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Compliance

The BPMA Business Compliance Checklist 2015

 

 

The British Promotional Merchandise Association

The BPMA Business Checklist 2015 Croner version 1 f7a73

 

1. JOINING OUR ORGANISATION

A) JOB DESCRIPTION

The job description should be a detailed document identifying the key responsibilities and duties of the job role. Within this document it should include:

  • Job title
  • Position and department
  • Duties
  • Hours of work
  • Salary
  • Personal specification
  • Experience
  • Qualifications needed to attain and meet the criteria of the job role

B) EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Employee training is essential to the business and should be carried out effectively, outlining how the needs of the business will be met. Employee training requires the inclusion of budgets, time scales and the company business plans to reach the overall long term aims and objectives of the business.

C) PROBATIONARY PERIOD

The probationary period is used as a trail for new employees joining a company and assessed by line managers to ensure they are fit for the job role. The trial period will usually last for three months with regular meetings where the new employee will receive progress checks reflected on over the course of the probationary period, assessing the employees set of skills, and aptitude within the job role that can lead to the dismissal of the employee if he/she fails to meet the level of performance expected by the company, or the continuation of the employee within the job. Additionally, an employment letter should be given stating the relevant information should the employment be continued. As the probation period is not a legal requirement, rights of employees are still protected should the employment be terminated. Therefore, it is essential the employee is explained the decision to why the employment has been terminated, giving the employee the opportunity to appeal.

D) PERFORMANCE AND REVIEW and STAFF APPRAISAL SCHEME

Commonly, the staff appraisal scheme is conducted informally, allowing individual feedback of an employee, recorded over a period of time. The appraisal scheme shouldn’t be used as a document that checks the overall staff productivity, but motivates staff by listing specific actions, as well as achievable objectives they can work towards growing and developing their skills in a structured format, measuring performance over a long period of time i.e. 12 months.

E) FLEXIBLE WORKING

Providing you are an employee and have a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service at the time of application, you are entitled to request a flexible working arrangement.
You should be aware that if your request is accepted, this will normally mean a permanent change to your terms and conditions of employment and there is no automatic right to revert to your original working arrangements at a later date.
The following process should be followed:

  • Flexibility Policy – Please read this policy as it highlights the legislation surrounding flexible working.
  • Request letter – This document is filled out by the employee stating their request reasons for flexible working.
  • Acknowledgement of request letter – Details that the request letter has been received and will be reasonably considered
  • Decision Letter : This can be split into;
    • Rejection letter, following this an appeal letter by the employee and a decision letter
    • Employment offer letter, followed by an employment contract

F) MOBILITY

Mobility within employment is the requirement of employees travelling due to business.

2. SALARIES, ETC.

A) ADMINISTRATION

Adjustments can be made in salary based in factors such as;

  • Promotions
  • Added specifications to current job role
  • Performance Increase

Salaries are increased in line with national agreements on an annual basis such as the cost of living allowance. Salary can be dependent upon education and number of years’ experience as well as relevant knowledge skills. Should these skills be acquired earlier than expected, an employer can offer the new employee a minimum salary and increase this in quartiles. This proposal must be given to Human Resources Offices on their approval.

B) LATENESS/ ABSENTEEISM

Procedures have been put into place, to efficiently manage and support staff in times of absence or lateness within the business enabling them to outline health problems or employee morale that could give light to absenteeism or lateness reasoning, and it is effectively brought to the attention of the employer.

C) SHORT-TIME WORKING

Short-time working is the cutting of employee hours and/ or days than normal, amounting to less pay because of the shortage of work or to manage financial difficulties and is intended to be a short-term strategy. Should financial problems continue, redundancies will likely be the next step. Short-time working can only be used where there is a contractual right to do so. If there is no contractual right to enforce short-time working, the procedure of an expressed employees consent is required.

D) STAKEHOLDER PENSIONS

Stakeholder Pension can be applicable to employees depending upon the type of employment contract. The stakeholder pensions can be set at a specified percentage by employers and made a contribution, or as collective agreements to an agreed amount between employee and employer.

3. HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT AND CONDITIONS

A) ANNUAL HOLIDAYS

Employees are entitled to a maximum of 28 days holiday leave per year and can be accessed by an Annual Request Lead form with the specific dates for requested leave. If you work on a part time basis, then your annual leave entitlement will be calculated on a pro rata basis. Once approved, it is up to management to entrust responsibilities to employees to cover the shortage of work.

B) PUBLIC/ BANK HOLIDAYS

Employees have the right to time off when in the occurrence of public bank holidays or special holidays such as Diamond Jubilees, unless stated otherwise within their employment contract. It should also be stated the whether employees will be paid on public/ bank holidays and the rate of pay.

4. SICKNESS/ INJURY PAYMENTS AND CONDITIONS

A) NOTIFICATION OF INCAPACITY FOR WORK

Employees must inform management of incapacity for work in an appropriate manner such as phone calls, email or text from either themselves/ parent/ carer, detailing when the illness started and frequent updating of the company if they are unable to return to work should the illness continue after a number of days or weeks. Evidence of the incapacity must be given for an absence up to and including 7 calendar days in the form of a medical certificate by their GP or medical provider outlining when the employee is suitable to return to work. Under statutory provision (Statutory Sick Pay, SSP), a requirement of sick pay no more or less than their earnings limit must be paid. In order for an employee to qualify for this they must be ill for four or more days including weekends and/ or bank holidays (refer to websites such as HMRC and Directgov for further information). In returning to work, employees may be subject to ‘return to work interviews’ by their managers to identify whether they are fit to begin work and other issues to subsidise incapacity to work.

4. A. ABSENCE POLICY

(I) Short-term sporadic management procedure

If employees are absent repeatedly for short periods of time i.e. two – three days, it will likely affect their own performance as well as company performance. In order to manage such absences, absence review meetings ought to be conducted with the individual. This form of interview may be longer than that of a return-to-work interview, however it should not be perceived as a part of the disciplinary procedure.

