KARONGA DIOCESE

Karonga Diocese Human Resource Policy Manual

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Foreword

Since all people are created in the image of God, the Diocese of Karonga believes that people are the most valuable assets of any organization.  As a faith community which, among others, is committed to promoting equitable, participatory and accountable economic management, governance and development, we strongly advocate human resources development as a major vehicle in the attainment of our mission, vision and objectives.  Quality of work, quality of management and quality of services can only come with quality and motivated staff complement.

It is, therefore, important that each and every member of the Diocese staff commits himself or herself to personal and organizational excellence.

It is in this spirit that this Human Resources Policy Manual has been designed to ensure the presence of people who are ethical, efficient and effective.

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka

Bishop of Karonga Diocese

Scope

This Human Resources Policy Manual (drafted in March 2017) sets out the terms and conditions of employment for all employees who sign any Employment Contract with the Diocese of Karonga. Some sections in this Manual will also apply to temporary staff as herein stipulated. The Manual does not apply to people who sign any other contract other than employment services with the Diocese of Karonga.

The Diocese of Karonga may, from time to time, amend, cancel or add to these provisions.  All changes made to the Manual will be presented to the Diocesan Finance Council for approval before they can be communicated and circulated to staff members and become effective.

Throughout this Manual, the word “Diocese” is deemed to refer to the Diocese of Karonga, except where indicated otherwise.

Throughout this Manual, the words “Director of Finance, Investment and Administration” include anyone appointed as Acting Director of Finance, Investment and Administration during the Director of Finance, Investment and Administration’s temporary absence.

Fr. Cecilio Silwamba

Director of Finance, Investment and Administration

Chapter 1: PURPOSE OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY MANUAL

1.1   INTRODUCTION:

The Diocese of Karonga was established by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on 21 July in 2010 and on the same day he appointed Rt. Rev. Martin Mtumbuka as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Karonga. The Diocese of Karonga covers the two entire districts of Karonga and Chitipa and some northern parts of Rumphi District.  Previously, the area that is under the Diocese of Karonga was under the Diocese of Mzuzu. At the time the Diocese of Karonga was established, the area had an estimated population of 451,861 covering an estimated area of 12,000 square kilometres.  According to the 2008 population census, the population of Karonga and Chitipa was 272, 789 and 179,072 respectively. The two districts had population growth rate of 3.5 %. With the population of parts of Rumphi and also the population growth rate of 3.5% is factored in, it means that the Diocese of Karonga is currently serving an estimated population of about 590,000. From the 590,000 people, the Diocese has about 60,000 Catholics representing 10.2%.

The Diocese of Karonga covers some of the areas in the country that are hard to reach. The Diocese is flanked by Lake Malawi on the eastern side and on the western side there are mountainous areas. The Diocese reaches out to areas like Livingstonia, Nyika plateau and Misuku hills. The area is predominantly Tumbuka speaking but the residents use other languages such as Lambya, Ndali, Nyakyusa, and Ngonde.  

1.2   THE DIOCESE’S STRATEGIC STATEMENTS AND OBJECTIVES:

1.2.1     Vision

The Diocese envisions a Family of God filled with the Holy Spirit and living in harmony, peace and solidarity.

1.2.2     Mission

The Diocese shall provide holistic evangelisation through teaching of the Word of God and facilitating development work.

1.2.3       Core Values

The  principle values of the Diocese will remain the most important component in the work of the Diocese and will help distinguish the Diocese from other actors involved in evangelization and development within its jurisdiction. And in order to contribute towards the attainment of her vision and mission statement, the Diocese upholds the following Gospel values:

I.    Defending the Dignity of the Human Person – especially of Children, Women and the Aged

II.   Being on the Side of the Poor and Oppressed

III.   Promoting Justice and Peace

IV.   Accountability in the Use of Church Resources

V.    Exemplary Life by all Agents of Evangelisation

1.2.3     Overall Strategic Goal

The overall goal which in the next five years the Diocese will work towards achieving based on her vision, mission and her aspirations is to develop a self-reliant Church which is self-propagating, self-ministering and self-supporting while promoting the holistic development of a person.

1.2.4       Strategic Objects

As mentioned before, the mandate of the Diocese is to provide holistic evangelisation through teaching of the Word of God and facilitating development work. Over the next five years the Diocese shall be guided by specific strategic objectives which are presented below under the arms of operations:

A.   The Pastoral Commission

i.   To enhance Evangelization.

ii.  To enhance proper understanding of Lay Movements and Devotional Groups.

iii.  To promote faith-formation programmes for Children and Youths.

iv.  To promote access to Spiritual Information.

V.  To enhance proper understanding of the importance and relevance of Small Christian Communities.

vi.   To enhance proper understanding of the Marriage Tribunal.

