People & Culture Policy


Download policy as PDF

 

RATIONALE

 

The ALWS Employee Value Statement says,

“It is our commitment to uphold the dignity of our staff through care and concern for their well-being.

In their willingness to respond in love to their neighbour, often beyond what may be expected in a Duty Statement, we know we must never take anyone for granted, and must act always with a primary duty of care for their safety and well-being, offering support to them in a just and fair way.” 

A People & Culture Policy helps us to never take anyone for granted. It guides us towards an organisation which is fair and reasonable, where people want to work, by clearly outlining the expectations ALWS has of its staff, and the expectations staff have of ALWS.

ALWS strives to be a work environment of the highest integrity. This means having professional staff willing to be stretched to best address issues of poverty and injustice in a workplace where expectations are well defined and understood by everyone.

 

RELATED STANDARDS

 

The Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), of which ALWS is a member, requires humanitarian organisations to care for their staff.

Commitment 8 states: “Communities and people affected by crisis receive the assistance they require from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers.” To do this, “staff are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably.”

The ACFID Code of Conduct, to which ALWS is a signatory, requires signatory organisations to “protect the human rights and safety of personnel, including paid and volunteer staff, working in Australia or overseas (D.5.1).”

To this end, sections in and annexes to this policy have been adapted from standards expected by the NSW Business Chamber, of which ALWS is a member. Membership enables ALWS to ensure its work environment is fair and equitable.

This policy is also consistent with the requirements of the Fair Work Act (2009) and National Employment Standards (NES) outlined by the Australian Government’s Fair Word Ombudsman. The Fair Work Statement ultimately prevails to the extent of any inconsistency in this policy and/or the Letter of Appointment.

Mentioned throughout this policy are standards expected of all staff and volunteers. These are also articulated in the ALWS Code of Conduct.

 

PEOPLE & CULTURE FRAMEWORK

 

ALWS has adopted a People & Culture Framework to provide the foundation for fair, consistent and effective management of people-related activities and continue building a nurturing culture for all working with the organisation.

 

 

APPLICATION

 

Unless specified, this policy applies equally to permanent staff who work in the Albury Office, an office in an alternative location, or from home.

This policy may also be referred to by casual staff members for sections applicable to them.

This policy does not apply to volunteers, other than areas with specific reference to them. Expectations of volunteers are instead outlined in the ALWS Code of Conduct.

 

GOAL

 

To ensure ALWS and its staff have a clear understanding of expectations and processes as they relate to ALWS personnel.

 

CONTENTS

 

This Policy is divided into the following sections:

  1. Recruitment & Selection
  2. Induction
  3. Hours of Work
  4. Attendance & Absenteeism
  5. Leave
  6. Remuneration
  7. Expenses and Reimbursements
  8. Insurance
  9. Staff Health & Safety
  10. Working Remotely
  11. Expectations of a Professional Workplace
  12. Staff Performance and Development
  13. Equal Opportunity
  14. Harassment & Unfair Discrimination
  15. Sexual Harassment
  16. Resignation & Termination of Employment
  17. Volunteers
  18. Review

 

KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

  • Annex A ALWS Code of Conduct – Expected conduct of all ALWS staff and volunteers to be signed upon appointment or engagement.
  • Annex B Letter of Appointment – Expectations of ALWS and all paid staff to be signed upon the commencement of employment. The ALWS People & Culture Policy and ALWS Code of Conduct are referred to in this document; however the Letter of Appointment prevails to the extent of any inconsistency.
  • Annex X Employee Value Statement – A Statement by ALWS which serves to express how it values its employees
  • Annex X Shared Values Statement – A statement written and agreed to by ALWS staff which articulates the common values of working together.

 

RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

  • Workforce Action Plan
  • Recruitment and Selection Procedures (for all staff)
  • Staff Induction Checklist
  • Remuneration Report – abridged (2015)
  • Insurance Information
  • Workplace Health & Safety Workstation Checklist
  • Staff Performance and Development Guidelines

 

  1. RECRUITMENT & SELECTION

 

It is important to have sufficient personnel to carry out ALWS’ Strategic and Operational Plans in a meaningful and sustainable way. A Workforce Action Plan (Annex X) is developed concurrently to the Operational Plan to align staffing with organisational strategic goals. The Workforce Action Plan helps ALWS to determine the need for new personnel.

 

Commencement

 

A new staff member shall on commencement receive the following:

 

  • Two copies of a Letter of Appointment giving the starting date, salary, and details of terms and conditions specific to that position, including lines of responsibility and the probation period. The applicant is required to sign both copies, one of which is to be lodged with ALWS, the other to be kept by the staff member.
  • Their job description
  • The most current Fair Work Information Statement
  • ALWS People & Culture Policy.
  • ALWS Code of Conduct.

 

It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to ensure that the above are supplied to all other staff members on appointment. If it is the Executive Director who is being appointed, it is the responsibility of the Chairperson of the Board to furnish the above.

 

  1. INDUCTION

 

Each staff member will be provided with an induction package, either as a hardcopy, electronically or a combination of both. At a minimum, this will include:

  • Induction checklist (Annex X)
  • ALWS Manual (Foundation & Formation documents together with all policies)
  • ALWS Strategic Plan
  • ALWS Operational Plan
  • ALWS Annual Report
  • Relevant folders and documents specific to the role
  • Recent Executive Director updates
  • Recent Board Reports

As per the Induction Checklist, the Executive Director will provide a broad overview of the Job Description, ALWS history, Strategic Plan, staffing, finances, conduct, expectations, and partnerships.

The Accountant/Office Manager will provide an explanation of office management procedures, explain and set up payroll, provide a Work Station Checklist, and ensure computer and other office requirements pertaining to their role are met.

The team manager will provide a detailed orientation of their particular work area, establish a workplan, and ensure all other requirements are met.

The Child Protection Officer will give a detailed orientation of the child protection requirements at ALWS, and the Travel Safety Officer will ensure the new staff member is adequately briefed on expectations regarding personal safety and security while travelling.

 

Probationary period

 

All permanent staff will be placed on a probationary period of six calendar months commencing on their first day of employment.

ALWS will assess a new staff member’s performance throughout the probationary period using ALWS’s performance and development tools and provide feedback about their performance. The continued employment of the staff member is dependent on their successful completion of the probationary period.

Where the staff member’s performance does not meet the standard required for the job, ALWS may elect to terminate their employment with the requisite period of notice or payment in lieu of notice.

Only upon the successful completion of the probationary period will the staff member have access to, if necessary for their role, office keys, an ALWS debit card, and/or QANTAS Club membership.

 

3.HOURS OF WORK

 

Office hours are 8.30 am to 4.45 pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Permanent Full-time

 

Ordinary hours of work for full-time staff members shall be 36.25 hours per week, at 7.25 hours worked each day between 8.30 am and 4.45 pm Monday to Friday.

Staff are entitled to an unpaid lunch break of not more than one hour, and a paid 15-minute beak in the morning and afternoon.

