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Dorset London West Ltd trading as

DoubleTree by Hilton London Ealing Company Handbook Version 2.0 Issue Date: October 2013


COMPANY HANDBOOK Version 2.0

Contents 1

Introduction.............................................................................................................. 7 1.1

2

General Conduct and Hotel Rules............................................................................ 8 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17

3

Your training and development ................................................................ 27 Statutory Right to Request Time off for Study/Training ...................... 27 Reviewing Performance .............................................................................. 29

Annual Leave, Absence and Time off Work .......................................................... 30 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9

5

Co-operation and Communication ............................................................. 8 Timekeeping ................................................................................................... 8 Personal Appearance and Hygiene ............................................................. 9 Employee Facilities ...................................................................................... 13 Employee Benefits and Offers .................................................................... 14 Hotel Security - Keys and Key Cards........................................................ 15 Personal Property......................................................................................... 15 Lost and Found Property ............................................................................ 15 Right to Search.............................................................................................. 16 Telephone Policy .......................................................................................... 17 Media ............................................................................................................. 18 Use of Company Equipment ...................................................................... 18 Confidentiality.............................................................................................. 19 Personal Relationships at Work ................................................................. 20 Collections, Sponsorship and Selling of Goods ....................................... 20 Conduct whilst on Company Business ..................................................... 22 Anti-Bribery Policy ...................................................................................... 23

Training and Development .................................................................................... 27 3.1 3.2 3.3

4

Company History .......................................................................................... 7

Annual Leave (Holidays) ............................................................................ 30 Unauthorised Absence ................................................................................ 31 Time off for Medical and Dental Appointments ..................................... 32 Sickness Absence .......................................................................................... 32 Severe Disruption (Weather Conditions/Public Transport) ................. 35 Jury Service & Witness Attendance in Court ........................................... 36 Other Public Duties ..................................................................................... 37 Membership of the Reserved Armed Forces ........................................... 37 Compassionate leave ................................................................................... 38

Equality and Diversity Policy ................................................................................. 39 5.1 5.2

Overview ....................................................................................................... 39 What is discrimination? .............................................................................. 39


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5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 6

Dignity At Work Policy............................................................................................ 45 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4

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Security .......................................................................................................... 49 Data ................................................................................................................ 50 Use of portable storage devices .................................................................. 50 Software ......................................................................................................... 50 Viruses............................................................................................................ 51 Games ............................................................................................................. 51 Remote access ............................................................................................... 51 Temporary workers ..................................................................................... 51 Managers’ duties .......................................................................................... 51 Contravention of this policy ....................................................................... 52

Social Media Policy ................................................................................................. 53 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5

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Policy Statement ........................................................................................... 45 Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation .................................................. 45 Complaints procedure ................................................................................. 47 Disciplinary action ....................................................................................... 48

Computer and Communication Equipment Policy ................................................ 49 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10

8

Equality Action Points ................................................................................. 40 Reporting complaints................................................................................... 41 Employment of Ex-Offenders ..................................................................... 41 Employment of Children and Young Workers ........................................ 42

Use of Social Media at Work....................................................................... 53 Social Media Activities on behalf of the Company ................................. 53 Social Media Rules ....................................................................................... 53 Social Media Monitoring ............................................................................. 55 Contravention of this Policy ....................................................................... 55

Health and Safety ................................................................................................... 56 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9

General Health & Safety Policy .................................................................. 56 Eye testing ..................................................................................................... 58 First aid and reporting accidents at work ................................................. 58 Fire Procedures ............................................................................................. 59 Smoking Policy ............................................................................................. 60 Alcohol and drugs ........................................................................................ 60 Food Poisoning and Food Borne Illnesses ................................................ 62 Stress............................................................................................................... 62 Lone Working ............................................................................................... 63

10 Driving for Work Policy........................................................................................... 68 10.1 10.2 10.3

General Rules ................................................................................................ 68 Car allowances .............................................................................................. 69 Using your own car for company business .............................................. 69

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10.4 10.5

Company Vehicles ....................................................................................... 70 Driving and mobile phone use................................................................... 74

11 Data Protection Policy............................................................................................ 76 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4

Introduction .................................................................................................. 76 The data protection principles ................................................................... 76 Your right to access personal information ............................................... 77 Your obligations in relation to personal information ............................. 78

12 CCTV Policy ............................................................................................................. 79 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7

Introduction .................................................................................................. 79 Purposes of CCTV........................................................................................ 79 Location of cameras ..................................................................................... 79 Recording and retention of images ........................................................... 79 Access to and disclosure of images ........................................................... 80 Individuals’ access rights ............................................................................ 80 Covert recording .......................................................................................... 81

13 Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures .................................................................... 82 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4

Grievance Procedure ................................................................................... 82 Mediation Policy .......................................................................................... 83 Disciplinary Procedure ............................................................................... 85 Capability Procedure ................................................................................... 89

14 Disclosures in the Public Interest Policy (Whistleblowing) .................................. 93 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5

Overview ....................................................................................................... 93 Qualifying disclosures................................................................................. 93 Protected disclosures ................................................................................... 93 The disclosure procedure ........................................................................... 94 General principles ........................................................................................ 95

15 Redundancy Policy ................................................................................................. 96 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7

Avoiding redundancy ................................................................................. 96 Consultation and selection ......................................................................... 96 Voluntary redundancy ................................................................................ 97 Alternative employment ............................................................................. 97 Redundancy pay .......................................................................................... 98 Payment on termination ............................................................................. 98 Right to Appeal ............................................................................................ 98

16 Termination of Employment.................................................................................. 99 16.1 16.2 16.3

Resignation Policy........................................................................................ 99 Retirement Policy ......................................................................................... 99 Exit Interviews.............................................................................................. 99

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17 Document control ................................................................................................. 100 17.1 17.2

Revision History (Document) ................................................................... 100 Document Information .............................................................................. 100

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1 Introduction Welcome to Dorset London West Ltd trading as DoubleTree by Hilton London Ealing. The aim of this Handbook is to provide you with general information about your employment and therefore it is important that you take time to read it. It has been designed as an easy reference guide for you. This Handbook draws together information on our Company policies and procedures about key aspects of your employment, and covers many of the more general topics about which employees sometimes ask questions. It illustrates our intention to treat all employees fairly and consistently and to follow the law as regards employment practices. It is not however intended to cover every situation or to explain everything about your employment. The Company’s Family Friendly Policies, which cover Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave, Parental Leave, Paternity Leave, Time off for Dependants and Flexible Working are contained within a separate document issued as a supplement to this Handbook. The contents of this handbook, and the Family Friendly Policies, are not part of your contract of employment. From time to time these documents may be amended and updated as the need arises and for various reasons relating to business needs or to reflect legislative or other employment law developments. We will make every effort to notify you of any changes to policies or procedures. You are responsible for keeping up-to-date with the Company’s policies and procedures. A copy of the latest version of this Handbook is located on the Company’s intranet / shared drive and a hard copy is also available within each Department and in employee areas. It is important that you continue to familiarise yourself with the current Company Handbook on a regular basis and refer to it during your employment with us. If there is anything in this Handbook which you do not understand or on which you require further clarification, you should in the first instance speak to your immediate manager.

1.1 Company History DoubleTree by Hilton London Ealing (the “hotel”) was built in 1972 and was originally known as The Carnarvon Hotel. Located in the heart of West London the hotel was extensively refurbished in 2013 as part of it’s rebranding to “DoubleTree” and is a stylish contemporary hotel. The hotel is operated by Dorset London West Limited (the “Company”). The Company is owned indirectly by both institutional and private investors. Affiliates of Westmont Hospitality Group (www.whg.com) have been appointed to provide hotel support and strategic services. Representatives from WHG will work with our hotel team to assist us to achieve the best possible performance for the hotel and experience for our guests. We hope that you will enjoy working with us!

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2 General Conduct and Hotel Rules 2.1 Co-operation and Communication As a hotel employee you form part of our dedicated team who each strive, in many different ways, to make our guests feel at home. It is your responsibility to uphold the standards on which we pride ourselves and to carry out your duties to the best of your ability, always behaving in a professional and pleasant manner. Service and attention to detail are of the utmost importance – it is the reason we feel our guests choose to stay in our hotel rather than with our competitors. Our guests are the most important people in our hotel. Without them, we would not have a business and none of us would have a job. Always be polite, friendly and helpful and treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. Always greet customers and guests that you come into contact with, that you pass in the corridor or other public areas, or who approach you. Always prompt the greeting – do not wait for them to wish you good morning / afternoon / evening etc. It is important for the effective running of the business that you are a good team-player and help out in other departments or with duties outside your normal remit if you are asked to do so. This can happen if there are staff shortages or a heavy workload. As we are working in the UK, whilst on duty and/or in the hotel, you should speak in English to both your colleagues and hotel guests. Only speak to guests in another language if they speak to you in that language (and if of course you are able to do so!) It is inappropriate to deliberately exclude colleagues from conversations by speaking in a language that they do not understand. This can lead to ill-feelings and misunderstandings and could potentially amount to misconduct. The use of bad or inappropriate language is not acceptable whether it be in front of a guest, contractor, other employee or member of management. Never be rude or abusive, even if you are provoked. Such behaviour will not be tolerated and may make you liable to disciplinary action which could result in the termination of your employment.

2.2 Timekeeping All employees are expected to report for work punctually and to observe the normal hours of work laid down in their contract of employment, including the provision for lunch breaks. Failure to report for work on time is detrimental to the efficient running of the business and imposes an unnecessary and unfair burden on colleagues. You are responsible for ensuring you arrive at work early enough to begin work at your appointed start time. Your start time is the time you are expected to actually start work, not the time you are expected to arrive at your normal place of work. Likewise, you are required to remain at work, and actually working, at least until your appointed finish time, unless granted authorisation to leave early by your immediate manager. The same principles apply to lunch breaks. If you are going to be late for work, you must make every effort to contact your manager or the Manager on Duty by telephone as soon as possible to notify them of this fact and of the time you expect to arrive. If

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you are then late for work, you must report to your manager or the Manager on Duty and explain the reason for your lateness before starting work. It is expected that, occasionally, circumstances outside your control can cause lateness, for example cancelled trains or road traffic accidents. Where the reason for delay is however a normal or regular occurrence, or one which can reasonably be anticipated (for example, ongoing road works on your route to work), this will not be regarded as a valid reason for your lateness. Except in the normal course of your job duties and during your lunch break, you must not leave your place of work without prior authorisation from your immediate manager / the Manager on Duty. If it becomes necessary for you to leave work before your normal finishing time or to take time off work during normal working hours (even in circumstances of a family emergency), prior authorisation must be obtained from your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty. You must then report to your manager / the Manager on Duty on re-starting work. For further information in respect of family emergencies, please see the section on Time Off for Dependants in the Company’s Family Friendly Policies. This policy also governs your timekeeping whilst at work, for example in respect of your attendance at meetings or internal staff training. You should aim to arrive at meetings, etc. punctually so that others are not kept waiting for you. You will be required to log your hours of work on a daily basis in accordance with the system in operation in your hotel. This forms part of the payroll system. Your timekeeping will be monitored on an ongoing basis and records will be kept in respect of the dates and number of occasions of any lateness and the length of lateness on any occasion. You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for time not worked due to lateness or absence. Any payments made by the Company in such circumstances are done at its absolute discretion. You are not expected to be on the hotel premises outside your normal hours of work (other than a period of approximately 30 minutes before or after your shift). If you are on the hotel premises outside these times you must ensure that the Manager on Duty is aware and your presence must be for a justified reason. Failure to comply with the above rules and procedures without reasonable justification and/or persistent poor or unsatisfactory timekeeping are serious misconduct offences and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

2.3 Personal Appearance and Hygiene How we act and dress at work says a lot to outsiders about our hotel. Every time you deal with a guest or an enquiry, to that person you are the hotel. That’s why it’s important to create the right impression. It is therefore important to the Company that you are smart, presentable, polite and helpful to guests, and colleagues, at all times in the hotel, when either on or off-duty and both within the workplace and whenever you are representing the Company. Always check your body language and ensure you do not slouch or lean against furniture or walls. This policy is not exhaustive in defining acceptable and unacceptable standards of dress and appearance and employees must therefore use common sense in adhering to the principles underlying the policy.

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2.3.1 Uniform / Dress Code Where a uniform is provided, you are expected to wear it at all times when on duty. Your uniform belongs to the hotel. It is your responsibility to look after your uniform and to keep it clean and tidy at all times. If you are issued with a name badge, you must ensure that you wear it whenever you are on duty – this is for security reasons, plus we would like our guests to know who you are. If you wear your uniform outside the hotel, e.g. when entering or leaving the premises, you must ensure that it is intact, i.e. ties on and no buttons undone. Employees must not be seen in the hotel’s public areas wearing coats or their own clothes. You are not permitted to wear additional sweaters, jumpers, jackets or waistcoats over your uniform items when on duty. All articles of clothing must be clean and pressed. You are responsible for laundering non-suit items of uniform. Suit items of uniform, requiring dry cleaning, will be sent for dry cleaning by the Housekeeping Department. Normally only one suit per week may be sent for dry cleaning. If you are not provided with a uniform you must ensure that you dress in a professional manner appropriate to your role within the Company. If you are uncertain as to whether a particular item of clothing is acceptable or not, please speak to your immediate manager. Ladies – if you wear a skirt then you must wear un-patterned black or neutral-coloured stockings or tights. Flamboyant colours or designs are not acceptable. Gentlemen (or ladies wearing trousers) – (all areas with the exception of the Kitchen) – you must wear suitable dark black/navy socks (or stockings). Employees working in the kitchen will be provided with Chef’s Whites or other appropriate clothing (e.g. kitchen porters’ overalls) for working in a food preparation area. These items will, for food hygiene purposes, be laundered by the Company. The Company accepts that members of certain ethnic or religious groups are subject to strict religious or cultural requirements in terms of their clothing and appearance. Subject to necessary health and safety and security requirements and other similar considerations, the Company will not insist on dress rules which run counter to the cultural norms of such employees. Where uniforms are supplied by the Company, they remain the property of the Company and must not be altered in any way without the Company’s prior permission. You must therefore take care of them. If you lose your uniform, or it is damaged as a result of your own carelessness or negligence, you may be responsible for the cost of any repairs or replacement items. If you leave the Company, your uniform must be returned in good condition before any final salary payment will be made.

2.3.2 Footwear Many of the jobs in the hotel and catering industry involve you spending a lot of your time on your feet. You will feel less tired and work more safely if you wear sensible shoes. Footwear in all areas must be kept clean and polished at all times and must be in good repair (including laces). Soles should be non-slip. For your own safety, shoes for work must be enclosed and must not have open toes. Sandals are not

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permitted. The style of footwear must be kept formal and must be practical for the environment in which you work i.e. clogs or safety shoes in the kitchen and ‘court’ or low heeled black shoes for other areas within the hotel. If you work in a leisure area within the hotel (e.g. Spa / Health Club) white leather training shoes should be worn or you must ensure that you comply with any other rules regarding footwear that may be apply in your department. Where you are required to wear safety shoes, these will be provided by the Company.

2.3.3 Hair Hair must be kept clean and tidy at all times and must be suitably styled and look professional – extremes of style or colour are not permitted. Long hair (below the neck line) must be tied back, for overall safety as well as food safety reasons. Gentlemen - beards and moustaches must be kept short and clean or you must be clean shaven. Stubble is not acceptable.

2.3.4 Hands and Nails Hands must be kept clean at all times, with particular attention to between the fingers and finger nails. Wash your hands frequently between tasks, especially after using the toilet, disposing of refuse, drinking, eating or smoking. Cuts or damaged skin etc. must be covered using a suitable plaster / dressing. In food areas you must use a blue waterproof plaster for food hygiene reasons. Eczema and other forms of dermatitis must be kept under medical control and covered if necessary. In accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations, where stipulated, protective gloves (and if necessary other Personal Protective Equipment) must be worn to avoid personal injury from cleaning (or other) chemicals. Nails must be kept clean, short and well-manicured. Nail varnish is not permitted if you work in a food area. In other areas of the hotel, nail varnish may be worn provided it is in a good condition, not chipped or cracked, and is only of a colour which has been agreed as acceptable within the hotel.

2.3.5 Jewellery In food production areas, the only jewellery which may be worn is a wedding ring. Please ensure that if you wear a wedding ring it is not loose and cannot fall off easily! In other areas jewellery must be kept to a minimum as follows: •

Watch, wedding ring and/or dress ring;

One pair of small discrete stud earrings or small hoops;

Neck chains – if visible and not covered by your uniform, only a simpler or discrete necklace may be worn;

Sensible, formal hair grips or slides;

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Bracelets are permitted providing they are worn sensibly, look professional and are not a safety hazard.

Facial or other visible body piercings are not permitted. Ankle chains are not permitted. Badges / brooches may be worn only if part of the hotel uniform.

2.3.6 Eyewear The colour and style of spectacles must be in keeping with a professional hotel environment. Flamboyant styles or garish colours are not acceptable. Spectacles chains may be worn. You are not permitted to wear sunglasses when on duty – tinted spectacles required for particular eye conditions are allowed.

2.3.7 Make-Up Make up should be discrete and natural – excessive or heavy make-up is not permitted. Perfume or aftershave should be used in moderation but must not be overpowering or such that it might taint food if you are a food handler.

2.3.8 Deodorants and Body Odour All employees are required to take all reasonable steps to maintain acceptable levels of personal hygiene. This includes ensuring that you do not have body odour, dirty or stale-smelling clothing, dirty hair or bad breath whilst at work, whether working on the Company’s premises or elsewhere on Company business. Poor personal hygiene can result in an unacceptable working environment for other employees, given the close proximity in which you have to work, and it can create a negative image of the Company when dealing with guests, visitors, contractors or suppliers. Wear clean clothes and change them every day and wash your clothes regularly. Remember clothes will retain odours so that, although you may be clean, your clothes can smell. Food handlers must change their clothing at work and must not wear their outdoor clothes, or those they wore to travel to work, in food preparation areas. You must refrain from wearing overpowering or excessively strong smelling aftershaves or perfumes as these can be equally unacceptable to third parties and can potentially damage the quality of food products. Avoid eating foods with strong smells e.g. garlic, immediately prior to work, or whilst at work, if you are in a guest facing role. The Company accepts that, occasionally, a problem of body odour or bad breath may be as a result of a health or medical issue and may not always be due to a lack of personal hygiene. In this case, you should seek medical advice from your doctor and follow that advice.

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2.3.9 Personal Habits The following personal habits are not acceptable within a hotel environment: • • • • • •

Picking your nose; Touching other inappropriate parts of your anatomy; Biting your finger nails; Eating or picking at food other than in the staff restaurant; Chewing gum; Smoking or drinking in unauthorised areas.

2.3.10 Protective Clothing and Equipment Employees who occupy roles that require protective clothing or personal protective equipment under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, such as safety shoes, hard hats, gloves and masks, are required to wear this clothing whilst at work, whenever required by law or by Company rules. Any personal protective equipment will be supplied and maintained by the Company and it remains the property of the Company.

2.3.11 Policy Compliance If you fail to comply with the above rules on dress, appearance and personal hygiene, this is a serious matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. In addition, depending on the circumstances of the case, you may be required to go home and change your clothing or bathe. If this happens, you have no right to be paid for the period of your absence from work.

2.4 Employee Facilities 2.4.1 Changing and Rest Areas An area will be set aside for use during your designated break(s). Facilities may be provided to dispense hot and cold drinks, food and snacks. Meals should only be eaten in the designated staff area(s) in the hotel at the stipulated times. Staff toilets and changing facilities are provided. Toilets in the guest areas of the hotel must not be used by employees unless expressly authorised. Most employees who wear a uniform will be given a locker in the employee area. If you lose the key to your locker let your immediate manager know so that arrangements can be made to open it for you. A charge may be made for this facility or for providing you with a replacement key. Valuable items should not be left in your locker. Please take care of the employee facilities in the hotel – they are for your benefit. It is your responsibility to keep them clean and tidy. Please report any misuse to your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty.

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2.4.2 Employee Entrances The main hotel entrance may only be used by our guests. Employee entrances are designated for use by employees and you should use them at all times unless they are closed for security reasons. If you invite a visitor to your place of work you must ask permission from your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty and ensure that visitors are met when they arrive and not left to wander through the building looking for you. Your friends or colleagues are not allowed to wait for you in the hotel – if you are meeting friends or colleagues after your shift, arrange to meet elsewhere locally. Please remember that our rules of conduct and behaviour apply until you are outside the perimeter of the hotel.

2.4.3 Car Parking Car parking facilities may be provided for hotel employees. Access to and use by employees will be entirely at the discretion of the General Manager and will be strictly subject to availability. If you are given car park access, please use the areas allocated for employees and not those for guests’ cars. If you are in doubt as to whether parking is available, please check with your immediate manager. You may be required to leave your car keys at Hotel Reception

2.4.4 Employee Noticeboards Noticeboards are provided to keep you up to date with what is going on in the hotel and Company. Read them regularly and if you wish to make use of them consult your immediate manager or Human Resources.

2.5 Employee Benefits and Offers As an employee you may be entitled to various benefits which are offered in the hotel either on an ongoing basis or from time to time. These may include: • • •

Discounted rates within the hotel and other affiliated hotels for employees or Friends and Family; Free or discounted use of leisure or gym facilities either within the hotel or locally; Offers and discounts from other local businesses available to hotel employees.

The Company may also offer access to a number of schemes where you may benefit by tax savings. These are likely to have conditions attached linked to employment status, service and your earnings - there are limits to the amount you can sacrifice if in doing so your hourly rate would end up lower than the current National Minimum Wage. Schemes available may include: • • •

Bus to Work Scheme; Learn as you Earn; Childcare Vouchers;

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• •

Medical Assessments; Bike to Work.

You may need to have completed a specified period of service or to have successfully completed your probationary period, or be required to fulfil other eligibility criteria in order to be entitled to these benefits or offers. Information on the benefits / offers that are available at any time are displayed on the employee noticeboards in the hotel or will be issued separately. Please speak to your immediate Manager or Human Resources if you would like to find out more about any benefits, offers or schemes currently available. Any abuse of any of the benefits or offers available may result in these been withdrawn on either an individual basis or for the hotel as a whole.

