If you require a downloadable version the policies in Welsh or English, please email jessie.buchanan@tfcpembrokeshire.org

TFCP1 Wellbeing Policy

Policy Statement

TfC defines wellbeing as the experience of overall health. It encompasses good mental, physical, financial and social health. However, we acknowledge that wellbeing can also encompass additional factors specific to the individual.

TfC is committed to being a responsible employer, that supports the wellbeing of all its employees.

1. Purpose

  • The aim of this policy is to ensure a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable to talk, seek help and support, and where wellbeing is recognised and embedded into TfC working practices.
  • Outline how TfC will facilitate preventative approaches that support employee wellbeing.

2. Commitments 

2.1 Wellness Action Plan

Wellness Action Plans are a personalised, practical tool that can be used to help identify what keeps everyone well at work, what causes us to become unwell, and how to address a mental health problem at work should this happen.

TfC recognises that individuals often need different support during challenging times, therefore we ensure each member of the team is given the opportunity to create a Wellness Action Plan should they wish to. Drawing up a Wellness Action Plan gives each person ownership of the practical steps needed to help them stay well at work or manage a mental health problem. The person can choose whether to share this with their Line Manager, with other members of the team or with a family member.

The line manager will share the guide with each member of the team and schedule time a week later to allow time for a person to reflect on the questions being posed. Team members will be encouraged to protect time in their calendar to reflect on what keeps them well at work.

A Wellness Action Plan is most effective when treated as a live, flexible document, so a regular feedback loop between the line manager and team member to discuss and assess what is working and what isn’t is an important part of the process. The line manager will protect time to review wellbeing and the team member’s Wellness Action Plan as part of regular catchups or one to ones and make any necessary changes or capture any learning.

If team members are comfortable and happy to do so, a session with the wider team to discuss any keyways of working together that are useful might be considered. Understanding one another’s communication preferences for example can ensure the teamwork in a way that supports everyone to perform at their best. Some team members might be happy to share their written Wellness Action Plan in their entirety, but all team members should be supported to only share as much as they feel comfortable.

2.2 Confidentiality

Each team member owns their Wellness Action Plan. It will be written by the individual where possible although it can be written by a colleague, line manager or other person based on the individual’s needs and wishes. The Wellbeing Action Plan will express their own personal choices, experiences, and needs.

The Wellness Action Plan should only be held confidentially between the line manager and the team member and only read or shared with their permission.

If a team member is being encouraged to fill out a Wellness Action Plan as a result of being unwell, the line manager might wish to ask whether they consent for a copy of it to be held on the record alongside similar documentation such as an Occupational Health report or a ‘Return to Work’ plan. It is at the discretion of the team member if they wish the document to be held on record.

For the line manager to fulfil the duty of care to keep staff members safe at work, they will be obliged to break confidentiality if a team member is experiencing a crisis. If the line manager becomes aware that someone is at serious risk of harm, whether this is the employee or someone else, they will call the emergency services.

When beginning a discussion about a Wellness Action Plan, it is best to ensure employees understand the circumstances under which a line manager might be required to share information they disclose.

3. Definitions of Mental Health

For clarity, when this policy refers to ‘mental health’, it is being used in the broadest possible sense. Some useful definitions are outlined below.

Mental health – We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. How we feel can vary from good mental wellbeing to difficult feelings and emotions, to severe mental health problems.

Mental wellbeing – Mental wellbeing is the ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life, work productively, interact positively with others and realise our own potential. When we talk about wellbeing, we are referring to mental wellbeing.

Poor mental health – Poor mental health is when we are struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety. This might mean we’re also coping with feeling restless, confused, short tempered, upset or preoccupied. We all go through periods of experiencing poor mental health –

mental health is a spectrum of moods and experiences, and we all have times when we feel better or worse.

Mental health problems – We all have times when we struggle with our mental health. A mental health problem is when difficult experiences or feelings go on for a long time and affect our ability to enjoy and live our lives in the way we want. You might receive a specific diagnosis from your doctor, or just feel more generally that you are experiencing a prolonged period of poor mental health.

Common mental health problems – These include depression, anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These make up the majority of the problems that lead to one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year. Symptoms can range from the comparatively mild to very severe. *

Severe mental health problems – These include conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which are less common. They can have very varied symptoms and affect your everyday life to different degrees and may require more complex and/or long-term treatments.

Work-related stress – Work-related stress is defined by the Health and Safety Executive as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them at work. Stress, including work-related stress, can be a significant cause of illness. It is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as increased capacity for error. Stress is not a medical diagnosis, but severe stress that continues for a long time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or other mental health problems.

*TfC recognise that whilst some feelings or mental health conditions may be more common, this does not mean they are not severe or should be dismissed as common place. We are committed to supporting team members with any challenges they may face regardless (and in the absence of) diagnosis.

20230427 Wellbeing Policy

TFCP2 Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy

Policy Statement

The aim of this policy is to create an environment where employees and prospective employees feel respected and are treated fairly without prejudice.

TfC is committed to encouraging equality, diversity, and inclusion among our workforce, and eliminating unlawful discrimination.

TfC recognises that it has a responsibility beyond legal and regulatory requirements to ensure we are promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion throughout our practice.

1. Policy purpose

This policy’s purpose is to:

  • Provide equality, fairness and respect for all in our employment, whether temporary, freelance, part-time or full-time.
  • Adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and ensure there is no discrimination based upon the following protected characteristics of:

o Age
o Disability
o Gender reassignment
o Marriage and civil partnership
o Pregnancy and maternity
o Race (including colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origin) 
o Religion or belief
o Sex
o Sexualorientation

  • Oppose all forms of unlawful discrimination. This includes in:

o Pay and benefits
o Terms and conditions of employment 
o Dealing with grievances and discipline 
o Dismissal
o Redundancy
o Leave for parents
o Requests for flexible working
o Selection for employment, promotion, training, or other developmental opportunities

2. Commitments 

2.1 TfC is committed to:

Encouraging equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Creating a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, where differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued. This commitment includes training the whole team about their rights and responsibilities under the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy.

Taking seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public and any others during the organisation’s work activities. Such acts will be dealt with as misconduct under the organisation’s grievance and/or disciplinary procedures, and appropriate action will be taken.

Making opportunities for training, development, and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential.

Making decisions concerning staff being based on merit (apart from in any necessary and limited exemptions and exceptions allowed under the Equality Act 2010).

Reviewing employment practices and procedures when necessary to ensure fairness and update them and the policy to take account of changes in the law.

Monitoring the make-up of the workforce regarding information such as age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and disability in encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion, and in meeting the aims and commitments set out in the equality, diversity and inclusion policy. Monitoring will also include assessing how the equality, diversity and inclusion policy, and any supporting action plan, are working in practice, reviewing them annually, and considering and taking action to address any issues.

Recognising that there can be a range of challenges faced by disabled individuals (defined within the Disability and Equality Act 2010) when applying for roles and ensure there is representation within the workforce. We are committed to implementing the Disability Confident scheme. If a disabled applicant meets the essential criteria for an advertised position, they can request to be considered under the Disability Confident scheme in which they will be guaranteed an interview, during which reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate their needs where necessary. We also reserve the right to choose a candidate who has a protected characteristic over one who does not if they are both suitable for the role if the protected characteristic is underrepresented in the workforce, profession or industry or suffers a disadvantage connected to that characteristic. The purpose of which is to address the underrepresentation or disadvantage of the characteristic within the workforce.

3. Our disciplinary and grievance procedures

Details of the organisation’s grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures can be found at TFCP8 – Grievance Policy. This includes with whom an employee should raise a grievance – usually their line manager.

Use of the organisation’s grievance or disciplinary procedures does not affect an employee’s right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination.

4. Definitions

Equality, diversity and inclusion – ensuring the fair treatment and opportunities for all, eradicating prejudice, and discrimination based on an individual or group of individuals’ protected characteristics.

Equality – a situation in which all people of different races, religions, genders, sex, sexual orientations, and disability are treated fairly and have the same opportunities.

Diversity – the practice of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds.