Actual times worked may be varied by agreement to maximise mutual convenience and work effectiveness.

 

Permanent Part-time

 

Ordinary hours of work for a permanent part-time staff member shall involve fewer than 36.25 hours per week during office hours, with benefits on a pro-rata basis.

As much as possible, permanent part-time staff are required to work during times and on days mutually agreed to between them and the Executive Director. This will assist the payroll system and staff wishing to contact them, and enable permanent part-time staff to protect time normally not allocated to ALWS.

As much as possible, staff members working part-time are expected to include which days they work for ALWS in their email signature.

 

  1. ATTENDANCE & ABSENTEEISM

 

Regular attendance at the office is essential to the efficient workflow and productivity of ALWS. This applies to both Albury and remote staff.

If a staff member is absent for any reason, they must notify their manager as soon as practical, indicating the reason for their absence and the extent of the anticipated absence.

During absences extending for more than one day, staff must contact their manager regularly to keep ALWS updated.  Where a staff member finds that they cannot return to work as scheduled, they must notify their manager as soon as possible.

Depending on the circumstances of the absence, the leave of absence may be approved, denied, paid or unpaid. Further, ALWS may require reasonable evidence to support the reason(s) for the absence. If such evidence is required, it must be supplied as soon as practicable.

Repeated late attendance or absence from work without a valid reason or proper notification may be cause for disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment.

 

Project specific work from home

 

Staff based in the head office may request to work from home on a specific project such as policy or report writing to avoid daily disruptions in the office. This should be infrequent, extend to no more than two consecutive days, and have the approval of the staff member’s manager. A Work Health and Safety assessment of the working space at the home is required prior to the request being approved.   

 

Personal appointments

 

As much as possible, staff are encouraged to make non work-related appointments outside of work hours or during their lunch break. When this is not possible, staff must seek permission from their manager.

As a general rule, if the staff member is out of the office for fewer than three hours, they are expected to make this time up within the next three working days or record it as leave. Time out of the office for more than three hours in any one day must be recorded as leave.

Naturally, situations will vary. If a staff member is unclear about this, they are encouraged to discuss it with their manager.  

 

  1. LEAVE

 

Leave entitlements are provided to all permanent staff. Casual staff receive a wage loading to compensate for no leave entitlements.

 

Time Off In Lieu

 

For every hour a full-time, part-time or casual staff member works on a weekend or public holiday in Australia or overseas, they are entitled to commensurate hours of time off in lieu, up to 7.25 hours per day. Where there are extenuating circumstances which fall outside of this section, a decision can be made by the staff member’s immediate manager.

TOIL is provided in order to recognise the time staff work on days normally allocated to rest and spending time with loved ones. Taking TOIL benefits ALWS because staff are refreshed and energised to work. Taking TOIL also fosters a healthy work-life balance for the individual.

Therefore, this entitlement must be taken as soon as practically possible, preferably immediately following the weekend or public holiday, or upon return from an overseas trip. If it is not taken within one calendar months of the day it was worked, the entitlement will be forfeited. This provision is now included in this policy to promote a healthier workforce. For example:

Preferred

Sam and Terry were both in Cambodia on a work trip over the weekend of 22 & 23 March. Once back Sam took the Monday off to recuperate. Sam missed out on being with the children over the weekend away so decided to keep another TOIL day for upcoming school holidays in early April. 

Not preferred

Terry went straight back into work, then gave a presentation at a church the following Sunday (thereby accruing even more leave), had another long trip overseas in May, and by October (well passed 22 & 23 April) discovered that some of Terry’s TOIL had been forfeited because Terry hadn’t made the time to take it.

A staff member can seek an extension to one calendar month from their manager in exceptional circumstances.

 

Accrued Time Off in Lieu

 

Forfeiting TOIL after one calendar months is a new addition to this policy. Therefore, TOIL which has been accrued before the approval of this Policy on 9 March 2017 will not be affected.

Nevertheless, it will be expected of all staff to take all TOIL accrued before 9 February 2018 by 31 December 2018.

Compensation for other extra hours worked during the year are provided for under Section “Special Leave”, outlined below.

 

TOIL and domestic flights

 

Weekend hours spent from the time of departure from home to the airport, boarding a flight, flight time and returning home are considered work and can be claimed as TOIL, up to 7.25 hours per day.

 

TOIL & international weekend flights

 

Departing flights

Weekend and public holiday hours spent from the time of departure from home to the airport, boarding a flight and flight time are considered work and can be claimed as TOIL, up to 7.25 hours per day.

Arriving flights

Weekend and public holiday hours spent flying, departing the airport and travelling home are considered work and can be claimed as TOIL, up to 7.25 hours per day.

There will be occasions over a weekend or public holiday when more time will be spent travelling to and from airports and flying, than the maximum 7.25 hours, while there will be occasions when fewer than 7.25 hours will be spent doing this. To recognise this, a staff member will accrue 7.25 hours of TOIL on each Australian weekend day or public holiday they spend travelling to or from an airport, and time in the air, regardless of the time of departure or arrival.

Where possible, staff should prioritise travelling on weekdays to avoid this.

If an international flight departs on a weekend but only arrives on the Monday, the staff member is entitled to take the remainder of the Monday off, on full pay.

There are likely to be extenuating circumstances from time to time given the nature of international travel and the complication of time zones. At these times, staff are encouraged to speak with their manager to arrive at an agreed arrangement.

All requests to use TOIL must be approved by the staff member’s manager.

 

Public Holidays

 

Staff are entitled to all gazetted public holidays in the state in which their office is located, and paid for ordinary hours on those days.

If a staff member is required to work on a public holiday, he or she shall be entitled to time off in lieu to be taken in consultation with his/her manager.

If a public holiday falls on a designated work day for a part-time staff member then that person is entitled to take that day as a public holiday. If a public holiday falls on a day which is not a designated work day for a part-time staff member then that person is not entitled to take that day as a public holiday.

 

Annual Leave

 

Full-time staff members shall be entitled to 20 days annual leave on full pay. Permanent part-time staff will be paid Annual and Long Service leave on a pro-rata basis.

During the first year of employment the staff member may request that annual leave be taken on a pro-rata basis at a time mutually agreed to by the staff member and the Executive Director.

Annual leave is provided for staff to rest and spend time with loved ones. Accruing excessive annual leave therefore fosters a tired and ineffective workforce.

Annual leave shall be exclusive of any public holidays prescribed hereunder.

Annual leave accumulates during the year and any unused annual leave will roll over into the following year. Staff members may not accrue more than six weeks leave without the approval of the Executive Director.

Accumulated annual leave beyond 6 weeks must be taken in full within three months of accrual. Employees who have an annual leave balance of more than 6 weeks may be directed to take their leave by their manager. This requirement is a new addition to this policy, and therefore applies to annual leave accrued after the approval of this policy on 9 February 2018.

Staff members to whom this section applies will work on a plan with the Executive Director to use annual leave accrued before the date of this policy’s approval. The plan may include taking annual leave, receiving a cash out (refer to ‘Annual Leave Cash Out’, below) or a combination of both.  

