This Staff Handbook has been designed to ensure that all staff understand the policies and procedures at Puffin Industries (Projects) Ltd. Although this does not override your employment obligations set out in your employment contract, it is an important part of the employment relationship, please ensure that you familiarise yourself with the full contents of this Staff Handbook.
Puffin Industries (Projects) Ltd reserves the right to change our Staff Handbook and policies from time to time, if any of the contents of this handbook are unclear, please contact Human Resources (HR) or your line manager.
This Staff Handbook was created using a document from (https://www.rocketlawyer.com/gb/en).
Workplace management policies
a. Health and Safety Policy
b. Equal Opportunities Policy
c. Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy
a. Maternity Policy
b. Paternity Policy
Data protection policies
a. Data Protection and Data Security Policy
b. Employee Privacy Notice
Absence management policies
a. Sickness Policy
b. Annual Leave Policy
c. Bereavement Policy
a. Grievance Procedure
b. Flexible Working Policy
c. Working From Home Policy
d. Disciplinary procedure
a. Environmental Policy
Workplace management policies
a. Health and Safety Policy
Purpose of policy
1. Puffin Industries (Projects) Ltd (the Employer, we, our or us) takes health and safety issues seriously and is committed to protecting the health and safety of its staff and all those affected by its business activities and attending its premises. This policy is intended to help the Employer achieve this by clarifying who is responsible for health and safety matters and what their responsibilities are.
2. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. This policy may be amended at any time by the Employer at its absolute discretion. The Employer will review this policy at regular intervals to ensure that it is achieving its aims effectively.
Who is responsible for workplace health and safety?
3. Achieving a healthy and safe workplace is a collective task shared between the Employer and staff. This policy and the rules contained in it apply to all staff of the Employer, irrespective of seniority, tenure, and working hours, including all employees, directors and officers, consultants and contractors, casual or agency staff, trainees, homeworkers, fixed-term staff and any volunteers. Specific responsibilities of staff are set out in the section headed "Responsibilities of all staff" below.
4. The Employer is responsible for:
a. Taking reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of staff, people affected by the Employer's business activities, and people visiting its premises.
b. Identifying health and safety risks and finding ways to manage or overcome them.
c. Providing a safe and healthy place of work and safe entry and exit arrangements, including during an emergency situation.
d. Providing and maintaining safe working areas, equipment and systems and, where necessary, appropriate protective clothing.
e. Providing safe arrangements for the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
f. Providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to enable all staff to do their work safely, to avoid hazards and to contribute positively to their own health and safety at work. The Employer will give you the opportunity to ask questions and advise who best to contact in respect if you are unsure about how to safely carry out your work.
g. Ensuring any health and safety representatives receive appropriate training to carry out their functions effectively.
h. Providing a health and safety induction and appropriate safety training to your role, including:
· Electrical safety.
· The use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
i. Promoting effective communication and consultation between the Employer and staff concerning health and safety matters.
j. If an epidemic or pandemic alert is issued, providing instructions, arrangements and advice to staff as to the organisation of business operations and steps to be taken to minimise the risk of infection.
k. Regularly monitoring and reviewing the management of health and safety at work, making any necessary changes, and bringing those to the attention of all staff.
5. Overall responsibility for health and safety lies with the Board of Directors of the Employer. They have appointed the Managing Director as the Health and Safety Officer with day-to-day responsibility for health and safety matters.
6. Any concerns about health and safety matters should be communicated to the Health and Safety Officer.
Responsibilities of all staff
General staff responsibilities
7. All staff must:
a. Take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
b. Co-operate with the Health and Safety Officer and the Employer generally to enable compliance with health and safety duties and requirements.
c. Comply with any health and safety instructions and rules, including instructions on the safe use of equipment.
d. Keep health and safety issues in the front of their minds and take personal responsibility for the health and safety implications of their own acts and omissions.
e. Keep the workplace tidy and hazard-free.
f. Report all health and safety concerns to the Health and Safety Officer promptly, including any potential risks, hazards or malfunctioning of equipment, however minor or trivial they may seem.
g. Co-operate in the Employer's investigation of any incident or accident which either has led to injury or which, in the Employer's opinion, could have led to injury.
