Staff Policy Manual

(Version 1.10 Summer of 2017)

(The following document is adapted from: University of Bristol – Acceptable Behaviour in the Workplace Policy; DPA – Professional Standards and Workplace Expectations; The Open University – Terms and Conditions Support Staff; and other documents.)

1. Policy statement

The Company (My languages skills S.L.U.) expects the highest standard of behavior from its staff and for all staff to be aware of how their behavior can affect others. To achieve this standard it is the general expectation that all members of staff will behave in an acceptable manner-treating others with courtesy, respect and consideration – and conducting themselves professionally. The company is fully committed to creating and sustaining a positive and mutually supportive working environment where staff can work collaboratively and productively together, and where staff are equally valued and respected.

2. Acceptable Behavior

  1. Each member of the staff of the Company has a responsibility to know, to understand and to abide by fundamental professional standards and workplace expectations that support a positive work environment and promote the highest possible standards of professionalism within the Company.
  2. The Company expects that members of staff will conduct themselves in a professional and acceptable manner when interacting with and influencing others, or when managing colleagues. The Professional Behaviours ( Adapted from the AUA CPD Framework documentation by Association of University Administrators) provide guidance on key and valued behaviors that should be observed when interacting with and influencing others, or when managing colleagues. Leadership Attributes (Adapted from the University of Bristol ) have also been developed to set out the behaviors expected of managers.
  3. All members of the Company should be aware of their own behavior and how it impacts on others.

3. Unacceptable behavior

  1. Unacceptable behavior may involve actions, words or physical gestures that could reasonably be perceived to be the cause of another person’s distress or discomfort. Such behaviors may also contravene equality and/or employment legislation. For the avoidance of doubt, where such procedures are applied reasonably and appropriately, will not constitute unacceptable behavior.
  2. Some examples of unacceptable behavior are listed below:
    • Aggressive or abusive behavior, such as shouting or offensive comments.
    • Spreading malicious rumors or gossip, or insulting someone.
    • Lack of awareness or consideration of diversity.
    • Unwanted physical contact or body language.

4. Professional Standards and Workplace Expectations

  1.  Professional Conduct – Regardless of where the members work in the Company, what the members of staff do is very important. The company’s customers, co-workers and partners rely on the quality and timeliness of our work and on our professionalism.
    1. Courtesy
      •  The company expects staff members to be kind, courteous, professional, cordial and respectful, and to use kind phrases like “please” and “thank you.”
    2. Ethics
      • The company expects the staff members to Conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards and promote an environment of public trust that is free from lies, cheating, selfishness, conflicts of interest, fraud, abuse of authority, and misuse of property.
      • Hold honesty and integrity as essential character traits
    3. Safety
      • The company expects staff members to use good judgment in decision-making and follow safety guidelines where appropriate.
      • No pets are allowed in the workplace. Service animals are not pets.
    4. Teamwork
      The company expects staff members to;

      • Work as a team for the good of the Company and the Department’s mission.
      • Share information and good ideas to improve operations and outcomes.
      • Celebrate each other’s achievements to promote the success of our Company.
      • Be receptive to constructive feedback.
      • Be open to input from your co-workers, direct reports, and supervisors/managers.
      • In order to work as part of a team you have to communicate with your team:
        • seek help when necessary and give help when asked,
        • ask if you do not understand some part of your work- if there is a misunderstanding because you didn’t ask on time it will be your fault;
        • answer the questions, don´t be shy. It will be worth it for you in the end,
        • if there is a question on the appropriate course of action, you are expected to clarify the question with your supervisor before proceeding,
        • maintain update your supervisor (what/how do you do).
      • You have to learn how to be independent, any time you have a question related to your work, just ask, but, in order to be able to work more efficiently and not waste the time of your supervisor:
        • if the question is related to the work, first take a look at the documentation. The purpose of the documentation is to avoid mistakes. Nobody knows by heart all the information of the documentation, even your supervisor could give you wrong information if you do not review it together,
        • if the question is personal, review the tutorial of the site (mylanguageskills.wordpress.com.), most of the questions of the past staff are there. If your problem is not there, ask your supervisor and help make the tutorial better for the future members of the staff,
        • if your questions are not answered in the documentation or website, before you ask, make your own fast review of the situation and ask a coworker of the same department if it is a work question or a co-worker of the same nationality/neighborhood if it is a personal question.
      • Each time you go to your supervisor with a question, try to go with possible solutions to the problem. It shows that you are involved and that you have real interest to solve the problem. Your supervisor will decide which of the possible solutions is most appropriate or add a different one to the list, but before the supervisor can decide on a possible solution, you need to give some information. To go to your supervisor simply saying that you don’t know what to do shows immaturity.
      • If you have a problem and require a long process of evaluating different alternatives, before commencing the process on these evaluations, communicate the situation to your supervisor.
      • After finish a task, communicate to your supervisor.
    5. Responsibility and Accountability
      The company expects staff members to;

