EMS undergoes major facelift with the launch of promotional DVD, eco-brochure & website

A Hull-based environmental charity has given its promotional literature a facelift in a bid to raise its profile across the Humber region.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) – a registered charity based on Preston Road Village Centre, east Hull – embarked on the exciting marketing project to increase awareness of the range of the services it offers.

EMS appointed Hull agency Mercury Design and Marketing Ltd, following a rigorous tendering process, to develop a new brand, a promotional video, an environmentally-friendly brochure and an updated website.

The new material is intended to appeal to a variety of target audiences including members of the community through to key stakeholders in local governments across the sub-region. The literature reinforces the message that EMS is driving environmental change within local communities, illustrating the positive impact the charity has had on local people.

The promotional video brings the charity’s current and future projects to life, giving a creative and visual understanding of the services and benefits EMS provides to communities and businesses.

Jan Boyd, chief executive, says the main focus of EMS is to work closely with local communities to meet the aims of the charity.

“We are looking to protect and nurture the environment but still deliver an effective, cost-efficient service by working conscientiously with our clients, partners and community groups,” she said.

“The aim of the new eco-brochure, promotional video and website is to raise the profile of the good work we are doing so that we can further expand our service offering across the Humber region.”

Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy

This policy sets our Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Ltd stance on the implementation and management of anti-bribery and corruption measures across the organisations business operations in accordance with the EMS Ltd’s  Ethical Code of Conduct and the UK Bribery Act 2010.

EMS Ltd acts with the highest standards of integrity and honesty in all it does; adherence to best practice governance, controls and compliance are essential for helping customers to have confidence when entrusting their business to the EMS Ltd.

EMS Ltd recognises that bribery and corruption have an adverse affect on communities wherever they occur and is committed to enforcing high moral and ethical standards in all business activities, as defined in the company Ethical Code of Business Conduct, which outlines the requirements to which EMS Ltd is required to comply and forms an integral part of this policy.

Summary of UK Legislation

The main piece of legislation in the UK is the Bribery Act 2010.

The key offences are those of:

  • Active bribery
  • Passive bribery
  • Bribing a foreign public official
  • A commercial organisation failing to prevent active bribery by its employees, agents or subsidiaries.

Apart from the “commercial organisation” offence noted above, all the offences apply equally to the third (i.e. charity) sector.

A commercial organisation must be able to show that it has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery being committed on its behalf.

The law applies to bribes in the UK. The law also applies to bribes abroad if the person is resident or incorporated in the UK. It applies to the conduct of overseas agents and employees if the corporate is registered in or trades in the UK. The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, and/or an unlimited fine.

What is meant by bribery and corruption?

EMS Ltd defines bribery and corruption in accordance with the following definitions from Transparency International:

Bribery: “The offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust. Inducements can take the form of gifts, loans, fees, rewards or other advantages (taxes, services, donations, etc).”

Corruption: “The abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

Facilitation Payments: “A small bribe, also called a ‘facilitating’, ‘speed’ or ‘grease’ payment; made to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action to which the payer has legal or other entitlement.”


The purpose of this policy is to set out the core requirements all EMS Ltd must follow in order to comply with the Board of Trustees expectations and the anti-bribery and corruption legislation.

This policy should form the basis of all policy and procedures and is the baseline to which all businesses must comply. EMS Ltd is required to complete a formal risk assessment and develop more specific and detailed processes and procedures where required.


This policy reflects the statutory requirements that EMS Ltd  operates to and sets the minimum acceptable standard of compliance. It addresses all inducements/rewards/corrupt payments/bribes. Such payments or inducements are regarded as those that are not, and would not, be authorised by EMS Ltd  in the ordinary course of business and would fall outside the definition of an acceptable gift within the EMS Ltd  Gifts and Hospitality Policy.

This policy applies to all staff (i.e. employees full time & part time; temporary; seconded; contract personnel of the business & non-executive Trustees). This policy applies to outsourcing within the EMS Ltd as well as to outside third parties. It is also the express intention of EMS Ltd that it will apply to partnerships & joint ventures that it enters into, and that suppliers would also be expected to comply. There are no exceptions.

Infringement of this policy may have serious implications for the reputation of EMS Ltd, including adverse regulatory and media comment together with the possibility that criminal or civil penalties may be levied.

Policy Statement

EMS Ltd  believes that business success should depend on a fair and open assessment of the EMS Ltd ‘s  products and services rather than being partly or wholly reliant on bribes, or other inducements to those outside the EMS Ltd.

The Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring a risk based approach to assessing business risk and implementing processes, procedures and controls to monitor bribery and corruption risk and to ensure robust ethical management.

It is the EMS Ltd ‘s policy to ensure that its businesses, senior management, and other staff comply with all legislation designed to combat bribery and corruption in the jurisdictions in which they operate.

EMS Ltd adopts a risk-based approach to fighting bribery and corruption, and are required to complete a formal risk assessment of their operations to understand the particular risk factors that they face and to develop more specific and detailed processes, procedures and controls where required. This will allow EMS Ltd  to channel its resources where they will be most effective and target them on activities that are more likely to result in deterring and detecting bribery and corruption.

The Chief Executive Officer within EMS Ltd  is responsible for the risk-based approach and must be fully engaged in the decision making processes regarding appropriate controls to mitigate the risk of bribery and corruption within EMS Ltd’s operations.

It is the responsibility of the CEO ensure that arrangements are in place to comply with the Ethical Code of Business Conduct and this policy ensuring that the required management information is recorded and reported to the EMS Board of Trustees for review.

Procedural Requirements: The Risk Based Approach

Risk assessment is the foundation of an anti-bribery and corruption programme. To address the risks of bribery and corruption within operations, the CEO of EMS Ltd must understand how the business model and procedures may expose the EMS Ltd to such risks.

All projects within EMS Ltd must carry out, on an appropriate and regular basis, an anti-bribery and corruption risk assessment to understand the level of risk attributable to bribery & corruption in their particular project.

A risk assessment looks at business activities, location of business activities, industries, local business conditions and customs, identifies bribery and corruption risks inherent in those activities, and attempts to estimate the likelihood of the occurrence of the risks and their impact on the business. Most importantly, the assessment looks for ways and means to minimise the risks by providing appropriate counter measures. Having identified the relevant areas of risk, the business will define the need for and develop detailed policies, procedures and controls that address the potential areas of bribery and corruption.

More specifically, the business risk assessment must consider bribery and corruption risks resulting from market changes, changes in products, customer base or services, and new acquisitions or major contract wins, as well as advisors and other third party service providers involved in the supply chain. Other areas to consider include the business’s particular customers, geographical areas of operation, outsourced arrangements and product/service type offered.

As part of EMS Ltd’s risk-based approach to anti-bribery and corruption businesses must:

  • Provide training for all identified high risk staff to enable them to understand and fulfil their obligations under the legislation of the jurisdiction in which they operate and in line with local anti-bribery and corruption procedures. Frequency of training must be at least annually with a record retained of all staff completing the training and pass mark achieved
  • Ensure that all necessary controls and communications are in place to forestall and prevent bribery and corruption, and that adequate monitoring procedures are in place.
  • Ensure appropriate due diligence is carried out and fully documented on third parties. This includes ensuring that all required vetting checks are completed.
  • Ensure appropriate measures are in place to enable bribery and corruption risk is taken into account in the day to day operation of the business, including in relation to the development of new products and services, the taking on of new customers/suppliers and changes in the business’s profile as a result of new contract wins or acquisitions.

Following the above mentioned assessment, local procedures must be reviewed to ensure that systems and controls and staff awareness adequately reflect the risks identified during the risk assessment. Monitoring programmes will need to be reviewed accordingly.

The accountabilities and responsibilities associated with this policy are:

  • The CEO of EMS Ltd is responsible for the business risk assessment and the implementation of appropriate policies, procedures and controls to ensure compliance with the EMS Ltd Ethical Code of Business Conduct, the Group Gifts and Entertainment Policy and Bribery and Corruption legislation.
  • The overall ownership of this policy rests with the EMS Ltd Board of Trustees. They will control any amendments required to this policy as a result of changing internal and external needs.

Gifts and Hospitality Policy

Purpose of Document

In terms of accountability it is important for an Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Ltd to have in place a written policy that regulates the relationship between EMS Ltd, its staff and the external environment. This policy provides a safeguard for EMS Ltd by providing clarity about the standards that EMS Ltd sets and what is expected of its employees.

