STAFF 

HANDBOOK

Welcome to Sam Properties Limitied

 

 

This handbook tells you lots of things you need to know about working with us, wherever you work within The Sam Properties Group. We hope that this guidebook will help make it easy for everyone to work in a consistent way.

 

Take a little time to read everything in the handbook, and keep it safe in case you need to refer to it. We’ll let you know if anything changes.

 

If you need more information about any of the policies here or if you have any questions about what’s in the handbook or anything related to your employment, please contact your Manager or the HR team. This handbook is dated January 2017 and replaces all earlier versions of the Employees Handbook.

 

01/ WORKING FOR US

 

This section describes how we work and includes information on things like your probationary period, general hours, appearance, tidiness, punctuality, mobility, employment status and whistleblowing. Where we refer to ‘the Company’, it covers all employees of Sam Properties Limited.

 

A) PROBATIONARY PERIOD

 

When you start work with the Company, there is usually a probation period unless your contract says otherwise. You should refer to your contract for the applicable period and further details. The purpose of the probation period is to give you time to settle in and to become familiar with the working environment, us and your new role. It also gives the Company time to assess your performance, your suitability for the role and integration into the Company. We may extend your probation if we feel that you need more support, or we need to further assess your performance and conduct. The Company reserves the right to make a payment in lieu of notice at any time, other than in cases of gross misconduct where no notice or notice pay will be due.

 

B) HOURS

 

You will normally be expected to work a five-day week with hours according to the requirements of your department (Office, maintenance, accounting) and alternate Saturdays unless your contract says otherwise.

 

Please be advised that overtime is paid only with the prior approval of your Manager or the business owner.

 

D) PERSONAL APPEARANCE

 

All employees need to look neat, tidy and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene at all times. If you work in the office you represent the company, and you should wear business casual attire. Clothing should be clean, well-coordinated and pressed if the style merits it.

 

E) TIDINESS

 

All employees are asked to keep their surroundings in a clean, tidy and organised state. It is the responsibility of employee to ensure that the office environment, staff areas and any other rooms are kept clean and tidy, with personal belongings kept secure in lockers, where provided, in order to assist with security. 

 

F) PUNCTUALITY

 

Please make sure that you arrive at work early enough to start your working day at the correct time. Persistent lateness will be taken seriously by your Manager, and may result in disciplinary action being taken against you.

 

G) MOBILITY

 

We may need you to be flexible about where you work.You should be prepared to work at another Company location on a temporary or permanent basis, sometimes at short notice. Office employees also need to be flexible. You may have to attend external meetings and viewings for example.

 

H) EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND RIGHT TO WORK

 

You will be required to provide proof that you are entitled to work in the European Economic Area (EEA) before you start working for any Company within SAM Properties limited. Details of acceptable forms of proof are available from your manage. Please note that should your work permit/visa expire or be revoked for any reason, or there is a reasonable prospect that your work permit/ visa will be revoked in the future, you must inform your Manager immediately. In such circumstances, your contract will be terminated immediately with no notice or pay in lieu of notice. If you are unsure of your employment status, or need further information about work permits, visas, or the Workers Registration Scheme please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website on https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration.

 

02/ YOUR ROLE

 

We believe it is really important that you know the expectations of your role. The next few pages contain information regarding your role responsibilities, Company procedures, important information, equal opportunities, harassment, changes in personal circumstances, use of IT systems and performance.

 

A ) ROLE RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Your job title should provide you with a general guide to your duties in your role. However, further details will be provided to you by your Manager and via job descriptions. Remember job descriptions are an important guideline of what you will be expected to do in your role, however, they will naturally evolve as you progress with the Company. If anything is unclear, please ask your Manager for further guidance.

 

You may also be required to undertake duties outside the normal range of your work to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the business. Basic standards required on a daily basis are that you:

 

  • Arrive for work on time, ready to begin work.
  • Devote your time, attention and abilities during your working hours to Company business.
  • Treat Company property with due care and avoid waste. 
  • Be polite and courteous to customers, colleagues and others having business with the Company at all times. 
  • Carry out the instructions of your Manager, Department Head and other senior members of staff in a constructive and respectful manner at all times.

