Leave & TOIL

Leave & TOIL


Key information

  • PVCSE has a working week of 37.5 hours (for full time staff).

Negotiated processes

  • Any overtime must be negotiated and agreed with the team, and if over the delegated amount (set out in the financial procedures) it will have to be agreed with trustees too. 
  • TOIL must be negotiated and agreed with the team.
  • When leave is taken must be negotiated and agreed with the team. 


Everyone’s annual leave entitlement is the same (25 days per year, pro rata) and detailed in your contract of employment.

Your Rights

4.1 You have the right to 52 weeks’ maternity leave if you are having a baby and legally classed as an employee. After the first 2 weeks (compulsory), how much you take of the 52 weeks is up to you.

​​​​​​​4.2 You have this right from the first day of starting your job.

4.3 You are protected by law against unfair treatment or dismissal if it’s because of your pregnancy or maternity. It does not matter how long you have worked for your employer. You employer must put the reasons for dismissal in writing to you and if it can be linked to your pregnancy or maternity then you could claim unfair dismissal.

4.4 Similarly you do not have to tell an employer if you are pregnant at interview and this could not be a reason for rejecting you for a role.

Telling Your Employer You’re Pregnant

4.5 You need to inform PVCSE that you are pregnant no later than the 15th week before your baby is due, confirm the due date and the date you would like your maternity leave to start. The organisation can request to see a MAT B1 certificate which you get from your doctor or midwife once you are 20 weeks pregnant.

It’s advisable to put these details in writing to your employer.

4.6 PVCSE will respond within 28 days and confirm the date that your maternity leave will run to.

Taking Maternity Leave

4.7 You can start your maternity leave from up to 11 weeks before your baby is due or work right up until you give birth.

4.8 You must start your maternity leave by law after the baby is born, take at least two weeks off and take all your maternity leave in one go. Your maternity leave and pay end when you return to work.

Changing the Maternity Leave Start Date

4.9 If you want to change your maternity leave start date you must give PVCSE 28 days’ notice or agree a date with us.

4.10 If you are off because of your pregnancy in the four weeks before your baby is due, your maternity leave will start automatically the day after your first day off.

4.11 If your baby is born earlier than expected or is premature then your maternity leave will start straightaway. PVCSE will require notification as soon as possible. In these circumstances it is fine for a partner, family member or friend to let the organisation know.

4.12 If your baby is born later than expected you can still start your maternity leave from the specific date you had agreed with PVCSE. You will need to inform the organisation the date you have given birth as your compulsory maternity starts then.

4.13 If you planned to work up to the birth of your baby but want to start maternity leave early then you can ask PVCSE.


4.14 You will accrue holiday entitlement during your maternity leave and this can be taken before or after maternity leave. It cannot be taken during as this would affect your maternity leave and pay.

If Your Contract Ends or Possible Redundancy

4.15 If you are on a temporary or fixed term contract due to end when you are on maternity, your employer does not have to renew it. However this decision cannot be related to your sex, pregnancy or maternity, by law. You can ask for the reason in writing.

If there is a possibility that you may be made redundant while on maternity leave, PVCSE must consult with you. You cannot by law be selected for redundancy because of your pregnancy, maternity leave or a related reason. This is automatically unfair dismissal as well as being unlawful discrimination.

If you are made redundant while on maternity leave you will be offered any suitable alternative vacancy if there is one and you will not need to apply for it.

Stillbirth, Miscarriage or Death of Baby

4.16 You are still entitled to maternity pay and leave if your baby was stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy or your baby lives only a short time after birth at any stage of the pregnancy.

4.17 If you have a stillbirth or miscarriage before the 24th week of your pregnancy you are not entitled to maternity leave and pay but you will be entitled to paid leave. Please refer to section <<>> of this policy.

4.18 In order to support you in an appropriate way PVCSE will need to be advised in the event of a stillbirth, miscarriage or death. This could be by a partner, family member or friend.

Maternity Pay

4.19 If you have worked with PVCSE continuously for 26 weeks before your qualifying week (the 15th week before your baby is due) and earned at least £120 per week  in the eight weeks before your qualifying week ,then you qualify for statutory maternity pay (SMP).​​​​​​​

4.20. SMP will be paid for 39 weeks and PVCSE will advise you about your entitlement.

4.21 You will receive the same amount of maternity pay even if you have more than one baby, for example twins.

Time Off for Pregnancy Appointments

4.22 You will be allowed paid time off work for pregnancy related appointments such as scans and check ups. This will include time off for travelling to and from the appointment. Different working arrangements can be made in agreement with PVCSE where, for example, your appointment is in the middle of the day and you may wish to work from home afterwards.

This does not apply for IVF appointments.

Health and Safety During Pregnancy

4.23 You will have a specific health and safety risk assessment done to ensure that any workplace health and safety risks to you or your unborn baby are removed. This may include a temporary change of duties but will not affect your terms and conditions of employment or pay.

4.24 If you are experiencing a difficult pregnancy (morning sickness, pain, mental health issues), then you are encouraged to discuss this with PVCSE to see how you can be supported. This could include a change to start and finish times, extra breaks or working from home.

4.25 If you are absent due to sickness during your pregnancy and it is not pregnancy related, then this will be treated the same as other sickness absence.

4.26 If you’re off work because of your pregnancy in the four weeks before your due date, then your maternity leave and pay arrangements start automatically the day after your first day off, by law.

While on Maternity Leave

4.27 Before you go on maternity leave PVCSE will meet with you to discuss how you’d like to stay in touch. The organisation will advise you of any new roles being advertised, any promotion opportunities and any planned redundancies or reorganisation.

You can also agree how often you’d like to be in touch, how you would like to communicate (phone, email, keep in touch ‘KIT’ days) and what else you’d like to hear about, such as other social events and staff news.

4.28 You can agree up to ten KIT days during your maternity leave to help you stay connected. You will need to agree with PVCSE how many days you would like, whether you want to work the KIT days and what kind of work. If you only work half a day, that still counts as a full KIT day.

By law if you do more than ten KIT days then your maternity leave and pay will end automatically.

Returning to Work

4.29 If you take 26 weeks or less of maternity leave you have the right to return to the same role. This also applies if you have taken more than 26 weeks.

However, if there have been significant changes in the organisation and you are returning after more than 26 weeks of maternity leave it may not be possible to offer you the same role. In these circumstances you will be offered a similar role and suffer no detriment in terms of pay, benefits, grade, holiday entitlement and location.​​​​​​

4.30 If you want to change the date of your return to work you must let PVCSE know eight weeks before you are due to return.

4.31 You will have a health and safety risk assessment carried out on your return to ensure your safety and wellbeing, in accordance with HSE guidelines. (Link)

4.32 If you want to change your hours you can make a flexible working request to PVCSE following the Flexible Working Policy guidance.​​​​​​​

4.33 If you decide to leave your role with PVCSE during or after your maternity leave, you will follow the same process as normal, with the same notice period.

Your Rights

5.1 You can take two weeks of paid paternity leave if you are responsible for the child’s upbringing and you are the biological father or your partner is having a baby, adopting a child or having a child through surrogacy.

5.2 This also applies for same sex parents. One partner can take paternity leave and the other maternity or adoption leave.

5.3 To be eligible for paternity leave you must be classed as an employee and have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks from the 15th week before your baby is due (known as the qualifying week). This includes surrogacy.

5.4 To be eligible for paternity leave for adoption you must have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks before the end of the week when you’ve been told you’ve been matched with a child for adoption in the UK or the date the child enters the UK for overseas adoption.

5.5 You cannot by law be dismissed or treated unfairly because you have requested paternity leave. Your leave cannot be refused or postponed, provided you have given the right amount of notice.