Absence review meetings purpose is to inform employees of the effect their absence is having on their overall performance and help to encourage employees to resolve the reasoning to their absence in discussing why there have been short-term absences and working towards reducing this.

(II) Long-term sickness absence management procedure

A long-term absence will be considered to be a serious or significant illness prolonged over a period of time (normally four weeks or more) and managed by regular updates of the employees’ health at specified recesses. One of the ways in which this can be conducted is through requested home visits to discuss further with the employee facilities that may be required for him / her to return to work or threats to their employment.

4. A.1. STRESS MANAGEMENT POLICY

i) Policy on Managing stress

The policy on managing stress includes the educating of staff on the different causes of stress, and provision of training on how staff can manage their stress levels efficiently.

ii) Responsibilities

The responsibilities of managing stress within the work place, rests upon the Governors as well as senior managers of the company, and it is they who carry out organisational risk assessments and implement actions plans to increase awareness of the potential causes of stress and symptoms and how to go about condensing these to decrease absences due to stress or stress related illnesses.

iii) Procedure

To carry out stress management procedures, long-term actions must be put in place and be consistent by working alongside the Occupation of Health. The monitoring of staff dealing with stress or stress related illnesses must be monitored, and the encouragement of team building within employee relations to boost staff morale that can reduce stress effectively.

5. SAFEGUARDS

A) CONFIDENTIALITY

For businesses it’s important to have safeguards to keep vital company information secret. In order to do this, confidentiality documents will have to be created and will need to be legally binding for it to be enforceable. Confidentiality documents can come in the form of a confidentiality agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

B) POST TERMINATION RESTRICTIONS

Contractual clauses will often include post termination restrictions within employment contracts by means of restricting the rights to activities that would be used in competition with a former employer, once the employment has ended. It is especially important to have to senior managers, or personal involved with working with confidential information and passing this information onto customers, therefore it is important to have post termination restrictions in employment contracts signed to secure information.

C) COMPANY PROPERTY AND COPYRIGHT

These allow business to have Intellectual Property which is creative work such as; trademarks, copyrights, patents or registered designs, to be legally protected giving businesses the right to this, protecting IP between 10 – 50 years.

D) STATEMENT OF THE MEDIA

These are policies implemented by entrusting responsibility in staff to make the right decisions about social media, and what information is disclosed. The policy will usually come in the form of a contract that can be amended as and when needed covering all employees within the business under it.

E) INVENTIONS/ DISCOVERIES

An invention or discovery made by you will become company property, if it was made:

  • Under normal contractual duties;
  • Outside of employee normal duties, however in duties specifically assigned to you.

6. DATA PROTECTION

The Data Protection Act 1998, was enacted to regulate personnel who obtain, and process the personal data of others. As well as this, it protects individuals also known as Data subjects and their rights when their personal information is withheld. Therefore, under this act as a business, it is important all data of clients or employees is up-to-date and relevant to the purpose the data is required for.

7. IT ACCEPTABLE USAGE POLICY

A) AVAILABILITY OF ACCESS TO NETWORKS

The business networks should be protected against all unauthorised access and should be done through effective protection such as password control of a specified character length with or without numbers, capital or lower case lettering.

B) THE ADVANTAGES OF THE INTERNET TO THE COMPANY

There are many benefits of Internet to a company, depending upon how the company decides to utilise it. For example, improvement in communication through email, Skype and social networks etc. The Internet can place a company on a global scale as interlinking with communication internationally and forming business relationships this way. It is a cost effective tool reducing labour as seen in many Internet businesses.

C) THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL STAFF

All employees in the business establishment must be familiar with IT policy and adhere to it, using the system within the boundaries of the law.

D) THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF DIRECTORS AND MANAGERS

It is the responsibility of all Directors and Managers to ensure all users under the control of the policy are aware of the requirements of the policy in the usage of IT software and comply with the policy at all times.

E) MAKING PURCHASES ON THE INTERNET

All personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 held, collected and processed will be done so in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the businesses IT Acceptable Usage Policy. This too includes transactions on the internet and the security of these transactions.

F) CODE OF CONDUCT GOVERNING BEHAVIOUR ON THE INTERNET

Rules of conduct will be used to govern the behaviour of employees in the accessing of company Internet. The code of conduct may include rules such as:

  • Internet prohibited for the use of chat or accessing illegal or obscene materials;
  • Resource Centre employees are required to carry out prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the code of conduct, especially when an employee fails to comply with the Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

G) INSTALLATION OF 3RD PARTY SOFTWARE

No users are allowed to install 3rd party software without approval from an IT Manager in rare circumstances. All installations should be conducted by the IT Manager.

H) ACCEPTABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE USE OF THE INTERNET

All users of IT software in the business must comply with the IT Acceptable Usage Policy and therefore take reasonable steps and appropriate steps to ensure they comply with this.

I) RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS USING THE COMPANY NETWORKS

Employees are able to connect mobile phones and any other electronic devices to the company network, providing this has been on the approval of the IT Manager and still subject to and governed by company policy. Internet usage by employees can occasionally be used for non-company use; however boundaries apply as it should not affect company work or interfere with other employees or work.

J) REVIEWING E-MAIL MESSAGES IN YOUR ABSENCE/ INTERNET USAGE MONITONITORING

Emails sent, received internally or externally are property of the company and therefore can be subject to review either due to disciplinary control or security reasoning. By law it can be used as evidence in court even if email(s) has been deleted from account. Telephone calls by law are not to be listened to nor recorded unless it justifiable such as threats to security. The use of emails must be professional, ethical, and of a responsible manner complying with law and policy.

K) DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY

The disclaimer responsibility does not hold a company liable for the loss or damage of computer systems to those accessing it internally or externally.

L) CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATING THE AUP

The consequences any person(s) will receive in the violation of the IT Acceptable Usage Policy can be subject to the suspension or termination of their user account. They may be subject to investigations paid at the user’s expense and any remedial action seen fit by the manager can be taken such as appropriate legal action.

8. STANDARDS

A) POLICY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

This document lays out how a business is managed in relation to the environment. Having an environmental policy/ statement is not a legal requirement, however when entering into business with suppliers or customers having an environmental policy/ statement can be an asset to show the business has taken steps to ensure they are environmentally friendly.

B) PROCUREMENT POLICY

The Procurement policy highlight the rules and regulations set to govern the process of obtaining goods and services essential for an organisation to function efficiently. The process is used to minimise expenses with the businesses purchasing of goods and service using strategies to do so. There are a range of procurement policies such as:

  • Implementing Energy Efficiency;
  • Short form terms and conditions;
  • Staff transfers and pensions;
  • Model services contract;
  • Tax compliance;
  • Information sharing with Government.

It is vital that a business is familiar with procurement and informed as these are brought up to date yearly.

9. HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE AND HYGIENE
Health and Safety General Policy Statement

A) SAFETY RULES

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, every business should have a Fire Safety Policy implemented into the business, in coherence to the Fire Safety Evacuation Procedures and Fire Risk Assessment Form. On completion of these documents, they should be signed by the senior manager reflecting company interest in the safety of employees, customers and visitors to the company premises.

B) FIRE SAFETY AND EVACUATION RECOMMENDATIONS

Fire Safety and Fire Safety Policy should be given alongside employee inductions when joining the company and include the procedures when evacuating the premises due to fire.

C) SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 S.2 and 3, it states an employer has a duty or care to its employees as well as any others that may be affected by the businesses activities. As a result, a Winter Weather Risk Assessment and Severe Weather Risk Assessment Action Plan must be completed to review any potential weather related hazards or risks. It is then up to the employer to implement appropriate action plans in working areas to reduce the risk of harm to employees, or visitors.

D) SMOKING POLICY

Company’s should have implemented a Smoke Free Policy and ensure employee awareness of this policy and in particular the smoking in public ban that must be upheld, less the company face fines if not as seen in the Health Act 2006. Signing of the Smoke Free Policy is adequate and signed by those it applies and their understanding of how it will be enforced. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems.

E) ALCOHOL & DRUGS POLICY

The Alcohol and Drugs Policy is created to emphasise the dangers of alcohol and drug abuses and make transparent to those who work for the business that such abuses will not be tolerated. Companies will establish that they are reasonable, however fair, when such misuses are acted within the workplace.

F) HYGIENE

Food Hygiene must be compliant with the Food Standards Agency, Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, Food Information Regulations 2014. Implementing a Food Hygiene Policy is a legal requirement to detect food safety hazards. Random visits to business premises is by law carried out by Local Authorities food law enforcers, or visits can be a result of complaints. Action can be taken against your business should fault be found in the hygiene of food.

G) POLICY FOR THE PROVISION OF EYE SIGHT TESTS AND CORRECTIVE APPLIANCES

The policy of provision of eye sight tests can be made on request by employees should they believe that the use of Display Screen Equipment is affecting their eye sight. From this request it is the manager that will grant this request, and has the right to not grant the request, however a letter reasoning the decision must be given to the employee. If the employee does not agree with the decision made, the Grievance Procedure can be pursued and the decision appealed.

The provision of corrective appliances where the eye test shows the user will require special corrective appliances for the use of Display Screen Equipment such as glasses, the user will be required to pay for the for the corrective appliance and reclaim the part of the appliance cost by completing an expenses form, signed, with attached receipts.

10. GENERAL TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT, INFORMATION, AND PROCEDURES

A) CHANGES IN PERSONAL DETAILS

It is fundamental that businesses keep personal information charter on employees to keep up to date with employee information. Basic information should kept about employees such as home address, tax code, national insurance number etc. All employees have the right to know what personal records are kept and how they’re used, the confidentiality of these records and how it can be used to help with training and development at work.

B) OTHER EMPLOYMENT

Some employers prefer employees not to engage in other work/ employment as it may distract them or affect their overall performance under their employment contract so as not to interfere with, all contractual times, hours and shift breaks. If in doubt, please speak to your line manager.

C) TIME OFF

The policy of time off encourages employees to arrange appointments outside of their usual working hours, or at a time that causes slight disruption. There is no right for the pay on time off for employees, including that of parent classes and relaxation.

D) MATERNITY/ PATERNITY LEAVE AND PAY

Employees who are pregnant, new mothers or adoptive parents are entitled to statutory time off such as; Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Adoption Leave, Paternal Leave, Shared Parental Leave and Right to Time Off to Accompany a Pregnant Woman. Employees may be paid for their time off, if they meet the criteria. A process of request forms will need to be completed, followed by confirmation letters and flexible working requests.

E) PARENTAL LEAVE

The Parental Leave Policy is created to ensure employers provide the rights employees which they are entitled to by law. The policy is available to parents and adoptive parents with children under the age of five, or eighteen and can be used in combination with Paternity or Adoption Leave, permitting the extension of time for parents to look after their children.

F) TIME OFF FOR DEPENDANTS

Employees have the right to take time off to address urgent or unexpected incidents involving a dependant. A dependant can be a spouse, partner, child, parent etc. The dependant must be someone who depends upon the employers, employee for care. The amount of time allowed to be given is dependent upon the situation and the gravity of this with no limitations with the number times you can take time off for dependants. However, it is vital, time off for dependants for an employee informs the employer as soon as possible, time cannot be given off if the situation was known beforehand. Employers do not have to pay for time off for dependants unless stated otherwise in employment contracts, intranets or handbooks.

G) BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

Employees can be entitled to three days paid bereavement leave if the death is of an immediate family member i.e. spouse, child, parent etc. When there is more than one bereavement within the family, an employee can be entitled to more than three days bereavement leave for each death. If the death is outside of immediate family, depending upon the assessment of the employer on the employee relationship with them they can receive one days paid bereavement leave.

H) EXPENSES/ SUBSISTENCE

Employees can fill in a claim form to claim back expenses from their company. For this claim to be requested, there must be authorisation required from another member of the company. On the form is a designated space for employees to fill out the details of the expense and the amount of expenses.

Travel expenses can also be another form of expense claimed back by employees for the company used for business trips either domestic or abroad.

I) EMPLOYEES’ PROPERTY

Employees may bring personal property to work such as mobile phones, photographs, music players etc. and do so at their own risk. Should property be stolen, lost or damaged, the company can renounce liability. Therefore, any personal employee property brought in must be the employee’s responsibility. On the other hand, employers may believe that employee property damaged can be reimbursed by the company if justified. To reduce chances of theft, damage or lost property, employers should encourage employees not to bring valuable items to work.

J) PARKING

When parking on business property it is important employees do not:

  • Leave valuables such as mobile phones, or electronic systems on display;
  • Any bags or coats should be placed in the boot of vehicles even if not of value;
  • No documents should be left in the vehicle such as registration, MOT, insurance certificates etc;
  • Always lock the car when leaving the vehicle;
  • Never leave cars in the ignition unattended;
  • Never leave the car running whilst unattended.

K) EMAIL

Email addresses employees used should be provided by the company ending with the suffix and company name. The email address is provided for business purposes only and should not be used for personal or unprofessional usage. When writing emails, they should have the appropriate content and proof read before sent.

L) FRIENDS AND RELATIVES CONTACT/ TELEPHONE CALLS/ MOBILE PHONES

Having mobile phones at work can be a useful tool allowing the ability to stay in contact with friends and family and the occasional business call if it applies. However, bringing in cell phones to work can be a distraction to employees, as well as other co- workers, especially if it interferes with getting the job done. Therefore, it is important policies are laid out within the workplace and executed by managers to ensure the correct, and less disruptive use of mobile phones within the workplace. Examples such as, getting employees to turn off the sound on mobile phones, using a mobile for important phone calls only and/ or allowing phone calls to go through to voicemail.

M) CLIENT RELATIONS

The client relations policy sets out a plan of how the company is to serve customers. This will usually include within the document employee courtesy, meeting customer needs, dealing with complaints, responses to customer queries, standards of conduct and confidentiality.

N) HOT DESK

The term “hot desking” is the sharing of desk space with another employee, which can cause an up stir within the workplace. To make the sharing of desks within the company, a desk sharing policy should be implemented to make desk sharing work. This could consist of a:

  • Clear desk policy- This is to establish when people are out of the office all personal belongings are kept in a locker or taken with them;
  • Well organised team storage – By doing so and opening a miniature library of shared references and information can encourage employees to take and replace reference in their correct place;
  • Laptops rather than PC’s – Having laptops rather than PC’s mean they are movable between staff, therefore employees are less likely to claim one particular space.

O) PRIVATE CAR USE FOR ORGANSIATION BUSINESSES PURPOSES

The Company Car Policy set out the rules on the use of company cars. Within this policy, clauses specify that only the employee can drive the company or if given the option by an employer, a named driver to drive the car. In the use of the a company car, should the employee be on a period of paid suspension, garden leave or notice cannot be withdrawn, less an allowance is provided alternatively.

P) FINES

In the occurrence of fines, charges or costs, parking fines, criminal compensation or monetary liability arising from criminal proceedings, the company will pay, however, the employee will have to reimburse the sums to the company as soon as possible.

Q) STANDARDS OF DRESS

This policy is used where the employer would like to set out guidelines to how employees are to dress and their personal appearance within the workplace, as well as attending company business. When setting out these guidelines, it is important any rules made do not discriminate against any gender, religion, race, belief or disability. Any reasoning must be justified such as health and safety or hygiene. Employers must ensure the policy is applied fairly to both male and female employees and be willing to adapt to cater for religious or other reasons concerning culture.

R) PERSONAL HYGIENE

As a part of the standards of dress code, employees are expected to follow the personal hygiene guidelines which can be tailored to each company depending upon their requirements. For standard personal hygiene however, it should include in the policy:

  • Frequent bathing and oral hygiene;
  • Limited use of heavily scented perfumes, colognes or lotions;
  • Clean and well groomed hair;
  • One earing per ear and no use of large dangling earrings.

S) HOUSEKEEPING

The cleaning of a business premises is important in order to comply with health and safety rules, therefore avoiding health and safety risks that could threaten employees or visitors to a business’s premises. In order to comply with health and safety rules, a weekly cleaning record should be established so as to record when the cleaning of premises, or equipment was completed. The document can be used as a checklist for management reasons. Another document used for checking would be that of risk assessments to identify any potential hazards in the workplace and how to avoid these hazards.

T) REFRESHMENT MAKING FACILITIES

A Daily Cleaning Record sheet may be of use when managing the cleanliness of refreshment making facilities and the cleaning of this equipment and area it’s located in, therefore allowing a checking of when cleaning of refreshment making areas were completed.

11. COMPANY VEHICLES

Company Vehicle Policy
Rules for the Use of Company Vehicles

A) DRIVING LICENCE

Company drivers, or anyone authorised to drive company vehicles must have a valid driver’s licence and obtained at the driver’s expense.

B) AUTHORITY TO DRIVE COMPANY VEHICLES

For a person to drive company cars, they must be:
An authorised employee of the company, spouse or significant other;
Must be at least 21 years of age;
At least one years’ experience of vehicle operating;
Meet licencing requirements.