      • Meet commitments and deadlines.
      • Be “work focused”; dependable and accountable; productive.
      • Take care of personal needs and business during their breaks and lunch period.
      • Keep their supervisor informed of any problems or issues so he/she is aware of them. Notify as far in advance as possible when they think they may not meet a deadline.
      • Follow instructions and directions given by a supervisor or a manager in a timely and respectful manner. If they have questions or need clarification, ask well before the deadline of the project.
      • Be flexible; if staying an hour late will ensure the task is finished, they should do it unless that’s truly impossible. Another day, the workday can be one hour shorter.
      • Members of staff should save the phone number of the supervisor and call them if the situation requires it as soon as they notice the problem or before the workday begins.
      • The work on the Company is intellectual, you should have enough rest to do your work properly and not be tired at work. The desk is not a bed and to sleep over the table will be solved with a formal resolution.
    6. Professionalism
      • The company expects staff members to be knowledgeable about the company’s business.
      • Conduct business and complete tasks proficiently.
      • Represent the Company in a professional manner
      • Maintain a positive attitude.
      • Aspire to excellence, pay attention to the detail, value personal competency and the competency of co-workers.
      • Rely on Company’s Mission, Vision, Core Values and Workplace Expectations to guide conduct.
      • Seek professional and personal growth opportunities and attend training that enhance professional behavior such as: Valuing Diversity, Respectful Workplace, and other professional development courses.
    7. Hygiene and Cleaning
      • Workplace attire is neat, clean, in good repair and appropriate for the work performed and for the setting in which work is done.
      • Keep in mind that some members of staff are particularly sensitive to perfumes and colognes.
      • Staff members are expected to wear casual business or formal business attire when appropriate.
      • Hats are not worn in the workplace.
      • Provocative clothing and clothing with words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive to other members of staff and the public is not worn in the workplace.
      • The Staff may be instructed to return home to dress appropriately or address hygiene concerns.
      • Facilities (kitchen, dinning room and terrace) are expected to be cleaned after utilization. Office is not allowed for meals. After the meal, dishes must be clean.
      • Drinks must have the coaster under the cup/glass.
      • Use a dish tray with snacks.
    8. Smoking
      • The smoking of tobacco products or the preparation of the cigarettes within the enclosed area or indoor is prohibited.
      • Employees should ensure that work performance is not adversely affected when leaving the workplace for the purpose of smoking.
      • Members, who smoke, should ensure that all cigarette butts, ash, matches or  any by-product of their smoking activities are not discarded of in any public place.
      • The smoking area (terrace) must be clean every day after work. The remains of cigarettes are not allowed.
      • During the somking time the staff should Avoid any unnecessary personal cell phone chats (Social Media).
  2. Time and Attendance
    1. Company business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the staff members will work the required 30 hours per week within the compressed or uncompress schedule. They  must have confirmation from their supervisor before using a different work schedule.
      • Compressed hours – From 9:00 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. 4 days at week.
      • Uncompress hours – From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 5 days at week
    2. Staff members are expected to Show up reliably. Unless they have pre-scheduled vacation time or they are truly ill, they should be at work when they’re expected to be there. It’s not OK to call in sick because of being hung over, or because of staying up late last night watching soccer, or because they just don’t feel like coming in.