Annual leave accumulates even when a staff member is on annual leave and paid personal leave. Annual leave does not accumulate when the staff member is on unpaid leave.

ALWS is committed to ensuring staff have a healthy work/life balance, and acknowledges the value of accessing leave on a regular basis. Staff members are therefore encouraged to take their full annual leave entitlement each calendar year.

Staff must request annual leave from their manager, giving at least two weeks’ notice for any leave of one week or greater. Subject to operational requirements, managers should not unreasonably refuse requests for annual leave.

Each staff member, together with their manager, is responsible for enabling staff members to take annual leave by effective planning within their work area. Annual leave may be taken in conjunction with work-related travel.

 

Annual Leave cash out

 

Annual leave cash out is allowed under the National Employment Standards (NES). The Executive Director and the staff member may agree to the staff member cashing out a particular amount of the staff member’s accrued annual leave. ALWS provides the option of having annual leave cashed out where a staff member has an excessive annual leave balance of four weeks or more.

Cashing out means a staff member receives payment instead of taking time off work.

Annual leave cash out is subject to the following conditions:

  • A staff member must have at least 4 weeks’ annual leave leftover after the cash out
  • Every effort must be made by the staff member to take annual leave
  • Every effort must be made by the manager to ensure a suitable workload enables the staff member to take annual leave
  • A written agreement needs to be made each time annual leave is cashed out
  • ALWS cannot force or pressure a staff member to cash out annual leave
  • The payment of the cashed out amount must be the same as what the employee would have been paid if they took the leave

Where the employment of a staff member is terminated at the end of a period of employment of less than 12 months the staff member shall be paid out on a pro-rata basis.

 

Emergency Leave

 

Staff members may take up to two days paid leave to attend to personal/family issues. This is in addition to Annual leave. Examples where Emergency Leave is appropriate include:

  • Urgent home maintenance
  • Medical/dental appointments that are urgent and cannot be scheduled outside workhours
  • Other circumstances requiring the staff member’s immediate attention during business hours
  • Funerals of close friends or close relative.

A close relative could be:

  • Husband/wife/partner
  • Child
  • Mother/father
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Grandparents
  • Above relative by marriage
  • or other circumstances as agreed by the Executive Director

Extension of leave beyond two days will require relevant documentary evidence. Extended absence beyond three days will require the Executive Director’s approval.

Emergency leave will be considered by the staff member’s manager, and will not be accumulated from year to year.

 

Special Leave

 

All staff will be entitled to paid leave between Christmas and New Year in recognition for the extra hours put in during the year. This will be applied to part-time staff on a pro-rata basis. This leave will not be deducted from a staff member’s annual leave, and is supplementary to other forms of accrued leave.

A staff member requested by ALWS to work on one of these days will receive TOIL for up to 7.25 hours each day worked.

In further recognition of extra hours worked during the year, the Executive Director and/or the staff member’s manager will have discretion to approve special time off in lieu that allow staff to attend to matters that may not fall under the leave provisions allowed elsewhere in the People & Culture policy.

 

Compassionate Leave

 

Staff are entitled to two days paid leave each incident in the event of the death or illness of, or serious injury to a close relative.

Staff members are expected to advise their manager as soon as possible if such a situation arises.

If further leave is required, it shall be taken as Annual Leave or as Leave without Pay.

Compassionate Leave will not be accumulated from year to year.

 

Carer’s Leave and Sick Leave

 

The leave entitlement for Carer’s Leave and Sick Leave, combined, shall be ten days per annum for full-time staff and pro-rata for permanent part-time staff, and accumulates from year to year.

The purpose of this leave is to provide financial security to all staff members who are genuinely ill and unfit for duty for short periods of time. This leave can also be used to provide care or support for a member of the staff member’s immediate family or household who requires care or support due to personal illness or injury.

Staff are to advise the Executive Director and Office Manager of their absence by the expected starting time. If three or more consecutive days are taken off, a certificate from a qualified health care professional should be produced. A staff member may be asked to produce medical evidence for prolonged periods of sick leave.

If a staff member has exhausted their personal leave entitlements for the current year as well as their accrued personal leave, they are encouraged to use their annual leave for any additional personal leave applied for.  Also, it is at the discretion of the Executive Director to continue full or partial payment when additional personal leave is applied for. The staff member will be entitled to two days’ unpaid carer’s leave for each permissible occasion.

Permanent part-time staff are entitled to personal leave on a pro-rata basis and are required to provide a medical certificate on the same basis as other staff members according to the provisions listed above.

ALWS encourages all staff to take out income protection insurance to minimise the risk to their financial circumstances caused by long term or permanent inability to work.

 

Long Service Leave

 

Long service leave applies to all staff employed by ALWS who are full-time, part-time or casual.

Employees shall be entitled to take long service leave after ten years of cumulative paid service, with eligibility for pro-rata (accrual paid out on resignation or termination for reasons other than gross misconduct) from five years of cumulative service. Breaks of not more than two years at a time will ensure continuity of leave entitlements. 

Full time staff shall accrue long service leave at a rate of 1.3 weeks per annum [1]. For staff employed on a casual or part time basis during their service period, this accrual will be proportionally adjusted based on the average hours worked over the last 12 months or 5 years, whichever is greater. This will be reviewed when leave is taken to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged due to adverse circumstances and to ensure legislative compliance.

After each additional year of service beyond 10 years, staff members will be eligible to take a further period of long service leave to the maximum extent of their accrued entitlement.

Long Service Leave is designed to enable staff to take extended leave in reward for longevity of service. Staff with excessive long service leave entitlements may be directed to take long service leave at the discretion of ALWS.

Access may be granted on a pro-rata basis in advance for a staff member in an extenuating circumstance, such as a serious illness.

 

Parental Leave

 

Staff members may be entitled to Parental Leave in the form of Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Leave as per the National Employment Standards (NES) of the Fair Work Australia Act 2009, as varied from time to time.

Staff are entitled to unpaid Parental Leave of up to twelve (12) months for the birth or adoption of a child. The staff member must have had twelve (12) months continuous service with ALWS prior to proceeding on Parental Leave.

At least ten weeks written notice shall be given by the staff member to the Executive Director of an intention to go on Parenting/Adoption Leave, or otherwise comply with certain notice requirements specified in the Fair Work Act 2009, as amended from time to time.

A staff member is entitled to one extension of the leave period originally applied for, subject to the 52- week limit. To obtain such an extension, the staff member shall apply in writing to the Executive Director. The letter shall specify the additional leave required and should be received at least four weeks prior to the original leave expiry date.

At least four weeks before the end of the leave period, the staff member shall notify ALWS of an intention to resume work.

A staff member returning from Parenting/Adoption leave is entitled to return to the position he/she held immediately before she began such leave.

 

Study Leave

 

Staff shall be entitled to one and a half days study and examination leave per subject, with a maximum of six days leave for each calendar year for a course of study directly related to the their work and approved by the Executive Director.