20230501 Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy

TFCP3 Safeguarding policy

Policy Statement

TfC are committed to promoting the welfare of employees and those that we work with. We believe that everyone, regardless of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

This policy sets out the steps taken to protect anyone who has contact with our organisation from avoidable harm.

The policy defines how we ensure that working practices align with statutory responsibilities and comply with national legislation and government guidance.

TfC also adhere to the safeguarding policy of the host organisation, Solva Care.

1. Purpose

TfC are committed to ensuring full compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements to safeguard employees and those we work with.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. This policy applies to all employees of TfC (including temporary, part time, freelance and full-time team members) and those working in partnership with TfC.

The aims of the policy are to assist in the prevention of harm or abuse by:

  • Defining and clarifying responsibilities for safeguarding.
  • Specifying arrangements to monitor safety and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

2. Commitment

We are committed to safeguarding all individuals who we encounter and recognise that all people have the right to protection from harm or abuse.

The implementation of this policy is overseen by the Safeguarding lead Jessie Buchanan and regularly reviewed to ensure best working practice.

We endeavour to train all team members in safeguarding and recognising the risk of harm through appropriate training.

We recognise and understand the experience of team members and offer them a range of support to manage the sometimes-challenging nature of our work.

We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for our team by:

  • Designing and undertake all work in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from contact with TfC. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.
  • Implementing safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff.
  • Following up reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.
  • Ensuring that safe, appropriate, and accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities we work with.

TfC will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners, and official bodies.

When dealing with safeguarding concerns TfC ensures confidentiality is maintained throughout the process. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management is shared on a need-to-know basis only and is always kept secure.

3. Definitions used in the policy

Safeguarding – protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

Harm – psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights. 

Abuse – doing something that is wrong in a way that is harmful.

Neglect – the failure to care properly.

20230501 Safeguarding Policy

TFCP4 Environmental Policy

Policy Statement

The climate and ecological emergency is a significant threat and will impact all aspects of life on earth. We must all be responsible for working towards greener solutions and as an organisation we want to be transparent and commit to continually doing better.

TfC recognises that it has a responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our environmental performance as an integral part of our strategy and working practice.

Our team have experience within the environmental sector as academics, growers, campaigners, community organisers and activists. We champion and celebrate this variety of experience as an organisation and harness this knowledge and best practice.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure TfC are acting in alignment with regulatory requirements as well as organisational values to curate a culture in which environmental impact is considered at every stage.

2. Commitments

We are committed to:

Complying with all relevant regulatory requirements.
Continually monitoring and improving environmental performance.

o The findings of which will be available on our website within our annual reports to ensure transparency and accountability.
o Continually improving and reducing environmental impact.

Incorporating environmental factors into decision making.
Increasing employee awareness.

3. Responsibility

Rachel Kelway-Lewis has been appointed as the organisation’s Environmental Advocate to ensure that the environmental policy is implemented and considered in decision making however all employees also have a responsibility to adhere to and contribute to the policy as individuals.

3.1 What we are doing

3.1.1 Transportation

  • On a day-to-day basis, all employees work remotely to reduce the carbon footprint of commuting.
  • When required to attend in person, the TfC team make efforts to utilise public transportation and reimburse costs to ensure it is accessible for all employees. However, we are aware that due to the rural nature of our location and other factors, this will not always be possible, therefore, we will make every effort to car share.
  • We promote email and virtual meetings where appropriate.

3.1.2 Office supplies

  • We evaluate the environmental impact of an intended purchase and consider whether items need to be purchased or whether it is possible to borrow or rent instead.
  • We endeavour to reduce paper use and recycle as much as possible.
  • We favour more environmentally friendly and efficient products wherever possible including prioritising sourcing locally.

3.3.3 Areas we want to improve upon:

• Calculating an accurate carbon footprint of TfC including impact of email servers.
• Switching to a more environmentally conscious bank to ensure we are not inadvertently supporting fossil fuel investment.

Ensuring all decision making is conducted with environmental consideration.

Offering employees opportunities to undertake training in environmentally conscious practice.

4. Definitions

Climate and ecological emergency – the recognition of the significant and detrimental impact human activity has had and is continuing to have upon the planet and the urgent need to act.

Carbon footprint – carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of activates of a particular individual, organisation or community.

Environmental impact – any impact on the environment whether adverse or beneficial resulting from activities, products or services.

20230501 Environmental Policy

TFCP5 Welsh Language Policy

Policy Statement

TfC recognises that the Welsh language should be treated no less favourably than the English language and that people in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of Welsh should they choose to. TfC understands that we have a responsibility to promote the use of the Welsh language within the workplace and within all communications with other organisations and the public.

This policy sets out how TfC adheres to this standard. The policy also explains how TfC complies with the Welsh Language Standards it has a duty to comply with including the core funding body, the Welsh National Lottery.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out TfC’s commitments to promote and enhance the Welsh Language throughout our working practice.

2. Commitments

We are committed to promoting the Welsh language and do so by:

  • Having an appointed Welsh Language officer, Jessie Buchanan, who will represent the Welsh language in the workplace and ensure TfC is adhering to its commitments and regularly reviewing performance.
  • All complaints relating to the use of the Welsh language will be handled by the Welsh Language Officer, Jessie Buchanan and will be handled in the medium of Welsh unless English is preferred by the complainant.
  • Encouraging the use of the Welsh language amongst staff and facilitating training where possible.
  • Producing all materials bilingually, including our website and endeavouring to not treat the Welsh language less favourably.
  • Where possible, social media posts will be bilingual.
  • Going forward, all films will be produced bilingually or be available with bilingual subtitles.
  • Stating in all emails that individuals are welcome to correspond in Welsh.
  • Stating the Welsh language level of the colleague in all emails. If the Welsh language level does not meet the standard required to correspond in Welsh, TfC will either appoint another member of staff to act on their behalf or utilise translation services. Asking all meeting attendees if they wish to use the Welsh language and if over 10% wish to participate in Welsh, TfC will facilitate bilingually or a translation service will be provided.
  • Allocating appropriate budget for translation services for all staff members to utilise. Advertising all vacancies bilingually and conducting interviews in Welsh where requested.

Our commitments are also in alignment with the Welsh National Lottery Funding requirements which can be found at Section-44-Compliance-Notice-E.pdf (tnlcommunityfund.org.uk).

3. Definitions

Bilingual – the use of two languages, for the purpose of this policy the languages referred to are Welsh and English.

20230503 Welsh Language Policy

TFCP6 Sickness and Absence Policy

Policy Statement

TfC recognise the importance of employee health and their responsibilities as an employer. TfC understand that there may be times when an employee requires time off work or reasonable adjustments to be made due to illness. TfC aim to support employees through absence or change in working arrangement due to illness.

This policy provides employees with an overview of the procedure followed. The policy also highlights how TfC adheres to its legal obligations and standards.

1. Purpose

The aim of this policy is to ensure employees clearly understand the markers for short and long term absence and the procedure that will take place if these markers are reached.

2. Commitments

2.1 Procedure Overview

An employee’s absence information will be reviewed by their line manager if they reach a marker for short or long-term absence.

For short-term absence to be activated, the line manager will refer the employee to the Sickness and Absence Policy. The employee will then be asked to attend an Absence Management meeting with their line manager.

For long-term sickness to be activated, the line manager will initially review the information then decide whether it is appropriate to invoke the formal Sickness and Absence procedure.

If the line manager does not invoke the procedure, they will maintain contact with the employee, update with any arrangements and advise the employee that they may invoke the procedure in the future.

If the Sickness and Absence Procedure is invoked, the employee may bring a companion to proceedings who is either:

  • A trade union representative
  • A work colleague
  • An official employed by a trade union

No other companions will be permitted to attend absence management meetings.

The line manager will make reasonable adjustments if the employee has a disability. They may permit an alternative companion. Employees should discuss this directly with their line manager.

Employees must tell their line manager who their chosen companion is, at least 24 hours before the meeting.

The line manager may request a TfC representative at formal meetings and will arrange a note-taker.

Employees can request to re-schedule a meeting if they or their companion cannot attend. It must be rescheduled and take place within the following five working days. Employees must not fail to attend the re-arranged meeting without justification. Line managers can consider your case in your absence based upon the written submissions.