    3. Staff members are expected to be at their desks ready to work when their scheduled workday begins. Continual flexing of the workday to accommodate habitual tardiness is not permitted. Staff members are expected to recover the hours in the end of the day for tardiness of 15 minutes or more. Delay in the beginning of the workday (even if less than 15 minutes) will be dealt with as a performance issue. Delays must be recovered the same day.
      • Attendance – Punctual, regular and predictable attendance is expected and required according to the members’ work schedule.
      • Absences and delays – members of staff should report a delay or absence as soon they notice or before their assigned workday begins.
      • Sick time – members of staff should report a personal illness as soon they notice or before their assigned workday begins. If a circumstance beyond their control) does not allow them to call before the work day begins, they should call as soon as physically possible or have another person call for them.
        • During the Sick time is not possible to work from home.
      • Overtime – Overtime must be approved in advance. In addition, here may be a need for members of staff to work mandatory overtime depending upon business needs.
      • Non-Standard Work Hours – To work in weekends, holidays or times other than the normal working hours must be approved in advance.
      • Holidays – A bank holiday during the week will not count for the 30 hours week unless they work with a schedule of Uncompressed hours.
      • Working from home. There may be certain roles which could adapt to working from home either on a regular basis or when a particular task needs completing, which could be undertaken more easily in a quieter home environment.
        • Working from home enhances levels of responsibility.
        • Any fault will be solved with a Formal resolution.
        • It is the Company’s policy that all the collaboration tools of the company must be active all the time.
          • Dropbox (Remember, dropbox must be activated each time the computer is working).
          • Slack (If in the free time the Staff members receive a work message, is not mandatory to answert till the working day start).
          • GitHub (for informaticians) – at least once a day – Sync with Dropbox too.
      • Time off or change of workplace – Staff members should seek permission from their supervisor for time off or to change the work from home to the office or viceversa. Remember your supervisor the day before of your abscense.
      • Flexible working hours – That flexibility is dependent upon the operational needs of the Department. The schedule must always be done in advance.
      • Flexible working hours, delays, overtime, work in times other than the normal working hours… require to use the calendar and keep the data.
      • When requesting Flexible Working hours, Time off, Working from home …, the members of the staff are expected to remember to their supervisor the day before.
      • After one Formal Resolution, all the flexibility in the workday is denied.
      • Each Member of the staff has a different schedule. The fact that other people start late or finish early does not mean it’is the same for all the Members of the staff. Each Member of the staf should be aware of their own schedule.
    4. Staff members should consider the impact of flexibility on colleagues. Schedules can be changed only on Fridays.
      1. Once approved, note on Google Calendar.
      2. Because on Fridays your coworkers can do changes in their schedules, you have to visit Slack on Saturdays/Sundays in order to see if it affects you and there is modification in your schedule.
      3. Is forbidden to change the calendar on Sundays. If saturday at mid day the calendar is not created, the calendar would repeat the schedule of the last week.
    5. There is a basic limit on a worker’s average weekly working time: Workers can not exceed the limit of 10 hours per day, 45 hours per week or 150 hours per Month.
    6. Long term internship (5 months or more). One free week is available upon request for a trip home.
  3. Leave Requests
    1. Any leave request, other than when necessitated by a sudden illness or other emergent situation, must be pre-approved. Advanced notice is required for time off for vacations and, whenever possible, for scheduled sick leave. The staff is encouraged not to purchase airline tickets, etc. without first receiving confirmation to avoid any inconvenience if the leave requested cannot be approved. Once approved, note the leave dates on Google Calendar.