5.6 If you are separated from your partner but have ongoing responsibility for the child you are still eligible for parental leave and pay.

Telling Your Employer

5.7 To be granted paternity leave you are required to tell the organisation when your baby is due, whether you want to take one week’s leave or two and when you want the leave to start. This is the same for surrogacy.

5.8 You must inform PVCSE no later than the 15th week before your baby is due, in writing.

5.9 If you are adopting then you will need to inform the organisation within seven days of being matched with the child. You also need to inform PVCSE of the date you’re matched with the child, the placement start date, whether you would like to take one or two weeks of leave and when you want the leave to start. Please let the organisation know in writing.

Taking Paternity Leave

5.10 You are eligible to take one or two weeks of paternity leave.

This is the same even if you have more than one child, for example twins.

5.11 You can start your paternity leave on one of the following:

  • The date your baby is born
  • From an agreed date within eight weeks of the date your baby was born or was expected to be born
  • The day your adoption placement starts or from an agreed date within the following eight weeks
  • From the date your adopted child arrives in the UK or an agreed date afterwards, for an overseas adoption
  • The date your surrogate baby is born or the day after.

5.12 You must take the leave all in one go and within eight weeks of your baby being born or your adoption placement starting. You are encouraged to have arrangements in place with PVCSE in case the due date or adoption placement dates change.

5.13 You need to give PVCSE 28 days’ notice if you wish to change the date of your paternity leave. In special circumstances, such as the baby needing time in hospital or being born prematurely, the 28 days’ notice will be waived.

5.14 If you want to extend your paternity leave then you can talk through the options with your line manager. These could include shared parental leave, annual leave or unpaid leave.

Paternity Pay

5.15 By law you may be eligible for paternity pay if you are the baby’s biological father, your partner is having a baby, adopting a baby or having a child through surrogacy AND you are responsible for the child’s upbringing.

5.16 The rate of pay will be in accordance with statutory paternity pay (SPP). You will qualify for this if you have been working for PVCSE for at least 26 weeks continuously from the date of the ‘qualifying week’ and your average earnings for the eight weeks before the qualifying week were at least £120. PVCSE will advise you of your entitlement.

The qualifying week is the 15th week before your baby is due. To work this out, count back 15 weeks from the week your baby is due.

5.17 If adopting you will be eligible for SPP if you have been working for PVCSE for at least 26 weeks before the end of the week when you’re told you’ve been matched with a child in the UK . For overseas adoptions the date will be when the child arrives in the UK.

You must take your leave within eight weeks of the date you are matched with a child or the child arrives in the UK, in the case of overseas adoptions.

5.18 Your paternity pay will start at the same time as your paternity leave.

Time off for Appointments

5.19 Under this policy you will have the right to paid time off to attend up to three antenatal appointments with your partner, up to a maximum of 6.5 hours.

Time off to Care for Your Partner

5.20 If you partner is having a difficult pregnancy then you can request time off to care for them. This could be taken as annual leave or as TOIL. If the situation is urgent then you could be eligible for time off  under the ‘time off for dependants.’ Please refer to section <<>> in this policy.

If Your Baby is Premature or Ill

5.21 If your baby is premature or needs to stay in hospital for a time after birth, you can change the date of your paternity leave by talking to your line manager. The leave will still need to be taken within eight weeks of the birth.

Stillbirth, Miscarriage or Death of Baby

5.22 You still have the right to paternity leave and pay if your baby is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy or if your baby only lives for a short time after the birth. You also have the right to paternity leave and pay in the case or disrupted adoption, where the placement does not go ahead, or the child has to return to the agency or the child dies.

Your Rights

6.1 You could be eligible for statutory adoption leave and adoption pay if you are adopting a child or fostering a child permanently and becoming their legal parent. To be eligible you must be an employee, advise PVCSE and give the correct notice and you have been matched with a child through an adoption agency. PVCSE may also require you to provide proof that you are adopting.

6.2 You may also be entitled to adoption leave and pay if you are having a child through surrogacy. In this case you must apply for an adoption order.

6.3 Statutory adoption leave lasts for up to 52 weeks, like maternity leave.

6.4 You have the right to adoption leave from the first day of your employment.

6.5 You cannot be dismissed or treated unfairly because you are taking adoption leave.

Adoption Pay

6.6 Statutory Adoption Pay is paid for 39 weeks, like SMP and starts when you take your adoption leave.

6.7 To be eligible for adoption pay you must have been continuously employed by PVCSE for at least 26 weeks and be earning £120 per week  before tax for the eight weeks prior to the week you are matched with the child. PVCSE will advise you of your entitlement.

6.8 Please also note the criteria in point 6.1.

Telling Your Employer You’re Adopting or Fostering to Adopt

6.9 You need to inform PVCSE you are adopting within seven days of being matched with a child for adoption or your adoption placement being confirmed if you are fostering to adopt.

Advising your line manager earlier means you can have a good discussion about when you would prefer to take your leave and help them plan for your leave.

6.10 You need to advise the organisation of the date the child will be placed with you and the date you would like your adoption leave to start. PVCSE will respond in writing within 28 days and confirm the date your adoption leave will run to.

Time off for Appointments

6.11 You have the right to paid time off for five adoption appointments after you have been matched with the child.

Provide Proof of the Adoption or Placement

6.12 You must give PVCSE proof to be eligible for adoption pay. For UK adoptions this includes:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the agency
  • The date you were matched with the child
  • The expected date of the placement.

For overseas adoptions the proof must show:

  • The relevant UK authority’s official notification confirming the parent’s right to adopt
  • The date the child arrived in the UK, such as a plane ticket.

6.13 If you’re fostering to adopt then you must provide evidence of a placement, such as a  letter from the adoption agency.

Planning your Adoption Leave

6.14 For UK adoptions and fostering for adoption placements you can start adoption leave either when you’ve been matched with the child or 14 days before the expected placement date.

6.15 For overseas adoptions you can start adoption leave either when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of the child arriving in the UK.

Holiday Entitlement

6.16 You will still accrue annual leave entitlement as normal during your adoption leave, even if this means carrying it forward into a new holiday year. You are encouraged to discuss this with your line manager to agree how you’re going you take this holiday. It could be added to the start or end of your adoption leave, for example.

6.17 If you want to delay the start of your adoption leave you must advise PVCSE at least 28 days before the current due date. If you want your adoption leave to start earlier than planned, you must give PVCSE 28 days’ notice before the date you want to change it to.

6.18 If you adopt or foster to adopt two or more children on the same placement you are only entitled to one  period of adoption leave. If it is a separate placement then you will be entitled to a second period of adoption leave. Your adoption leave will restart when the second placement begins.

Working during Adoption Leave

6.19 You can work for up to ten days during your adoption leave without it affecting your adoption leave or pay. These are called keeping in touch (KIT) days. You can agree with your line manager if you want KIT days, how many, what type of work you’ll do and how much you’ll get paid. Half or part days still count as a full KIT day.

If you work more than ten days your adoption leave and pay will automatically end by law.

Placement Ends during Adoption Leave

6.20 Your adoption leave will end eight weeks after the placement if you have started your adoption leave and the agency tells you the placement cannot happen, or the child dies during adoption leave, or the child is returned to the adoption agency.

Returning to Work after Adoption

6.21 If you know the date you want to return, then you are encouraged to let your line manager know before your leave starts, to best support you and plan your return. If you don’t give a date, it will be assumed that you will return after 52 weeks.

6.22 If you want to return early PVCSE requires eight weeks’ notice. If you don’t want to return to work you must give PVCSE notice as set out in your contract of employment.      