Staff responsibilities relating to equipment
8. All staff must:
a. Use equipment as directed, following any instructions given by representatives of management or contained in any written operating manual or instructions for use, and adhering to any relevant training.
b. Report any fault with, damage to, or concern about any equipment (including health and safety equipment) or its use to the Health and Safety Officer, who is responsible for maintenance and safety of equipment.
c. Ensure that health and safety equipment is not interfered with.
d. Not attempt to repair equipment unless suitably trained and authorised.
Staff responsibilities relating to accidents and first aid
9. All staff must:
a. Promptly report any accident at work involving personal injury, however trivial, to the Health and Safety Officer so that details can be recorded in the Accident Book. They must also cooperate with any associated investigation.
b. Familiarise themselves with the details of first aid facilities and trained first aiders, which are available from the Health and Safety Officer.
c. If an accident occurs, dial +44 20 7072 1180 and ask for the duty first aider, giving name, location and brief details of the problem.
d. The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for investigating any injuries or work-related illnesses, preparing and keeping accident records, and for submitting reports under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), where required.
Staff responsibilities relating to national health alerts, including the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
10. If an epidemic or pandemic alert is issued, all staff must comply and co-operate with all instructions, arrangements and advice issued by the Employer as to the organisation of business operations and steps to be taken by staff to minimise the risk of infection. Any questions should be referred to the Health and Safety Officer.
11. Given the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important that all staff members follow the guidelines set out in this policy to ensure maximum safety and to minimise the risk of infection. We will review these guidelines regularly to ensure they are kept up-to-date with Government guidance.
Staff responsibilities relating to emergency evacuation and fire
12. All staff must:
a. Familiarise themselves with the instructions about what to do if there is a fire which are available from the Health and Safety Officer.
b. Ensure they are aware of the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits and alternative ways of leaving the building in an emergency.
c. Comply with the instructions of firewardens if there is a fire, suspected fire or fire alarm (or a practice drill for any of these scenarios).
d. Co-operate in fire drills and take them seriously (ensuring that any visitors to the building do the same). Fire drills will be held at least once every 12 months.
e. Ensure that fire exits or fire notices or emergency exit signs are not obstructed or hidden at any time.
f. Notify the Health and Safety Officer immediately of any circumstances (for example, impaired mobility) which might hinder or delay evacuation in a fire. This will allow the Health and Safety Officer to discuss a personal evacuation plan for you, which will be shared with the fire wardens and colleagues working near to you.
13. On discovering a fire, all staff must:
a. Immediately trigger the nearest fire alarm and, if time permits, call reception and notify the location of the fire.
b. Attempt to tackle the fire ONLY if they have been trained or otherwise feel competent to do so. Nominated members of staff will be trained in the use of fire extinguishers.
14. On hearing the fire alarm, all staff must:
a. Remain calm and immediately evacuate the building, walking quickly without running, and following any instructions of the fire wardens.
b. Leave without stopping to collect personal belongings.
c. Stay out of any lifts.
d. Remain out of the building until notified by a fire warden that it is safe to re-enter.
15. The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that fire risk assessments take place, that changes are made where required, and for making sure there are regular checks of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, escape routes, signage and emergency lighting.
Risk assessments and manual handling
16. Risk assessments are essentially a careful examination of what in the workplace could cause harm to people. The Employer will assess any risks and consider measures to best minimise any risk. The Employer will carry out general workplace risk assessments when required or as reasonably requested by staff. Managers must ensure that any necessary risk assessments take place and the resulting recommendations are implemented. The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for workplace risk assessments and any measures to control risks.
17. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided where risks cannot be otherwise effectively controlled.
18. Guidance on manual handling (for example, lifting and carrying heavy objects) can be obtained from the Health and Safety Officer and where necessary training will be provided by the Employer, but the Employer will try to minimise or avoid the need for manual handling where there is a risk of injury.
Display screen equipment (DSE)
19. The Employer is obliged to ensure that:
a. Risks to health and safety from DSE use (such as musculoskeletal disorders, visual fatigue and mental stress) are controlled.
b. Staff are aware of the potential risks to their health and safety from DSE use and the actions they can take to reduce these risks.