    2.  Unscheduled leave puts a hardship on the work group, and is discouraged except for illness. Unscheduled leave require recover the hours in the end of the week. When requesting unscheduled leave, the members of the staff are expected to talk to their supervisor to request the leave before the start of your work day.
  4. Lunch Breaks & Relief Periods (breaks)
    1. The time for the breaks is one hour approximately. If the breaks takes longer, the time spent must be recovered at the end of the day.
      • According to Article 34 of the Labour Code, in Spain the workers have right to a 15-minute break or more when the workday exceeds 6 hours. This break will take place at the time of the lunch break, beginning at 1 PM and lasting 40 minutes.
      • A 15 minutes short breack is available at 11:00
      • At least one break is mandatory when Working from home.
    2. When taking a break, the staff members must be courteous and respectful of others who are still working and may not wish to be interrupted or to take their break at the same time.
    3. If because of the type of task you’re working on you feel like you need an additional break during your work, you can take it as long as the supervisor agrees to give it to you. During this break it is still prohibited to use digital devices and social media.
  5. Google Calendar
    1. Keep your electronic calendar updated and shared with your supervisor. Please note that electronic calendars are public records and are subject to the various public records laws and regulations.
    2. Timesheets must reflect their “actual hours worked” during the period. If they are unsure of what this means, they may seek clarification from your direct supervisor.
  6. Communications
    1. The staff should refrain from checking devices (such as phone, laptop, etc) for messages when meeting with an individual, attending a group meeting, or while in training. In most meeting situations, cell phones should be off, it is generally impolite and disruptive to answer calls while meeting with others.
    2. During work hours, phones should be on vibration mode so as not to disrupt the office.
    3. The staff must Avoid “reading under the table.” The people who scroll through their emails, check their Facebook page, text, tweet, or check sports scores in their lap it is so annoying. People notice this more than  you think. It’s not only distracting and discourteous to the speaker, but also to everyone else. Also, paying attention to the messages instead of the meeting sends a signal that  one’s work or the people in the room are not important.
    4. Members of the staff should Avoid any unnecessary personal cell phone chats (Social Media). Any unnecessary calls must be reduced to help workers get the most out of their workday, and to create the right impression. cell phone use should be limited to important calls only. In addition, the members should wait until your lunch or work breaks to send any personal text messages. It may send a signal to your supervisor that the members are not taking their job seriously.
    5. If a supervisor considers that a Members of the staff is making or receiving an unreasonable number of calls/texts during working hours, we reserve the right to request the Members of the staff to turn the phone off, other than during break periods.
    6. Members should find a private place for making personal calls – If they have to make a personal call, they should do so somewhere away from their desk, where they won’t distract your coworkers.
    7. Headphones/ear buds can be worn at the desks as long as one can hear his/her surroundings (people approaching, ringing phone, etc.) and the volume isn’t loud enough to disrupt others from their work.
    8. The Members of the staff must send a receiving confirmation each time a member receives a message (internal communication or external).
      • If the message is outside of the working hours, the members of the staff will answer at the moment they start to work. It is not mandatory to answer communication outside of the working hours.
    9. Members of staff should avoid any unnecessary use of emojis in the messages.