The acceptance of gifts and offers of hospitality can give rise to suspicion of improper conduct, particularly if offered by individuals or companies that are undertaking, or hoping to undertake, business with the EMS Ltd.

As a consequence, EMS Ltd has developed a Gifts & Hospitality Policy to assist employees in complying with the standards set by the EMS Ltd. The Gifts & Hospitality Policy lays down the underlying principles of accepting and refusing gifts and hospitality, as well as providing a methodology for the recording of such instances.

This policy lays down the accepted amounts for staff with regard to gifts and hospitality and employees must ensure that any hospitality is recorded. This policy applies to all personnel associated and employed by EMS Ltd. It applies on an equal basis to all employees.


In general, all gifts should be refused. However, in cases where refusal is likely to offend, some discretion may be exercised. The offer of a gift should be reported to the Chief Executive Officer of EMS Ltd. (Should the gift be to the CEO of EMS Ltd she will seek the opinion of the Chair or Vice Chair of the EMS Ltd Board of Trustees). The CEO will decide based on the nature, volume and origin of the gift whether it should be refused or accepted.

Staff may accept occasional seasonal gifts of a low value such as calendars, diaries and pens. It is not necessary to ascertain the exact value of such gifts but anything that appears to be worth more than £25 should not be accepted. Staff should exercise careful judgement in such cases.


Working lunches provided on a modest scale and on an occasional basis are part of normal business practice and staff are not required to obtain formal approval to attend them. However if staff receive a prior invitation to a more formal lunch or dinner, they must declare their intention to attend to the CEO.

As with gifts, the refusal of any invitation may cause embarrassment and this must be taken into account by anyone considering or approving such an invitation. Individuals must also take account the timing of the invitation in relation to decisions which EMS Ltd may be taking effecting those offering the hospitality.

Invitations to other events such as launches, conferences, arts or sporting events etc. should be subject to the same scrutiny as above.

Invitations to attend all-expenses paid study tours, site inspections or product demonstrations must have prior approval from the CEO or EMS Ltd Board of Trustees particularly if overseas travel is involved.


In order to counter any accusation or suspicion of improper conduct, EMS Ltd will maintain a central register of gifts and hospitality. This register will be maintained by the Company Administrator.

All gifts and offers of hospitality should be recorded on the gift and hospitality book and the CEO made aware of the entry. This applies whether they have been accepted or declined.

The book will be inspected annually.

Health and Safety Policy

EMS Ltd is committed to “so far as reasonably practicable” promoting high standards and a good practice of health, safety and welfare in all its activities and will endeavour to promote activities which will serve to protect the general environment.

EMS Ltd is committed to establishing and maintaining high standards of environmental protection and undertakes to be a responsible steward of the environment.

EMS Ltd requires all its management and staff to co-operate in the provision and maintenance of a working environment that is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees at work.

EMS Ltd will ensure “so far as reasonably practicable” all employees are competent, and will offer adequate training, and where deemed appropriate will provide information, instruction and supervision for employees.

EMS Ltd will “so far as reasonably practicable” consult with employees to ascertain what measures should be taken to increase awareness of health and safety.

EMS Ltd will ensure safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
The Chief Executive has a duty to take care of the health, safety and welfare of their staff and to report and assist in the investigation of any accident or incident to prevent a recurrence.

Travel Subsitance Policy


1.         The aim of the Travelling and Subsistence Policy and the accompanying guidelines is to ensure that the conditions of service relating to the reimbursement of travelling and subsistence expenditure are correctly and consistently applied throughout EMS.


2.         EMS  supports the principle that employees must be fully reimbursed for properly authorised travelling and subsistence expenses, incurred whilst on EMS business.  However, the Policy is not intended to over compensate employees and individuals have a responsibility to ensure not only that claims are reasonable, but also that the claims are reimbursement of expenditure incurred.  Employees should, therefore be aware that, in addition to being a good employer, EMS has financial responsibilities as a Charity.  In plain terms, no one should be out of pocket, or using sub-standard accommodation and subsistence, but situations which warrant payment of expenses are not intended to result in a profit for the claimant.

3.         EMS’s expenditure on travelling and subsistence must be carefully controlled and monitored and the most cost-effective means of travel and subsistence should be used, wherever possible, except in emergencies or in exceptional circumstances.

  • All claims for subsistence, mileage and reimbursement of other travel expenditure should contain sufficient detail to enable them to be easily and precisely monitored and audited.
  • These guidelines, therefore, apply to all employees of EMS.



  • Chief Executive/Board of Trustee’s have delegated authority to approve subsistence claims, subject to their being satisfied that the criteria for eligibility, shown below, have been met.


  • In order to qualify for payment of subsistence expenses, when travelling outside the City boundary, claimants must meet all of the following criteria:-
  • Normal Meal Arrangements

Normally, employees will take their meals at home, or at their place of work, or at their departmental headquarters or other establishment.  Where their normal arrangements are not possible, due to carrying out official duties, with the authority of the Chief Executive, a claim for subsistence expenses may be made.  In all posts, employees establish ‘normal meal arrangements’ and no employee should be claiming subsistence expenses on a daily basis as a matter of routine, i.e. if it is normal to eat in a restaurant or canteen, the employee is following his/her normal meal arrangements and therefore cannot claim subsistence.  The timing of a normal lunch period has no direct bearing on the entitlement to subsistence expenses.  It is the nature of the meal and where it is taken that constitutes ‘normal meal arrangements’.  Employees who are working overtime, and who are being paid enhanced rates for doing so, will not normally be entitled to subsistence expenses, in addition.

  • Additional Expenditure

There must have been additional expenditure.  All claims for subsistence must be accompanied by supporting receipts and must not include alcoholic drinks or tips.  Service charges which are incorporated into the receipt will be payable.

  • Unavoidable Expenditure

Any additional expenditure claimed must have been unavoidable.  In some circumstances claims for subsistence can be reduced by organising work in such a way that the necessity to deviate from normal meal arrangements is avoided.


  • Managers must give consideration to what expenditure would normally be incurred and, where possible, guidance should be given to employees before they incur expenditure.  Some guidance will be available on the claim form, but where there are unusual circumstances which are not covered by the guidance, these should be discussed with the manager, before the event.  If there is no apparent additional expenditure, or no apparent reason for not following normal meal arrangements, payment may be refused, after due clarification with the employee.
  • In authorising claims, managers are accepting that additional expense was incurred or that the reasons given for the expenditure were unavoidable.  In the case of mileage claims full details of each trip are required so that individual journeys may be checked if necessary.
  • In determining whether additional expenditure was unavoidable, managers should consider whether the employee could have followed normal meal arrangements.
  • The need for any clarification should not unduly delay the processing of claims for subsistence expenses.


  • Employees are responsible for ensuring that all the necessary approvals have been obtained, procedures have been followed and documentation has been fully completed, in accordance with departmental procedures, prior to the event for which the claim is being submitted.  Failure to do so may result in non payment of the expenses.
  • An explanation of the reasons for making the claim should be provided, together with receipts.  Claims can only be made if more money has been spent on a meal than would normally have been spent.  Once it has been established that there has been additional expenditure, the full cost of the meal will be reimbursed, subject to the Director’s agreement that the expenditure was reasonable.
  • Employees are responsible for certifying that additional expenditure has been incurred and, if so, for producing appropriate receipts.
  • Where it is not possible to obtain a receipt, for example, from parking meters or pay phones, expenses may be paid providing the expenditure has been reasonable.  If employees anticipate that they will spend significantly more than the guidelines they should consult their manager in advance.


  • Subject to the above general principles and the criteria for eligibility (paragraph 7), meal expenses may be claimed for out of town journeys as follows:-

Breakfast – if duty commences before 7.30 am
Lunch – if duty commences before 11.30 am
Tea – if duty continues after 6.30 pm
Evening meal – if duty continues after 8.30 pm

  • These times refer to the performance of official duties and not to the employee’s normal travel to and from work.


  • Expenditure on meals which have to be taken on trains will normally be considered as reasonable.


  • Employees who are required to work out of town for prolonged periods may incur substantial expenditure.  A facility exists for obtaining an advance from the petty cash on production of a memorandum from the Chief Executive.  The cash advance is signed for by the applicant and is deducted from the final claim.  It is important, therefore, that a detailed claim is submitted as soon as possible after the duty has been carried out so that the expenditure can be checked and allocated to the appropriate budget.