Vii.  To develop and improve Church infrastructure.

B.   The Caritas Commission

a.   Education Desk

i.   To promote access to quality education for all.

ii.  To promoted adult education.

iii.  To advance vocational skills development.

b.   Health Desk

i.   To enhance HIV/AIDS prevention and management.

ii.   To provide maternal and child health services.

iii.   To support health management systems.

iv.   To promote sustainable family planning.

c.   Justice and Peace Desk

i.   To promote human rights and the rule of law.

ii.   To fight gender disparity among communities.

iii.   To support improved access to justice for vulnerable groups.

iv.   To advocate for transparency and accountability in public governance.

v.   To transform conflict among communities.

vi.   To advocate for a just and responsive mining industry.

d.   Development Desk

i.   To promote resilience of communities to natural disasters.

ii.   To contribute to household food security and nutrition.

iii.   To promote economic empowerment amongst communities.

iv.   Enhance access to potable water, hygiene and sanitation among communities.

C.   The Finance, Investment and Administration Directorate

i.   To promote resource mobilisation and management in the Diocese.

ii.   To enhance human resources management and development in the Diocese.

iii.   To foster institutional learning and knowledge retention in the Diocese.

iv.   To strengthen internal financial control and management systems in the Diocese.

v.   To enhance standardization staff remuneration systems in the Diocese.

vi.   To promote coordination between the Diocese and ECM Secretariat.

vii.   To promote publicity of the Diocese.

1.3   THE DIOCESE’S HUMAN RESOURCES PRINCIPLES:

The Diocese’s success is based on the commitment and dedication of her staff. Hence the Diocese places high value on her employees, each of whom is carefully selected to contribute to the attainment of our goals.

This staff Policy Manual is designed to provide Diocese staff members with the necessary guidelines and regulations governing their employment with the Diocese. These policies are aligned to, and governed by, the overarching basic employment laws in Malawi. Staff members are further encouraged to seek clarifications or assistance regarding any sections of this Policy Manual from the Director of Finance, Investment and Administration (DOFIA) or their line managers.

The Diocese recognizes the contributions of its staff members and treats each individual employee fairly and consistently in all matters, with a uniform application of the following human resources principles:

a)   Human resources are best allocated to achieve optimum productivity and efficiency. This provides that employees are always encouraged, motivated and well-equipped for the present job and the growth of the Diocese;

b)   Pay and benefits offered are fair, equitable and competitive and that reward is based on merit. High performers are given priority to take up more responsible positions;

c)   Two-way communication between employees and Management is promoted as a means of building mutual understanding, respect and trust. This ensures that employees understand their rights and responsibilities whilst providing spaces for them to communicate their expectations and aspirations;

d)   Workplace safety is given top priority to protect human health and enable employees to deliver their best performance; and

e)  The protection of human rights in employment is supported as guided by relevant internationally accepted principles such as those in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/) as well as the Code of Canon Law which is the universal law of the Catholic Church which the Diocese of Karonga is part of.

1.4   THE DIOCESE’S RESULTS-ORIENTATION APPROACH:

The orientation of the Diocese is towards results – both temporal and eternal. To this effect, the Diocese emphasizes service, teamwork, flexibility, joint problem solving, learning by doing/and on job-training, and a very high degree of personal and professional responsibility on the part of Management and staff. Staff members are expected to understand results they want to achieve in the context of results which the Diocese wants to achieve. Specifically:

a)   All employees should have a good understanding of how to get results in a professional, courteous and effective way.

b)    All employees should be aware that the Diocese is continually evolving in tune with its core values, the needs of its partners and those of the people she serves. Staff members are encouraged to grow with the Diocese, holistically. As the Diocese grows, job descriptions and tasks change, and employees are encouraged to see in this growth, opportunities for learning and acquiring a richer and more varied experience.

c)   All employees are expected to achieve the results that apply to their individual positions, and to contribute strongly toward the achievement of the Diocese’s results. Result orientation is an important criterion for continuing staff development (in-house and external training) and satisfying the core mandate of the Diocese.

d)   Through continuing staff development, the Diocese attempts to enhance the problem analysis and problem-solving skills of its employees. The performance review assesses improvements and weaknesses in the employee’s problem solving ability and general work performance and recommends specific measures to help the employee acquire/improve the necessary skills.

e)   Performance review is an occasion for all staff to formally clarify the results expected and to articulate and record the results that have already been achieved. Since the Diocese and its partners are committed to being responsive to communities, the Diocese continually encounters challenges and opportunities which require creative and innovative solutions. The Diocese must, therefore, take a problem-solving approach to its work whenever she is confronted with these emerging challenges and opportunities.