C) FIXTURES, FITTINGS AND MODIFICATIONS AND CLEANING, MAINTENANCE, SERVICING, TYRES AND WINDSCREEN

Authorised employees are required to maintain their company vehicles at all times. Vehicles should not be operated if it has any defect that would make it unsafe to drive in weather conditions or poor visibility conditions. A certified dealer should perform preventative checks on the vehicle.

D) WARRANTY

Employees are required to take precautions in protecting company vehicles by making sure nothing of value is left in the car or on display. If this is not possible, employees should report the matter to their line manager. Should the company believe these steps have not be taken penalties can be enforced on the employee.

E) HIRE VEHICLES

Hire vehicles are only to be used with the authorisation of an employee’s manager and hired from the company’s preferred suppliers.

F) FLEET MOTORING INSURANCE POLICY

This is a business’s auto insurance, covering damages, injuries or thefts of the vehicle. It can be applied to the person as well as the cars used by the company. By implementing this policy, it provides training programmes, consultancy accident recording and risk assessment management.

G) FUEL AND MILEAGE

Employees will be entitled to claim business mileage in line with their current HMRC rates. The fuel and mileage costs will be calculated by the oil at a rate per mile. Mileage however, cannot be claimed for the commuting between home and the regular workplace.

H) OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Employees when travelling abroad should carry:

  • A valid passport;
  • A current and full driving licence;
  • Letter of authority of the use of the company car;
  • Travel pack provided by line manager;
  • Safety kit.

I) HEALTH AND SAFTEY WHILST DRIVING

Management when choosing vehicles for employees to drive, must be safe and precautions taken to ensure they are safe and suitable for purpose. Management should ensure all vehicles that are used on behalf of the company are regularly inspected and maintained.

Employees are required to carry out daily record checks for vehicles that they drive and keep up to date record sheets. Following this, should a defect be found, employees must complete a defect form as soon a defect is found and reported. Defects will be addressed immediately and taken off the road if it hinders the health and safety of the driver and other road users.

Employees must follow the health and safety policy which include:

  • Employees should exercise good posture when driving by positioning the car seat where the pedals can be fully depressed with the leg at a slight angle;
  • Managers should encourage employees to plan journeys in advance with regular breaks to minimize potential risks;
  • Employees should ensure they are fully awake before commencing a car journeys. Breaks should be taken after every two hours of driving, especially when driving along long journeys;
  • Alcohol levels should be low according to legislation before the start of a journey and not consumed whilst driving.

J) ROAD FUND LICENCE AND MOT TEST CERTIFICATES

The company is required to replace road fund licences, and MOT reminders if applicable, however it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure they keep up to date with outstanding documentation.

K) THEFT OF VEHICLE AND/ OR CONTENTS

Employees should contact the police and their line manager on the account of a theft or break in of the company vehicle.

L) DAMAGE, INJURY AND ACCIDENT PROCEDURE

In the event of an accident occurring, employees must stop and keep calm, presenting a positive image. The main priorities of an employee when in an accident is their own safety, the safety of anyone else involved and the safety of other road users. A procedure of collecting third parties and witness in an accident must also be taken and presented to an employee’s line manager immediately.

M) PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO VEHICLES

Employees must ensure care is taken over company cars when in use, and the ending of the contract for the company car. Should damages be found to the vehicle, the employee will be liable and recharged accordingly.

N) BREAKDOWN COVER

If repairing a vehicle at the road side is not possible, line managers should contact the breakdown recovery taking the employee and their passengers to their destination or home address. The vehicle will then be taken to the repairer.

O) STANDARDS OF DRIVING

Employees are expected to practice safe driving on the roads, maintain road legislation to perform the company job effectively, as well as the health and safety of company employees, and other drivers on the road.

12. WHISTLE BLOWERS
Anti-Bribery Policy

A) GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY

The Anti-Bribery Act is created to decrease the acts of bribery within businesses in the UK and abroad. Employees in the company are required under obligations of the business to be responsible to avoid bribery. It is key that all employees comply with the Bribery Act. The act addresses bribery related matters such as gifts, hospitality and payments. As employers, when forming the staff handbook, include the Anti-Bribery Act and implementing this in coherence with the relevant training.

B) PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE

The Public Interest Disclosure Policy is to provide guidance to those who work with or within the company (including casual and temporary staff) who may from time to time feel that they need to raise certain issues relating to the company with someone in confidence.

This policy applies where you reasonably believe that one of the following sets of circumstances is occurring, has occurred or may occur within the company and that your disclosure is in the public interest:

  • a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed;
  • a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he or she is subject;
  • a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur;
  • the health and safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered;
  • the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged;
  • information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

Please raise issues with your line manager – if it is not appropriate to raise issues with your line manager, you should raise the issue with a more senior member of management.

13. CAPABILITY PROCEDURES

A) JOB CHANGES/ GENERAL CAPABILITY ISSUES

Capability procedures are devised to for managers to support employees when problems arise concerning their performance and their inability to perform the expected requirements, and the inability to perform the role. To address capability procedures on a general scale, the setting of realistic performance standards and employee understanding of this so as to reach the level of performance expected of them and doing do promptly.

B) PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES/ HEALTH ISSUES

In deciphering the reasoning to capability of poor performance, managers should spend time with employee to discover any underlying problems or issues and employee(s) are having, such as personal circumstances or health issues. In identifying these problems, Managers must explore what the options of the actions to resolve the issues of poor performance and coming to a conclusion based on these finding by offering the employee a resolution. When handling health issues the subject should be referred to the Human Resources Office. When dealing with personal circumstances, especially those of sensitive matters, managers should suggest counselling, flexible working patterns or the distribution of workload during stressful periods. Managers should try to work with employees to make sure performance is restored to its level of satisfaction.