5. Computer

We have the ability and legal right to read e-mail, review files stored on a company computer, examine computer usage, and track individual member of the staff computer activities. The idea of anonymous actions is an illusion. Every action between a network and the computers connected to it can be tracked (Dropbox – Slack – …). Every action by an individual member of the staff on a computer can be tracked, analyzed and used if the staff members have an Informal or Formal resolution. The protections and freedoms guaranteed by the Spanish Law are there to protect the individual from the Government and do not generally apply to the normal staff/employer relationship.”[1]

The Company has computers available for staff members. It is strictly forbidden to install programs that are downloaded illegally. If you use your personal computer to perform the tasks, use only programs for which you are licensed to use them, otherwise, you should ask to be provided with open source alternatives that do the same.

In order to be able to use all the software of the company, it is better if the Members of the staff use the same username – email – and password all the time. If there are problems with the login in the account, maybe the problem is with the username/email.

The staff must use professional usernames.

6. Confidentiality

  1. This confidentiality section serves to verify that staff members have been made aware of the strict prohibition against inappropriate use of sensitive or confidential information.
  2. Staff Members must understand that the Company expects members to hold in confidence on any information one may become privy to in the course of the work, internship and/or co-op. Because this information is solely available to members, these ones will not discuss, use, forward, print, copy, photograph, record or otherwise disseminate any confidential or sensitive information that is given, shown, or available to the company, or which otherwise comes to the company’s attention, for purposes outside the legitimate scope of the company’s work.
  3. Examples of confidential information that members may become aware of during the course of employment or internship at the Company are included but are not limited to:
    • Information regarding the financial circumstances, giving and payment records, members of staff, guests, and the family members of the aforementioned, as well as those of corporations and other organizations which have an established or potential relationship with the Company.
    • Information from or regarding the educational records of students, members of staff, associates and guests of the College.
    • Information regarding access to Company’s electronic files of any kind, and information pertaining to intellectual property of any kind, written or unwritten.
  4. Members further agree not to make copies of such Confidential Information except as authorized by the Company and that you will not reverse engineer or attempt to derive the composition or underlying information, structure or ideas of any Confidential Information. The foregoing does not grant members a license in or to any of the Confidential Information.

7. Copyrights Assignments

  1. Members of the Staff further agree to assign to the Company, or its designee, all right, title, and interest in and to any and all inventions, original works of authorship, developments, concepts, improvements, designs, drawings, discoveries, algorithms, formulas, computer code, ideas, trademarks, or trade secrets, whether or not patentable or registrable under patent, copyright or similar laws, related to the Company’s business, which you solely or jointly conceive or develop or reduce to practice, or cause to be conceived or developed or reduced to practice, with the use of Company’s equipment, supplies, facilities, assets, or Company Confidential Information, or which may arise out of any research or other activity created in the scope of this work or internship.
  2. Using the name supplied by the Member of the Staff, the Company shall use commercially reasonable efforts to credit the Member as the source of the Contribution, but shall have no liability for lack of credit. Members of the Staff must acknowledge and accept and therefore waive any right to object to the fact that it is common business practice for commercial uses that the creator of Content is not credited, that Content may be modified, used in connection with sensitive topics and may be used or modified in ways that may be controversial or unflattering.
  3. Staff members are autorized to take samples for a personal-professional portfolio. The samples must be in an uneditable format (.png, .jpg, .pdf) and low resolution. Remember to give credit to the Company.

8. Company Assets

  1. At the end of staff members’ association with the Company, Members will promptly return all Proprietary Information and all copies, extracts, and other objects or items in which it may be contained or embodied.
  2. Members of the Staff will promptly notify the Company of any unauthorized release of Proprietary Information within your control.
  3. Members of the staff must understand and agree that any breach by you of the provisions in this section could cause the Company to suffer irreparable harm and no adequate remedy at law would be available in respect thereof. Accordingly, you agree that upon any such breach, the Company shall be entitled to seek equitable relief, as well as such further relief as may be granted by a court of competent jurisdiction.

9. Informal resolution

Except where the alleged behavior is sufficiently serious to warrant an immediate formal resolution, unacceptable behavior should in the first instance be dealt with at the lowest possible level, ideally through a conversation or notice to the member subjection to the behavior. In many cases, this may resolve the issue without taking any further action and a constructive way of working in the future can be agreed.

10. Formal resolution

Formal complaints will be set out in writing and addressed to the complainant’s Responsible person at the Sending Institution and copied to the complainant´s. The written complaint should include details of any informal resolution that has been attempted, notes of any discussions held under section Informal resolution of this policy.

11. Evaluation of the Trainee

  1. The Evaluation of the Trainee includes details of any informal or formal resolution.
  2. Punctuality and hours missed will be taken into account in the section asking for hours completed.
  3. No recommendation letters are sent to the interns with one formal resolution.
  4. The Trainee will receive an attached file with the evaluation.
  5. The evaluation is not a grading.
  6. The evaluation of the Trainee is independent to the other members of the Staff (it shouldn’t be compared to the evaluations of the other members of staff), the staff members should not take into consideration the other members’ of the Staff actions.

12. Termination

The documentation of the trainee will not be sign it till the last official day of the internship.

If the intern have an undutiful and unprofessional behaviour, the supervisor will write a letter about the intern with the termination paper and will send to the international office and Responsible person at the Sending Institution.

Staff Policy Manual: Signature.

Real Decreto Legislativo 2/2015, de 23 de octubre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley del Estatuto de los Trabajadores.

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