It is your responsibility to use your common sense and initiative while employed by any Company. If you are unclear about anything just ask your Manager or clarification.

 

 

B) PROCEDURES

 

Our culture and procedures may be different to how things were done in other jobs you may have had. It’s really important that you become familiar with our procedures by reading relevant training manuals, memos and policies.

 

If you are found to be carrying out a task in a manner which is not in accordance with our procedures, this may result in disciplinary action. If you need clarification on anything, please speak to your Manager. If you think our policies are not being followed in your case, you should follow the specific grievance procedure as detailed in this handbook or the current Grievance Policy

 

C ) IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND NOTICE BOARDS

 

All of our premises will have an employees’ notice board where you can find a list of impor tant documents. You are responsible for reading these documents and should familiarise yourself with them to make sure you’re always following Company policy.

 

D) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

 

We are an Equal Opportunities employer and we take our responsibilities to all sections of the community seriously. We endeavour to provide equal opportunities in recruitment, training and promotion whatever the age, race, religion or belief, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual or gender orientation, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity or disability of an employee, having regard to the individual’s aptitudes and abilities and the requirements of the job. You have a responsibility to ensure that you do not discriminate against fellow employees or job applicants. Discrimination, abuse, harassment and bullying of any kind or the failure to observe current policy and practice will be treated extremely seriously and may result in disciplinary action being taken. This may include instant dismissal for gross misconduct in serious cases. If you believe that you may have been subject to harassment or discriminated against, you should raise the matter through our Grievance Policy.

 

E) HARASSMENT

We endeavour to provide an environment which respects the dignity of all our employees. Every employee is required to treat colleagues, members of management and the general public with respect both during and outside working hours. Harassment may consist of unwanted or unnecessary physical or verbal contact, isolation, non-cooperation, coercion, or intrusion by pestering or spying. It may also consist of unwanted or unnecessary comments whether verbal or written as well as racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes or ‘banter’. Written comments may include comments made by email, entries on personal websites, blogs or other forms of social media. Any behaviour like this will always be taken extremely seriously and a single incident could result in instant dismissal for gross misconduct.

 

F) CHANGES IN PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

 

If you have any change in personal circumstances or any personal details change before your start date with the Company and during your employment, for example, your address, next of kin, contact telephone numbers, work permit/visa status, general health information and whether you have a criminal record, you must advise the HR Operations team in writing as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to keep the information held by the Company regarding your personal details up to date. This may also include whether you are pregnant (in order that an appropriate workplace risk assessment might be carried out) and whether or not you would like to undertake any other employment.

 

G) USE OF THE INTERNET, EMAIL AND TELEPHONE SYSTEMS

 

We ask employees to restrict the use of the internet, email and telephones to work-related matters or issues. Personal use should be kept to a minimum and must not interfere with your wor. Wherever possible, personal use of mobile phones should be restricted to lunch breaks or time before and after your hours of work. Please be advised that all messages distributed via the Company email system, even personal emails, are SAM Properties Limitied property. SAM Properties Limitied may monitor your use of the internet, email or telephone system without prior notification if this is deemed to be necessary. If there is evidence of a breach of Company policy in relation to email, the internet or telephone systems, the Company may take disciplinary action and may take legal action against the offending employee.

 

H ) PERFORMANCE

 

Through the recruitment process, we aim to hire the best candidates. During your probationary period and afterward through 

your continued employment, we’ll always endeavour to give you regular feedback on your performance. We hope that all our employees experience success in their role. However, if it is found that your performance is not meeting the required standard or if you need more help in some aspects of your role, we may need to start a Performance Improvement Process (PIP). This is used when we believe an employee is genuinely unable, for whatever reason, to perform their duties to the necessary standard. The aim of the PIP is to work with you to improve your performance and ensure that you are working effectively as part of the team. 

