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Policies

Always acting with honesty, trust, integrity whilst trading ethically.
Quality. First Time - Every Time.

Ferns Policies

Alcohol & Drugs Policy and Procedure

Ferns Group endeavours to ensure employees' use of either alcohol or drugs does not impair the safe and effective running of the organisation or the health and safety of its employees. This statement sets out the Group's Policy in respect of any employee or sub-contractor whose proper performance of their duties is or may be impaired as a result of consuming alcohol or taking drugs. This Policy shall be reviewed at least annually.

The implementation of this Policy is the duty of the management and company supervisors. The Group will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all persons concerned are to be made aware of this Policy, become familiar with its content and comply fully with its requirements. The Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Director in conjunction with the Contracts Director, will have overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy.

Furthermore, as a caring Employer the Group will have in place procedures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable the consumption of alcohol and taking drugs prior to and while at work, and procedures for highlighting and dealing with alcohol and drug related problems.

It is a requirement of the Ferns Group that no employee or Contractor shall:

  • Report or endeavour to report for work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Report for work in an unfit state due to the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Be in possession of alcohol or drugs of abuse in the workplace.
  • Consume alcohol or drugs whilst at work.

Ferns Group will not tolerate any deviation from these rules and will take appropriate disciplinary action, under the Terms and Conditions of Employment, in the event of any proven infringement.

Procedure

1. Establishing the Problem

Managers and Supervisors should be aware that the misuse of alcohol and drugs by employees and sub-contractors may come to light in various ways. The following characteristics, especially when arising in combinations, may indicate the presence of an alcohol or drug related problem.

Absenteeism

  • Instances of unauthorised leave.
  • Frequent Friday and / or Monday absences.
  • Lateness (especially on returning from lunch)
  • Unusually high level of sickness for colds, flu, and stomach upsets.
  • Leaving work early.
  • Excessive level of sickness absence.
  • Strange and increasingly suspicious reasons for absence.
  • Unscheduled short-term absences, with or without explanation.

High Accident Level

  • At Work.
  • Elsewhere, i.e Driving or at home.

Work Performance

  • Deterioration in quality of workmanship.
  • Difficulty in concentration.
  • Work requires increased effort.
  • Individual tasks take more time.

Mood Swings

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Work requires increased effort.
  • General confusion

Misconduct

An employee's alcohol or drug problem may come to light as a mitigating factor in a disciplinary interview. It should be treated as a mitigating factor for certain "less serious" disciplinary offences, such as poor time keeping or lateness, provided the person is prepared to undergo treatment. In some instances, employees may seek advice and help themselves.

2. Intervention

Managers and Supervisors who feel an Employee's or Contractors unsatisfactory performance may be alcohol or drug related should inform their own immediate Manager, or Group Health and Safety Director, to discuss the matter. If thought necessary, that Manager should arrange a meeting with the Employee concerned, or in the case of a Contractor, the Contractor's Manager.

3. Treatment

Where Employees acknowledge that they have a problem and are willing to seek help and treatment the following will apply.

  • Whilst they are undergoing treatment, they will be classified as being on sick leave.
  • Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that upon successful completion of the recovery programme, subject to medical assessment, employees are able to return to the same or equivalent work although this is not guaranteed.
  • Following the employees return to work they will be subject to frequent random drug and alcohol testing at the discretion of the Company.

However, where such a return would jeopardise either a satisfactory level of job performance or the employee's recovery, the Manager will review the full circumstances surrounding the case and agree a course of action to be taken. This may include the offer of alternative employment, the consideration of retirement on the grounds of ill health or dismissal, (before a decision on dismissal is made, it should be discussed with the employee and up-to-date medical opinion obtained).

4. Progress Monitoring

Where an Employee having received counselling and or treatment fails a further drug and alcohol test, or suffers a relapse, the Company will consider the case on its individual merits. At the Company's discretion, more treatment or rehabilitation time may be given in order to help the employee to recover fully.

5. Recovery Unlikely

If, the Employee's recovery seems unlikely, the Company may be unable to wait for the Employee any longer and dismissal may result. A clear warning will be given to the Employee beforehand, and a medical investigation will have been undertaken. In certain cases, strictly at the discretion of Management, early retirement may be considered.

6. Serious Misconduct caused by Alcohol

Intoxicated Employees

If an Employee is known to be, or strongly suspected of being intoxicated by alcohol during working hours, the Employee's Manager will be consulted. The Employee will be escorted from the premises or Site immediately. Disciplinary action will follow.

Comsumption of Alcohol on Site or Premises

If an Employee is known to be, or strongly suspected of being intoxicated by alcohol during working hours, the Employee's Manager will be consulted. The Employee will be escorted from the premises or Site immediately. Disciplinary action will follow.