 

Jury Service/Community Service Leave

 

Any staff members required to attend for Jury Service shall in the first instance discuss the implications and repercussions of the absence from ALWS. The staff member will receive the difference between their ordinary pay and the money received for each day spent on Jury Service. In the event of a long Jury Service, Leave of Absence may need to be negotiated.

Staff members are entitled to unpaid leave for the purposes of carrying out community service in response to certain emergencies or disasters. The extent of leave will be negotiated with the Executive Director, and in accordance with the relevant Award and Fair Work Act 2009, as amended from time to time.

 

Leave without pay

 

Leave without pay (for reasons other than addressed elsewhere in the Policy) may be requested in exceptional circumstances. Applications for leave without pay shall be evaluated on their merits, but the following guidelines are suggested for extended leave.

  • The individual shall have sufficient service (usually more than five years) and a record of satisfactory performance.
  • Accrued annual and long service leave should be used before leave without pay is taken.
  • Requests for extended leave will be considered by the Executive Director as to their overall effect on ALWS’ work.

 

6.REMUNERATION

 

In this policy, ‘Remuneration’ is defined as Salaries and Superannuation.

 

Salaries

 

Remuneration levels have been set based on a comprehensive external Remuneration Review in 2015 with input by the Human Resources Advisor to the ALWS Board of Directors. Key tasks of the Review included:

  • Ensuring ALWS’ salaries are commensurate with staff position descriptions. 
  • Providing an independent assessment of the value of remuneration settings, taking into account concessional benefits and cost of living in various jurisdictions. 
  • Benchmarking ALWS’ salary structures against independent data pertaining to the charitable sector, applicable industry awards and other church development agencies.

The Review consulted the ALWS People & Culture Policy, Remuneration Policy (2011), constitutional documents as they pertain to employment and remuneration, staff employment agreements, and job description documents for each staff member. The Remuneration Policy has since been incorporated into the People & Culture Policy for ease.

The Review was also conducted with reference to a range of ‘third party’ material and as relevant to industrial relations law in Australia. This included the following:

The 2014 / 2015 Not-for-profit Remuneration Report, as published by Enterprise Care Pty Ltd. 

  • Not-for-profit Salary Survey 2013, as published by ProBono Australia.
  • The Fair Work Act 2009.
  • Relevant Modern Awards and National Employment Standards.
  • Pay scale material of the National Council of Churches Australia.
  • The Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act. 
  • Various associated legislation including long service leave legislation in various jurisdictions of Australia.

Consistent with the Remuneration Policy in 2011, salaries are set based on position and not the individual. To this end, a band for each role has been established with a minimum and maximum threshold. This provides a basis for upward increments within this range from a base level (usually when commencing the role where experience is limited and performance untested) through to the upper end where the staff member has demonstrated high skills, experience and performance. This is assessed at each annual review.

An abridged version of the report (after confidential information for each staff member has been removed) can be found at Annex X.

Any adjustments to staff remuneration levels became effective as of 1 January 2016, and will be externally reviewed again in 2018, to become effective as of 1 January 2019.

All salaries will increase by 3% on the 1 January each year to allow for adjustments to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

 

Australian staff on long-term appointments overseas

 

The term of a Letter of Appointment for a long-term position overseas will be determined by the nature of the assignment. The initial salary package and following remuneration reviews will be based on the ALWS People & Culture Policy, and with allowance made for cost of living differentials in the country of service.

The salary package may also include payment of the staff member’s health & medical evacuation

Insurance, and reasonable housing costs.   

 

Australian staff on short term secondments overseas

 

A Letter of Agreement will be entered into with the host, ALWS and the secondee. Each agreement will differ depending on the nature of the appointment. Because the secondee remains employed by ALWS, this policy applies. Where it is agreed that sections of this policy are not relevant to the appointment, alternative conditions will be articulated in the Letter of Agreement. 

 

Paid Overtime

 

A part-time staff member who works extra days during the working week because of a work-related trip or an additional request from their manager will be paid for the additional hours worked (up to 7.25 hours per extra day worked) on those week days (the hours worked over a weekend will be compensated as provided for under TOIL arrangements outlined above).

These paid overtime hours will only be worked with the approval of the staff member’s manager and will not be excessive. ALWS will not pay any claim for overtime hours worked where the staff member has not sought approval.

There may be times that due to the operational requirements of ALWS full-time staff are required to work extraordinary hours where the above compensation provisions are inadequate and overtime payments for these hours worked is the only appropriate form of compensation. These situations will be rare and shall only be worked with the approval of the Executive Director or manager.

In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the staff member’s manager, paid overtime can be substituted for TOIL (compensation with time rather than money).

 

Pay Procedures

 

All staff will receive their salary payment by direct deposit to a bank account nominated by the staff member, fortnightly in arrears.

 

Awards

 

At all times, the People & Culture Policy and conditions under which staff are employed by ALWS will comply with the Fair Work Act 2009, as varied from time to time and be consistent with any relevant Awards.

 

Superannuation

 

Superannuation payments shall be made on behalf of all qualifying paid staff at the rate determined by legislation. Additional superannuation payments as part of staff packages will be considered. These contributions are in addition to the salary paid to the staff member.

Superannuation contributions will be made into a complying fund chosen by the staff member (as defined in the Choice of Funds Act 2005) in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992.

If the staff member does not choose a fund, ALWS will make contributions on that person’s behalf into the LCA Lutheran Super Fund.

Staff members have the option of making voluntary superannuation contributions. Staff member contributions may be salary sacrificed (i.e. deducted from pre-tax salary), however ALWS encourages staff members to seek financial advice before salary sacrificing superannuation contributions, so as to ensure this is the most tax effective method for their situation.

Salary sacrifice contributions must be shown as “employer” or “salary sacrifice” contributions when remitted to the superannuation fund.

 

Fringe benefits tax

 

All permanent staff at ALWS are entitled to fringe benefits. The nature and extent of these benefits should be discussed with the ALWS Accountant / Office Manager and the staff member’s own personal accountant.

 

  1. EXPENSES AND REIMBURSEMENTS

 

Travel, meals and accommodation

Staff are entitled to claim reimbursement for actual out of pocket expenses incurred whilst on duty. This includes all reasonable costs in respect to transport to and from point of departure, fares, meals, accommodation, and other business type expenditure when required to travel.

‘Reasonable’ cost is difficult to define given the varied nature of work carried out by ALWS in a variety of locations, and so ALWS trusts staff to apply common sense to such matters.  

When staff organise transport, meals and accommodation, they must consider the financial implications on ALWS together with efficiencies and personal safety.