03/ BENEFITS AND REMUNERATION

 

We are always looking to improve our benefits program and ensure we are offering our employees a competitive package.

 

A) BASIC PAY/SALARY

 

Your starting salary will be detailed in your contract of employment. Salaries are normally reviewed during the Company’s year-end Performance Appraisal process. Any increase to your basic pay is at the discretion of the management and the Company is under no obligation to increase it. The Company reserves the right to alter payment frequency and/or method of payment. Your payment is made by BACS credit into your bank or building society account. You must have a UK bank or building society account so we can automatically transfer your wages or salary. Other kinds of payment can only be made in exceptional circumstances.

 

B) OVERTIME

 

The Company will try to minimise the amount of overtime worked but sometimes working beyond normal scheduled hours may be necessary. When there is a need for overtime to be undertaken, Managers will offer employees the opportunity to work additional hours and provide as much advance notice of the available overtime as possible. Where an employee is able to take on the overtime and this would not cause any other issues (for example, because the employee has not had sufficient rest breaks), the employee may work the additional hours and this will be recorded on their attendance record. Overtime is paid but it must be authorised in advance by your manager or the Business owner. If authorised, overtime will be paid at the employees normal rate of pay. Overtime payments will be paid by BACS with your salary or wages in 3 monthly intervals. In some cases, your anager may agree to allow you to have time off in lieu where you have worked in excess of your contractual hours.

 

C) DEDUCTIONS

 

SAM Properties Limited reserves the right to make lawful deductions from your pay, full details can be found in your contract.

 

D) PENSION

 

All eligible employees will be auto-enrolled into the appropriate Company pension scheme following the completion of their probationary period. Please speak with your manager if you’d like to find out more.

 

E) EXPENSES

 

It will sometimes be necessary for you to incur travel, accommodation and other expenses while you’re carrying out your role. Provided you follow the rules set out in the Company’s Expenses Policy, we’ll always make sure you’re reimbursed.

 

F) CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING

 

We are enthusiastic about developing our employees through mentoring and coaching you, as well as providing training. Most of your training will be conducted ‘on the job’ as we believe the best way for our teams to learn and to our high standards is by working directly with clients.

 

All employees will also have the opportunity to attend meetings with their manager and/or business owner several times throughout the year. At SAMS properties Limitied we provide training in several areas of professional qualification. Priority will be given to training that is directly connected to your role.

04/ ABSENCE AND HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT

 

We believe in working hard and taking time off to rest and relax. We always try to ensure that all our employees take their holiday allowance to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This section details the different forms of leave including holiday and different forms of absence e.g. maternity and paternity leave.

 

A) HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT

 

Our holiday year runs from 1st April to 31st March. It is your responsibility to ensure that you request adequate holiday throughout the year (your holiday entitlement will be detailed in your contract of employment). We don’t make payments in lieu of untaken holiday other than on termination of employment. 

 

Due to the nature of the business, there will be periods of time where we will be extremely busy and therefore there will be certain weeks where no holidays can requested.  For further information about when these weeks are please speak with your Manager. 

 

Holiday requests are agreed on a first come, first served basis. The decision will be based on department needs and when the request has been made. To avoid disappointment, make sure you give as much notice as you can. 

 

B) UNPLANNED ABSENCE

 

Absence can have a detrimental effect on your own workload and on your colleagues, team and the wider Company. If you can’t attend work or think you may be late, it is extremely important that you tell your Manager as soon as possible.

 

You should always try to personally telephone your Manager as soon as you are able and no later than 8.30am to tell them the reason for your absence and the expected duration of your absence. It is not sufficient to leave a message for them by voicemail or send a text message or email. Only in exceptional circumstances, where you are unable to call yourself, may you ask a third party to telephone your Manager on your behalf. You should call in daily before 8.30am if your absence lasts for more than one day, until you either return to work or obtain a Statement of 

Fitness for Work from your GP (which you are required to do in all cases where your absence lasts for more than seven days). If you don’t notify your Manager of any unplanned absences, the Company may consider taking disciplinary action.