7. Drug Abuse on Site or Company Premises

Employees who take drugs which have not been prescribed on medical grounds are, in the absence of mitigating circumstances, committing an act of gross misconduct and are liable to summary dismissal without notice. Being in possession of drugs or the passing of drugs to another person on Company premises is also a matter of gross misconduct, the Employee will be liable to summary dismissal and all information relating to any incident will be passed on to the police. There will be no deviation from these courses of action.

8. Training & Development

Managers and Supervisors will be given training in order to develop early recognition techniques for identifying any Employee misusing alcohol or drugs. Effective interviewing and counselling skills will be developed so that Employees can be dealt with promptly, tactfully and firmly. All Staff will be made aware of the effects of alcohol and drug misuse. They will be encouraged not to cover up for Employees with a drink or drug problem, but to recognise that collusion represents a false sense of loyalty and will in the longer term damage those Employees.

Employees who recognise that they have a drink or drug problem, or that they are at risk of developing one, should be encouraged to come forward for confidential help. They should seek an appointment, in confidence, with the Manager who has overall responsibility for their works. Contacts at outside agencies where help can be obtained will be made available to all Staff on request.

9. Testing for Drugs & Alcohol

The company retains the right to carry out tests for substance abuse on all the Ferns Group sites and premises. This shall be on an in-house basis, carried out randomly or by virtue of reasonable suspicion, by authorized personnel using authorized testing equipment.

If a positive result is returned by the in-house test, then the personnel implicated will then have the option of the samples being retested by an independent outside organisation that may be appointed by the company.

These independent tests for alcohol and drugs will be carried out under controlled conditions by independent laboratory technicians. Any employee implicated by a non-negative in-house test, will be suspended until the results of the independent tests are made available to all parties.

All tests, results and subsequent treatments, if required, will be carried out in the strictest confidence, subject to the provisions of the law. An alcohol test is likely to prove positive if the donor has consumed one pint or equivalent in the previous 2 hours or 4 pints or equivalent in the previous 6 hours.

Ferns Group has a Zero Tolerance to persons exceeding the legal maximum permissible blood alcohol or drug concentrations.

10. Individual Responsibilities

Employees have a duty not to report for work if they are taking medication prescribed or over the counter that carries a warning about adverse effects. In such circumstances, Employees should explain their absence to the Supervisor.

Employees are required to co-operate fully with the testing procedure. Any employee who fails a test or refuses to be tested or who otherwise interferes with the procedure can be deemed to have supplied a positive sample and be subject to disciplinary action.

Anti-Bribery Policy

Definition

Bribery is the accepting of gifts, money, hospitality or other favours in return for providing something of value to the briber. The purpose of this policy is to set out the rules that must be followed in this organisation to ensure that no bribery occurs.

The following behaviour is unacceptable, and must not occur in this organisation:

  • Accepting any financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.
  • Requesting a financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.
  • Offering any financial or other reward from any person in return for providing some favour.

Business Gifts

From time to time, customers, suppliers or other persons might offer a gift to an employee. This could be a small item, or something of considerable value. All gifts, however small, must be reported to the Managing Director and recorded. If a gift is offered and then refused because of its value, this must be reported to the Managing Director.

Hospitality

From time to time, customers, suppliers or other persons might invite an employee to a hospitality event. All such invitations must be reported to the Managing Director. Permission must be given by the Managing Director before an employee accepts any invitation.

Offering Gifts & Hospitality

It is this organisation’s custom to offer small gifts (eg pens, diaries) to customers, suppliers and other persons. If a gift is authorised by the Managing Director, the employee is entitled to give it to the appropriate individuals. A record must be kept of all gifts.

This organisation occasionally runs hospitality events, primarily aimed at thanking customers and suppliers for their custom and loyalty. An employee must not organise any additional hospitality event without seeking authority from the Managing Director.

Responsibilities of Managers

Managers are responsible for keeping a record of all gifts and hospitality that are offered and/or received by employees working in their area of responsibility.

If managers are concerned about any actions, they should contact the Managing Director immediately for advice.

Managers are also responsible for ensuring that all their employees are aware of this policy, and fully understand the rules in relation to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality.

Expenses

The Managing Director must authorise all expense claims from their employees. Managers are expected to check and sign all expense claims from their employees against receipts.

Any items of expenditure that give rise to concern should be fully investigated.

Attempts to Bribe

Any employee who is concerned that he or she is potentially being bribed should report this matter to his or her Manager immediately.

Donations to Organisations

The organisation makes regular donations to charity. These are managed by Ian Fern, Managing Director. No employee should make donations to a charity without approval of the Managing Director.

No donations should be made to charities, political parties or other organisations with the intention of gaining a business advantage.