  • Guideline rates for individual meals are indicated below, for the purpose of assessing reasonableness.  These are updated annually, taking into account the retail price index.  The rates will also be printed on the claim form. 

Breakfast – £6.50
Lunch – £8.00
Tea – £4.00
Evening Meal – £14.00

Receipts must be obtained for all meals and the actual cost will be reimbursed, subject to the manager agreeing that the expenditure was reasonable.  Managers will have the discretion to approve claims which exceed the guidelines shown, providing there is evidence to show that the claimant has good reason for the additional expenditure.


  • Employees making claims for subsistence must use the forms supplied by EMS, employees should ensure that they use the most up to date forms.  The form should be obtained prior to the event.  Directors will be advised of rate changes.
  • Car Mileage Allowances are payable through the payroll, using the Car Mileage Claim.  Mileage forms are to be submitted promptly by the date given by Chief Executive, for payment at the end of the following month.


  • Where meals are taken outside the hotel, itemised bills must be obtained.
  • Private entertainment expenses will not be met by EMS; these are a matter for the employee.
  • Incidental expenses such as taxis to and from the conference centre, a morning newspaper, one private telephone call per night, of reasonable duration, and morning tea/coffee will be refunded by EMS.  Receipts must be obtained unless the purchases are itemised on the hotel bill.
  • The Inland Revenue require staff incurring such expenses without receipts to keep a detailed record of their spending in support of their claim as, otherwise, a taxable benefit will arise.
  • Overnight accommodation will normally be chosen in advance of the journey and approved by the Chief Executive.
  • Subsistence expenses are not to be claimed where meals are provided.  For example:-
  • Separate breakfast expenses may be claimed only if the accommodation cost excludes breakfast.
  • If the employee chooses to arrange his/her own accommodation but takes a meal which is provided, free of charge, by the host/organiser at a conference, subsistence will not be payable in respect of any meal so provided.
  • Incidental expenses will be refunded on the same basis as in paragraph 25.


  • The guidance for overnight stays (i.e. to cover the cost of bed and breakfast in a hotel) is shown below.  It will be updated annually in accordance with the retail price index.  (Rates as at 1st October 2009.)

£101.17 (Outside London) and £115.39 (London)


  • Employees engaged on duties outside the United Kingdom will be subject to the same principles for travel and subsistence as those within the UK; that is, actual expenditure will be reimbursed on production of receipts providing that the expenses claimed are reasonable.  Wherever possible,a corporate credit card should be issued, on which all reasonable expenditure may be made.  The guidance amounts for subsistence expenses do not apply for journeys outside the UK, but the Director must be satisfied that the expenditure is reasonable in all cases.   Where necessary, for reasons of safety, employees may take meals in their hotels, even where a meal could be obtained more cheaply elsewhere.


  • In general, all travelling undertaken must be via the most economical route at the lowest possible expense to EMS, other than in exceptional circumstances when authorised by the Chief Executive, or in unforeseen or emergency situations.
  • In the interests of economy, all modes of transport should be considered.  For example, if there are a number of employees travelling to one venue at the same time, the use of lease cars (if employees with lease cars are also travelling) is likely to be the most economical mode of transport.  Alternatively, where lease cars are not available, it may be more cost effective to hire a minibus or coach, in some circumstances, than to pay for public transport or casual/essential users’ allowances, parking fees, bridge tolls, etc..


  • Where public transport is being used, this should normally be booked in advance. Employees will, from time to time, be notified of any discounts or offers available to the EMS and should make full use of them, wherever possible.
  • Travel on public transport should normally be in 2nd Class accommodation.


  • Car users may be classified as:-
  • Casual Car Users
  • Lease Car Users
  • The mileage rates for all car users are amended from time to time.  Current rates, operating from 1st April, 2010 are as follows:-


Casual Users




Per mile (first 8,500 miles)




Per mile (after 8,500 miles)








Lease Car Users

Lease car users receive only the petrol element of the car allowances shown above.

  • In the case of all official journeys undertaken by the employee, using his/her own car, the employee must be an authorised car user.  That is, he/she must be authorised by the Director/Managing Director as a car use.


  • Employees using their own cars are personally responsible for ensuring that they have suitable insurance cover.  The motor insurance document should be endorsed to the effect that they are covered “for use on the employer’s business”.  Any charge levied by the employee’s insurers for such additional cover will be the employee’s responsibility.
  • The Chief Executive will carry out initial checks and, thereafter, random checks of authorised car users, to ensure that insurance documents comply with the Road Traffic Act.  In addition, the EMS will require the insurance document of all employees. 


  • Most out of town journeys should be undertaken using rail or public transport networks.  However, where Chief Eexcutive is satisfied that it would be advantageous to EMS, approval for the use of an employee’s private car outside the City boundary should be granted.
  • To determine whether it would be advantageous to EMS, the following criteria should be used:-
  • Financial Savings – involves comparing the cost of paying mileage allowances with costs of rail fare, additional bus or taxi fares and any extra subsistence payable that would not have been necessary if the journey had been undertaken by car, e.g. overnight accommodation and subsistence.
  • Accessibility of Venue – whether it is possible to undertake the full journey by public transport.
  • Additional Time Spent in the Office – for example, where the use of a car means an employee can spend substantially more time in the office and the Chief Executive considers that to be beneficial.
  • Transportation of Equipment etc. – where heavy equipment is being carried and it would be unreasonable to expect employees to use public transport.
  • It is important, for budgetary control purposes, to ensure that all journeys outside the City boundary are authorised by the Chief Executive (or designated representative) prior to the journey being undertaken.  Failure to do so may result in allowances being withheld.  The Chief Executive will be responsible for ensuring that a departmental administration system is in existence.
  • Subsistence expenses, car parking fees and bridge/road tolls are payable in addition to mileage allowances, providing vouchers/receipts are obtained and submitted with the claim.


  • Employees who are travelling directly from home to an out of town venue may claim the lower of:-
  • the total mileage for the journey;
  • the total mileage from the employee’s normal place of work to that destination.
  • Employees who are reporting to work before and after the out of town journey may claim the full mileage (from office to out of town venue and return).


  • Where the Chief Executive decides that it would be more economical for a car user to travel out of town by public transport, the employee may, if he/she wishes to do so, travel by car and claim the 2nd Class public transport fare, subject to the insurance requirements referred to in paragraphs 39 and 40.  In both cases the fare claimed should be the lowest possible fare available for the specific journey, taking into account day returns and other special offers.  This must be confirmed through the rail enquiry service.
  • Normal subsistence and car parking fees may also be claimed in this instance.


  • Where the Chief Executive requires an employee to attend his/her place of work, or other venue, outside of normal working hours, the payment of car mileage allowance for home to office and return journeys will be approved, subject to a maximum payment of 20 miles each way from the City boundary, for:-
  • second and subsequent home to office and return journeys on a normal working day and;
  • all home to office and return journeys on other days.

All journeys involving home to office mileage will be subject to income tax.

  • Paragraph 49 is intended to cover circumstances where an employee is required to change his/her normal working hours (e.g. to attend an evening meeting) and is subsequently given time off in lieu, rather than any additional payment.  Paragraph 49 does not apply where an employee works additional hours and receives payment for the additional hours worked (flat rate or enhanced rates).


  • For the purpose of the travelling and subsistence policy ‘training’ falls into two categories:
  • In house training – this is mainly work-related training, or training of a more general nature, normally identified through achievement and development interviews, as a requirement of the post or to meet an organisational need.  It would normally be held at a EMS venue or at other venues within the City.
  • Qualification courses – courses which often culminate in a qualifying examination.  They may be held at a college or university and involve attendance on an evening or day/half day release basis.  Sometimes attendance is on a full time, or sandwich basis.  Alternatively, study may be through work based learning (e.g. NVQs), correspondence or open learning.
  • Travelling expenses will be paid for in-house training on the same basis as stated in paragraphs 45 and 46 and car parking charges may also be claimed, by authorised car users.  If employees are required to attend their normal place of work prior to, or after the training event, they will be entitled to claim appropriate travelling expenses (e.g. bus tokens, mileage allowance) when travelling to the venue from work and vice versa.  However, where there are other approved car users making these journeys they may be required to carry passengers in order to minimise the costs.
  • Where the course centre is outside the City boundary, travelling expenses will be reimbursed at either the cost of public transport (second-class rail fare, if the train is used) or if a car is used, at the petrol element of the car mileage rate, plus car-parking costs (providing this is cheaper than the public transport rates).
  • Where a car is used, the employee must be an authorised car user and the distance will be calculated on the same basis as stated in paragraphs 45 and 46.
  • Travelling expenses will also be reimbursed, on the above basis, if the employee is required to travel to a location which is outside the City boundary,  other than the course centre, as part of the course.


