The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Employment Policies & Procedures

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1 The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Employment Policies & Procedures Maintaining Services During Adverse Weather Conditions and Public Transport Disruption Policy Version.: 3.0 Effective Date: 31 March 2015 Expiry Date: 31 March 2018 Date Ratified: 23 March 2015 Ratified by: Executive Team 1. Introduction 1.1 The organisation recognises the need to safely maintain services during adverse weather conditions, whilst properly discharging its duty of care to employees. This policy is based on the clear principle that in accordance with an employee's contract of employment they are required to attend work in order to receive payment of salary. 1.2 Only in very rare and exceptional circumstances will the Trust issue an instruction to employees regarding the need to close buildings or reduce service provision due to extreme weather conditions/public transport disruption. In these circumstances full instructions will be provided as to how this time should be reflected. All staff will be made aware of these arrangements. 1.3 In all other circumstances, employees are expected to present themselves for work at the start of their shift. This may mean, with management approval, at an alternative work base. 2. Scope This policy applies to all employees and anyone else engaged to work on behalf of the Trust. 3. Aims This policy is intended to provide guidance to managers to ensure the circumstances referred to in section 1.3 are dealt with effectively and consistently by the Trust. 4. Duties roles and responsibilities 4.1 The Executive Team is accountable to the Trust Board for ensuring Trust-wide compliance with policy. 4.2 Directorate managers and heads of service are responsible to the Executive Team for ensuring policy implementation. 4.3 Managers are responsible for ensuring policy implementation and compliance in their area(s). Page 1 of 4

2 4.4 Staff are responsible for complying with policy. 5. Responsibilities of the employee 5.1 It is the responsibility of the employee to make every effort to attend for duty at the start of their shift at their normal place of work. Where adverse weather conditions are forecast, staff are expected to plan ahead accordingly for situations such as school closures (see 6.7) and travel disruption. 5.2 In the event of adverse weather conditions/public transport disruption rendering an employee unable to attend, the employee will take all reasonably practicable steps to inform their manager at the earliest opportunity this should be no later than the time they were due to start work. Employees must notify their manager directly (or the nominated person in charge). When notifying the Trust the employee should give full details and their anticipated date of return to work. 5.3 Employees shall not unreasonably refuse to comply with temporary redeployment to an alternative base or undertake other duties. 5.4 Should weather conditions and or public transport improve during the day, then employees will be expected to attend work. 6. Responsibilities of the manager 6.1 The manager should consider a range of factors impacting upon an employee s ability to attend for duty, including: a) the requirements of the service b) the prevailing weather conditions and their anticipated duration c) their normal mode of transport d) alternative methods of transport available to facilitate attendance e) hours of work e.g. night shifts, weekend working and on-call arrangements f) health & safety (a risk assessment may be needed) g) health impairment that may present an additional barrier to attend work in bad weather conditions Advice may be necessary from Occupational Health h) caring responsibilities that may present an additional barrier to attendance i) distance to travel to work j) capacity to work from home k) capacity for redeployment to a more accessible or appropriate base l) provision of alternative duties m) use of alternative communication mediums and transport systems n) use of existing on-call arrangements in order to establish contingency arrangements where adverse weather conditions are foreseeable 6.2 Where an employee is unable to attend for duty, a number of options may be considered, including: a) use of any accrued lieu time b) use of annual leave c) unpaid leave d) working any lost time back Page 2 of 4

3 e) carer leave f) a combination of the above All options are subject to agreement by the manager. 6.3 Where non-attendance is for a prolonged period (e.g. stranded abroad due to a significant and unforeseen disruption to flights), the manager shall discuss with the employee how the time lost will be repaid. 6.4 It may be reasonably practicable for an employee to work from home where performance of their normal duties and responsibilities would be considered appropriate. Such arrangements are subject to agreement by the manager with due consideration of health and safety, confidentiality and risk assessment. 6.5 An employee who fails to notify their manager of their inability to attend work shall be recorded as unauthorised unpaid absence and their pay will be deducted for the hours lost. 6.6 Where a manager judges that an employee arrived for duty late and this was entirely due to adverse conditions, their pay shall not normally be withheld for the time lost provided the employee works the time back at a time agreed with the manager. 6.7 Where an emergency situation arises during an employee s shift/working day, the manager shall exercise discretion with due consideration for service needs, and having sought advice from senior personnel within the Trust and/or the Trust s Human Resources Department to allow the employee to leave work early, - or be redeployed to an alternative base. Any time lost shall be made up by the employee at a time to be agreed with the manager. 6.8 Where an emergency situation occurs and an employee requests time off to collect and/or care for a child and/or dependent, managers should consider use of the Trust s Special Leave Policy. 6.9 For jobs where staff are required to drive and/or work outdoors in adverse weather conditions, managers shall ensure individuals have appropriate equipment and safe systems of work in place, and shall undertake regular risk assessments. 7. Equality and Diversity The Trust is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way we provide services to the public and the way we treat our staff reflects their individual needs and does not discriminate against individuals or groups on any grounds. This policy has been properly assessed. Page 3 of 4