20. Further guidance on the use of display screen equipment can be obtained from the Health and Safety Officer.
21. The Employer will:
a. Ensure DSE Assessments are carried out on each workstation and include the display screen equipment, furniture and working environment.
b. Where health and safety issues have been highlighted in the DSE Assessment, ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken to reduce any identified risks.
c. Maintain records of all DSE Assessments and risk assessments.
d. Encourage the early reporting by staff of any symptoms which may be related to visual display screen work.
e. In circumstances where an injury or ill health associated with DSE is identified, ensure that an incident or accident report is completed.
f. Plan the activities of users of DSE so that short, frequent breaks are taken to prevent intensive periods of on-screen activity.
22. Staff will:
a. Cooperate with the completion of the workstation DSE assessment and all measures/training given to promote safe working practice.
b. Use equipment in the intended manner.
c. Adopt any advice given by the Employer to prevent intensive periods of on-screen activity.
d. Use any corrective glasses prescribed specifically for working with DSE.
e. Inform their line manager immediately if they experience any problems or ill-health which could affect their ability to work with DSE.
23. Workstation assessments must be carried out on each workstation. Responsibility for ensuring workstation assessments are carried out lies with the Health and Safety Officer.
24. As a first step, staff must complete a .
25. DSE self-assessments should be carried out on:
a. New staff at induction.
b. Laptop users.
26. Staff should review their self-assessment annually, or when there are significant changes to their workstation.
27. Staff are encouraged and will be expected to take opportunities for breaks in their work routine to prevent the onset of fatigue. See for more information, or speak with the Health and Safety Officer.
28. Staff are entitled to eye tests by a registered practitioner (Optician or Doctor) on the following occasions:
a. When they first become a user of DSE.
b. When requested by staff themselves.
c. At regular intervals thereafter on the recommendation of the practitioner (usually every 2 years).
d. When staff experience visual difficulties attributed to display screen use.
29. A voucher scheme is in operation. Vouchers entitle staff to a full eye test, as well as a pair of standard corrective glasses.
30. Please note that glasses are solely and specifically for DSE use, and cannot be combined with lenses for other uses, eg driving.
31. For more information, please contact the Health and Safety Officer.
Eye testing procedure
32. To request access to the voucher scheme, you must complete the relevant form, which can be requested from the HR Department or your line manager. The form must be signed by your line manager and sent to the HR Department or person in charge of HR. Your first voucher will then be issued, for you to redeem against a full eyesight test.
33. You are responsible for arranging your own appointment with the practitioner.
34. The practitioner will complete a Visual Display Unit (VDU) Certificate of Recommendation, which you should send to your line manager or the HR Department or person in charge of HR. You will then be issued a second voucher to be redeemed against the cost of a pair of standard corrective glasses.
Provision of information and training
35. Staff will be provided with adequate information and training on the following areas:
a. Risks from DSE and workstations.
b. Risk assessments and measures to reduce the risks.
c. Breaks and activity changes.
d. Eye tests.
e. Initial training.
f. Training when the workstation is modified, including in situations where the staff member is hot-desking.
Non-compliance with health and safety rules
36. Any breach of health and safety rules or failure to comply with this policy will be taken very seriously and is likely to result in disciplinary action against the offender, in accordance with the Employer's disciplinary policy, up to and including immediate dismissal.
b. Equal Opportunities Policy
Statement of policy and purpose of policy
1. Puffin Industries (Projects) Ltd (the Employer, we, our or us) is committed to equal opportunities for all staff and applicants.
2. It is our policy that all employment decisions are based on merit and the legitimate business needs of the organisation. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour or nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, disability, religion or belief, age or any other ground on which it is or becomes unlawful to discriminate under the laws of England, Wales and Scotland (referred to as Protected Characteristics).
3. Our intention is to enable all our staff to work in an environment which allows them to fulfil their potential without fear of discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Our commitment to equal opportunities extends to all aspects of the working relationship including:
a. recruitment and selection procedures;
b. terms of employment, including pay, conditions and benefits;
c. training, appraisals, career development and promotion;
d. work practices, conduct issues, allocation of tasks, discipline and grievances;
e. work-related social events; and
f. termination of employment and matters after termination, including references.
4. This policy is intended to help us achieve our diversity and anti-discrimination aims by clarifying the responsibilities and duties of all staff in respect of equal opportunities and discrimination. We will promote effective communication and consultation between us and staff concerning equal opportunities by means it considers appropriate.