  • Payment in respect of unavoidable out of pocket expenses may be claimed by employees attending residential courses, conferences and other events involving an overnight stay on official EMS business, up to the guidance figures shown below.  Expenditure must be supported by receipts and only the actual amount spent will be paid.  These expenses are payable for each night involving an overnight stay, subject to the weekly guidance figure.  The guidance amounts, which are amended annually, in accordance with the retail price index, are currently £5.00 per night and £25.00 per week – (rates as at 1st October 2009).


  • Employees are responsible for notifying EMS of any changes  in circumstances and/or costs, which could affect the payment, or the rate of payment, of excess travelling allowances.


  • The facility of a Company Credit Card exists for issue to employees following the Chief Executives recommendation.  The card will only be issued where benefit  can realistically be achieved and is to be used for all reasonable subsistence-type expenditure incurred by the employee or other employees accompanying him/her on the trip. 


  • EMS’s Chief Executive will be able to provide further advice and information on subsistence and travelling expenses, if required.
  • In the event of alleged unfair treatment and/or disputes involving the amount of subsistence to be reimbursed, representations should be made, in writing, to the Chief Executive.  If the issue is still not resolved, employees must use the Ems’s Grievance Procedure to progress the matter.

Recruitment Policy

Statement of Intent

The management of Environmental & Management Solutions Ltd is committed to ensuring that the recruitment and selection of all employees will be fair, open and transparent and will comply with all relevant legislation.  Personal information received is dealt with the strictest confidence.  Inclusion forms an important aspect of the recruitment of staff within the company.  Applications will not be excluded from being considered for a position based specifically on their need, background, culture, religion, gender or economic circumstances. (As pertaining to the Equality Act 2010).  Positions will be offered based on competency, qualifications and enthusiasm for the position.

Recruitment Procedures

 Job Description

Once a vacancy occurs a detailed job description is prepared before each post is advertised and is available to all applicants.  The job Description includes:

  • Job title
  • Location of the position
  • Who the employee will report to
  • Overall purpose of the job
  • Key area of work
  • Details of specific duties and responsibilities
  • Hours of work

Personal Specification

This will include:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Other attributes required to carry out the job satisfactory


All posts are publicly in local newspapers, job markets and websites and clearly state Environmental & Management Solutions Ltd is an equal opportunities employer.  All advertisements will include the following:

  • Name and role of organisation
  • Job title
  • Brief description of the job
  • Location of the position
  • Qualifications and experience which are essential and which are desirable
  • Whether the position is full-time, part-time, temporary or permanent
  • How to apply
  • How to get further information
  • Closing date and time for application
  • Logos if appropriate

The Application

All applications are sent the job description and person specification, together with the application form (if an application form is being used rather then a CVs).  Applicants are required (if necessary) to complete a Criminal Records Application form.

Completed application forms will be dated on receipt.  To ensure confidentially, only those nominated to undertake the selection will see the completed application forms.


A short listing/interview panel (selection panel) with a minimum of three people is set up to review all applications.  The short-listing panel and the interview panel consist of the same people as far as possible and have gender balance.

  • The selection panel agrees the selection criteria from the application supplied in the advertisement and the job description and before any applications are examined.
  • Assessment of applications is based only on information provided by the applicant.
  • All applicants who meet the selection criteria are invited to attend for interview.
  • A letter of regret is sent to all applicants who do not meet the selection criteria.
  • A complete report of the short-listing process is prepared for the selection panel.
  • The position is offered to the candidate with the highest mark on the score sheet after references have been checked.
  • A reference is always sought from the current or most recent employer.  Both references are contacted verbally by telephone and this is followed up with a written reference.
  • The person who comes second on the score sheet is held in reserve provided she/he meets the criteria.
  • The successful candidate is officially notified in writing first been contacted by telephone.
  • Letters of regret are sent to all unsuccessful candidates once the post has been accepted and within one week of the interview being held.


 An induction period is provided for all new employees.  Employees are provided with:

  • Information on the role of the service/facility
  • Information on the roles of other employees
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Details of salary scales
  • Staff handbook
  • Employees are obligated to familiarise themselves with the Policies and Procedures of the company and to sign companies Confidentially Policy.

Family Leave Policy & Guidelines



1. EMS Ltd as an equal opportunities employer, has adopted a Family Leave Policy in recognition of the domestic responsibilities of its employees, both male and female.

2. Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that all EMS Ltd employees are aware of this Policy and that each application for family leave is dealt with sympathetically and in accordance with the Policy.

3. Employees who have parental responsibilities may also be eligible to apply for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave.


4. Employees are entitled to leave in accordance with the Family Leave Schedule.


5. Employees must give notice when requiring leave in the following circumstances:-

Maternity Support Leave: employees wishing to take family leave in connection with the birth of a child, are required to give 2 months’ notice, in writing, of their intentions. This notice period will be waived in exceptional circumstances such as premature or still birth;

Other Leave: employees should give as much notice as is reasonably practicable in the given circumstances.


6. In addition to any family leave they may request, prospective parents and adoptive parents expecting to receive a child under 5 years of age, are entitled to carry over to the following leave year 10 days of their current annual leave entitlement, to be taken in connection with the birth/adoption.

7. As an alternative to the prospective father, who is an employee of EMS Ltd, carrying over leave, the entitlement to carry over leave can be transferred to any one EMS employee nominated, in writing, by the prospective mother to attend the birth and/or provide support afterwards.


8. Payment during family leave will be based on the employee’s basic rate of pay (without bonus or overtime payments).


9. Individual managers are responsible for monitoring and recording all family leave granted. Any abuse of the provisions of the Family Leave Policy should be reported and dealt with under the EMS’s Disciplinary Procedure.



1. Employees who wish to apply for maternity, paternity, leave should refer to the following policies for full details and application forms: the Maternity Scheme Policy, the Paternity Leave Policy,


2. New entrants qualify for family leave provisions immediately on appointment. ‘Claw back’ arrangements do not apply to the Family Leave Policy. This means that when an employee leaves EMS Ltd neither leave entitlement nor pay will be deducted in respect of any family leave taken, even if the amount of family leave taken was disproportionate to the employee’s period of service in the current leave year.


3. Employees requiring family leave must apply in writing to Chief Executive, using the Application for Family Leave form


4. EMS recognises that the statutory paternity provisions cannot cover all situations. Therefore, if the father of the child or the mother’s partner, are not available and someone else is to be the main person who provides support for the woman then he/she is able to apply for Maternity Support Leave which is covered by the Family Leave Policy. Employees cannot claim Maternity Support Leave if they are eligible for Paternity Leave.


5. Annual leave carried forward by prospective/adoptive parents, or the mother’s
nominee, can be taken as follows:-

a) taken by the father of the child or the prospective mother’s nominee at or near the birth of the child or by the person who is married to or the partner of the child’s adopter when the adopted child is introduced to the home;

b) taken when the mother or adoptive parent is due to return to work after maternity/adoption leave. The annual leave carried forward may be used to extend the maternity/adoption leave period or to enable a full-time employee to work part-time for a settling in period. For example, if an employee has carried forward 10 days’ annual leave they may, instead of returning to work at the end of maternity or adoption leave, arrange with the Chief Executive to take their 10 days’ leave before returning to work. Alternatively, they might arrange to return to work on a part-time basis for4 weeks, before resuming full-time work.

6. The timing of annual leave will, as far as possible, be in accordance with the employee’s request, but will be subject to the needs of the Authority.

7. If an employee takes up the option of carrying forward leave, the employee’s
right under local conditions of service to request the carrying over of 5 days’ annual leave is absorbed and cannot be exercised for leave in addition to the 10 days above.