2.6 Hotel Security - Keys and Key Cards In order to operate the hotel efficiently it is necessary for many employees to handle keys. Great care must be taken to ensure that keys are kept secure and are not left unattended. Keys must never be given to unauthorised employees or guests. You must not let anyone else into a guest bedroom or meeting room, although with appropriate ID guests may be given access. It is the responsibility of every employee to ensure that keys are correctly deposited at the end of each shift. You must not enter guest bedrooms except in the course of your duties. If you see any unknown person on the premises or notice any suspicious behaviour, contact the Manager on Duty immediately.

2.7 Personal Property You are responsible for looking after your own money, valuables and other personal property brought on to the Company’s premises; for example, your handbag, wallet, mobile phone etc. You must take due care of your personal belongings whilst at work. For security reasons, where you are unable to carry your personal belongings with you, you are advised to lock them securely away and you should not leave them unattended at any time. If you need to bring anything valuable into work, ask your immediate manager if the Company can put it in a safe place for you, otherwise the Company cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage. The Company’s liability to compensate you in the case of loss or damage to your personal property (whether caused wilfully, accidentally, by theft or otherwise) is limited to a reasonable amount having regard to such factors as whether the loss, damage or theft was due to a negligent act or omission by the Company.

2.8 Lost and Found Property Every item of property found by or handed into a member of staff must be immediately passed to the Manager on Duty.

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If you lose an item of personal property or believe an item of either personal or guest or hotel property has been stolen, you must report this immediately to your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty.

2.9 Right to Search Whilst most employees are loyal and trustworthy, it is unfortunate that some employees may occasionally be dishonest and may attempt to steal the Company’s property or property belonging to another, or they may try to bring drugs or alcohol into the workplace in contravention of the Company’s rules and procedures (see the section on Alcohol and Drugs). In order to counter these potential problems, the Company reserves the right to carry out personal searches of employees in the workplace. Searches will be conducted having regard to the section on Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work and will normally occur on a random basis. They may be carried out at any time whilst an employee is in the workplace. The search of an employee does not indicate that they are under suspicion of any wrongdoing, although the Company also reserves the right to search an employee when it reasonably suspects that they have committed a criminal offence or an illegal act. Physical searches will be confined to requesting the employee to empty out the contents of their pockets or bags and to remove any jackets, coats, shoes or other outer clothing. Employees will be searched by a member of the hotel management team who is of the same sex as the employee being searched and the search will take place in a private room in the presence of another member of management. If the employee to be searched would like to have a fellow employee present to act as a witness, this will be arranged. Employees have the right to request that a physical search is attended only by people of the same sex. The Company will take steps to ensure that an employee’s dignity is respected at all times. Searches may also be conducted on the employee’s work area, including their desk, cabinets and locker, and on the employee’s personal or work vehicle if parked on the Company’s premises. In this case, the search will be conducted by either a line manager or a designated security officer (who may not be of the same sex as the employee) in the presence of another member of management and the employee. Again, the employee may request to have a fellow employee present to act as a witness. It may not be possible for this type of search to take place in private but the Company will endeavour to deal with the matter as discreetly as circumstances permit. The level of search requested may be subject to change and the Company will ensure that the level of search is fair and reasonable, taking into account the circumstances giving rise to it. The Company will keep a record of all searches conducted, including the date, time, details and results of each search and the identities of the employees, the searching officer and any other parties present. This information will be stored confidentially. It will be reviewed on a regular basis by the General Manager to ensure that searches are being carried out fairly and non-discriminatorily and either randomly or only where the Company reasonably suspects that an employee has committed a criminal offence or an illegal act. If you refuse to submit to a search without reasonable excuse, this is a serious matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. You will be given a reasonable period of time to reconsider your decision and you will be asked to provide your reasons for refusing if you wish to maintain your refusal to undergo a search. Any employee caught in unauthorised possession of property belonging to the Company or property belonging to another employee or other third party, or otherwise caught in possession of an item in breach

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of this policy (such as an illegal substance), will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. The employee may also be reported to the police if there is evidence to suggest that they may have committed a criminal offence.

2.10 Telephone Policy The Company’s telephone lines (including Company mobile phones) are for the exclusive use by employees in connection with the Company’s business. Whilst the Company will tolerate essential personal telephone calls concerning domestic arrangements, excessive use of the telephone for personal calls is prohibited. This includes lengthy, casual chats and calls at premium rates. Personal telephone calls should be timed so as to cause minimum disruption to the employee’s work and should, as a general rule, only be made during breaks except in the case of a genuine emergency. Not only does excessive time engaged on personal telephone calls lead to loss of productivity, it constitutes an unauthorised use of the Company’s time. If the Company discovers that the telephone has been used excessively for personal calls, this will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure and you will also be required to repay the Company for the cost of the personal calls made.

2.10.1 Telephone monitoring Employees should be aware that telephone calls made and received on the Company’s telephone network may be monitored and recorded to assess employee performance, to ensure customer satisfaction and to check that the use of the telephone system is not being abused or used in an unauthorised manner. An itemised call log may be maintained and retained of all external calls made and received on the Company’s telephone network. This may include details of the external caller’s number and the date, time and duration of the call. Employees should also be aware that voicemail messages may be checked by managers for business calls when they are absent for any reason. It may therefore be unavoidable that some personal messages might be heard in these circumstances. If you need to make or take a particularly sensitive, private or confidential personal telephone call during your working hours, you should speak to your manager and, where possible, you will be given access to a telephone which will not be subject to any form of monitoring or recording by the Company.

2.10.2 Use of Personal Mobile Phones The Company will tolerate the use of employees’ own mobile phones for essential (or emergency) personal calls during normal working hours, providing they are kept to a minimum. The time for personal calls, e-mails and personal business is however outside working hours. Also prohibited are lengthy calls, casual chats, text messaging, e-mailing, web browsing, accessing phone apps, using social media sites and the taking of video and/or still images (if your phone is so enabled). Please keep your personal mobile phone switched off during working hours except during lunch breaks or other official breaks.

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In the case of an emergency your phone may be left on only with prior authorisation from your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty. In these circumstances please ensure that it is switched to vibrate or a short and unobtrusive ring tone.

2.10.3 Use of Company Mobile Phones Company mobile phones are for business use only. They should only be used for private calls in an emergency or if specific permission has been given. The Company reserves the right to charge you for the cost of personal calls. Please ensure that the ring tone and volume set for your phone is suitable for the hotel environment and the area in which you are working. Please take care of the phone as if it were your own. If you lose your phone or suspect it may have been stolen, you must report it to your manager immediately so that it can be disconnected. The mobile telephone must be returned immediately to the Company if you are requested to do so by your manager or on the termination of your employment.

2.10.4 Contravention of this policy Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this policy is a disciplinary offence and may result in disciplinary action being taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

2.11 Media Unless communicating with the media is a specific and designated part of your job role and you are expressly authorised to do so, you are not permitted, under any circumstances, to communicate with the media on any matters relating to Company business. If you are contacted by a member of the media, either verbally or in writing, you must direct them to the General Manager. Even when authorised, particular care must be taken as to what is said and what information is disclosed. If in any doubt always defer to the General Manager.

2.12 Use of Company Equipment In order to enable some employees to work from home or otherwise away from the Company’s premises, the Company may provide them with designated items of equipment. Equipment may include computer hardware and software, laptop, mobile phone or any other item of equipment. If you are provided with any items of equipment, you agree that you will be responsible for ensuring they are properly looked after and stored and otherwise kept safe at all times. Any equipment is provided for your exclusive use in connection with your employment with the Company. Use of the equipment for personal and private purposes or for any purpose other than for the Company’s business is prohibited. If you are discovered using the equipment for personal or private purposes, this is a

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disciplinary matter and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. A deliberate, negligent or reckless failure to take proper care of an item of equipment, resulting in it being lost, damaged or stolen, is also a disciplinary offence and will again be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. The Company reserves the right to require you to return any item of equipment at any time during your employment for any reason whatsoever - you have no contractual entitlement to the use of such equipment and therefore withdrawal of its use at any time does not entitle you to claim any form of damages or compensation. Equipment provided by the company will be required to be returned during any period of extended absence when the employee is not expected to be working e.g. long term sickness absence, maternity / paternity leave. If you are to be allocated one or more items of equipment for use at your home or away from the Company’s premises, you will be asked to sign a form acknowledging receipt of the equipment. When signing this form, you will also be asked to provide your written consent for the Company to deduct a sum equal to the market value of any item of office equipment (or the reasonable cost of repair, as appropriate) from your wages should it be lost, stolen or damaged whilst under your control due to your negligence or deliberate or reckless act or omission or should you fail to return it to the Company either when demanded or in the event of the termination of your employment.

2.12.1 Use of Company Fax, Post and Photocopier The Company’s fax and photocopying machines must not be used for personal use. The Company’s postal system must not be used for any personal mail, either incoming or outgoing.

2.13 Confidentiality While working for the Company you may deal with confidential information such as guest records, hotel budgets and sales and marketing plans, information on the hotel’s financial performance, client rate information, and personal information relating to other employees. It is important that you understand that you are bound by the confidentiality terms within your contract of employment in relation to the disclosure of confidential information. Guests also often trust us by telling us things they don’t want their competitors to know about. At first you may not know the difference between confidential and non-confidential information. The following guidelines will help you avoid problems: • • • • • • •

Only talk about a guest’s affairs with that guest or with your colleagues at work; Don’t talk about one guest with another; Don’t discuss guests with suppliers, or sales reps; Don’t leave information lying about where it could be seen by visitors or other guests; If you have a desk or work area, keep it tidy and put paperwork away when you have finished using it; If you have to throw paperwork away, make sure it’s shredded if it contains any information about the Company or guests; Don’t take any Company or guest paperwork off site unless you have permission from your Manager.

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2.14 Personal Relationships at Work The Company accepts that there may be occasions when you are working with family members or may have a personal relationship outside work with a colleague. The Company does not, as a general rule, wish to interfere with such personal friendships and relationships. It must however ensure that employees continue to behave in an appropriate, professional and responsible manner at work and that they continue to fulfil their job duties both diligently and effectively. These rules are therefore aimed at striking a balance between your right to a private life and the Company’s right to protect its business interests. •

You must not allow your relationship to influence your conduct at work. Intimate behaviour during normal working hours or on Company premises is prohibited. This includes holding hands, other close physical contact, discussions of a sexual nature or kissing. If a personal relationship (or the breakdown of a personal relationship) starts to affect your performance or conduct at work, then your immediate manager will speak to you with a view to your previous level of performance or conduct being restored. If your performance or conduct fails to improve, or it reverts to a problem level, the matter may become a disciplinary one. If you are having, or have had, a personal relationship and you are found to have afforded either more or less favourable treatment to the other employee or you have exercised undue influence over him/her as a result of this relationship, this will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

A breach of these rules is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could result in your summary dismissal. The Company will not refuse to recruit a job applicant on the ground that they are married to, or in a civil partnership or other close personal relationship with, an existing employee. The Company also does not place any prohibition on spouses, civil partners or partners working within the same department, but the rules set out above on personal relationships at work still apply.

2.15 Collections, Sponsorship and Selling of Goods Collections Whilst the Company does not wish to prevent appropriate collections taking place within the hotel, as it involves money passing between employees, it is important to ensure that both the reasons are appropriate and the money is recorded and managed correctly. Only appropriate collections are permitted. This includes collections to mark events such as: • • • • • • • •

birthdays; pregnancies, births and adoptions; leaving the Company’s employment; retirements; marriages and civil partnerships; significant wedding and civil partnership anniversaries; illnesses and recovery from operations; bereavement due to the death of a close relative.

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Collections that are likely to be inappropriate include requesting money in relation to: • •

support of a political party; funding a protest.

If you wish to carry out a collection, you should obtain the prior permission of your General Manager and you should advise them of the reason for the collection and the departments that will be approached to contribute to the collection. No employee should be put under any pressure to contribute to a collection if they do not wish to do so. You must also not directly approach a guest, supplier or other business contact of the Company to ask them to contribute to a collection. You must ensure that the money collected is kept in a secure place and is only used for its stated purpose. You must also keep a record of the total amount of money that is collected and obtain itemised receipts to demonstrate how the money has been spent. You must not keep any of the money collected for personal gain. (You do not need to obtain your General Manager’s permission for a very small collection that is to take place amongst only a few employees, for example to buy a fellow employee a birthday cake or a birthday card.)

Sponsorship If you wish to request sponsorship from other employees for an event you are taking part in to raise money for a charitable cause, you must first obtain the prior permission of your General Manager and you should advise them of the event you are participating in and the charity you are intending to raise funds for. You must also obtain your General Manager’s prior permission if you wish to sell raffle tickets to other employees to raise money for charity. If your General Manager’s permission is granted in either of these circumstances, you must then carry out the relevant activity outside your normal working hours, for example in your lunch break.

Selling of goods You are not permitted to sell goods to other employees on your behalf, or on anyone else’s behalf, during your normal working hours or on the Company’s business premises.

Lottery syndicates The Company will not be held responsible for any lottery syndicates which you may organise with your fellow employees.

Disciplinary action Breach of this Policy is a disciplinary offence and, depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to potential gross misconduct and could result in your summary dismissal.

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2.16 Conduct whilst on Company Business As a general rule, what employees do after normal working hours and off Company premises is a personal matter and does not directly concern the Company. There are however some exceptions to this rule. The Company will become involved where incidents occur: • at staff parties / drinks events or other work-related social occasions or gatherings, whether organised by the Company or by employees themselves; • at social occasions, lunches or gatherings organised by the Company’s customers or clients where the employee has been invited in their capacity as an employee of the Company; • at work-related conferences and training courses; • whilst the employee is working away on business on behalf of the Company. On these occasions, employees are required to adhere to the following rules: • alcohol should be consumed only in moderation, regardless of whether the Company has provided or paid for the drinks; • it is strictly forbidden for any employee to use illegal drugs; • employees should behave in an appropriate, mature and responsible manner, taking into account that they are representing the Company; • employees should not use abusive, offensive or inappropriate language; • employees should not behave in any way that could bring the Company’s name into disrepute; • employees must take specific action to ensure they are well within the legal limits if they are driving and if driving a company vehicle, employees must not drink and drive at all. The provisions of the Company’s Equality and Diversity Policy and Dignity at Work Policy continue to apply at work-related events. Improper conduct or other unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated and is a serious disciplinary matter. This includes excessive drunkenness, the use of illegal drugs, unlawful or inappropriate discrimination or harassment, violence such as fighting or aggressive behaviour and serious verbal abuse or the use of other offensive or inappropriate language. Any employee who is found to have breached these rules, or who otherwise brings the reputation of the Company into disrepute, at such an event, will be subject to disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the circumstances of the case, such behaviour may be treated as gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. Where your off-duty conduct seriously undermines the trust and confidence that the Company has in you, whether at a work-related social occasion or otherwise, under the Company’s disciplinary procedure this could result in your dismissal. For example, if you commit a criminal offence outside employment, the Company will examine whether there is an adverse connection between the criminal offence and your employment. The Company will then consider whether the offence is one that makes you unsuitable for your type of work or unacceptable to other employees, taking into account length of service, status, relations with fellow workers and the effect on the Company’s business and reputation, subsequent to a charge or conviction.

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2.17 Anti-Bribery Policy 2.17.1 Introduction The Company is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest level of ethical standards in relation to all of its business activities. The Company therefore has a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption and is committed to acting fairly and with integrity in all of its business dealings and relationships, and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery. The Bribery Act 2010 on which this policy is based, criminalises the giving and receiving of bribes (however small) in order to influence improper conduct and, should the Company be found liable for allowing acts of bribery, we would face an unlimited fine. As an employee you should be aware that if you are found to be participating in acts of bribery, either by giving or receiving gifts or hospitality, you could also face an unlimited fine and imprisonment of up to 10 years. A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage. It is not acceptable to give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given, or to accept a payment, gift or hospitality from a third party that you know or suspect is offered or provided with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them. Gifts should never be allowed to influence business decisions. Bribery of any kind is strictly prohibited. The giving of business gifts to clients, customers, contractors and suppliers is permitted, providing the following requirements are met: • • • • • • •

the gift is not made with the intention of influencing a third party to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage; it complies with local laws; it is given in the Company’s name, not in the giver’s personal name; it does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift vouchers); it is of an appropriate and reasonable type and value and given at an appropriate time; it is given openly, not secretly; it is approved in advance by a Director of the Company.

2.17.2 Gifts from Clients/Suppliers Occasionally, satisfied guests, clients or other third parties may seek to reward employees with gifts. Whilst the Company has no desire to stop deserving employees receiving a small token of gratitude from a satisfied guest or client, there is the potential for abuse. In addition, certain suppliers or contractors may offer “reward schemes” which allow employees to obtain free gifts or discount vouchers in return for ordering services or products on behalf of the Company from that supplier or contractor. The Company needs to be sure its suppliers and contractors are competitive and that its employees are acting in the best interests of the Company when using a particular supplier or contractor. The Company does not believe that it is appropriate for employees to accept anything of greater value than

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small tokens of appreciation from customers, clients, suppliers, contractors or from any other person or organisation with which the Company has, or might have, business connections. This is because it is important to ensure that no employee acts in any way that is inconsistent with the integrity of the business by accepting a gift in circumstances where it could influence, or be seen to influence, that employee’s business decisions or actions. For these purposes a “gift” is any payment or item given to an employee on an apparently ex-gratia basis by any party in connection with the employee’s employment by the Company. If you receive a gift, you must report this to your immediate manager as soon as it is given to you and provide details of the nature of the gift and the identity of the sender. If you fail to do so, this constitutes a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the gravity of the offence, this may be treated as gross misconduct in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure and could render you liable to summary dismissal. If the gift is not a small token of appreciation but has a substantial financial value (as determined by the Company), you will be required to return the gift to the sender with a polite letter thanking them and explaining that it is the Company’s policy that employees should not receive lavish, extraordinary or excessive gifts. If, in the opinion of your manager, the gift constitutes a bribe or other inducement, you will be asked to pass the gift to a Director of the Company who will return it to the sender with a suitable letter explaining the Company’s policy and asking the sender to comply with the policy in future. In cases where your manager determines that the gift constitutes a small token of appreciation for you as a personal reward, you may, at your manager’s discretion, be permitted to retain the gift. Unless however the sender of the gift specifically states or makes clear that the gift is intended for you as a personal reward, all gifts are deemed to be the property of the Company and may be shared amongst members of staff as appropriate. Small gifts that are genuinely given as a token of appreciation are therefore acceptable, provided always that you properly declare them in line with this policy and provided you do not subsequently treat the sender of the gift more favourably than other guests, clients, suppliers or contractors. If the Company discovers that a supplier has been used by an employee wholly or mainly because of the incentive of a free gift (and, as such, the employee has not acted in the best interests of the Company), this will also constitute a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may again be treated as gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. The receipt of all gifts will be closely monitored by the Company. This policy does not apply to promotional gifts i.e. items such as pens, calendars or stationery that bear the company name or logo of another organisation, provided that these have no significant financial value.

2.17.3 Corporate Hospitality Corporate Hospitality means hospitality of any kind provided by the Company or its employees in connection with the lawful business of the Company. All corporate hospitality expenses must be approved in advance by the General Manager and/or a Director

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of the Company, depending on the level of expense involved, and taking into account what is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances. All corporate hospitality will be closely monitored by the Company. This is because it may amount to bribery, which is a criminal offence, where the person offering the hospitality intended the recipient to be influenced to act improperly. This is most likely to be the case where the hospitality is lavish, extraordinary or excessive. Corporate hospitality may also be received by an employee from another company, for example if you are invited to a client’s event in connection with your employment. Whilst the Company does not wish to prohibit your attendance at genuine corporate hospitality events, it does not believe that it is appropriate for you to attend lavish, extraordinary or excessive events held by guests, clients, suppliers, contractors or by any other person or organisation with which the Company has, or might have, business connections. With the exception of “routine” corporate hospitality, you are under an obligation to report a corporate hospitality invitation that you would wish to accept, including the nature of the event and the identity of the person or organisation offering it, to your immediate manager as soon as you receive the invitation. Failure to report the invitation, and then to attend the event without permission, constitutes a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the gravity of the offence, this may be treated as gross misconduct and could render you liable to summary dismissal. If the Company determines that the corporate hospitality proposed is lavish, extraordinary or excessive, you will be required to send a letter declining the invitation. In cases where the Company determines that the hospitality is genuine, proportionate and reasonable, you may, at your immediate manager’s discretion, be permitted to attend the event (subject to any agreement relating to time off work where the event is taking place during your normal working hours). You do not normally need to report “routine” corporate hospitality to your manager. For these purposes, “routine” corporate hospitality includes standard fare business breakfasts, lunches or dinners, lunchtime drinks and after work drinks (whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic). If however you attend “routine” corporate hospitality with the same guest, client, supplier, contractor or other person or organisation with which the Company has, or might have, business connections, on a regular basis, i.e. more than once per month, then this must be reported to your manager as set out above.

2.17.4 Responsibilities and Reporting Procedure It is the responsibility of all employees and associated persons to take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to ensure compliance with this Policy. You must immediately disclose to the Company any knowledge or suspicion you may have that you, or any other employee or associated person, has plans to offer, promise or give a bribe, or to request, agree to receive or accept a bribe in connection with the business of the Company. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes reporting your own wrongdoing. In the event that you wish to report an instance or suspected instance of bribery, you should follow the steps set out in the Company’s Disclosures in the Public Interest Policy. Confidentiality will be maintained during the investigation to the extent that this is practical and appropriate in the circumstances. The Company is committed to taking appropriate action against bribery and corruption. This could include either reporting the matter to an appropriate external government department, regulatory agency or the

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police and/or taking internal disciplinary action against relevant employees and/or terminating contracts with associated persons. The Company will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this Policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. It is also committed to ensuring nobody suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting in good faith their suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or corruption offence has taken place, or may take place in the future. Any breach of this policy will result in disciplinary action being taken. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may be treated as gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal.

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3 Training and Development We recognise that it is our employees who make our hotel a success. Without them we cannot achieve our business objectives. We believe in developing people from within the Company and are focussed on the development of our teams and employees to ensure that we are able to consistently provide a level of service that is second to none.

