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Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013



Section 1 Introduction and Induction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Work Life Balance 1.3 Induction Process 1.4 Induction Checklist

4 5 5 5 5

Section 2 Organisational Profile and Structure 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Corporate Plan 2.3 Our Values 2.4 Our Operating Principles 2.5 Our Corporate Themes 2.6 Business Planning 2.7 Employee Appraisal

7 7 7 7 7 7 8 9

Section 3 Employment Issues 3.1 Human Resources 3.2 Recruitment and Selection 3.3 Probationary Period 3.4 Secondment 3.5 Employee Transfer 3.6 Internal Trawls 3.7 Termination of Employment 3.8 Retirement 3.9 Exit Interviews 3.10 Equal Opportunities 3.11 Trade Union Recognition 3.12 Training and Development 3.13 Employer of Choice 3.14 Occupational Health 3.15 Confidential Counselling Service Section 4 Rules and Regulations 4.1 Official Conduct 4.2 Disclosure of a Criminal Investigation, Charge ‌

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14 15 15

4.3 4.4 4.5

Conduct outside the workplace Social Media Health, Safety and Welfare

4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13

Use of council property and facilities Unauthorised Activities Dignity at Work Disciplinary Policy Grievance Policy Data Protection Policy Working Time Directive Additional Employments

Section 5 Pay, Benefits and Working Arrangements 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24

15 15 16-17 17 17 17 17 18 18 18 18


Pay Scales 20 Annual Increments 20 Annual Pay Award 20 Payment of Salary 20 Deductions from Salary 20 Shift Allowance 20 Irregular Hours 20-21 Overtime 21 Public and Extra Statutory Holidays 21 Travel and Expenses 21-22 Northern Ireland Local Government Officer’s Pension Scheme 22 Hours of Work 22 Flexible Working Hours 22 Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements 22 Remote/Homeworking 23 Job Share 23 Special Leave 23 Annual Leave 23-24 Statutory Leave 24 Bereavement Leave 24 Marriage Leave 24 Jury Service 24 Service with Non-Regular Crown Services 25 Maternity Leave 25


EmployeeHandbook 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29

Adoption Leave Paternity Leave Parental Leave Career Break Sickness Absence and Allowance

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Section 1 - Introduction and Induction 1.1


Armagh City and District Council is committed to providing good induction to help new employees settle down quickly by becoming familiar with     

The people The surroundings The job The organisation and The organisational policies and procedures.

This handbook is intended to assist the induction process by providing you with the necessary information you will need, in a structured and easy to follow format. The content of the Handbook gives a general overview of policies and procedures in place within Armagh City and District Council. Complete Policies can be downloaded from the Councils Intranet. An up-todate full copy of the handbook will be available for reference at all times from your Line Manager. The contents of the handbook apply equally to all employees. It should be noted that the information contained within this handbook is not intended as a definitive Statement of Conditions of Service and should not be regarded as taking the place of the official documents on which it is for the most part based. Your contract of Employment with the Council is based on:   

The Terms and Conditions of Service issued to you at the time of appointment; The relevant collective agreements agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Authority Employees; Local collective agreements negotiated by the Council with Trade Unions recognised by this Council for collective bargaining purposes.


Work Life Balance

In today’s changing and demanding environment getting the right balance between work and our personal lives has become a priority for us all.The Council is committed to the concept of worklife balance to improve the service provided to our citizens and will progress new and different ways of working such as remote and flexible working with the aid of new technology.


Induction Process

This is an example of the induction you should expect when you commence employment with the Council. Someone will be appointed to look after you during your first week of employment, this may be your Line Manager or someone appointed by your Line Manager as your ‘Induction Buddy’, this person will be available to help you familiarise yourself with the building, people and general systems and procedures. Formal induction sessions relating to overall organisational and employee issues are conducted by Human Resources every six weeks. Please click here to view an outline of what you can expect your induction to cover. A tailored induction programme specific to you will be given to you on your first day. If you have any concerns about your induction you should contact your Line Manager or a member of Human Resources. 1.4

Induction Checklist

The objective of a good induction is to reduce initial anxiety and to enable the new employee to settle down more quickly. Please click here to view a check list of topics which need to be covered early on in your employment with the Council. Tick each point when you know it has been covered. If you have not ticked every point at the end of your induction period advise your appointed Induction Buddy, Line Manager or a member of Human Resources accordingly.

Policies will be revised or new policies implemented from time to time in accordance with legal and operational requirements.

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Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013


EmployeeHandbook -

Section 2 - Organisational Profile and Structure 2.1



The Chief Executive is the Council’s principal advisor on all matters of policy, he is responsible for the internal administration of the Council, maintaining and developing key relationships with outside bodies and organisations and being responsible for the organisation of ceremonial and civic occasions. The Council’s Strategic Management Team [SMT] consists of the Clerk and Chief Executive and Directors of Environment Health and Recreation, Corporate Services, Regeneration and Development, Policy Officer and Group Chief Environmental Health Officer, with responsibility for strategic planning, setting objectives and measuring performance. 2.2

Engage positively for the Community’s benefit and success Are Creative and Confident in our approach Our Operating Principles


To comply with the law all issues and inspire confidence in our citizens and service users that the highest level of best practice in areas such as Health and Safety, Child Protections and Equality are being maintained.


To engage with our employees, users and customers as much as possible.


To be as accessible and responsive as possible and ensure respect and consideration of all views in our decision making processes.