6.23 You have the right to return to the same role if you have taken adoption leave up to 26 weeks. You have the same right after adoption leave of more than 26 weeks unless PVCSE has a good reason to offer you another role. It might be in the case that your role no longer exists due to a reorganisation. In this case you must be offered a suitable alternative role, which matches your current pay, benefits, grade, holiday entitlement and location.

6.24 If you are made redundant during your adoption leave the organisation will offer you a suitable alternative role.

6.25 You can make a flexible working request when you return to work, following the Flexible Working Policy.

Your Rights

7.1 You can opt for shared parental leave in the first year after your child has been born, you have adopted or you have obtained a parental order for a child through surrogacy.

7.2 You could get up to 50 weeks of shared parental leave (SPL) and up to 37 weeks of shared parental pay (ShPP). This amount depends on how much maternity leave the primary parent has taken or how much adoption leave the primary adopter has taken. They can choose to curtail their maternity or adoption leave to create SPL/ShPP for the other partner.

Examples include both parents being off at the same time, or the birth parent/primary adopter returns to work and their partner takes SPL.

Shared Parental Leave

7.3 To be eligible for SPL, you must be sharing the responsibility of the child with your partner. If you are the primary parent/adopter you must end your maternity or adoption leave and return to work. You will have given PVCSE notice of the curtailment of your leave.

7.4 To take SPL you must pass the continuity of employment test, namely that you have worked for PVCSE for 26 weeks continuously by the end of the 15th week before the baby is due or the adoption match date and be working for PVCSE for each block of leave you take. You will also need to have earned at least £120 per week for the eight weeks before the qualifying week (15th week before the expected birth date or adoption match date).

7.5 The other parent must have worked for at least 26 of 66 weeks and earned an average of £30 in any 13 weeks, up to the expected birth or adoption match date. This is called the employment and earnings test.

7.6 If you stop sharing responsibility for the child you must inform PVCSE immediately.  Your SLP or ShPP will end and you will be required to return to work. This may have to be negotiated with your line manager.

7.7 Under law you are still entitled to all the terms and conditions of your employment contract and cannot be subject to unfair treatment because you have taken or intend to take SPL.

Shared Parental Pay

7.8 You can claim shared parental pay (ShPP) for any remaining weeks after the birth parent or primary adopter stops their maternity or adoption pay, or maternity allowance.  To do this, you must advise PVCSE in writing.

For example, if a mother stops their maternity pay after 30 weeks, they or their partner could get ShPP for the remaining nine weeks.

7.9 The rate of pay will be in accordance with the statutory rate for shared parental pay. PVCSE will advise you on this. Please refer to points 7.4 and 7.5.

Taking Shared Parental Leave: The Process

7.10 If you and your partner are eligible for shared parental leave you can decide how you wish to use the leave and pay. You are encouraged to discuss your plans with your line manager to help both parties plan effectively.

Step One: ending maternity or adoption entitlement. If you are the birth parent or primary adopter you must give notice that you are curtailing your maternity/adoption entitlement to create an entitlement to SPL.

If you are the birth parent or primary adopter you cannot change your mind about cancelling your maternity entitlement unless you gave notice before the birth or adoption placement start date, in which case it can be revoked up to six weeks afterwards.

If you find out that neither you or your partner were eligible for SPL or ShPP, you can cancel your decision to end your maternity entitlement.

If the other partner dies, you can cancel your decision to end your maternity entitlement.

Step Two: giving notice of entitlement to shared parental leave. To create an entitlement to SPL you must give PVCSE a notice of entitlement. There is a form to complete which is stored at <<>>. This includes details such as how much maternity or adoption entitlement has been used and how much pay and leave is left over and how much SPL each parent wants to take.

You will also need to supply a declaration for your partner that they share responsibility for the child, meet the employment and earnings test and agree to the amount of SPL and ShPP given to you.

PVCSE will acknowledge receipt of the notice and take the notice of entitlement as suitable proof.

Step 3: booking the leave. You can book up to three blocks of leave (notice to take leave) and change the dates you have booked (notice to vary leave) up to three times. You will need to give PVCSE eight weeks’ notice each time you want to book leave and your leave must be in blocks of weeks but can start on any day of the week.

You can take continuous leave i.e. in one block, which PVCSE cannot refuse.

You can also take discontinuous leave, where you want to take blocks of leave and return to work in between. PVCSE can refuse a discontinuous leave request if it’s not suitable for the work or workplace. PVCSE can suggest an arrangement that’s more suitable but you don’t have to agree to this. It’s a good idea to have a discussion with your line manager if you are considering booking discontinuous leave.

If you have made a request for discontinuous leave then PVCSE should come to an agreement with you within 14 days of the date of your request. If no agreement is reached you can withdraw the request or make a request for continuous leave, which PVCSE will grant.

If you withdraw your discontinuous leave request on or before the 15th calendar day after the original date of the request, this will not count as one of your three notices to book or vary leave. However if you withdraw your leave request after the 15th calendar day, this will count as a notice to vary leave. This will mean you have used two of your three notices to vary leave.

If your discontinuous request for leave become continuous, you can choose when the continuous leave starts, although it can’t start sooner that eight weeks after the date of the original leave request. Your other option it to start the continuous leave when your discontinuous leave would have started.

You must let PVCSE know in writing which option you have chosen within 19 calendar days of the original leave request date.

You accrue annual leave as normal during SPL. You might want to take paid annual leave in between blocks of SPL, for example. Where possible, you must try to take your annual leave entitlement within the holiday year. You are encouraged to have discussions with your line manager as early as possible about SPL and annual leave to agree holiday plans. You may want to book your SPL before your baby is born, for a date in the future after the birth.

Step 4: changing the leave. You have up to three times to book a block of SPL(notice to book leave) or change the dates booked (notice to vary leave).

To vary or cancel leave, you must give PVCSE eight weeks’ notice and a notice to vary leave.

If the baby is born more than eight weeks early you do not have to give the usual eight weeks’ notice to book or change your leave dates but try to get notice to PVCSE as soon as you can. If you are changing SPL which has already been booked this will not count as one of your three notices to vary leave.

If you and your partner are both entitled to SPL you can change the amount of leave each of you wishes to take. You must both agree and sign each other’s notice of entitlement with the updated SPL details and inform PVCSE as soon as possible.

In the event of the death of the child, you can still take the SPL you have booked as continuous leave or decide to take less SPL. You cannot book any new blocks of SPL.

You cannot apply for SPL after the death of a child. You can still get maternity or adoption leave and your partner could still be eligible for statutory paternity leave. Please refer to the relevant section of this policy for further information.

In the event that your partner dies you can still take SPL as planned or transfer and take any SPL your partner was due to take. If you want to book another block of SPL or change the dates of booked SPL you do not need to give eight weeks’ notice. However you will need to let PVCSE know as soon as possible.

Even if you have already made three requests to book or change SPL, you will be able to make one more.

When You Are on Shared Parental Leave

7.11 Before you go on SPL, meet with your line manager to discuss how you would like to keep in touch e.g. keeping in touch days, known as SPLIT days for shared parental leave. PVCSE will keep you informed about new jobs, promotion opportunities or organisational changes.

7.12 You can have up to 20 SPLIT days. They can be used to:

  • keep up to date with work
  • go to a work-related activity or training session
  • work part of a week to help the team
  • return from leave in a gradual way, for example taking 2 SPLIT days and working 3 days a week to start with.

You can agree with PVCSE if you would like to have SPLIT days and how many days you want to use. PVCSE will advise you on how much you will be paid for those days. By law it will be at least the national minimum wage equivalent.