 

C) SICKNESS ABSENCE

  

If you can’t attend work due to sickness or disability, you should follow the unplanned absence procedure described above. If you are absent because of sickness, you will be required to complete an absence form on your first day back to work. You can get this form from Manager.

 

 

If you hand the form in late, you may not receive Statutory Sick Pay until the next payroll date. We hope that our employees are able to attend work 100 per cent of the time and we will always help our employees to achieve this. However, if you have a high level of sickness absence you may be asked to attend an Attendance Improvement Performance (AIP) meeting with your Manager. We reserve the right to require any employee to undergo a medical examination and to provide evidence of the medical assessment. Please refer to the Absence Policy for more information.

 

D) LONG-TERM SICKNESS ABSENCE

 

During long-term sickness absence of one month or longer on the grounds of incapacity, we’ll ask you to contact either your Manager at regular intervals and at least every second week to keep us informed of your progress, how long you expect your absence to continue for, and whether there’s anything we can do to help you return to work. Your Manager may invite you to attend a meeting to discuss the likelihood of your return to work and what tasks or duties you may be well enough to do in your role. If necessary, we will ask your permission to contact your doctor or ask you to see a doctor or medical specialist appointed by us so we can properly understand your condition and help you return to your full duties. If it appears that it may be a long time before you will be able to work again, we will discuss the situation with you and the possibility that your employment may be terminated. If this happens, you will receive pay in lieu of your contractual or statutory notice period, whichever is the longer, together with any outstanding holiday pay.

 

E) DISABILITY

 

If you are disabled or become disabled, you should inform us about your medical condition so that we can support you as necessary. If you experience difficulties at work because of your disability, you should speak to your Manager to discuss whether any adjustments can be made that would help overcome or minimise the difficulty. It may be necessary to obtain medical evidence about possible adjustments and whether they would remove the difficulty.The Company will consider the matter carefully and try to accommodate your needs within reason. If the Company considers a particular adjustment would not be reasonable, we will explain our reasons and try to find an alternative solution where possible. If no alternative solution can be found to enable you to continue working for the Company, your employment may be terminated on grounds of capability. 

 

F) MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

 

We reserve the right to require any prospective or current employee to undergo a medical examination and for us to receive evidence of the medical examination. This may either be with your own doctor (with your consent) or we may require you to be examined by a Company appointed physician, at our expense, in a location of our choice. We ask that you advise your Manager f you have, or develop, a medical condition which may impact on your employment in any way in order for us to provide the appropriate level of support.

 

G) DOCTOR / DENTIST APPOINTMENTS

 

Medical and Dental appointments should be made outside of working hours. We understand that this isn’t always possible, so if you have to make an appointment during working hours please make sure it’s at the beginning or end of the working day. If the appointment isn’t an emergency, please get permission from your Manager before making the appointment.

 

H) MATERNITY, PATERNITY AND ADOPTION LEAVE

 

We offer all employees their statutory rights in event of pregnancy or adoption. As these rights change from time to time, please contact your Manager forr fur ther information.

 

I) PARENTAL LEAVE

 

We offer all parents their statutory rights during parenthood. As these rights change from time to time, please contact your Manager for fur ther information.

 

J) SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE

 

New legislation relating to shared parental leave came into force during 2014 and applies to babies born (or children adopted) on or after 5 April 2015. The Company will comply with its obligations under this legislation, please contact your Manager for fur ther details of your prospective entitlement.

 

K) JURY SERVICE

 

SAM Properties Limited allows all employees unpaid time off for jury service. You must claim full allowances for loss of earnings, travel and subsistence in accordance with the Court’s instructions. Please contact your manager for fur ther information.

 

05/ HEALTH AND SAFETY

 

We take the health and safety of our employees very seriously. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the nearest fire exits and our safety policy and procedures. In the next pages the safety policy is outlined as well as the Company’s position on smoking, drugs, first aid, accidents and fire.