3.1 Your training and development We believe that employees at all levels in the company should be given the appropriate training to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Training and development benefits both the employee and the Company, increases staff motivation, improves employee performance and productivity and encourages staff retention. Through performance and development reviews, you will be given the opportunity to discuss your personal development needs to help you in your job and to assist with future career progression in the company. Methods of training will vary and may include the following: • • • • •

On the job practice; Seminars or courses; Open learning; Workshops; Formal and professional training.

3.2 Statutory Right to Request Time off for Study/Training The Company implements the right to request time off for study or training set out in legislation. In addition, it is the Company’s policy to consider requests for time off for study or training from all employees, not just those who have a statutory right to submit such requests. Priority will however always be given to those employees who do have the statutory right to request time off for study or training in order that the Company can comply with its legal obligations. Employees who have worked for the Company for a continuous period of 26 weeks have a statutory right to request time off for study or training and to have that request considered by the Company. You may submit a request for time off to undertake any type of study or training provided that you can reasonably demonstrate that it will improve both your effectiveness in the Company’s business and the performance of the Company’s business. Your request can be to undertake an accredited training programme leading to the award of a recognised qualification, or for unaccredited training to help you develop specific skills relevant to your job, your workplace or the business. The proposed training can be undertaken at any location, take place whilst you perform your job duties or separately, can be provided or supervised by the Company or externally by a third party such as a local college or training provider, and can be undertaken with or without supervision. You may also include more than one course of study or training in one request. Any training requested must however be relevant to your employment with the Company.

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Subject to limited exceptions, you must also not have made another application for time to train under the statutory right during the previous twelve months.

3.2.1 The time to train application procedure 1. 2.

3. 4.

5. 6.

Your request should be in writing setting out your proposal for time off for study or training. Requests may not be submitted more than once every twelve months. Within 28 days of receipt of your application, the Company will set up a meeting with you to discuss the time off for study or training you have proposed, the relevance of it to your employment, the effect of any time off and any possible alternative training arrangements that might meet your training needs and suit both parties. You have a right to be accompanied at this meeting by a work colleague. The Company will consider your request and will make a practical business assessment on whether, and if so how, your time off for study or training request could be accommodated. The Company will notify you of its decision within 14 days of the meeting. If the Company accepts your request, it will confirm the details of the agreement to your request in writing. If your application is refused, the Company will explain the business grounds for refusal in writing, why they apply in the circumstances and will confirm the internal appeal procedure. You can appeal against a refusal within 14 days of receipt of the Company’s decision notice. Your appeal notice must be in writing and set out your grounds for appeal. The Company will then set up a meeting with you to discuss your appeal within 14 days after receiving your appeal notice. After that meeting has been held, the Company will write to you within 14 days to notify you of the outcome of your appeal.

3.2.2 Grounds for refusal The Company may refuse your time to train application, or part of your application, on one or more of the following grounds: • • • • • • • • • •

the proposed study or training would not improve your effectiveness in the Company’s business; the proposed study or training would not improve the performance of the Company’s business; the burden of additional costs; the detrimental effect it would have on the Company’s ability to meet customer demand; the Company’s inability to reorganise work among existing employees; the Company’s inability to recruit additional employees; the detrimental impact it would have on quality; the detrimental impact it would have on performance; the insufficiency of work available during the period when you propose to work; the Company’s planned structural changes.

Please note that each request for time off for study or training will be dealt with individually, taking into account the relevance of it to your employment, the amount of time off you have requested and the likely effects any time off will have on the Company, the work of the department in which you are employed and your work colleagues. This means that if the Company agrees to one employee’s request, this does not set a precedent or create a right for another employee to be granted similar time off for study or training. The Company may offer support with further education or training, including time-off for study. Where permission is granted it is on an individual basis at the discretion of the Company.

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3.2.3 Training Costs The Company is not obliged to pay for the costs of any training you may request, such as external course fees, and neither is the Company obliged to pay you your salary for any time off work that is granted for such training. Therefore, any agreed time off will normally be unpaid and you will normally be expected to pay for any training costs yourself. Any payment of salary during such time off for study or training, or the payment of, or a contribution towards, any training costs, is at the absolute discretion of the Company. (This does not apply where the Company requires that you attend training organised and paid for by the Company.) Where the company agrees to pay towards the costs of any course of study or training which you may request, or you attend training provided by the Company where significant costs are incurred, you may be required to complete a training fees agreement. By signing the training fees agreement you would be confirming that the Company may deduct all the fees or a percentage of the training fees paid, or a specified sum of money, should you decide to end your employment of your own accord or are dismissed for reasons of misconduct within the time period specified on the agreement.

3.3 Reviewing Performance Appraisals are carried out on a regular basis with all members of staff. They enable you and your manager to discuss your levels of performance, through a review of past performance and discussion of future development of your potential. Appraisals are aimed at: • • • • • • •

Enabling you to improve your performance; Identifying any areas of difficulty; Developing your potential; Helping to identify training and development needs; Identifying changes in the organisation of the Company; Enhancing communication between management and employees; Improving management of the organisation as a whole.

Appraisal is a two-way process between you and your manager; you both contribute to it and you can both can learn from it. Achievements are recognised, difficulties explored, and plans made or adjusted. You should feel that you can turn to your manager for advice, support and guidance at any time – not only at appraisal time!

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4 Annual Leave, Absence and Time off Work 4.1 Annual Leave (Holidays) Holidays are important to all employees for varying reasons. Your holiday entitlement is stated in your contract of employment and is inclusive of an entitlement in respect of Bank and Public Holidays.

4.1.1 General Rules You normally earn your holiday before you can take it - you earn 1/52 of the full entitlement for each week worked. Your manager must approve all requests for annual leave in writing in advance. You must not book holidays until your request has been formally authorised in writing. You should endeavour to give as much notice as possible of proposed annual leave dates. In any event, such notice must be at least twice the number of days’ leave as that you wish to take as annual leave. The Company will try to co-operate with your holiday plans where possible, but this is always subject to the requirements of the Company’s business and ensuring that adequate staffing and management levels are maintained at all times. Where your holiday plans include going away with another employee of the Company and therefore you will both be requesting to take annual leave at the same time, you should specify in your request the name of that other employee so that, in dealing with both requests for annual leave, the Company can ensure adequate staffing levels will still be maintained at all times. Not more than 2 weeks holiday may be taken at any one time without express authorisation from the General Manager. It is your responsibility to book all your holiday entitlement during the hotel’s leave year. Holiday not taken by the end of the holiday year will normally be lost. Under no circumstances will payment in lieu be made for holiday entitlement that is lost through not being exercised by the correct date. When dealing with competing requests for annual leave, the Company reserves the right to introduce or apply a first come, first served basis as a fair criterion for selection. The Company may also choose to apply other selection criteria including looking at previous leave requests to ensure that employees are treated fairly. This is more likely to be the case during periods of high demand, such as during the summer or the Christmas holiday period or around Bank Holidays or major sporting events. The Company will allow time off to observe religious holidays provided such holidays do not exceed your annual leave entitlement.

4.1.2 Sickness during a period of Annual Leave Should you be incapacitated for work due to sickness or injury during any period of pre-booked annual leave (whether in whole or in part), you must immediately notify the Company in accordance with the Company’s sickness absence reporting procedures. It is not acceptable to only inform the Company of your incapacity on your return to work following the period of authorised leave.

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You will be required to provide the Company with credible medical evidence covering the entire period of your incapacity for these provisions to apply. This will need to be in the form of a Statement of Fitness for Work (doctor’s certificate) or similar – a self-certification form will not suffice in such circumstances. The Company will then reimburse the period of annual leave entitlement lost due to your incapacity and instead pay you Statutory Sick Pay (and Company Sick Pay if you are eligible) for your period of sickness absence, provided you meet the qualifying conditions for SSP, you fully comply with your obligations relating to sickness absence reporting and your absence is properly certified. If you fail to comply with the above, or if you wish for the period to still be processed as annual leave, then the affected dates will still be recorded as annual leave and there is no subsequent entitlement to request that these later be amended to ‘sick days’ and for your annual leave to be reinstated.

4.1.3 Annual Leave during periods of Long Term Sickness Absence If you are absent due to long-term incapacity, you are encouraged to apply to take your accrued holiday entitlement before the end of the holiday year. In exceptional cases of long-term incapacity, you may however be permitted to carry forward some or all of your accrued holiday entitlement into the next holiday year if either you are still off sick at the end of the holiday year or there is insufficient time remaining on your return to work in the holiday year to take your full accrued entitlement. The Company may also, at its absolute discretion, request you to take your accrued annual holiday entitlement during a period of long-term sickness absence before the end of the holiday year and the Company will not be obliged to give you any minimum period of notice to request you to take your annual leave in this case. If however you do not wish to take annual leave during your sickness absence, you may notify the Company in writing that you decline this request, provided that you do so before the proposed period of annual leave commences. At the end of the period of annual leave, if you do take it, you will revert back to long-term sickness absence unless you are medically fit to return to work.

4.2 Unauthorised Absence If you fail to report for work without prior permission or without notifying the Company, and you do not have a legitimate reason for your absence, such as sickness absence (in which case, you need to comply with the Company’s sickness absence reporting procedures and you must provide the required evidence of your incapacity), this constitutes unauthorised absence. Unauthorised absence also includes cases of failing to return to work on time from a period of annual leave or other approved leave of absence without reasonable justification and cases where you purport to take a period of annual leave that has not been approved in advance by your immediate manager. Unauthorised absence without good cause is a serious disciplinary matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may amount to potential gross misconduct rendering you liable to summary dismissal.

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4.2.1 Procedure If you are absent from work without authorisation, the hotel will attempt to contact you by phone and will keep a record of this. If you do not answer the telephone, a voicemail message will be left if possible, or a etxt message sent to your mobile, asking you to return the call. The hotel may also send you an email also asking you to contact the hotel and explain your absence. If the hotel is unable to make contact with you, we may attempt to contact your listed emergency contact or next of kin. If your absence continues and you do not respond to phone, text or email messages, and the Company has been unable to make satisfactory contact with either you or your emergency contact or next of kin, the Company will write to you setting out that you are absent from work without permission and the attempts that have been made to contact you. You will be asked to contact the Company as a matter of urgency and you will also be warned that unauthorised absence without good reason is a serious disciplinary offence which could result in disciplinary action being taken against you. If you continue to be absent from work without permission, disciplinary proceedings will be instituted against you and this could result in your summary dismissal from employment. Where you do make contact with the hotel and arrangements are made for you to return to work, in the absence of either a legitimate reason for your absence and/or a satisfactory explanation for your lack of contact, you will still be subject to disciplinary action in relation to either your period of unauthorised absence and/or your failure to follow the Company’s absence reporting procedures. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, again this could result in your summary dismissal from employment.

4.3 Time off for Medical and Dental Appointments Appointments with doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners should, as far as is reasonably practicable, be made outside your normal hours of work or with the minimum disruption to the working day (i.e. made at the beginning or end of the working day). Time off work to attend medical appointments must be authorised in advance by your immediate manager. In any event, unless there are exceptional circumstances, no more than two hours should be taken off work for any one appointment. Except in the case of ante-natal appointments (see the Company’s Family Friendly Policies for further information), you have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for absences relating to attendance at medical appointments. You will normally be expected to make up any time lost. Any payment of salary during attendance at such appointments is made at the absolute discretion of the Company.

4.4 Sickness Absence The Company accepts that from time to time you may be unwell and will need to take time off work if you are sick or injured. The Company will provide support during sickness to enable a speedy recovery and return to work. It is however essential that you comply with the terms of your Contract of Employment with regard to sickness reporting and certification. It is important that you maintain contact with the Company during any period of absence so that the Company understands when you are likely to be back at work and so that the hotel can plan accordingly. The Company reserves the right to send you home if, for any reason, you appear to be unfit for work or appear to present a risk to yourself, the workplace, other employees or third parties. These are

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precautionary measures designed to prevent the spread of disease in the workplace and/or harm to either yourself or others. You must always provide medical certificates, either self-certification of sickness absence forms or Statement of Fitness for Work forms (doctor’s certificates), to cover the entire period of your sickness absence. The Company reserves the right to request a Statement of Fitness for Work (doctor’s certificate) for any period of sickness absence even though this may be less than eight calendar days. If you incur a fee in relation to obtaining a doctor’s certificate then, depending on the circumstances, the Company may reimburse it upon the production of a receipt. Where a doctor’s certificate indicates that you may be fit for work and the doctor has suggested ways of helping you get back to work (such as a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations), your manager will discuss the advice on the doctor’s certificate with you and will consider any recommendations made by the doctor, any of the return to work tick boxes and any other action that could help you return to work despite your illness. If a return to work is possible, your manager will agree with you a return-to-work date, any temporary adaptations or adjustments that are to be made and for how long these will apply and will set a date for review. If you disagree with the Company’s proposals to support your to return to work, you will be asked to confirm why you believe you cannot return to work despite your doctor’s suggestions. The Company reserves the right to seek your consent to obtaining further medical evidence, such as a medical report. If the Company is unable to accommodate any adaptations or adjustments to help you return to work, your manager will explain the reasons for this to you and will set a date for review. The doctor’s certificate will then be treated as if the doctor had advised “not fit for work” and you will remain ‘signed off sick’. Your absence record is monitored and recorded in order for the Company to manage performance, identify any problem areas and offer support where appropriate. For all periods of sickness absence of half a day or longer, you will be required you to attend a “return-to-work” interview on your first day back (or as soon as possible thereafter) to discuss the reasons for your absence. You will be asked to explain the reasons for your absence and whether you consulted a doctor or attended hospital. You will be requested to complete a self-certification form and/or provide any other medical evidence in respect of the entire period of your absence. It is often easier to make arrangements to cover for employees who are going to be off for long planned periods, and which are more likely to be caused by genuine illness. However, employees taking odd days off here and there are more problematic, can have an immediate impact, and, if repeated are likely to arouse suspicions over how genuine they are. If not unchecked, this type of absence can send out the wrong signals to colleagues who, in some jobs, are likely to have to cover for those absent. The Company may use ‘Trigger Points’ to highlight potential issues or patterns relating to an individual employee’s sickness or absence from work. Each case of absence will be reviewed on its individual merits. The trigger points the company may use can include some or all of the following: 

3 continual weeks’ absence;



An aggregate of 7 days’ absence in any 3 month period;



3 separate absences of any duration in any 3 month period;

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15 working days’ absence in any 12 month period.

If the Company relies on any other trigger points other than those detailed above, e.g. the Bradford Factor, then these will be notified separately. In the case of frequent sickness absence or if a trigger point is reached your immediate manager or Human Resources will discuss whether there are any underlying reasons for your absence(s), in particular, whether they are in any way work-related, and will explore with you whether there is any apparent pattern of absence. You may be set reasonable targets and time limits for improvement in your attendance and warned that a failure to improve may result in formal action under the terms of the Company’s Capability or Disciplinary Procedures. The Company may request you to undergo a medical examination by a doctor/occupational health practitioner selected by the Company or may request your consent to approach your GP for a medical report. The Company reserves the right to withhold sick pay in circumstances where the certification procedure described above has not been followed or where there is sufficient reason to doubt the validity of your sickness absence claim. In the latter circumstances, the Company may again request you to undergo a medical examination by a doctor/occupational health practitioner selected by the Company or may request your consent to approach your GP for a medical report. It is Company policy that any employee in receipt of sick pay (including Statutory Sick Pay) is prohibited from undertaking any form of paid alternative employment, self-employment or voluntary work. Any breach of this rule will be regarded as gross misconduct, which may result in your dismissal. On being fit to return to work, you must contact your manager and let them know as far in advance as possible of the proposed date of your return. If you have been suffering from an infectious or contagious disease such as measles or chicken pox, or a pandemic virus, or food borne illness you must not report for work until you are medically fit to do so. If you have suffered from the effects of food poisoning (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) and you work directly with food/beverages then you must immediately inform your immediate manager and should allow a period of at least 24 hours since you were last ill before you return to work – the company may seek confirmation from your GP that you are fit to return to work before you will be permitted to return to your normal duties. Persistent short-term sickness absence is, in the absence of any underlying medical condition or other reasonable justification, a disciplinary matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. If it is subsequently discovered that your sickness absence was not genuine and/or where, following investigation, there is a strong suspicion that an employee has fraudulently claimed sick pay this will also be treated as a disciplinary matter.

4.4.1 Long-term Sickness Absence The Company recognises that Long Term Sickness needs to be handled sensitively and differently to that of a shorter duration. Every effort will be made to provide support to employees during long term sickness. This may include: telephone contact by managers; meetings to discuss progress; secondment to temporary work to aid a return to work; and modifications to your role. Your manager may request to visit you at home to see if there is anything that the Company can do to assist you with a return to work. You are under no obligation to agree to this type of request.

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The Company may request your consent to approach your GP for a medical report or alternatively request that you visit a doctor/occupational health practitioner selected by the Company to undergo a medical examination. The cost of any such report or examination will be met by the Company and you are required to co-operate in the obtaining and disclosure of all results and reports to the Company. The Company will only request you to undergo a medical examination where it is reasonable to do so.

4.4.2 Termination of Employment on Medical Grounds If, following a period of long term sickness, and the receipt of a medical report, a return to work date cannot be foreseen, and the Company is unable to facilitate your return in the near future despite having considered modifications and alternative roles, it may become necessary to terminate your employment. If the Company proposes to take this step, you will be invited to a formal meeting to discuss the situation before any final decision is made. Should a decision to end your employment be confirmed, you will have a right to appeal. You will be informed at such time to whom your appeal should be directed if this is not to the General Manager. Under this procedure you must set the grounds (reasons) for your appeal in writing within 5 working days of receiving the decision. If you appeal, you will be invited to attend an appeal hearing. The appeal hearing will normally be heard within five working days of the appeal being lodged. If possible the appeal will be dealt with by a more senior Manager than the one who conducted the initial hearing. After the appeal hearing, you will be informed in writing of the final decision.

4.5 Severe Disruption (Weather Conditions/Public Transport) The Company acknowledges that employees may occasionally have problems travelling to and from work due to either severe weather conditions or major disruptions to public transport (e.g. train strikes). Whilst we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, we must also ensure that the hotel is not unduly disrupted by external factors. This policy therefore sets out your duty to attend work during severe weather conditions or where there are major disruptions to public transport, and the relevant procedures you must follow.

4.5.1 Duty to report for work You have an obligation to report for work regardless of the situation. You should therefore make every effort to attend work in all circumstances. When severe weather conditions occur or where there are major disruptions to public transport, you should take steps to obtain advice on the position from the appropriate external agencies and allow extra time for your journey, making alternative travel arrangements where appropriate. You will still be expected to attend work on time. Unjustified or unacceptable absence or lateness may give rise to disciplinary action under the Company’s Disciplinary Procedure.

4.5.2 Accepted absence or lateness If you are unable to attend work or are going to be delayed by the weather conditions or public transport

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disruptions, you should contact your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty as soon as possible to discuss the position. Where the Company accepts that you have used your best endeavours to attend work but you have been unable to do so, or you are late because of the severe weather conditions or the major disruptions to public transport, the Company will discuss the options with you. At the Company’s discretion, you may be required or permitted to: •

make up the time at a later date;

take any absence from work as part of your annual leave entitlement;

take any absence from work as special unpaid leave (in this case, your pay will reduce accordingly to take account of the hours/days you have not worked);

be paid as if you had attended work on the day of absence;

work from home or otherwise work remotely.

The Company may base its decision on your individual circumstances, for example the distance from your home to your place of work, your mode of transport and how viable it is for you to work from home, and on the needs of the Company.

4.5.3 Leaving work early If severe weather conditions or major disruptions to public transport occur during the working day which will cause problems for you in travelling home, your manager will decide whether to allow you to leave work early, and whether you will be required to make up the time at a later date. The Company will again base its decision on your individual circumstances and on the needs of the Company.

4.5.4 Health and safety The Company is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its employees and this includes during severe weather conditions and where there are major disruptions to public transport and therefore the Company will aim to adopt a reasonable approach to the situation. Where possible, and taking into account any individual employee’s personal circumstances, the hotel may on occasion make arrangements for some employees to stay in the hotel and therefore avoid the need to travel during periods of severe disruption. You also have a duty to take reasonable care of your own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions. This includes taking extra care when travelling to and from work in severe weather conditions and allowing more time for your journey, including making alternative travel arrangements where appropriate.

4.6 Jury Service & Witness Attendance in Court Should you be called up for jury service or required to attend court to give evidence as a witness, you must notify your immediate manager as soon as reasonably practicable. Time off work will normally be granted in these circumstances. You will be required to provide a copy of the court summons to support your request for time off work. You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for time not worked due to jury service or witness

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attendance. Any payment of salary by the Company during this period is done so at its absolute discretion and will be subject to the deduction of any monies received from the court in respect of loss of earnings. You must therefore submit a claim to the court for loss of earnings and claim the full allowance available to you. If on any day on which you attend court you are told that your services are not required, you must then return to work and report to your immediate manager before starting work. The Company reserves the right to seek a postponement of jury service if your absence will seriously affect the business.

4.7 Other Public Duties If you are a justice of the peace, you have a statutory right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work for the purpose of performing any of the duties of the office. If you are a member of one of the following bodies, you also have a statutory right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work for the purpose of attendance at meetings of the body, or any of its committees, or undertaking other duties approved by the body for the purpose of discharging the body’s functions: • • • • • •

• •

a local authority; a statutory tribunal; a police authority; an independent monitoring board for a prison or a prison visiting committee; a relevant health body (e.g. an NHS trust, an NHS foundation trust, a Strategic Health Authority, a Special Health Authority or a Primary Care Trust); a relevant education body (e.g. a managing or governing body of an educational establishment maintained by a local education authority, a governing body of a further or higher education corporation or the General Teaching Council for England or Wales); the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, or Scottish Water or a Water Customer Consultation Panel.

You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for time not worked due to performing public duties. Any payment of salary by the Company during this period is done so at its absolute discretion.