Disciplinary Actions

Any employee found to have offered or accepted a bribe will face disciplinary action under the Terms and Conditions of Employment, which could include summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

Raising Concerns

If an employee is concerned or suspects that acts of bribery are occurring within the organisation, they should inform the Managing Director who will deal with it in a confidential manner.

Reference

Bribery Act 2012. Any other legislation.

Review

This Policy will be reviewed on at least an annual basis.

Communication Policy Statement

Ferns Surfacing are committed to effective communication on all key safety matters with its workforce and others who may be affected by our activities. To ensure that all communication is consistent it is imperative that our communication principles are at the heart of our processes.

In order to achieve this we will:

  • Communications will be clear, simple and consistent.
  • Be open, honest and factual.
  • We will communicate internally before communicating externally.
  • We will maximise face-to-face communications.
  • We will manage expectations.
  • We will use a credible approach.
  • We will avoid information overload.
  • We will share good news.
  • We will encourage bottom-up communications.
  • We will reinforce messages by using different communication channels.
  • Our communication will be timely and relevant.
  • We will listen and act on feedback.
  • We will ensure that consultations are properly planned and appropriately budgeted.

It is our duty, within our scope of influence to ensure that good communication is practised on all contracts and projects that we are involved in. The company will educate all employees regarding the contents of the policy and it will be freely available to customers and the general public.

The Policy will be monitored and maintained by the HSEQ Director of Ferns Group who will ensure it is reviewed at least annually or to reflect changes to relevant UK legislation or guidance. Authority for the implementation and maintenance of the system is cascaded through the management structure.

Corporate & Social Responsibility policy

Ferns Group undertakes to act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in its interactions with all stakeholders whether they be, staff, customers, suppliers, neighbors’, the general public or the environment as a whole.

To this end:

  • The Company has a separate Environmental Policy Statement clarifying its commitment to negating its impact on the environment.
  • The Company carries out regular risk assessments to guarantee the well-being of staff and visitors, in accordance with Health and Safety legislation.
  • The Company commits to having a fully trained workforce and has its own in house training centre which ensures that all employees are fully trained to the Company standards and are also competent to carry out their duties safely.
  • The Company actively manages its reputation, and drives best practice, through the application of Ethical Sales and Purchasing.
  • Due to the nature of our business having to use fossilized materials the Company actively promotes, maximizes and measures the reuse of excavated recycled backfill in all their operations with the current rate standing at 98%.
  • The Company is an Equal Opportunities Employer which promotes diversity and does not differentiate on grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability.
  • The Company actively contributes to social and environmental initiatives in the local community by donating time and resources. In 2012 we have assisted in Demelza House which is a residential hospice for terminally ill children by carrying out the removal of the existing playground and installing the groundwork’s for the new.
  • The Company commits to being open and transparent in the interests of promoting best practice.
  • The Company is proud to have been awarded Gold for Considerate Contractor from the City of London.
  • To reduce our carbon footprint we have installed into all our vehicles the most advanced driving management system which allows us to monitor driving habits and patterns. This system also allows us to minimize vehicle movements thereby reducing fuel usage. We ensure that our vehicles are driven and safely and legally by constantly measuring and monitoring the driving standard and behaviour of each driver. In doing this we can be confident that our drivers are not endangering themselves or the community in which we operate.
  • We have invested in video conferencing facilities to reduce vehicle movements and carbon emissions

Customer Care Policy

Our Customer Care Policy will identify our commitment to ensuring Customer Satisfaction in all aspects of our operations and how we intend to achieve this and how we shall measure the adequacy of our Policy to ensure continuous improvement.

Whilst our standards are high, they are ultimately defined by our customers; so that we deliver the best care for them we regularly ask customers for their opinions on our service and use these opinions to shape the service we provide. We expect that our staff listen to the customer carefully to ensure they understand the customer's needs and to be polite, honest and accurate in the information that they provide, and to ensure that the customer understands that information.

Should there be any changes such as timescales or method; the customer will be made aware in good time. We respect the customers' right to confidentially and all our communications will reflect this in a professional manner. The majority our works are carried out in phases such as backfilling and the final dressing and our staff are expected to inform the customer of subsequent stages and timescales.

Our staff are essential in delivering our services and ensuring our customers are satisfied. We will ensure our staff are sufficiently trained and competent to deliver our services and we require our staff treat all customers with respect, courtesy and understanding.

We expect that our staff carry out work in a timely fashion to a professional standard, minimising the risk of damage and where damage is unavoidable, that that damage is made good or compensation is provided. Prior to leaving the site, we shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the site is left in a clean and tidy condition to the satisfaction of the customer.