1.5   THE DIOCESE’S OPEN-DOOR POLICY:

The Diocese operates an open door policy, which means that employees are encouraged to approach their respective supervisors or any member of Management if the employee has a problem that he/she has been unable to resolve on his/her own. As a general rule,

a)    An employee should consult his/her immediate supervisor about any issue or problem;

b)    If together the employee and the supervisor have been unable to resolve the issue on the spot (or if the employee wishes to consult someone other than his/her immediate supervisor), then the employee should decide how best to deal with the issue (for example, by raising it with senior members of Management, tabling it at a Management meeting; or raising it with a specific group of colleagues.  When all avenues have failed, it can be raised with the Bishop).

The aim of this open door policy is to support individual members of staff and to facilitate problem solving on the job.

1.6   THE DIOCESE’S HUMAN RESOURCES MANUAL:

The policies, guidelines, terms and conditions laid out in this section shall be governed by and applied in accordance with the laws of Malawi and guided by local employment practices. The Diocese may amend these from time to time. However, where the revisions shall be deemed significant, these shall be presented to the Finance Council for approval and circulated among staff members.

Chapter 2: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENT

The impact and dynamics of issues pertaining to tribe, race, place of origin, political opinion, gender, HIV and AIDS status, etc. and inequalities therein are critical to understanding of the Diocese’s approach. In our work with stakeholders and partners, we are committed to deliver on specific expectations by ensuring that we recruit the relevant and prerequisite skills in all critical positions. This entails meritorious recruitment by giving equal of opportunities to deserving potential employees. As such:

a)    The Diocese is committed to equal opportunities;

b)  Where it is in the interest of the Diocese and will add value to our work, positive discrimination will be undertaken – especially in favour of women;

c)  The Diocese will apply this policy and practice in all aspects of working life, from recruitment to cessation of employment, including personal and career development terms and conditions of service.

d)    The Diocese as an equal opportunity employer shall ensure that the recruitment processes used are designed to prevent any discrimination on the basis of region, tribe, race, place of origin, political opinion, gender, HIV and AIDS status, etc. However, the Diocese reserves the right to add/subtract other categories to this list depending on the nature of the situation. For example, very advanced age or people of disreputable behaviour like criminal record, addiction or drugs. 

2.1   GENDER INCLUSIVITY:

The following are steps taken by the Diocese to tackle gender inequalities and inclusivity:

a)  Positively encouraging appropriate gender balance in all job advertisements and recruitment processes.

b)   Taking steps to help the entire staff to better understand the breadth and impact of gender issues, including social norms and values, forces that promote the marginalization of women, societal expectations of men, etc.

c)   Showing a high level of understanding and flexibility in relation to social care roles and their impact on individual staff and teams among the Diocese staff.

2.2   EMPLOYMENT OF RELATED PERSONS:

a)   The Diocese reserves the right not to employ closely related people in a direct line management relationship or within the same department.

b)   The DOFIA shall discuss employment of a relative of any staff member and any problems envisaged with the Bishop.

2.3   DETERMINATION OF REMUNERATION/SALARY PACKAGE:

a)    Overall, the Diocese staff salaries are determined commensurate to an individual’s level of skills, qualifications and responsibilities;

b)    This shall be in line with the Diocese’s approved Remuneration/ Salary scheme, appended;

c)    In determining an employee’s remuneration package on appointment, or in the course of employment, no differentiation shall be made on the grounds of race, sex or age or any other ground(s) contrary the Diocese’s “meritorious” reward policy;

Chapter 3: RECRUITMENT

Overall, the Director of Finance, Investment and Administration (DOFIA), the Caritas Secretary and the Pastoral Secretary shall be responsible to the Bishop, the stakeholders and partners on the performance of Diocese staff. Hence, the recruitment and employment of the Diocese staff competent to deliver on the Diocese’s specific targets and strategic goals lies within the mandate of these three top officers as delegated by the Bishop and with the assistance of the Vicar General and the Bishop’s Secretary. But to ensure cohesion of administration this function falls more directly under the Finance, Investment and Administration and hence within the specific job profile of the DOFIA, who assesses and reports on the status of staff capacities to entire Management through the Bishop.

This section provides the guidance to recruitment and employment by the Diocese:

3.1   RECRUITMENT POLICY

The recruitment policy is developed to, among other things, ensure that:

a)    The process of recruitment is cost effective and efficient.

b)   Equality of opportunity is adhered to at all times and that the recruitment processes reflect an accurate image of the Diocese.

c)    All recruitment is undertaken with a view to attract, retain, and develop competent staff, with appropriate levels of skill, qualifications, personal qualities, talent, integrity, experience and dedication required to fulfil the Diocese’s objectives.