4.8 Membership of the Reserved Armed Forces If you are a member of the reserved armed forces, you may use your paid annual leave entitlement to carry out your duties, provided you comply with the provisions relating to paid annual leave set out in your contract of employment and in the section on “Annual Leave (Holidays)”. The Company expects you to use your paid annual leave first before applying for further time off. Otherwise, any further time off relating to membership of the reserved armed forces will only be granted at the absolute discretion of the Company and you have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for this leave. Any payment of salary made by the Company in such circumstances is done so at its absolute discretion. If you wish to apply for this type of leave, you should apply in writing to your immediate manager

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stating the period of leave requested and the reasons for it.

4.9 Compassionate leave Subject to your statutory right to time off to deal with a family emergency (see the section on Time Off for Dependants in the Company’s Family Friendly Policies), if you suffer a bereavement or serious illness in your family or in a close relationship, compassionate leave must be approved by the General Manager. All requests for compassionate leave will be considered on an individual basis. There is no contractual or statutory entitlement to be paid for absences relating to compassionate leave. Any payment of salary during compassionate leave is made at the absolute discretion of the Company.

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5 Equality and Diversity Policy 5.1 Overview The Company is an equal opportunity employer and is fully committed to a policy of treating all of its employees and job applicants equally. The Company will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, transfer, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, other terms of employment, discipline, selection for redundancy and dismissal. The Company will take all reasonable steps to employ, train and promote employees on the basis of their experience, abilities and qualifications without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In this policy, these are known as the “protected characteristics”. Employees have a duty to co-operate with the Company to make sure that this policy is effective in ensuring equal opportunities and in preventing discrimination. Action will be taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure against any employee who is found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful discrimination. Serious breaches of this equal opportunities policy statement will be treated as potential gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. Employees should bear in mind that they can be held personally liable for any act of unlawful discrimination. You should draw the attention of your immediate manager to suspected discriminatory acts or practices. You must not victimise or retaliate against an employee who has made allegations or complaints of discrimination or who has provided information about such discrimination. Such behaviour will be treated as potential gross misconduct in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. You should support colleagues who suffer such treatment and are making a complaint. The Company has a separate dignity at work policy statement which deals with harassment, bullying and intimidation and sets out how complaints of that type will be dealt with.

5.2 What is discrimination? 5.2.1 Direct discrimination Direct discrimination occurs when, because of one of the protected characteristics, a job applicant or an employee is treated less favourably than other job applicants or employees are treated or would be treated. The treatment will still amount to direct discrimination even if it is based on the protected characteristic of a third party with whom the job applicant or employee is associated and not on the job applicant’s or employee’s own protected characteristic. In addition, it can include cases where it is perceived that a job applicant or an employee has a particular protected characteristic, when in fact they do not. The Company will take all reasonable steps to eliminate direct discrimination in all aspects of employment.

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5.2.2 Indirect discrimination Indirect discrimination is treatment that may be equal in the sense that it applies to all job applicants or employees but which is discriminatory in its effect on, for example, one particular sex or racial group. Indirect discrimination occurs when there is applied to the job applicant or employee a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant or employee. A PCP is discriminatory in relation to a protected characteristic of the job applicant or employee if:

• it is applied, or would be applied, to persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share the protected characteristic;

• the PCP puts, or would put, persons with whom the job applicant or employee shares the protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with persons with whom the job applicant or employee does not share it;

• it puts, or would put, the job applicant or employee at that disadvantage; and • it cannot be shown by the Company to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The Company will take all reasonable steps to eliminate indirect discrimination in all aspects of employment.

5.3 Equality Action Points •

Individuals will be recruited, promoted and trained solely on the basis of their abilities and the requirements of the job.

When recruiting, skill and knowledge requirements will be determined, and candidates will be selected accordingly.

Reasonable adjustments will be made to remove obstacles to the recruitment and employment of people with disabilities.

All terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services will be reviewed from time to time, in order to ensure that there is no unlawful direct or indirect discrimination because of one or more of the protected characteristics.

The Company is committed to equal pay and equality of terms in employment. It believes its male and female employees should receive equal pay where they are carrying out like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value. In order to achieve this, the Company will endeavour to maintain a pay system that is transparent, free from bias and based on objective criteria.

Employees will be made aware of their responsibilities for preventing harassment.

Any employee who believes they have suffered discrimination will be encouraged to raise the matter through the grievance procedure.

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5.4 Reporting complaints All allegations of discrimination will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and speedily. The Company will not ignore, or treat lightly, grievances or complaints of unlawful discrimination from employees. If you wish to make a complaint of discrimination, you should do so promptly and use the Company’s grievance procedure. If your complaint relates to bullying, harassment or intimidation, you should refer to the Company’s Dignity at Work Policy Statement.

5.5 Employment of Ex-Offenders The Company will consider ex-offenders for employment on their individual merits. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar a person from working for the Company. This will depend on the nature of the job role and the circumstances and background of the criminal offences. The Company’s approach towards employing ex-offenders differs depending on whether the job role is or is not exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). Spent convictions The Company will not refuse to employ a job applicant just because they have a spent conviction or caution and it acknowledges that, unless the job role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, job applicants are under no obligation to disclose spent convictions or cautions. Applicants will therefore not be asked any questions about spent convictions or cautions during the recruitment process and, where information on criminal convictions is requested, it will be made clear that spent convictions or cautions do not need to be declared or disclosed. Unspent convictions The Company will not automatically refuse to employ a job applicant just because they have an existing or unspent conviction or caution. During the recruitment process, applicants may be asked to disclose any unspent convictions or cautions. If an applicant has a conviction that is not spent and if the nature of the offence is relevant to the job for which they have applied, the Company will review the particular circumstances of the case and it may, at its absolute discretion, decline to select the person for employment. Failure to disclose information about unspent convictions or cautions when asked to do so during the recruitment process could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment, or alternatively to dismissal if the applicant has already commenced employment. Exempt job roles If the job role into which the Company is seeking to recruit is one of the excluded jobs listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 or, in Scotland, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exclusions and Exceptions) (Scotland) Order 2003, the Company will require the job applicant to disclose all convictions and cautions, whether spent or unspent. If an applicant has a conviction or caution, the Company may, at its absolute discretion, decline to select the person for the particular employment.

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Where the job role is exempt, failure to disclose information about convictions or cautions when asked to do so during the recruitment process could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment, or alternatively to dismissal if the applicant has already commenced employment. If the job role is exempt, once the Company has selected the applicant to whom it wishes to offer employment, it may seek documentary evidence about that person’s criminal convictions. The Company may seek the applicant’s agreement to make a joint application to the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland for a Criminal Record Certificate (also known as Standard Disclosure) or an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (also known as Enhanced Disclosure), as appropriate. In this case, any offer of employment will be made conditional on this documentation being obtained to the Company’s satisfaction. Where a disclosure is to be requested for a particular job role, the Company will make it clear to all job applicants early in the recruitment process, for example in the job ad or on the job application form, that a disclosure will be required in the event of the person being offered the position. The Company will discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the job applicant before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Data protection requirements The Company is committed to ensuring that all information about a person’s criminal convictions or cautions, including any information released in disclosures, is used and processed fairly and stored confidentially and in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. In particular, personal data about a person’s criminal convictions will only be held for as long as it is required for employment purposes, it will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment and employment process, and it will not be shared with or disclosed to any other employer, prospective employer or other unauthorised third party.

5.6 Employment of Children and Young Workers The Company will consider the employment of Children and Young Workers where there are suitable roles available within the hotel and subject to compliance with UK legislation and any local bylaws which might also apply. The Company notes that there are restrictions placed on the employment of young persons in certain types of work and on the exposure of young persons to hazardous situations at work. The Company will therefore ensure that appropriate risk assessments are carried out in relation to the employment of young people and children, paying particular attention to the age and lack of experience of the child / young worker. Certain rules apply with regard to the employment of children and young workers as follows:

5.6.1 Children The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13 (except children involved in areas like television, theatre and modelling), and the type of work is limited to light duties providing that the company has received written permission from the child’s parents or legal guardians allowing them to work, as well as an

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employment permit issued by the education department of the local council, if this is required by local bylaws. School-aged children are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage nor are they legally entitled to paid holidays. Children are not allowed to work: • • • • • • •

during school hours; before 7am or after 7pm; for more than one hour before school (unless local bylaws allow it); for more than 4 hours without taking a break of at least 1 hour; in most jobs in pubs and betting shops and those prohibited in local bylaws; in any work that may be harmful to their health, well-being or education; without having a 2-week break from any work during the school holidays in each calendar year.

There are also special rules which only apply during term times and school holiday times: Term time rules During term time children can only work a maximum of 12 hours a week. This includes: • •

a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays; a maximum of 5 hours on Saturdays for 13 to 14-year-olds, or 8 hours for 15 to 16-year-olds.

School holiday rules During school holidays 13 to 14-year-olds are only allowed to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. This includes: • a maximum of 5 hours on weekdays and Saturdays; • a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday. During school holidays 15 to 16-year-olds can only work a maximum of 35 hours a week. This includes: • a maximum of 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays; • a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday. Most local councils say that businesses intending to employ school-aged children must apply for a child employment permit before they can be employed. If a child is working without a child employment permit, there’s a risk that the company will not be insured against 
accidents involving the child. The local council’s education department or education welfare service will confirm whether a child employment permit is needed. Children don’t need a work permit for work experience arranged by their school. Children can only start full-time work after the last Friday in June of the academic year when they turn 16. This is the minimum school leaving age. After a child has reached the minimum school leaving age they can work up to a maximum of 40 hours a week.

5.6.2 Young Workers Young workers are those aged 16 to 17. Young workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage as well as paid holidays. Once someone reaches 18, adult employment rights and rules then apply. As a general rule young workers:

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• • • •

may not work more than eight hours a day, or more than 40 hours a week; must have twelve hours rest between each working day, and two rest days per working week; are entitled to a 30-minute rest break when they work for longer than four and a half hours; cannot usually work between 10pm and 6am. If they are contracted to work after 10pm, they must stop work at 11pm and not start again before 7am.

5.6.3 Working in a bar or restaurant The law permits young workers, aged 16 or 17, to sell or serve alcohol in a restaurant without supervision provided that: • it is sold or supplied to be drunk with a table meal; and that • it is served in a part of the premises used only for that purpose. This means that, for example, a young worker aged 16 or 17 working as a waiter or waitress can lawfully serve alcohol in a restaurant without supervision. Young workers aged 16-17 are also allowed to sell alcohol in a bar provided the sale is specifically approved by a responsible person, who will be the licence holder or manager. However, in both of the above cases, a local authority may have bylaws which stop people aged under 18 selling alcohol except in sealed containers, such as in cans or bottles. If the local authority has such a bylaw, then anyone employing someone aged under 18 to sell alcohol will be committing an offence, unless the alcohol is in a sealed container and this may therefore prohibit the Company from employing young workers within certain areas of the hotel.

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6 Dignity At Work Policy 6.1 Policy Statement The Company seeks to provide a work environment in which all employees are treated with respect and dignity and that is free from harassment and bullying based upon age, disability, gender reassignment, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. In this policy, these are known as the “protected characteristics”. All employees are responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this policy. The Company will not condone or tolerate any form of harassment, bullying or intimidation, whether engaged in by employees or by outside third parties who do business with the Company, such as guests, clients, contractors and suppliers. Employees have a duty to co-operate with the Company to make sure that this policy is effective in preventing harassment or bullying. Action will be taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure against any employee who is found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful harassment, bullying or intimidation. Serious breaches of this dignity at work policy statement will be treated as potential gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. Employees should bear in mind that they can be held personally liable for any act of unlawful harassment. Employees who commit serious acts of harassment may also be guilty of a criminal offence. You should draw the attention of your immediate manager to suspected cases of harassment, bullying or intimidation. You must not victimise or retaliate against an employee who has made allegations or complaints of harassment or who has provided information about such harassment. Such behaviour will be treated as potential gross misconduct in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. You should support colleagues who suffer such treatment and are making a complaint. The Company will also take appropriate action against any third parties who are found to have committed an act of improper or unlawful harassment, bullying or intimidation against its employees. This policy covers harassment, bullying and intimidation and victimisation both in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, for example during business trips, at external training events or at work-related social events.

6.2 Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour; an abuse or misuse of power which is meant to undermine, humiliate or injure the person to whom it is directed. Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, as listed above, which causes someone to feel threatened, humiliated or offended or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Conduct may be harassment whether or not the person behaving in that way intends to offend. Something intended as a "joke" may offend another person. Different people find different things acceptable. Firsttime conduct which unintentionally causes offence will not be harassment but it will become harassment if

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the conduct continues after the recipient has made it clear, by words or conduct, that such behaviour is unacceptable to him or her. A single incident can be harassment if it is sufficiently serious. Harassment on the grounds of age, disability, sex (including gender reassignment), marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and subsequent maternity entitlements, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation is illegal and can result in criminal proceedings being taken against both the company and employees. The unwanted conduct will still amount to harassment if it is based on the protected characteristic of a third party with whom the employee is associated and not on the employee’s own protected characteristic, or if it was directed at someone other than the employee, or even at nobody in particular, but they witnessed it. In addition, harassment can include cases where the unwanted conduct occurs because it is perceived that an employee has a particular protected characteristic, when in fact they do not. Victimisation is the less favourable treatment of someone compared to their peers because they have raised a complaint or supported a complaint or given evidence in relation to a complaint in respect of bullying and harassment. Less favourable treatment could include the isolation of someone or giving them worse work, for example. There are many forms of bullying, harassment and victimisation. Bullying and harassment may be verbal, non-verbal, written or physical. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to, the following: • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • •

inappropriate touching or unwanted physical contact; unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, other conduct of a sexual nature; subjecting someone to obscene or other sexually suggestive or racist comments or gestures, or other derogatory comments or gestures related to a protected characteristic; the offer of rewards for going along with sexual advances or threats for rejecting sexual advances; the display of offensive material, for example posters or pin ups; offensive jokes or banter or pictures of a sexual, sexist or racial nature or which are otherwise derogatory in relation to a protected characteristic; demeaning comments about an employee’s appearance and/or unwelcome remarks about a person’s dress, appearance, gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age; asking personal questions and / or questions about an employee’s sex life; the use of nicknames related to a protected characteristic whether made orally or by e-mail; picking on or ridiculing an employee because of a protected characteristic; isolating an employee or ‘freezing out’ and excluding him/her from social activities, conversations or relevant work-related matters; setting impossible deadlines or tasks or persistent unwarranted criticism; denying someone the information or knowledge necessary to undertake work and complete their duties; humiliation in front of others or in private; intrusion by pestering, spying or following etc.; physical bullying or threatening behaviour, including shouting, swearing or verbal abuse; mimicking someone else’s behaviour;

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• •

talking about a subject in a way that causes offence. The subject could be sexual, racial, medical or anything which the other person may be genuinely sensitive about; sending harassing messages or e-mail.

6.3 Complaints procedure All allegations of harassment, bullying or intimidation will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and speedily. The Company will not ignore or treat lightly grievances or complaints of harassment from employees. Every employee in this organisation has the right to complain about bullying or harassment should it occur. If possible, attempt to resolve the problem informally in the first instance. It may be sufficient to explain to the person engaging in the unwanted conduct that the behaviour in question is not welcome. The person may not realise their behaviour is causing offence. Managers also have a responsibility to take action where they see unacceptable behaviour, whether or not a complaint is made. If it is too difficult to confront the individual yourself or such informal direct communication is either ineffective or impractical, or the situation is too serious to be dealt with informally, you should follow the procedure set out below: 1) Report the incident of harassment to your immediate manager. If you do not wish to speak to your manager, you can instead speak to an alternative manager or Human Resources. Such reports should be made promptly so that investigation may proceed and any action taken expeditiously. 2) The allegation will be promptly investigated and, as part of the investigatory process, you will be interviewed and asked to provide a written witness statement setting out the details of your complaint. Confidentiality will be maintained during the investigatory process to the extent that this is practical and appropriate in the circumstances. In order to effectively investigate an allegation however, the Company must be able to determine the scope of the investigation and the individuals who should be informed of or interviewed about the allegation, for example, the identity of the complainant and the nature of the allegations must be revealed to the alleged harasser so that he or she is able to fairly respond to the allegations. The Company reserves the right to arrange for another manager to conduct the investigation other than the manager with whom you raised the matter. 3) Once the investigation has been completed, you will be informed in writing of the outcome and the Company’s conclusions and decision as soon as possible. The Company is committed to taking appropriate action with respect to all complaints of harassment which are upheld. If appropriate, disciplinary proceedings will be brought against the alleged harasser. 4) You will not be penalised for raising a complaint, even if it is not upheld, unless your complaint was both untrue and made in bad faith. 5) If your complaint is upheld and the harasser remains in the Company’s employment, the Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure that you do not have to continue working alongside him or her if you do not wish to do so. The Company will discuss the options with you. 6) If your complaint is not upheld, arrangements will be made for you and the alleged harasser to continue or resume working and to repair working relationships.

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This procedure does not replace or distract from the rights of employees to pursue a complaint to an employment tribunal under the appropriate discrimination legislation. Every effort will be made to ensure that employees making complaints, and others who give evidence or information in connection with the complaint, will not be victimised. Any complaints of victimisation will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially. Victimisation will result in disciplinary action and may warrant dismissal.

6.4 Disciplinary action Any employee who is found to have harassed another employee in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Such behaviour may be treated as gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. In addition, managers who had knowledge that such harassment had occurred in their departments but who had taken no action to eliminate it will also be subject to disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

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7 Computer and Communication Equipment Policy Some employees have access to computers and electronic communication equipment at work for use in connection with the Company’s business. By way of example, but not limitation, computers and electronic communication equipment includes portable computers, PCs, mobile phones and smart phones, iPads, Xdas, and other electronic equipment, including fax machines, copiers, scanners, CCTV, electronic key fobs and cards, including your own equipment, at the Company’s premises. Such equipment is provided to employees to undertake business-related activities only. Employees who are discovered unreasonably using the Company’s computers for personal and private purposes will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Vandalism of, or otherwise intentionally interfering with, the Company’s computers/network constitutes a gross misconduct offence and could render you liable to summary dismissal. GENERAL RULES •

Never store or transmit offensive material on a computer or via electronic communication equipment. Offensive material means any words or pictures that may cause offence to others. This includes anything obscene, pornographic, racist, sexist, violent, abusive or defamatory. If you unwittingly receive offensive material on your computer or electronic communication equipment please report it to your immediate manager, so that you will not be held responsible for it;

Do not use the internet or e-mail to bet, buy, sell or auction personal items, or conduct a personal business;

Be aware that an e-mail sent from your computer has the same legal standing as a letter signed by you on Company notepaper.

7.1 Security As many computer files contain some form of confidential or otherwise sensitive business information, the Company takes the security of these files very seriously. With this in mind, we have introduced some basic security precautions that all employees must abide by. These are as follows: • • •

• • •

if you need to leave your computer for more than a couple of minutes, lock the computer screen; if you need to leave your computer for a long period of time, log off - never leave an unattended computer logged on; computer passwords are considered our confidential information even if you are using your personal password for social networking to login to our work systems. When creating a computer password, do not use one that is obvious, such as your date of birth or the name of a close family member - passwords should preferably be a mix of letters and numbers and should not be the same as any other personal passwords you may have (such as Internet banking passwords); always keep your password private, do not write it down and do not divulge it to anyone else; always shut down your computer when you go home at the end of the day; confidential information should not be sent externally by email without express authority and unless the messages can be lawfully encrypted;

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if you notice any suspicious activity, for example an employee trying to gain unauthorised access to another employee’s computer, notify your manager immediately; if you are provided with a Company computer for use in your home, family members are not allowed to use it.

7.2 Data The equipment and the data contained within it are provided to undertake business-related activities and to enable you to carry out your job duties. As such, data should not be amended, deleted, copied or taken away unless this is both specifically related to the work you are undertaking and you have the authority to make such amendment, deletion or copy. In particular, you should not delete or amend any documentation or programs which are stored on the Company’s communal drives unless you have the requisite level of authority to do so. Non-work related data should not be copied onto or stored on Company computers.

7.3 Use of portable storage devices Some employees may be provided with portable storage devices, such as iPads, memory sticks and portable hard drives, which can be plugged into the USB port of a computer. Whilst they are provided so as to allow for the copying and transferring of files and images between an employee’s desktop or laptop computer, their small size and storage capacity makes them vulnerable to misuse. For this reason, if issued with these devices, you must not transfer any data to a third party computer (including one at home) without first having obtained approval from your manager. Any employee who transfers files to a third party without permission is likely to be subject to disciplinary action. In the event that this involves the deliberate transfer of sensitive commercial information to a competitor, it will be treated as gross misconduct. From time to time, user guidelines will be produced on the usage of such devices and you will be expected to follow them.

7.4 Software The Company licences the use of computer software from a variety of outside companies. The Company does not own this software and, unless authorised by the software developer, neither the Company nor any of its employees have the right to reproduce it - to do so constitutes an infringement of copyright. Software that you need to use to carry out your job duties will be provided and installed on your computer for you. Installation of any non-approved software is prohibited. This includes screen savers and wallpapers. Software may be loaded only once specific authorisation has been given by your immediate manager and after having been checked for viruses.

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7.5 Viruses The Company’s computer network makes it vulnerable to viruses. All Company computers have virus protection software installed. Re-configuring or disabling this software is prohibited. If your computer starts to behave strangely or you suspect it may have become infected with a virus, turn it off immediately and speak to your immediate manager.

7.6 Games You may only access any computer games that are on the network outside your normal working hours. You must not install your own games onto your computer.

7.7 Remote access Some employees may spend at least part of their working week on Company business away from the hotel. If you work remotely either regularly, or occasionally on an informal basis, you should be aware that all aspects of this policy apply equally to you on any such occasions. Remote working employees are also expected to comply with any additional guidelines that may be introduced in order to reduce the likelihood of the Company’s computer networks being compromised as a result of remote access. You must not allow any family members or other third parties to either use the company’s computer equipment (including software) or to access or view its internal IT networks.

