Staff Handbook

Contents

Welcome from the President
Your responsibilities as a member of staff
University Staff Policies and Procedures 
Staff Development Policy 
Staff Grievance Procedure
Staff Absence Policy
Staff Disciplinary Policy
The Equality Act 2010
Data Protection Act 1998
The Health and Safety at Work Act 
Conflict of Interests Policy
Staff Recruitment Policy 
Employment Statement
Performance Record  
Academic Review
Admissions Policy
Dissertation Supervision Policy 
Environmental Policy 
Equal Opportunities Policy 
Health and Safety Policy  
Marketing Policy
Marketing Agent Code of Conduct 
Personal Information Policy  
Retention of Examination Data Policy
Student Support Policy 
Teaching and Learning Strategy 
University Address

 

Welcome from the President

We are honored and delighted to include you as a staff member of Firelake University Finland (FUF).

Firelake University Finland is the auxiliary business name of Hallinto-Tohtorit Oy (Hallinto-Tohtorit Ltd.) which has been established and registered by the National Board of Patents and Registration on 20th September 1995. Its registration number is 637.057 and the business ID-number 1021229-3. The auxiliary business name Firelake University Finland was registered 4.9.2006 According to the company byelaws, Firelake University can offer university degrees worldwide. The company Hallinto-Tohtorit Oy is a for-profit organization – as required by Finnish law for Ltds.  Most Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences are operated through Ltds.

The mission of FUF is to “provide affordable, excellent academic and professional education underpinned by creative work, scholarship and ethical values extending to:

   *  High quality undergraduate and postgraduate education
   *  Promote critical and ethical thinking
   *  Appeal to different learning styles
   *  Affordable education to all deserving and meritorious students

We believe that the quality, integrity and critical nature of the higher education system can benefit the whole world, if it is made available. Hence, it is our goal to offer the highest quality education possible, though affordable for the world’s students, whether in Finland or elsewhere. We believe that learning should be an intimate educational experience, such that student engagement is at the centre of what we aim to achieve. Our university must remain responsive to student needs and be free to evolve its curricula naturally as the field of knowledge expands. Our independence allows us to embody these values.

Our aims as an educational institution emphasize the following concepts:

   *  Access to education,
   *  Respect for the needs and interests of individual students,
   *  Quality, critical thinking, and academic rigor,
   *  Affordable education to students of varying background, experience, age, and citizenship,
   *  Our staff make a lifelong investment in education, such that education is their career, not their business,
   *  For the Firelake University Finland to be a path to the fulfillment of the lifelong goals of our students.

I welcome you again as you play an important role in creating and developing the future of

Preston University Finland.

Juhani Palojärvi
President

Your responsibilities as a member of staff

Whilst at the university it is expected that staff are ‘good citizens,’ so they behave in a mature responsible manner showing respect to all, students, visitors and staff alike.

The university’s adopted policies and procedures that effect staff are contained within this handbook and some are also on the university website www.fuf.fi. Please read them carefully, paying particular attention to what is expected of you in terms of attendance and attitude. Some bureaucracy cannot be avoided, so it is essential that you stay on top of meeting your obligations with regards to timetables, meeting attendance and responding to communications. In this regard, you should check emails daily and university notice boards (in university and online) weekly.

In addition to the policies contained within this handbook, you should also familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures contained in the student handbook, thus ensuring that you understand what is expected of our students and what they expect of us.

University Staff Policies and Procedures

Staff Development Policy

The aims of Firelake University Finland (FUF) development policy are to help you develop the skills and give you the knowledge necessary to do the jobs for

   *  which you have been recruited,  
   *  help you develop the skills and give you the knowledge required in other jobs in the university, so that flexibility
       may be achieved at all levels in the university, equip you for promotion, should the possibility arise,
   *  increase the effectiveness of everyone in the university, and therefore of the university as a whole.

Investment

The university will invest time and resources in the development of its staff, both full and part-time.

   *  All new staff will receive a thorough induction into the culture and practices of the university.

   *  Senior management will identify opportunities for staff development, to be offered to those who are most
       appropriately likely to benefit from them.

   *  Each year staff should attend at least two full days training, or more if there is sufficient justification to do so.

   *  As awarding body policies and procedures are updated, relevant staff will be invited to attend update or refresher
       sessions, run either internally or externally.