C) SHORT SERVICE

Short-service employees may be reasonably dismissed due to examples such as misconduct within the workplace. However, employees have the right to claim unfair dismissal if they have worked for the company for more than two years. If the employer should mind themselves in this situation, the employer would have to exhibit their reasoning to the dismissal in the employment tribunal and reasons as to why the employer believes the dismissal to be fair. In doing show, the employer must also prove the capability procedure was followed before the actions of dismissal.

C.1. EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT POLICY

(i) POLICY STATEMENT

A policy statement outlines the roles and responsibilities of employees and what is required of them to meet the company objectives. It should also be used to create a chain of communication between employer and employees to ensure work priorities and progress is made. By having a policy statement, employees are supported and given the opportunity to develop and expand their skills, increase motivation in the workplace as well as job satisfaction.

(ii) PURPOSE

The purpose of an effective performance policy is to improve employee performance within the company by understanding company aims and objectives and working towards achieving this. The effective performance policy will also layout clearly what is expected of employees, and how to gain their support in meeting these expectations as well as the actions that may be taken if not.

(iii) SCOPE

The scope of effective performance management is about identifying boundaries of performance, and making these transparent to employees. The ways in which this should be approached, is by setting realistic performance standards that can be upheld and developed therefore motivating employees.

(iv) PRINCIPLES

By implementing training and development effectively in the organisation and having this reflected in the effective performance management policy, allows individuals to improve at work through frequent training, mentoring and coaching, overall benefiting the performance of the company, and identifying how the development needs are to be met.

(v) INFORMAL ACTION PROCEDURES AND GUIDLEINES

As a part of standard procedure, managers should bring to the attention of employees the required standards, and the consequences should these requirements not be met. Handling cases of misconduct should be conducted by managers, line managers or supervisors. All conversations should be privately made in encouraging employees to conduct themselves in accordance with the policy. Where matters have been discussed, and performance till deteriorates, a formal procedure should be followed.

(vi) PROCEDURES FOR FORMAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW MEETINGS

If you are invited to a formal performance review, you will be issued with a letter inviting you to such meeting. If it is deemed that a warning is appropriate after a full hearing has taken place, you will be issued with a poor performance capability warning letter. This is issued in the event that an employee’s first disciplinary action was substandard. The letter is issued to the employee stating the nature of their unsatisfactory performance, the changes expected to address the issue, time scale for the performance and the consequences if improvement is not made. Employee performance should be managed by monitoring the employee and a letter sent in the progress of this improvement.

Please note – it is not permissible to record, whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the company.

(vii) APPEALS

In the action of disciplinary procedures, employees have to right to appeal on hearing. A letter is issued, providing the details of the appeal hearing and the information and confirmation of the employee’s attendance to the hearing. On hearing, employees can be accompanied with a colleague or trade union representative. The decisions made at the appeal shall be final and confirmed in writing within a few working days.

14. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

A) DISCIPLINARY RULES

Conduct or performance that will need to be addressed through the company use of disciplinary policy will be (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • Unsatisfactory work performance;
  • Breaches of company policies and procedures;
  • Inappropriate behaviour;
  • Bullying or harassment;
  • Discrimination;
  • Persistent lateness/ absence.

B) RULES COVERING UNSATISFACTORY CONDUCT AND MISCONDUCT

Should employees act in an unsatisfactory way, they can be liable for disciplinary action if (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • There is a failure to comply with health and safety rules;
  • Unauthorised consumption of Alcohol;
  • Persistent absence/ lateness;
  • Poor performance;
  • Use of company vehicles without approval etc.

C) SERIOUS MISCONDUCT

Where satisfaction or misconduct rules have been broken, employees may be issued a final warning. A final warning can be issued either as a first formal warning, or stating the disciplinary meeting and the terms of expected outcomes to improvement in employee conduct. In investigation, the first warning can be followed by a dismissal.

D) RULES COVERING GROSS MISCONDUCT

The consequences of gross misconduct is the dismissal of an employee without notice and without any previous notice of warning. Any behaviour that results in the breach of contractual terms that destroys the trust and/confidence to employment relationship can amount to gross misconduct. Examples that constitute as gross misconduct can be (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • Theft or fraud;
  • Physical violence/bullying;
  • Intentional damage to property;
  • Breach of health and safety rules exposing employees to harm.

E) DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

Both employees and employers should be familiar with disciplinary procedure. The procedure should be conducted as follows:

  • Stage 1. – Informal discussion: It is beneficial for both an employer and employee, if a matter can be resolved by informally, therefore avoiding a formal procedure.

  • Stage 2. – Written notice of intended disciplinary meeting: In the beginning of a formal disciplinary procedure, a letter must be issued to the employee informing them as to the formal disciplinary procedure is and reason to why it has been issued.

  • Stage 3. – Meeting: In the disciplinary meeting, the employer will present relevant evidence. The employee by right, must be given the opportunity to present their own evidence and call witness. The employee is able to be accompanied by a companion that can be used to represent them and argue their case. On the ending of the meeting, the employee must be informed as to the final decision.

  • Stage 4. - Outcome of meeting: When employers decide on the disciplinary penalty to be issued to the employee, they must take into consideration the employees work record, penalties use in similar cases in the past and whether the penalties imposed where reasonable.

  • Stage 5. – Appeal: Employees have the right of appeal regardless of the outcome of the meeting. To qualify successfully for appeal, the employee must set the grounds for the appeal and the employer should hear the appeal within fourteen days of the request. A manager who was not present at the original hearing should be present at the appeal so as not to pass impartial judgement.

Please note – it is not permissible to record whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the company.

F) DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY

The Disciplinary Authority, are those entrusted with powers to impose any penalty on employees if required to. There can be more than one disciplinary authority within a business. There are two categories of Disciplinary Authorities. Those who impose penalties or employees, and those who impose only minor penalties on employees.