7.13 If your contract was due to end during your SPL then PVCSE does not have to renew it. But the fact that you are taking SPL cannot be a reason to end your contract. When your contract ends, your SPL will end as well as you will no longer meet the eligibility test.. PVCSE will advise you if you are still entitled to ShPP.

​​​​​​​Your Rights

8.1 To qualify for surrogacy leave or pay you must be the child’s legal parent. This means that within six months of the child’s birth you must:

  • apply for a parental order if (one parent is genetically related to the child) OR
  • apply for an adoption order (if the intended parents are not genetically related to the child).

8.2 You may be eligible for statutory adoption pay and leave. Please refer to the section on adoption leave, pay and other rights.

8.3 You must let PVCSE know no later than the 15th week before your baby is due that you intend to take adoption leave. PVCSE will need to know the expected week of childbirth and when you want your adoption leave to start, with 28 days’ notice. Please put this in writing.

8.4 PVCSE will reply in writing within 28 days and confirm the date your adoption leave will run to. Adoption leave can run up to 52 weeks.

8.5 You will be required to provide proof of surrogacy, which could be that you have applied for a parental order for the child.

8.6 You can have paid/unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments with the person giving birth. You can take up to 6.5 hours per appointment.

8.7 If you want to return to work early you must give PVCSE eight weeks’ notice. If you don’t want to return to work after your adoption leave you must give PVCSE the required notice in accordance with what is written in your contract.

8.8 Your return to work rights are the same as for adoption leave and are set out in the relevant section of this policy

PVCSE recognises that each person deals with a bereavement differently and will make every effort to support each employee according to their needs.

Your Rights

9.1 Parental bereavement leave is time off to deal with the death of a child, if they die under the age of 18 or are stillborn.

9.2 As an employee you have a right to two weeks of statutory parental bereavement leave and pay. You line manager will confirm your entitlement with you. Or two weeks at full pay

9.3 These rights apply if you are the:

  • biological parent
  • adoptive parent if the child was living with you
  • person who lived with the child and had responsibility for them, for at least four weeks before they died
  • ‘intended parent’ – due to become the legal parent through surrogacy
  • partner of the child’s parent, if you live with the child and the child’s parent in an enduring family relationship.

9.4 You have these rights from the day you start your job with PVCSE.

9.5 You will be entitled to statutory parental  bereavement pay if:

  • their child dies under the age of 18 or is stillborn after 24 weeks’ of pregnancy
  • they were employed when their child died
  • they’d worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks, on the Saturday before the child’s death
  • they earn on average at least £120 per week, before tax.

Taking Parental Bereavement Leave

9.6 This leave can be taken in the 56 weeks following the child’s death.

9.7 If more than one child dies you are entitled to two weeks’ statutory parental bereavement leave for each child.

9.8 You can take two weeks of leave, either together or as two separate weeks. You will need to advise PVCSE when you want to take your leave, but you don’t have to do this in writing. You would also need to give PVCSE the date your child died.

9.9 If you take the leave within the first eight weeks you can start your leave as soon as you have advised PVCSE that you wish to do so. If you tell PVCSE before you start work you can start your leave the same day. If not, your leave will start the day after. You can also cancel your leave following the same process and take the cancelled leave at a later date.

9.10 If you wish to take the leave more than eight weeks after the death of your child, you will need to give PVCSE one week’s notice.

Claiming Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

9.11 To receive statutory parental bereavement pay you will need to confirm the following in writing. This is called giving notice.

  • your name
  • your entitlement to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay/POP+
  • the start and end dates of the leave YOU want to claim the pay for
  • the date of your child’s death
  • your relationship with the child.

9.12 You must give notice must be given within 28 days of starting leave. If you take the two weeks off separately, you are required to give notice in writing for each week. You can give notice for their leave and pay in one document.

​​​​​​​PVCSE recognises that each person deals with a bereavement differently and will make every effort to support each employee according to their needs. The wellbeing of employees is of the utmost importance.

Following a bereavement you might need to take some time off immediately, wish to carry on working or take some time off at a later date.

10.1 For the purposes of this policy bereavement leave will be granted automatically for the death of:

  • your partner
  • your parent
  • your child (if under 18 – please refer to the relevant policy section)
  • someone else who relied on you.

There may be other circumstances where time off can be agreed following a bereavement e.g. a close friend. In this case you are encouraged to talk to your line manager

10.2 PVCSE gives any employee who has had a bereavement two weeks of paid leave.  

10.3  If you need to take time off work due to a bereavement tell your line manager. If you feel unable to do this, then a friend or family member can do it for you.

10.4 Let PVCSE know how you would like to be contact while you are off and how often, if you want others at work to know and whether they can contact you, or if you need any support or information from PVCSE.

It may be difficult to know how much time you will need off, so keeping in touch can help to keep PVCSE and support you appropriately when you are ready to return to work.

10.5 If you need more time off this you could talk to your manager about other options such as using annual leave, TOIL or unpaid leave. If you are not well enough to work you may be eligible for sick pay. Please refer to the sickness absence policy.

10.6 Before you return to work, it’s a good idea to talk to your line manager about when you think you’ll be ready to return to work, any concerns you have about returning and if you may need to explore flexible work options.

10.7 If you need further support, you can discuss this with your line manager.10.8 Managers who have a recently bereaved team member, please refer to Appendix A

Your Rights

11.1 You have the right by law to take time off work to help someone who is dependent on you in an unexpected event.

11.2 The law does not stipulate how long this time should be or on how many occasions. PVCSE recognises that unexpected situations and crises occur and will be flexible to support you. Under this policy you are entitled to two days of paid leave for this time off and any more time needed would be made up of annual leave, TOIL or unpaid leave.

If the situation is likely to continue, you may want to discuss flexible working options with your line manager.


11.3 A dependant can include:

  • your spouse, partner or civil partner
  • your child
  • your parent
  • a person who lives in your household (not tenants, lodgers or employees)
  • a person who would rely on you for help in the event of an accident, illness or injury, such as an elderly neighbour
  • a person who relies on you to make care arrangements.

11.4 Under this policy you can take time off if you need to:

  • help a dependant who is ill, injured or assaulted, or gives birth
  • arrange care for a dependant who is ill or injured
  • deal with the death of a dependant
  • deal with an incident involving your child during school hours.

11.5 Check this policy to see your entitlement to time off and pay when dealing with dependants.

​​​​​​​12.1 If an employee or co-worker dies, it can affect other employees and the workplace. 

The employer should:

  • tell others at work the person has died, in a sensitive and personal way
  • offer support to staff affected by the death
  • contact the person’s family or next of kin to offer condolences
  • let staff know how they can give their condolences
  • share details of the funeral or ceremony if staff have been invited

12.2 PVCSE will:

  • talk to staff regularly to see how they’re coping
  • signpost staff to any support that’s available to them

12.3 It might be appropriate to honour the person who died with others at work. For example, you might consider:

  • organising a book of condolence for staff to share their memories of the person who died
  • holding an event or service to honour the person who died, inviting the family or next of kin as well, if appropriate.

Finalising an Employee’s Affairs

12.4 In these circumstances PVCSE  would put the staff member’s family or next of kin in touch with someone who works in HR or a senior manager and can answer any questions about:

  • the employment contract
  • pay
  • their pension
  • other benefits
  • returning any personal belongings.

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When things go wrong

When things go wrong

This procedure will be used as a last resort and will be conducted in a team setting. 

The Investigation

The investigating officer will conduct the investigations but may be accompanied by a third party who will take notes confidentially on behalf of the investigating officer. The decision as to who is the investigating officer will be taken as soon as there is a known incident to investigate. This should not be the direct line manager of the staff member under investigation if at all possible.