We ordinarily canvass customers for their feedback on the standard of work and how it was carried out. In the event of complaints, these shall be responded to immediately with an investigation being carried out. The customer shall be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and its outcome. The company shall use the information gained to enable corrective action to be carried out and, where necessary, allow changes to procedures. This Policy shall be reviewed at least annually.

Should any person, direct or indirect, have a complaint due to our operations then they are invited to report the matter to our Customer Support Team.

Data Protection Policy

Our data protection policy sets out our commitment to protecting personal data and how we implement that commitment with regards to the collection and the use of personal data.

We are committed to:

  • Meeting our legal obligations as laid down by the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Take steps to ensure that personal data is up to date and accurate.
  • Ensure that the data is collected and used fairly and lawfully.
  • Processing personal data only in order to meet our operational needs to fulfil legal requirements.
  • To ensure that all staff are aware of good practice in data protection.
  • Providing adequate security measures to protect personal data.
  • Ensuring that data subjects rights can be appropriately exercised.
  • Providing adequate training for all staff responsible for personal data.
  • Ensuring that the nominated Director (David Hamblin) is responsible for data protection compliance and provides a point of contact for all protection issues.
  • Ensuring that everyone handling personal data knows where to find further guidance.
  • Ensuring that queries about data protection, internal and external to the organisation, is dealt with effectively and promptly.
  • Establishing appropriate retention periods for personal data this being a period of 6 years.
  • Regular review of information and guidelines as per the Data Protection Act 1998.

Environmental Policy Statement

This Environmental Policy Statement recognises Ferns Group needs to operate the business in a manner which reflects good environmental management. The Companies are aware of the environmental impacts of its operations and will balance its business aims with the need to protect the local and global environment.

Our Environmental Policy shall earn the confidence of employees, shareholders, customers and the general public by demonstrating our commitment to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and minimise pollution, resource use and waste, where feasible, through the continuous improvement of performance in all areas of the Company.

The Company has demonstrated a commitment to identify all activities that have the potential to cause an environmental impact, as well as providing adequate resources to help minimise or prevent any negative impact.

In order to achieve this commitment, we will:

  • Identify the environmental impacts of the Group’s operations and establish environmental management procedures that can be incorporated into all business decisions, utilising the concept of BATNEEC
  • Regularly measure and evaluate our environmental performance to identify areas to show continuous improvement.
  • Commit adequate financial and physical resources to ensure the environment is maintained as a priority throughout all parts of the organisation.
  • Delegate the responsibility for environmental matters to the appropriate levels in the Company.
  • Demonstrate control of all our operations and ensure that all are performed with due consideration to the environment.
  • Consistently increase the awareness and provide necessary training to all our employees and customers to ensure environmentally responsible concepts are integrated into their normal working practices.
  • Identify, prevent and mitigate potential accidents that could result in an environmental impact, so that if an accident did occur, the consequences would be minimised.
  • Use, where possible, products that have the minimum environmental impact.
  • Minimise the storage and use of all articles and substances, where appropriate.
  • Reduce the consumption of resources (energy, materials, packaging) where feasible.
  • Minimise waste through a commitment to reuse, recover or recycle, where feasible.

It is our duty, within our scope of influence to ensure that good environmental management is practised on all contracts and projects that we are involved in, and we will seek to influence customers to demonstrate a positive environmental commitment. The Company will communicate the Environmental Policy to all Ferns Group personnel, and it will be freely available to customers and the general public.

The Policy will be monitored and maintained by the HSEQ Director of Ferns Group who will ensure it is reviewed at least annually or to reflect changes to relevant UK legislation or guidance. Authority for the implementation and maintenance of the system is cascaded through the management structure.

The Managing Director accepts direct responsibility for the environmental performance of the Group.

Equality & Diversity policy

Ferns Group is committed to the equal treatment of all employees and applicants and requires all employees, of whatever grade or authority, to abide by and adhere to the requirements of the Codes of Practice issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality. All employees are expected to abide by the requirements of the Race Relations Act (as amended), Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Specifically, discrimination is prohibited in:

  • Treating any individual on grounds of sex, colour, marital status, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or membership or non-membership of a trade union, less favourably than others.
  • Expecting an individual solely on the grounds stated above to comply with requirement(s) for any reason whatsoever related to their employment, which are different to the requirements for others.
  • Imposing on an individual, requirements, which are in effect more onerous on that individual than they are on others. For example, this would include applying a condition (which is not warranted by the requirements of the position) which makes it more difficult for employees of a particular race or sex to comply than others not of that race or sex.
  • Any other act, or omission, which disadvantages an employee or applicant against another, or others, purely on the above grounds. Thus, in all disciplinary matters, as well as consideration for training, promotion etc. it is essential that merit, experience, skills and temperament are considered as objectively as possible.
  • Victimisation of an employee. Harassment of an employee (which for the purpose of this policy is regarded as discrimination).
  • Ferns, recognises that slavery and human trafficking remains a hidden blight on our global society. The aim of the Company is to identify by alerting staff to the risks, however small, in our business and in the wider supply chain. Staff are expected and encouraged to report concerns to management, where they are expected to act upon them. The Company will not knowingly support or deal with any business in slavery or human trafficking. We have a zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. We expect all of those in our supply chain and contractors comply with our values. This statement is in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Company commits to the immediate investigation of any claims of discrimination on the above grounds and will take appropriate action to ensure immediate resolution and ceasing of inappropriate behaviour. Company disciplinary procedures will be invoked as necessary.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and its associated regulations (The Disability Discrimination (Employment) Regulations 1996 and The Disability Discrimination (Meaning of Disability) Regulations 1996 introduced measures aimed at ending discrimination against disabled people.

The Company will not discriminate against any person with disabilities, however should an individual’s disability pose a threat to the health, safety and welfare or themselves or others certain tasks and responsibilities may not be included in this individual’s job role. In the event that any employee feels that he or she has suffered discrimination in anyway, a full investigation will be conducted.

Until a hearing is arranged, complainants should keep the matter confidential, other possibly than arranging for details of witnesses to be given to the HR Manager.

Health & Safety Policy Statement

Ferns Group accepts its legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc. 1974 and associated legislation and Codes of Practice. The Company gives its full commitment to doing everything reasonably practicable to protect the safety, health and the welfare of all its employees and any other persons whose health and safety may be affected by the Company's business. The promotion of health and safety measures is a mutual objective for the Company and for its employees at all levels.

It is the intention that all the Company's affairs and business will be conducted and carried out in a manner which will not cause risk to the health and safety of its employees, the employees of others or members of the public.

The Company recognises that people are a vital resource and priority will be given to the effective prevention of risks and to contingency arrangements. In doing so, the Company seeks and requires the support of all employees in avoiding accidents, ill health and associated cost and disruption.

All employees are reminded of their personal legal responsibilities and are required to take all reasonable care to prevent injury to themselves and to others.

Adequate financial, human and other resources will be made available to ensure the effective implementation of this policy. Procedures will be established to monitor health and safety performance and ensure effective consultation, communication and co-ordination.

It is the policy of the Company to maintain safe systems of work and specifically:

  • Provide and maintain machinery, equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health.
  • Ensure safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
  • Provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of employees.
  • Maintain all places of work under the Company's control, including means of access and egress, in a condition that is safe and without risk to health.
  • Provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to health.
  • Ensure suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out and controls are in place to eliminate or minimise risks under the relevant statutory provisions.
  • Establish, maintain and develop arrangements for effective consultation with staff on health and safety matters.
  • Comply with statutory requirements as a minimum standard for health, safety and the welfare of employees at work and all others toward whom the Company has statutory obligations.
  • Recognise the link between efficiency, safety and health, and to minimise the costs, losses and disruption which arise from accidents, ill health and dangerous occurrences.
  • Ensure that all contractors employed in connection with the Company's business are competent in respect of necessary health and safety requirements.
  • Ensure that all employees are aware that they are required to work safely, not to start or continue work which is unsafe and to cooperate with all members of staff in all matters which affect their health and safety at work.

In order to achieve the above a systematic health and safety management plan will be implemented by:

Planning

Elimination of risks or adequate control in the workplace by the careful selection and design of facilities, equipment and processes in conjunction with effective control measures.

Control

Ensuring that safety requirements are being implemented throughout the Company by all employees.

Monitoring

Safety inspections and audits will be regularly conducted to monitor.

Review

All safety requirements and risk assessments in order to achieve the highest possible standards for health and safety.

The Policy Statement will be brought to the attention of all employees at induction and will be displayed on Company notice boards.

This Policy Statement replaces the previous statement dated: January 2015 and will be reviewed at least annually and revised as often as required, taking into consideration Company reorganisation, work methods and identification of hazards and risks and to the continual improvement of the Company’s approach to health and safety.

Policy on the Use of In Cab Electronics Telephones and Satellite Navigation Systems

Introduction

It is the Company's policy that use of electronic equipments should be restricted whilst driving. The driver is fully employed driving the vehicle and should not accept incoming calls or make outgoing calls whilst driving.

Before Driving

The Satellite Navigation system requires the driver to logon to the system at the start of shift. Prior to departing the destination should be entered into the system and this will provide a route taking into account weight and height restrictions.

During Driving

This system gives real time records of driving standards, fuel usage etc.