To operate effectively and take pride in the quality and value of our services and recognize the contribution of our employees in delivering excellent service.


To ensure the decisions we make are affordable, prudent and sustainable and comply with good professional practice.


To provide clear structures with clear lines of responsibility which facilitate transparent decision making and effective scrutiny, review and accountability necessary to maximize on opportunities for delivery of the council vision.


To work collaboratively across council departments to reduce bureaucracy and increase effectiveness putting the customer at the centre of what we do.

Corporate Plan | 2012 - 2020

Armagh City and District Council believes that it will be helpful to outline it’s Vision and Mission and the core objectives of it’s Corporate Plan within this handbook so that every employee within the organisation knows what we value and what we want to achieve. All employees should recognise that there are a number of parties [eg employees, the local community, visitors to Armagh, other public bodies] that are dependant upon our operations and their success. It is our responsibility to ensure that the concerns of all these interested parties are satisfied. We can only achieve this by ensuring that we provide best value, quality services. Whether you work in providing services to the public or in a support service this is equally important. 2.3

Our Values

Our values will guide the way we work and behave together and with others. Through our words, behaviours and actions, the Council’s members and staff will be driven by our values. We: -

Put People at the heart of all that we do Are Ambitious for Armagh Have Unity of purpose

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Our Corporate Themes

Armagh City and District Council have adopted five corporate themes to deliver on the vision, strategic direction and objectives within our Corporate Plan: Place, People, Prosperity, Environment and Excellence. Theme 1. Theme 2. Theme 3.

Consolidating Armagh’s position as a Place of Significance Investing in Healthy, Confident and Empowered People Creating Opportunities for Prosperity, Regeneration and Success


EmployeeHandbook Theme 4.

Protecting and Enhancing the Natural and Built Environment

Theme 5.

Delivering Business Excellence through Value for Money Services and a fit for Future Organisation.

Click here to view a full corporate plan.


plans will be communicated to employees and every member of the department will be expected to work towards their accomplishment.

COUNCIL COMMITTEES STRUCTURE Councillors work through a structure of committees and scrutiny panels focusing on a number of different issues.

Business Planning

Each Directorate and the Departments within it will produce an annual Business Plan. These Business Plans contain the operational objectives and the resources and actions necessary to achieve them. These operational There are five standing committees which deal with particular areas of work. Scrutiny panels may be established on an ad hoc basis to scrutinize individual Issues referred to them by the Standing Committee. There are five Standing Committees:  Executive  Internal Scrutiny (Economy and Culture)  Internal Scrutiny (Health, Environment and Governance)  Public Services Scrutiny  Audit The Internal Scrutiny Committee, from within its membership, may appoint:  Judicial Committee  Scrutiny Panels The Public Services Committee, from within its membership, may appoint:  Scrutiny Panels Decisions taken by the Executive Committee that have unanimous support are reported to full Council for information rather than ratification. Decisions taken by the other Standing Committees are ratified by the full Council at the Statutory Council meeting each month.

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EmployeeHandbook 2.7

Employee Appraisal

Appraisal involves the Appraiser (Line Manager) and the Appraisee (employee) in appraising and planning an employee’s work and training needs within the overall context of the Councils Corporate Plan and the employees department or sections Business or Operating Plan. This process is an essential part of the Councils commitment to developing its employees and delivering a high quality service. Appraisal ensures that individual employees are clear about their objectives and have an opportunity to discuss any help they may need in meeting them. Good quality appraisal is based on the principle that people are more effective when they know what is expected of them and receive feedback on how they are doing. The emphasis is on a positive and constructive dialogue between the Appraisee and Appraiser. Appraisal reviews will be conducted twice a year to coincide with the Councils overall planning cycle: 1st Phase - March/April (Review Cycle) 2nd Phase - July/Sept (Planning Cycle) Please click here to view the Appraisal Form. In addition it is intended that both formal and informal discussions throughout the year will help facilitate the achievement of objectives and key review dates for specific projects may be built in at the objective setting stage of the process.

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Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013



performance has not been reached the probationary period may be extended or employment will be terminated with one week’s pay in lieu of notice.

Section 3 - Employment Issues 3.1

Human Resources

Armagh City and District Council’s Human Resource function is designed to serve both employee and employer: A. It will serve employees by providing a speedy and friendly service to assist them in the execution of their duties and their relationship with their employer. B. It will serve the employer by providing data, information and training to enable managers to motivate and direct employees; providing information to control, direct and monitor employees; and providing other data to those legitimately requiring it. All those responsible for, and dealing with, data provided for the records of the Human Resources Department are expressly directed that this information is strictly confidential and must only be used by and disclosed to those with legitimate access.

If, following discussion with the employee, it is determined that the employee does not possess the skills essential to the post as identified within the job description and this cannot be remedied through normal induction and basic on-the-job training employment will be terminated with one week’s pay in lieu of notice. If an employee is absent for a period of more than 4 weeks during the probationary period the probationary period may be extended accordingly. Employees have the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or fellow employee at interviews called to discuss continuation of employment or extension of a probationary period.



Since it is important that such information is accurate you should notify a member of Human Resources if any of your personal details change.

Secondment is the voluntary temporary transfer of an employee within the Council to another local authority or interchange partner. A secondment period will normally last from three months to two years. The general principle is that the secondment should be for a sufficient time for all parties involved to gain the maximum benefit.