 

In Australia travel

 

As a general rule for travel within Australia:

  • Consider all airlines
  • Book an inexpensive (economy class) and suitable flight (‘suitable’ in this case ensures arriving with enough time to make the engagement, make other connections, and return at a time which is fair on family and the staff member’s health)
  • Book the flight as early as possible to avoid higher fares
  • Take inexpensive and suitable public transport (‘suitable’ in this case ensures arriving with enough time to make the engagement, returning at a time which is fair on family and the staff member’s health, and with enough time to make other connections)
  • Book inexpensive and suitable accommodation (‘suitable’ in this case ensures the staff member feels safe, the room is clean, and it is within close proximity to the place of engagement. Upper limits of a room should be $150 per night, if possible, however staff safety should always take priority.)
  • Dine at inexpensive and suitable restaurants and cafes (‘suitable’ in this case ensures food is sufficient, healthy and safe, in a clean building and in a location where the staff member feels secure).
  • Consume no more than one glass of alcohol of a reasonable price, if necessary.

 

Preferred

Terry has a meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday and Thursday. Terry books a Virgin flight which is suitable for the purpose of the trip, and therefore the best option because it’s cheaper than QANTAS. There’s a budget airline flight arriving at the same time which is cheaper but less reliable. Before leaving, Terry has some breakfast at home. On arrival to Melbourne Airport, Terry catches the SkyBus because it’s a quarter of the cost of catching a taxi into the city. Catching the taxi directly to the meeting would normally save Terry about half an hour but they have time. From the bus terminal, Terry walks the two blocks to the meeting because it’s close and it’s a nice day (if it was pouring Terry would consider catching a taxi from the terminal – after all, he doesn’t want to arrive saturated).

There’s coffee provided at the meeting so Terry doesn’t need to buy one. After the meeting Terry and Sam meet to go through the year’s workplan. The most suitable place is a café nearby because it’s convenient, quieter than the station, has a table to work on and free WiFi. Terry orders a coffee because Terry would normally have a second one in the afternoon back in the office, and it’s ‘payment’ for the good working space.

Terry and Sam part ways. Terry finds a small Thai restaurant which is reasonably priced, and spends $15 on a meal. It’s been a long day so Terry has a glass of house red – something Terry would normally have after a long day if Terry was home.

Terry walks to the nearby hotel which costs $110 a night. It’s a clean, tidy place with its own shower and toilet in a safe neighbourhood.

The next morning Terry buys some breakfast at a café, and after the meeting returns to the airport in the same way Terry came.

 

Not preferred

Sam is attending the same meeting. Sam books the QANTAS flight, even though it’s much more expensive, because Sam will accrue frequent flyer points and have access to the lounge.

Sam takes a taxi from the airport to the meeting, arrives early so buys a coffee on ALWS because Sam doesn’t like the taste of the coffee on the flight. In the meeting with Terry, Sam buys a couple of slices of cake (both for Sam) and a coffee. Sam takes a taxi to the hotel which costs $190 a night. It’s a hotel with a great view and has come recommended to Sam by friends.

Sam decides to have the $40 breakfast at the hotel because “it’s just easier”, takes a taxi to the meeting and later returns to the airport the same way Sam came.

 

Not preferred

Jamie is attending the same meeting. Jamie considered flights but thought it would be cheaper to catch a coach to save ALWS some money. The coach left at 3am. Jamie didn’t get much rest because it was a rough trip. The coach was delayed because of traffic so Jamie arrived at the meeting two hours late. Jamie packed some instant noodles for dinner that night, and stayed at Jamie’s friend’s place which was a one-hour train trip out of the city to save money.

Jamie skipped breakfast to save ALWS some more money and left very early not to be late for the second day of the meeting. After the meeting, Jamie had some greasy, cheap fast food at the coach terminal for dinner, and waited for the last coach of the day. Jamie arrived home just before midnight, and came to work the next day feeling utterly exhausted.

 

Overseas travel

 

As a general rule for travel overseas:

  • Consider all airlines other than those banned on the European Union Air Safety List:

https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/modes/air/safety/air-ban/doc/list_en.pdf. Where there is no other option, consult the Executive Director, as outlined in the Travel Safety Policy.

  • Book an inexpensive (economy class) and suitable flight (‘suitable’ in this case ensures arriving with enough time to make the engagement, make other connections, and return at a time which is fair on family and the staff member’s health)
  • Book the flight as early as possible to avoid higher fares
  • Take inexpensive and suitable public transport (‘suitable’ in this case ensures arriving with enough time to make the engagement, make other connections, and return at a time which is fair on family and the staff member’s health)
  • Book inexpensive and suitable accommodation (‘suitable’ in this case ensures the staff member feels safe and comfortable, the room is clean, and it is within close proximity to the place of engagement.)
  • Dine at inexpensive and suitable restaurants and cafes (‘suitable’ in this case ensures food is sufficient, healthy and safe, in a clean building and in a location where the staff member feels secure).
  • Consume no more than one glass of alcohol of a reasonable price, if necessary.
  • Identify reliable, effective and economical means of communication with loved ones.

The above is a guide only. ALWS acknowledges there will always be exceptional circumstances.

 

Incidental expenses while travelling

 

Generally, costs normally incurred while travelling which would otherwise be free at home can be reimbursed. These can include incidental expenses such as washing clothes if away for a long period of time, internet access for work, speaking with loved ones, and so on. Costs for caring for children or pets, or other dependents while travelling will not be covered by ALWS.

 

Communications while travelling

 

If necessary, ALWS will reimburse travelling staff for reasonable costs associated with communicating with loved ones. While travelling overseas, staff are encouraged to use internet-based communication where WiFi is accessible, though ALWS acknowledges that this is not always possible, nor secure.

Staff should have access to a reliable work laptop or device while travelling. Due to the rapid speed at which mobile phones are superseded, ALWS does not provide staff with a work phone for travel. Instead, staff members are encouraged to take their own phone with them so that they have a model and version they feel most comfortable with. In the event the personal phone is lost or damaged because it is accompanying a staff member on a work trip, ALWS will reimburse the staff member for costs incurred to repair the phone or purchase a new one upon receipt of a written request to the Executive Director.

 

Expenses for travel

 

Generally, costs incurred for personal travel-related items such as but not limited to travel clothes, shoes, luggage, padlocks, insect repellent, and so on will not be covered by ALWS. Staff are encouraged to claim these costs as work-related expenses when they submit their tax claim.

ALWS will however reimburse costs incurred to apply or renew passports, together with all vaccinations and other medical costs related to work travel.

 

Travel by car

 

Staff should choose an inexpensive and suitable method of travelling by car. ‘Suitable’ in this case ensures the car is safe and reliable, and requires minimal time travelling between the start and end of a work trip. For someone arriving at an airport, the least expensive and most suitable option is often a hire car. For someone travelling from their home to an engagement, this is often their own personal car.

 

Hire car

 

Staff should choose an inexpensive and suitable hire car. ‘Suitable’ in this case ensures the car is hired from a reputable company, the car is safe, reliable and appropriate for the purpose of the trip. A small hatchback, for example, may be appropriate to attend a conference but not for setting up an Awareness Day. Generally, a reputable car company is often most companies found at a major airport.

 

Private vehicle

 

It may be agreed between a staff member and the Executive Director that the member use their own vehicle for ALWS business.

Reimbursement will be calculated at 0.78 cents for every kilometre travelled [2].