 

A) HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

 

We recognise and accept our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace environment for all employees. If there are any health and safety issues on Companies premises, these are the responsibility of the Manager on site.

 

B) YOUR DUTIES

 

It’s really important that you take care of your own health and safety and make sure others are not endangered by your acts or omissions. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with all procedures and guidelines relevant to your work. If you discover an actual or potential health hazard, you should notify your Manager or the Business owner immediately. We ask that you notify your Manager if you are taking or have taken any medicine or drugs (prescribed or otherwise) or if you are receiving any form of treatment which may affect the way you carry out your duties. This includes any prescribed medication that may alter your mood or require you not to operate machinery etc. This information is necessary to ensure that the Company can assess whether it needs to make changes to your duties or ways of working while you are having treatment and make sure your health and safety is protected. Please be assured that this information will be kept entirely confidential. We also ask that you notify your Manager as soon as reasonably practicable if you become pregnant so a workplace risk-assessment can be conducted.

 

Please be advised that any improper interference with Health and Safety equipment or disregard of Health and Safety procedures may be regarded as gross misconduct and may result in instant dismissal.

 

C) SMOKING

 

All employees have the right to work in a smoke free environment. All Company buildings and any Company vehicle used 

by more than one employee are deemed to be designated smoke free areas and you should refrain from smoking in these areas. You are also not permitted to smoke outside entrances and exits of the Office. Smoking or lighting up in ‘no smoking’ areas may be regarded as gross misconduct and may result in disciplinary action.

 

D) DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

 

It is important that you do not, under any circumstances, attend work unfit due to alcohol or drugs (whether prescribed or non-prescribed). If the Company feels that an employee is under the influence of drugs (recreational or prescribed), we reserve the right to request that you take part in a drug test in order to secure the safety of yourself and those around you. We do not permit employees to possess, carry, deal, handle or take any illegal drugs on Company premises, in any Company property or vehicle or whilst undertaking any duties on behalf of the Company. This applies at Company events or activities, whether on Company premises or not. Drinking alcohol or using drugs at work, or attending work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, will be treated extremely seriously and even a first occasion is likely to be considered gross misconduct warranting dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice.

 

E) FIRST AID

 

All Company premises are provided with First Aid equipment and have employees appointed to administer First Aid (“First Aiders”). It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the location and contents of the First Aid box and the ways to contact First Aiders.

 

F) ACCIDENTS

 

If you, a customer or visitor have an accident or “near miss” on Company premises, involving injury or potential injury, it is important that you report this immediately to your Manager. Please record the details in the accident book. All employees are required to report accidents and ‘near misses’ to the Manager. An example of a ‘near miss’ is someone tripping up a step but not actually injuring themselves or having unintentional contact with a fixture or fitting without sustaining injury.

 

G) FIRE

If you discover smoke or an outbreak of fire, please make sure you raise the alarm immediately. You should leave the premises and assemble at the appointed meeting place or assembly point. Please wait there until you are told it is safe to return. Do not stop to collect personal possessions. It is your responsibility to make sure you know theevacuation procedures. Speak to your Manager if you have any questions regarding the evacuation procedure.

 

It is imperative that you do not attempt to tackle any fire yourself, unless you are trained and it is safe to do so. Please make sure the alarm is raised and exit the premises via the fire exits which are clearly signed. It is important that these exits are not obstructed and during working hours they should never be locked. Interfering with firefighting equipment is extremely serious and will be regarded as gross misconduct.

06/ SECURITY

 

It is extremely impor tant to us that we maintain confidentiality, data protection and make sure we are vigilant on Company property. This section outlines Company procedures and our approach to security checks.

 

A) CONFIDENTIALITY

 

During your employment with us you may have access to confidential information. All matters relating to SAM Properties Limited, its activities, personnel, customers and clients (in both a professional and personal capacity) should remain completely confidential.This applies during your period of employment and after you have left SAM Properties Limited.