7.8 Temporary workers From time to time, the Company may need to use temporary workers in order to cover busy periods or the absence of another employee. Should any temporary worker need to use a computer as part of their job role, the manager responsible for their day-to-day supervision will be required to bring this policy and its contents to their attention. Managers will need to identify if there are any directories or computer files on the computer that will be used by the temporary worker that are of a sensitive or confidential nature. If so, access to such information may need to be restricted. The same principles apply to any self-employed contractors engaged by the Company.

7.9 Managers’ duties Managers are responsible for ensuring that new accounts are set up for any new computer users that will be starting work for the Company and for ensuring that when any employee leaves the Company, access to their account is closed down on their departure.

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From time to time, the Company will review its storage of confidential information and the media upon which it is stored. Managers will be expected to co-operate in terms of identifying such files, the employees or other persons with access to them and the file locations.

7.10 Contravention of this policy Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this policy may constitute a disciplinary offence and may result in disciplinary action being taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

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8 Social Media Policy Social media is an interactive online media that allows users to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum. It includes social and business networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media also covers video and image sharing websites such as YouTube and Flickr, as well as personal blogs. This is a constantly changing area with new websites being launched on a regular basis and therefore this list is not exhaustive. This policy applies in relation to any social media that employees may use.

8.1 Use of Social Media at Work You are not permitted to access social media websites or to keep a blog using the Company’s IT systems and equipment at any time. This includes laptop and hand-held computers or devices distributed by the Company for work purposes. The Company has added most of the websites of this type to its list of restricted websites. Where you have your own computers or devices, such as laptops and hand-held devices, you must limit your use of social media on this equipment to outside your normal working hours (for example, during lunch breaks). Depending on your job role you may also be asked to contribute to the Company’s own social media activities during normal working hours, for example by writing Company blogs or newsfeeds, managing a Facebook account or running an official Twitter or LinkedIn account for the Company. You must be aware at all times that, while contributing to the Company’s social media activities, you are representing the Company.

8.2 Social Media Activities on behalf of the Company Where you are authorised to contribute to the Company’s own social media activities as part of your work, for example for marketing, promotional and recruitment purposes, you must adhere to the following rules: • • • • •

use the same safeguards as you would with any other type of communication about the Company that is in the public domain; ensure that any communication has a purpose and a benefit for the Company; obtain permission from the General Manager before embarking on a public campaign using social media; request that your manager checks and approves content before it is published online; follow any additional guidelines given by the Company from time to time.

The social media rules set out below also apply as appropriate.

8.3 Social Media Rules The Company recognises that many employees make use of social media in a personal capacity outside the workplace and outside normal working hours. While you are not acting on behalf of the Company in these circumstances, you must be aware that you can still cause damage to the Company if you are recognised

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online as being one of our employees. It is therefore important that the Company has strict social media rules in place to protect its position. When logging on to and using social media websites and blogs at any time, including personal use on nonCompany computers outside the workplace and outside normal working hours, you must not: •

other than in relation to the Company’s own social media activities or other than where expressly permitted by the Company on business networking websites such as LinkedIn, publicly identify yourself as working for the Company, make reference to the Company or provide information from which others can ascertain the name of the Company;

other than in relation to the Company’s own social media activities or other than where expressly permitted by the Company on business networking websites such as LinkedIn, write about your work for the Company - and, in postings that could be linked to the Company, you must also ensure that any personal views expressed are clearly stated to be yours alone and do not represent those of the Company;

conduct yourself in a way that is potentially detrimental to the Company or brings the Company or its guests, clients, contractors or suppliers into disrepute, for example by posting images or video clips that are inappropriate or links to inappropriate website content;

other than in relation to the Company’s own social media activities or other than where expressly permitted by the Company on business networking websites such as LinkedIn, use your work e-mail address when registering on such sites or provide any link to the Company’s website;

allow your interaction on these websites or blogs to damage working relationships with or between employees and guests, clients, contractors or suppliers of the Company, for example by criticising or arguing with such persons;

include personal information or data about the Company’s employees, guests, clients, contractors or suppliers without their express consent (you may still be liable even if employees, guests, clients, contractors or suppliers are not expressly named in the websites or blogs as long as the Company reasonably believes they are identifiable) - this could constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 which is a criminal offence;

make any derogatory, offensive, discriminatory, untrue, negative, critical or defamatory comments about the Company, its employees, guests, clients, contractors or suppliers (you may still be liable even if the Company, its employees, guests, clients, contractors or suppliers are not expressly named in the websites or blogs as long as the Company reasonably believes they are identifiable);

make any comments about the Company’s employees that could constitute unlawful discrimination, harassment or cyber-bullying contrary to the Equality Act 2010 or post any images or video clips that are discriminatory or which may constitute unlawful harassment or cyber-bullying - you can be held personally liable for your actions under the legislation;

disclose any trade secrets or confidential, proprietary or sensitive information belonging to the Company, its employees, guests, clients, contractors or suppliers or any information which could be used by one or more of the Company’s competitors, for example information about the Company’s business, sales and marketing plans, budgets, client rates or financial performance, deals that it is doing or future business plans, it’s employees and staff morale;

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breach copyright or any other proprietary interest belonging to the Company, for example, using someone else’s images or written content without permission or failing to give acknowledgement where permission has been given to reproduce particular work - if you wish to post images, photographs or videos of their work colleagues or guests, clients, contractors or suppliers on your online profile, you should first obtain the other party’s express permission to do so.

You must remove any offending content immediately if you are asked to do so by the Company. You should remember that social media websites are a public forum, even if you have set your account privacy settings at a restricted access or “friends only” level, and therefore you should not assume that your postings on any website will remain private. You must also be security conscious when using social media websites and should take appropriate steps to protect yourself from identity theft, for example by placing your privacy settings at a high level and restricting the amount of personal information you give out, e.g. date and place of birth. This type of information may form the basis of security questions and/or passwords on other websites, such as online banking. Should you notice any inaccurate information about the Company online, you should report this to your immediate manager in the first instance.

8.4 Social Media Monitoring The Company reserves the right to monitor employees’ use of social media on the Internet, both during routine audits of the computer system and in specific cases where a problem relating to excessive or unauthorised use is suspected. The purposes for such monitoring are to: • • • • •

promote productivity and efficiency; ensure the security of the system and its effective operation; make sure there is no unauthorised use of the Company’s time; ensure that inappropriate, restricted or blocked websites are not being accessed by employees; ensure there is no breach of confidentiality.

The Company reserves the right to restrict, deny or remove Internet access, or access to particular social media websites, to or from any employee.

8.5 Contravention of this Policy Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this policy is a disciplinary offence and may result in disciplinary action being taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could result in summary dismissal.

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9 Health and Safety 9.1 General Health & Safety Policy We are committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all our employees, and will, so far as is reasonably practicable, establish procedures and systems necessary to implement this commitment and to comply with our statutory obligations. Health and safety at work is also the responsibility of our employees. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with, and comply with, the Company’s procedures and systems on health and safety, and to take reasonable care of your own and other people’s health, safety and welfare. You must report any situation which may pose a serious or imminent threat to the well-being of yourself or of any other person. If you are unsure how to perform a certain task or do not know how to use any piece of equipment or feel it would be dangerous to perform a specific job or use specific equipment, then it is your duty to seek advice and report this as soon as possible to your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty. Disciplinary action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure may be taken against any employee who violates health and safety rules and procedures or who fails to perform their duties under health and safety legislation. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to potential gross misconduct rendering the employee liable to summary dismissal. The Company will provide and maintain a healthy and safe working environment with the objective of minimising the number of instances of occupational accidents and illnesses. The Company will pay particular attention to: 1) Maintaining the workplace in a safe condition and providing adequate facilities and arrangements for welfare at work. 2) Providing a safe means of access to and egress from the workplace. 3) The provision and maintenance of equipment and systems of work that are safe. 4) Arrangements for ensuring safety to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances. 5) The provision of such information, instructions, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees and other persons. The Company also recognises its duty to protect the health and safety of all guests and visitors to the hotel, including contractors and temporary workers, who might be affected by the hotel’s work activities. The Company recognises that some employees may from time to time be at increased risk of injury or illhealth resulting from work activities. The Company therefore requires that you advise your immediate manager if you become aware of any change in your personal circumstances which could result in your being at increased risk. This could include medical conditions, permanent or temporary disability, taking medication and pregnancy.

9.1.1 Company safety rules You should be aware of and adhere to the Company’s rules and procedures on health and safety: •

you must immediately report any unsafe working practices or conditions to your immediate manager,

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• • • •

• • • • • • • •

your health and safety representative or the hotel’s safety officer; horseplay, practical joking, running in the workplace, misuse of equipment or any other acts which might jeopardise the health and safety of any other person are forbidden; any employee whose levels of alertness are reduced due to illness or fatigue will not be allowed to work if this might jeopardise the health and safety of either themselves or any other person; you must not adjust, move or otherwise tamper with any electrical equipment or machinery in a manner not within the scope of your job duties; all waste materials must be disposed of carefully in the receptacles provided and in such a way that they do not constitute a hazard to other employees, guests or visitors to the hotel, such as contractors or suppliers; you must not undertake a job which appears to be unsafe nor undertake a job until you have received adequate safety instruction and are authorised to carry out the task; all injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported to your immediate manager; all materials must be properly and safely used and, when not in use, properly and safely secured; work should be well-planned to avoid injuries in the handling of heavy materials and while using equipment; you must take care to ensure that all protective guards and other safety devices are properly fitted and in good working order and must immediately report any defects to your immediate manager; suitable clothing and footwear must be worn at all times. Personal protective equipment must be worn where appropriate; work stations and work areas must be kept clean and tidy and any spillages must be cleaned up immediately; you should use handrails when going up and down stairs, should never read while walking, must close filing cabinet drawers when not in use and must keep all floor areas free from obstructions.

Access • • • • •

walkways and passageways must be kept clear and free from obstructions at all times; if a floor surface becomes wet it should be clearly marked with warning signs and any liquid spilt on the floor should be wiped up immediately; trailing cables should not be left in any passageway or across floors where they would constitute a trip hazard; where objects are stored in or around a passageway, care must be taken to ensure that no long or sharp edges jut out into the passageway; where a passageway is being used by vehicles or other moving machinery, an alternative route should be used by pedestrians where possible . If no alternative route is available, the area must be clearly marked with warning signs.

Tools and equipment • •

• •

Company machinery, tools and equipment are only to be used by qualified and authorised employees; it is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that any tools or equipment they use are in a good and safe condition. Any tools or equipment which are defective must be reported to your immediate manager or to the hotel’s safety officer; all tools must be properly and safely stored when not in use; no tool should be used without the manufacturer’s recommended shields, guards or attachments;

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• • •

approved personal protective equipment must be properly used where appropriate; persons using machine tools must not wear clothing, jewellery or long hair in such a way as might pose a risk to their own or anyone else’s safety; employees are prohibited from using any tool or piece of equipment for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

Manual handling •

• • • • • •

lifting and moving of heavy or awkward objects should always be done by mechanical devices rather than manual handling wherever reasonably practicable. The equipment used should be appropriate for the task at hand; the load to be lifted or moved must be inspected for sharp edges and wet patches; when lifting or moving a load with sharp or splintered edges, gloves must be worn; the route over which the load is to be lifted should be inspected to ensure it is free of obstructions; you should not attempt to lift or move a load which is too heavy to manage comfortably – you should ask for assistance if there is any danger of strain; when lifting an object off the ground, assume a squatting position, keeping your back straight. The load should be lifted by straightening your knees, not your back; you should not attempt to obtain items from shelves which are beyond your reach. A ladder or stepping stool should be used. You should not use chairs or any makeshift device for climbing and should never climb up the shelves themselves.

9.2 Eye testing If you spend much time at work looking at a computer screen, it is wise to have your eyes tested regularly. If you are classed as a DSE (display screen equipment) user you are entitled to free eyesight testing. You can have a test when you first start work, and then at regular intervals - your optician will recommend how frequently you should have your eyes tested – this is usually every 1-2 years. If you qualify for a free eye-test you must ask your manager to authorise it before you arrange an appointment with your optician. The hotel may operate a voucher system and you will need to obtain a voucher from the hotel which will cover the cost of your eye-test or you may have to pay for your eye-test directly and the hotel will then reimburse you for the cost, usually up to an agreed amount, on production of a valid receipt. Please comply with the procedures in place otherwise you may not be able to recover the cost of the eye-test from the hotel. If your eye-test shows that you need special spectacles for screen work (and normal spectacles should not be used) then you are entitled to a pair of free spectacles. The Company will cover the cost of a basic pair of spectacles for screen use. You can have a more expensive pair if you pay the additional amount. You must speak to your Manager for further information and to check how much the Company will reimburse before you incur any expenses which may not be covered by the Company.

9.3 First aid and reporting accidents at work First aid boxes are located at strategic points around the workplace. You should ensure that you know the

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location of the First Aid boxes and who the designated First Aiders are. This information is displayed on employee notice boards and available from your immediate manager. All injuries sustained at work, however small, must be reported to your immediate manager and an Accident Report completed. Accident Reports are crucial to the effective monitoring of health and safety procedures and must therefore be accurate and comprehensive. The Company will inspect the accident reports on a regular basis and all accidents will be investigated and a report prepared, with any necessary action being taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

9.4 Fire Procedures Fire is a significant risk within the hotel. All employees have a duty to conduct their operations in such a way as to minimise the risk of fire and are under a duty to report immediately any fire, smoke or potential fire hazards, such as faulty electric cable or loose connections. You should never attempt to repair or interfere with electrical equipment or wiring themselves. The General Manager or a designated Hotel Safety Officer (usually the Chief Engineer or a member of the Maintenance Department) is responsible for the maintenance and testing of fire alarms and fire-fighting, prevention and detection equipment. Smoke detectors and manually operated fire alarms are located at strategic points throughout the hotel. If a smoke detector sounds or fire is discovered, it is the responsibility of any employee present to activate the alarm and evacuate the building. Fire extinguishers are also located at strategic points throughout the hotel. You are only expected to tackle a fire yourself if it would pose no threat to your personal safety to do so or if you have no alternative, i.e. no other escape route. If you are going to tackle a fire you should, if possible, first ensure that the fire alarm has already been activated and advise Reception of your location. If the situation is dangerous or potentially dangerous, you should activate the fire alarm and evacuate the building immediately. Fire doors designed to slow the spread of fire and smoke throughout the workplace have been installed at strategic points. Fire doors are designed to close automatically after opening or on activation of the fire alarm. They and must never be blocked or wedged open. Fire exits are also located at strategic points throughout the workplace. Fire exit doors and corridors must never be locked, blocked or used as storage space. Emergency lighting has been installed in exit corridors and above emergency exit doors in case of power failure. Lifts also have emergency lighting installed although they should not be used in the case of an emergency evacuation. You must ensure that you are familiar with your evacuation route and designated assembly point in case of fire. Fire and Evacuation Training takes place regularly and you must ensure that you attend these sessions. You will also receive separate instruction regarding any specific procedures to follow in your department in the event of a fire or an evacuation. Practice fire drills will be conducted on a regular basis to ensure familiarity with emergency evacuation procedures. Remember that our guests will not be familiar with our evacuation procedures and if the fire alarm should sound you should assist hotel guests (or other visitors to the hotel) to evacuate as you leave the building.

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9.5 Smoking Policy In line with current legislation and in order to enable employees to work in a smoke-free environment, with the exception of any guest bedrooms designated as ‘Smoking Bedrooms’, all areas of the hotel are nonsmoking areas. ‘No Smoking’ rules must be observed and apply to all public areas and toilets as well as those guest bedrooms not specifically designated as ‘Smoking Bedrooms’. Employees are only permitted to smoke outside the hotel in the designated area(s). You should not stand and smoke where you are directly visible to a guest in the hotel and clearly identifiable as a member of staff i.e. in your uniform. Please ensure that cigarette butts are disposed of correctly and placed in the receptacles provided. Smoking in a non-smoking area is a serious disciplinary offence. If a guest is smoking in a non-smoking area we have a responsibility to enforce the ‘no smoking’ legislation which applies in the UK. If you are not in a position, or feel unable, to address this with guest yourself and to direct them to a designated smoking area, then you must bring this to the attention of your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty. If you wish to smoke, you must do this in your own time either outside your normal hours of work or during your lunch break. You are not permitted to take additional smoking breaks during the day. Failure to comply with the above rules is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Where the smoking creates a clear health and safety hazard, then such behaviour constitutes potential gross misconduct and could render the employee liable to summary dismissal. Electronic cigarettes: Please note that the Company prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes (also known as vaporising cigarettes or e-cigs) on its premises and in Company vehicles on fire safety grounds.

9.6 Alcohol and drugs Alcohol and drug misuse or abuse can be a serious problem within the workplace. Employees who drink excessively or take unlawful drugs are more likely to work inefficiently, be absent from work, have work accidents and endanger their colleagues. The Company has a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of all its employees. The Company recognises that, for a number of reasons, employees could develop alcohol or drug related problems. In relation to drugs, these rules apply to those that are unlawful under the criminal law and not to prescribed medication. These rules aim to promote a responsible attitude to drink and drugs and to offer assistance to employees who may need it.

9.6.1 Advice and Counselling It is the Company’s intention to deal constructively and sympathetically with an employee’s alcohol or drug related problems, such as alcohol or drug dependency. When it is known that an employee has an alcohol or drug problem, the Company will provide advice and guidance on how to seek suitable treatment. The

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primary objective of any discussions will be to assist the employee with the problem in as compassionate and constructive a way as possible. Any discussions of the nature of an employee’s alcohol or drug problem and the record of any treatment will be strictly confidential unless the employee agrees otherwise. If you have an alcohol or drug problem, you should seek appropriate help. If you have an alcohol or drug problem which affects your conduct or performance at work and you refuse the opportunity to receive help, the matter will be referred for action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure as appropriate. Likewise, if after accepting counselling and assistance, and following review and evaluation, your conduct or work performance reverts to the problem level, the matter may also be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure.

9.6.2 Prohibition on Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Even a small amount of alcohol can affect work performance and, if an employee is found under the influence of alcohol whilst at work, there could be serious health and safety consequences. The same applies to being under the influence of drugs. Your fitness to work must therefore never be impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs. It is strictly forbidden to consume alcohol or illegal drugs while at work or to report for work under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The Company reserves the right in these circumstances to arrange for you to be escorted from the Company’s premises immediately and sent home without pay for the rest of the day or shift. The Company also reserves the right to suspend you on full pay while carrying out an investigation. The possession, use or distribution of drugs for non-medical purposes on Company premises at any time is strictly prohibited. The Company reserves the right to search you or any of your property held on Company premises at any time, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the prohibition on illegal drugs is being or has been infringed. If you refuse to comply with these search procedures, your refusal will normally be treated as a disciplinary matter. Furthermore, the Company has a public duty to inform the police of any suspicions it may have with regard to the use of controlled drugs by its employees on the Company’s premises. You must never drink alcohol or take drugs if you are required to drive private or Company vehicles on Company business. You must also not drink alcohol or take drugs if you are on operational standby or on call. Unless specifically authorised by the Company, i.e. at a recognised event, no alcohol may be consumed on Company premises at any time or whilst attending any training courses, whether internal or external. If you are representing the Company at business/client functions or conferences or attending Company organised social events either within or outside normal working hours, you are expected to be moderate if drinking alcohol and to take specific action to ensure you are well within the legal limits if you are driving. You are prohibited from taking drugs on these occasions. Social drinking after normal working hours and away from the Company’s premises is, of course, generally a personal matter and does not directly concern the Company. The Company’s concern only arises when, because of the pattern or amount of drink involved, your attendance, work performance or conduct at work deteriorates. Action will be taken under the Company’s disciplinary procedure if misconduct takes place at work as a result of drinking or taking drugs, or if an employee is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst at work. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could

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result in your summary dismissal.

9.6.3 Alcohol and Drug Testing On the grounds of protecting health and safety and only where necessary to achieve a legitimate business aim, the Company reserves the right to carry out random alcohol and drug screening tests on those employees in the workplace whose activities and job duties have a significant impact on the health and safety of others. If an employee receives a positive test result, this will be viewed as a potential gross misconduct offence and renders the employee liable to summary dismissal in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. Unreasonable refusal to submit to an alcohol or drug-screening test will also be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure.

9.6.4 Prescription Medication If your doctor prescribes you drugs which may affect your ability to perform your duties, you should discuss the problem with your immediate Manager.

9.7 Food Poisoning and Food Borne Illnesses Certain illnesses carry a food hygiene risk. If you work in food preparation or food service areas of the hotel and you are seeking advice or treatment from your GP, it is important that you tell him/her that you work with food and drink. If you suffer from the symptoms of food poisoning, or vomiting or diarrhoea, it is important that you advise your Manager immediately. If you have suffered from vomiting or diarrhoea whilst on holiday you must notify your Manager of your illness on your return to work. The company may need your GP to confirm that you are fit to return to work before you can return to work in a food preparation or service area within the hotel. If you have suffered from vomiting or diarrhoea you are required to remain away from the hotel for a period of at least 24 hours since your last bout of illness before returning to work

9.8 Stress The Company is committed to providing the support and assistance necessary to enable its employees to undertake their job duties in an environment that is as stress-free as possible. The Company’s aim is to ensure employees’ health and safety at work and that they are not subjected to excessive workloads, onerous working practices or a detrimental work environment. Employees who have high stress levels are more likely to work inefficiently, behave erratically, have low morale and be absent from work. Work performance will then suffer. The Company is committed to ensuring that, so far as reasonably practicable, it does not expose any employees to unnecessarily high stress levels in its work practices and work environment. As part of this commitment, the Company will:

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• • • •

• •

• • •

determine if stress in the workplace is a problem, by seeking employees’ views where appropriate; review job descriptions to identify any job duties that may involve stress; identify all those employees who may be affected by work-related stress; take steps to eliminate or to reduce work-related stress to as low a level as reasonably practicable (for example, by changing working practices and procedures or workplace conditions, providing information and training and improving communication in the workplace); ensure that the Company’s grievance and disciplinary procedures are satisfactory and are communicated to all employees; ensure that arrangements are in place for employees to report work-related stress to their immediate managers, that managers are trained to identify the symptoms of stress and that support is provided to employees who are suffering from stress at work; encourage employees to inform their managers of any stress-related issues or problems; ensure that, where a work-related stress report is made, the underlying causes and actions to remove or otherwise deal with these causes are identified; ensure that the arrangements for reducing or eliminating work-related stress are monitored and reviewed for their effectiveness.