A record must be kept by the staff member detailing date, destinations, purpose and distance travelled.

Drivers are responsible for their own fines (such as speeding and parking) in hire cars and their own personal vehicle.

 

Private vehicle and insurance

 

For their own workplace safety, together with insurance implications for ALWS, staff members must not drive any other private vehicle except their own. Insurance cover should be comprehensive. If it is not, alternative transport must be considered.

Before using their own vehicle for ALWS business, staff members must have the vehicle comprehensively insured and must notify their insurance company of their travel for work to ensure such use does not invalidate their insurance.

Each staff member who uses their car for work purposes must state that their car is safe and reliable to use, as part of the Workstation Checklist.

If an accident occurs in a staff member’s private vehicle while travelling on a trip for work purposes, the following procedure must be followed:

  • Lodge a claim to their own vehicle insurance company.
  • Then lodge a claim to LCA Travel Insurance for the following.
  1. a)  The excess payable on their own vehicle insurance policy, and
  2. b)  The loss of their no claim bonus (this is calculated by the vehicle insurance company).
  • LCA Travel Insurance will ask the staff member to obtain written documentation for these two amounts from their own vehicle insurance company.

Claiming the above two amounts from LCA Travel Insurance is designed to cover the staff member’s “out of pocket expenses” and put them in the same position they would have been in before the accident.

 

Personal Injury while driving

 

If the ALWS staff member sustained personal injuries as a result of a car accident while travelling for ALWS work, they will be covered under the ALWS WorkCover Insurance Policy relevant to the state they are based in.

 

Debit cards

 

As appropriate, permanent staff who have successfully completed their probationary period will be issued with a work debit card.

This card is to be used strictly for work-related expenses. Extraordinary purchases will be brought to the attention of the Executive Director as soon as they are identified in monthly debit card statements. Any extraordinary purchases by the Executive Director will be taken by the Accountant/Office Manager and/or Deputy Executive Director to the Board Chair. An extraordinary purchase is one judged as not relating to ALWS work.

Where a single purchase on a debit card exceeds $1,000, staff members are expected to receive written approval by their manager, where possible.

 

8.     INSURANCE

 

ALWS will hold Corporate Travel Insurance (see Annex X for details) that provides staff members with adequate cover while undertaking approved, work-related business (in Australia and overseas?) including death benefits, medical expenses, personal liability and loss of belongings.

ALWS will ensure Australian staff based overseas have adequate insurance including death benefits, medical expenses (including emergency evacuation), and personal liability cover.

 

  1. STAFF HEALTH & SAFETY

 

Staff safety is a high priority to ALWS. For staff safety while travelling in Australia or overseas, refer to the Travel Safety Policy.

 

Workplace

 

ALWS shall provide a healthy and safe workplace (defined as the principal place at which a staff member works) and shall take all actions to identify, evaluate and control those factors in the workplace that cause, or have the potential to cause, injury or ill health. Staff shall also take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety of the others in the workplace. To this end, the ALWS environment is a smoke-free zone.

Each staff member working remotely must complete a Workplace Station Statement & Checklist (Appendix 9). One statement and checklist is completed by the Accountant/Office Manager in consultation with, and on behalf of, all staff working the in the ALWS Head Office. ALWS will work with staff members to ensure all standards of the checklist are met.

For those driving for work related purposes, breaks of at least 10 minutes for every two hours of driving are expected. Staff members should not feel obliged to travel in difficult conditions which can include, but may not be limited to, heavy rain and fog.

 

Psychosocial care

 

ALWS offers a service to maintain the general psychological wellbeing of all its staff and immediate family members. The aim is to provide an independent and confidential avenue for staff to address personal issues that are adversely affecting their work performance and overall wellbeing, or may have the potential to do so.

These problems and issues may include, but are not limited to, work related issues, relationships, physical and mental health, addictions and financial problems.

ALWS will make available up to three paid, confidential one-hour sessions each calendar year for every staff member with a professional of their choice. These will not accrue. If the professional recommends that the staff member seek further specialised assistance to assist them to work through specific issues, this will be at the expense of the staff member concerned. 

 

  1. Working remotely

 

ALWS staff members whose principal place of work is not at the head office will be provided with the appropriate resources necessary to carry out their duties. The exact nature of what is required will be determined in consultation with the staff member as soon as possible after the commencement of their duties, but will generally include:

  • A suitable computer with appropriate software;
  • Email/internet access, including connection to the ALWS server;
  • Computer peripherals, such as a printer and scanner; and
  • Office furniture satisfactory to meet working needs and Workstation Checklist requirements

Notwithstanding the above, staff are encouraged to consider whether their personal internet and phone packages would be any less expensive if they were not needing them for work. For example:

 

Preferred

Sam had already connected to an internet package for personal use with more data than Sam would realistically need in a month. Commencing at ALWS, Sam considers seeking reimbursement from ALWS for 50% of each month’s bill but realises Sam would still be paying the same amount if Sam was working from the ALWS office. Therefore, Sam decides not to seek reimbursement, knowing Sam can claim back a percentage of Sam’s internet usage for work purposes at tax time.

 

Sam also applies the same principle to Sam’s mobile phone plan which has unlimited domestic calls, SMS and data usage because Sam had the same plan for personal use well before working at ALWS

 

The staff member’s manager will also satisfy him/herself that the working environment is conducive to enable the staff member to work effectively and efficiently. The issues that will be considered include, but aren’t necessarily limited to, the following:

  • If working from home, the proposed office area is sufficiently private and quiet so as not to interfere with work or home life;
  • If working in another office setting, there is sufficient working space and privacy to carry out work with a minimum of interference or distraction;
  • If working in another office, there is a mutual agreement as to whom the staff member can go to address any local office issues; and
  • The manager is satisfied there will be adequate ‘collegial’ or family support for the staff member in their working environment.

All staff members working remotely will complete a “Work Station checklist” (see People & Culture Policy Appendix X) to help the staff member and their manager assess risks at their work station.  This checklist is to be completed when setting up a new work station or making major changes to the current work station. A copy of the completed and signed Work Station Checklist will be retained on the staff member’s personnel file.

 

  1. EXPECTATIONS OF A PROFESSIONAL WORKPLACE

 

Code of Conduct

 

All staff and volunteers are expected to read, understand and sign the ALWS Code of Conduct (Refer Annex X). At all times, ALWS staff and volunteers should “act in a way that promotes Christian witness through service and is consistent with the Christian principles which underpin the work of ALWS (pg.5).”

 

Values

 

ALWS as an employer, together with its staff, should strive to adhere to the Employee Value Statement (Ref X), and the Shared Values Statement (Ref X).

 

Resources

 

Staff are expected to use ALWS resources, equipment and time for work related purposes only.

 

Common drives

 

Staff are expected to learn, understand and use common drives in the cloud, including the shared calendar, to streamline work and create efficiencies for the organisation.