8. The amount of leave quoted in the Family Leave Schedule is a maximum. The amount of leave actually approved by the Chief Executive will depend upon the circumstances of each application. The following factors should be taken into account:-

  • Time and place of funeral
  • Responsibility for funeral arrangements, etc.
  • Working environment (i.e. need to wash and change, etc.)
  • Local funerals – if the funeral is in the morning, a full day’s leave may be granted; if in the afternoon, half a day may be appropriate.
  • Out of town funerals – leave granted should take account of distance to be travelled and travel services available.

9. Examples of periods of bereavement leave to be granted in normal circumstances are shown below, for your guidance only:-


NO.OF DAYS’ PAID LEAVE  (Not in charge of funeral arrangements)

NO.OF DAYS’ PAID LEAVE  (Iin charge of funeral arrangements)

Close Relatives:

Wife/Husband/Partner 5 5
Parents 3 3
Son/Daughter 2 2
Brother/Sister 2 2

Other Relatives

Grandparents 1 1
Grandchildren 1 1
Niece/Nephew 1 1
Cousin/Uncle/Aunt 1 1
Great Grandparents 1 1

Great Aunts etc

1 1
In Law/Partners Relatives 1 1
Step Relatives 1 1

10. Additional leave may be granted for attendance at inquests if the applicant is
in charge of funeral arrangements.


11. One day’s leave is calculated as follows:-

a) *Part Time Employees and Atypical Workers – one-fifth of the average weekly working hours, excluding overtime, (calculated over a representative period of time if necessary). E.g. 16 hours per week = 3.2 hours’ leave
b) Full Time Employees Working 37 hours/week Monday to Thursday (inclusive) 7.5 hours Friday – 7 hours *Part-time employees have the same entitlement to family leave as full-time employees, applied on a pro-rata basis.


12. When dealing with requests for leave under the Family Leave Schedule at Appendix F3.A, there will not always be a clear cut answer. In such cases, it should be borne in mind that the Policy is generally designed to assist employees to deal with emergencies and unforeseeable events, for which they cannot be expected to plan. The exceptions to this are maternity support leave and leave for care of a child with a disability.

13. When deciding whether the amount of leave requested is reasonable in the circumstances, consideration should be given to the time required to make alternative arrangements, where appropriate.

14. When considering leave under the special circumstances provision, due regard must be given to the needs of the service. Questions such as the following should be considered:

– What is special about the request?
– What will be the impact on the staff group?
– How will the absence be covered?
– Will other requests be treated in a similar way e.g. if a flood of similar requests were to be received?

Requests may, therefore, be turned down, depending on the circumstances. It is for the Chief Executive to decide.

15. In the case of an employee requesting leave to support a family member when that family member is in court on trial, this can be considered under the special circumstances provision. The seriousness of the charge, the closeness of the relationship between the employee and the individual appearing for trial and the impact of potential sentencing should all be considered when determining what leave, if any, would be appropriate.

16. Where a serious charge is involved, up to 3 days’ paid leave can be granted at the discretion of the Chief Executive, plus unpaid leave of up to 15 days. In serious cases, for example, consideration could be given to paid leave for the first and last day of trial and for sentencing, if on a separate day. Unpaid leave could be considered for the intervening period.

17. Where leave is requested to assist or accompany a relative (other than a son/daughter) with a disability, it will be necessary to consider, amongst other things, the nature of the disability, the relative’s general ability and any responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which any other organisation may have in the circumstances. If the circumstances are likely to occur again, the frequency with which they are likely to occur should also be taken into account.

18. There is no provision under the Policy for granting leave in connection with ex-husbands/wives or separated partners. If the employee has children from a former relationship and the circumstances are such that the children need the employee’s support in a particular situation, this could be considered under the acute domestic distress category of the Family Leave Schedule at Appendix F3.A or under the leave for special circumstances provision.

19. The Policy is silent with regard to leave requests concerning married couples who are separated (legally or otherwise), but not divorced. In such cases, reasonable consideration is to be given to requests for leave, taking account of the circumstances in each case.



Note: In any one leave year, family leave is subject to an overall limit of 20 days’ leave with pay and 30 days’ unpaid leave (pro-rata for part-time employees) and to the limits in each category not being exceeded. In the case of bereavement leave, the limits are per bereavement, but the overall limit for family leave in any one leave year still applies. In cases of particular difficulty, unpaid leave can be, extended at the discretion of

Chief Executive (up to a maximum of 3 months).

(pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year)

(pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year)

Maternity Support Leave
Leave to attend the birth and/or support the mother afterwards. The provisions still apply in the event of the child not surviving.  This leave is normally to be taken in one block, unless mutually acceptable alternative arrangements can be agreed by the employee and the Chief Executive.  Where the father of the child or the mother’s husband or partner are not available any one employee can be nominated, in writing, by the prospective mother to be the main support. Up to 5 days with pay Up to 5 days without pay

Leave in the event of the death of a relative all employees

Each bereavement: up to 5 days with pay, subject to approval by the Chief Executive and dependent on the closeness of the relative and place of funeral

Each bereavement: up to 5 days without pay

CIRCUMSTANCES WHO IS ELIGIBLE CONTRACTUAL LEAVE (pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year)

DISCRETIONARY LEAVE (pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year Serious Illness)

Leave in the event of the serious illness of a near relative, elderly dependent (or any other relative living in the same household as the employee) if there is no other person to look after the ill relative or partner One employee in each instance

Up to 5 days with pay
Up to 5 days without pay

Illness of the Employee’s Child
Leave, in the event of illness of the employee’s child, where there is no other person to look after the child. If more than one child is ill at the same time or if the child has a physical or learning disability, the employee may be granted leave to assist the person looking after the children or the disabled child. One parent in each instance

Up to 5 days with pay
Up to 5 days without pay

Care of a Child with a Disability
Leave for any purpose relating to the care of an employee’s child who has a physical or learning disability (other than short term illness unrelated to the general condition of the child). Both parents

Up to 5 days with pay
Up to 5 days without pay

CIRCUMSTANCES WHO IS ELIGIBLE CONTRACTUAL LEAVE (pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year)

DISCRETIONARY LEAVE  (pro-rata for part-time employees) (in any one leave year)

Acute Domestic Distress
Leave in the event of acute domestic distress such as a serious fire in the employee’s home or to support a near relative (or any other relative or partner living in the same household as the employee) suffering from acute distress, if there is no other person to provide such support. One employee in each instance

Up to 5 days with pay
Up to 5 days without pay

‘Serious illness’ means dangerous illness or sudden illness, the suddenness of which makes it necessary for the employee to make urgent and special arrangements for the care of the patient and/or his/her family. If the outcome of such illness is such that the patient requires long term care, employees may wish to consider a Career Break.

‘Illness’ of the employee’s child means any physical incapacity, the result of disease or mishap, which prevents the child from attending school or his/her normal child care arrangements or, if the child is admitted to hospital, requires parental overnight stay or daytime visiting, or attendance for medical appointments. (Family leave to enable attendance at such medical/dental appointments is not applicable to employees who have elected to work flexitime,
unless approved by the supervisor as special circumstances).

 ‘Child’, for the purpose of family leave, is a child under the age of 16, unless she/he has a physical or learning disability, in which case there is no age restriction.

‘Parent’ for the purpose of family leave means natural or adoptive parent or someone having parental responsibility within the meaning of The Children Act 1989.

Equal Opportunities Policy



Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Limited endorses the need for an equal opportunities policy and is fully committed to the active promotion and achievement of equality and opportunity in the provision of all its services and in all of its activities.

The Board has adopted an equal opportunities mission statement to clarify the Company’s intent as follows: –

“Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Limited aims to be an equal opportunities organisation which promotes equality of opportunity and aims to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of gender, transgender, transvestites, marital status, civil partnership, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religious belief, disability, responsibility for dependents, pregnancy and maternity and age in all the activities for which it is responsible”.


EMS Ltd recognises its responsibilities under the Race Relations Act 1976, the Sex Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 and the Equality Act 2010.

EMS Ltd aims to ensure that no job applicant or member of staff is disadvantaged by the imposition of conditions or requirements that cannot be shown to be necessary for the satisfactory completion of the job. It also aims to ensure that the talents of all its staff are used to the fullest extent and that no job applicant or member of staff receives less favourable treatment than others on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religious belief, disability, responsibility for dependents, sexuality, sickness (and absence from work), past convictions and age.