The Principle aims of secondment are:

Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and Selection will be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Staff Commission [NI] Code of Procedures for Recruitment and Selection.


 

Probationary Period

Appointment is subject to a probationary period of six months. During your probationary period you will be expected to establish your suitability for the post. If problems are being experienced you should bring them to the attention of your Line Manager. Similarly if your Line Manager has concerns about your performance he/she will meet with you to discuss this and agree how the problems are to be addressed. Your Line Manager will meet with you regularly thereafter during the remainder of your probationary period to discuss progress. If at the end of your probationary period an agreed level of Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

To enable employees to gain broader experience and to develop new skills which will be of benefit to the Council and/or local government To provide a means for promoting co-operation and realising the maximum benefits for local government in Northern Ireland To exchange management expertise and innovative techniques To provide a flexible means of developing employee resources.

Employees with at least 12 months continuous service with the Council are eligible to be considered for secondment. Individuals should indicate their interest in a period of secondment through their Line Manager indicating the basis of such interest and, where possible, the type of secondment in which they are interested and the reasons for their preferences. Secondment is subject to the individual meeting the criteria required for the appointment and


EmployeeHandbook the experience gained being of benefit to the Council and to release being agreed. A maximum of 2 years will be granted at any one time. 3.5

Period of Continuous Employment

Minimum Statutory Notice

1 month or more 2 years or more

1 week but less than 2 years 1 week for each year of but less than 12 years continuous employment 12 weeks

Employee Transfer

Employees may be transferred to other posts in accordance with the needs of the service. Additionally transfers may be considered to assist employees with genuine and urgent domestic or welfare needs. Transfers may be considered in times of reorganisation or to meet the needs of a changing working environment. In such circumstances consultation will take place with the individual employees affected and recognised trade unions.

12 years or more

In the case of summary dismissal for gross misconduct no notice is applicable. This is detailed within the Council’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.

This policy refers to permanent transfers and does not include flexible working arrangements in operation within Operational Services which are part of a local agreement.

Employees are generally required to give a minimum of one month’s notice of termination of employment. Senior officers may be required to give additional notice as detailed in the Main Terms and Conditions of Employment issued on commencement. Fixed term and temporary contracts will cease at the end of the contract period unless specifically extended in writing.



Internal Trawls

Vacancies may be trawled within the organisation in the following circumstances:     

To cover maternity leave or long-term sickness absence During periods of review or re-organisation where it is uncertain if the post will remain in the new structure. To cover seasonal or vocational work. To undertake a specific project or piece of work where the post will cease when the project is completed.

To accommodate a new post within existing resources.

Recruitment arrangements for Internal Trawls will be in accordance with Local Government Staff Commission Code of Procedures for Recruitment and Selection. A policy in relation to internal recruitment covering secondment, employee transfer and internal trawls is available from Human Resources. 3.7

Termination of Employment

The minimum period of notice which the Council must give you before terminating your Contract of Employment is a follows:-

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Normal retirement age is 65. Employees may elect to retire earlier or request to remain in employment in accordance with the provisions of the NILGOSC Pension scheme and the Council’s Pension Discretion policy. The Council’s policy on retirement will be reviewed regularly in accordance with consultation with employees and Trade Unions and legislation in connection with ageism. 3.9

Exit Interviews

All leavers will be interviewed by a member of Human Resources. Information given at exit interviews is confidential and will be used only as part of an overall report on trends. 3.10

Equal Opportunities

Armagh City and District Council is committed to the fulfillment of its statutory duty under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Act requires the Council in carrying out its functions to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity: 

between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;


EmployeeHandbook   

between men and women generally; between persons with a disability and persons without; between persons with dependents and persons without.

There is no formal mechanism for consulting with non-union employees, however minutes and agendas in connection with the JCNC are widely

In addition, without prejudice to its obligations above, the Council shall in carrying out all its functions, have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

circulated and non-union members may channel their concerns, requests, etc through any management representative.

The Council’s Equality Scheme sets out how the Council proposes to fulfill the duties imposed by Section 75 and Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act. Click here to view a summary of the Council’s Equality Scheme and Disability Duties and Action Plan click here

A full copy of the Training and Development Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here

A full copy of the Scheme can be obtained by contacting Human Resources. To view Armagh City and District Equal Opportunity Statement, click here. Armagh City and District Council recognises that the provision of equal opportunities in the workplace is not only good management practice, it also makes sound business sense. It is opposed to all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination. All employees irrespective of the nature of their employment contract and job applicants will be treated fairly and selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be based solely on merit. To view a copy of the Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy click here. 3.11

Trade Union Recognition

The Council supports the stabilised system of collective bargaining and believes in the principle of resolving industrial relations problems by discussion and agreement. For practical purposes it is considered this can only be achieved through negotiations conducted by representatives of the employers and the employees. All Armagh City and District Council employees have the right to join a recognised Trade Union and to take part in its activities. Trade Unions recognised by the Council are: • NIPSA


The Council operates a Joint Consultative and Negotiation Committee made up of Trade Union and management representatives. Each of the recognised Trade Unions has representatives on the Committee. Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013



Training and Development

Employer of Choice Policy

A full copy of the Employer of Choice Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here 3.15