 

Failure to protect confidential information will be treated extremely seriously and may result in disciplinary action which could include dismissal. We do not tolerate gossip in the workplace or after work. It is disrespectful to your colleagues to discuss matters behind their backs, can be hurtful to the employee in question and harm team spirit. If you think that you have a reason to raise concerns regarding a colleague’s behaviour, this should be raised with your Manager in the first instance and not through informal discussions with colleagues.

 

B) DATA PROTECTION

 

Every employee is required to follow The Data Protection Act all times.

 

C) VIGILANCE

 

We ask that all our employees are vigilant and follow all procedures against theft, terrorism, etc. Under no circumstances should you tackle potential offenders or do anything to protect the Company’s property that might endanger your own, or anybody else’s safety.

 

D) SECURITY PROCEDURES

 

It is an important part of your contract that you follow Company procedures. This applies to all those listed in manuals and

memos and also in the handbook.

 

E) CONFLICTING INSTRUCTIONS

 

No employee can be instructed to ignore any of the policies and procedures set out in this handbook. If a conflict arises between your contract and what you have been asked to do, or if you have any concerns in this regard, you should seek the advice of a senior colleague or the Business owner.

 

F) REPORTING CONTRAVENTIONS

 

It is your responsibility to report any contraventions of any Company policy which you become aware of. Should you have any concerns or be in any doubt in this regard, please seek the advice of a senior colleague or the Business owner.

07/ DISCIPLINE AND GRIEVANCE

 

This section of the handbook explains how we manage any incidents of misconduct. As a Company, we hope that there will not be the need to discipline employees; however we recognise our duty to protect our employees, customers, property and integrity. If there are concerns surrounding your conduct that we wish to highlight, there are processes which we will follow.

 

A) DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

 

Just like the Performance Improvement Process, where a potential disciplinary issue arises, informal meetings will usually be arranged with you first of all to try to resolve matters. However, sometimes it may be necessary to proceed immediately with formal meetings. If informal meetings fail to achieve the necessary improvement, it may be necessary to follow the formal disciplinary process. Any breach of Company rules, policies or procedures and any breach of good conduct or standard of productivity will lead to the disciplinary process.

 

B) GRIEVANCE PROCESS

 

The grievance process is similar to the disciplinary process. If you feel that a problem or situation arises at work which you would like to talk about, please talk to the relevant person first, as this is often very productive and leads to resolution of the situation. If this fails to achieve the desired outcome, you might want to discuss the issue informally with the Business owner or your Manager. If a situation can’t be resolved informally, or trying to do so seems inappropriate given the severity of your concerns, you should raise a formal grievance in writing with your Manager or the Business owner. Once an employee has raised a grievance, the Company will investigate the points raised. After the investigation has been completed we will hold a grievance hearing with the employee and any relevant people such as to try to resolve the issues raised.

08/ IF YOU LEAVE US

 

We hope that our employees enjoy their time with us and continue to develop in their roles, but if the time comes when you decide to move on from SAM Properties Limited, we would like you to give us the relevant notice outlined below.

 

A) NOTICE PERIOD

 

Details of your notice period can be found in your contract. Your notice period may get longer as your length of service increases. The Company reserves the right to make a payment in lieu of notice at any time, other than in cases of gross misconduct where no notice or notice pay will be due. Your notice must be provided to your Manager or the Business owner in writing, and your notice will not start until the Company has received written notification of your resignation.

 

B) COMPANY PROPERTY

 

If you leave the Company, you must return any Company property which you were using to perform your job or for any other

reason, in good condition and working order.

 

C) DEDUCTIONS UPON LEAVING

 

When you leave the Company, we may deduct from your final salary payment any/all amounts owing to the Company: Please refer to your contract of employment for further details of the deductions that may be made.

 

E) CONFIDENTIALITY

 

It is a term of your current contract of employment that you agree to keep confidential all matters relating to the Company, its business and its employees, after you have left the Company, regardless of circumstances.