In cases of long-term absence, employees may require a meeting venue away from the place of work. An external venue including the employee’s home can be requested.

TfC line managers will be sympathetic. They will carefully consider, in such cases, any request for a family member to be present.

The line manager will document all actions in this procedure. They will include reasons for taking or not taking action, such as:

  • A referral to occupational health for an assessment
  • Implementing of reasonable adjustments

2.2 Procedure – Stage 1

The line manager will arrange a Stage 1 Absence Management Meeting. They will give a minimum of five working days’ notice in writing. They will include any documents relevant to the case, such as:

  • Absence record form
  • Any letters or correspondence previously sent to the employee
  • Notes of discussions with about the employee’s absence levels
  • Any medical evidence

The line manager will advise the employee that:

  • The purpose of the meeting is to review unsatisfactory attendance levels
  • A possible outcome of the meeting is to move to a formal review period

If an employee is on long-term absence, the line manager will contact the employee to agree on a date, time and location for the meeting. They will confirm this in writing.

If the employee does not respond or cooperate, the line manager may arrange the meeting without agreement.

The meeting aims to:

  • Establish how the employee is and the likely length of their absence
  • Consider the advice in your ‘fit note’ or medical report
  • Discuss what steps we can take to assist you in returning to work, such as: A phased return
  • Amending your job duties
  • Altering your hours of work
  • Workplace adaptations
  • Explain your sick pay entitlements
  • Confirm when the next contact will take place

2.3 Procedure – Stage 1 Outcome

After the meeting, the line manager will confirm all agreed decisions in writing. Possible outcomes may be:

  • No further action
  • A referral to occupational health and a follow-up meeting with the line manager
  • Adjustments to employee’s role, hours, duties, work or location. TfC will consider reasonable adjustments if the employee has a disability, as defined by the Equality Act 2010.
  • The line manager sets a review period and defines the required level of improvement.This is usually two months, but they may extend it for up to four. Throughout the review period, the line manager will monitor the employee’s absence levels.

The line manager could decide not to move to a formal review period. For example, if there are extenuating reasons for the absences. If the line manager decides to take no further action, they will confirm this in writing and provide an explanation for the decision.

Usually, the line manager will set a formal review period to improve absence levels. They will confirm this formal review period in writing. At the end of the review period set, the line manager will review absence levels.

If they have improved to the satisfaction of the line manager, they may take no further action. They will confirm this in writing. If satisfactory improvement has not been made, the line manager will move to Stage 2. They will send a written notification of invoking Stage 2 and arrange an Absence Management meeting.

In cases of long-term absence, the appropriateness and length of a review period will depend on:

  • Individual circumstances
  • The reasons for absence
  • Likely return to work
  • Medical advice
  • Available support

Throughout an employee’s absence, the line manager will keep in regular contact in an effort to support the employee to return to work. They will also consider reasonable adjustments and medical advice.

2.4 Procedure – Stage 2

The line manager will arrange a Stage 2 Absence Management meeting. They will give a minimum of five working days notice in writing. They will include any documents relevant to the case.
(Stage 2 follows the same steps, outcomes and written notifications as Stage 1)

At the end of the review period set, the line manager will review absence levels.
If they have improved to the satisfaction of the line manager, they may take no further action and this will be confirmed in writing.
If satisfactory improvement has not been made, the line manager will move to Stage 3 and send written notification of a Stage 3 Absence Management hearing.

2.5 Procedure – Stage 3

A senior manager with authority to dismiss will arrange a Stage 3 Absence Management hearing. At the meeting will be:

  • The chair (usually the head of service from the service area concerned or someone at an equivalent or higher level)
  • A second senior manager (from the service area concerned or an alternative area)
  • A TfC representative to provide advice on policy and procedure (to the panel members)

The panel will be supported by:

• A note-taker

The line manager who attended the Stage 1 and 2 meetings will attend the hearing to:

  • Provide evidence of actions taken to date
  • Describe previous discussions
  • Describe support provided

As previously advised, the employee may bring a companion, following the same guidelines laid out in 2.1 Procedure Overview.

The senior manager will:

  • Provide ten working days’ notice of the hearing
  • Provide all relevant documentation for consideration

The panel will consider:

  • All the facts concerning the employee’s absence record
  • Actions taken to date to improve these levels
  • Any relevant and up-to-date advice from occupational health or other medical advisers
  • Any information the employee submits

In long-term absence cases, a senior manager will arrange a Stage 3 hearing when:

  • Occupational health advice is that you are unable to return for a prolonged period
  • Occupational health advice does not recommend redeployment
  • They explore all reasonable steps to assist the employee in returning to work. For example:

o A phased return
o Amending job duties
o Altering hours of work
o Workplace adaptations
o They discuss the possibility of dismissal, including ill-health retirement

The senior manager will consider all reasonable steps in managing the employee’s absence. Only then will they start the processes to dismiss while the employee is on long-term absence.

These could include:

  • Consulting with the employee
  • Seeking medical advice
  • Considering redeployment
  • Retirement due to ill health

The possible outcomes of a Stage 3 hearing are:

  • A further review period, usually for two months but no more than four
  • Reasonable adjustments with a further review period
  • Redeployment
  • Dismissal
  • Permanent ill-health (PIH) retirement

The panel will reconvene a hearing at the end of any new review period. It will determine if absence levels have improved and whether or not to take further action. Dismissal may be an outcome at this stage.

2.6 Procedure – Escalation straight to Stage 3 hearing

Occupational health may advise that the employee is:

  • Eligible for permanent ill-health retirement
  • Unfit to return to your post for a prolonged period due to an underlying healthcondition
  • Not suitable for redeployment

In such cases, the line manager may escalate to a Stage 3 hearing without the need for a Stage 1 or 2 meeting. They must get advice from a subject matter expert before considering this.

2.7 Procedure – Extension of review periods

A TfC line manager can extend an employee’s review period to up to four months at the time they set it. They can extend it again after the initial review period to allow more time for improvement.

2.8 Procedure – 12-months ‘live’ monitoring period

If absences improve to the required level, a line manager may take no further action. They will encourage an employee to sustain improved levels. The employee will enter a 12-month ‘live’ monitoring period, starting when the review period ends.

The line manager will review an employee’s absence record if:

  • They have further absences within 12 months, and
  • On a 12-month rolling basis, their absences hit the activation points

The line manager will then decide whether you re-join the procedure at the stage you were at when the action ceased to apply a further review period.

3. Definitions

Short-term sickness absence 

  • Four or more episodes of absence in a rolling 12-month period
  • Nine working days of absence in a rolling 12-month period
  • Absences in a short period warranting immediate action. For example, three episodes or six working days in six months.
  • A pattern of absence causing concern, for example:

o Regular Fridays or Mondays
o Absences regularly occurring on a particular day 
o Pre or post annual leave
o School holidays
o Public holidays
o Payday

Long-term sickness absence – An absence lasting a continuous period of 28 calendar days or more.

20230515 Sickness and Absence Policy

TFCP7 Flexible Working Policy

Policy Statement

TfC recognises that a better work-life balance can improve employee motivation, performance and productivity, and reduce stress. TfC is therefore committed to developing innovative working practices such as flexible working so that employees can meet their other priorities, such as caring responsibilities, leisure activities, further learning and other interests.

TfC is committed to agreeing any flexible working arrangements, provided that the needs and objectives of both the organisation and the employee can be met.

TfC encourages open discussion with employees and believes both the employee and TfC can benefit from flexible working.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure TfC employees understand the procedure for establishing a flexible working arrangement and feel encouraged to contact their line manager to arrange an informal discussion to talk about the options.

TfC believes that working flexibly can:

  • Increase employee motivation
  • Reduce employee stress
  • Improve performance and productivity
  • Support employees with personal circumstances such as: 
    • Health conditions
    • A disability
    • Caring for others outside of work

2 Commitments
2.1 Flexible working overview

Flexible working is any type of working arrangement that gives some degree of flexibility on

how long, where and when an employee works. If TfC can deliver efficient and effective services, we can allow employees to work in a way that best suits their needs. TfC believes that meeting this need helps to attract and retain talented employees.