Occupational Health

The Council uses Occupational Health Consultants LTD to provide Occupational Health Service. The service is provided on two levels: Nurse Led Service: to provide pre-employment health checks, VDU Assessments, regular health screening and advice and other health initiatives as required. Consultancy Service: to provide expert opinion in relation to employees referred in accordance with the Councils Attendance Management Policy or as referred by the Occupational Health Nurse and to undertake medical assessments necessary for the renewal of HGV licences. 3.16 Confidential Counselling Service   All Council employees also have access to an independent confidential counselling service provided. The service can be accessed directly by the employee by telephoning 0800 169 4398 between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm to arrange an appointment or after hours leave a message on our dedicated answering service & one of our staff will get back to you. Further details can be obtained from HR. The following Policies/Protocols can be obtained via the intranet – Drugs and Alcohol click here Domestic Violence click here



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SECTION 4 - Rules and Regulations 4.1





Official Conduct

Council employees are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and honesty in carrying out their duties and must provide the highest possible standard of service to the public. Where it is part of their duties to provide appropriate advice to Councillors and fellow employees this must be done with impartiality at all times. Employees will be expected, without fear of recrimination to bring to the attention of the appropriate level of management any deficiency in the provision of service. Responsibility is placed on every member of staff for disclosing to an appropriate manager or officer of the council every potential conflict of interest in which he/she may be involved. In general employees’ private interests must not be such as to have the potential for allegations of impropriety or partiality to be sustained thereby bringing the Council into disrepute. Employees should not misuse their official position or information acquired in their official duties to further their private interest or those of others. 4.2

Disclosure of a Criminal Investigation, Charge, Caution or Criminal Conviction

During the course of your employment you must notify your Director immediately if you become subject to any criminal investigation, caution, charge or conviction (except minor traffic offences (i.e.) offences which are unlikely to lead to disqualification or imprisonment). Your failure to notify your Director is considered gross misconduct and may result in your dismissal. For a full copy of the Council’s Code of Conduct for Employees please click the following links: -

Code of Conduct for Local Government Employees Model code of Conduct for Local Government Employees. NJC, LEGAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT KEY TERMS USED IN THE CODE OF CONDUCT OF

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Any breach of the terms of the Code will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Disciplinary Procedure of the Council. 4.3

Conduct outside the workplace

Employees are reminded that situations linked to the workplace, whether a Council sponsored event or any event linked to the Council either on or off its premises the rules and guidelines of the Council still apply [ie disciplinary, harassment]. Moderation and a consideration and respect for others should be the guide in all actions and activities. Senior personnel should remember their position even whilst being relaxed and informal and those in supervisory position should behave at all times in such a manner that their position and/or respect is not undermined. 4.4 Social Media The Council recognises that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information on particular topics using a wide variety of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. However, employees’ use of social media can pose risks to the Council’s reputation, confidential and proprietary information or jeopardise compliance with legal obligations. To minimise the above risks and to ensure IT resources and communications systems are used only for the needs of the service, the Council expects employees to adhere to this policy. A full copy of the Social Media Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here


EmployeeHandbook representative cannot resolve the matter with the line manager the matter may be referred to the Health and Safety Committee. 4.5

Health, Safety and Welfare

The Council recognises and accepts its duties as an Employer to ensure in so far as is reasonably practicable the Health, Safety and Welfare at work of all its employees. The Council will make every reasonable effort to safeguard its visitors, members of the public, and contractors who may be affected by its undertakings. Armagh City and District Council will take the appropriate steps within its authority to meet, satisfy and maintain its responsibilities; paying particular attention to the requirements of the Health and Safety at work [NI] Order 1978 Articles - 4,5 and 6 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations [NI] 2000. To this end the Clerk and Chief Executive, and the SMT form a Team of Management Representatives and will be committed to pursuing progressive improvements in the Council’s Health and Safety Performance, so far as is reasonably practicable. The Council is committed to achieving higher standards within all its work activities to eliminate hazards or where this is not reasonably practicable to reduce the risks associated with hazards to the lowest practicable level within current practice. Employees have a duty to take care of themselves and others affected by their activity at work and to co-operate with employers’ actions taken to meet their duties under the relevant regulations. Armagh City and District Council is required under Article 4 [3] of the Health and Safety at Work [Northern Ireland] Order 1978 to prepare as often as may be appropriate a written statement of its general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of its employees and the arrangements currently in force for carrying out that policy and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all its employees. Health and Safety Representatives and Committee Trade Union appointed Health and Safety Representatives represent employee interests on the Council’s Health and Safety Committee. There is also provision for non-union employee representation on the Committee. If employees have any problem in respect of health and safety they should in the first instance seek advice from their line manager. In the event of any disagreement or lack of action from this approach they should pursue the matter through an appointed safety representative. If the safety Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

Training All new recruits will be given initial safety training as part of their Induction. Further safety training may be provided to meet the specific needs of the individuals to enable them to perform their duties competently and safely. No employee should work in a known risk situation or potentially hazardous area until adequate training has been given to enable him/her to appreciate and understand the risks and is familiar with recommended safe working procedures. Fire Evacuation All Council premises are covered by a written procedure to be followed in the event of an emergency and there are nominated persons in each building to aid evacuation procedures. Employees are expected to be familiar with emergency evacuation procedures applicable to their place of work. Fire fighting equipment is provided within each building, but must only be used by trained and appointed persons, and only if they can do so without putting themselves and others at undue risk.

