity leave to start. Full details of the Paternity Policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager.


12. Parental Leave – The Company implements the parental leave rights set out in current legislation in force from time to time. Parental leave is additional to paternity leave, maternity leave and time off to deal with family emergencies. Both mothers and fathers can take parental leave. Parental leave is unpaid. In order to qualify for parental leave, you must have worked for the Company (or, to the extent that this is permitted by the regulations, for a previous employer) for a continuous period of one year by the time you want to take the leave. You are required to give at least 21 days’ written notice of your proposed parental leave. If leave is to be taken immediately after birth or adoption, 21 days’ written notice of the expected week of childbirth or the expected week of placement for adoption should be given. You must specify the dates on which your period of parental leave is to start and finish. The Company reserves the right to postpone a period of parental leave for up to 6 months where it considers the operation of its business would be unduly disrupted if the leave were to be taken at the time requested. For example, leave may be postponed during particularly busy periods, seasonal peaks or where a significant proportion of your department have already applied to be absent from work at the same time. The Company will confirm any postponement arrangements in writing no later than 7 days after receipt of your notice to take parental leave. This letter will state the reason for postponement and set out the new dates of parental leave. The Company will not postpone leave if you have given notice to take it immediately after the time the child is born or is placed with you for adoption. You will be required to produce evidence to confirm you are the parent or the person who is legally responsible for the child. This will take the form of production of a copy of the child’s birth certificate or the adoption papers and/or a copy of the letter awarding Disability Living Allowance for a disabled child. For new employees, the Company reserves the right to make enquiries of previous employers to find out how much parental leave has already been taken. There is no contractual or statutory entitlement to be paid for absences relating to parental leave. Any payment of salary during parental leave is made at the absolute discretion of the Company. Finally, if you act dishonestly in claiming an entitlement to parental leave, this is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to potential gross misconduct and could result in your summary dismissal. Full details of the Parental Leave Policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager. 13. Time Off for Dependants - All employees are entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off during normal hours of work to deal with family emergencies. You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for absences relating to family emergencies. Any payment of salary during time off is made at the absolute discretion of the Company. The right to take time off enables you to deal with an unexpected or sudden problem and make any necessary longer- term arrangements: • if a dependant falls ill or has been involved in an accident or assaulted • when your partner is having a baby • to deal with the death of a dependant, for example, making funeral arrangements to make longer-term care arrangements for a dependant who is ill or injured • to deal with an unexpected disruption or breakdown in care arrangements for a dependant, for example, when a childminder fails to turn up to deal with an incident involving your child whilst they are at school


For these purposes, a “dependant” is your spouse, partner, child or parent or someone who lives with you as part of your family. It does not include tenants, boarders or employees living in your family home. In cases of illness, injury or where care arrangements break down, a dependant may also be someone who reasonably relies on you for assistance. This may be where you are the primary carer or the only person who can help in an emergency. In the event of a family emergency occurring while you are at work, you must immediately inform the Operations Manager of the nature of the emergency and seek their permission to leave work early. In the event of a family emergency occurring outside your normal hours of work which will prevent you from reporting to work at your normal start time, you must contact the Operations Manager at the earliest possible opportunity and as close to the normal start time as possible. In any event, this must be no later than 2 hours after your normal start time. If you are unable to speak to the Operations Manager personally, you should speak to the Managing Director. You should give details of the nature of the emergency, the reason for your absence and how long you expect to be absent from work. Where the emergency is ongoing, you must report to the Operations Manager daily and always at least one hour before your normal start time. You must update the Operations Manager on the reason for the ongoing absence and how long you expect it to continue. You must inform the Operations Manager as soon as possible of any change in the date of your anticipated return to work. The Company envisages that the amount of leave taken will, in most cases, be one or 2 days at most. The leave to which you are entitled is enough to help you cope with the immediate crisis. You must actively seek alternative longer- term care arrangements for the care of a dependant within one day of the emergency occurring. Should it not be possible to make such arrangements, you must contact the Operations Manager to explain why further absence is required. Authorisation of such continued absence will be at the absolute discretion of the Company. The right to time off under these rules is intended to cover unforeseen family emergencies. If you know in advance that you are going to need time off, then you should speak to the Operations Manager about the possibility of taking such time as part of your annual leave entitlement. The Company reserves the right to ask you to provide supporting evidence of the family emergency on your return to work. You are reminded that it is a serious disciplinary offence to knowingly provide false information about a family emergency or to dishonestly claim a right to time off to deal with a family emergency. Any offence will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure and, depending on the circumstances, could amount to gross misconduct rendering you liable to summary dismissal. In the event of a dispute about whether a particular incident or occurrence falls under the terms of these rules, the Operations Manager shall be responsible for determining whether the request for time off made by you relates to a genuine family emergency. Their decision shall be final. Full details of the Time off for Dependent’s/Family Emergency Policy can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager.