This smarter working approach supports flexible working. Smarter working helps to support employees with their health and wellbeing. It also enables TfC and employees to perform well by choosing:

  • The most efficient way of working
  • Improving work-life balance
  • Using technology to reduce the need for travel to offices and meetings
  • Focusing on the work you do rather than where you do it

The following flexible working options are considered to be the typical arrangements that employees will request but TfC recognises that there may be alternatives or a combination of options which are suitable to both the organisation and the employee:

  • Annualised hours
  • Compressed hours
  • Flexitime
  • Home-working
  • Job-sharing
  • Overtime
  • Part-time working
  • Term-time working

Any employee with at least 26 weeks of employment service has a statutory right to request flexible working. However, TfC has taken the view that employees in all areas, and at any level, are entitled to submit a request for flexible working regardless of their length of service.

2.2 The needs of TfC

TfC is committed to providing a range of appropriate working patterns. However, employees and management need to be realistic and to recognise that not all flexible working options will be appropriate for all roles. Arrangements for flexible working must not compromise TfC’s ability to provide a high standard of work.

Where a flexible working arrangement is proposed, TfC will need to consider several criteria including (but not limited to) the following:

  • The costs associated with the proposed arrangement
  • The effect of the proposed arrangement on other staff
  • The need for, and effect on, supervision
  • The existing structure of the department
  • The availability of staff resources
  • Details of the tasks specific to the role
  • The workload of the role
  • Whether it is a request for a reasonable adjustment related to a disability
  • Health and safety issues

2.3 Submitting a flexible working request

An employee is entitled to submit one flexible working request in a 12-month period. An employee is entitled to additional requests if they relate to a statutory entitlement, for example the Equality Act 2010 right to request reasonable adjustments.

All requests must be made in writing to the employee’s line manager and must include:

  • The date of the application
  • The changes that the employee is seeking to their terms and conditions
  • The date from when the employee would like the proposed change to come intoeffect
  • What effect the employee thinks the requested change would have on theorganisation
  • How, in their view, any such effect could be dealt with
  • Whether this is a statutory or non-statutory request
  • Whether a previous application for flexible working has been made
  • The dates of any previous applicationsIf the employee is making the request in relation to the Equality Act, e.g., as a reasonable adjustment relating to a disability, this should be made clear in the application.If an application does not contain all the required information the line manager will explain to the employee what additional or amended information they need to provide and ask the employee to resubmit the request.

2.4 Meetings regarding flexible working

Upon receiving a written request for flexible working, an employee’s line manager will usually seek to arrange a meeting with the employee to:

  • Discuss the request
  • Find out more about the proposed working arrangements
  • How it could be of benefit to both the employee and organisationIf a meeting is arranged, it will be held within 28 days of the organisation receiving the request. This time limit may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and line manager. The employee will be given advance notice of the time, date and place of the meeting. If the initial date is problematic, then one further date will be proposed. At the meeting the employee may, if they wish, be accompanied by a workplace colleague or a trade union representative. If the employee fails to attend a meeting and then fails to attend a rearranged meeting without good reason, their application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.Where a request can, without further discussion, be approved as stated in the employee’s written application a meeting to discuss the request may not be necessary. The employee will be informed of TfC’s agreement in writing, as outlined in section. A written agreement will be sent within 28 days of the organisation receiving the request. This time limit may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and the line manager.

2.5 Responding to a flexible working request

A line manager will consider the proposed flexible working arrangements, looking at the potential benefits and adverse effects to the employee and to the organisation in implementing the proposed changes.

Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Agreeing to one request will not set a precedent or create the right for another employee to be granted a similar change to their working pattern. The employee will be informed in writing of the organisation’s decision as soon as is reasonably practicable, but no later than 14 days after the meeting.

The request may be granted in full, in part or refused. The organisation may propose a modified version of the request, the request may be granted on a temporary basis, or the employee may be asked to try the flexible working arrangement for a trial period. If the request is agreed, then the employee will be sent a confirmation letter which will include details of the new arrangements. The employee should contact their line manager within 14 days if they wish to discuss the new arrangements further or have any concerns.

2.6 Right to appeal decision

The employee has the right to appeal the decision if their request is refused or is only agreed in part.

The employee may lodge an appeal within 14 days of being notified of a decision on their application. This should be done in writing and clearly state the grounds on which they are appealing. The appeal will be heard within 14 days. The employee will then be informed of the outcome to their appeal within 14 days of the appeal meeting. These time limits may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and line manager.

2.7 Trialling new working arrangements

Where there is some uncertainty about whether the flexible working arrangement is practicable for an employee and/or TfC, a trial period may be agreed. If a trial period is arranged the organisation will allow sufficient time for an employee and their manager to implement and become used to the new working practices before taking any decisions on the viability of a new arrangement.

3. Definitions

Annualised hours – where an employee’s contractual working hours are calculated as the total number of hours to be worked over the year, allowing flexible working patterns to be worked throughout the year. Usually, the hours will be divided into rostered hours, which are set, and unallocated hours, when an employee can be called into work as demand dictates (and to cover unplanned work and employee absence). Payment will be in 12 equal instalments (although arrangements may be permitted where the pay for the work done is in the period to which the payment relates).

Compressed hours – where an employee works their usual full-time hours in fewer days by working longer blocks meaning that there is no reduction in their pay. For example, a 5-day week is compressed into four days, or a 10-day fortnight into 9 days

Flexitime – allows an employee to choose, within certain limits, when to begin and end work. An employee is required to work during a core time and must work an agreed number of hours during the accounting period of a month. Their hours of attendance will be recorded and added up at the end of each accounting period. An employee can carry over an excess or deficit of hours from one accounting period to another, as decided with their employer. A deficit of hours should be made up in the following accounting period. Excess hours may be used to either reduce attendance outside of core hours or, take additional leave (flexi-leave), subject to a maximum of full days in any accounting period, as set by the employer. Additional leave should be requested and agreed with the employee’s line manager in the same way as annual leave.

Home-working – when an employee regularly carries out all, or part of, their duties from home rather than the employer’s premises. The organisation can consider homeworking being an occasional agreed day, a mix of home and office-based work each week or a full-time arrangement.

Job-sharing – an arrangement where a full-time post is divided into two part-time roles. The two job holders then share the overall duties and responsibilities. Their skills and the hours each employee’s preference to work must be compatible and meet the needs of the organisation. Pay and benefits are shared in proportion to the hours each works. Job sharing can be considered where the creation of a single part-time post is difficult, or where two individuals wish to work part-time. The suitability of posts for job-sharing will be stated in any internal or external advertisements.

Overtime – when hours are worked in addition to the usual full-time hours. Overtime can be agreed where the organisation would benefit from an employee working more hours. This is voluntary and an employee can refuse overtime if they wish. Overtime may have a different pay rate, as set by the employer.

Part-time working – covers any arrangement where an employee is contracted to work anything less than typical full-time hours for the type of work in question. For example, an employee who only works Monday to Wednesday. The organisation believes that all posts will be available on a part-time basis, except where a critical examination by line management proves this to be impracticable. The suitability of posts for part-time working will be stated in any internal or external advertisements.

Term-time working – where an employee reduces their hours or takes time off during any school holidays. Any weeks above their annual leave entitlement will be unpaid. Salary can be paid in 12 equal monthly instalments (although arrangements may be permitted where an employee is only paid for the time worked and receive no pay during the holidays apart from their entitlement to annual leave).

20230515 Flexible Working Policy

TFCP8 Grievance Policy

Policy Statement

TfC recognises that employees may, from time to time, have concerns or complaints about their work, working relationships or working environment. In this event employees can raise a grievance under this policy, unless the matter is subject to other agreed procedures.

TfC encourages individuals and managers to make every effort to resolve problems informally in the first instance as this is often the most effective method of addressing grievances. However, if the issue is serious, or has not been resolved in this way, a formal grievance may be raised.

This policy sets out informal and formal processes to follow when an employee has a grievance. TfC aims to deal with grievances promptly, fairly, consistently, and without unreasonable delay.

1. Purpose

This policy lays out the grievance procedure used by TfC to guide employees in the instance of needing to raise a grievance.

