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SPECIAL LEAVE POLICY INCLUDING LEAVE FOR:      

Domestic, Personal, Emergency and Family Reasons Parental Leave Leave following Contact with a Notifiable Disease Civil and Public Duties Leave to Attend Interviews Leave to Attend Appointments

Responsible Directorate:

Date Approved:

Calderdale and Kirklees Human Resources and Organisational Development Shared Service Sue Ellis Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development 16 December 2009 (Trust Board)

Committee:

Kirklees Partnership Forum

Responsible Director:

NICE GUIDANCE – Not applicable Once NICE guidance is published, health professionals are expected to take it fully into account when exercising their clinical judgment. However, NICE guidance does not override the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions according to the circumstances of the individual patient in consultation with the patient and/or their guardian or carer.

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Version Control Current versions of all policies can be found on NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees internet and intranet. If printing a document, please check internet/intranet for most up-to-date version. Document Title: Document number: Author: Contrib utors: Version: Date of Production: Review date:

Postholder responsible for revision: Primary Circulation List: Web address: Restrictions:

Special Leave Policy/Procedure 1.1 Sarah Potter NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees Partnership Forum 1.1 March 2009 This policy/procedures will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to take account of changes in legislation and to take account of good employment practice Sarah Potter All Staff Internet Employment Policies and Procedures None

Standard for Better Health Map Domain: Core Standard Reference: Performance Indicators:

1. 2. 3.

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Contents Section 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 7.1 7.2 7.2.1 7.3 7.4 8. 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 9. 10. 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.3.1 10.4 11. 12. 12.1 12.2 12.3 13. 14. 15. 16 17 A B C D E

Page

Introduction Associated policies & procedures Aims and objectives Scope of the policy/local guidelines Accountabilities and Responsibilities Special Leave Procedure Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons Carer Leave Emergency family reasons at home (or at a person’s home who is dependent on the employee) Non emergency family reasons at home (or at a person’s home who is dependent on the member of employee) Bereavement Leave Extra Leave required over and above that approved under the Special Leave Provisions Parental Leave Conditions Eligibility Amount of Leave Period of Parental Leave Part time Employees Notice of Intention to take Parental Leave Postponement of Parental Leave Status of Employment Contract Frequently Asked Questions Contact with a Notifiable Disease Civil and Public Duties Jury Service Magisterial Duties Armed Forces: Reservists Annual Training Camps Other Civic and Public Duties Leave to Attend Interviews Leave to Attend Appointments Hospital Appointments Doctors, Dentists, Optician Appointments Other Routine Appointments Equality Impact Assessment Training Needs Analysis Monitoring Compliance with this policy/guideline/protocol References Appendices Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons – Management Guidelines Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons – Employee Guidelines Leave and Flexible Working Policies/Procedures – Which Policy Applies Key Stakeholders consulted/involved in the development of the policy/procedure Equality Impact Assessment Tool

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4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 14-15 15 16


Policy Statement NHS Kirklees will support employees to balance their home and work lives and thus assist in its efforts to recruit and retain employees. NHS Kirklees understands that many employees have commitments outside of work and continually seeks to provide a supportive environment that allows employees to achieve a healthy work/life balance which is consistent with the principles of Improving Working Lives (IWLS). This policy has been revised to take into account the provisions of the Employment Act 2002 in relation to leave and time off for caring for dependants which came into force in April, 2003 The purpose of special leave is to help employees balance the demands of domestic and work responsibilities at a time of urgent and unforeseen need, through the provision of paid or unpaid leave according to the circumstances. Special leave includes domestic, personal, home emergency situations, parental, leave following contact with a notifiable diseases and leave for civic/public duties. It is intended that special leave should be granted in circumstances which include personal and emergency home situations for which more information is given within the procedures guidance for applying for special leave. Special leave with pay is not intended for distant relatives/friends or where no carer responsibilities exist. Leave granted under these arrangements is intended to be short-term leave and not for long term domestic and family needs (which may be provided for example by parental leave arrangements or career breaks). All leave approved under this policy must be formally recorded on the Request for Special Leave form and a copy kept of the employees personal file

1.

Introduction

This policy is intended to support employees by providing guidance on the various types of leave available and when they apply. Additionally the organisation encourages employees to work flexibly to suit their work-life balance as long as it isn't detrimental to colleagues and service users. We also need to recognise that individuals have different needs at different times and that we need to be supportive of others and that we should be able to expect the same from them. Teams are encouraged to regularly discuss issues around working patterns to achieve consensus and ensure that everyone is supported as far as is possible 2.

Associated policies & procedures

This policy should be read in accordance with the following Trust policies, procedures and guidance: • • • 3.