3.2   RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES AND PROCESSES

The Diocese’s recruitment processes shall be guided by the following steps:

a)   Advertisement:

The Diocese is committed to ongoing growth and development of its existing staff complement. All vacant positions shall be advertised internally as well as externally to give opportunity to all staff to contest for such positions and opportunities.

Advertisements for vacant positions must be approved and signed off by the Bishop. The advertisements will indicate the position, minimum qualification, work experience, location, any specific conditions and major areas of responsibility. The DOFIA shall make sure that the adverts are properly floated.

Approved vacancies shall be advertised through any or a combination of the following:

i)   Newspapers,

ii)   Websites and/or Social Media platforms,

iii)   File searches by professional firms,

iv)   Through suitable contacts,

v)   Internal advertisements,

vi)   Tuntufye Radio etc.

b)   Short listing:

Using a short-listing template, a comparison of candidate’s applications to the vacant position should be done by the DOFIA or Management or the direct line manager and at least one other employee who has a technical background to the position to be filled.

A comprehensive reference and background assessment shall be performed on the potential candidates selected, in the form of previous employee references, criminal background and qualification of checks.

c)   Interviews and Selection:

Short-listed candidates will undergo a formal interview process. The interview shall be conducted using an interview schedule. For positions of middle managers and below, the interview panel shall consist of at least three people including the DOFIA, the Pastoral Secretary and the Caritas Secretary, line Manager and one other Senior Manager. For Senior Management position, members of the relevant Board shall appoint a panel to conduct the interviews after being contacted by the DOFIA. The panellists should declare their conflicts of interest and rescue themselves from the interviews.

The Diocese’s selection processes are designed to identify candidates whose skills and competencies best match the job profiles. Diocese employees are encouraged to apply for vacant positions; but priority will be given to the most suitable candidates, whether they are already in employment with the Diocese or not. That is, work experience with the Diocese will not in itself qualify a staff member for employment in another position.

d)   Appointment:

All new employees shall commence employment upon signing a written contract approved by the Bishop or any official so delegated (in the case of senior management position) and approved by the DOFIA for middle management and below.

All contracts of employment are issued by the Finance, Investment and Administration Section and signed by the Bishop, or his designate chosen from among very senior staff of the Diocese arranged in this order: Vicar General, Bishop’s Secretary, DOFIA, Pastoral Secretary and Caritas Secretary. All contracts of employment include a 3-month probation period. Before the probation period is completed, the line manager will carry out a final review and decide, in consultation with the Bishop, whether or not to confirm the appointment. The decision must be communicated to the Bishop who will ensure that the appropriate steps are taken, together with the descriptions of position roles.

All letters of employment will state that continued employment with the Diocese is dependent on two factors:

i)   Employee’s performance in the job; and

ii)   Continued specific levels of funding to cover the post.

Upon signing a contract of employment, an employee shall also sign: Conflict of Interest Policy, Procurement Policy, Anti-Corruption Policy, and Staff Development Policy, Transport Policy, Child Protection Policy, Anti-harassment Policy, Disciplinary Policy, and Grievances Policy. These Policies are annexes of this Human Resources Policy Manual.

e)   Head-Hunting:

In the event that the Management of the Diocese has decided to conduct headhunting, a formal justification will be compiled and presented to the Bishop and/or DOFIA, for the senior management position and/or junior positions, respectively, for approval and sign-off.

Head-Hunting of potential candidates shall normally take place only on the following two grounds:

i)   In the event that normal recruitment procedures have failed to produce a suitable candidate; and

ii)   Where a candidate of exceptional expertise and reputation is available within the Diocese or its partners;

3.3   REFERENCES AND BACKGROUND CHECK

To ensure that the Diocese recruits credible, competent and dependable staff members, there shall be reference checks conducted during the recruitment process. This reference check shall serve multiple purposes.

a)   They are primarily used to validate a candidate’s stated employment, educational and professional membership history;

b)    They can also be used to fill gaps in a candidate’s employment history;

c)   They can also serve as a useful means of gauging a candidate’s reliability and capabilities before the Diocese makes any commitment to engage the individual.

Hence:

a)   The Diocese shall conduct extensive reference checks on candidates for employment and all employees are required to sign an agreement of confidentiality regarding all matters connected with their positions and the operations of the Diocese;

b)   Any deliberate falsification of employment records or any breach of the Diocese’s confidentiality shall result in disciplinary steps commensurate with the seriousness of the incident;

c)   Except for very junior staff the Diocese shall obtain at least two written references, which will include one from the most recent employer whenever possible. The Diocese shall check these references if there is any reason to doubt the responses.

d)  Normally the Diocese shall not offer the candidate the job until after receiving satisfactory references. Any job offers made before receipt of satisfactory references will be made “subject to receipt of satisfactory references”.

e)   For staff such as messengers, drivers and cleaners for whom written references may not be obtainable the Diocese will try to make enquiries about the candidates work record, or consider taking them on a temporary/casual basis in order to assess their performance first.