The policy covers the procedures for both informal and formal grievances in addition to how an employee can appeal a decision.

2. Commitments

TfC will carry out necessary investigations, meet with the employee to discuss their grievance, and inform them of the outcome.

An employee has the right to appeal any formal decision if they are not satisfied.

3. Dealing with grievances informally

If an employee has a grievance or complaint about their work, someone they work with or anything relating to their working environment, they should start by speaking with their line manager wherever possible. An employee and their line manager may often be able to agree a solution informally between themselves. This is the easiest and most efficient solution.

3.1 Formal grievance procedure

If an employee wants to raise a matter formally, they should put the grievance in writing to their line manager. The employee should limit information to the facts and avoid language that is insulting or abusive.
If the employee’s grievance is against their line manager and they feel unable to approach them, they should raise it with the TfC Programme Lead.

The letter or email raising the grievance should include:

  • What the grievance is about
  • Any evidence, for example a payslip or employment contract
  • What they want their employer to do about itIt’s a good idea for the employee to be specific where possible. E.g. ‘I would like to be paid on time in future’.The employee’s line manager will then call them to a meeting, usually within 5 working days, to discuss the grievance. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.After the meeting the line manager will give the employee a decision in writing, usually within 24 hours.If the line manager needs more information before deciding, they will inform the employee of this and the timescale.

3.2 Appeal

If an employee is unhappy with the decision made in response to the grievance they have raised, they can make an appeal. The employee should inform their line manager in writing as soon as possible.

The employee will be invited to an appeal meeting, normally within 5 working days, with a more senior line manager. Again, the employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.

After the meeting the senior line manager will give the employee a decision in writing, usually within 24 hours. The senior manager’s decision is final.

3.3 Not following procedure

Not following a formal grievance procedure can affect:

  • People’s morale and confidence at work
  • The outcome, if the employee later makes a claim to an employment tribunalA tribunal will consider whether an employee has a genuine reason for not following a formal procedure.E.g. the employee might find it difficult to attend a grievance meeting with someone accused of sexually harassing them.

20230515 Grievance Policy

TFCP9 Disciplinary Policy

Policy Statement

Disciplinary rules are important for the fair running of TfC, so that everyone understands what is expected of them and operates safely and lawfully. TfC expects its employees to maintain high standards of conduct and behaviour at all times.

Disciplinary procedures are necessary so that employees who breach the rules of conduct expected by the organisation are treated reasonably, consistently and fairly in every case.

1. Purpose

This policy lays out the disciplinary procedure used by TfC to help and encourage all employees to achieve and maintain standards of conduct, attendance and job performance.

The aim is to ensure consistent and fair treatment for all in TfC.

A disciplinary process can be stressful for everyone involved. Different people might respond differently to stressful situations. We understand the prospect of disciplinary action might cause distress and affect your mental health. TfC will support an employee throughout the process to help avoid such negative impacts.

Employees should talk to their line manager about how TfC can support their wellbeing in these unfortunate circumstances.

2. Commitments

As an employer, TfC commits to:

  • Consider informal action, where appropriate, to resolve problems.
  • Not take disciplinary action against an employee until the case has been fullyinvestigated.
  • For formal action TfC will advise an employee of the nature of the complaint againstthem and will give the employee the opportunity to state their case before anydecision is made at a disciplinary meeting.
  • Provide an employee, where appropriate, with written copies of evidence and relevantwitness statements before a disciplinary meeting.
  • Not dismiss an employee for a first breach of discipline, except in the case of grossmisconduct, when the penalty is dismissal without notice and without payment in lieuof notice.
  • Give an employee the right to appeal against any disciplinary action.

2.1 An employee’s right to be accompanied

Employees have a statutory right to be accompanied by a companion where a disciplinary meeting could result in:

  • A formal warning
  • Some other disciplinary action
  • Confirmation of a formal warning or other disciplinary action (for example, at an appeal hearing)

Employees may be accompanied by:

  • Someone they work with
  • A trade union representative who’s certified or trained in acting as a companion
  • An official employed by a trade union

Employees should tell their line manager as soon as possible if they would like a companion and who it is, so that TfC can make arrangements in good time.

If an employee needs any reasonable adjustments, for example for a disability, they should speak to their line manager.

2.2 Disciplinary procedure
2.2.1 First stage of formal procedure 

This will normally be either:

  • An improvement note for unsatisfactory performance if performance does not meet acceptable standards. This will set out:

o The performance problem
o The improvement that is required
o The timescale
o Any help that may be given
o The right of appeal
o Advise an employee that this is the first stage of the formal procedure.
▪ TfC will keep a record of the improvement note for 6 months. It will then be considered spent, as long as the employee achieves and maintains satisfactory performance.


  • A first warning for misconduct if conduct does not meet acceptable standards. This will be in writing and set out:

o The nature of them is conduct
o The change in behaviour required 
o The right of appeal.
o Inform the employee that a final written warning may be considered if there is no sustained satisfactory improvement or change.
▪ TfC will keep a record of the warning, but it will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after 6 months

2.2.2 Final written warning

TfC may give an employee final written warning if:

  • The offence is sufficiently serious
  • There is further misconduct
  • There is failure to improve performance while they’re still under a prior warning

Final written warning will confirm:

  • The full details of the complaint
  • The improvement re-quired
  • The timescale
  • Warning that failure to improve may lead to dismissal (or some other action short ofdismissal)
  • The right of appeal.

The employee’s line manager will keep a copy of this written warning, but it will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after 6 months, as long as the employee achieves and maintains satisfactory conduct or performance.

2.2.3 Dismissal or other action

If there is still further misconduct or failure to improve performance the final step in the procedure may be dismissal. Dismissal decisions can only be taken by the appropriate senior manager.

An employee will be provided in writing with the:

  • Reasons for dismissal
  • Date their employment will end
  • Confirmation of all final payments they are owed
  • Right of appeal

If an action short of dismissal has been decided on, the employee will:

  • Receive confirmation of the full details of the complaint
  • Be warned that dismissal could result if there is no satisfactory improvement
  • Be advised of the right of appeal

The employee’s line manager will keep a copy of the written warning, but it will be dis- regarded for disciplinary purposes after 6 months if the employee achieves and maintains satisfactory conduct or performance.

2.2.4 Gross misconduct

The following list provides some examples of offences which are normally regarded as gross misconduct:

  • Theft or fraud
  • Physical violence
  • Bullying
  • Deliberate and serious damage to property
  • Serious misuse of an organisation’s property or name
  • Deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscenematerial
  • Serious insubordination
  • Discrimination, harassment or victimisation
  • Bringing the organisation into serious disrepute
  • Causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence
  • A serious breach of health and safety rules
  • A serious breach of confidence

TfC may consider suspending an employee while carrying out a disciplinary investigation in cases of gross misconduct. TfC will consider each situation carefully before deciding to suspend an employee. Suspension will not be needed for most investigations. Suspension does not necessarily mean an employee has done anything wrong and will not be used to discipline an employee.

TfC understands being suspended might be stressful and will:

  • Only suspend an employee if there is no other option
  • Support an employee throughout the suspension period, always considering theirmental health and wellbeing

2.2.5 Appeals

If an employee wants to appeal against a disciplinary decision, they must do so within 7 days. The senior manager will hear all appeals and their decision is final. At the appeal any disciplinary penalty imposed will be reviewed.

3. Definitions

Suspension – an employer requires an employee to temporarily stop working. The employee would be on full pay throughout any suspension period.

20230515 Disciplinary Policy

TFCP10 Maternity Policy

Policy Statement

TfC is committed to supporting best practice in relation to maternity, recognising the value of achieving a gender-diverse workforce and retaining and promoting talent.

This policy and procedure sets out the entitlements and benefits for pregnant employees and new parents.

TfC are committed to helping working parents balance the needs of work and family life. In addition to this maternity policy, there are also a number of family friendly policies aimed at supporting employees to meet demands faced when caring for dependents, such as shared parental leave and ordinary parental leave.

1. Purpose

The policy aims to promote a consistent and supportive approach to maternity across TfC and to increase awareness about the provisions available for pregnant employees and to ensure the protection of the health and well-being of the employee and the child/unborn child, and compliance with legislative requirements.