The Company is committed to providing a support system to help minimise and alleviate stress in the workplace. It is the Company’s intention to deal constructively and sympathetically with stress. Stress will not be treated as a sign of weakness. If you feel that your work performance or your health is suffering because of excessive pressure or stress-related matters, whether those matters are occurring outside the workplace or within the work environment, you should first raise this with your immediate manager.

9.9 Lone Working The Company will avoid the need for employees to work alone where reasonably practicable however it is recognised that within the hotel there are occasions where employees will be required to work alone on some occasions. Where lone working is necessary, whether on a regular or occasional basis, the Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees working alone. This policy applies to anyone who works by themselves or without close or direct supervision for all or part of their working day. This may occur because you: • • • • •

Work separately from others for all or part of your working day; Work during hours when there are fewer other employees on duty (e.g. during the nights or in offices at weekends); Arrive at or leave work at a time of day when there are fewer people around i.e. early in the mornings or late at night. Work from home on a temporary basis; Work away from the hotel on occasions, for example to attend meetings, conferences or events;

As your employer we are committed to assessing and, wherever practicable, minimising or removing any risks to your safety. As your employer we are committed to assessing and, wherever practicable, minimising or removing any risks to your safety. However, you also have a responsibility not to put yourself at risk, so we would encourage you to assess any potential hazards and report any concerns at once to your Manager. You have responsibilities for your own personal safety. You should:

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• • • •

Take reasonable care of your own safety and that of others; Follow any personal safety practices outlined by the Company; Report any shortcomings or failings in safety practice; Report any incidents of violence or aggression and near misses.

In the instance of guests being under the influence of alcohol and/or abusive towards employees or other guests, you are advised not to put yourself in a position which would provoke a violent verbal or physical attack. In dealing with guest complaints, allow the guest to express their feelings – avoid entering into an argument with a guest and if necessary seek assistance and refer the guest / complaint to a member of hotel management. No employee should ever feel compromised in entering a guest bedroom alone – always summon assistance if you feel this may be the case. The Company will ensure that: • • • • • •

lone working is avoided as far as is reasonably practicable; arrangements are in place so that someone is aware of a lone worker’s whereabouts at all times and a check is carried out at the end of the lone working period; emergency procedures are in place so that lone workers can obtain assistance if required; lone workers are provided with adequate information and training to understand the risks and the safe working procedures associated with working alone; any employee working alone is capable of undertaking the work on their own; the job can be done safely by one person.

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If you work alone at any time remember to take the following precautions: • • • • •

• • • • •

ensure that another employee, preferably your manager, is aware you are working alone, where you are, what you will be doing and what time you expect to finish; make sure you have some means of communication with someone in the event of an emergency, such as a mobile phone or two-way radio; ensure you have access to first aid equipment; know where your nearest emergency exit is and the Company’s emergency evacuation procedures; make sure intruders cannot access the premises by checking that windows and external doors are locked and avoid opening external doors after normal working hours unless the caller is expected and recognised; beware of hosting visitors in the office when you are likely to be alone - arrange to meet people in a public place and do not meet clients in isolated offices / areas especially outside normal working hours when working after dark, consider drawing the blinds (if you have them) so that people outside cannot see in; comply with any arrangements or follow any guidance provided by your manager for lone working; take all reasonable steps to ensure your own safety; inform your immediate manager or the Manager on Duty as soon as possible of any incidents or safety concerns.

If working alone at night you should: • • •

Ensure that the Manager on Duty is aware of your whereabouts and ensure that you have a means of communicating with him /her in the event of an emergency; In line with hotel security procedures ensure that external doors are locked or secured to prevent unauthorised access during night hours; Always check identification if opening external doors to people you do not recognise during the night i.e. to confirm that they are a hotel resident or other authorised person.

Whenever meeting new contacts or clients for the first time, you should: • • • • • •

make appointments and visits during the day and arrange to meet people in public places whenever possible; make sure you know who it is you are supposed to be meeting; check to ensure the person you are talking to is the person you were expecting and the person you are supposed to be visiting; arrange to be accompanied on the visit if you have specific safety concerns, especially when planning a difficult meeting or when planning to discuss an emotive subject; trust your intuition. If a situation feels unsafe or makes you uneasy then trust your instinct and take the appropriate action to remove yourself form the situation; avoid giving out your personal telephone number or address.

If you undertake driving as part of your role you should: • • •

plan your route in advance and check that your vehicle is roadworthy and has sufficient fuel for your intended journey; join a vehicle recovery service and check the representatives ID when they respond to your call; ensure that you have the means for contacting someone in an emergency i.e. mobile phone which is

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• •

• • • •

fully charged and has sufficient credit, spare money in order to make a call from a call box, the number for your breakdown/recovery service, a contact number for the office or a colleague or relative; if you break down, be aware of your surroundings and only get out of the car when and if you feel it is safe to do so; decline offers of help from strangers whenever in a vulnerable situation e.g. when broken down at night on an isolated road. If you are in desperate need of help because of injury or lack of means to contact help, then politely ask the person to call the police or emergency services on your behalf rather than accept a lift. You should remain in your vehicle if you feel intimidated or threatened in any way by a third party; park in a place that is well lit and in public view whenever possible; when approaching your car, be aware of your surroundings, have your keys ready and before entering, quickly check that no one is inside; keep your doors locked in built-up areas or in stop-start traffic; never stop to help someone who appears to be in need of assistance, especially at night, but instead phone the police, fire or ambulance service as appropriate to summon the help required.

If your duties involve walking alone in isolated places or late at night, you are advised to: • • • • • • • • •

appear confident and knowledgeable and walk in such a way as to exert a sense of purpose and radiate non-vulnerability; only carry the minimum necessary while working and do not draw attention to yourself by overtly displaying valuables e.g. mobile phone, expensive jewellery etc.; consider carrying a personal safety alarm; be alert and aware of the surroundings and know how to get back to safety if necessary; cross over and make for a busy area if you think that you are being followed, or turn and walk in the opposite direction if a car pulls up alongside you; avoid entering lifts or any other enclosed space with anyone who makes you feel uneasy; avoid shortcuts such as dark alleys; try to walk facing on-coming traffic and always walk as far away from the curb as possible; try to keep one hand free for defensive purposes.

Dealing with aggression: communication Effective communication can help to prevent potentially threatening situations escalating and becoming aggressive. You are therefore advised to: • • • • • • • •

Take notice of a person’s body language and adjust your responses/actions accordingly to prevent causing further agitation or aggression; Remain relaxed, calm and in control of the situation by trying to react in a positive manner when faced with a difficult situation; Placate rather than provoke the person behaving aggressively by trying to use effective language to talk themselves out of a problem; Keep your distance and never invade a person’s personal space; Try to offer a compromise or the opportunity to speak to someone more senior; Avoid being enticed into an argument; Avoid an aggressive stance e.g. arms folded or hands on hips; Never approach or put a hand on someone who is angry or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Dealing with a threat of violence If you are faced with a threat of imminent violence, you should try to: • • • • • •

Call for help immediately; Never turn your back on an aggressor, even if this is to escape, so that you can react quickly to an attack if necessary; Move away for a dangerous location such as the top of stairs, restricted places or where there is equipment which could be used as a weapon such as kitchen knives; Look for a potential escape route and move towards it in such a way that the aggressor is not blocking the escape; Look for a potential barrier if there is obvious escape route and move behind it to prevent an effective attack; Be prepared to give up a bag or briefcase if this will enable you to escape quickly.

Conclusion If you are unfortunate to be involved in any form of incident at work, the Company will provide you with any support you require such as time off to recover and counselling. However, the Company is extremely proud of its safety record and incidents such as those outlined above are rare. The organisation will do everything in its power to ensure your safety while at work, and to support you in identifying risks associated with your role in order to reduce them.

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10 Driving for Work Policy Driving is among the most hazardous tasks performed by employees. Legislation places a duty on the employer to provide a safe working environment; this is also extended to driving on business. It is a requirement for employees to follow safe driving practices. This includes steps to ensure the driver’s total concentration and safe operation of vehicles. This policy applies to all employees when driving on company business.

10.1 General Rules The Company expects all staff whilst driving on company business to comply with traffic legislation, be conscious of road safety and demonstrate safe driving and other good road safety habits when driving. The following non-exhaustive list of actions will constitute gross misconduct and may result in summary dismissal: • • • • •

Driving under the influence of illegal drugs or over the drink drive limit; Driving while disqualified, or not correctly licensed; Reckless or dangerous driving causing death or injury; Failing to stop after an accident; Any actions that warrant suspension of licence.

10.1.1 Responsibilities as an employee • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • •

Ensure that you are not taking any medication that may impair your driving ability; Do not drink and drive; Ensure you hold a current driving licence for the class of vehicle being driven; Immediately notify your General Manager if your driving licence has been suspended or cancelled or has limitations placed on it; Be responsible and accountable for your actions when driving on Company business; Assess driving hazards and anticipate “what if” scenarios; Wear your seat belt, and ensure any passengers do likewise; Drive within legal speed limits; Comply with traffic legislation and observe the Highway Code; Do not use a mobile phone (unless with a hands-free kit) when driving – see instructions for mobile phone use; Do not be distracted from the road by eating or drinking while driving; Check your vehicle prior to the journey to ensure that it is within safe operating conditions. Checks should include proper inflation of tyres, clean windows, mirrors properly adjusted, brakes and lights in working order, windscreen wipers and wash in working order; Report any accident or near miss incident to your General Manager, including those that do not result in damage or injury; Take an accident report form on all journeys; Report all serious accidents to the police and your General Manager immediately (where reasonably practicable); Take regular and adequate rest breaks: o - At least 15 minutes for each 2 hours driven

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• •

o - Stop when tired Plan your journey ahead, taking into consideration pre-journey work duties, the length of the trip and post journey commitments; Stay overnight if, other than under exceptional circumstances, driving time and non-driving duties exceed 11 hours or 400 miles in one day. If for unavoidable reasons you have to drive over these limits on an occasional day, considerable care must be taken to have regular breaks and avoid any risk of driving while tired.

10.1.2 Responsibilities as an employer The Company will not require employees to drive under conditions which are considered unsafe and/or likely to create an unsafe environment, physical distress, fatigue, etc. We will do this by: • • • •

Departmental Managers being required to manage work schedules to ensure that safe driving practices are maintained; Taking into account individual driving needs and experience; Collation of statistics on accidents and near miss incidents to ensure continuous improvement of driving policy; Regular review of policy and procedures to ensure the development and quality of the driving policy.

10.2 Car allowances Some employees may be entitled to a car allowance which contributes towards the cost of using their own car for company business. If you are entitled to a Car Allowance this will be set out in your Contract of Employment which will include the terms relating to the provision of the car allowance. In addition to the terms as stated within your Contract of Employment, you are required to comply with the rules regarding the use of your own car as detailed below and the other rules relating to driving for work contained within this policy.

10.3 Using your own car for company business If you use your own car for company business, you must: • • • • •

Produce your driving licence for inspection by your manager on an annual basis; Provide annually a copy of your vehicle insurance certificate; Ensure that your vehicle has a valid MOT certificate and is in a roadworthy condition; Ensure that your vehicle has valid road tax; Ensure your insurance covers business travel;

The company will not accept liability for any damage to privately owned vehicles.

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10.4 Company Vehicles Subject to holding a current full driving licence, some employees are provided with a car or may have access to a pool car for use in the performance of their job duties. Employees are only provided with company cars at the absolute discretion of the Company and it may change its rules and procedures on company cars at any time and from time to time. If you are provided with a company car, this will be set out in your Contract of Employment. Unless you are notified otherwise, a company car may be used for both business and private use, subject to such restrictions and upon such conditions (if any) as the Company may from time to time impose. The employee is the only person authorised to drive the car. Under no circumstances may any other person drive the car unless special written permission has been obtained from the General Manager. Should you wish your spouse/partner to be authorised to drive the vehicle, a copy of your spouse/partner’s driving licence must be given to the General Manager, who will, at his discretion, then issue you with written authority. Company vehicles may not be used for: • • • •

any business purposes other than those undertaken on behalf of the Company; hire or reward (either goods or passengers); racing, pace making, rally driving or any other competitive event; towing.

The Company reserves the right to set a maximum lease value on company cars and/or to specify the make, model and colour that will be provided. The Company will retain all documents relating to the registration of the car. The employee is responsible for ensuring the car has a valid MOT certificate and a valid licence (tax) disc and for ensuring the car is properly maintained and serviced. Drivers of company cars are therefore solely responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are serviced as per the manufacturers’ recommendations. Appointments for MOT testing and servicing must be made with a garage approved in advance by the Company. Employees are required to identify the service dates in line with the vehicle log book and mileage record. The Company will however pay for the MOT, licensing, insurance, maintenance, repair and servicing of company cars (provided repairs and service are not caused by the employee’s negligence or wilful default) and when necessary replacement thereof. Employees have no contractual right to a replacement car. When any manufacturer’s cover expires, the Company will arrange to provide and pay for emergency breakdown/roadside assistance cover through a motoring organisation selected by the Company. The vehicle must not be taken outside the UK without the written permission the General Manager. If the vehicle is taken outside the UK then the appropriate AA or other cover including a recovery policy must be taken out by the user at his own expense. Such cover must be approved by the General Manager. All Company vehicles must look clean and presentable at all times – remember that your car is also a reflection on the company and our hotel. Users are also responsible for ensuring that their car is correctly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition which conforms with current legislation. The provisions and conditions of the policy of insurance relating thereto must observed such that the policy is not rendered void or voidable. The employee must report immediately to the Company:

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• • • •

vehicle defects or damage to the car; any theft or loss of the car; any road traffic accident in which the employee may be involved whilst driving the car, whether or not that occurred on the Company’s business; any fixed penalty notice or any order of any court to endorse the employee’s driving licence or to disqualify him or her from holding a driving licence, whether or not that consequence occurred whilst driving on the Company’s business; any other event which results in the employee being ineligible to drive the car.

The employee must also immediately report any theft or loss of the car or reportable road traffic accident involving the car to the police. The employee must drive within the law and abide by all requirements of road traffic law, and the Highway Code, including but not limited to: • • •

ensuring that a valid tax disc is displayed in the windscreen of the car; ensuring that traffic signs and speed limits are observed; ensuring that the car is properly parked and not in breach of any road traffic regulations.

Upon request, the employee must provide his or her full driving licence for inspection. Company vehicles specifically provided to an employee may from time to time need to be made available to other employees for use on approved Company business where practical and particularly where it is necessary for the smooth running of the Company’s business. Failure to observe these rules or failure to use the car in a reasonable and responsible manner may result in the Company withdrawing the use of the car from the employee concerned. In addition, a failure to observe these rules will be regarded as a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure. In the event that the Company suspends the employee from the performance of his or her duties in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure, the employee will not be entitled to the continued use of the car during that period of suspension.

10.4.1 Pool Cars Some employees may have access to a pool car for use in the proper performance of their job duties. You may only drive a pool car if you have been given specific authorisation to do so and have provided the Company with a copy of your current driving license. If you have access to a pool car then during any period that you have authorised use of the car you may not permit any other person drive the vehicle unless they are also specifically authorised to do so by the company. Personal use of pool cars is not normally permitted and whenever not in use for business purposes the vehicle is expected to stay on the hotel premises or in an assigned parking area, the keys returned to the hotel and the vehicle therefore available for business use. The rules in relation to Company vehicles also apply to pool cars. Failure to observe these rules or failure to use the car in a reasonable and responsible manner may result in the Company withdrawing the use of the car from the employee concerned. In addition, a failure to observe these rules will be regarded as a

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disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

10.4.2 Running expenses Petrol/diesel will be paid for by the Company for all agreed business purposes. Business mileage is defined as mileage in connection with the Company’s activities. The cost of petrol/diesel for social, domestic and pleasure purposes must be borne by the employee. Home to work (and work to home) travel is not business mileage – you are at all times responsible for your own travel between home and your normal place of work. If travelling directly between home and a location other than your normal place of work, any claim for business mileage needs to include a deduction in respect of your normal home to work mileage. You should claim mileage through the expenses system at the mileage rate in force at the time and in accordance with the mileage rate detailed within your Contract of Employment. Should the Company require certain accessories to be fitted, any cost involved will be borne by the Company. Any other accessories must be specifically requested in writing and approved by the General Manager before fitting and any costs, including the costs of removal at the appropriate time, must be borne by the individual.

10.4.3 Accidents and Accident Reporting It is a condition of the insurance policy that the insurers are notified of all accidents, even if apparently of no consequence. In the event of an accident involving the vehicle, from whatever cause, this must be reported to the General Manager as soon after the event as practicable. A claim form must be fully completed and returned to the Company within 24 hours. All the information required on the form must be completed. Whenever possible the following particulars should be detailed:• • •

• •

The names and address of the third party driver and the name and address of his insurers; The names and addresses of all passengers in both the Company vehicle and any third party’s vehicle; Names and addresses of all witnesses. It will be of considerable assistance if statements can be obtained from all witnesses at the time of the accident. Experience shows that if these are not obtained at the time, their value is usually negligible after any interval of time; Particulars of the police attending, i.e. name, number, division; A detailed sketch must be provided showing the relative position of the vehicle before and after the accident, together with details of the roads in the vicinity, e.g. whether they are major or minor roads and as many relevant measurements as possible.

In circumstances where you are at fault, you will be expected to pay the excess on the insurance policy. The company reserves the right to deduct the relevant amount from your salary, in instalments if necessary. After two accidents that a spouse/partner has been involved in, whilst driving the Company car, the General Manager may decide not to renew their insurance cover. They will, therefore, need to pay for their own insurance cover if they wish to continue using the Company car. Personal injury to an employee or passenger is covered on the Company insurance policy.

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If the vehicle belonging to the Company is un-driveable, you are responsible for making adequate arrangements for the vehicle to be towed to a garage and the name and address of the garage where the vehicle may be inspected must be stated on the claim form. Under no circumstances may repairs be put in hand until the insurance company has given its agreement.

10.4.4 Insurance A copy of the Certificate of Insurance is provided with each vehicle and this will be renewed annually. All drivers should make sure that it is with the vehicle at all times. Replacement copies can be obtained from the Company, if necessary. In the case of loss of a Company vehicle, the police and the Company must be immediately informed. Full details of the contents of the vehicles must also be given. All Company vehicles should be kept locked when not in use. When leaving the vehicle unattended, you must ensure that all windows are closed, the ignition key removed and the vehicle securely locked. All contents should be stored out of sight, preferably in the boot. If a vehicle is stolen the Company is required to prove to the insurance company that there has been no negligence and therefore the Company will hold you responsible in the event of negligence. Only Company property is insured by the Company. Personal items are carried or left in the car entirely at the employee’s own risk and the Company does not accept any liability for loss, theft or damage of personal items. You should make your own arrangements to cover personal effects When a loan / hire vehicle is used, it must be covered on the Company’s insurance, and therefore you will need to inform the General Manager of the following information so that the vehicle may be added to the insurance policy: • • • •

Make and Model; Registration Number; Value; The length of time you anticipate having the loan vehicle.

10.4.5 Return of Company Vehicles The vehicle and keys must be returned to the Company on demand, in a clean and tidy condition, in the following circumstances:• • • • • • • •

if you cease to be an employee of the Company; if your terms of employment or responsibilities change and you cease to be entitled to a vehicle, or a vehicle of this grade; if the Company decides your vehicle is to be replaced due to age, mileage or to suit overall transport planning requirements; if, for whatever reason, you cease to hold a valid and current licence to drive private motor cars; during any period of suspension from work; during any period of extended leave granted by the Company; during any extended period of sickness absence; if you are convicted of a careless, reckless or dangerous driving offence, at the discretion of the Company;

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• • • •

if the car is involved in an excessive number of accidents whilst being used by the employee, as determined by the Company; if the employee violates the terms of this policy or fails to use the car in a reasonable and responsible manner, as determined by the Company; if there is an unacceptable increase in the insurance premium for the car as a result of the number of penalty points endorsed on the employee’s driving licence, as determined by the Company; for any other reason notified to you by the Company.

Note: Employees whilst on maternity leave may retain the use of the company vehicle for the full period of maternity leave. The Company reserves the right to recover from the employee any costs of valeting the vehicle if it is returned in a particularly dirty and untidy condition.

10.5 Driving and mobile phone use Using a mobile phone whilst driving reduces concentration and increases the likelihood of an accident. It is also a criminal offence in certain circumstances. The following applies irrespective of whether you are using a Company-provided mobile phone or your own personal mobile phone and irrespective of whether you are driving a company car or your own car on Company business. Employees are completely prohibited from using a hand-held mobile phone or similar hand-held electronic device whilst driving as part of their job duties, whether this is to make or receive telephone calls, send or read text or image/picture messages, send or receive facsimiles or to access the Internet or e-mail. If you are discovered contravening this rule, you will face serious action under the Company’s disciplinary procedure. In view of the potential health and safety implications, it may also constitute gross misconduct and could render you liable to summary dismissal. If you wish to use a hand-held mobile phone when driving, you must stop the car and completely turn off the car’s engine before using the mobile phone. A person is regarded as “driving” for the purposes of the law if the engine is running, even if their vehicle is stationary. This means you must not use a hand-held phone at traffic lights, during traffic jams or at other times when the engine is still running. A hands-free phone is one that does not require the user to hold it at any point during the course of its operation. A mobile phone that is attached to fixed speakers and does not require the user to hold it whilst in use (for example, because it is stored in a cradle) would be covered, as would a hands-free mobile phone with voice activation. If the phone needs to be held in the user’s hand at some point during its operation, for example to dial the number or to end the call, it is not hands-free. If you are required to drive as part of your job duties and you wish to use a mobile phone, you must ensure that you have the appropriate hands-free equipment. Even with hands-free equipment, driving and conducting a telephone conversation are both demanding tasks and you should take all reasonable steps to ensure you do not carry out these tasks at the same time. You should therefore make use of any voicemail or call divert facility available, rather than make or receive “live” calls. Stop regularly in safe places to check for voicemail messages and to make and return calls. If you do need to make or receive a call whilst driving on Company business and you have the appropriate handsfree equipment, these calls should nevertheless be limited to essential calls and only when it is safe to do

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11 Data Protection Policy 11.1 Introduction In the course of your work you may come into contact with or use confidential information about employees, clients and customers, for example their names and home addresses. The Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) contains principles affecting employees’ and other personal records. Information protected by the Act includes not only personal data held on computer but also certain manual records containing personal data, for example employee personnel files that form part of a structured filing system. The purpose of these rules is to ensure that you do not breach the Act. If you are in any doubt about what you can or cannot disclose and to whom, do not disclose the personal information until you have sought further advice from a senior Manager. Under the Act, you are personally accountable for your actions and can be held criminally liable if you knowingly, or recklessly, breach it. Any serious breach of data protection legislation will also be regarded as misconduct and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedures. If you access another employee’s personnel records without authority, this constitutes a gross misconduct offence and could lead to your summary dismissal.