Risk Assessments Risk assessments will be carried out within each department by a relevant Line Manager identifying hazards and necessary control measures. Copies of relevant risk assessments will be available to all relevant employees. To view Risk Assessments click here. VDU Assessments The Health and Safety [Display Screen Equipment] Regulations 1992 require employers to minimize the risks in VDU work by ensuring that workplaces and jobs are well designed. The regulations apply where staff habitually use VDUs as a significant part of their normal work. Under the regulations the Council needs to: Analyse workstations to assess and reduce risks-employees can participate in risk assessment and should report any health problems.


EmployeeHandbook Ensure workstations meet minimum requirements this includes provision of adjustable chairs and suitable lighting.

Removal of materials or equipment from the Council’s premises or work places for personal use is strictly prohibited unless authorised by the employee’s Head of Service.

Plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity - this does not mean that employees need additional breaks away from work, but if their role is mostly data input or word processing they should intersperse this activity with regular changes of activity. The employee has discretion over when and how to take breaks.

The right to search any employee entering or leaving the Council’s premises and any vehicle in or on which he/she may be travelling, and any property or parcels in his/her possession is reserved. The search will, if requested by the employee concerned, be conducted in the presence of a third party.

On request arrange eye tests, and provide spectacles if special ones are needed - employees who habitually use VDUs as a significant part of their normal work can ask the Council will make arrangements for an eye and eyesight test. This is a test by an optometrist or doctor. The Council reserves the right to nominate a specific optometrist or doctor through its Occupational Health Service. There is also entitlement to further tests at regular intervals; the optometrist doing the first test can recommend when the next should be. The Council will pay for spectacles if special ones (for example, prescribed for the distance at which the screen is viewed) are needed and normal ones cannot be used.

Use of Council systems such as telephone, fax, email, internet and intranet must be in accordance with Council policy. No employee is permitted to drive any vehicle owned, hired or leased by the Council, unless in possession of a current suitable driving licence and authorised to do so by his/her line manager. Any employee required to drive a council vehicle will be requested to produce his/her driving licence for inspection periodically and must notify his/her line manager immediately of any endorsements. A full copy of the Drivers Handbook can be obtained via the Intranet click here.

4.7 Provide Health and Safety Training and Information the Council will provide training to make sure employees can use their VDU and workstation safely and know how to make the best use of it to avoid health problems, for example by adjusting the chair.


Use of council property and facilities

Unauthorised Activities

An employee must not whilst in the course of his/her duties be engaged in any business or do any work other than the work authorised by the Council. No employee may make a money collection on behalf of any cause during working hours without the permission of his/her Head of Service. The selling of tickets is also prohibited unless authorised by a Head of Service.

Smoking All Council premises are non-smoking.

Private trading of any form is forbidden on the Councils premises, or anywhere else during working hours.

Equipment Employees are responsible for all equipment issued to them for the purpose of their work. Loss or accidental damage of equipment must be reported immediately to a line manager. Willful damage to equipment or other Council property is a serious offence and may result in disciplinary action.

An employee must not cause offence to any person whilst on duty and will at all times adopt proper disposition that benefits a council employee.

Council headed notepaper, compliment slips and other official stationery should not be used for correspondence of a personal nature, even within the organisation.


A full copy of the Dignity at Work Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here

4.9 Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

Dignity at Work

Disciplinary Policy


EmployeeHandbook A full copy of the Disciplinary Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here

Employees with a second job should advise their employer accordingly and will be required to agree an opt-out from the weekly working hours limit.


Daily Rest Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours.

Grievance Policy

A full copy of the Grievance Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here 4.11

Data Protection Policy

Armagh City and District Council needs to collect and use certain types of personal information about its staff and other people it comes into contact with in order to perform its function. This personal information must be dealt with appropriately whether it is held on paper or by electronic means and there are safeguards to ensure this under the Data Protection Act 1998. A full copy of the Data Protection Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here

Weekly Rest Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of not less than 24 hours in each seven day period. Rest Breaks Employees are entitled to a rest break when daily working time is more than six hours. The minimum entitlement is for a 20 minute rest break and may not be taken at the start or the end of the day and may be taken as more than one short break as opposed to a continuous longer break.


Working Time Directive 4.13

Local agreements are in place in connection with hours of work and rest periods [see section 5.8]. However the minimum entitlements under the Working Time Directive are set out below for employees information. Weekly working hours limits The regulations set a limit of an average 48 hours per week over a 17 week reference period not including periods of annual leave and sick leave. Employers shall, in order to protect the health and safety of a worker, take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker does not exceed the limit of an average of more than 48 hours per week.

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Additional Employments

The Council believes that in providing full-time employment it is providing a commitment to its employees and is entitled to expect a similar commitment from them. Thus it expects its employees to attend work in a state where they are able to carry out their duties with the attention and concentration necessary for its effective completion and to be able to sustain this effort throughout the working day. In the event of there being a perceptible deterioration of output or quality of performance of any employee who takes on additional employment, the employee will be counseled that failure to rectify this may lead to the matter being dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.