It sets out the contractual and statutory maternity rights to which all pregnant employees are entitled, both before and after the birth of a child.

Queries regarding the application of this policy should be directed to an employee’s line manager.

2. Commitments 

2.1 Eligibility

All pregnant employees, regardless of length of service, are entitled to:

• 52 weeks maternity leave
o 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave (OML) followed by 26 weeks additional maternity leave (AML). There must be no gap between the two.

It is up to the employee to decide how much maternity leave to take but a minimum of two weeks leave must be taken immediately following the birth. Only one period of leave will be available irrespective of whether more than one child (e.g., twins) results from the pregnancy.

The pregnant employee must notify their line manager by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (Qualifying Week) stating:

  • That they are pregnant
  • The expected week of childbirth (EWC)
  • The date on which they intend to start maternity leave.

Employees are not obliged to tell TfC they are pregnant until the end of the 15th week before the EWC, but it would be helpful if they could do so as early as possible so that their line manager can begin to:

  • Carry out a health and safety risk assessment
  • Plan paid time off for antenatal care (a statutory right)
  • Arrange cover during the employee’s absence
  • Plan the employee’s return to work

The employee must send a copy of their MAT B1 form, stating the expected week of childbirth, to their line manager when it is supplied at 20 weeks. The line manager will then write to the employee within 28 days setting out:

  • The employee’s entitlements to maternity leave and pay
  • The date on which the employee is expected to return to work (assuming they takeThe full entitlement to maternity leave)
  • The employee’s duty to notify their line manager if there is any change to plans
  • Dates that salary payments are due
  • A reminder that the employee must return to work for at least three months following the end of their maternity leave or have to refund the salary payments that are in excess of SMP.

For employees who may also wish to consider taking Shared Parental Leave, see 2.17.

2.2 Start date of maternity leave

Employees may choose to start maternity leave any day on or after the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). This is unless the child is born prematurely before that date.

The latest that maternity leave can start is the day following the birth, if this is the date specified for the beginning of maternity leave.

Employees can postpone the intended start date by informing their line manager in writing at least 28 days before the original intended start date, or if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable.

Employees can bring forward the intended start date by informing us at least 28 days before the new start date, or if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practical.

An employees’ maternity leave will automatically start on the earliest these dates:

  • Intended start date, notified in accordance with this policy
  • The day after the employee has a pregnancy-related sickness absence in any of thefour weeks before the EWC. If this happens the employee must let their line manager know as soon as possible in writing. Maternity leave will automatically begin unless it is agreed with the line manager to delay it.
  • The day after the birth. If the employee gives birth before their maternity leave was due to start, they must let their line manager know the date of the birth in writing as soon as possible
  • The day after a miscarriage, after 24 weeks

Before the employee starts their maternity leave, TfC will try to ensure an opportunity to discuss the arrangements for:

  • Covering their work
  • Opportunities to remain in contact, should they wish to do so, during their leave

Note: The law prohibits an employee from working during the two weeks following childbirth.

2.3 Changing the start or return date

If the employee wants to change the agreed upon start date for their maternity leave, they must give their line manager 28 days written notice (unless this is not reasonably practicable).

If they want to change the agreed return to work date, they must give their line manager 56 days written notice. If insufficient notice is given, TfC may postpone the employee’s return date until eight weeks after they gave notice, or to the expected return date if that is sooner.

If the employee wishes to return later than the expected return date, they must let their line manager know as soon as possible so that TfC can discuss available options, such as parental leave.

2.4 Stillbirth or miscarriage

TfC will be as supportive as possible in the distressing event of a stillbirth or miscarriage.

If an employee suffers the miscarriage of a baby up to the 24th week of pregnancy, they will not qualify for maternity leave or pay. However, if they take a period of sickness absence from work, they will be paid according to the Sickness and Absence Policy.

Periods of pregnancy-related sickness absence from the start of the pregnancy until the end of maternity leave will be recorded separately from other sickness records and will be disregarded in any future employment-related decisions.

If an employee experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth after the 24th week of pregnancy, or if they give birth prematurely to a living child after the 24th week of pregnancy where the baby later dies, they will be entitled to maternity leave in the usual way.

2.5 Terms and conditions during OML and AML

It is a legal requirement that all the terms and conditions of employment remain in force during OML and AML, except for the terms relating to pay. In particular:

  • Benefits in kind will continue
  • Annual leave entitlement under their contract will continue to accrue
  • Pension benefits will continue

3. Returning to work following maternity leave

Employees rights to return to work:

  • to the same job on the same terms and conditions after 26 weeks OML, unless aredundancy situation has arisen during maternity leave and for that reason it is not reasonably practicable for them to return to their old job. In this case they are entitled to be offered any suitable vacancy on terms and conditions which are no less favourable
  • to the same job on the same terms and conditions if they return during or on completion of the second 26 weeks AML, unless a redundancy situation has occurred or there is some other reason why it is not practicable for them to go back to their original job. In this case they are entitled to be offered any suitable vacancy on terms and conditions which are no less favourable than the original job

Employees rights to return will be retained if they:

  • Take parental leave of four weeks or less immediately after maternity leave becauseparental leave has its own statutory right of return (see the Parental Leave Policybelow for more information)
  • Take two consecutive periods of maternity leave

Shortly before an employee is due to return to work, TfC may invite them to have a discussion (whether in person or by telephone) about the arrangements for their return. This will be to assist them in making a successful transition back to work. This may be completed during one of the ‘keeping in touch days’ (explained below), prior to the date they are due to return.

This discussion may cover:

  • Updating the employee on any changes that have occurred during their absence
  • Any training needs they might have
  • Any changes to working arrangements (for example if they have made a request to work flexibly)

3 .1 Flexible working

If an employee wishes to continue working after the birth of their child but would find it difficult to do this on a full-time basis, TfC will seriously consider any written request to vary their work pattern, e.g., to part time or job sharing. TfC will try to accommodate the employee’s wishes unless there is a justifiable reason for refusal, bearing in mind the needs of the organisation.

TfC will treat the employee’s request as sympathetically as possible, however TfC are not obliged to accommodate all requests. It is helpful if requests are made as early as possible.

For more information see TFCP7 Flexible Working Policy

3.2 Resigning instead of returning to work

If an employee wants to resign after maternity leave instead of returning to work, they must give the period of notice stated in their Contract of Employment.
See also section 6. Maternity pay, for details of the repayment they will have to make.

3.3 Breast feeding

If an employee returns to work within six months of giving birth, or if they are still breastfeeding, they must inform their line manager so they can undertake a risk assessment.

If they are breastfeeding, their line manager will plan for them to be provided with a place to rest and to store expressed milk when attending face to face meetings or work events.

3.4 Redundancies during maternity leave

In the event that an employee’s post is affected by a redundancy situation occurring during their maternity leave, TfC will write to them to inform them of any proposals. TfC will also invite the employee to a meeting before any final decision is reached as to their continued employment. Employees on maternity leave will be given first refusal on any suitable alternative vacancies that are appropriate to their skills.

4. Antenatal appointments

Pregnant employees are entitled to take paid time off for antenatal appointments which have been recommended by a doctor, midwife or health visitor. They should try to arrange appointments at the most convenient times wherever possible (e.g at the beginning or end of the working day). Part-time staff should try to arrange their appointments on a day they do not work.

Employees do not have to prove that they have an appointment unless their line manager asks them to do so.
Fathers / partners have a statutory right to unpaid time off to attend two of the antenatal appointments, see 14. Father / Partner Policy.

5. Annual leave

Annual leave may be taken before or after but not during maternity leave.
If the employee wishes to take some annual leave before going on maternity leave so that they can extend the period they are paid, they should agree this with their line manager in the normal way. Similarly, the employee may also take annual leave at the end of the paid or unpaid maternity leave, again subject to their line manager’s agreement.

If they are on maternity leave at the end of the annual leave year, they may carry over any untaken annual leave days to the following leave year.

Employees should discuss their holiday plans with their line manager in good time before starting their maternity leave. All holiday dates are subject to approval by the line manager.