3.4   ENGAGEMENT LETTER/OFFER LETTER

a)   All staff will be issued a letter of offer, which clearly outlines their terms of reference and rights and benefits as an employee of the Diocese. This will include the following information:

i)   Position title,

ii)   Estimated length of contract,

iii)   General conditions for termination of service of the employee,

iv)   Probationary period,

v)    Summary of employment benefit.

b)   Terms of reference are amended and re-issued to employees as necessary in order to update information to accurately reflect changes in employment conditions. In addition to the terms of reference, all employees are provided with job description and a copy of Human Resources Policy Manual of the Diocese.

3.5   INDUCTION

a)   The Finance, Investment and Administration Section will ensure that a proper induction process is put in place.

b)    this effect, the DOFIA in consultation with the Bishop will develop a framework for the induction process in the Diocese including an Induction Briefing Pack which will include mission, vision, core values and objectives of the Diocese. 

c)  Other information will include performance appraisals, Diocesan policies and basic conditions and terms of employment.

d)    At departmental level, the line manager will provide detailed induction including working conditions, job description, and basic training and agree on expected outputs and performance.

3.6   PROBATION

a)   All appointments are subject to a minimum of a 3-month probationary period.

b)   Probation applies to initial appointments, subsequent appointments to new positions within the Diocese and also to full-time employees who have consistently performed poorly and unsatisfactorily during three consecutive staff appraisals;

c)   The probationary period is provided to give the probationer an opportunity to demonstrate his/her ability and general suitability for continued or a confirmation of employment with the Diocese;

d)   The performance of probationers shall be monitored closely. Assistance and coaching must be provided to give the employees a reasonable chance to bring their performance to the required level. Two-week written notice of termination of employment may be served during probation;

e)   A probationary period may, at the discretion of Management be extended should the Diocese be of the opinion that the said employee, has not performed to the required standard;

f)   If an employee is found to be unsuited for their current appointment during probation, she/he may be considered for appointment to another vacant position for which, in the opinion of the Bishop, she/he is better suited.

3.7   PROMOTION

a)   A member of staff promoted to a position in a higher salary category enters this category at the next higher pay interval (i.e. the interval in the new scale that is greater than the pay interval in the previous scale);

b)   Progression to a different pay interval may be considered once every year depending on performance;

c)   A staff member must have worked at least 12 months before the date of the salary review to be eligible for a salary increase;

d)  A provisional cost of living adjustment (COLA) approved once a year, funds permitting, to cover for the effects of inflation or depreciation of the Malawi Kwacha does not constitute a promotion.

3.8   STAFF APPRAISAL – PERFORMANCE & DEVELOPMENT REVIEWS

a)   All staff members shall undergo an appraisal sessions with their line managers or a team of Management or members of the relevant Board, as in the case of staff in senior positions;

b)   Formal appraisals will be held twice a year, in the first and third quarters to cover two six-month periods within a year;

c)   During the appraisal process, a set of targets shall be agreed between the line manager or the appraisal team of Management;

d)   All confirmations shall follow an appraisal during which a line manager may or may not recommend the appraisee for confirmation into the Diocese’s full employment;

3.9   OTHER EMPLOYMENT

a)   No employee shall accept other employment contracts or assignments in any other capacity whatsoever with another institution or employer other than the Diocese without prior written authorization of the Bishop;

b)   In order to obtain such authorization, the employee shall make a written request to the Bishop describing the nature and conditions of the proposed employment;

c)   Permission will be granted only if the Bishop is satisfied that no conflict of interest will arise and/or that the effective performance of the employee’s duties of the Diocese will not be impaired;

d)   Permission may subsequently be withdrawn if the Bishop determines that the employee’s performance has in fact been impaired by the additional employment and/or that a conflict of interests has in fact arisen.

3.10   RECRUITMENT OF INTERNS

a)   The Diocese, as an institution with some of its departments operating in a very dynamic and intellectually demanding sector of Malawi’s society, sees a greater need to engage energetic and knowledgeable students within its staff complement to enhance specific sections of the Diocese.

b)   The Diocese shall engage Student Interns for specific periods of time whenever need or opportunities for such arise in line with the Internship Policy described below;

c)   The Diocese’s internship programme is designed both to provide an opportunity to students to gain practical experience in their areas of interest and also bring innovations to the Diocese;

d)   The recruitment of such interns shall be governed by a policy on internship programme which is included in this Human Resources Policy Manual.