Telephones

Each vehicle is crewed by two persons, driver and co-driver, also they are fitted with hands free kits, it is permissible for the co-driver to answer and make calls on behalf of the driver and to reset, if necessary, the Satellite Navigation System.

After Driving

The driver should logoff at the end of the shift, thereby ensuring that other drivers do are not able to make infringements in another's name.

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with these instructions may result in Disciplinary Action under the Terms and Conditions of Employment, and may also result in Criminal Charges being brought by the Police.

I.T Policy

Ferns make internet access available to its employees where relevant and useful for their jobs. This internet use policy describes the rules governing internet use at the company. It also sets out how staff members are expected to behave when using the internet.

This policy should be read alongside other key policies. The companies' data protection and email policies are particularly relevant to staff who use the internet.

Why this policy exists

The internet is a powerful tool that can bring significant benefits to Ferns. However, its important that every person at the company who uses the internet understands how to use it responsibly, safely and legally.

This internet use policy:

  • Reduces the online security risks faced by Ferns.
  • Let staff know what they can and can't do online.
  • Ensures employees do not view inappropriate content at work.
  • Helps the company satisfy its legal obligations regarding internet use.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to all staff, contractors and volunteers at Ferns who use the company internet in work time. It applies no matter whether that internet access takes place on company premises while travelling for business or working from home. It applies to the use of the internet on any device that is owned by the company, or that is connected to any company network or system.

General Internet Guidelines

Ferns recognise that the internet is an integral part of doing business. It therefore encourages its employees to use the internet whenever such use supports the company's goals and objectives.

For instance, staff members may use the internet to:

  • Purchase office supplies.
  • Book business travel.
  • Perform competitor market research.
  • Identify potential suppliers.

There are many valid reasons for using the internet at work and the company certainly allows its employees to explore and take advantage of the internet's many advantages.

Authorised Users

Only people who have been authorised to use the internet at Ferns may do so. Authorisation is usually provided by the employee's line manager or the company I.T department. It is typically granted when a new employee joins the company and is assigned their login details for the company I.T systems.

Unauthorised Use of the Companies Internet Connection is Prohibited

Employees who use the internet without authorisation / or who provide access to unauthorised people may have disciplinary action taken against them.

If managers are concerned about any actions, they should contact the Managing Director immediately for advice.

Managers are also responsible for ensuring that all their employees are aware of this policy, and fully understand the rules in relation to the acceptance of gifts and hospitality.

Key Areas

Internet Security

Used unwisely, the internet can be a source of security problems that can do significant damage to the company's data and reputation.

  • Users must not knowingly introduce any form of computer virus, Trojan, spyware or other malware into the company.
  • Employees but not gain access to websites or systems for which they do not have authorisation, either within the business or outside it.
  • Company data should only be uploaded to a shared via approved services. The I.T department can advise on appropriate tools for sending and sharing large amounts of data.
  • Employees must not steal, use, or disclose someone's login or password without authorisation.

Staff members must always consider the security of company systems and data when using the internet. If required, help and guidance is available from your line managers and company I.T department.

Inappropriate Content and Uses

There are many sources of inappropriate content and materials available online. It is important for employees to understand that viewing or disturbing inappropriate content is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Users must not:

  • Take part in any activities on the internet that could bring the company into disrepute.
  • Create or transmit material that may be defamatory or incur liability for the company.
  • View, download, create or distribute any inappropriate content or material.

Inappropriate content includes pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal skills, terrorism, or materials relations to cults, gambling and illegal drugs.

This definition of inappropriate content or material also covers any text, images or other media that could reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, age, sex, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law.

  • Use of the internet for any illegal or criminal activities.
  • Broadcast unsolicited personal views on social, political, religious or other non-business related matters.
  • Send or post messages or material that could damage the company name, image, reputation.

Monitoring Internet Use

  • Company I.T and internet resources, including computes, smart phones and internet connections are provided for legitimate business use.
  • The company therefore reserves the right to monitor use of the internet, to examine systems and review the data stored on those systems.
  • Any such examinations or monitoring will be carried out by authorised staff.
  • Additionally, all internet data written, sent or received through the company's computer systems is part of the official Ferns records. The company can be legally compelled to show the information to law enforcement agencies or other parties.
  • Users should always ensure that the business information sent over or uploaded to the internet is accurate, appropriate, ethical and legal.

Knowingly breaching this internet use policy is a serious matter. Users who do so will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Employees, contractors and other users may also be held personally liable for violating this policy. Where appropriate, the company will involve the police or other law enforcement agencies in relation to breaches of this policy.

Mobile Phone Policy

Where a mobile phone has been issued by the company, it is for business use only and at all times will remain the property of the Company. The user(s) will be responsible for its safekeeping, proper use, condition and eventual return to the Company. The user will also be responsible for any cost of repair or replacement other than fair wear and tear. If a replacement is required the Company will organise this.