The employee will be given time off in lieu of any public holidays that occur during their maternity leave (pro rata if they are part time).

6. Maternity pay

Statutory maternity pay (SMP) is payable for up to 39 weeks. SMP will stop being payable if the employee returns to work (except where they are using ‘keeping in touch days’ as detailed below).

The employee is entitled to SMP if:

  • They have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks at the end of the Qualifying Week and are still employed by TfC during that week
  • Their average weekly earnings during the eight weeks ending with the Qualifying Week (the Relevant Period) are not less than the lower earnings limit set by the government
  • They provide TfC with a doctor’s or midwife’s certificate (MAT B1 form) stating their Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC)
  • They give at least 28 days’ notice (or, if that is not possible, as much notice as possible) of their intention to take maternity leave
  • They are still pregnant 11 weeks before the EWC or have already given birth

SMP is paid:

  • At 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks
  • At a prescribed rate which is set by the government for the relevant tax year(Earnings-Related Rate), or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP accrues from the day on which the employee commences their OML and thereafter at the end of each complete week of absence. SMP payments are made on the next normal payroll date and income tax, National Insurance and pension contributions are deducted as appropriate.

An employee is still eligible for SMP if they leave employment for any reason after the start of the Qualifying Week (for example, if they resign or are made redundant). In such cases, if their maternity leave has not already begun, SMP starts to accrue in whichever is the later of:

  • The week following the week in which employment ends
  • The eleventh week before the EWC

If an employee becomes eligible for a pay rise before the end of their maternity leave, they will be treated for SMP purposes as if the pay rise had applied throughout the Relevant Period. This means that their SMP will be recalculated and increased retrospectively, or that they may qualify for SMP if they did not previously qualify. A lump sum will be paid to make up the difference between any SMP already paid and the amount payable by virtue of the pay rise. Any future SMP payments at the Earnings-Related Rate (if any) will also be increased as necessary.

If the employee has not been continuously employed for less than 26 weeks into the qualifying week, they are not entitled to SMP. They may be eligible to claim up to 39 weeks Maternity Allowance (MA) instead. This is paid directly by Jobcentre Plus offices. If they are not eligible for MA, they may be eligible to claim income support or other benefits. See the government services site for further information: https://www.gov.uk/.

7. Health and safety

TfC are required to protect the health and safety of pregnant employees by carrying out a risk assessment. TfC will identify any preventive and protective measures that they consider they need to take. TfC will take such steps as necessary to avoid any risks identified affecting the employee’s health and safety or that of their baby.

This may involve:

  • Changing the employee’s working conditions or hours of work
  • Offering them suitable alternative work on terms and conditions that are the same ornot substantially less favourable
  • Suspending the employee from duties, which will be on full pay unless they haveunreasonably refused suitable alternative work, until such time as they are able to resume their dutiesTfC may contact occupational health, if required, to seek confidential advice and guidance as to how to support the employee’s health and well-being.

8. Keeping in touch (KIT) days

During maternity leave TfC encourages reasonable contact with the employee from time to time. The employee will be kept informed of any organisational developments which may impact them.

Subject to the line manager’s agreement, the employee may carry out up to 10 days paid work during the leave period without bringing their maternity leave period to an end and without losing SMP. Note: this excludes the period of the first two weeks after childbirth when it is illegal to work.

Payment for each day will be the equivalent of a day’s contractual salary (inclusive of any maternity pay entitlement).

This is a voluntary arrangement with no compulsion on either side and must be discussed and agreed with TfC beforehand. It is a ‘keeping in touch’ initiative to help ease the return to work and will be especially beneficial if training is required or in times of organisational change.

The employee’s line manager will inform the Finance Office of days worked who will process any payment due.

If an employee attends a KIT day their line manager may be required to carry out a specific risk assessment. This risk assessment will need to be undertaken where the employee:

  • Has given birth in the previous 6 months
  • Is breast feedingIf the employee is simply coming into the office for a meeting about their return to work, then that doesn’t count as “work”, and no risk assessment will be necessary.

9. Grievance

If an employee feels that they have been treated unfairly whilst pregnant or on maternity leave they should first try to resolve their concerns with their line manager. If unsuccessful, they can bring a formal grievance under the Grievance Policy – TFCP8.

10. Shared Parental Leave

To get Shared Parental Leave (SPL), there must be 2 parents sharing responsibility for a child.

For either parent to get SPL, the birth parent or primary adopter must do one of the following:

  • End their maternity or adoption leave and return to work
  • Give their employer notice to end (‘curtail’) their maternity or adoption leave early

The parent who is to take SPL must:

  • Be sharing responsibility with the other parent from the day of the child’s birth oradoption placement
  • Be legally classed as an employee
  • Pass the ‘continuity of employment test’ and their partner must pass the ’employment and earnings test’

They must then give TfC notice of SPL entitlement.

The parent who is to take SPL must:

  • Have worked for TfC for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before theirbaby is due or their adoption match date
  • Still be working for TfC a week before the start of each block of leave they take

Up to the expected birth date or adoption match date, the other parent must have:

  • Worked for at least 26 of 66 weeks
  • Earned an average of at least £30 a week in any 13 weeks (that’s £390 in total)

Workers, including agency, contract and zero-hours workers, are not entitled to SPL but might be able to get Shared Parental Pay.

If the employee taking SPL stops sharing responsibility for the child, they must tell their TfC straight away. Their entitlement to SPL or ShPP will end, and TfC can require them to return to work.

If it’s not practical for TfC to have the employee back at work straight away, they can still be required to be off for any SPL they had booked for up to 8 weeks.

During SPL, the employee is still entitled to all of the terms and conditions of their employment contract. This is except for the employee’s usual salary and other payments (‘remuneration’), as they’ll be on ShPP.

It’s against the law for an employer to treat an employee unfairly because they’ve taken or intend to take SPL.

11. Ordinary parental leave (OPL)

An employee has the right to unpaid time off to look after their child up to their 18th birthday. This is called Ordinary parental leave (OPL) and is usually unpaid.

Reasons for taking parental leave could be to:

  • Spend more time with them
  • Look after them during school holidays
  • Care for them when they’re off school sick
  • Go to school open days or events with them
  • Settle them into new childcare arrangements
  • Visit grandparents with them

Each parent can take up to 18 weeks for each child. If they take it, it should be:

  • In blocks of a week at a time
  • A maximum of 4 weeks a year for each child

An employee can take parental leave more flexibly if they receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for their child. E.g. Taking 1 or 2 days leave rather than blocks of a week at a time.

11.1 Eligability for OPL

To get OPL, the employee must:

  • Be legally classed as an employee
  • Have worked for TfC for a year or more
  • Have parental responsibility for the child therefore must be named on one of thefollowing:
    • Their birth certificate
    • Their adoption certificate
    • A parental order, for surrogacy
    • A legal guardianshipIf the employee is a stepparent, they can also have parental responsibility if it’s agreed by both biological parents. If the employee is separated from the other parent or does not live with the child, they still have the right to OPL if they keep parental responsibility for the child.Employees must ask their line manager for OPL 21 days before the date they want the leave to begin.It’s against the law for TfC to dismiss an employee or treat them unfairly because they have asked to take OPL. TfC cannot refuse or completely cancel OPL.

However, TfC can postpone OPL for up to 6 months after the date originally asked for, if it’s going to be disruptive to work. If TfC decides to postpone an employee’s OPL, they must write to the employee within 7 days of the request to:

  • Tell the employee why the leave is being postponed
  • Give other suitable datesTfC must make sure that the employee can take the leave asked for before the child’s 18th birthday.

12. In case of an emergency

If there’s an emergency or unexpected event and employee needs time off to care for their child, they can ask their line manager if they can use:

  • Time off for dependants
  • Sick leave
  • Holiday

13. Adding parental leave to paternity leave

An employee can use OPL to make their paternity leave longer if either:

  • They are the biological father
  • Their partner is having a baby, adopting a child or having a child through surrogacyAn employee can take OPL once their baby is born or adoption placement starts, before they take paternity leave. TfC cannot postpone OPL if an employee has chosen to take it straight after the birth or adoption.Eg. taking a week of OPL after the baby is born and then taking 2 weeks paternity leave entitlement, so they get 3 weeks off altogether.If an employee wants to take OPL this way, they should tell their line manager at least 21 days before their baby is due or the adoption placement is due to start.