3.11   RECRUITMENT OF CONSULTANTS AND OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

a)   The Diocese shall engage the services of consultants and other service providers for specific periods of time.

b)    The recruitment of consultants shall follow the Diocese’s procurement policy as stipulated under procurement policy since consultants and service providers are not employees of the Diocese;

c)    Terms of such assignments shall follow specific contractual terms for their particular work.

d)    Such contracts shall specify the Terms of Reference for the consultancy, amount and basis for remuneration, location of employment, duration of assignment and any other specific conditions relating to the contracting parties

e)    These must be clarified and signed before the commencement of the assignment.

3.12   PERSONNEL FILES

a)   A separate personnel file must be created for every new employee of the Diocese. All correspondences pertaining to an individual employee should be placed in his/ her personnel file. This file shall contain the following information (but not limited to):

i)    The Diocese’s duly signed engagement/ offer letter,

ii)    Employee’s duly signed acceptance letter of the offer,

iii)   Copies of certificates or related affidavits,

iv)   Employee’s updated Curriculum Vitae,

v)   Professional licence (s) – if necessary,

vi)   Drivers Licence or Driving record – where employee will handle Diocese vehicles,

vii)   Employee’s home address and contact addresses,

viii)   Details of contact persons in case of emergency,

ix)    Copies of Leave forms, any authorized absences, sanctions, etc,

x)    Duly completed and signed appraisals,

xi)   Any promotion or warning letters, and

xii)   Letters of notice in case of resignations, etc .

b)   This file must be kept up to date at all times.

c)   The employee must inform the DOFIA of any changes to items listed in a) above if they are not already known to him/her;

d)   An employee may request permission from the DOFIA to access his/her file.

e)   Information held in personnel files shall be handled as confidential.

Chapter 4: STAFF LEVELS AND EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATIONS

The term employee shall denote a person under contract rendering services to the Diocese for a period exceeding three continuous months under the following arrangements:

a)    He/she is supervised directly by a Diocesan officer;

b)    His/her remuneration is in the form of a regular salary or wages;

c)   His/her work is performed on Diocese premises or premises approved by the Diocese;

d)    His/her employment contract with the Diocese makes him/her eligible for benefits (such as sick leave, pension and medical cover).

There shall be levels and categories of staff as determined by seniority and responsibility besides the nature of engagement or recruitment between the employee and the Diocese, respectively. These shall be detailed as follows:

4.1   EMPLOYMENT CLASSIFICATIONS

The following are the classifications of employment as recognised within the Diocese staff complement:

a)   Full time employees:

A full-time member of staff is one who has successfully completed the probationary period and has been confirmed in writing into a regular appointment. All staff of the Diocese are on fixed term contracts.

b)   Probationary employee:

A Probationary Employee is one who is serving a probationary period in a specified job with the intention of joining the regular staff at the end of the probationary period.  Services will be terminated by a two-week notice or two-week’ pay in lieu of notice by either party or such other period as may be specified in the employment contract.  All benefits enjoyed by regular employees will apply as per the contract of employment

c)   Part-time employee:

A Part-time Employee is one who is hired to discharge a specified job for an agreed period of time at an agreed pay.  Contracts are administered through agreed terms and conditions of service, which may not be changed except by agreement in writing.

d)   Temporary or Casual staff:

A Temporary Employee is a person engaged by the Diocese to do a specific piece of work and who is paid at a daily or weekly rate or a monthly honorarium (in case of interns). Such services rendered by a temporary employee may be terminated at any time without notice being given by either party. No other benefits apart from wages are applicable to this category.  Such employees will be paid gross and will be responsible for their own tax returns.

e)   Independent Contractor/ Consultant:

A person rendering services to the Diocese shall be considered an independent contractor if, with the possible exception of (c) above, none of the arrangements in (a) to (d) apply. Independent contractors (including consultants) are not eligible for benefits.

4.2   STAFF/ EMPLOYEE GRADE LEVELS

a)   Positions are graded in terms of a classification standard as stipulated on the grading and remuneration schedule (described below);

b)   The grading of a position depends upon the complexity of the duties assigned and the degree of responsibility inherent in the position;

c)   A primary concept of the classification system is in fact that it is not the employee but the position that is classified;

d)   All position roles are described in writing and these written descriptions form the basis of the grading;

Staff grade levels are determined primarily based on the level and responsibility that a particular position entails. This shall be as follows:

a)   Level A – Auxiliary/ Short-Term Staff:

This Level includes short-term staff members such as interns or auxiliary staff members. Basically, these officers work under close supervision and such positions require zero or not more than three year prior working experience.