Maternity Paternity and Adoption Leave Flexible Working Options Annual Leave Guidelines Aims and objectives

To assist with recruitment and retention of staff and to be recognised as an employer of choice Page 4 of 16


4.

Scope of the policy/local guidelines This policy must be followed by all NHS Kirklees employees who are employed on a substantive or fixed term or temporary contract. Employees who feel it is has been misapplied have access to the grievance procedure to seek a remedy. Independent Contractors are responsible for the development and management of their own procedural documents and for ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and best practice guidelines. Independent Contractors are encouraged to seek advice and support as required.

5.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities As laid out in the main body of the document

6.

SPECIAL LEAVE PROCEDURE INCLUDING LEAVE FOR:  Domestic, Personal, Emergency and Family Reasons  Parental Leave  Leave following Contact with a Notifiable Disease  Civil and Public Duties  Leave to Attend Interviews  Leave to Attend Appointments

7.

Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons

7.1

Carer Leave The aim of such leave is to provide a compassionate response to immediate urgent and unforeseen needs. The needs covered will be those arising from the many and varied domestic situations which from time to time arise and will include:    

Sudden Illness or injury of a dependant Sudden breakdown of normal carer arrangements for dependants Making arrangements for longer term issue for a dependant To deal with an emergency incident involving a child during the time when an educational establishment has the care of a child i.e. and accident or sudden illness at school.

In these circumstances up to three days paid leave per annum may be granted depending on the circumstances. In the event employees do not attend work due to adverse weather conditions including snow or due to adverse weather conditions causing the closure of their children’s school at short notice, employees are expected to take the time off as annual leave, time owing or alternatively as unpaid leave.

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Where an employee’s role is such that it may be appropriate for them to work from home as an alternative to travelling to work in adverse weather conditions this can be agreed between the employee and the line manager. 7.2

Emergency family reasons at home (or at a person’s home who is dependent on the employee) In circumstances where a person’s presence is required at home, the employee concerned may be granted time off with pay to attend to the emergency on the basis that they return to work as soon as they have dealt with the emergency situation and alternative arrangements can be put in place. Examples may include a break in, flood, fire, although each situation needs to be judged on merit.

7.2.1 Non emergency family reasons at home (or at a person’s home who is dependent on the member of employee) In circumstances where an employee needs to attend to a planned appointment at home with a trade’s person, e.g. electrical/gas official then such leave will not attract paid time off. Instead as the situation can be planned it must be taken as either annual/unpaid leave or as time off in lieu of work undertaken earlier. In both situations the employee should discuss their situation with their team leader/manager although in emergency situation (paragraph 1.2 above refers) it is accepted that the employee may need to leave work immediately and have to handover work to a colleague. 7.3

Bereavement Leave When an employee suffers bereavement up to three days paid leave may be granted. The amount of leave granted depends on the relationship of the employee to the deceased. In exceptional circumstances, up to six days leave may be granted. This is on the occasions when an employee is responsible for making arrangements associated with bereavement or has to travel in order to make these arrangements. This period of bereavement leave may be extended with annual leave and/or unpaid leave if a longer absence is required at the manager’s discretion. For employees working fewer hours or who work less than a five day week the entitlement will be pro rata.

7.4

Extra Leave required over and above that approved under the Special Leave Provisions In all circumstances if employees feel they need extra time from work over and above that approved under the special leave provisions, they must discuss this request with their manager. It is expected that annual leave, parental leave (see section 2) or unpaid leave may be considered if any additional time was required. In these instances each individual case would be viewed on its merits and also taking into account service needs and requirements. In exceptional cases employees taking long term carer leave may request from their manager to take this leave as paid if this would avoid financial difficulties. In such cases, a prior agreement would need to be made with the manager to repay this paid leave over an agreed period preferably within the financial year that it relates to. Page 6 of 16


8.

Parental Leave

8.1

Conditions To apply for parental leave the following conditions apply: Parental leave applies to children up to the age of 18. Parental leave is granted on an unpaid basis only.

8.2

Eligibility Parental leave is available to employees of the organisation, whether full time or part time, provided they: a) b) c)

have one year’s continuous NHS service have (or expect to have) responsibility for a child can ensure that the purpose of the leave is to care for the child1

Parental leave applies to employees who are parents of children including biological father; married to or partner of the mother, father, adoptive parents and those employees who have acquired parental responsibility. The organisation can also ask for proof of parental responsibility, i.e. via a birth or adoption certificate. 8.3

Amount of Leave The employee is entitled to 13 weeks per child (18 weeks if the child is disabled) 2 A parent of twins is entitled to 13 weeks for each child. Where both parents are employed by the organisation, the entitlement is 13 weeks per parent, per child. New employees will need to accrue one year’s qualifying service with the NHS before applying for parental leave. The organisation has a right to establish whether any previous parental leave has been taken with other employers before granting parental leave.