14. Performance Management - Performance Management is the way we support and develop you in your role and allows you to see how you contribute to our purpose on a day to day basis. It is designed to help you be the very best at what you do; ensuring that your achievements are acknowledged and that you understand how you can further develop in your role and as an individual. It’s about what you achieve and how you’ll achieve it. During the year, your manager will have regular reviews with you to discuss your progress, celebrating your successes and helping support you in areas where you need to focus. At end of each year, you’ll have an Annual Performance Appraisal with your manager to assess your overall contribution. Performance management is about making sure you get the on-going support and development you need to help you perform to the very best of your ability, regularly discussing your progress with your manager and receiving and providing continuous feedback from both your line manager and your colleagues. 15. Capability Procedure - The primary aim of this procedure is to provide a framework within which Platinum can work with employees to maintain satisfactory performance standards and to encourage improvement where necessary. It is the Company’s policy to ensure that concerns over performance are dealt with fairly and that steps are taken to establish the facts and to give employees the opportunity to respond at a hearing before any formal action is taken. This procedure applies to all employees regardless of length of service. This procedure does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and it may be amended at any time. Full details of the Capability Procedure can be found online or from the Operations Manager. 16. Disciplinary Procedure - The Company prefers that discipline be voluntary and self-imposed and in the great majority of cases this is how it works. However, from time to time, it may be necessary for the Company to take action towards individuals whose level of behaviour or performance is unacceptable. With the exception of the section entitled ‘alternative disciplinary sanction’, this disciplinary procedure is entirely non- contractual and does not form part of an employee’s contract of employment. Full details of our Disciplinary Procedure can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager. 17. Grievance Procedure - The objective of the procedure is to provide an employee who considers that he or she has a grievance with an opportunity to have it examined quickly and effectively, and where a grievance is deemed to exist, to have it resolved, if possible, at the earliest practicable opportunity. Most issues or grievances can be solved on an informal basis with line managers, and employees should aim to settle their grievances in this way if possible. This grievance procedure is not a substitute for good day to day communication in the Company. It is designed to deal with those issues that need to be approached on a more formal basis. This grievance procedure is entirely non-contractual and does not form part of an employee’s contract of employment. Full details of our Grievance Procedure can be found online or obtained from the Operations Manager.