5. The principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.
6. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. This policy may be amended at any time by us, at our absolute discretion.
Who is responsible for equal opportunities?
7. Achieving an equal opportunities workplace is a collective task shared between us and all our staff. This policy and the rules contained in it, therefore, apply to all staff irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all employees, directors and officers, consultants and contractors, casual or agency staff, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers or interns (referred to as Staff).
8. The Board of Directors of the Employer has overall responsibility for this policy and for equal opportunities and discrimination law compliance in the workplace and the the Managing Director has been appointed as the person with day-to-day operational responsibility for these matters.
9. All Staff have personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, to treat colleagues with dignity at all times and not to discriminate against or harass other members of Staff, visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members. In addition, Staff who take part in management, recruitment, selection, promotion, training and other aspects of career development (referred to as Managers) have special responsibility for leading by example and ensuring compliance.
10. Managers must take all necessary steps to:
a. promote the objective of equal opportunities and the values set out in this policy;
b. ensure that their own behaviour and those of the Staff they manage complies in full with this policy; and
c. ensure that any complaints of discrimination, victimisation or harassment (including against themselves) are dealt with appropriately and are not suppressed or disregarded.
What is discrimination?
11. Discrimination occurs in different ways, some more obvious than others. Discrimination on the grounds of any of the Protected Characteristics is prohibited by law, even if unintentional, unless a particular exception applies.
12. Direct discrimination is less favourable treatment because of one of the Protected Characteristics. Examples would include refusing a woman a job as a chauffeur because you believe that women are not good drivers or restricting recruitment to persons under 40 because you perceive that a younger workforce to be more energetic or dynamic.
13. Direct discrimination can arise in some cases even though the person complaining does not actually possess the Protected Characteristic but is perceived to have it or associates with other people who do. For example, when a person is less favourably treated because they are (wrongly) believed to be homosexual or because they have a spouse who is Muslim.
14. Indirect discrimination arises when an employer applies an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice which in fact puts individuals with a particular Protected Characteristic at a disadvantage, statistically and this is unjustified. To show discrimination the individual complaining also has to be personally disadvantaged. An example would be a requirement for job candidates to have 10 years’ experience in a particular role, since this will be harder for young people to satisfy. This kind of discrimination is unlawful unless it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
15. Victimisation means treating a person less favourably because they have made a complaint of discrimination or have provided information in connection with a complaint or because they might do one of these things.
16. Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to a relevant Protected Characteristic (within the Equality Act 2010) which has the effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
17. Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature or it may be related to age, race, colour or nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity.
18. Harassment can arise in some cases even though the person complaining does not actually possess a Protected Characteristic but is perceived to have it (for example, when a person is harassed because they are (wrongly) believed to be homosexual) or associates with other people who possess a Protected Characteristic (for example, because they have a spouse who is Muslim).
19. A person may also be subject to harassment even if they were not the intended target. For example, a person may be harassed by a sexist joke about a different gender if it created an offensive environment for them to work in.
20. Harassment may include:
a. use of insults or slurs based on a Protected Characteristic or of a sexual nature or other verbal abuse or derogatory, offensive or stereotyping jokes or remarks;
b. physical or verbal abuse, threatening or intimidating behaviour because of a Protected Characteristic or behaviour of a sexual nature;
c. unwelcome physical contact including touching, hugging, kissing, pinching or patting, brushing past, invading personal space, pushing grabbing or other assaults;
d. mocking, mimicking or belittling a person's disability, appearance, accent or other personal characteristics;
e. unwelcome requests for sexual acts or favours; verbal sexual advances, vulgar, sexual, suggestive or explicit comments or behaviour;
f. repeated requests, either explicitly or implicitly, for dates;
g. repeated requests for social contact or after it has been made clear that requests are unwelcome;
h. comments about body parts or sexual preference;
i. displaying or distributing offensive or explicit pictures, items or materials relating to a Protected Characteristic or of a sexual nature;
j. shunning or ostracising someone, for example, by deliberately excluding them from conversations or activities;
k. 'outing' or threatening to 'out' someone's sexual orientation (i.e. to make it known);