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SECTION 5 - Pay, Benefits and Working Arrangements 5.1

Pay Scales


Statutory Deductions:

Your rate of pay will be in accordance with your Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment. A copy of all current pay scales can be obtained by contacting Human Resources. 5.2

Annual Increments

National Insurance Contributions vary in accordance with earnings and whether or not the employee is a member of a pension scheme

Income tax at a rate of 20% or 40% dependent of level of salary

 

Annual Pay Award

Annual cost of living pay awards are negotiated nationally by The National Joint Council for Local Government Services and are applicable from 1 April each year. Details of revised pay scales and negotiations are widely circulated can be obtained via the intranet or by contacting Human Resources. 5.4

Voluntary Deductions:

Increments are normally granted on 1 April each year until the maximum of the salary scale is reached for employees whose pay is based on incremental salary scales. Increments are granted subject to satisfactory performance in the scale. Employees appointed between 1 October and 31 March in any year will be entitled to an increment after 6 months, subject to completion of satisfactory probation period. 5.3

Deductions from Salary

  

Northern Ireland Local Government Pension Scheme at a varied rate. Information can be obtained from Human Resources or Finance Give as you earn - a scheme which allows employees to contribute a minimum of £5 per month to a charity of your choice [details of the scheme currently in operation can be obtained from the Human Resources Department] A Health cash plan which helps cover the cost of health care [details of the scheme currently in operation can be obtained from the Human Resources Department] Child Care vouchers [details of the scheme currently in operation can be obtained from the Human Resources Department] Subscriptions for Trade Union membership Schemes/initiatives currently in operation by the Council

Payment of Salary 5.6

Salary is paid monthly [3 banking days before the end of each calendar month] by BACS [credit transfer to your bank account].

10% shift allowance will be paid where a regular alternating shift pattern is in place with working day commencing or ending outside core hours (8.00 am – 8.00 pm Monday - Friday). An additional shift allowance will not be applicable for posts where the postholder is appointed to work evenings only

New employees should ensure their bank details are forwarded to Human Resources by 22nd of the month to ensure payment in the month of commencement. Employees whose date of commencement is after 22nd of the month will not be paid a salary in the month of commencement.

Shift Allowance


Irregular hours In addition to the posts currently in receipt of shift allowance Theatre Box Office and Technical staff who work alternate days and evening shifts outside core hours on a regular basis will receive 10% irregular hours

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013


EmployeeHandbook payment. (An employee must work 6% outside their core hours to receive this payment). An additional shift allowance will not be applicable for posts where the postholder is appointed to work evenings only

Week End Working as part of a five day out of six or seven working pattern

(a) Employees in receipt of basic pay at SCP 28 or below Employees working five days out of six or seven as part of their normal working week will receive a week-end enhancement of time and a half for Saturday and Sunday working. These enhancements are also applicable to part-time workers. However an additional enhancement will not be applicable for posts where the postholder is appointed to work weekends only (eg Leisure/Tourism additional cover). For employees basic pay at or below point 11 double time will be paid for Sunday. (in line with green book 2.3 (b)). (b) Employees in receipt of basic pay at SCP 29 or above Employees working five days out of six or seven as part of their normal working week will receive no additional enhancement. This includes the Duty Officers at the OLC, Theatre Staff, Living History and Education Officer in line with Pay and Conditions of Service (Green Book).

If overtime is worked on a regular basis and it is not possible for the employee to use this within the 30 day period (or bring the balance down to below 10 hours) due to the needs of the service, payment of outstanding hours may be considered; If payment is made on three consecutive months or in six months of the year a review of the working pattern must be conducted by the employee’s line manager. This report should address the health and safety of the employee and working time directive regulations and the possibility of alternative working arrangements. A report must be forward to the relevant director for review and a copy of the report and the director’s comments forwarded to HR for personal records.

5.9 Public and Extra Statutory Holidays Payment for Public and Extra Statutory Holidays is as follows: Normal pay + plain time for hours worked + half day time in lieu (if time worked is less than half the normal working hours on that day) or full day time in lieu (if time worked is more than half the normal working hours on that day) 5.10

Travel and Expenses

A full copy of the Travel and Expenses Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here.

5.8 Overtime Allowances will be paid where employees are required to work additional hours beyond their working week (more that 37 hours) as follows: Monday – Saturday lieu time or overtime payment at time and a half Sunday – double time The following rules will apply to overtime payments:  

Part time employees are entitled to these enhancements only at times and in circumstances in which full-time employees would qualify; Lieu time must generally be used within 30 days of being earned and it is not permitted to carry more than 10 hours lieu time from one month to the next, however a Line Manager may request in writing to HR to carry more than 10 hours for no more than one consecutive month due to the needs of the service. Normal leave conditions will apply (ie to be taken at times mutually agreeable with sufficient notice)

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

Essential Car User Essential Car Users Allowance is restricted to designated officers whose duties are of such a nature that it is essential for them to have a motor car at their disposal whenever required. There are three categories of Essential Car User as follows: A. Where if is felt that access to a vehicle at all times would assist in the satisfactory performance of duties eg Chief Executive, SMT B. When an officer is required to make daily or more frequent visits to sites within the City & District. Posts within this category are normally limited to Environmental Health Officers and Building Control Officers, Southern Group Officer posts and managers of multiple sites (where a vehicle is not provided).


EmployeeHandbook C. Officers whose average business mileage is estimated to exceed 2500 (10% tolerance permitted) miles per annum or has averaged 2500 miles in the previous 2 years may be classified as essential users. Mileage on post entry training should not be included.