14. Father/Partner Policy

14.1 Time off for antennal appointments

By law, an employee has the right to go to 2 pregnancy-related (‘antenatal’) or adoption appointments with their partner if they’re:

  • The biological father
  • The secondary adopter and have been matched with a child
  • To be a parent through surrogacy and will be applying for a parental orderTfC does not have to pay the employee for this time off, each employee should check their contract or speak to their line manager.An employee can take a maximum of 6.5 hours for each appointment, including travel to and from the appointment.

If the employee wants to go to more appointments, they can talk with their line manager to see if they could use:

  • Holiday
  • Flexible working
  • Unpaid leave

14.2 If an employee’s partner is having a difficult pregnancy

If an employee’s partner is having a difficult pregnancy or pregnancy-related illnesses and the employee wants to care for them, there’s no entitlement for them to have time off. However, they can talk to their line manager, and they might agree to them using:

  • Holiday
  • Unpaid leave
  • Flexible workingThe employee might be entitled to time off to help their partner if there’s an urgent situation. This is called ‘time off for dependants’ and is usually unpaid.

14.3 If an employee’s baby is premature or sick

If an employee’s baby is born prematurely or needs to stay in hospital for a time after birth, they can take their paternity leave within 8 weeks after the date the baby was:

• Born
• Due to be born, if they’d rather take it once the baby is home from hospital

The employee does not have to give TfC any formal evidence, but the employee needs to contact their line manager as soon as feasible.

14.4 If there’s a stillbirth or the baby dies

The employee still has the right to paternity leave and pay if:

  • The baby is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The baby dies soon after birthIf the employee is eligible for parental bereavement leave and pay, they have the right to take this after they finish their paternity leave.The employee does not have to give TfC any formal evidence but ideally, they should inform their line manager if they feel able to. TfC may be able to offer support such as a counselling services or looking at the employee’s options for returning to work.The legal name for the time off is ‘statutory paternity leave’. If the employee is not comfortable calling it ‘paternity leave’ they should let TfC know so they can support them. TfC will be sensitive to preferences and be led by the employee when having conversations about leave.

Employees can find help and support following the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth from:

  • Child Bereavement UK
  • Sands – leading pregnancy and baby loss charity in the UK.https://www.sands.org.uk/

14.5 If there’s a miscarriage

If there’s a miscarriage before 24 weeks, an employee is not entitled to paternity leave or pay. The employee does not have the tell TfC about the miscarriage, however if they feel about to, TfC may be able to offer support, including time off.

15. Definitions

Childbirth – the live birth of a child, or a still birth after a pregnancy lasting at least 24 weeks. Statutory – the legal minimum the employer must give the employee.

16. Abbreviations

OML – Ordinary Maternity Leave

AML – Additional Maternity Leave EWC – Expected week of childbirth SMP – Statutory Maternity Pay OPL – Ordinary Parental Leave

20230515 Maternity Policy

TFCP11 Adoption Policy

Policy Statement

TfC is committed to supporting best practice in relation to adoption leave and pay to enable working parents to balance the needs of work and family life. TfC recognises that parents appreciate flexibility in how they provide care for their children and makes provision to support this.

This policy and procedure sets out the entitlements and benefits for adoptive parents including adoption pay and time off.

1. Purpose

The policy will set out how TfC aims to:

  • Promote a consistent and supportive approach to adoption across TfC
  • Increase awareness about the provisions available for adoptive parents
  • Ensure the protection of the health and well-being of the adoptive parents and theirchild
  • Comply with legislative requirements

It sets out the contractual and statutory adoption rights to which employees are entitled, both before and after the placement of a child.

Queries regarding the application of this policy should be directed to the employee’s line manager.

2. Commitments

2.1 Adoption leave and pay

An employee might be eligible for Statutory Adoption Leave or Statutory Adoption Pay if they are:

  • Adopting a child
  • Fostering a child permanently and becoming their legal parent (‘fostering to adopt’)If an employee is having a child through surrogacy:

• They might be entitled to adoption leave, pay and other rights but they must apply to become the legal parent within 6 months of the child’s birth.

The employee must apply for:

  • A parental order – if one intended parent is genetically related to the child
  • An adoption order – if the intended parents are not genetically related to the childIf the employee applies for a parental order, the rules for surrogacy are different. The employee must find out their rights to Leave and pay when they are having a child through surrogacy.

If they apply for an adoption order, they’ll be eligible for adoption leave and pay.

Note: Employees can find out how to become the child’s legal parent on GOV.UK

2.2 If the employee is in a couple

If the employee is in a couple, only one of the couple can get adoption leave and pay. The couple should decide between themselves who will receive it. The partner who does not get adoption leave and pay might be able to get paternity leave and pay.

Both employees might also be able to use Shared Parental Leave and Pay to take time off. See TFCP10 Maternity Policy – 2.17 Eligibility for Shared Parental Leave.

2.3 Adoption leave

If an employee is eligible for adoption leave and pay, then the same procedure will be followed as for maternity leave. See TFCP10 Maternity Policy.

Statutory Adoption Leave lasts for up to 52 weeks, the same as for maternity leave. Employees have the right to adoption leave from the first day of their employment with TfC.

2.3.1 Eligibility for adoption leave

To be eligible for adoption leave, an employee must:

  • Be legally classed as an employee
  • Tell TfC and give them the correct notice – within seven days of the employee beingnotified of a match with a child
  • Give proof that they’re adopting or fostering to adopt if TfC asks for it
  • The employee must also have been matched with a child through an adoptionagency.Employees are not entitled to take adoption leave for a private adoption. E.g. If adopting or fostering to adopt a relative.

2.3.2 Adoption pay

Statutory Adoption Pay is paid for 39 weeks, the same as for maternity pay. Adoption pay starts when the employee takes their adoption leave.

  • At 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks
  • At a prescribed rate which is set by the government for the relevant tax year(Earnings-Related Rate), or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

The adoption leave period may begin from the date of the child’s placement for adoption (whether this is earlier or later than expected) or from a predetermined date which can be up to 14 days before the expected date of placement.

Adoption leave must be taken in one continuous block and cannot be broken by any other leave.

Apart from pay, the employee will continue to receive any contractual benefits which they would normally receive if they were at work, throughout their adoption leave period.

2.3.3 Eligibility for adoption pay

To get Statutory Adoption Pay, an employee must:

  • Be continuously employed by TfC for at least 26 weeks
  • Earn at least £123 a week, before tax, for at least 8 weeks before the week they’rematched with a child
  • Tell TfC and give them the correct notice
  • give proof they’re adopting, or fostering to adoptIf an employee is not eligible for Statutory Adoption Pay, they may still qualify for adoption leave without pay.

2.3.4 Contractual and other benefits

Apart from pay, the employee will continue to receive any contractual benefits which they would normally receive if they were at work, throughout their adoption leave period.

2.3.5 Time off to attend application interviews

Up to two days (14.8 hours) reasonable paid time off will be provided in connection with the application for adoption. This may include pre-adoption interviews, adoption training, visits or court appearances.

2.3.6 Time off to attend adoption appointments

Eligible employees are entitled to time off to attend adoption appointments in the period between being notified of a match with a child and the date that the child joins the family:

  • Single adopters are entitled to paid time off to attend up to five adoption appointments
  • In the case of joint adoptions (ie a couple who have been jointly matched to adopt the child) one of the adopters will be entitled to paid time off to attend up to five adoption appointments. The other adopter may be entitled to unpaid time off work to attend up to two adoption appointments
  • Up to 6.5 hours is allowed for each appointment, although individuals should take only the time that they need to attend the adoption appointment
  • The appointment must have been arranged by or at the request of the adoption agency
  • Where there are joint adopters, the adopter who took paid time off to attend adoption appointments cannot claim paternity leave and pay
  • Parental Order parents are entitled to take unpaid leave to enable them to accompany the surrogate mother to up to two of her antenatal appointments

3. Definitions

Statutory – the legal minimum the employer must give you.

20230515 Maternity Policy