 

Meetings and events

 

All permanent staff, including part-time staff, are expected to attend team and whole-of-organisation meetings and events such as monthly Skype catch ups, staff days, relevant Board meetings, and the annual staff retreat, in an effort to bring people closer together.

 

Punctuality

 

All staff are expected to be punctual to work. This means arriving at or before 8:30am and leaving no earlier than 4:45pm. This applies equally to staff working remotely and in the head office. In exceptional circumstances, staff may begin at another time agreed to by the Executive Director. Staff are also expected to arrive before scheduled meetings and events in order for proceedings to begin on time.

 

Personal Appearance

 

Staff are expected to meet dress and personal grooming standards which reflect ALWS’ standing in the Australian community. ALWS is a responsible organisation with professional staff and should reflect through them a high level of integrity. Our supporters should be comfortable in trusting our staff with donated monies.

 

Confidentiality

 

It is a condition of employment that a staff member does not knowingly disclose, use or permit to be used, information gained through employment to the possible detriment of ALWS, its donors, or its purposes.

 

Gifts for Personal Use

 

Staff will not accept any large or otherwise inappropriate gifts for personal use. If a staff member is in doubt, he or she will refer the matter to the Executive Director (or, if the Executive Director, to the Board). He/she will determine whether the gift is (a) reasonable and (b) given as a gesture of goodwill and not designed to create indebtedness on the staff member or ALWS.   

 

Internal Loans & other financial transactions

 

Internal loans to staff members or volunteers is prohibited.

 

Related Party transactions

 

If a staff member or volunteer, an immediate family member, or an entity under their control is contracted or engaged by ALWS to undertake paid services, the nature of the relationship, the services provided and the paid value of those services will be appropriately audited and details fully disclosed to the Executive Director, and if it involves the Executive Director, to the Board and external auditor.

 

Other employment

 

Full time staff members will not undertake employment outside working hours that would in any way directly or indirectly compete with the activities of ALWS or which conflicts with your duties or affects your performance.

 

  1. STAFF PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT

 

The opportunity for regular formal and informal feedback for all staff is important for the professional development of staff and for the productivity of ALWS and the organisational culture it wishes to foster.

Refer to the Staff Performance and Development Guidelines (Annex X) and My Development and Performance Plan.

 

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

 

Based on the results of performance appraisals and a continuing needs assessment, the employer shall arrange for staff members to attend external professional development activities as required.

Requests for particular training and development programs must be submitted to the Executive Director. Such requests must include date/s, program content, cost and relevance to the staff member’s position and duties.

No external training course may be undertaken without the prior approval of the Executive Director.

 

  1. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

 

The employer provides each staff member with the opportunity to apply and develop individual skills and abilities to successfully achieve the objectives of the organisation.

Implementation of this policy necessitates:

  • Employing the most suitable person for each position based on relative ability, skills and experience. Selection will also be guided by relevant ALWS policies, including the Gender Policy.
  • Appraising, developing and promoting staff members on the basis of performance, ability, potential and aspiration.
  • Maintaining a workplace free from all forms of harassment; and
  • Complying with anti-discrimination law.

 

  1. HARASSMENT & UNFAIR DISCRIMINATION

 

ALWS does not condone harassment, nor does it condone discrimination or harassment based upon any of the following grounds:

  • age
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • race
  • colour
  • national or ethnic origin
  • descent
  • nationality
  • religious adherence
  • political persuasion
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • pregnancy
  • physical health
  • family responsibilities
  • or on any other grounds

Discrimination on any of the above grounds is considered unfair and unlawful, and will not be condoned. Such discrimination is not to be confused with the legitimate evaluation of staff members or potential recruits on grounds such as skills, academic qualifications, interpersonal skills and Christian witness.

This policy applies to all matters of employment including recruitment, selection, placement, promotions, development and terminations. It also applies to compensation practices, benefits, day-to-day treatment and all other conditions of employment with ALWS.

 

Legislation

 

The following legislation is relevant to equality of opportunity in the workplace:

  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act, 1986
  • Racial Discrimination Act, 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act, 1984
  • Disability Discrimination Act, 1992

 

  1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

LCA Sexual Abuse Policy

 

ALWS is subject to and complies with the LCA Sexual Abuse Policy (see appendix 1).

 

Government Legislation

 

Sexual harassment is expressly prohibited in the Sex Discrimination Act, 1984 (Cth).

In New South Wales the courts have determined that sexual harassment can amount to unlawful discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act.

With some slight variation, the Acts provide that one person sexually harasses another by making unwelcome sexual advances or requests, either by physical contact or sexual statements. This harassment is unlawful.

 

Employer Liable for Breach

 

As with unlawful discrimination, employers may be held liable for breaches of the Act by their employees during work.

 

Victimisation

 

It is unlawful to victimise a person who makes a complaint or intends to make a complaint.

 

Inducing Discrimination

 

A person who instructs or induces another person to unfairly discriminate is liable for that unfair discrimination.

 

Time Limit on Complaints

 

Anyone who wishes to lodge a complaint under applicable legislation must do so within a certain time after the alleged discrimination took place. This time varies from State to State; the legislation previously mentioned provides details.

 

State vs Federal Legislation

 

In states which have their own legislation, a complaint may be pursued under either Federal or State Acts and the State administrative body will process the complaint under either Federal or State legislation.

 

  1. RESIGNATION AND TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

 

Resignation

 

A notice of resignation shall be in writing clearly stating the date the staff member wishes to finish work and also making it clear that it is the staff member’s decision to do so. Staff members must provide at least two weeks’ notice of intention to terminate.

 

Termination of Employment

 

Either ALWS or the employee can terminate the employment with one week’s notice during the probationary period stipulated in the employment agreement.

In order to otherwise terminate employment, for any reason other than serious misconduct, ALWS will give the employee a period of notice, as agreed to in their Letter of Appointment.

In addition, employees over forty-five (45) years of age at the time of the giving of notice with not less than two (2) years continuous service are entitled to an additional week’s notice.

The notice of termination required to be given by the employee is the same as that required by ALWS, save and except that there is no requirement on the employee to give additional notice based on the employee’s age.

If the employee fails to give the notice specified, ALWS has the right to withhold monies from what the employee would have been paid if the employee had worked out the notice period.

  1. Employees on fixed-term Agreements will be advised four to five weeks prior to the end of the contract period (unless stipulated otherwise in the contract) whether their contract will be extended.
  2. In the event that it is necessary to retrench staff due to financial circumstances, the staff concerned shall be advised as soon as the situation is known and notice in writing stipulating specific dates shall be given. Staff made redundant shall be paid their entitlement according to legislation and/or relevant award applicable at the time. Staff benefits and entitlements will continue to the last day of employment.
  3. Any staff member can be dismissed for gross misconduct. Gross misconduct involves serious matters such as theft, harassment of another staff member and/or conduct unbecoming to ALWS standards. The Executive Director and the Chairman of the Board or any two Board members will determine whether cause exists. Dismissal will be immediate with no notice and no severance pay.
  4. In the case of unsatisfactory performance, a manager will work with their employee to overcome any performance challenges. If, over a reasonable period of time, and with a reasonable level of support and guidance, performance doesn’t improve, then disciplinary action may be taken, up to (and including) termination of employment.