All instances where an employee is absent from work without permission will be investigated and disciplinary procedures may be instigated. * You will not be considered late if clocked in before 8:03am 5.13

Category C is reviewed annually by SMT and employees may be added or removed in accordance with the criteria outlined above. Casual Car User Casual Car Users are those for whom it is desirable that a car should be available when required. Subsistence Subsistence allowances will be payable to officers who are prevented by their official duties from taking a meal where they normally take their meals and thereby incur additional expenditure. This allowance is not applicable where a meal is provided. Officers who are required to make overnight stays in the performance of their official duties will be reimbursed approved expenses. Allowances will be paid on receipt of original receipts, up to a maximum allowance set by National Joint Council. 5.11

A flexible working hours scheme is available at certain council locations. The scheme only applies to employees in posts where participation in the scheme will not detrimentally affect the overall service and there will be no need for additional staff to maintain established standards. A full copy of the Flexible Working Hours Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here


Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

Individual flexible working patterns requested by employees will be considered, such patterns may include reduced hours, part-time, job share, annualised hours. Applications for a change in working arrangements must be in writing, signed and dated and include the following information:

Northern Ireland Local Government Officer’s Pension Scheme 

You must be under 65 years of age to join the scheme, although you may continue to be a member if you go on working after your 65th birthday. New employees with the council will automatically become members of the scheme unless they opt [in writing] not to join or have previously opted out. Employees who have previously opted out or casual employees can join, but must elect to do so. A members guide explaining the essential features of the scheme is issued to all new employees on appointment. 5.12

Flexible Working Hours

Hours of Work

Normal hours of work are in accordance with your Terms and Conditions of Employment. Employees whose posts are not included in the flexible working arrangement scheme must report for duty on time and work until the scheduled finishing time. *An employee will be considered late if he/she clocks in after the normal start time (is more than 3 minutes past the normal start time). Employees are expected to be ready to commence work at their appointed starting time and repeated lateness may be dealt with in accordance with disciplinary procedures. Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

  

the flexible working pattern applied for and the date on which it is requested the proposed change become effective; any personal circumstances relevant to the request, eg to care for a child/children and their ages; what effect, if any, the employee thinks the change will have on the provision of service and how, in his/her opinion any such effect may be dealt with; state whether any previous application has been made.

If an application is refused the employee will be advised of this decision in writing, giving grounds for refusal. The employee will have a right to appeal the decision within 14 days of receipt. Appeals must be made in writing setting out the grounds of appeal and be signed and dated by the employee. Full details of the procedure for requesting flexible working are obtainable from Human Resources.


EmployeeHandbook 5.15


Tele-working, telecommuting, remote or home working are all arrangements where an employee spends some or all their time working from home. This may be via a computer or telecommunication links which facilitates communication between the employee and his/her manager and/or colleagues.

employee’s immediate family or household, when special leave may be required. Such leave will be granted dependent on individual circumstances and may be paid or unpaid. Employees are asked to note that absence, even if it is unpaid, affects the efficiency of the delivery of services and employees are expected to keep requests for such leave to a minimum. In considering Special Leave managers will take into account:

The Council is committed to providing remote or home working opportunities for employees whose posts are suitable. Such posts will involve a high level of IT or telephone work and minimal face-to-face contact with customers [except field based staff] and have easily defined measurable work targets, or field based jobs where an employee is out of the office much of the time and can work from home between appointments. Arrangements will include regular contact with office based staff. Employees need to be able to demonstrate that they are self-motivated and disciplined and are able to work effectively on their own to be eligible to be considered for this type of working. Home working arrangements are subject to prior approval from your Director. Click here to view the complete Homeworking Policy. 5.16

Job Share

The Council is committed to the growth of job-sharing where this is feasible and requested by employees. Those wishing to be considered for this type of work should register their interest with Human Resources and will be required to assist in the formulation of a suitable arrangement. A full investigation will then be carried out to determine the feasibility and practicality of the jobshare. In the event that one or other job-sharer leaves the employment of the council and a substitute cannot be found the remaining job-sharer may be required to cease the share, although possibly continue working on a part-time basis if this is possible. 5.17

Special Leave

The Council expects commitment to its aims from its employees but equally recognises that at times personal considerations will need to take precedence. Whilst employees have rights to paid holiday, it is recognised that there may be occasions, due to an emergency arising connected with an

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

  

Immediate urgency The ability of the employee to cope The expected length of the absence

The options available are:    5.18

Paid special leave Annual leave without prior agreement Modified working pattern Annual Leave

The leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March. If you are appointed during a leave year you will be entitled to holidays in proportion to the completed months of service during your year of entry. Part-time employees will be granted pro-rata leave entitlement in accordance with their Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment. The minimum annual leave entitlement for a full year is 20 days. Senior posts which require flexibility in terms of hours worked and a level of responsibility beyond a normal working day maybe awarded 23 days leave on commencement of service. Entitlement is increased in accordance with length of service as follows: Upon completion of 5 years continuous service, leave entitlement is increased to 25 days. Upon completion of 10 years continuous service, leave entitlement is increased to 28 days. Additional leave entitlement in proportion to the completed months of service will be awarded during the sixth and eleventh year of service. Leave entitlement must be taken at times mutually agreed between you and your line manager. No annual leave entitlement will be granted without prior approval of your line manager. Holiday arrangements should be made as



soon as possible each year and you should consult with your line manager before making definite arrangements in order that adequate cover can be provided in your absence.