11.2 The data protection principles There are eight data protection principles that are central to the Act. The Company and all its employees must comply with these principles at all times in its information-handling practices. In brief, the principles say that personal data must be: 1. Processed fairly and lawfully and must not be processed unless certain conditions are met in relation to personal data and additional conditions are met in relation to sensitive personal data. The conditions are either that the employee has given consent to the processing, or the processing is necessary for the various purposes set out in the Act. Sensitive personal data may only be processed with the explicit consent of the employee and consists of information relating to: • • • • • •

race or ethnic origin; political opinions and trade union membership; religious or other beliefs; physical or mental health or condition; sexual life; criminal offences, both committed and alleged.

2. Obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and not processed in a manner incompatible with those purposes. 3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive. The Company will review personnel files on an annual basis to ensure they do not contain a backlog of out-of-date information and to check there is a sound business reason requiring information to continue to be held. 4. Accurate and kept up-to-date. If your personal information changes, for example you change address, you must inform your immediate manager as soon as practicable so that the Company’s records

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can be updated. The Company cannot be held responsible for any errors unless you have notified the Company of the relevant change. 5. Not kept for longer than is necessary. The Company will keep personnel files for no longer than six years after termination of employment. Different categories of data will be retained for different time periods, depending on legal, operational and financial requirements. Any data which the Company decides it does not need to hold for a period of time will be destroyed after one year. Data relating to unsuccessful job applicants will only be retained for a maximum period of one year. 6.

Processed in accordance with the rights of employees under the Act.

7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures will be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. Personnel files are confidential and are stored in locked filing cabinets. Only authorised employees have access to these files. Files will not be removed from their normal place of storage without good reason. Personal data stored on discs, memory sticks, portable hard drives or other removable storage media will be kept in locked filing cabinets or locked drawers when not in use by authorised employees. Data held on computer will be stored confidentially by means of password protection, encryption or coding, and again only authorised employees have access to that data. The Company has network backup procedures to ensure that data on computer cannot be accidentally lost or destroyed. 8. Not transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country ensures an adequate level of protection for the processing of personal data.

11.3 Your right to access personal information You have the right, on request, to receive a copy of the personal information that the Company holds about you, including your personnel file, and to demand that any inaccurate data be corrected or removed. You also have the right on request to: • • • •

be told by the Company whether and for what purpose personal data about you is being processed; be given a description of the data and the recipients to whom it may be disclosed; have communicated in an intelligible form the personal data concerned, and any information available as to the source of the data; be informed of the logic involved in computerised decision-making.

Upon request, the Company will provide you with a statement regarding the personal data held about you. It will state all the types of personal data the Company holds and processes about you and the reasons for which they are processed. If you wish to access a copy of any personal data being held about you, you must make a written request for this and the Company reserves the right to charge you a fee of up to £10. To make a request, please complete a Personal Data Subject Access Request Form, which the Company will provide. If you wish to make a complaint that these rules are not being followed in respect of personal data the Company holds about you, you should raise the matter with your immediate manager. If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, it should be raised as a formal grievance under the Company’s grievance procedure.

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11.4 Your obligations in relation to personal information If, as part of your job duties and responsibilities, you collect personal information about employees or other people such as guests or clients, you must comply with this policy. This includes ensuring the information is processed in accordance with the Act, is only processed for the purposes for which it is held, is kept secure and is not kept for longer than necessary. You must also comply with the following guidelines at all times: •

• • •

• • •

• •

do not disclose confidential personal information to anyone except the data subject unless the data subject has given their explicit prior written consent to this. In particular, it should not be: o given to someone from the same family; o passed to any other unauthorised third party; o placed on the Company’s website; o posted on the Internet in any form. be aware that those seeking information sometimes use deception in order to gain access to it. Always verify the identity of the data subject and the legitimacy of the request, particularly before releasing personal information by telephone; where the Company provides you with code words or passwords to be used before releasing personal information, for example by telephone, you must strictly follow the Company’s requirements in this regard; only transmit personal information between locations by fax or e-mail if a secure network is in place, for example, a confidential fax machine or encryption is used for e-mail; if you receive a request for personal information about another employee, you should forward this to Human Resources or the General Manager who are responsible for dealing with such requests; ensure any personal data you hold is kept securely, either in a locked filing cabinet or, if computerised, it is password protected so that it is protected from unintended destruction or change and is not seen by unauthorised persons; do not access another employee’s records without authority as this will be treated as gross misconduct and it is a criminal offence; do not write down (in electronic or hard copy form) opinions or facts concerning a data subject which it would be inappropriate to share with that data subject; do not remove personal information from the workplace with the intention of processing it elsewhere unless this is necessary to enable you to carry out your job duties and has been authorised by your immediate manager; ensure that, when working on personal information as part of your job duties when away from your workplace and with the authorisation of your immediate manager, you continue to observe the terms of this policy and the Act, in particular in matters of data security; ensure that hard copy personal information is disposed of securely, for example cross-shredded; remember that compliance with the Act is your personal responsibility. If you have any questions or concerns about the interpretation of these rules, please speak to your immediate manager.

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12 CCTV Policy 12.1 Introduction The Company uses closed circuit television (CCTV) images to provide a safe and secure environment for employees and for visitors to the hotel, such as guests, clients, contractors and suppliers, and to protect the Company’s property. This policy sets out the use and management of the CCTV equipment and images in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Information Commissioner’s Office CCTV Code of Practice. The Company’s CCTV facility records images only. There is no audio recording and therefore conversations are not recorded on CCTV (but see the section on covert recording below).

12.2 Purposes of CCTV The purposes of the Company installing and using CCTV systems include to: • • • • • •

assist in the prevention or detection of crime or equivalent malpractice; comply with licensing legislation; assist in the identification and prosecution of offenders; monitor the security of the Company’s business premises; ensure that health and safety rules and Company procedures are being complied with; assist with the identification of unauthorised actions or unsafe working practices that might result in disciplinary proceedings being instituted against employees and to help in providing relevant evidence; promote productivity and efficiency.

12.3 Location of cameras Cameras are located at strategic points throughout the Company’s business premises, principally at the entrance and exit points. The Company has positioned the cameras so that they only cover communal or public areas on the Company’s business premises and they have been sited so that they provide clear images. No camera focuses, or will focus, on toilets, shower facilities, changing rooms, staff kitchen areas, staff break rooms or private offices. All cameras (with the exception of any that may be temporarily set up for covert recording) are also clearly visible. Appropriate signs are prominently and clearly displayed so that employees, guests, and other visitors are aware they are entering an area covered by CCTV.

12.4 Recording and retention of images Images produced by the CCTV equipment are as clear as possible so that they are effective for the purposes for which they are intended. Maintenance checks of the equipment are undertaken on a regular basis to

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ensure it is working properly and that the media is producing high quality images. Images may be recorded either in constant real-time (24 hours a day throughout the year), or only at certain times, as the needs of the business dictate. Any CCTV images are deleted and overwritten on a recycling basis and, in any event, are not held for more than one month. If images are held on a hard drive, once it has reached the end of its use, it will be erased prior to disposal. Images that are stored on, or transferred on to, removable media such as CDs are erased or destroyed once the purpose of the recording is no longer relevant. In normal circumstances, this will be a period of one month. Where a law enforcement agency is investigating a crime however, images may need to be retained for a longer period.

12.5 Access to and disclosure of images Access to, and disclosure of, images recorded on CCTV is restricted. This ensures that the rights of individuals are retained. Images can only be disclosed in accordance with the purposes for which they were originally collected. The images that are filmed are recorded centrally and held in a secure location. Access to recorded images is restricted to the operators of the CCTV system and to those managers who are authorised to view them in accordance with the purposes of the system. Viewing of recorded images will take place in a restricted area to which other employees will not have access when viewing is occurring. If media on which images are recorded are removed for viewing purposes, this will be documented. Disclosure of images to other third parties will only be made in accordance with the purposes for which the system is used and will be limited to: •

• • • •

the police and other law enforcement agencies, where the images recorded could assist in the prevention or detection of a crime or the identification and prosecution of an offender or the identification of a victim or witness; prosecution agencies, such as the Crown Prosecution Service; relevant legal representatives; managers involved with Company disciplinary processes; individuals whose images have been recorded and retained (unless disclosure would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders).

The General Manager (or another senior manager acting in their absence) is the only person who is permitted to authorise disclosure of information to external third parties such as law enforcement agencies. All requests for disclosure and access to images will be documented, including the date of the disclosure, to whom the images have been provided and the reasons why they are required. If disclosure is denied, the reason will be recorded.

12.6 Individuals’ access rights Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals have the right on request to receive a copy of the personal data that the Company holds about them, including CCTV images if they are recognisable from the image.

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If you wish to access any of your CCTV images, you must make a written request to the General Manager. The Company reserves the right to charge you a fee of up to ÂŁ10 for the supply of the images requested. Your request must include the date and time when the images were recorded and the location of the particular CCTV camera, so that the images can be located and your identity can be established as the person in the images. Note: The Company will always check the identity of the employee making the request before processing it. The Company will first determine whether disclosure of your images will reveal third party information as you have no right to access CCTV images relating to other people. In this case, the images of third parties may need to be obscured if it would otherwise involve an unfair intrusion into their privacy. If the Company is unable to comply with your request because access could prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, you will be advised accordingly.

12.7 Covert recording The Company will only undertake covert recording with the written authorisation of the General Manager, or a more senior Director of the Company, where there is good cause to suspect that criminal activity or equivalent malpractice is taking, or is about to take, place and informing the individuals concerned that the recording is taking place would seriously prejudice its prevention or detection. Covert monitoring may include both video and audio recording. Covert monitoring will only take place for a limited and reasonable amount of time consistent with the objective of assisting in the prevention and detection of particular suspected criminal activity or equivalent malpractice. Once the specific investigation has been completed, covert monitoring will cease. Information obtained through covert monitoring will only be used for the prevention or detection of criminal activity or equivalent malpractice. All other information collected in the course of covert monitoring will be deleted or destroyed unless it reveals information which the Company cannot reasonably be expected to ignore.

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13 Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures 13.1 Grievance Procedure The primary purpose of this grievance procedure is to enable staff to air any concerns that they may have about practices, policies or treatment from other individuals at work or from the Company, and to produce a speedy resolution where genuine problems exist. It is designed to help all employees to take the appropriate action, when they are experiencing difficulties, in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. Although it may not be possible to solve all problems to everyone’s complete satisfaction, this policy forms an undertaking by the Company that it will deal objectively and constructively with all employee grievances, and that anyone who decides to use the procedure may do so with the confidence that their problem will be dealt with fairly. This grievance procedure is not a substitute for good day-to-day communication in the Company where we encourage employees to discuss and resolve daily working issues in a supportive atmosphere. Many problems can be solved on an informal footing very satisfactorily if all employees are prepared to keep the channels of communication between themselves open and working well. This procedure is designed to deal with those issues that need to be approached on a more formal basis so that every route to a satisfactory solution can be explored and so that any decisions reached are binding and long lasting. This grievance procedure is entirely non-contractual and does not form part of your contract of employment.

13.1.1 Procedure In the event of your having a formal grievance relating to your employment and if you cannot settle your grievance informally, you should raise it formally as follows:

Stage 1 – Grievance Hearing You should, in the first instance, put your grievance in writing and address it to your immediate manager, making clear that you wish to raise a formal grievance under the terms of this procedure. Where your grievance is against your immediate manager, your complaint should be addressed to an alternative manager or more senior manager within the Company. This grievance procedure will not be invoked unless you raise your grievance in accordance with these requirements. A manager (who may not be the manager to whom your grievance was addressed) will then invite you to attend a grievance meeting to discuss your grievance. You have the right to be accompanied at this meeting by a trade union official or any willing and appropriate colleague of your choice. You must make every effort to attend the grievance meeting. Every effort will be made to convene the grievance meeting at a time which is convenient for you and your companion to attend. If this means that the meeting cannot be held within a reasonable period (usually within five working days of the original date set), we ask that you make arrangements with another companion who is available to attend. Any employee who is chosen to accompany another in a grievance hearing is entitled to take paid time off

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for this purpose. At the meeting, you will be permitted to explain your grievance and how you think it should be resolved. Following the meeting, the Company will endeavour to respond to your grievance as soon as possible and, in any case, within five working days of the grievance meeting. If it is not possible to respond within this time period, you will be given an explanation for the delay and be told when a response can be expected. You will be informed in writing of the Company’s decision on the grievance and notified of your right to appeal against that decision if you are not satisfied with it.

Stage 2 – Appeal Hearing In the event that you feel your grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved, you may then appeal in writing to the General Manager, setting out the grounds of your appeal, within five working days of the grievance decision. On receipt of your appeal letter, a more senior manager (who again may not be the person to whom your appeal was addressed) shall make arrangements to hear your grievance at an appeal meeting and at this meeting you may again, if you wish, be accompanied by a trade union official or any willing and appropriate colleague of your choice. You must make every effort to attend the grievance appeal meeting. Following the meeting, the senior manager will endeavour to respond to your grievance as soon as possible and, in any case, within five working days of the appeal hearing. If it is not possible to respond within this time period, you will be given an explanation for the delay and be told when a response can be expected. You will be informed in writing of the Company’s decision on your grievance appeal. This is the final stage of the grievance procedure and the Company’s decision shall be final.

13.1.2 Disciplinary issues If your complaint relates to your dissatisfaction with a disciplinary sanction or the disciplinary procedure, a warning under the terms of the Company’s Capability Procedure or a dismissal decision, you should not invoke the grievance procedure but should instead appeal against that decision in accordance with the appeal procedure with which you will have been provided. In the event that the Company discovers a grievance previously raised by you is malicious, fabricated or falsified it reserves the right to take disciplinary action against you. Please note that this could result in your dismissal for gross misconduct.

13.2 Mediation Policy The ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance Procedures came into effect on April 6 2009. It encourages the use of mediation within the workplace to resolve disputes at an early stage. The Company supports that recommendation and this Policy applies to all employees.

13.2.1 What is Mediation? Mediation is a voluntary process, and the company cannot force an employee to undertake it. However,

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whilst it is undertaken on an informal basis, any issues discussed will remain confidential. Due to its flexibility, mediation can be used in a wide range of situations. These include: • • • • •

Personality clashes; Differences of opinion; Breakdowns in working relationships; Communication difficulties between colleagues; Disagreements over the way that work is being done.

Mediation should not be used to deal with: • • • • •

Disciplinary cases; Cases of poor performance; Disputes over contract terms; Complaints over policies; Objections to the Company fulfilling its legal obligations, e.g. health and safety compliance.

13.2.2 The Role of the Mediator A neutral third party acts as a mediator to assist those involved in a dispute to reach an agreement that is accepted and suitable for all sides. The mediator will: (1) always keep matters confidential; (2) co-ordinate the process and facilitate the meeting(s); (3) encourage the parties to speak openly about the issue and express their views; (4) where necessary, meet with the parties individually in private; and (5) if necessary, suggest ways to resolve the situation. Wherever possible, the Company will use an independent person with sufficient seniority from within the organisation to act as a mediator. Where this is not possible, it may appoint an external mediator. The company shall bear their costs and the employee will not be asked to contribute to this. The Company’s decision on whether mediation is appropriate in the circumstances and who will act as mediator is final.

13.2.3 Employees’ Responsibilities Employees involved in mediation must: • • •

approach the process positively; respect the views of the other parties involved; act professionally at all times.

13.2.4 Formal Proceedings Mediation does not replace the Company’s formal Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures and the Company reserves the right to implement these processes wherever it may deem them appropriate.

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13.2.5 Workplace Companions The Company does not encourage the involvement of workplace companions, e.g. colleagues or Trade Union representatives, in the mediation process and employees have no statutory right to have them involved. Neither are family members, friends or legal representatives permitted to attend. The Company does however recognise that employees may wish to have a companion to accompany them for moral support. It will therefore not refuse an employee’s reasonable request in this regard providing that the chosen companion is both willing and considered appropriate by the Company. Should an employee wish to be accompanied, they should indicate this and advise the Company of their nominated companion when agreeing the proposed date for the mediation session.

13.3 Disciplinary Procedure Whilst the Company does not intend to impose unreasonable rules of conduct on its employees, certain standards of behaviour are necessary to maintain good employment relations and discipline in the interest of all employees. The Company prefers that discipline be voluntary and self-imposed and, in the vast majority of cases, this is how it works. From time to time however, it may be necessary for the Company to take action towards individuals whose level of behaviour or performance is unacceptable. It will also occur where an employee knowingly breaks any legal requirement in connection with their employment. This disciplinary procedure is entirely non-contractual and does not form part of your contract of employment.

13.3.1 Informal Stages / Informal Warning Minor lapses in performance or conduct will be dealt with by an informal meeting to explain the problem and hopefully prevent a more serious situation building up. Notes of the meeting will be kept for reference and you will be given a copy of any such notes for your own records. This will not be recorded as formal disciplinary action but may be recorded as an ‘informal warning’.

13.3.2 Formal Stages In cases where informal discussion does not lead to an improvement in conduct or performance or where the matter is considered to be too serious to be classed as minor, for example, unauthorised absences, persistent poor timekeeping, sub-standard work performance, etc. the following disciplinary procedure will be used:

Investigation When it is considered that your conduct or performance is sufficiently unsatisfactory as to be a potential disciplinary issue, an investigation will be carried out. Your manager will normally discuss the matter with you asking for an explanation. If it is considered necessary, the manager dealing with the case will conduct a more detailed investigation. The nature of the investigation will depend on the case but it may include fact-finding interviews and examination of relevant documents. There is no right to be accompanied at investigatory interviews nor to be given advance notice of an

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investigatory meeting. If, following the investigation, formal disciplinary action is contemplated, the following procedure will be followed:

Invitation to Disciplinary Hearing The Company will notify you in writing of the allegations and will invite you to a disciplinary hearing to discuss the matter. The Company will provide sufficient information about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences to enable you to answer the case. This will include the provision of copies of written evidence, including witness statements, where appropriate. Having given you reasonable time to prepare your case, usually a period of approximately 48 hours, a formal disciplinary hearing will then take place, conducted by a manager, at which you will be given the chance to state your case. You have the right to be accompanied at any formal stage (including an appeal meeting) by any willing and appropriate work colleague or trade union official. If your chosen companion is not available on the date proposed for the meeting then you can request that the meeting be postponed to an alternative date, providing that is within 5 working days of the original date proposed by the Company. If your chosen companion is still unavailable you will be requested to choose an alternative companion so that the meeting may be held without undue delay. The Company may choose to have an HR Consultant present at any stage.

Disciplinary Hearing You must make every effort to attend the hearing. At the hearing, you will be allowed to set out your case and answer any allegations and will also be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence, call relevant witnesses and raise points about any information provided by witnesses. It should be noted that your behaviour is not looked at in isolation but each incident of misconduct is regarded cumulatively with any previous occurrences. The Company will provide you with minutes of the Disciplinary Hearing. Please note that except with the express written permission of the Company, disciplinary investigations and hearings must not be recorded on any electronic device. If the Company discovers that you have done this covertly, you could be subject to further disciplinary action. Please note that the Company will deal with all disciplinary matters within a reasonable timescale. It reserves the right however to extend these wherever necessary and if appropriate.

Disciplinary Outcomes Following the hearing, the Company will decide whether or not disciplinary action is justified and, if so, you will be informed in writing of the Company’s decision in accordance with the stages set out below and notified of your right to appeal against that decision. 1.

First Formal Written Warning

A formal WRITTEN WARNING may be given if informal action has not been effective, or the first offence is considered to be sufficiently serious. You will be advised of the reason for the warning, how you need to

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improve your conduct or performance, the timescale over which the improvement is to be achieved, that the warning is the first stage of the formal disciplinary procedure and the likely consequences if the terms of the warning are not complied with. You will also be informed how to exercise your right to appeal if you consider the disciplinary sanction or the disciplinary process itself has been unfair in any way. A copy of this first written warning will be kept on file but the warning will be disregarded after 12 months subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance and in the absence of any further disciplinary action. 2.

Final Written Warning

Failure to improve performance in response to the procedure so far, a repeat of misconduct for which a warning has previously been issued, or a first instance of serious misconduct or serious poor performance, will result in a FINAL WRITTEN WARNING being issued. This will set out the nature of the misconduct or poor performance, how you need to improve your conduct or performance, the timescale over which the improvement is to be achieved and warn that dismissal will probably result if the terms of the warning are not complied with. You will also be informed how to exercise your right to appeal if you consider the disciplinary sanction or the disciplinary process itself has been unfair in any way. This final written warning will be kept on file but, subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance and in the absence of any further disciplinary action, will be disregarded after a period of 12 months. The Company reserves the right to extend the validity of the final written warning to a maximum of three years in cases of very serious misconduct or if you have a history of misconduct issues. 3.

Dismissal

Failure to meet the requirements set out in the final written warning will normally lead to DISMISSAL with appropriate notice. A decision of this kind will only be made after the fullest possible investigation. You will be informed of the reasons for dismissal, the appropriate period of notice, the date on which your employment will terminate and how you can appeal against the dismissal decision.