Recruitment and Selection

EMS Ltd will operate its recruitment procedures in a way that will ensure that selection is made on the basis of merit and all jobs will be filled by fair and open competition. All external job advertisements will bear the following statement: –

“Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Limited is an Equal Opportunities Employer”.

Where traditional patterns of recruitment advertising have failed to reach or draw adequate response from underrepresented groups, particularly the disabled and ethnic minorities, positive action as allowed under the relevant legislation will be taken.

A monitoring system will be maintained throughout recruitment procedures with regard to the ethnic origin, gender and disability of all applicants, subject to their agreement.

EMS Ltd will also monitor on a regular basis the current makeup of staff by ethnic origin, gender, age and disability. A report will be presented to the Board each year on the composition of staff and the reasons for staff turnover.

Any information offered as part of the EMS Ltd’s monitoring exercises will be treated in confidence and will be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Such information will be used to ensure that discrimination is not occurring, to change existing practices and procedures, which may be found to be discriminatory and to instigate positive action initiatives should this be necessary.


EMS Ltd undertakes to make every effort to retain staff that may have personal, health or work related problems. Such help may be in the form of: –

  • Counselling by Chief Executive 
  • Assistance with aids and adaptations for disabled staff
  • Referral to outside bodies
  • Consideration of special leave with or without pay

Other measures aimed at assisting in the retention of staff will be the adoption of alternative working patterns, a policy addressing the cultural and religious needs of staff and a policy dealing with harassment, including a complaints procedure.

Alternative Working Patterns

EMS Ltd aims to provide the best match between the needs of the organisation and the needs of its staff. If these are not always to be found within normal working patterns, EMS Ltd will review a range of alternative working patterns such as flexible working hours.

Cultural and Religious Needs

Where staff have particular cultural or religious needs which may conflict with existing work requirements, EMS Ltd will consider varying or adapting these requirements to enable such needs to be met.


EMS Ltd deplores all forms of harassment, discrimination and victimisation in whatever form that might occur, including racial and sexual harassment. EMS Ltd will attempt to ensure that the working environment is sympathetic to all it’s staff and those who are subjected to harassment may seek redress through the Grievance Procedure.

  • Direct discrimination: discrimination because of a protected characteristic.
  • Associative discrimination: direct discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person with a protected characteristic. (This includes carers of disabled people and elderly relatives, who can claim they were treated unfairly because of duties that had to carry out at home relating to their care work. It also covers discrimination against someone because, for example, their partner is from another country.)
  • Indirect discrimination: when you have a rule or policy that applies to everyone but disadvantages a person with a protected characteristic.
  • Harassment: behaviour deemed offensive by the recipient. Employees can claim they find something offensive even when it’s not directed at them.
  • Harassment by a third party: employers are potentially liable for the harassment of staff or customers by people they don’t directly employ, such as a contractor.
  • Victimisation: discrimination against someone because they made or supported a complaint under Equality Act legislation.
  • Discrimination by perception: direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a protected characteristic (even if they don’t).


In dealing with potential and existing employees, the Company will not take account of whether individuals are HIV positive infected or have AIDS, except to the extent that this might affect the ability of the employee to work satisfactorily or might put at risk the health and safety of themselves or others. No potential or existing employee will be required to submit to a test for HIV infection. All staff will receive training in how to protect themselves and others against the risk of contracting AIDS, HIV and other communicable diseases in the workplace.


It is EMS Ltd’s policy to ensure that training, conforming to standards set out by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality, is given to staff to ensure that there is no discrimination in the manner in which it offers and delivers its services and performs its activities.

The training and development needs of the EMS Ltd and of individual members of staff will, wherever possible and practical, take account of problems associated with disability or hours of work.


Normal retirement age for both male and female members of staff will be the 65th birthday. However, under the provisions of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, employees have the right to request to work beyond the normal retirement age. There are various steps that need to be followed in order to do this.

EMS Ltd will develop its activities and ensure as far as possible security of employment for all its staff until the determination of their contract.  However, it is recognised that certain circumstances may arise which necessitate the need for a reduction in staffing levels and which may lead to subsequent redundancies. Where redundancies are inevitable, EMS Ltd  will handle these in a fair, consistent and sympathetic manner.


The Chief Executive is the nominated person responsible for the implementation of all policy statements.  All staff have, however, a responsibility to accept their personal involvement in the practical application of the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

Complaints Procedure

All staff have the right to complain of discrimination, abuse, victimisation or harassment and any such complaint will be investigated with all possible speed, sensitivity and confidentiality. The individual cited in such a complaint will be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct if the complaint is upheld. All incidents arising in complaints will be reported to the Board and all complaints alleging discrimination, abuse, victimisation or harassment will be monitored.

If the complaint concerns an allegation of racial discrimination, EMS Ltd reserves the right to seek the advice of the Race Relations Employment Advisory Service. Unresolved cases of discrimination practice will be reported to the Commission for Racial Equality or the Equal Opportunities Commission as appropriate.

Confidentiality Policy

Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Limited is committed to maintaining a high standard of confidentiality in our work, as it is a vital aspect in making the company safe and therefore an accessible place for everyone.

Staff will ensure that the confidentiality policy is communicated to everyone, both verbally and in a leaflet format at induction.

At EMS Ltd, information anyone chooses to share with staff and volunteers will remain within the company and will not be discussed elsewhere without permission.

EMS Believes:

  1. Everyone has to take responsibility for the information that they share about themselves and information shared with them.
  2. That confidentiality is the right of everyone, both within and outside the workplace.
  3. That an individual owns the rights to information about themselves and such ownership includes staff, volunteers and users of projects.
  4. That confidentiality protects everyone’s individuality.
  5. That confidentiality creates an atmosphere of trust amongst everyone who works, volunteers or use the projects.

Record Keeping

Environmental & Management Solutions (EMS) Limited will restrict its record keeping to current and past staff.  Lists of non-identifiable statistical information will be kept for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation.

Breach of Confidentiality

Any breach of confidentiality which is seen as jeopardising the well being of staff, volunteers and assessors of the company will be regarded as a serious issue and will be subject to the Company’s disciplinary proceedings.

The Company cannot offer exclusive confidentiality to individual staff/volunteers, as those working in the company may need to discuss issues, which arise from their work for personal or organisational evaluation and development.  Before anyone discloses information, that person should be informed of the reasons for the disclosure.

Exceptional Circumstances

There are situations where confidentiality may be broken by a person who works, volunteers or uses the company i.e. if a person discloses information to you about child abuse, where they believe someone is harming a child.

We have a statutory duty to report such actions to the Police, or Social Services.

Confidential information concerning anyone will not be disclosed, unless it is believed that the person in question may be at risk to his/herself or others; for example suicide threats.

Other Relevant Information

  1. Private addresses or telephone numbers of anyone who works/volunteers/accesses the company will not be disclosed without the consent of the person concerned.
  1. If you are an employee of EMS Ltd you will, during the course of employment, under the agreement of your contract, have access to and be entrusted with information in respect of the business and financing of the company and its dealings, transactions and affairs, all such information is or may be confidential.  You will not (except in the proper course of your duties), during or after the period of employment, under the agreement of your contract, divulge to any person whatever, or otherwise, make use of, or disclose any confidential information concerning the business or finances of the company.
  1. Information will not be shared about anyone who works, volunteers, accesses the company with outside bodies, agencies, family or friends without their permission except in the exceptional circumstances as mentioned above and as follows:- EMS Ltd will adopt the general protocol for sharing information between agencies in Kingston Upon Hull & The East Riding of Yorkshire, North East and North Lincolnshire.

Code of Conduct & Discipline Procedure

The Company’s policy on discipline should be followed by all staff when dealing with all acts of alleged misconduct within its workforce.

This policy is designed to help and encourage employees to achieve and maintain an acceptable standard of behaviour whilst aiming for fair and consistent treatment.

Disciplinary rules, policies and procedures are necessary for promoting fairness and order in the treatment of individuals and in the conduct of industrial relations; they ensure that standards are adhered to and provide a fair method of dealing with alleged failures to observe them.

It is unlikely that any set of disciplinary rules can cover all circumstances that may arise; the rules required may vary according to the circumstances. Those set out below state the principles that should be followed wherever possible.

