Valuing our People A guide to Colne’s benefits and opportunities
Contents: • Training and development • Equality and diversity
Welcome We are delighted to welcome you to Colne and introduce you to our benefits booklet. Everyone agrees that people are an organisation’s greatest asset, but at Colne we really believe it! Colne is a successful, thriving and growing social housing provider and you would be joining an organisation where you can make a significant and valuable contribution to Colne’s future. The Times Top 100 Best Companies to work for list, published in March 2014, confirmed Colne as a top 100 Best Company to work for in the Not for Profit sector. Colne’s values Colne’s values are to be a respectful, empowering, excellent, transparent and progressive organisation, and we ask our people to sign up to and As part of our drive to make this a great place to work, we are very pleased to offer you a wide choice of benefits and opportunities.
Benefits Pension The plan is a joint arrangement between you and Colne for your future financial security. Therefore both you and Colne will pay contributions to the plan. Colne will double the level of your contribution capped at 10%, and also provide the opportunity for you to pay additional voluntary contributions. Colne currently offers a defined contribution scheme that incorporates a life assurance scheme. 2
Valuing our People
Annual leave 25 days rising to a maximum of 28 days after three calendar years service, as well as statutory public holidays and an extra day at Christmas. All employees have the opportunity to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ up to three annual leave days per annum. Sick pay Colne operates a company sick pay scheme for employees with enhanced pay over the statutory levels.
Health Cash Plan Available to all employees, with the subscription paid by Colne. Eye care Colne provides a scheme for regular display screen equipment users which covers the cost of eye tests and contribution towards any prescription required. Annual flu jab Colne provides all of its employees the option of a free flu jab carried out by a nurse at the Society’s offices during working hours. Transport costs Colne offers essential car users an interest free loan of up to £5,000 and all other employees an interest free loan for annual public transport or car parking season ticket. A car allowance is paid to essential car users as well as a mileage allowance for car and pushbike use. Free car parking is provided to all essential car users. Employee confidential counselling service Colne provides a free and confidential employee counselling service through our insurers, which is available 24 hours a day. There is no limit to the number of calls you or your family make. Staff awards This scheme has been designed to recognise and celebrate exceptional achievements that demonstrate Colne’s values. Anyone can nominate an employee for a staff award who they believe has gone the extra mile. In addition, a quarterly presentation at the staff meeting is made to the ‘best’ value for money initiative, as judged by the Executive team. Long service awards Colne recognises the commitment of staff who have completed ten years service, and thereafter every five additional years of service, by awarding a one off payment as defined and advised by Colne or five additional days annual leave (or pro-rata equivalent). There will also be a budget up to £100 to purchase a gift. Colne appreciates staff who have chosen to develop their careers within Colne, for their commitment, knowledge, experience and hard work. In addition to these benefits, Colne also runs one off team building events throughout the year such as the staff away day and annual coach trip. Valuing our People
Charity of the year Each year our staff nominate a chosen charity for whom Colne will fundraise. From bake sales to abseiling, we aim to go the extra mile for good causes.
Christmas celebrations Colne hold a Christmas celebration meal for all staff each year. Fruit and refreshments Colne provide a selection of fresh fruit on a weekly basis free of charge. Tea, coffee and juice is also available for all staff at no cost.
Christmas saving club A scheme for any interested employees who wish to save for Christmas through a monthly deduction from salary. Gym membership subsidy Colne will pay up to 50% (up to a maximum of £15) per month towards gym membership. IT and the staff intranet Communication to our staff is vital therefore Colne has it’s own staff intranet that keeps everyone up to date with what is happening in Colne. It contains a wealth of useful and important information such as the staff directory, policies and procedures that all staff can access. IT is an essential tool at Colne and we are proud to offer all employees remote access and where appropriate mobile phones, laptops and portable scanners. Family friendly benefits Colne operates a number of family friendly policies, which contain benefits that exceed the statutory requirements. These include: • Maternity leave • Paternity leave • Adoption leave • Parental leave • Carers leave • Flexible working practices.
Valuing our People
Training and development It is important for Colne to be seen as an employer of choice and this booklet summarises the benefits, development and training opportunities offered by Colne to ensure we provide a working environment that ensures retention of staff and attracts potential employees alike. Colne also supports work-life balance and recognises changing demands of family life, whether due to the arrival of a new born, or a child starting school. We understand that finding the right balance between work and home life can benefit both employee and employer. Colne is also accredited to the Job Centre ‘Plus’ ‘Positive about Disabled People’’ accreditation and meets all of the requirements of the scheme. People are at the heart of our business and our success depends on getting the best from them. That is why Colne believes in developing its employees. It is only by investing in a well trained and motivated workforce that it can continue to prosper and sustain business success. This commitment was officially recognised in December 2002 when Colne initially became an Investor in People, and was re-confirmed in 2012, when it was successfully re-accredited with gold status. Induction plan Colne offers a detailed and tailored induction plan for all new employees. In addition, a Colne ‘buddy’ is assigned to you on your first day. We believe this enables you to be introduced to Colne quickly and effectively and helps you settle and feel part of the team within the first few months. Career development At Colne we want our employees to develop and succeed. That is why we invest in professional development.
Valuing our People
Assistance with studies Colne supports staff who undertake professional qualifications relevant to their job and their career. We are happy to pay course fees and to reward success. Study can be day release, evening classes, distance learning or a combination of these. In addition, Colne will also pay for one annual professional subscription appropiate to the Society, and your role within it. Continuous professional development Colne’s support for study is not limited with the achievement of a qualification. It recognises the value of continuous professional development and encourages staff to attend a range of courses, seminars and conferences to update and further their knowledge and skills. These include: • Management development • Acting-up opportunities • Secondments • Job shadowing. Performance management Colne operates a comprehensive annual appraisal system where review of performance and target setting takes place. There are quarterly reviews throughout the year. This provides ample opportunity for discussion of individual employee performance and allows identification of any training and development needs.
Valuing our People
Equality and diversity Colne promotes equality of opportunity and fairness in its role as a landlord, developer, service provider and employer. In doing so, Colne recognises the contribution made by diverse communities to economic, social and cultural well being in the areas in which it operates. Colne also recognises that different groups or individuals may experience illegal discrimination or disadvantage because of their age, disability, ethnic or national origin, race, gender, religious belief, or sexual orientation. No customer, potential customer, board member, job applicant, employee, contractor, consultant or other professional associate will be treated less fairly because of these factors or any other condition not justified in law or relevant to our work. Colne recognises its responsibilities in promoting equality of opportunity for all and not merely preventing discrimination. As such Colne requires its staff, board members, contractors and consultants to embrace the principles of this policy as a condition of their employment or engagement. The above is intended as a guide to employees as actual entitlement may vary. Please refer to individual Terms and Conditions of Employment. Some benefits are discretionary and not a contractual entitlement. Further information can be obtained from your Manager, the Policy Handbook, Staff intranet or the Corporate Services Manager.
We welcome your comments on the benefits we offer. Please let the Corporate Services Manager know your views by email or by telephoning 01206 244707. Valuing our People
We will make every effort to provide information in alternative formats on request, including tape, large print and translations.
Colne Digby House, Riverside Office Centre, Causton Road, Colchester, Essex CO1 1RJ Tel: 01206 244700 Fax: 01206 760403 Text Service: 07539 114114 Email: [email protected]
Website: www.colnehousing.co.uk Registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (LH1651) and under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965 (20799R) with exempt charitable status. Reviewed March 2014