13.3.3 Gross misconduct Gross misconduct is misconduct serious enough to destroy the employment contract between employee and Company, making any further working relationship and trust impossible. Offences under this heading are so serious that an employee who commits them will, following a full investigation and disciplinary hearing, normally be summarily dismissed, without notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice. Examples of gross misconduct include: • •

any breach of the criminal law, such as theft; any unauthorised possession or removal of Company products or property, or property belonging to another employee, client, customer or visitor, fraud (including making fraudulent or false expense claims), deliberate falsification of records, false declarations in connection with employment or applications for employment or any other form of dishonesty; offering, promising or giving a bribe or requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe or bribing a foreign public official in connection with employment contrary to the Bribery Act 2010;

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• • • • • • • • • •

• • •

• • • • • •

wilfully or negligently causing harm or injury to another employee, guest, client or visitor, physical violence, assault, fighting, bullying or grossly offensive or aggressive behaviour or language; deliberately or negligently causing damage to the Company’s property, or to property belonging to another employee, guest, client or visitor; causing loss, damage or injury through serious carelessness or gross negligence; dereliction of duty, including sleeping whilst at work; wilful refusal to obey a reasonable management instruction which is within your capabilities and which would be seen to be in the interests of the Company, or serious insubordination; serious incapacity at work through an excess of alcohol or illegal drugs, whether consumed on or off Company premises but which affects the employee’s ability to carry out their job duties whilst at work; reporting for work under the influence of alcohol or the unauthorised consumption of alcohol on the premises and/or whilst on duty; bringing illegal drugs on to Company premises; smoking on Company premises, other than in designated outside smoking areas; logging on to sexually explicit websites, downloading or circulating pornographic or other offensive, illegal or obscene material or using the Internet or e-mail for gambling, illegal activities or the sending of offensive e-mails (e.g. jokes) to work colleagues (in the latter case, including from the employee’s home computer in their own time); a serious breach of health and safety rules, including acts or omissions which endanger the safety of another employee, guest, client or visitor; behaviour outside working hours or work location, which either results in or has the potential to result in criminal charges or convictions, which affect the employee’s ability to perform their job duties; discriminating against, harassing, bullying or victimising another employee, guest, client or visitor because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex and/or sexual orientation; a serious breach of confidentiality, including unauthorised access of computer and personnel records and communicating confidential information to third parties; working for a competitor without permission; knowingly breaking a legal requirement in connection with employment; conviction for a criminal offence arising from, or relating to, your work for the Company. bringing the Company into serious disrepute, even if done in the employee’s own time; unauthorised absence.

The above is intended as a guide and is not an exhaustive list.

13.3.4 Suspension In the event of an allegation of serious or gross misconduct, you may be suspended from work on full basic pay while an investigation is carried out. Normally the decision to suspend will be made by your immediate manager. Paid suspension is not disciplinary action and does not imply guilt. You will receive a letter stating why you have been suspended and how long it is likely to last. Suspension will be for as short a period as possible.

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13.3.5 The Right to Appeal You may appeal against any disciplinary decision, including dismissal, to the General Manager within five working days of your receipt of the outcome (decision). Appeals should be made in writing and state the grounds for appeal. You will be invited to attend an appeal hearing chaired by a senior manager or the General Manager. If the General Manager conducted the Disciplinary Hearing, the Company may, where possible, arrange for an alternative General Manager from an affiliated hotel or for a Director of the Company to hear your appeal. The Company may choose to have an HR Consultant present. At the appeal hearing, you will be given the chance to state your case and will have the right to be accompanied by any willing and appropriate colleague or a trade union official of your choice. The person hearing the appeal will reconsider the penalty. It is always possible that the new decision may be more severe than the original penalty. Following the appeal hearing, you will be informed in writing of the appeal decision. The Company’s decision on an appeal will be final.

13.4 Capability Procedure 13.4.1 Overview The primary aim of this procedure is to provide a framework within which the Company can work with employees to maintain satisfactory performance standards and to encourage improved performance where necessary. The Company recognises the difference between a deliberate or careless failure on the part of an employee to perform to the standards of which they are capable (in which case the Company will use the disciplinary procedure) and a case of incapability, where the employee is lacking in knowledge, skill or ability and so cannot perform to the standard required (in which case the Company will use this capability procedure in an attempt to improve the employee’s performance). The Company also recognises that during an employee’s employment, capability to carry out their duties may deteriorate. This can be for a number of reasons; the most common ones being that either the job changes over a period of time and the employee fails to keep pace with the changes, or the employee changes and can no longer cope with the work. The procedure is not contractual and the details may be changed at any time.

13.4.2 Informal Stage Minor capability issues will be dealt with informally through counselling and training. Informal discussions may be held with a view to clarifying the required work standards and the level of performance expected, identifying areas of concern, establishing the likely causes of poor performance, identifying any training or supervision needs, setting targets for improvement and agreeing a time-scale for review.

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13.4.3 Formal Stages In cases where informal discussions do not lead to a satisfactory improvement in performance, or where the performance issues are more serious, the following capability procedure will be used. At all stages of the procedure, an investigation will be carried out. The Company will give consideration to whether the unsatisfactory performance is related to a disability and, if so, whether there are any reasonable adjustments that could be made to the requirements of the job or other aspects of the working arrangements. The Company will notify you in writing of the concerns regarding your performance and will invite you to a formal capability meeting to discuss the matter. You will receive a minimum of 48 hours advance notice in writing of any formal hearing arranged under this policy. The Company will provide sufficient information about your poor performance and its possible consequences to enable you to prepare to answer the case. This will include the provision of copies of written evidence where appropriate. At all such meetings you have the right to be accompanied by any willing and appropriate work colleague or trade union representative. The Company may choose to have an HR Consultant present. Where witnesses are to be called by the Company or by you, prior notice of this should be given. Where your representative is unable to attend the meeting at the notified time, you have the right to request a postponement to an alternative time within a maximum 5 working days of the date originally proposed by the Company. If your chosen companion is still not available you will be requested to choose an alternative companion so that the meeting can be held without undue delay. At the formal capability meeting you will be given the chance to state your case. You must make every effort to attend the meeting. The purposes of the formal capability meeting include: • • •

to set out the required standards that the Company considers you have not met; to establish the likely causes of poor performance (including any reasons why any measures taken so far have not led to the required improvement); and to allow you the opportunity to explain the poor performance and to ask any relevant questions.

Except in the case where dismissal is proposed, the purposes of the formal capability meeting also include: • • •

to discuss measures, such as additional training or supervision, which may improve your performance; to set targets for improvement; and to set a reasonable timescale for review (reflecting the circumstances of the case).

In a case where dismissal is proposed, the purposes of the formal capability meeting also include: • • •

to establish whether there are any further steps that could reasonably be taken to rectify your poor performance; to establish whether there is any reasonable likelihood of the required standards of performance being met within a reasonable time; and to discuss whether there is any practical alternative to dismissal, such as redeployment to any suitable available job at the same or a lower grade.

Following the formal capability meeting, the Company will decide whether or not formal action is justified and, if so, you will be informed in writing of the Company’s decision in accordance with the stages set out

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below and notified of your right to appeal against that decision.

Stage 1: Performance warning You may be given a formal PERFORMANCE WARNING. This will set out the areas in which you have not met the required performance standards, targets for improvement, any measures, such as additional training or supervision, which will be taken with a view to improving your performance, a timescale for review and the likely consequences of failing to improve to the required standards within the review period. The performance warning will be recorded and will remain on your file but, subject to satisfactory performance and in the absence of any further action under the terms of the Company’s Capability Procedure, will be disregarded after a period of six months. Your performance will be monitored and, at the end of the review period, the Company will write to you to advise you of the next step. If the Company is satisfied with your performance, no further action will be taken. If the Company is not satisfied with your performance, the matter may be progressed to Stage 2 or, if the Company feels that there has been a substantial but insufficient improvement, the review period may be extended.

Stage 2: Final performance warning Failure to improve performance in response to the procedure so far, or a first instance of serious poor performance, may result in a FINAL PERFORMANCE WARNING being issued. This will set out the areas in which you have still not met the required performance standards, targets for improvement, any further measures, such as additional training or supervision, which will be taken with a view to improving your performance, a further timescale for review and the likely consequences of failing to improve to the required standards within the further review period, i.e. that dismissal will probably result. The final performance warning will be recorded and will remain on your file but, subject to satisfactory performance and in the absence of any further action under the terms of the Company’s Capability Procedure, will be disregarded after a period of twelve months. Your performance will again be monitored and, at the end of the further review period, the Company will write to you to advise you of the next step. If the Company is satisfied with your performance, no further action will be taken. If the Company is not satisfied with your performance, the matter may be progressed to Stage 3 or, if the Company feels that there has been a substantial but insufficient improvement, the review period may be extended.

Stage 3: Dismissal Failure to improve performance in response to the procedure so far will normally lead to DISMISSAL, with appropriate notice. The Company may first consider redeploying you, with your agreement, to another available job at the same or lower grade which is more suited to your abilities. A dismissal decision will only be made after the fullest possible investigation. You will be informed of the reasons for dismissal, the appropriate period of notice, the date on which your employment will terminate and how you can appeal against the dismissal decision.

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13.4.4 The Right to Appeal You may appeal against any decision under this capability procedure, including dismissal, to the General Manager within five working days of your receipt of the decision. Appeals should be made in writing and state the grounds for appeal. You will then be invited to attend an appeal meeting chaired by a senior manager or the General Manager. If possible the appeal will be dealt with by a different and more senior Manager than the one who conducted the initial hearing. If the General Manager conducted the initial hearing then the company may, if possible, arrange for a General Manager from an affiliated hotel or a Director of the Company to hear your appeal. At the appeal meeting, you will again be given the chance to state your case and will have the right to be accompanied by any willing and appropriate work colleague or trade union representative. The Company may choose to have an HR Consultant present. The person hearing the appeal will reconsider the penalty. It is always possible that the new decision may be more severe than the original penalty. Following the meeting, you will be informed in writing of the appeal decision. The Company’s decision on an appeal will be final.

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14 Disclosures in the Public Interest Policy (Whistleblowing) 14.1 Overview The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects employees who raise legitimate concerns about specified matters from being dismissed or from being subjected to detrimental treatment or victimised as a result, provided certain criteria are met. The Act makes provision about the kinds of disclosure which may be protected and the circumstances in which disclosures are protected. These rules are therefore intended to comply with the Act by encouraging employees to make disclosures about fraud, misconduct, bribery or other wrongdoing to the Company, without fear of reprisal, so that problems can be identified, dealt with and resolved quickly. Employees are protected provided they reveal information of the right type (known as a “qualifying disclosure”) and they reveal that information to the right person and in the right way (known as making a “protected disclosure”).

14.2 Qualifying disclosures Certain kinds of disclosure qualify for protection. These are disclosures of information which are made in good faith and which you reasonably believe tend to show one or more of the following relevant failures is either currently happening, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future: •

a criminal offence, including offences such as theft, fraud or acts of bribery;

the breach of a legal obligation;

a miscarriage of justice;

a danger to the health and safety of any individual;

damage to the environment;

deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the above five matters.

Only disclosures of information that fall within one or more of these six categories qualify for protection. Your belief must be reasonable, but it need not be correct. It might be discovered subsequently that you were, in fact, wrong or mistaken in your belief, but you must be able to show that you held the belief in good faith and that it was a reasonable belief to hold in the circumstances at the time of disclosure. Note that it is not your responsibility to investigate the matter. That is the Company’s responsibility.

14.3 Protected disclosures For a qualifying disclosure to be a protected disclosure, you need to make it to the right person and in the right way. There are a number of methods by which you can make a protected disclosure, but the Company always encourages all employees to raise any disclosure internally in the first instance. Qualifying disclosures must be made in good faith to be protected i.e. with honest intent and without malice or an ulterior motive.

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You are protected if you make a qualifying disclosure to either: •

the Company; or

• where you reasonably believe that the relevant failure relates solely or mainly to the conduct of a person other than the Company or any other matter for which a person other than the Company has legal responsibility, to that other person. You are encouraged to raise any qualifying disclosures that you may have by following the disclosure procedure set out below. If your concern relates to a breach of your own contract of employment, you should use the Company’s grievance procedure.

14.4 The disclosure procedure This procedure applies to all permanent and temporary employees. In addition, third parties such as agency workers, consultants and contractors and any others who perform functions in relation to the Company should use it. The procedure is as follows: 1. If you wish to make a qualifying disclosure, you should, in the first instance, report the situation in writing to your immediate manager, setting out in detail the nature of your disclosure. If you do not wish to contact your manager, you can instead contact an alternative manager or the hotel’s General Manager. If you feel that you are unable to make a disclosure internally to a member of the hotel’s management team, if, for example, you consider that the matter is so serious and involves the most senior manager(s) within the hotel, then you can instead make your disclosure via either (i) a member of the Westmont Management team using the contact details as follows: Contact: Christopher Rawstron email: C.Rawstron@westmontuk.com Or (ii) an independent consultant using the contact details as follows: Contact: Sally Coles email: sallyacoles@virginmedia.com 2. Such disclosures should be made promptly so that investigation may proceed and any action taken expeditiously. 3. All qualifying disclosures will be treated seriously. The disclosure will be promptly investigated and, as part of the investigatory process, you will be interviewed and asked to provide a written witness statement setting out the nature and details of your qualifying disclosure and the basis for it. Confidentiality will be maintained during the investigatory process to the extent that this is practical and appropriate in the circumstances. In order to effectively investigate a disclosure however, the Company must be able to determine the scope of the investigation and the individuals who should be informed of or interviewed about the disclosure. The Company reserves the right to arrange for another manager to conduct the investigation other than the manager (or independent consultant) with whom you raised the matter. 4. Once the investigation has been completed, you will be informed in writing of the outcome and the Company’s conclusions and decision as soon as possible. The Company is committed to taking

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appropriate action with respect to all qualifying disclosures which are upheld. 5. You will not be penalised for raising a qualifying disclosure even if it is not upheld, unless the complaint was both untrue and made in bad faith. 6. Once the Company’s conclusions have been finalised, any necessary action will be taken. This could include either reporting the matter to an appropriate external government department or regulatory agency and/or taking internal disciplinary action against relevant employees or managers. If no action is to be taken, the reasons for this will be explained to you. 7. If, on conclusion of the above stages, you reasonably believe that appropriate action has not been taken, you may then report the matter externally to the proper authority in good faith in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Act sets out a number of prescribed external bodies or persons to which qualifying disclosures may be made and you can access these at: http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/Employing_People_files/Dismissalsprescribed_persons_v4.pdf. The Company however always encourages all employees to raise their concerns directly and internally in the first instance, rather than externally. This enables issues to be dealt with promptly and speedily.

14.5 General principles •

be aware of the importance of eliminating fraud, misconduct, bribery or other wrongdoing at work. Report anything that you become aware of that is illegal or unlawful;

you will not be victimised, subjected to a detriment or dismissed for raising a protected disclosure under this procedure;

victimisation of an employee for raising a protected disclosure under this procedure will be a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the Company’s disciplinary procedure;

covering up someone else’s wrongdoing is also a disciplinary offence. Never agree to remain silent about a wrongdoing, even if told to do so by a person in authority, such as your manager;

your right to make a protected disclosure under this procedure overrides any confidentiality provisions in your contract of employment;

finally, maliciously making a false allegation is a disciplinary offence.

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15 Redundancy Policy 15.1 Avoiding redundancy Should circumstances arise where redundancy may be a possibility, for example because fewer employees are needed to perform the Company’s work or when the need for a particular job diminishes or ceases, the first steps the Company will take will be to: • • • • • •

reduce overtime to a workable minimum; restrict recruitment; investigate measures such as short-time working and/or lay-offs; investigate whether there are opportunities for redeployment to other departments within the Company; explore other methods by which desired cost cuts could be achieved, such as the introduction of lay-offs or short time working; explore whether there are any other options available in order to avoid redundancy.

If redundancies cannot be avoided, the Company will give consideration to terminating agency workers and asking for volunteers. Whilst the Company will aim to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to a minimum, the overriding consideration will always be the future needs of the business.

15.2 Consultation and selection If the need for compulsory redundancies arises, selection for redundancy will be made solely on the basis of objective criteria. Those criteria will then be fairly, reasonably and consistently applied to the affected employees. The Company will apply one or more of the following as objective selection criteria, where there is a need to select between employees: • • • • • • • • •

job performance; disciplinary record for misconduct / poor performance; attendance record (excluding absence related to maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave, pregnancy related illnesses and disabilities); timekeeping record; achievement of targets; length of service; relevant qualifications, experience and skills; and training needs; the ability to take on additional or new job duties and responsibilities and future development potential.

The right to be collectively consulted applies only if the Company proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less. The Company will ensure that consultation begins in good time and therefore: •

at least 30 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 20 to 99 employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less;

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• •

at least 45 days before the first dismissal takes effect if 100 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment over a period of 90 days or less; as far ahead as is reasonably practicable where fewer than 20 employees are proposed to be made redundant.

During the consultation exercise, full information will be provided to employees and/or their representatives about the Company’s proposals and there will be adequate opportunity for employees or their representatives to respond. Information provided may include: the reasons for the proposed redundancies; the numbers and categories of employees who may be made redundant; the proposed method of selecting employees for redundancy; the proposed method of carrying out the redundancies, including the time period over which the dismissals may take effect; and the proposed method of calculating redundancy payments (if non-statutory). The Company will also enter into individual consultation with each employee provisionally selected for redundancy. Each employee will have the right to be informed of the basis for their selection and be invited to put forward any representations, which the Company will fully consider before making a final decision on which employees are to be made redundant. The chosen selection criteria will be fairly and consistently applied and will be capable of being backed up with evidence and/or data.

15.3 Voluntary redundancy If the Company chooses to ask for volunteers for redundancy, invitations will be offered to all employees whose jobs are at risk of redundancy. The opportunity to volunteer for redundancy will be available for a defined period only. Employees who choose to apply for voluntary redundancy are not guaranteed to have their application accepted. The Company has the absolute discretion to decide whether or not to accept an employee’s application for voluntary redundancy. Where an employee’s application is provisionally accepted, they will be notified of this in writing. Employees who volunteer and are accepted for redundancy will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay in the same way as employees who are made compulsorily redundant. At the Company’s absolute discretion, employees who volunteer and are accepted for redundancy may be offered a redundancy payment that is higher than the level of redundancy pay payable to employees who are selected compulsorily.

15.4 Alternative employment Once provisional redundancy selections have been made, the Company will seek to identify any alternative vacancies that may be suitable. The Company reserves the right to make the final decision as to whether or not to offer an available alternative position to a redundant employee. In accordance with statutory provisions, employees who are provisionally selected for redundancy whilst they are absent on maternity, adoption or additional paternity leave are entitled to be offered any suitable and appropriate alternative employment in preference to other employees who are also at risk of

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redundancy. This is an absolute entitlement and it applies regardless of whether other employees may be stronger candidates or better qualified. The Company is therefore bound to take this into account when deciding to whom to offer an available alternative position. If a decision is made to offer a position, the offer will be made in writing. Where alternative employment is offered and accepted, it is the Company’s policy to operate a trial period of four weeks in the new post. This is a statutory requirement. If it is established that the post is not objectively suitable for the employee, their employment will be terminated at the end of the trial period and the employee will still receive a statutory redundancy payment based on the date on which their original job ended. The Company reserves the right to make the final decision on termination of employment. An employee who unreasonably refuses an offer of suitable alternative employment (whether before, during or after the trial period) may forfeit their right to a statutory redundancy payment. Alternative employment outside the Company If you are given notice of redundancy, you will be allowed reasonable paid time off to look for alternative employment outside the Company.

15.5 Redundancy pay Redundant employees who have a minimum of two years’ continuous employment with the Company will be entitled to be paid statutory redundancy pay, which is calculated according to the employee’s age, length of service and gross basic contractual weekly pay subject to a statutory maximum. Entirely on a discretionary basis, the Company may also offer an enhanced redundancy payment. Any enhanced redundancy payments are paid wholly at the discretion of the Company and there is no contractual right for an employee to receive an enhanced redundancy payment at any time, regardless of whether or not enhanced redundancy payments have been paid to other redundant employees on previous occasions.

15.6 Payment on termination If your employment is terminated as a result of redundancy, you will receive the following: •

All outstanding wages and holiday pay up to the date of leaving;

Pay in lieu of notice, if applicable;

A statutory redundancy payment, if you qualify.

15.7 Right to Appeal If you wish to appeal against the decision to terminate your employment on the grounds of redundancy, you must put your appeal in writing to the General Manager within five working days of being served notice of termination.

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16 Termination of Employment 16.1 Resignation Policy If you should decide to leave the Company, written notice of your resignation must be given to your immediate manager. The amount of notice you are required to give to terminate your employment is set out in your contract of employment. Depending on your role within the Company, having tendered your written resignation and throughout your notice period, you may be requested to keep the fact you have resigned confidential until the Company informs or agrees otherwise with you. If this is the case then your immediate manager will make arrangements to discuss your departure and the official Company statement. You should not deviate from this unless it is expressly agreed with the Company. An early leaving date may be mutually agreed, at the absolute discretion of your immediate manager, and subject to the requirements of the Company’s business. Your resignation letter will be formally acknowledged and such acknowledgement will confirm your last day of employment and provide details of the final salary payments due to you. You may also be asked to complete an exit questionnaire and/or attend an exit interview (see below).

16.2 Retirement Policy The Company does not operate a compulsory normal retirement age. If you wish to retire you should advise the Company in writing as early as possible of your wishes in relation to retirement giving as much notice as is reasonable practicable and as a minimum the same period of notice as if you were to leave the Company at any other time as set out in your contract of employment.

16.3 Exit Interviews It is both unfortunate and expensive when an employee decides to leave the Company. It is important that the Company finds out the reason why to avoid losing employees in the future. If you have resigned, it is hoped that you will be willing to give honest feedback to the Company in respect of why you have chosen to leave and your views about working for the Company. You may therefore be requested to attend an exit interview and/or complete an exit questionnaire. This interview/questionnaire represents an ideal opportunity for the Company to gather information about why you decided to leave. With your permission, selected information gained from the interview and/or from your completed questionnaire will be discussed with your immediate manager. The aim of this is to ensure that any problems are highlighted and the Company can try and develop and improve moving forward.

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Company handbook v2 0 october 2013  
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