As soon as a disciplinary matter arises the investigating officer should first establish the facts, using investigatory interviews with those identified as being involved in or witnesses to the incident. Other useful evidence may include emails and other organisational documents and in some case photographs, or CCTV footage.

In some cases, for example unsatisfactory timekeeping or attendance, there may be no requirement for investigatory interviews. In such cases, the evidence gathered at this stage of the process may include file notes, return to work interviews etc. The important point is that all available evidence is gathered before a decision is taken about formal or informal action.

Timescales of Investigations

Initial investigations should be carried out immediately, while the events remain clear in the memory of those involved. All efforts should be made to ensure that investigations, including formal interviews are completed within two weeks of the alleged misconduct arising, although we acknowledge that more complex cases may take longer and when this is the case PVCSE will keep the employee informed.

Where a participant/client is involved, an assessment should be made about whether it is appropriate for them to be interviewed by the investigating officer, taking into account their own personal circumstances. If the participant/client is interviewed, then they can choose to have an appropriate staff member or other person of their choosing present for support.

The employee may be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative, providing this does not unnecessarily delay the investigation. There is no statutory right to be accompanied to an investigatory interview.

​​​​​​​Once all investigatory interviews have been held and the investigation is concluded, the investigating officer should prepare a summary report to be passed on to the disciplining officer, along with any supporting evidence including notes of investigatory interviews and other relevant documents.

Decision to Act

The disciplining officer may or may not be the same person as the investigating officer and will then decide whether:

  • no further action is necessary, or
  • informal action should be taken, including an informal warning or letter of concern, or
  • a formal disciplinary hearing is required.

1) If no further action is necessary, then the employee concerned should be told of the outcome of the investigation by the disciplining officer within 24 hours of the decision being made.

2) If informal action is necessary, then the employee concerned should be invited to an informal counselling meeting by their line manager, as outlined below. This meeting is informal and should not turn into disciplinary action. The meeting should be private, involving a two-way discussion, with the emphasis on finding ways to improve the situation, and take place within 48 hours of the investigation. It is essential that decisions and agreements are confirmed in writing within five working days of the meeting taking place.

Informal counselling can be considered as one option.

Formal disciplinary action is regarded by PVCSE as the last resort. We recognise that cases of minor misconduct may best be resolved through informal counselling, goal or target setting, advice or training and these do not form a formal part of this procedure.

Where an improvement is required, the concern will be discussed with the employee by their line manager as soon as possible after it has been observed.

The conduct giving rise to the concern will be explained and the required improvement stated, along with a reasonable timescale for improvement. Any foreseeable problems with complying with the request should be discussed and dealt with. The line manager should ask what support the employee needs in order to make the improvement, to ensure relevant and appropriate support is available.

The line manager should make a note that the conversation has taken place, confirming any agreed action plans and that it is reasonable to expect that the improvement is sustained. The employee should be informed of this within five working days, plus the fact that it may be necessary to move to the formal disciplinary procedure in the event that the informal route is unsuccessful.

It is hoped that the majority of concerns will be successfully dealt with in this manner.

Only when these options have been exhausted, or where matters are more serious, or where the issue is one of gross misconduct, should managers enter into the formal disciplinary procedure.

3) If the discussion reveals issues of a more serious nature, then the meeting should be adjourned, and the employee advised that the matter will now be considered under the formal disciplinary process.

If a formal disciplinary hearing is required, the employee should be invited in writing to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. The employee should be given at least 48 hours’ notice of the hearing. To enable the employee to prepare their response to the allegations, the letter should contain: 

  • the reasons for the hearing, e.g. the alleged misconduct or unsatisfactory behaviour
  • the possible consequences or outcome of the hearing, if this may be dismissal
  • details of the employee’s entitlement to be accompanied at the hearing by a work colleague or a trade union representative.

Outcomes of the Formal Disciplinary Procedure

Verbal warning: for unsatisfactory behaviour or misconduct of a relatively minor nature.

The employee should be given a timescale within which his/her behaviour or conduct must improve and should be in no doubt as to what  “satisfactory” or “acceptable” behaviour or conduct standards are. The employee’s performance should be reviewed at regular intervals during the timescale set for improvement.

The employee should be informed that a verbal warning is being issued and if there is no improvement, a written warning will be the next stage in the procedure.

A written record will be kept on the employee’s file for future reference. The employee should receive written confirmation of the warning and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

First written warning: for continued incidents of unsatisfactory behaviour or misconduct, or if an incident of more serious misconduct occurs.

If the employee’s poor conduct continues, or their behaviour fails to improve within the given timescale, or another incident of misconduct occurs, he/she should be sent a letter inviting them to attend another meeting to again discuss the shortfalls.

At this meeting the employee should be told the areas in which they failed to improve or make the required changes and should be given a chance to explain. If there is no satisfactory explanation for the failure to address the situation, the employee should again be told:

  • the timescale in which his or her conduct must alter, or behaviour must improve and the standards required
  • that he or she is being issued with a first written warning, and that failure to improve within the agreed timescales will result in a final written warning.

Again, the employee should receive written confirmation of the warning, and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

Final written warning: for further continued unsatisfactory behaviour or further misconduct, or if an incident of serious misconduct occurs.

If an employee’s first misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is sufficiently serious, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning. This might be where the employee’s actions have had, or are liable to have, a serious or harmful impact on the organisation.

If the employee’s poor conduct is not addressed either partially, or fully, or should their behaviour still fail to reach a satisfactory standard, or an incident of serious misconduct occurs, a meeting should be held to discuss the shortfalls. Again, the employee should be told the areas in which his or her work or actions are unsatisfactory and should be given a chance to explain. If there is no satisfactory explanation for the failure to address this, he or she should be told:

  • the timescale in which his or her behaviour must improve or conduct alter and the standard which would be considered satisfactory;
  • that he or she is being issued with a final written warning, and that if he/she is unable to reach a satisfactory standard of performance, they may be dismissed.

The employee should receive written confirmation of the warning and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

Dismissal with notice: for continued unsatisfactory behaviour or conduct

If there is no improvement within the given timescale, the employee should receive, in writing, a clear description of the ways his or her behaviour fails to meet the required standard or where conduct continues to cause concern, and will be requested to attend another meeting at which dismissal will be considered.

It is important that the employee is informed in writing at this stage that dismissal may be the outcome of this meeting, but that  no decision has yet been made. At this meeting the employee should be told the specifics of where they have failed to improve and should be given the chance to explain. If no satisfactory explanation is given, the employee may be dismissed with notice.

The employee will be given notice of dismissal in writing and must be told of their right to appeal against the dismissal, the timescale in which to appeal, and to whom they should appeal. He or she should be instructed to lodge the appeal in writing, setting out the grounds on which it is being made.

A woman who is dismissed during pregnancy, maternity or adoption leave is automatically entitled to a written statement irrespective of length of service.

The Right to Appeal

An employee who feels that a disciplinary warning or dismissal is unfair may appeal against this. An appeal must be lodged, in writing, within seven calendar days of the decision being notified to the employee concerned.

The employee should clearly state the grounds on which the appeal is made (e.g. the finding is unfair, the penalty too harsh, new evidence comes to light, or because of a procedural defect).

An appeal hearing will be arranged without unreasonable delay. Where possible, the appeal will normally be heard by a member of staff senior to the person making the original decision, and not previously connected with the disciplinary process so that an independent decision may be made. If this is not possible, then a further independent party or other external party may be requested to attend the hearing and advise.

The person conducting the appeal is advised to be accompanied by a trustee (from the HR sub committee) of PVCSE, who will act as a witness and take full notes of everything that is said. Where there is no such person available, or where matters of confidentiality require that it should not be a staff member, then an external person may be invited to attend in this capacity.