8.4

Period of Parental Leave Employees must take parental leave in blocks of one week or more up to a maximum of four weeks per annum. If the child is disabled2 an employee may take parental leave in days or blocks of less than one week, by agreement with their manager.

8.5

Part time Employees For part time employees the entitlement to parental leave is pro rata the full time entitlement of 13 weeks (18 weeks if child disabled)

1 2

i.e. to look after the child or to make arrangements for the good of the child A disabled child is a child for whom Disability Living Allowance is awarded Page 7 of 16


8.6

Notice of Intention to take Parental Leave An employee must give the following notice in writing of their intention to take parental leave: Up to two weeks parental leave

3 weeks notice required from the employee

Two to four weeks parental leave

6 weeks notice required from the employee

The organisation has the right to refuse requests for parental leave which do not comply with these notice periods or when the needs of the service cannot accommodate it. 8.7

Postponement of Parental Leave The organisation has the right to postpone parental leave if the work of the organisation would be particularly disrupted if the employee took the leave at the time requested however this would not be postponed unreasonably. The organisation may postpone the leave for up to a maximum of six months. Reasons for postponement will be given to the employee in writing together with a date on which the leave may be taken. The organisation will give the following periods of notice of postponement: Up to two weeks parental leave

3 weeks notice prior to commencement of leave

Two to four weeks parental leave

6 weeks notice prior to commencement of leave

The organisation cannot postpone parental leave which is requested immediately after the birth or adoption of a child. 8.8

Status of Employment Contract During the period of parental leave employees have no right to be paid although continuity of service will be maintained. The employee and employer will continue to be bound by both the implied and expressed terms of their contract of employment during their period of parental leave.

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8.9

Frequently Asked Questions 1

Is parental leave paid?

2

How much parental leave am I entitled to?

3

Can I take all my parental leave in one episode? Can I take parental leave in days?

4

5

6

7 8

My partner is employed by the NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees. Are they entitled to parental leave also? For the purposes of parental leave can my previous service with another NHS organisation/employer count towards my 12 month service? My child is adopted. Does parental leave apply to me? Can I plan a period of parental leave to commence immediately following my maternity/adoption leave?

9

How do I apply for parental leave?

10

Can my manager refuse parental leave?

11

I work part time. How much parental leave am I entitled to? Will my job be safe whilst I am on parental leave?

12

No, parental leave is granted on an unpaid basis only Providing you have 12 months continuous NHS service you are entitled to 13 weeks parental leave per child up to your child’s 18th birthday No. You are entitled to a maximum of four weeks parental leave per annum. No. Parental leave may only be taken in periods of one week or more. The only exception to this is if you are the parent/adoptive parent of a disabled child, in which case you can take your parental leave in days. Yes. Parental leave applies to all employees providing they have 12 months continuous NHS service. No. Employees must have 12 months continuous service with NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees or service from a previous NHS employer following a (TUPE) transfer.

Yes. Parental leave applies to children who are adopted Yes. Providing the leave commences immediately after the maternity/adoption leave then NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees must comply with this request. Adequate periods of notice must be given and the maximum period of parental leave, which would be granted in this situation, is four weeks. Requests for parental leave must be made in writing to your manager. The following notice periods must be given: Up to 2 weeks parental leave – 3 weeks notice 2-4 weeks parental leave – 6 weeks notice. Not if it is immediately following your maternity/adoption leave. For any other requests, NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees has the right to postpone requests for parental leave if it would severely disrupt the service provided by the organisation if such leave were granted. NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees can only postpone requests for up to six months. When postponement occurs NHS Calderdale/NHS Kirklees must provide written reasons for this. You will receive pro rata entitlement. For example if you work 2 days per week, your entitlement will be 26 days. Yes. You have the right to return to your existing job,

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9.

Contact with a Notifiable Disease Employees who believe they have been in contact with a notifiable disease must seek advice from the organisations Occupational Health service and if employees are required to refrain from work they will be given the appropriate advice. Employees who are required to be absent from work following contact with a notifiable disease shall be granted special leave with pay.

10.

Civil and Public Duties

10.1

Jury Service Employees who are called for jury service shall be granted special leave with pay. No travelling expenses or subsistence allowances shall be paid by the organisation.

10.2

Magisterial Duties Employees, who undertake magisterial duties may at the discretion of the organisation and subject to the demands of the service, be granted special leave with pay, not exceeding 18 days in any 12 month period.