The powers of the Disciplinary Authority is to ensure discipline is carried out throughout the business. Authorities are permitted to identify acts of disruptiveness and take appropriate action to correct this such as counselling, monitoring, mentoring, criminal prosecution etc.

G) PERIOD OF WARNING

The approach of Disciplinary Authority is that of an advance warning. This can come in the form of a letter informing an employee(s) of the expected behaviour or consequences if disruptive behaviour continues. The warning will be consistently carried out impersonally. With the continuation of disruptive behaviour, immediate action will be enforced, but making an example that misconduct is suitably dealt with.

15. CAPABILITY/ DISCIPLINARY APPEAL PROCEDURE

When managing a disciplinary appeal procedure, employers should administer an Appeal Meeting Letter against Dismissal or another other Disciplinary Action. This letter should be an acknowledgment that the employee letter of appeal has been received and notification of time and place of the appeal meeting. The letter should also include employee statuary rights such as the accompaniment of another employee or trade union representative.

Please note – it is not permissible to record whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the company.

16. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

The Grievance Procedure allows employers to tackle problems, complaints or concerns that employees may have, and ensuring these are dealt with fairly and consistently in a specific time span. Examples of grievance issues faced by employers may be working conditions, pay, treatment of colleagues, health and safety etc. The Grievance Procedure can be broken into stages. These consist of:

Stage 1- That of informal procedures: Employees discus grievance with their immediate manager. The manager will discuss the concerns of the employee and resolving these concerns over a specified time scale.

Stage 2 – Should the Grievance Procedure not be resolved, a formal procedure will be enacted. A written statement by the employee stating the nature of the grievance to their line manager.

Stage 3 – Grievance meeting: Upon receiving the written statement the line manager should hold a formal meeting to discuss the grievance in detail. The formal hearing should be held without reasonable delay.

Stage 4 – Outcome of the meeting: After the meeting and investigation, the line manager in a written document should state the action to be taken to resolve the grievance.

Stage 5 – Appeal: Employees by right, can appeal should they feel their grievance has not be resolved to their satisfaction. The request for appeal must state the grounds for the appeal and submitted to their line manager. The manager will further arrange another meeting time and place to hold the appeal hearing impartially.

Please note – it is not permissible to record whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the company.

17. PERSONAL HARASSMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Hostile and/or offensive behaviour is something not to be tolerated in the workplace, whether this behaviour be physical, verbal or non-verbal or in a written form. As a result, companies should integrate procedures to deal with harassment firmly.

Stage 1 – Informal procedures: A person believing to be subject to harassment should ask the person to desist from such behaviour. Should this behaviour continue, the claimant should approach their line manager, supervisor or mentor directly.

Stage 2 – Formal Complaint: The complainant by their own decision, can file a formal complaint.

Stage 3 – Formal Disciplinary Hearing: In handling this matter, it is important the employer conducts the disciplinary procedure fairly to both the complainant and the person who has been accused. From here, the process consists of:

  • Informing the employee of the problem;
  • Holding a meeting to discuss the problem;
  • Allowing the employee to be accompanied by another colleague should they request it;
  • Deciding on appropriate action;
  • Providing the employee with the opportunity to appeal.

In the imposing of a penalty, any actions taken must be reasonable in line with the facts. In some cases, it can be that the use of counselling or training works effectively to resolve harassment. In other cases, more dire actions can be taken such as dismissals without notice.

18. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

A) STATEMENT OF POLICY

In an equal opportunities policy, it should state there will be no discrimination on the grounds of race, sexual orientation, marriage, pregnancy, religion belief, disability, gender, promotion and training and the creation of a working environment free from unlawful and/ or unfair discrimination of employees. Should, an employee within a company discriminate fellow employees, the company can be held liable to pay for the damages or compensation to the victim receiving the discrimination.

B) RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

In the recruitment and selection of employment, candidates should be assessed for the requirement of the job role and all processed in the same way. In the selection stage, it is important the company makes any necessary adjustments or working arrangements in the workplace to accommodate disabled candidates. When selecting candidates, there should be at least one member from each gender on the section committee to ensure fairness and biasfree selection. This will follow through to questions asked in the interview stages that should not include private questions such as home life, children, and marriage etc. questions should be specific to the job role and not detract from this. All questions asked must be the same for all candidates.

C) TRAINING AND PROMOTION

All employees will be provided with the appropriate training specific to their job role regardless of sex, religion, belief, disability, age etc. Employees with the business should also be given the opportunity to discuss their career prospects with their line managers or Human Resources department.

In the occurrence for an opportunity for internal promotion, vacancies should be circulated internally within the company describing the requirements for the vacancy unless the vacancy is for a particular working department in the company. At interview stage, questions will all be related to the job role only, and their suitability.

D) MONITORING

Policies regarding equal opportunities are the responsibility of the Human Resources Department. It they who must ensure these policies are reviewed regularly and operated throughout the company departments. Where it is found employees within the company are being subject to discrimination and not being provided equal opportunities, investigations should be carried out to discover the reasoning and action taken to correct this using the Grievance Procedure.

19. TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

A) TERMINATING EMPLOYMENT WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE

There are two approaches that can be taken to terminate an employment contract; that of an employee reigning, or an employer terminating the contract by dismissing an employee.

If an employee is resigning, a formal letter of resignation should be given, and by law with one weeks’ notice, or however long the period is stated in the employment contract.

In the circumstances that an employer should terminate an employment contract through dismissal, it should be on the ground of gross misconduct. This is an action of the employee so severe its consequence is immediate dismissal without notice nor pay. Alternatively, an employee can be dismissed when on a final written warning and the next level of sanction is deemed appropriate i.e. dismissal. In this situation, you will be paid notice pay. Situations that can lead to gross misconduct is that of violence, theft, fraud etc. Although dismissal without notice is lawful in the right circumstances, a fair investigation and procedure needs to be enacted.