General Principles

  • It is the duty of each employee to maintain the highest standard of conduct and to avoid acting negligently in carrying out his/her work.
  • All decisions to implement the disciplinary procedure will be made in good faith and in a genuine belief that there has been misconduct which has had a detrimental effect on the Company and its operations.
  • The disciplinary hearing is designed to establish whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the employee has committed an offence amounting to misconduct.
  • Investigation into possible misconduct will be as thorough as the circumstances require and allow and as natural justice requires. The employee will be advised at the earliest opportunity of the nature of the complaint against him/her.
  • Whilst there is a need to ensure that the facts of the case are thoroughly investigated, there are obvious benefits for the employee and for managers if disciplinary procedures are dealt with quickly and effectively.
  • Where alleged misconduct, if established, would be regarded as gross misconduct, the employee must be suspended from work. Suspension, in itself, is a precautionary measure and not a form of disciplinary action.
  • If, following thorough investigation, a decision is made to progress the matter through the formal disciplinary procedure, the employee will be told in writing of the complaint and a disciplinary hearing will be arranged. The employee will be given the opportunity to state his/her case.
  • The disciplinary hearing is designed to establish whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the employee committed the alleged offence and to decide on the appropriate penalty taking all the circumstances into account.
  • On notification of each stage in the procedure, the employee will be informed that he/she has the right to be accompanied by a colleague (not acting in a legal capacity), trade union or other representative.
  • The employee, or anyone acting on his/her behalf, will receive copies of all relevant papers, including witness statements, prior to the disciplinary hearing. Where either side wishes to submit evidence which could not be submitted prior to the hearing, this will be allowed providing both parties are given adequate opportunity to study it.
  • Any decision to take, or not to take, disciplinary action and the nature of such action, will be made only after a disciplinary hearing and full consideration of the case.
  • At any stage in the procedure the employee has the right to call witnesses in his/her defence, including witnesses who are not employees of the Company.
  • The employer also has the right to call witnesses, including witnesses who are not employees of the Company.
  • No employee will be dismissed for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct.
  • Every employee will have the right to appeal against any formal disciplinary warning given and against dismissal.

Levels of Misconduct

  • There are, broadly speaking, two main categories of misconduct, namely: –

Misconduct and Gross Misconduct

  • The following examples are intended to illustrate what can constitute misconduct and gross misconduct. They should not be regarded as comprehensive or mutually exclusive – much depends on the particular circumstances in each case.



  • Lateness
  • Unauthorised absence from duty
  • Failure to adhere to contracted working hours
  • Insubordination or refusal to obey a reasonable instruction
  • Wilful hindering of work schedules
  • Abuse of any uncertified/self certified sickness provisions
  • Wilful failure to produce work of the required standard
  • Failure to maintain a satisfactory level of work output
  • Criminal activities
  • Unauthorised destruction, mutilation, alteration, addition to or erasure of official documents
  • Disregard of safety practices, procedures and rules (See Health & Safety Policy)

Note: This list has not been agreed with the trade unions and is not exhaustive.

A single act of ordinary misconduct will not in itself normally justify dismissal, but it must be clearly understood that under the concept of cumulative misconduct, i.e. “the totting up procedure” this act, when added to others, may result in dismissal.

Gross Misconduct

  • Fighting during working hours and/or at the place of work
  • Wilful damage to the Company’s property
  • Intimidation or bullying of other employees
  • Any act of discrimination, or wilful omission leading to discrimination, against any other Company employee or any person linked to th
  • Company’s business e.g. director, partner, customer, supplier, member of the public.
  • Any act of personal/sexual harassment
  • Abuse of a client, customer etc. (physical or verbal)
  • Any criminal activities during working hours (e.g. theft, assault, drug dealing)
  • Any wilful act or omission endangering life or limb
  • Driving any vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs or whilst otherwise unfit to do so.
  • Driving any vehicle without an appropriate driving licence
  • Serious criminal activity outside working hours
  • Improper sexual activity during working hours
  • Any act or omission calculated to defraud the Company (e.g. falsification of expense claims)
  • Incapacity on duty due to the effects of alcohol or drugs
  • Improper disclosure of confidential information
  • Actions which could damage the public image of the Company
  • Professional misconduct
  • The wilful introduction of a virus into a computerised system
  • Wilful misuse of the Internet and the company’s e-mail system, including accessing and downloading items of a pornographic and/or sexually explicit nature.

Note: This list has not been agreed with the trade unions and is not exhaustive.

Gross misconduct such as that listed will normally result in dismissal without notice, however the circumstances of each case will be fully considered and if they are sufficiently mitigating, a more lenient course of action will be taken.

Levels of Disciplinary Action

  • It is the responsibility of the Company’s management to continuously monitor conduct. It may be appropriate, depending on the circumstances and the nature of the misconduct, to attempt to correct a situation and prevent it from getting worse through advice or informal action, without using the disciplinary procedure. A brief note should be made and kept by the manager for reference purposes.
  • The level at which disciplinary action is taken will be dependent on the nature and seriousness of the misconduct, the particular circumstances in which it was committed and any previous unexpired warnings.
  • Although in most cases, the procedure will progress through the stages outlined below, it does not preclude a stage, or stages, of warning being omitted. For example, a first offence could result in a written or final warning, or a verbal warning could be followed by a final written warning if justified by the circumstances.
  • In most cases the stages of warnings will be as follows:
    • Verbal warning (effective for 3 months)
    • Written warning (effective for 6 months)
    • Final written warning (effective for 18 months but after 12 months reduced to the level of a written warning)
    • Dismissal (with notice)
  • A formal warning will remain effective during the period of time specified. This means that it will be taken into consideration, as part of the cumulative process, when determining the level of disciplinary action warranted for any further offences, which may occur during the period.
  • At the end of the specified period, the formal warning will be removed from the employee’s record and will be disregarded completely when determining the level of any future disciplinary action. However, warnings form part of an employee’s work history and should therefore be kept on file in the event that they are required for reference purposes. Such information would only be used to refer to in the event that persons requesting references ask specific questions about disciplinary action.

Cumulative Misconduct

  • A single act of ordinary misconduct will not in itself normally justify dismissal, but it must be clearly understood that under the concept of cumulative misconduct (the “totting up procedure”) this act, when added to others, may result in dismissal.

Dismissal without Notice (Summary Dismissal)

  • Dismissal without notice may occur in cases of gross misconduct regardless of any, or the absence of, previous warnings.


1. The disciplinary procedure applies to all employees of the Company.

2. This procedure must be followed when dealing with all acts of alleged misconduct within the workforce.

Precautionary Suspension

3. Where an allegation of misconduct arises and this misconduct, if established, would be regarded as gross misconduct, the employee may be suspended from work on full basic pay. Suspension, in itself, is a precautionary measure and not a form of disciplinary action.


4. When an allegation of suspicion of misconduct arises which requires further investigation, the employee concerned should be interviewed as soon as possible. He/she should be told: –

  • that the matter is being investigated and could lead to disciplinary action.
  • that he/she may be accompanied at any interview.
  • details of the complaint or incident (as far as they are known).
  • That he/she will be asked for a response to the matter being investigated.

5. At the beginning of the investigatory interview the employee concerned must be given details of the complaint or incident as far as these are known.

6. The role of a person accompanying and/or representing the employee at the investigatory interview is to act as a witness to what is said at the meeting and to represent the interests of the employee concerned. However, the purpose of the interview is for management to try to ascertain the full facts of the case from the person being interviewed, and employees are advised, wherever possible, to co-operate.

7. A written record of the proceedings of this interview may be taken by both the interviewer and the employee.

8. The interview is not a disciplinary hearing at this stage and must not develop into one.

9. The investigation should include interviewing all witnesses.

10. Although every effort will be made to conduct an investigation as quickly as possible, where, in exceptional circumstances, an investigation cannot be completed due to circumstances beyond the control of the Company and where insufficient evidence exists to form a reasonable belief in the employee’s guilt, then a decision to proceed to a disciplinary hearing, or otherwise, may have to be delayed.

11. In such circumstances consideration will be given, in the light of the information available, to a return to work on normal duties or a precautionary transfer to alternative duties until such time as the investigation can be completed.

12. As employees are suspended on full basic pay, they are expected to co-operate fully with any precautionary transfer. The normal hours of work, travel etc. will be taken into account when deciding alternative duties. The relevant trade union will be involved in such discussions.