10.3

Armed Forces: Reservists NHS Kirklees will grant unpaid leave to staff who have entered in to a period of whole time service in the armed services following a notice of directions for the calling out of reserve or auxiliary services called a “Compulsory Call Out Order�, or the recall of service pensioners, or in order to fulfil obligations to serve as a commissioned officer. This may include a period of whole time service in the armed forces entered into by a member of the Territorial Army. Following receipt of documentary proof of any such instruction from the armed forces the organisation will only refuse leave if serious harm is incurred by the organisation, such as an impairment in its ability to provide services or conduct research and development which cannot be alleviated by the financial rewards available. Reservists have the right to return to their former jobs on terms and conditions no less favourable than those that would have applied if they had not been called up. They have the right to remain a member of the pension scheme provided they continue to pay contributions. The organisation will help to facilitate this when required. The employee must apply for re-instatement in writing to the organisation after a period of military service ends as soon as is reasonably possible. It is unlawful for an employer to terminate a reservist’s employment without their consent. The MOD provides financial support to the organisation of mobilised reservists aimed at covering any expenses incurred, such as agency fees, costs of advertising for cover, overtime payments, or higher salary rates for temporary staff. Page 10 of 16


During a period of call up Reservist’s leave is unpaid. Payment is received through the MOD who match a reservist’s civilian pay if it is higher than the normal rate of pay for their military rank. 10.3.1 Annual Training Camps Reservists will receive up to 2 weeks leave per annum (1 week paid and 1 week unpaid) in addition to their contractual annual leave to attend an annual training camp. 10.4

Other Civic and Public Duties The organisation will grant special leave with pay to employees who are required to be absent from work for essential civic and public duties as listed in Section 29 of the Employment (Consolidation) Act 1978. Examples include:     

11.

Serving as a Justice of the Peace Membership of a Local Authority Membership of any statutory tribunal Membership of a Board of Prison Visitors Membership of the governing body of a grant maintained school, self governing school, or a further or higher education corporation/college

Leave to Attend Interviews Paid leave is granted in order for employees to attend interviews which are internal to the organisation and in a situation of organisational change. In other circumstances annual leave or unpaid leave should be agreed.

12.

Leave to Attend Appointments

12.1

Hospital Appointments On production of an appointment card/ letter employees will be granted reasonable paid time off to attend hospital appointments. Where possible employees should ensure these are made at the beginning or the end of shift to minimise disruption to the service

12.2

Doctors, Dentists, Optician Appointments It is expected that employees should make routine appointments as outlined above in their own time. If this is not possible employees should ensure these are made at the beginning or the end of shift to minimise disruption to the service and annual leave, flexi time or unpaid leave should be taken.

12.3

Other Routine Appointments It is expected that employees should make routine appointments as outlined above in their own time.

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13.

Equality Impact Assessment All public bodies have a statutory duty under the Race Relation (Amendment) Act 2000 to “set out arrangements to assess and consult on how their policies and functions impact on race equality.� This obligation has been increased to include equality and human rights with regard to disability age and gender. The Trust aims to design and implement services, policies and measures that meet the diverse needs of our service, population and workforce, ensuring that none are placed at a disadvantage over others. In order to meet these requirements, a single equality impact assessment is used to assess all its policies/guidelines and practices. This Policy was found to be compliant with this philosophy (see appendix E).

14.

Training Needs Analysis In order to ensure that policies, guidelines and protocols are introduced and work effectively, there is a need to provide adequate training and instruction. As a result, the author(s) of this document have carried out a training needs analysis which has identified the staff who require training, the methodology of training delivery and the frequency that the training will be provided. The policy author must ensure that the details of this training is passed to the Training and Education Team and where necessary, this will then be included in the Trust Training Prospectus.

15.

Monitoring Compliance with this Policy Monitored through workforce analysis information.

16.

References Relevant employment legislation, Case Law Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions Good Practice.

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17.