The employee has a statutory right to be accompanied and may, if he/she so wishes, be accompanied by a supporter, a work colleague, a trade union representative (who must be certified in writing by the union as having experience of, or having received training in, acting as a worker’s companion at disciplinary or grievance hearings) or by an official employed by a trade union at any appeal hearing. The employee should tell the person conducting the appeal hearing in advance whom he or she has chosen as a companion. As with a disciplinary hearing, the companion will be able to address the appeal hearing, ask questions on behalf of the employee and to confer with the employee but not to answer questions on behalf of the employee.

If either the employee or his/her chosen companion is unable to attend an appeal meeting arranged under this procedure for a reason which was not foreseeable at the time the meeting was arranged then we will attempt to rearrange the meeting for a date within five days of the original planned date.

If the employee is disabled, reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure that he or she is not disadvantaged at the hearing. This may include the provision of further assistance where necessary. Arrangements may also be made to assist any employee who does not have English as his or her first language and who may need an interpreter.

The grounds of the appeal will be considered when deciding the extent of any new investigation: it may be that a complete re-hearing will be held should there be any suspected procedural defects.

The employee will be notified of the appeal decision in writing within five working days, and the decision taken at the appeal hearing will be final.

Procedures relating to records: duration and removal of warnings

A copy of the written confirmation of any warnings, dismissal, suspension or other disciplinary penalty (plus any appeal documentation) will be given to the employee and a copy placed on the employee’s personnel file. Such documentation will be regarded as confidential.

Warnings will remain ‘active’ for the following periods unless a different period is confirmed in writing to the employee:

  • verbal warning: six months from the date the warning is notified to the employee or such other period as may be specified
  • first written warning or improvement note: twelve months from the date the warning is notified to the employee or such other period as may be specified
  • final written warning: twelve months from the date the warning is notified to the employee, or indefinitely, depending on the circumstances resulting in the warning.

Following completion of the appropriate period, the warning will no longer be active and will normally be disregarded for the purposes of any future disciplinary action.

Records of disciplinary warnings will however be retained on file for purposes of disclosure as required by regulation 11 of the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 2006.

Penalties other than dismissal

There may be circumstances where we consider alternative disciplinary action to dismissal to be appropriate. Such disciplinary action could include suspension  for up to ten days, demotion (which may result in a reduction in pay for the employee), or transfer to another position which may result in a reduction of pay.


We reserve the right at any stage of this procedure to suspend the employee. Such suspension is not disciplinary action and does not involve any prejudgment. Only senior staff and the HR subcommittee have the right to enact a suspension.

A suspension is deemed necessary:

  • Where relationships have broken down
  • In gross misconduct cases
  • Where there are risks to the employee’s or the organisation’s property or responsibilities to other parties
  • Where there are reasonable grounds for concern that evidence has been tampered with, destroyed or witnesses pressurised before the meeting.

Suspension will be on full basic pay and will be for as short a period as possible in order to carry out any investigation of an alleged serious offence or to prevent any recurrence.

If suspended, the employee must be available to attend any fact finding interview called during the suspension period. Contact will be maintained with the employee throughout the period of suspension to keep him/her informed of the investigation. An employee who is suspended will only be allowed contact with PVCSE, through a nominated person and will only be allowed onto PVCSE premises in certain circumstances relating to the procedure, and only with the prior knowledge and consent of the suspending officer.


The staff member (or volunteer) raises a concern

Time is allocated to hear and discuss the concern . This meeting is attended by the person with the grievance and a senior staff member (but not anyone named in the grievance).

The concern is addressed in an acceptable way for both parties and therefore recorded as such.


When the concern is not addressed to the satisfaction of the individual raising the concern, the individual (complainant) is then asked to put this in writing to their manager. Where the grievance is against the individual’s manager, they should talk to another manager or a trustee.

The written grievance is acknowledged within 48 hours.

A formal meeting is set up to hear the concern with the following attending:

  • A Senior Staff member
  • The individual raising the grievance
  • A supporter/companion for that individual should they choose. Note: an individual with a grievance can make a reasonable request to PVCSE for a companion (e.g. Trade Union representative or work colleague).

This meeting is to be set within five[AB1]  days of the grievance being received at the PVCSE office. If the date set is not possible for all, or for some unforeseen reason has to be postponed,  best practice informs PVCSE that the meeting should be rearranged within five days of the original date set.

At the meeting questions can be raised from both parties and all parties can contribute and/or address the meeting, with a view to having a full understanding of the grievance being raised.

After a full discussion then agreement on what action should be sought and this will be recorded and copied to all involved within seven working days.

Where the grievance is not upheld the reasons must be clearly explained in the response letter.

If the grievance raised was about a fellow employee, that individual will need to be informed of any part of the decision that affects them and the reasons for it. In this case the employee who raised the grievance should be informed about who else will be told about the decision and what type of information they will be given.


If the action agreed is not acceptable to the individual raising the grievance then an appeal should be made in writing within seven working days of receiving the outcome of the formal meeting.

An appeal committee is created, including one senior staff member and a trustee from the HR sub group, along with an independent person. The appeal committee shall meet within seven days of receiving the letter of appeal.

The employee has the right to be accompanied as per point 7.3 of this policy.

The appeal committee decision shall be final and a written record sent to the individual raising the grievance and copied to all involved within seven days of the meeting taking place.


Any employee or volunteer has the right to seek action if she/he feels that   bullying or harassment has taken place or is offended or intimidated in any way. 

(Informal Approach) An employee who feels that he/she is being subjected to harassment or bullying may attempt to resolve the matter informally in the first instance. In some cases, it may be possible and sufficient for him/her to explain clearly to the person(s) engaged in the unwanted activities that the behaviour is unwelcome, that it offends or makes him/her uncomfortable. 

• If at the initial informal discussion stage, the circumstances are too difficult or embarrassing to approach the harasser alone, the complainant may wish to be accompanied by a friend or colleague; 

• the complainant may wish to write a letter to the harasser (research has shown this to be very effective); 

 • the complainant should keep a record of any incidents, detailing when, where, what occurred, and witnesses (if any); 

• in some cases, those experiencing the bullying or harassment may not be sufficiently confident to tell the harasser that his or her behaviour is unacceptable. 

PVCSE emphasises therefore that staff are not required to approach the harasser in an attempt to resolve the problem informally and are entitled to report the matter immediately if they so wish. 

Where the steps outlined in 5.2 above are unsuccessful or inappropriate, the complainant should raise the matter formally and in confidence with his/her manager. Alternatively, the matter may be raised with the HR sub committee or a senior staff member, and where necessary this could be an individual of the same sex/race or other identity as the complainant. 

The organisations disciplinary procedure will be invoked at this point. This states clearly the course  of action to take and the timescales involved in each.

If the complaint relates to the conduct of the complainant’s direct manager, the complainant may choose to discuss the matter with his/her manager’s line manager or a more senior staff member or Trustee. 

The Senior staff member and/or HR sub committee will discuss the matter with the complainant and agree a course of action.  

  • The complainant may be accompanied by a representative or work colleague at these meetings.  
  • The alleged harasser will also have the right to state their version of events to the manager and to also be accompanied by a representative or colleague. 

The complainant must be assured that he/she will not be discriminated against or victimised for raising the complaint.  

Confidentiality will be observed throughout and the need for any disclosure of the details of the case will be discussed and agreed. 

At any stage of the process the complainant, the staff member dealing with the complaint or the accused may feel that they need the help of an independent person before deciding on the best course of action. PVCSE will signpost to an appropriate individual or service, that provides adequately trained personnel, who can give confidential advice and assistance, including: 

  • advising on the nature of harassment; 
  • offering guidance on resolving harassment problems, including acting as an independent broker 

These individuals may be employees of PVCSE, or from a specialist agency, or an independent. The right support will be found depending on the need of the individual who requires assistance.  