18. Alcohol and Drugs - Alcohol and drug misuse or abuse can be a serious problem within the workplace. Employees who drink excessively or take unlawful drugs are more likely to work inefficiently, be absent from work, have work accidents and endanger their colleagues. The Company has a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of all its employees. However, the Company recognises that, for several reasons, employees could develop alcohol or drug related problems. In relation to drugs, these rules apply to those that are unlawful under the criminal law and not to prescribed medication. These rules aim to promote a responsible attitude to drink and drugs and to offer assistance to employees who may need it. If you have an alcohol or drug problem, you should seek appropriate help. If you have an alcohol or drug problem which affects your conduct or performance at work and you refuse the opportunity to receive help, the matter will be referred for action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure as appropriate. Likewise, if after accepting counselling and assistance, and following review and evaluation, your conduct or work performance reverts to the problem level, No alcohol or drugs must be brought onto or consumed on Company premises at any time except where sanctioned by the Operations Manager or Managing Director. Staff must never drink alcohol or take drugs if they are required to drive private or Company vehicles on Company business. Employees representing the Company at business and/or client functions or conferences or attending Company organised social events outside normal working hours are expected to be moderate if drinking alcohol and to take specific action to ensure they are well within the legal limits if they are driving. Social drinking after normal working hours and away from the Company’s premises is, of course, generally a personal matter and does not directly concern the Company. The Company’s concern only arises when, because of the pattern or amount of drink involved, the employee’s attendance, work performance or conduct at work deteriorates. A breach of these provisions is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could result in the employee’s summary dismissal. Alcohol and drug related misconduct Whilst these rules are aimed at assisting employees with alcohol or drug problems, action will nevertheless be taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure if misconduct takes place at work as a result of drinking or taking drugs, or if an employee is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst at work. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect work performance and, if an employee is found under the influence of alcohol whilst at work, there could be serious health and safety consequences. The same applies to being under the influence of drugs. Incapacity or misconduct caused by an excess of alcohol or drugs at work is a potential gross misconduct offence under the Company’s disciplinary procedure and the employee is therefore liable to be summarily dismissed. This also applies to any employee believed to be buying or selling drugs or in possession of or taking drugs on the Company’s premises. The Company reserves the right in any of these circumstances to arrange for the employee to be escorted from the Company’s premises immediately and sent home. the matter may also be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure. Prohibition on alcohol and drug consumption in the workplace


Alcohol and drug testing On the grounds of health and safety and where necessary to achieve a legitimate business aim, the Company reserves the right to carry out random alcohol and drug-screening tests on employees in the workplace. If an employee receives a positive test result, this will be viewed as a potential gross misconduct offence and renders the employee liable to summary dismissal in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Unreasonable refusal to submit to an alcohol or drug-screening test will also be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure. It is the Company’s policy that its workplace is smoke-free and that all employees have a right to work in a smoke- free environment and not be exposed to second-hand smoke. This is also a statutory requirement. In order to enable employees to work in a smoke-free environment, the Company’s business premises are designated “no smoking”. The Company’s prohibition on smoking applies not only to employees but also to visitors to the workplace, including clients, contractors, suppliers and members of the public. If you wish to smoke, you must do this in your own time either outside your normal hours of work or during break. You are not permitted to extend your breaks for the purposes of smoking or take additional smoking breaks during the day. Failure to comply with the above rules is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Smoking for these purposes includes the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) and any other type of smoking. Appropriate ‘No Smoking’ signs are clearly displayed at the entrances to and within the workplace. Smoking areas The Company wishes to portray a professional business image to its clients, customers and suppliers when they visit the Company’s business premises. Therefore, employees are not permitted to smoke immediately outside the entrance to or exit from the workplace. An area has been designated at the back of the building where staff may smoke outside and a receptacle has been provided for smoking materials just outside the kitchen. All litter including cigarette butts must be placed in the container provided and emptied at regular intervals. 19. Stress at Work - The Company recognises that its employees are its most important asset and it is committed to providing the support and assistance necessary to enable its employees to undertake their role in an environment that is as stress-free as possible. The Company’s aim is to ensure employees’ health and safety at work and that they are not subjected to excessive workloads, onerous working practices or a detrimental work environment. Employees who have high stress levels are more likely to work inefficiently, behave erratically, have low morale and be absent from work and work performance will then suffer. The Company is committed to providing a support system to help minimise and alleviate stress in the workplace. It is the Company’s intention to deal constructively and sympathetically with stress. Stress will not be treated as a sign of


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