b)   Level B – Technical Officer:

These are professionals and generally work under general supervision. Typically, 3-5 year prior experience may be sought for from candidates. Their decisions will generally be based on established procedures. These are generally MSCE holders and occupy positions such as Driver, Technician, Cook, Office Attendants, and Head of Security. Also in the same category but at a lower level are very junior staff who nevertheless provide essential supporting services to running of the Diocese. Generally they have very basic education (JCE and below) plus or without prior experience. This level includes Ground Workers, Cleaners, Guards etc.

c)   Level C–Senior Technical Professionals:

These are responsible for considerable latitude for making decisions within their unit. They generally work to specific measurable objectives requiring operational planning skill with little direct supervision. Appropriate skills are necessary at this level. Typically, 5-7 years relevant experience is required at this level. These are minimum Diploma/First Degree holders in their field of work and occupy positions such as: Logistics Officer, Procurement Officer, Transport Officer, Administrative Assistant, Accounts Assistant, Field Officer, Radio Presenter, Radio Producer, and Stores Clerk.

d)   Level D – Management Level – Minimum First Degree

A Manager is a high ranking officer responsible for a Department. Individuals at this level must have a thorough understanding of theoretical and practical application of principles of their profession. They generally work on a broad range of goals within their areas of responsibility. These are Masters Degree holders in their fields of work or with high level professional qualifications such as ACCA or CIMA which in the Accounts Department is a must regardless of having a first degree in accounting. They must have not less than 5 years of relevant work experience. They occupy positions such as: Head of Department/Desk Officer, Diocesan Accountant, HR Officer, M&E Officer, Deputy Chancellor. Also in the same category but at a lower level are Junior Managers who are fairly high ranking officers and play significant roles in implementing projects/programmes. Individuals at this level must have a good understanding of theoretical and practical application of principles of their profession and capable of carrying out their tasks with minimum supervision. These are first degree (BA/SC etc) holders in their fields of work with not less than 5 years of relevant work experience. They occupy positions such as: Project Officer, Assistant Accountant, and Assistant HR.

e)   Level E – Secretary/Director/Senior Management Level:

A Senior Manager is a high ranking officer representing a specific Commission or Section. Individuals at this level are seasoned professionals in their field of expertise. They give strategic direction to the Departments under their control and develop and direct short and near term goals for their Departments. Their skills are, including the ability to develop their subordinates, are critical. This category includes the Pastoral Secretary, the Caritas Secretary, the Director of Finance, Investment and Administration, the Bishop’s Secretary (Chancellor) and the Vicar General. Together with the Bishop and officers in the upper category of Level D form the Management Team representing the Diocese at any high level engagements including Board meetings.

4.2.1       While all employees are employed and paid for performing according to their Terms of Reference, at levels D and E this shall be enforced more rigorously so that any officer at these levels who repeatedly fails to deliver will be relieved of his/her duties with all that this entails.

Chapter 5: SALARY POLICY

Upon becoming an employee of the Diocese, a staff member is offered a specific salary aligned to an appropriate grade based on experience and qualifications. In the spirit of Open Door policy, the determination of a salary package may be negotiated by an individual at any point provided it is before signing the contract. In determining the total gross salary remuneration, there shall be considerations on the following items:

a)   Basic salary

        b)   House rent allowance

c)   Pension Contribution (both staff and Diocese contribution)

d)   Medical aid scheme contribution

e)   Any other fringe benefits attaching to the specific position

f)   Any other bonus at the discretion of the Bishop

The aims of the salary policy are:

a)   To recognise the value of all jobs relative to each other within the Diocese, and in comparison, to similar jobs outside.

b)   To recognise the value of the individual (post) to the Diocese, and to pay within the salary range applicable to the job.

5.1   PAY SCALES: GRADING AND REMUNERATION SYSTEM

a)   The Diocese remuneration follows pay scales by category and level;

b)   Pay scales are reviewed annually and approved by the Finance Council;

c)   Housing allowance shall be 40% of an employee’s basic salary;

d)   The grading and remuneration system entails that at every grade, an individual member of staff can progress horizontally (that is moving from one lower notch to another), or vertically (that is from one grade level to another grade level); whichever the case, the reasons for such will have to be communicated in writing after a careful performance appraisal of the staff member in question;

e)   The current basic grading and remuneration system has been appended to this Policy Manual;

5.2   PAYMENT OF SALARY

a)   The Diocese shall pay staff salaries on a monthly basis less statutory and other authorised deductions. 

b)   Employees will be informed of any deductions other than statutory ones before they are effected;

c)   Individual contracts of employees will state employees’ salaries in Malawi Kwacha;

d)   Salaries shall be deposited by direct transfer into the employees’ bank accounts;

e)   No salary payment shall be made in cash, nor will Diocese provide a cheque cashing service for the same – except for very junior staff working in remote areas;

f)   All salaries shall be payable on 25th of every month (or the nearest working day);

g)   It is the responsibility of the employee to check that correct salary has been paid;

h)   The Diocese reserves the right to reclaim any overpayment that may be made in error.

i)   Employee should mention if she or he is overpaid or underpaid.