4 8. Monitoring compliance with the policy Standard / Process / Issue a) Ascertain the number of employee disciplinaries as a result of non adherence to the processes outlined within the policy b) Ascertain the number of grievances as a result of the misapplication of the processed outlined within the policy Monitoring and Audit Method By Committee Frequency Reporting of Director of Heads of Annually information Human Human from ESR Resources Resources Meeting 9. Consultation and review of this policy This policy has been reviewed in consultation with the Employment Policies and Procedures Consultative Group 10. Implementation of the policy (including raising awareness) A summary of the key changes will be notified to managers following implementation. Further advice and guidance will be available from the Human Resources Department. 11. Additional documents Special Leave Policy Page 4 of 4

5 The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Equality Analysis Form A This form must be completed and attached to any procedural document when submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration and approval. PART 1 1. Assessment Date: 09/02/15 2. Name of policy / strategy / service: Maintaining Services during Adverse Weather Conditions and Public Transport Disruption Policy 3. Name and designation of Author: Karen Pearce, Senior HR Manager (Projects) 4. Names & designations of those involved in the impact analysis screening process: Rachel Holmes, HR Manager (Projects); EPPCG 5. Is this a: Policy X Strategy Service Is this: New Revised X Who is affected Employees X Service Users Wider Community 6. What are the main aims, objectives of the policy, strategy, or service and the intended outcomes? (These can be cut and pasted from your policy) This policy is intended to provide guidance to managers to ensure the circumstances referred to in section 1.3 of the policy are dealt with effectively and consistently by the Trust. 7. Does this policy, strategy, or service have any equality implications? Yes X If, state reasons and the information used to make this decision, please refer to paragraph 2.3 of the Equality Analysis Guidance before providing reasons: Please refer to information below

6 8. Summary of evidence related to protected characteristics Protected Characteristic Race / Ethnic origin (including gypsies and travellers) Evidence, i.e. What evidence do you have that the Trust is meeting the needs of people in various protected Groups The aim of policy makes clear that The Trust is striving for consistency in its approach to maintaining services during adverse weather conditions and public transport disruption and therefore does not discriminate on the grounds of any protected characteristic. The policy is clear that the Trust is committed to ensuring that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the way services are provided and the way staff are treated reflects their individual needs and does not unlawfully discriminate against individuals or groups. Does evidence/engagement highlight areas of direct or indirect discrimination? If yes describe steps to be taken to address (by whom, completion date and review date) Sex (male/ female) As above Religion and Belief As above Sexual orientation including lesbian, gay and bisexual people As above Age As above Disability learning difficulties, physical disability, sensory impairment and mental health. Consider the needs of carers in this section The policy ensures any requests from individuals with a health impairment which may present additional barriers to attendance at work in bad weather are considered appropriately and that advice is sought from Occupational Health where necessary. Gender Re-assignment As above Marriage and Civil As above Partnership Maternity / Pregnancy As above 9. Are there any gaps in the evidence outlined above? If yes how will these be rectified? Does the evidence highlight any areas to advance opportunities or foster good relations. If yes what steps will be taken? (by whom, completion date and review date) 10. Engagement has taken place with people who have protected characteristics and will continue through the Equality Delivery System and the Equality Diversity and Human Rights Group. Please note you may require further engagement in respect of any

7 significant changes to policies, new developments and or changes to service delivery. In such circumstances please contact the Equality and Diversity Lead or the Involvement and Equalities Officer. Do you require further engagement? Yes X 11. Could the policy, strategy or service have a negative impact on human rights? (E.g. the right to respect for private and family life, the right to a fair hearing and the right to education?, there is no evidence of a negative impact. PART 2 Name: Rachel Holmes Date of completion: 09/02/15 (If any reader of this procedural document identifies a potential discriminatory impact that has not been identified, please refer to the Policy Author identified above, together with any suggestions for action required to avoid/reduce the impact.)

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