A schedule of agreed dated for Statutory and Public Holidays in relation to sites which open 7 days will be circulated on an annual basis. 5.20

Annual leave entitlement requested in excess of accrued entitlement will only be granted on the understanding that the employee has given implied authorisation that overtaken leave entitlement may be recouped from the employee’s final salary should his/her employment cease before expended entitlement is accrued. A maximum of 5 days unused annual leave may be carried forward to the next leave year by prior agreement with your line manager. Annual leave carryover will be pro rata spread over a year. No employee will be permitted to take leave from the next years entitlement prior to the commencement of the leave year. Employees should spread the use of annual leave throughout the leave year period, excessive use at the beginning of end of the leave is discouraged except in exceptional circumstances. 5.19

Statutory Leave

In addition to the basic leave entitlement, additional leave is granted for Public and Extra Statutory Holidays. There are a total of 12 Public and Extra Statutory days, as follows:

Bereavement leave of up to 3 days may be granted in the event of the death of a close family member. The maximum three days will be granted in the case of the death of e.g. husband, wife, son, daughter, parent, brother or sister or any relative who is a member of the employee’s immediate household.

Managers may also consider awarding additional special leave in the event of the death of a close family member. In the case of other close relatives leave will be granted in accordance with individual circumstances at the discretion of the employee’s Line Manager. 5.21

New Year’s Day St Patrick’s Day Easter Monday Easter Tuesday May Bank Holiday [1st Monday] May Bank Holiday [last Monday] 12th July 13th July August Bank Holiday [last Monday] Christmas Eve Christmas Day Boxing Day

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013

Marriage Leave

Employees who have completed one year’s service may be granted 3 days additional paid leave at the time of marriage. Applications for Marriage Leave should be submitted to your Line Manager well in advance and not less than 1 month prior to the date of marriage.

5.22            

Bereavement Leave

Jury Service

An employee who receives a summons to serve on a Jury should report this fact immediately to his/her line manager and Human Resources. No deductions will be made from earnings but the employee should claim the allowance for loss of earnings applicable under the Juror’s Allowance Regulations currently in force which should then be recouped to the Council.


EmployeeHandbook 5.23

Service with Non-Regular Crown Services

An employee who is a member of the Territorial Army or other part-time branch of the Crown Forces may be granted additional leave with pay for the purposes of attendance at Annual Camp or other recognised purpose. The maximum paid leave applicable in any one year would normally be 10 working days. Applications for this leave must be made as early as possible each year.


Requests for Career Breaks may be considered from employees on permanent contracts who, immediately prior to the commencement of the career break period, have a minimum of two years uninterrupted service with the Council. Requests for Career Breaks will be granted subject to the following conditions: 


Maternity Leave

A full copy of the Maternity Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here



Paternity Leave

A full copy of the Paternity Leave Policy can be obtained via the Intranet click here 5.27

 

Adoption Leave

Adoption Leave arrangements parallel Maternity Leave for adoption of a child under 18 years of age not already known to the adopters [eg step-family adoptions]. The employee will be required to provide legal evidence of adoption issued by the adoption agency. Adoptive parents not eligible for Adoption Leave [because the other parent is claiming the entitlement] will be eligible for Paternity Leave.

Parental Leave

Carers leave of up to 13 weeks may be granted to employees for the purposes of caring for a child up to the age of 8; or for eight years following placement for adoption or up to the age of 18, whichever is the soonest; or up to the age of 18 for children for whom disability living allowance has been awarded. Leave must be taken in blocks of 1 week up to a maximum of 4 weeks per year. Carers Leave is unpaid but shall be treated as continuous service.

Career Break


requests must be made in writing giving three months’ notice to your line manager the request should give the duration of and the reason for absence the request will be considered by the applicant’s Director in consultation with Human Resources taking into consideration the needs of the service and the benefits to the individual and the organisation if an application is refused, the applicant will be advised in writing giving the reasons for the refusal; time off does count as reckonable service for the purposes of increments, redundancy payments, superannuation or towards qualifying for annual leave. Sickness Absence and Allowance

The Council recognises that it is inevitable that employees will experience periods of ill health which prevent them from attending work and will ensure that all such sickness absences are treated fairly and sympathetically in accordance with the Council’s Attendance Management Policy. An employee unable to attend work due to illness should report his/her illness in accordance with the Procedure for Notification of Absence due to illness as outlined in the diagram below. Full detail of the procedure for notification of absence is contained in the Council’s Attendance Management Policy. Allowances applicable in connection with Sickness Absence are as follows: Statutory Sick Pay [SSP] This is a minimum entitlement laid down by law which your employer is required to pay you on behalf of the state for the first 28 weeks of sickness. This is a total of 28 weeks, not necessarily a continuous period of sickness lasting 28 weeks.

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013


EmployeeHandbook State Sickness Benefit [SSB]

During 1st year of service completing 4 months service]

If an employee is excluded from SSP for any reason he/she may be entitled to State Sickness Benefit which is claimed from the Department of Health and

1 month’s full pay and [after 2 months half pay

During 2nd year of service

2 months full pay and 2 months half pay 4 months full pay and 4 months half pay

Social Security. You will receive a Notification Form from the Council telling you when to claim from the DHSS.

During 3rd year of service

Occupational Sickness Benefit [OSC]

During 4th & 5th year of service

5 months full pay and 5 months half pay

This is the allowance paid by the Council in addition to SSP. Entitlement to OSC is in accordance with the following scale:-

After 5 years service

6 months full pay and 6 months half pay

Armagh City and District Council | 15/10/2013


Employee Handbook Oct 2013  
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