   *  Staff are to be supported in maintaining their continuous professional development (CPD) portfolio and undertake
       relevant standardization tasks accordingly.

   *  Staff are encouraged to join and upon request will be supported in becoming members of the Institute for Learning.

   *  Awarding body standardization exercises will be conducted as required and any extra training or support will be
       arranged for staff who may require this. Meetings to discuss such standardization matters are part of the regular
       Academic Committee meeting cycle, as detailed in the Staff Communications Policy (www.fuf.fi/policies).

   *  Staff are expected to, and therefore supported in, research of their specialist fields of expertise to stay abreast of
       recent developments.

Appraisal

Members of staff will be apprised by their manager, who will complete a formal annual appraisal which will be based upon a discussion with the employee. Employees will have the opportunity to air their views, record any comments and discuss plans for their development. 

Promotion

All promotions are made solely on the basis of individual merit, and all suitable candidates will be considered regardless of their sex, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age.

An individual’s potential for promotion is assessed by considering many aspects of both their current performance and future capabilities.

Staff Grievance Procedure

Dealing with grievances informally

If, after investigation, it is confirmed that an employee has committed an offence of the following nature (the list is not exhaustive), the normal consequence will be dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice:

   *  theft or fraud
   *  physical violence or bullying
   *  deliberate and serious damage to property
   *  serious misuse of an university’s property or name
   *  deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscene material
   *  serious insubordination
   *  unlawful discrimination or harassment
   *  bringing the university into serious disrepute
   *  serious incapability at work brought on by alcohol or illegal drugs
   * causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence
   *  a serious breach of health and safety rules
   *  a serious breach of awarding body expectations or rules
   *  a serious breach of confidence.

While the alleged gross misconduct is being investigated, the employee may be suspended, during which time he or she will be paid their normal pay rate. Any decision to dismiss will be taken by the employer only after full investigation.

Appeals

An employee who wishes to appeal against any disciplinary decision must do so to the University President within five working days. The employer will hear the appeal and decide the case as impartially as possible.

The Equality Act 

The Equality Act gives disabled people rights in employment. A disabled person is defined in the Act as ‘anyone with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect upon his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. However, disability does not necessarily affect someone's health, so insisting on a medical report purely on the basis of the disability may be unlawful discrimination. If your organization believes that pre-employment health screening is necessary, you must make sure it is carried out in a non-discriminatory way. It is unlawful to ask health related questions before making a job offer (whether condition or unconditional), except in order to:

   *  determine if a candidate can carry out a function which is essential to the job
   *  ask whether candidates need special arrangements for any part of the application process
   *  anonymously monitor whether candidates are disabled
   *  take positive action to assist disabled people
   *  check that a candidate has a disability where this is a genuine requirement of the job.

If a report from any individual’s doctor is sought, then permission must be given by the individual, and they have the right to see the report (Access to Medical Reports Act).

Discrimination means treating someone less favorably without any justification and the Act requires that employers make reasonable adjustments if that will then remove the reason for the unfavorable treatment. An example of a reasonable adjustment could be the provision of a suitable computer keyboard to an operator who had difficulty through disability in using a conventional keyboard.

In relation to discipline and grievance procedures, employers must clearly ensure they do not discriminate in any area of practice which could lead to dismissal or any other detriment (for example warnings).

The Act also covers people, who become disabled during the course of their employment, and this is particularly relevant to the absence handling section of this handbook. It is vital that the employer should discuss with the worker what their needs really are and what effect, if any, the disability may have on future work with the organization. Any dismissal of a disabled employee for a reason relating to the disability would have to be justified, and the reason for it would have to be one which could not be removed or made less than substantial by any reasonable adjustment.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission provides information and advice about all aspects of the Equality Act, as well as signposting specialist organizations where necessary.

Data Protection Act 

The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly.

The Act works in two ways. Firstly, it states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles, which make sure that personal information is:

   *  fairly and lawfully processed
   *  processed for limited purposes
   *  adequate, relevant and not excessive
   *  accurate and up to date
   *  not kept for longer than is necessary
   *  processed in line with your rights
   *  secure
   *  not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

The second area covered by the Act provides individuals with important rights, including the right to find out what personal information is held on computer and most paper records. Should an individual or organization feel they're being denied access to personal information they're entitled to, or feel their information has not been handled according to the eight principles, they can contact the Information Commissioner's Office for help. Complaints are usually dealt with informally, but if this isn't possible, enforcement action can be taken.