Depending on the circumstances, ordinary pay in lieu of notice may be given by ALWS.

  1. The above Clauses do not affect the right of ALWS to dismiss an employee without notice for gross neglect of duty or misconduct. In such cases pay shall be made up to time of dismissal.
  2. No dismissal will take place without the approval of the Executive Director or where appropriate the Board of Directors.

In addition, the staff member shall be advised of the options which may be followed within seven days, that is:

  • Request a review by the Executive Director;
  • Refer the matter to the Board of Directors for consideration.

 

Grounds for Disciplinary Action

 

Disciplinary action may also be taken in response to any:

(a)          Unsatisfactory performance

(b)          Unacceptable conduct

(c)          Wilful or serious misconduct.

(d)          Breach of the ALWS Code of Conduct

 

If the complaint is against a child, please refer to the ALWS Complaints Policy, ‘Sensitive Complaints – Children Related’.

Disciplinary Procedure

The procedures outlined below are intended as a guide only to the disciplinary procedures which may be implemented by ALWS.  In every case, the actual disciplinary procedure to be adopted will be a matter for ALWS’ discretion and in consideration of the circumstances of the case as a whole.  Nothing in this Policy prevents ALWS from issuing a final warning at any stage of the process.  Similarly, if the circumstances warrant, nothing in this policy prevents ALWS from dismissing an employee at any stage of the procedure set out in this Policy, for example in circumstances involving wilful or serious misconduct by an employee.  The employee’s confidence will be maintained throughout this procedure, and only those directly involved in the investigation will be advised.

Investigation

Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to conduct an investigation into incidents and/or allegations.  This may involve collecting relevant data, interviewing the relevant employee, relevant witnesses, such as the employee’s co-workers or supervisors and overseas partners, with whom the employee has had contact. In cases of serious misconduct, the investigation method shall be determined by the Executive Director in consultation with the ALWS Board of Directors Administration Committee.

An employee may be suspended from duty on ordinary pay pending completion of an investigation.

Disciplinary Interview

If on the basis of the investigation, ALWS believes that there is a case to be answered by the employee, the employee may be asked to attend a meeting to discuss the issue(s) of concern.

An example of a procedure that may be adopted by ALWS in these circumstances may involve:

  1. The employee being given more than 24-hour notice of the meeting and what will be discussed at the meeting.
  2. The employee being given a reasonable opportunity to have a support person present at the meeting.
  3. An agreement by all meeting attendees on a suitable method of recording the meeting, either through minutes, note-taking or a voice recording.
  4. The issue(s) of concern or allegations being put to the employee.
  5. The employee being given an opportunity to respond to the concerns or allegations.
  6. ALWS considering the employee’s response and making any further enquires or investigations (if necessary).
  7. ALWS determining whether the concern(s) or allegations have been proven. The determination must be made in consultation with the ALWS Board of Directors’ Administration Committee.
  8. Determining that all or some of the concerns or allegations are founded, and ALWS making a decision about what, if any, disciplinary action is appropriate in the

Disciplinary Action

Any disciplinary action taken will vary from case to case. It will vary depending on the circumstances and could include a consideration of whether the employee has received any prior verbal or written warnings in relation to their performance or conduct.

Examples of disciplinary action which may be taken by ALWS include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Redirection, retraining;
  • Verbal warning;
  • Written warning; and
  • Dismissal, including summary dismissal in circumstances of serious or wilful misconduct;
  • Referring the matter to the appropriate authorities.

 

Grievance Procedure

 

Refer to ALWS Complaints Policy.

 

Complaints Procedure – Reporting suspected wrongdoing

 

Refer to ALWS Complaints Policy.

 

Staff Records

 

Essential information relating to the employment of staff within ALWS may be maintained in an individual file on a confidential basis. Any staff member may have access to their own personnel file by request to the Executive Director.

 

  1. VOLUNTEERS

 

Volunteers (general administration)

 

General administration volunteers are responsible for routine tasks which may include writing ‘Thank You’ notes on receipts, packing envelopes, filing and scanning documents, and so on. They will not be tasked with roles which require data entry or processing information. This will be delegated to paid staff, given the responsibility.

Offers of voluntary assistance shall be accepted if the work is relevant to the current workplan and if staff are available to provide necessary assistance to the volunteer.

Where such volunteers are sought, especially during busy administrative times such as the weeks prior to Christmas, the Volunteer Coordinator will identify volunteers either through internal contacts or by advertising more widely. 

Each volunteer must read, understand and sign the ALWS Code of Conduct, and undergo relevant checks as outlined in the Child Protection Policy.

 

Volunteers (skilled project specific – domestic)

 

Volunteers for skilled, project-specific work in Australia are responsible for tasks identified by ALWS. This can include being a member of the Board of Directors or Board Advisory Group. It may also be a role for a specific project requested by ALWS.

Offers of voluntary assistance shall be accepted if the work is relevant to the current workplan and if staff are available to provide necessary assistance to the volunteer.

Where such volunteers are sought, the Executive Director or most appropriate staff or Board member, will identify volunteers either through internal contacts or by advertising more widely.

Australian-based volunteers will be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

 

Volunteers (skilled project specific – overseas)

 

Volunteers for skilled, project-specific work overseas are responsible for tasks identified either by ALWS or an overseas partner. This can include providing a particular skill to fill a gap in an overseas country program or project. Often these placements are for no fewer than 3 months.

Offers of voluntary assistance shall be accepted if the work is relevant to the program’s needs and if ALWS and in-country staff are available to provide necessary assistance to the volunteer.

Where such volunteers are sought, the Executive Director or most appropriate staff or Board member, will identify volunteers either through internal contacts or by advertising more widely.

Insurance, expenses and other arrangements will be negotiated case by case.

 

Student Placements

 

As with volunteers, students on placement shall only be accepted where they can make a contribution to the work of ALWS and where a staff person is in a position to provide the necessary support. Approval will have to be obtained from the Executive Director.

Students on placement shall be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

 

  1. REVIEW

 

The People & Culture Policy will be reviewed every three years or in the event of significant changes in industrial legislation affecting general employment conditions.

 

 

 

[1] For staff members who commenced prior to 1 January 1998 the entitlement shall accrue at 0.867 weeks leave on full pay for each year of service from the date of their commencement until 31 December 1997. After 1 January 1998 these staff members, and new staff members who commenced after 1 January 1998, long service leave shall accrue at 1.3 weeks leave for each year of service.

[2] Refer to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award (2010) Section 20.5

[1] “Procedural fairness traditionally involves two requirements: the fair hearing rule and the rule against bias… The hearing rule requires a decision maker to afford a person an opportunity to be heard before making a decision affecting their interests… The rule against bias ensures that the decision maker can be objectively considered to be impartial and not to have pre-judged a decision.” See< https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/procedural-fairness-duty-and-its-content>

 

Download this as PDF