Appendices A. Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons – Management Guidelines NHS Kirklees recognises that its employees will, from time to time, encounter personal circumstances requiring absence from work which cannot be accommodated through normal time off or leave arrangements. Provision has therefore been made for specified periods of paid and/or unpaid leave which may be granted at the discretion of departmental managers. In the case of carer leave, unpaid leave, long term leave and extensions to the normal leave arrangements the manager must be satisfied that the employee has considered alternative arrangements and should not unreasonably refuse requests for e.g. annual leave, flexitime. The leave periods specified within the policy are based on an assessment of adequate allowances for various eventualities with the aim of ensuring consistency and fairness. Managers should, however, consider carefully each individual circumstance, recognising that there are occasions when personal/family considerations will take precedence over work considerations for the employee concerned, but that this does not cast doubt on their overall value as an employee. There is an expectation, therefore, that the ‘rules’ will be interpreted sympathetically and flexibly after full consideration of all of the circumstances of the case. B. Special Leave for Domestic, Personal and Emergency Family Reasons – Employee Guidelines NHS Kirklees recognises that its employees will, from time to time, encounter personal circumstances requiring absence from work which cannot be accommodated through normal time off or leave arrangements. Employees should discuss any issues with their manager as soon as they become aware of any issue which may result in the need to take time off. Before applying for special leave in the categories of carer leave, unpaid leave, long term leave or extensions to the normal paternity and adoption leave provisions, employees should explore alternative options such as: use of outstanding annual leave; use of flexi time etc. Any requests for special leave must be made in writing to the department manager as far in advance (where possible and reasonable). Where it is not possible, in emergency situations, to apply in advance, the manager must be contacted as soon as possible to advise of the situation and a written application may be made retrospectively. Should an employee feel that their application has not been fairly applied they should raise the matter through the grievance procedure. The issue will not be appealable beyond the organisation.

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C. Leave and Flexible Working Policies/Procedures – Which Policy Applies Why do you want to take leave?

Which policy/procedure applies?

Who else do I need to take to about my leave?

Emergency cover/care of my child e.g. breakdown of normal cover, emergency admission to hospital.

Special leave – see carer leave section

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Routine cover/care of my child e.g. during school holidays, planned admission to hospital, common childhood ailments.

Either Annual/unpaid leave, flexible working – temporary reduction in hours, time of in lieu. Parental Leave or Career Break Policy

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Emergency cover/care of a person dependant on me e.g. elderly relative in cases of breakdown of normal cover, emergencies and long-term illness e.g. terminal

Special leave – see carer leave section. (Also note annual leave, unpaid leave, flexible working, temporary reduction in hours and time off in lieu may be relevant for long-term illness situation)

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Routine cover /care of a person dependent on the e.g. elderly relative

Annual/unpaid leave, flexible working, time off in lieu. Career Break Policy

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Emergency situation at home (or a person dependent upon you) involving for example break in, flood, fire.

Special leave – see emergency situations section

Your team leader or manager (after emergency dealt with)to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Non emergency situation at home (or a person dependent upon you) involving for example planned attendance by a tradesman, electricity/gas board staff.

Special leave – see non emergency situations section. Annual/unpaid leave. Time off in lieu.

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

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To adopt a child

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Guidelines

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Because I am pregnant

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Guidelines

Your team leader or manager to advise about relevant “dates” and your circumstances

Because my partner is pregnant or has given birth

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Guidelines

Your team leader or manager to advise about relevant “dates” and your circumstances

To make arrangements for a funeral which I have responsibility for or to attend a funeral of a close relative/friend

Special leave – see bereavement section

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Because I want more flexibility with my working hours to meet my home life commitments

Flexible working policy including reduce hours, annualised hours, termtime working, home working or job share policy

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

To undertake a period of Career break policy longer term leave including to study, travel

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Because I have been certified as being in contact with a notifiable disease

Special leave – see contact with notifiable disease section

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

Because I have been selected for jury service, magistrate duties or other civic/public duties

Special leave – see jury, magistrate or civic/public duties section

Your team leader or manager to discuss your particular situation/ circumstances

D. Key stakeholders consulted/involved in the development of the policy/procedure

Stakeholders name and designation Senior Management Team NHS Kirklees Partnership Forum Page 15 of 16

Key Participant Yes/No

Feedback requested Yes/No

Feedback accepted Yes/No


E. Equality Impact Assessment Tool To be completed and attached to any procedural document when submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration and approval.

Insert Name of Policy / Procedure Yes/No 1.

Does the policy/guidance affect one group less or more favourably than another on the basis of: • Race

No

• Ethnic origins (including gypsies and travellers)

No

• Nationality

No

• Gender

No

• Culture

No

• Religion or belief

No

• Sexual orientation including lesbian, gay and bisexual people

No

• Age

No

• Disability - learning disabilities, physical disability, sensory impairment and mental health problems

No

2.

Is there any evidence that some groups are affected differently?

No

3.

If you have identified potential discrimination, are any exceptions valid, legal and/or justifiable?

N/A

4.

Is the impact of the policy/guidance likely to be negative?

N/A

5.

If so can the impact be avoided?

N/A

6.

What alternatives are there to achieving the policy/guidance without the impact?

N/A

7.

Can we reduce the impact by taking different action?

N/A

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