The Health and Safety at Work Act

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW Act) places general duties for health and safety on all people at work – employers, employees and self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and importers of materials used at work, and people in control of premises. Individuals as well as or instead of the organization may be prosecuted for breaches of the Act.

The HSW Act also imposes a duty on all employers with a total of five or more employees to produce a written health and safety policy.

Health and safety regulations

Specific regulations are issued under the HSW Act on certain aspects of health and safety or covering certain industries, for example those covering safety committees and representatives, notification of accidents and dangerous occurrences, control of lead at work, diving operations, and the control of substances hazardous to health. Health and safety regulations, emanating from a range of EC Directives, came into force on 1 January, 1993. They are:

   *  Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
   *  Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
   *  Manual Handling Operations Regulations
   *  Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
   *  Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, and
   *  Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

One of the key elements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, for example, is that employers are required to appoint competent people to help them take health and safety measures; appropriate specialist advice should be obtained where necessary. Additionally all employers must carry out a risk assessment (and if five or more people are employed, record the main findings and the arrangements for health and safety). The Health and Safety Executive publishes a range of booklets giving guidance on all the above Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations

These regulations give recognized trade unions the right to appoint safety representatives to represent employees in consultation with the employer about health and safety matters. The Act also provides for the possibility of employers being required by safety representatives to set up safety committees which would keep under review measures to ensure health and safety at the workplace. Full details are contained in the approved Code of Practice Safety Representatives and Safety Committees, available from The Stationery Office.

The requirement for employers to provide facilities and assistance to safety representatives for carrying out inspections has been extended under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations; employers now have to provide facilities and assistance for all their functions. The regulations also provide for increased rights of consultation for health and safety representatives.

Other health and safety legislation
Certain legal requirements of earlier Acts – such as the Factories Act 1961 and the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 – remain in force. However, an objective of the HSW

Act is gradually to replace those requirements by regulations and approved codes of practice. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produces a guide to the HSW Act, which also lists regulations and approved codes of practice made under the Act, together with other Acts dealing with health and safety at work.

Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations

Employees not in groups covered by trade union safety representatives must be consulted by their employer, under the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996. Employers can choose to consult directly with employees or through elected representatives. For further information see the leaflet Consulting Employees on Health and Safety.

Employees’ rights

The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act provide protection against dismissal, or other detrimental action short of dismissal, for health and safety representatives and other employees in particular circumstances where health and safety is an issue. Employees who claim this right has been violated can complain to an employment tribunal, irrespective of their length of service.

General health of employees

In recent years a growing number of employers and trade unions have become interested in the provision of additional facilities and the development of education programs and health policies aimed at improving the general health of employees. Such measures can improve employment relations, increase productivity, lower absence and accident rates and improve the organization’s public image.

A wide range of health facilities are provided by some employers, which may include:

   *  regular voluntary health checks
   *  eyesight tests
   *  dental checks
   *  screening for cancer (eg cervical or breast cancer)
   *  an alternative ‘healthy’ menu in the staff canteen or restaurant
   *  exercise facilities
   *  assistance in giving up smoking, alcohol or drugs
   *  stress counseling
   *  relaxation classes.

An information and education program forms an essential part of any health campaign at work. The simplest way of providing information is to distribute material either produced in house or obtained from sources such as the HSE, the Department of Health or the Health Education Authority (HEA).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is currently focusing on the issue of stress at work. HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them”. The HSE has developed Management Standards to help employers deal with stress. These standards help measure an employer’s performance in managing the key causes of stress at work and identify areas for improvement. For more information visit www.hse.gov.uk/stress and see the Acas advisory booklet Stress at work. The HEA also provides a wide range of useful and informative leaflets on health matters and has developed health promotion campaigns such as Look after yourself and Look after your heart. Further advice and help can be obtained from local Health Education Units listed in the telephone book under the name of the local health authority.

Health policies can help organizations to prepare for and perhaps avoid problems. This can be particularly important in the case of potentially sensitive issues such as mental health, alcohol and drugs.

The development of clear policies can help ensure that decisions affecting employees:

   *  are generally understood and consistently and fairly applied within the organization
   *  take full account of their effect on all areas of the organization’s activity
   *  satisfy legal requirements
   *  contribute to good relations between employer, employees and their representatives.


This Policy is subject to annual review.

Last reviewed: November 2017
Next review: November 2018