A mobile phone is provided primarily to enable the user to do their job, i.e. to keep the Company informed at the earliest opportunity of matters which it needs to know about and to be similarly contactable by the Company, or to contact customer/client/photos of the works, and using work based Apps. Therefore, it is the user's responsibility to ensure that the mobile phone is kept charged and switched on whilst on duty.

Users should not sign up to text based information services, e.g. RAC traffic alerts, text voting. The use of the internet on Company mobile phones is strictly prohibited, except in the case where specific authorisation has been given by the Director(s) Unless agreed by the Director(s), applications and other programmes may not be downloaded to any mobile phone under any circumstance.

The SIM card from Company mobiles should not be placed into any other mobile, unless to another Company issued mobile phone. Neither should the camera facility be used for anything other than work photographic evidence.

The Company recognises that users may, on occasion, have to make personal calls or send personal text messages during working hours, or outside normal working hours. Where it is deemed that an unreasonable amount of personal calls/text messages have been made using the mobile phone, the Company reserves the right to deduct those costs, either through deduction from pay, or otherwise.

The Company may, after formal investigation, take action under the Disciplinary Procedure if such use is excessive or unauthorised. Users will be expected to make payment for private calls made beyond reasonable usage. If it is found, following investigation, that there has been excessive personal data use, then the user will be asked to reimburse the company for the cost of this and action may be taken under the Disciplinary Procedure.

The user agrees that upon termination of employment, should they not return the allocated mobile phone, or should the mobile phone be returned in an unsatisfactory condition, the cost of replacement, or a proportional amount of this as decided by the Company, will be deducted from any final monies owing, or the user will otherwise reimburse the Company.

Use of a Mobile Phone Whilst Driving

The user must ensure they have full control of any vehicle that they are driving at all times. It is an offence to use hand held mobile phones whilst driving or whilst the engine is turned on. The user will be liable for prosecution if they are holding a mobile phone, or any other type of hand held device to send or receive any sort of data, be it voice, text or pictorial images and music. The user will be regarded to be driving if they are in charge of a vehicle with its engine running on a public road, even if the vehicle is stationary. It is therefore strictly forbidden for the user to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving.

When the phone needs to be operated to make or deal with a call through the hands free device for longer than receiving or giving a short communication, before doing so the user must stop and park the vehicle where it is safe and lawful to do so and with the engine switched off. Whilst driving they must not use the text message facility on the mobile phone, or if available through such a phone, an image facility or internet access.

Individuals are personally responsible for the payment of any fine or fixed penalty (including any externally raised admin charges) incurred whilst in charge of the vehicle. Any conviction for driving offences, any driving endorsements and any fines incurred must be reported immediately to line management as this may affect the Company's insurance.

It should be noted carefully that a breach of the Company's rules on the use of a mobile phone whilst driving may render the user liable to action under the Disciplinary Procedure.

Lost or Stolen Mobiles

The user is responsible at all times for the security of the mobile phone and it should never be left unattended. A PIN number should be used on the mobile to enable voicemails to be picked up. If unsure how to do this, please contact your line manager or Head Office to speak to the appropriate person for instructions. If the phone is lost or stolen, this must be reported to Head Office immediately (if during working hours), or if out of hours phone your line Manager.

In the event of theft of a mobile phone, the incident must also be reported to the police and an incident number obtained (please provide this number when reporting the loss to Head Office).

The Company reserves the right to claim reimbursement for the cost of the phone, or excess usage charges should the correct procedures not be followed, a user reporting repeated loss of their mobile, it is deemed that the user has not taken appropriate measures to safeguard the equipment, or reported the loss thereof (which will be investigated by the Company and judged at its absolute discretion).

The Company receives itemised billing for all Company mobile phones and this is monitored on a monthly basis. The billing system identifies all calls, texts and data usage (if appropriate) and the costs related to this, by user, destination, duration, frequency, etc. High or clear personal usage will be reported to line management for investigation (high usage is defined as usage which falls outside of the normal usage pattern for the individual or outside of the usage pattern in comparison to other similar users).

This monitoring will allow the Company to identify any areas of potential misuse or training that may be required, or to negotiate with suppliers any necessary changes in tariffs to ensure cost efficiency.

If it is found the mobile has been misused, the Company may, after formal investigation, take action under the Disciplinary Procedure. Should a staff member be found to have used a mobile phone in such a way as being unsafe, they may be subject to the Disciplinary Procedure, which could include dismissal.

Quality Policy Statement

The Ferns Group Quality Management System complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2015 and as such, this enables us to offer our Clients a proven level of Quality Assurance.