B) RETURN OF OUR PROPERTY AND VEHICLES

Following the termination of an employee, before or on the date of termination, the employee will need to return company property such as devices, cars, records, data, notes, reports, proposals, lists etc.

C) GARDEN LEAVE

This is an employee’s suspension from work with full pay and contractual benefits for the duration of the notice period stated. Commonly this is an attempt to stop the employee from having any other influence on the organisation, and the access to the system, however it is not uncommon for employees to continue working but from home.

20. RETIREMENT

The Company does not operate a formal retirement policy. Should you wish to leave the Company or retire you should approach your line manager. 

In such circumstances, the company has resolved to assist you in this process.

BPMA Service Guidelines

Please note that these guidelines should be used within the framework of the BPMA’s Code of Conduct which is a statutory commitment made by all members.

Whilst these guidelines are primarily supplier-oriented, distributor members are expected to follow the same procedures with their clients in order to enhance the perception of the promotional products industry.

Enquiries

  • General Enquiries should be acknowledged within 1 hr pending further information to be supplied.
  • Similarly, quotation requests should be acknowledged within 1 hour detailing the time when a full quote will be available
  • Distributors should use a check list (example available from the BPMA) to qualify an enquiry and obtain as much detail as possible before contacting suppliers
  • The account manager responsible for an account should have their direct line and contact details on all correspondence
  • A quotation should be submitted detailing product, branding, origination, carriage and lead time (and include an appropriate image wherever possible)

Orders/Artwork

  • When an order is confirmed this should be supported by a purchase order showing full details (exactly in line with the relevant quotation where applicable)
  • Sales order acknowledgements should be sent within 24 hours of receiving a purchase order, providing all the necessary attachments required by the supplier are in position.
  • If stock levels are low, suppliers should include this information with the quote, providing supplementary details on when full roll-out can be completed.
  • If a product is completely out of stock (and will be for some time) an alternative should be automatically suggested by the supplier (bespoke offerings not included)
  • Artwork approval (proof) to show position, size, and colour of print should be sent within 24/36 hours of receiving purchase order providing all relevant (correct) documentation has been received by the supplier.
  • Orders will not proceed to production until a written approval (i,e, signed proof) has been received
  • Where a pre-production sample is required, a date by which this will be ready should be confirmed, (for those off shore, this might be an estimate). A CPA (critical path analysis) should accompany the confirmation as an indicator of timelines.
  • Suppliers should acknowledge receipt of a PO and advise a delivery schedule based on receiving artwork on time (or advise lead time consequences for delays in receiving the appropriate data)
  • All artwork should be provided in the format requested (in most cases this will be EPS).

Production & Delivery

  • Suppliers will be expected to email despatch details (to a pre-qualified address) once goods are completed
  • All goods leaving Far East factories should include a random quality assurance check by an independent inspection house as standard. Importers who do not carry out inspections are liable for any costs incurred for incorrectly supplied products.
  • A delivery note should be raised to accompany the goods (under plain cover if despatched direct to end-user from supplier) or, alternatively,using the distributor’s paperwork.
  • Invoices should be raised within 3 days after despatch or, preferably, sooner
  • Any complaints arising out of faulty goods or incorrectly printed items, should be addressed by the supplier immediately with a path of corrective action proposed. 
  • The BPMA would expect members to follow up with customers post-order to ensure all is satisfactory

The BPMA would be interested to hear from any member who wishes to discuss/augment these guidelines to the benefit of our industry per se

Promotional Products Restricted Use in Pharmaceutical sector

The provision of promotional branded gifts toa healthcare professional is banned under the Code of Practice as outlined by the PMCPA (Prescriptions, Medicines Code of Practice Authority)

The only products that can be used as identified are Notepads, pens and pencils but only at specific meetings and with the donor company on and not the medicine.

Please refer to Clause 18.2, Clause 18.3 and Clause 19.1 and Clause 19.1 supplementary information in the code of practice document available to download below: 

 

Click here to download the PMCPA code of practice

 

RoHS 2 transposed into UK Law

RoHS 2 Directive

RoHS 2 Commission FAQ and Guidance

Diamond Jubilee Merchandise Guidelines

UK Licensee Agreement

EU Ceramics Tax

The Bribery Act Link #2

The Bribery Act Link #1

Business Names Act 1985

The Weights and Measures (Packed Goods) Regulations 2006

The Cocoa and Chocolate Products (England) Regulations 2003

General Food Regulations 2004

The Food Labeling Regulations 1996

Food Safety Act 1990

EU Toy Safety Directive Testing (EN 71)

Intertek offers comprehensive toy safety assessment, testing, recordkeeping, compliance and training solutions to help ensure your products meet the obligations and requirements of the new EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.

The general provisions of the EU Toy Safety Directive define what constitutes a toy, outline technical documentation requirements, establish production control and more. Chemical requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directive, which include restrictions on toxic elements, certain fragrances and use of CMR chemicals, were effective July 20, 2013. Intertek developed its EN 71-3 Chemical Testing Solution to address these new chemical requirements.

Also outlined in the EU Toy Safety Directive are roles and obligations for toy manufacturers, importers and distributors, as follows: 

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Recast EU WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU Services

Intertek offers manufacturers a single-source solution for Recast Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive 2012/19/EU compliance.

The recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 24 July 2012, and has already entered into force. Producers of electronic and electrical products must transition to an open scope, process for harmonized registration, reporting, and producer definition, meet the requirements for Authorised Representative for offshore manufacturers with no importer, and meet increased recovery targets. 

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The British Promotional Merchandise Association Charter Patrons

The British Promotional Merchandise Association Brand Patrons

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