13. In cases of alleged abuse of children, reference must be made to the Child Protection Procedures.

Disciplinary Hearing

14. If, following thorough investigation, a decision is made to progress the matter through the formal Disciplinary Procedure, a disciplinary hearing will be arranged. The employee will be told, in writing, of the allegation(s), that he/she is required to attend a disciplinary hearing (giving the place, date and time) and that he/she has the right to be accompanied by a colleague, trade union or other representative. Should the allegation, if established, constitute gross misconduct, this should be stated in the letter.

15. The employee or anyone acting on his/her behalf will receive copies of relevant papers, including witness statements, at least five working days prior to the disciplinary hearing. Where either side wishes to submit evidence which could not be submitted prior to the hearing, this will be allowed providing both parties are given adequate opportunity to study it.

16. The purpose of the disciplinary hearing is to decide on the appropriate action, taking all the circumstances into account.

17. The disciplinary hearing will be conducted by a disciplinary panel. The Chair of the panel will be an appropriate manager who has had no involvement in the disciplinary investigation.

18. The disciplinary hearing will be conducted as follows: –

  • Introductions will take place, the purpose of the hearing will be explained and an explanation will be given as to how the hearing will be conducted.
  • The approach will be formal, but polite and the hearing will be a two way process allowing both sides to state their case with the objective of ascertaining the true facts of the case.
  • The allegation(s) will be outlined and the evidence presented. This will include reference to any witness statements and the calling of witnesses as required. There will then be the opportunity for questions to be asked related to the evidence presented.
  • The employee will be given the opportunity to state his/her case, present evidence and call witnesses. Opportunity for questions at this stage will again be given.
  • Both parties will be given the opportunity to summarise their case.
  • The meeting will adjourn and a decision made by the disciplinary panel. If necessary, the meeting may be adjourned in order to carry out further investigations. If this does occur, the meeting will be reconvened and the employee informed of the outcome of these further investigations. He/she will be given the opportunity to comment on and/or question this.
  • Following the adjournment the employee will then be recalled and will be informed of the panel’s decision by the chair and, if applicable, the penalty which is to be imposed. The employee will also be advised at this stage of his/her right of appeal and the time limit for any such appeal.

19. Any decision to take, or not to take, disciplinary action and the nature of such action, will be made only after full consideration of the case.

20. No employee will be dismissed for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct.

21. All decisions will be confirmed in writing no later than five working days following the date of the disciplinary hearing. The letter will include (in the event of a warning being given): –

  • the reason for the warning.
  • the effective time period of the warning
  • the consequences of any further breach of discipline
  • the right of appeal, and
  • the time limit for any such appeal.

Omission of Warning Stages

22. Although, in most cases, the procedure will progress through the stages outlined below, it does not preclude a stage, or stages, of warning being omitted.

Levels of Disciplinary Action

 Verbal Warning

23. On the first occasion that the employee’s work, conduct or omission is such to warrant investigation, this will normally be carried out by the employee’s line manager. If the outcome of this investigation and disciplinary hearing results in no more than a verbal warning, then the employee’s line manager will be responsible for ensuring that this is recorded

24. A first warning, unless it is for a serious matter, will normally be a verbal one, which will be confirmed in writing. A verbal warning will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale. It will warn that further, more serious action will be considered if there is no satisfactory improvement and will advise of the right of appeal and the time limit for any such appeal.

25. A record of the disciplinary action will be held on the employee’s file for a period of three months from the date of the letter, if appropriate, or the date that the warning was given verbally. After this period the warning will be removed and will no longer count for progression to the next stage of the formal Disciplinary Procedure.

Written Warning

  • If the employee fails to improve or commits a similar act or a subsequent, but different offence which warrants disciplinary action, within the effective period of the verbal warning, this will normally result in a written warning.
  • A written warning will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale. It will warn that further, more serious action will be considered if there is no satisfactory improvement and will advise of the right of appeal and the time limit for any such appeal.
  • A record of the disciplinary action will be held on the employee’s file. The warning will remain on the file for six months after which it will be removed and will no longer count for progression to the next stage of the formal Disciplinary Procedure.

 Final Written Warning

  • If, within the duration of a written warning, there is still a failure to improve, conduct is still unsatisfactory or the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant only one written warning, but insufficiently serious to justify dismissal, a final written warning will normally be given to the employee.
  • A final written warning will normally follow not more than two previous written warnings. A final written warning will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale. It will warn that further, more serious action will be considered if there is no satisfactory improvement and will advise of the right of appeal and the time limit for any such appeal.
  • A record of the disciplinary action will be held on the employee’s file. After twelve months from the date of the letter confirming/giving the final written warning, the final written warning will be reduced to the level of a written warning. After eighteen months from the date of the letter confirming/giving the final written warning, the warning will no longer count for progression to the next stage of the formal Disciplinary Procedure.

Expired Warnings

  • A formal warning will remain effective during the period of time specified. It will be taken into consideration as part of the cumulative process when determining the level of disciplinary action warranted for any further offences which may occur during this period.
  • At the end of the specified period, the formal warning will be removed from the employee’s record and will be disregarded completely when determining the level of any future disciplinary action. However, warnings form part of an employee’s work history and should therefore be kept on file in the event that they are required for reference purposes. Such information would only be used to refer to in the event that persons requesting references ask specific questions about disciplinary action.

Cumulative Misconduct

  • A single act of ordinary misconduct will not in itself normally justify dismissal, but it must be clearly understood that, under the concept of cumulative misconduct, this act, when added to others, may result in dismissal.

Dismissal with Notice

  • If, within the duration of a final written warning, conduct is still unsatisfactory and the employee fails to reach the prescribed standard of conduct, a further disciplinary hearing will be held and the normal outcome will be dismissal.
  • The employee will be informed in writing of the reasons for the dismissal, the date on which such employment will be terminated, of the right to appeal and the time limit for such an appeal.
  • The written confirmation should be sent to the employee as soon as possible, but not later than five working days following the date of the disciplinary hearing at which the employee was dismissed.

Dismissal Without Notice (Summary Dismissal)

  • If, having followed the full Disciplinary Procedure, the Chief Executive is satisfied that gross misconduct has occurred, the result will be immediate dismissal without notice and without payment in lieu of notice.

Relegation (as an alternative to Dismissal)

  • Relegation is where an employee is transferred to another, lower graded job. In reaching a decision regarding the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, the manager should take mitigating circumstances into account. Mitigating factors may, in some cases, reduce what otherwise would have been a dismissal to a lesser decision, such as relegation. In such instances a final written warning will also normally be issued.
  • All existing terms and conditions will be terminated and a new contract of employment offered on the terms and conditions appropriate to the lower graded job. Service will, however, be continuous and benefits accrued purely by length of service will be retained.

Right of Appeal

  • All appeals must be made within ten working days of the date of the letter giving/confirming the warning/disciplinary action. There is only one level of appeal as follows: –

Verbal and Written Warnings

  • The appeal is to be made in writing to the Chair of the Board of Trustees if the Chief Executive conducted the original disciplinary hearing, in which case the appeal will be made to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees will hear the appeal personally.  The officer hearing the appeal will be more senior than the officer who decided the original disciplinary action.

Final Written Warning

  • The appeal is to be made in writing to the Chief Executive unless the they conducted the original disciplinary hearing, in which case the appeal will be made to the Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • The Board of Trustees will hear the appeal personally.

Dismissal or Relegation

  • Notice of appeal should be given to the Chief Executive.  The appeal is to be made in writing either individually or through the trade union or other representative.


  • At any stage of the Disciplinary Procedure, the employee has the right to call witnesses in his/her defence, including witnesses who are not employees of the Company.
  •  The responsibility for the attendance of witnesses lies entirely with the employee.
  •  If the witness is an employee of the Company, reasonable facilities will be allowed to enable him/her to attend. In this context, any time off should normally be paid on a no loss of earnings basis during the witness’ normal working hours. Attendance outside of normal working hours will be unpaid.

Trade Union Representatives

53. Normal disciplinary procedures apply in full to trade union officials. However, no suspension or formal disciplinary action should be taken until the circumstances of the case have been discussed with a full time official, or Branch Secretary, of the union concerned.

Employee Support

54. Employees who feel they need help in coping with the stress arising during or from the Disciplinary Procedure will be entitled to seek external counselling. The Company will arrange and pay for such support if so requested.

55. This should not delay any investigation of alleged misconduct or subsequent disciplinary action.