If the situation cannot be resolved informally then the complainant has the right to pursue his or her complaint formally via PVCSE’s Grievance Procedure. 

The organisation has a responsibility to pursue the complaint formally through the disciplinary procedure.

Where senior staff and/or trustees consider that there may be evidence of harassment, they may consider it appropriate to undertake a full investigation of the circumstances. In this case a staff member or trustee previously not connected, or with no knowledge of the people involved may be commissioned to undertake this investigation.  

Best practice in relation to confidentiality will be maintained during this investigation; and both the complainant and alleged harasser will have  the opportunity to have their say.  

The investigator will also interview and take statements from any appropriate witnesses to the alleged harassment. 

Where there is evidence that harassment has occurred, prompt and corrective action will be taken, including disciplinary action where appropriate.  

Bullying and/or harassment is a serious offence which may result in summary dismissal. 

Approaching Performance Issues at PVCSE 

A staff member has a right to know what the standards are that are required, especially when their work is being questioned, and to have these clearly laid out, described and documented. This will be in their written terms of employment.

Supervision meetings and staff appraisals are also used to monitor performance, check on support levels and resources required and progress towards agreed outcomes.

PVCSE requires all those involved in addressing capability to act with caution and sensitivity, as we are not always aware of the causes of the drop in performance or standards (COVID -19 and other health related issues, life events, external stresses, mis-understandings as well as possible competence and aptitude issues). 

 First Steps 

In the first instance managers should seek to resolve performance issues informally and at the earliest possible opportunity. Usually this would be through the supervision process, or in a one off meeting called to address a particular issue. In terms of best practice these discussions and decisions, as well as the outcomes should be recorded. 

Expectations and Procedure 

Every staff member in a job with PVCSE should know clearly what is expected of them – in terms of content, achieving deadlines, the approach and attitude as they go about their work, as well as the standards to be reached.  

Stage 1: raise any concerns of performance or capability in the first instance in support and supervision sessions.  

If the issues cannot be resolved satisfactorily or the improvements/changes required are not made within six weeks then move to Stage 2 

Stage 2: explain to the employee that you are invoking the capability procedure and the reasons for this. The line manager will need to be explicit about what needs to change/improve, by when and how the measures to evidence this improvement/change will be made. This must be formally documented.

It will also be important to identify who has what role in relation to any assessment. At this stage training, coaching, learning visits, work shadowing can be suggested. 

At this stage it is important to break down the required changes as far as possible and to set clear timescales. It is also worth stating at this point if there are any ultimate deadlines for monitoring and measuring performance, especially where there are external factors to take into account and partners/funders’ requirements to meet (e.g. with training delivery, event management, information dissemination etc).

At this stage discuss with the employee the wider impact and consequences of not achieving what is required. 

Decide when any review meetings will take place and make a written record of the meeting. When the changes/improvements have been made ensure that these are documented and placed on file.  

If the required standards/improvements/changes are still not met within eight weeks then move to Stage 3 

Stage 3: Formal Capability Meetings 

This will involve a similar process to the one set out above, with the addition of a trustee from the HR Sub Committee. The employee will be invited to a formal meeting, giving them five working days’ notice, detailing the areas of concern with performance. Both parties have the right to present evidence and call witnesses at this meeting.

The employee has the right to be accompanied, by a supporter, colleague or Trade Union representative  

The purpose of meetings at Stage 3 is to investigate, bring forward any evidence and witnesses from both parties and to seek to understand why things have come this far and what needs to change 

A Performance Improvement Plan will be issued with a clear timescale to monitor change. This will have very clearly laid out areas for improvement required, including tasks, targets, deadlines, measures and what the employee needs in order to fulfil these requirements. 

It is recommended that the minimum time period is three months and that this stage does not extend beyond six months.

Stage 4: Disciplinary Policy and Procedure – as detailed in PVCSE’s policy 

If a worker is going to make a disclosure it should be made to the employer first, or if they feel unable to use the organisation’s procedure the disclosure should be made to a prescribed person, so that employment rights are protected. 

At PVCSE the staff member should first approach their direct Line Manager, a Senior Colleague or a member of the Trustee Board. 

Where possible any issues and concerns should be dealt with informally, with emphasis on confidentiality wherever possible. 

We ask those listening to the concern to take this seriously and take action as soon as is reasonable possible.  

The staff member or Trustee who receives the information will then conduct a thorough investigation, or appoint a colleague to undertake the investigation. It is not expected that any staff member would be left alone with this and the staff/Trustees will take advice from our HR Trustee and/or an outside agency, such as ACAS. 


An investigation will involve taking statements from all those connected to the issue/concern being raised. A full report will be written on the findings within 21 days of the original concern being raised. Any actions to be taken will be detailed in the report. 

3.4 Where the concern or ‘allegation’ is unfounded this will be clearly reported in the form of an official letter, closing the investigation. 

All staff should be informed that at any point if they are not happy with the findings of a ‘case’ they can then choose to raise a grievance via the PVCSE Grievance Policy. They can also contact Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work) on  020 3117 2520 and see https://www.pcaw.org.uk/ for further information 

Right to Appeal 

  • If workers are dismissed because of whistleblowing they may claim unfair dismissal. 

  • From 25th June 2013 if a case goes to a tribunal and the tribunal thinks the disclosure was made in “bad faith,” it will have the power to reduce compensation by up to 25%. 

Workers who ‘blow the whistle’ on wrongdoing in the workplace can claim unfair dismissal if they are dismissed or victimised for doing so. An employee’s dismissal (or selection for redundancy) is automatically considered ‘unfair’ if it is wholly or mainly for making a protected disclosure.  

A worker will have to show three things to claim PIDA protection: 

  • that he or she made a disclosure 

  • that they followed the correct disclosure procedure 

  • that they were dismissed or suffered a detriment as a result of making the disclosure. 

The list below is not exhaustive, but is a guide to the type of offence which normally results in summary dismissal (i.e. dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice):
  • theft, fraud or falsification of records e.g. PVCSE documentation, expense claims or attendance records etc.
  • being under the influence of alcohol
  • using a hand held mobile whilst driving or in control of a company vehicle at any time, or whilst driving or in control of any vehicle whilst on our business
  • gambling, bribery or corruption
  • being in possession of, or under the influence of, non-medically prescribed drugs
  • assault or fighting either on our premises or whilst engaged on our business or where the act committed irrevocably damages the required trust and mutual confidence between POP and the employee
  • violent, abusive, bullying or intimidating conduct within the team and/or towards beneficiaries
  • undertaking private work on our premises and/or during working hours without express permission
  • accepting gifts from outside organisations which have not been approved by POP
  • smoking in an unauthorised area where this constitutes a serious risk to health and safety or compromises our products
  • driving whilst under the influence of unlawful drugs or alcohol
  • sleeping on duty
  • inappropriate use of the internet or computer misuse in breach of our policies. This includes deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscene material
  • act of unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or offensive behaviour
  • misuse of property belonging to PVCSE or of our name
  • malicious damage to property belonging to PVCSE, our clients/customers or other employees
  • flagrant disregard of our procedures, rules and regulations
  • any action in serious breach of legislative requirements which may affect our business
  • gross negligence
  • use of foul language or any act that violates commonly accepted standards of behaviour
  • actions which damage the reputation of PVCSE or bring it into disrepute – this includes taking part in activities which result in adverse publicity to ourselves, or which cause us to lose faith in your integrity
  • any action constituting a criminal offence which makes you unsuitable for employment with us
  • unauthorised use or disclosure of confidential information
  • failure to disclose correct information on your application form
  • serious breach of Health and Safety rules
  • accepting a gift which could be construed as a bribe
  • acts of dishonesty

An employee will not normally be dismissed for a first incident of misconduct, unless it amounts to gross misconduct, in which case summary dismissal without notice and without the need for any prior warnings may take place.