It is our Policy to:

  • Ensure that all Contracts are carried out to the Client’s specification, complying with all current regulations, and with particular emphasis on quality and safety, using experienced operatives to achieve this aim whilst continually striving to provide constant improvements in methods of working.
  • Supply services to our customer’s satisfaction and to ensure that internal operational procedures are suitable for this purpose.

The Management Team are committed to continuous improvements of the Quality Management System. This will be monitored by the Managing Director who holds ultimate responsibility for formulating and implementing the Policy. The Managing Director shall be assisted by the HSEQ Director. This commitment will be conveyed to the rest of the Company at Management Review meetings which will be held at least annually.

The Company includes measures to ensure that it is aware of current and potential future needs and expectations of present, potential customers and interested parties (people in the Company, suppliers and partners, community and the Public affected). Such measures include identifying market opportunities, assessing and improving current weaknesses and competitive advantage, meeting statutory and regulatory requirements, providing adequate resources, etc. Whilst implementing these measures and having identified our competition, we will assess the market to ensure that we add value to our Clients.

All documentation is subject to control by the Managing Director. The basis of this control is to ensure that the latest copies, relevant to the accomplishment of work are available at the time and place of work, to ensure the effective functioning of the Company’s operations, processes and quality management system.

Compliance with the requirements of the Quality Management System is the responsibility of all employees.

Throughout all processes, the Company will monitor its procedures through audits and inspections, to ensure that the Company continues to support customer needs and expectations. Where non-compliance is identified, we will implement appropriate corrective, preventative and improvement actions through our Non-conformance Procedure.

The Company will conduct Management Reviews of the Policy at least annually to ensure it remains relevant and effective with respect to the Company’s procedures and services.

Sustainability Policy

Ferns Group, in its vision to be recognised as a leading Reinstatement Company, is committed to protecting and enhancing local and global environments and ensuring that activities are carried out in a sustainable way.

Therefore Ferns Group will become a member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

To meet this aim, we will endeavour to:

  • Make ourselves aware of all new environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Comply with all environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Minimise energy use and its associated CO2 emissions.
  • Maximise the use of renewable energy sources where possible.
  • Minimise the generation of waste.
  • Maximise the re-use of materials and products.
  • Maximise the use of recycled materials and products.
  • Minimise raw material consumption.
  • Maximise the use of material from renewable sources.
  • Minimise polluting emissions to air, land and water.
  • Minimise the use of polluting forms of transport.
  • Assess the environmental impacts of all working practices and product manufacture.
  • Assess the whole life environmental performance of all purchases.
  • Maximise the use of local products and local workforce.
  • Minimise the use of water.
  • Ensure that design and construction is undertaken in a manner compatible with sustainable development.

To further the aims of this policy we will

  • Provide adequate environmental training for all staff. Assess the environmental performance of suppliers.
  • Review our environmental policy and its action plans periodically with a view to continuous improvement.
  • Develop a set of environmental targets and action plans.
  • Maintain certification our Environmental Management System in accordance with the principles of ISO 14001:2015.

All personnel will be familiar with the requirements of this Sustainability Policy and abide with the contents of the Business System Manual.

This Sustainability Policy is reviewed annually in order to ensure its continuing suitability.

Tyre Disposal Policy Statement

Ferns Group, in its vision to be recognised as a leading Reinstatement Company, is committed to protecting and enhancing local and global environments and ensuring that activities are carried out in a sustainable way.

Therefore Ferns Group will become a member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

To meet this aim, we will endeavour to:

  • Make ourselves aware of all new environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Comply with all environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Minimise energy use and its associated CO2 emissions.
  • Maximise the use of renewable energy sources where possible.
  • Minimise the generation of waste.
  • Maximise the re-use of materials and products.
  • Maximise the use of recycled materials and products.
  • Minimise raw material consumption.
  • Maximise the use of material from renewable sources.
  • Minimise polluting emissions to air, land and water.
  • Minimise the use of polluting forms of transport.
  • Assess the environmental impacts of all working practices and product manufacture.
  • Assess the whole life environmental performance of all purchases.
  • Maximise the use of local products and local workforce.
  • Minimise the use of water.
  • Ensure that design and construction is undertaken in a manner compatible with sustainable development.

To further the aims of this policy we will

  • Provide adequate environmental training for all staff. Assess the environmental performance of suppliers.
  • Review our environmental policy and its action plans periodically with a view to continuous improvement.
  • Develop a set of environmental targets and action plans.
  • Maintain certification our Environmental Management System in accordance with the principles of ISO 14001:2015.

All personnel will be familiar with the requirements of this Sustainability Policy and abide with the contents of the Business System Manual.

This Sustainability Policy is reviewed annually in order to ensure its continuing suitability.


Contact

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Address
Tutsham
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 0NE

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