Gross misconduct and summary dismissal

Certain offences may be regarded as so serious as to render the employee liable to summary dismissal without prior warning (see examples above). A dismissal for gross misconduct will only be made following a disciplinary hearing and will be confirmed in writing, giving the reasons for dismissal, confirming that the employment is terminated immediately without notice, or pay in lieu of notice, and outlining the employee’s right of appeal.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of offences which amount to misconduct falling short of gross misconduct:​​​​​​​
  • unauthorised absence from work
  • unsatisfactory time-keeping or attendance
  • unsatisfactory job performance
  • time wasting
  • failure to follow a reasonable management instruction
  • minor contravention of health and safety regulations
  • disruptive behaviour
  • unauthorised use of the telephone
  • unauthorised use of e-mail and/or the internet
  • failure to wear personal protective equipment, if issued
  • minor damage to our property
  • minor breach of our rules
  • leaving your place of work without authority
  • failing to notify us of your absence from work
  • persistent absence/sickness
  • taking extended breaks
  • disrupting our business by receiving and making what we consider to be excessive personal telephone calls.
Employees who are still within their probationary period are not covered by this procedure. If a probationary employee is not performing satisfactorily, or there are incidences of misconduct, he or she will normally be seen by his or her line manager, informed of any shortcomings in performance or conduct, offered training and support (where appropriate) and given a clear warning that failure to improve will result in dismissal. If there is doubt about the employee’s ability to reach a satisfactory standard (and only as a last resort), the probationary period may be extended, in which case the employee will be told of this and a new date set for the expiry of the probationary period. If the employee is unable to reach a satisfactory standard of performance or conduct he or she will normally be invited to a formal meeting (with the right to be accompanied) prior to a decision being taken concerning his or her continued employment. A probationary employee who commits an act of gross misconduct will be summarily dismissed.

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Financial procedures

Financial procedures

These regulations provide a framework of rules and procedures to assist the organisation achieve legal compliance and high standards of good governance.

Meeting legal requirements

An accounting system will be maintained by the designated Finance Worker; with overview provided by the Treasurer.

At the direction of the Board, the Treasurer will convene a finance sub-committee to review compliance with procedures and legal requirements, and to monitor and review financial performance.

Accounts will be prepared annually and submitted for scrutiny by an independent examiner or auditor.

Annual Accounts will be circulated to members ahead of the Annual General Meeting, where they will be formally approved.

A reserves policy will determine the restrictions on funds to meet future liabilities and development needs.

The Company Secretary will file an Annual Return and Accounts, made up to the end of March.

Record keeping

The Finance Worker will be responsible for maintaining all financial records.

The Treasurer will carry out record checks on a regular basis.

Purchasing & Budgetary control

Annual budgets are set by by the Treasurer for approval by the Board, and any subsequent transfers (virements) must also be approved by the Board.

Designated budget holders will be responsible for authorising expenditure and managing their budgets.

A budget monitoring report will be presented at each Board meeting.

Purchases that are non routine may be authorised by staff provided that, where practical, it is a team decision; and that the amount does not exceed £200. In an emergency, expenditure between £201-£500 may be authorised by the Treasurer.

Incoming invoices must receive authorisation before processing for payment by the Finance Worker.

Contractual arrangements with suppliers must be authorised by the Board.

Incoming deliveries must be checked against the order/invoice.

Banking arrangements and cheques

The Finance Worker will be responsible for setting up all online banking transactions, with BACS being the preferred method of payment.

All payments will require a second authorisation.

All cheque payments require two signatures.

All invoices will be paid within 30 days or earlier if reasonable terms are requested.

The Finance Worker will bank any incoming cheques immediately.

The Finance Worker will carry out a bank reconciliation exercise at the end of each month.

Protection against fraud and theft

The Board and staff will be made aware of the potential risks from financial crime and abuse of position.

A Whistleblowing policy will provide guidelines on how to report incidents of suspected fraudulent practice.

The designated Office Manager will be responsible for ensuring the secure storage of cheque book, debit card and petty cash float.

Acceptance of any donation, or hospitality, with a value exceeding £100, must be approved by the Board.

Payment of Salaries & Expenses

On verification of hours worked, the Finance Worker will ensure that salary payments are released in time to clear the employees’ bank accounts by no later than the end of each calendar month. This does not apply to December’s salary payments, which are to be cleared in time for the Christmas holiday.

All expenses claims must be made in line with the procedure set out in the Expenses Policy.

Unless impractical, all payment claims are to be settled by BACS payment. No payments are to be made from incoming cash.


The pricing policy for any services offered must be approved by the Board, or Officers where this is not practical.

All services supplied will require an invoice to be raised by either the Finance Worker or Treasurer.

The Finance Worker is responsible for the collection of outstanding debts.

Holding and managing third party funds

In circumstances where member groups are unable to receive funds directly, it will be permissable, subject to Board approval, for Operational Staff to oversee the receipt of funds into the PVCSE bank account for safekeeping and disbursement.

Such funds will be accounted for separately, but will remain subject to PVCSE standard procedures, i.e. all claims must be accompanied by the appropriate invoices or receipts.

Member groups using this facility may be required to sign our terms and conditions declaration.

Asset Management

An Asset Register will be created to log all appropriate equipment expenditure, including: date of purchase, cost, serial number and where the asset is kept.


The Board may from time to time amend this policy.

PVCSE has an aspiration to create free reserves of three months of annual expenditure. Reserves will be built up through: 

  1. Sales and trade in income generating activity (eg management fees on discrete pieces of work; training provision beyond that provided as part of the PCC contract) 

  2. Agreed surplus with those purchasing services (eg surplus added into tenders) 

  3. Agreed savings and underspends – where the funder, grant maker or investor approves the underspend remains with PVCSE and where there is no tie or restriction on that money 

All claims should be made on PVCSE expenses claim forms and must have valid receipts attached 

Travel rates 

Car use includes mileage and wear and tear and will be paid at the following rates 

  • 45 per mile if the journey total is 20 miles or below 

  • 30p per mile if the journey total exceeds 21 miles 

  • Bicycle use is paid at 20p per mile 

Use of taxis 

It is recognised that sometimes staff will use a combination of public transport and taxi. Any single taxi journey above £25 should be authorised by your line manager prior to the journey. 

Travel time 

Travel time is accepted as part of the working day (and therefore paid in wages) for Plymouth and Devon based work. Any longer journeys must be discussed and approved by your line manager, as to whether these are journeys made within work time 


At PVCSE it is very rare that our work extends to lengthy journeys and overnight stays; however in the case of attending conferences and events, the following applies, subject to budgets: 

  • All travel and overnight accommodation expenses are met by PVCSE 

  • Breakfast and lunch can be claimed at £6 per meal and an evening meal at £12 [Note: any meal expenses paid will only be reimbursed where the work is away from the usual base and is 4 hours or longer in duration] 

  • Alcohol bought and consumed at such events will not be paid for by PVCSE 

Other out of pocket expenses 

PVCSE will pay for other items – of stationery, photocopying done off site etc where this is reasonable; however approval must be sought from your line manager for any single items over £20 purchased in this way. 


PVCSE accepts that occasional hospitality will be incurred, for example refreshments at shorter and specific meetings, when hosting a meeting, during induction meetings. PVCSE retains the right to challenge and or not pay these claims if the reason or explanation is not accepted. 

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