5.3   SALARY REVIEWS: COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT (COLA)

a)   Subject to the availability of funds, salaries will be subject to an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of between 5 and 10%.

b)  Any other COLA to the salary levels, within a financial year, shall be recommended by Management based on changes in the inflation rate or consumer price index, funds permitting, and presented to the Finance Council for further direction.

5.4   ACTING ALLOWANCE

The Diocese accepts that from time to time an employee may not be available to discharge his/her duties and responsibilities in terms of the contract of employment. Such circumstances require that the Diocese appoints another appropriately skilled and experienced employee to discharge the duties of the employee who is absent.

The objective of this Policy is to provide a uniform standard to regulate the appointment of staff in acting positions. In doing so, the Policy addresses the issue of appointing staff in acting positions on the one hand and on the other deals with the payment of an acting allowance whenever applicable. The Policy applies to all employees who are appointed in an acting capacity in a post that is at a higher level than the post they normally occupy. Such employee would be deemed to be acting in another post when he/she has been authorized in writing by the Bishop or his delegate to act in a more senior post.

An employee who acts in another post is still responsible for his/her original duties, functions and powers. The said employee will then be vested with the delegations and responsibilities of the more senior post. No staff member shall be authorized to act in a higher specialist post without the requisite skill and experience. Hence:

a)   The acting incumbent shall be appointed in writing by the Bishop or his delegate to the acting position;

b)   The appointment shall be made prior to the commencement of the acting period in writing;

c)   A clear  job description shall be made available for the current incumbent’s post in which acting is proposed to take place with clearly defined key performance areas, for which the acting incumbent will be responsible;

d)   The acting incumbent shall sign a suitable undertaking committing to and assuming all the responsibilities specifically and normally associated with the post;

e)   An acting allowance equal to 20% of the basic salary of the position being acted shall be payable to the acting employee;

f)   Where an employee has acted for a continuous period of three (3) months or longer, he/she will qualify for an acting allowance while on paid leave;

g)   Any acting period must be limited to not more than six (6) consecutive working months;

h)   No acting allowance shall be paid for periods less than twenty-two (22) working days, inclusive of public holidays which fall on a normal working day;

5.5   CONSIDERATION FOR A SALARY ADVANCE

a)   Management may consider giving a salary advance equivalent to one month’s gross salary to cater for those unforeseen circumstances beyond the employee’s control deductible from the employee’s monthly salary up to a maximum of six month period;

b)   Management may also consider advancing three-month house rent allowance, utmost, to enable staff members to carter for house rentals which are mostly payable in advance; at the discretion of the Bishop.

c)  Where salary advances are approved, a maximum repayment by monthly deductions from salary over a maximum period of subsequent six months shall be made;

d)   All these salary advances shall be made at the discretion of the Bishop depending on availability of funds for the same.

5.6   PETTY CASH AND CASH ADVANCES FOR TRAVEL

Employees may withdraw petty cash in the performance of their duties for expense items specified in the Finance Manual, and must account for the entire amount of cash withdrawn by submitting original receipts within 2 working days of the completion of the task. Petty cash is given on presentation of a written request outlining the purpose for which the withdrawal is needed. Failure to provide receipts for petty cash advances is regarded as misconduct and will be disciplined accordingly.

Where cash advances are made to cover travel expenses, the advance will be granted on submission of a written request giving the purpose for which the advance is needed and the amount required. The amount required must be calculated as accurately as possible and may cover transport and accommodation costs, as well as allowable per diems. Allowable per diems are those currently specified by the Diocese and as amended. Employees applying for a cash advance must obtain a copy of these guidelines and calculate their own cash advance, to be approved by the DOFIA and the respective line manager. Employees are responsible for making such requests early enough to ensure timely payment of the advance.

On completion of the mission, the cash advanced must be accounted for on the Travel Advance Form and submitted to the Finance, Investment and Administration Section. The liquidations must be submitted within three (3) working days after the employee’s return from a mission and any remaining funds from the advance should be refunded to the Diocese within the same days. Failure to complete field liquidations and returning any remaining funds from the advance may be treated as misconduct and disciplined accordingly.

Any advances shall be initially treated as Salary Advances in full and failure to liquidate the same will result in Management treating the total amount as a Salary Advance and hence immediately attracting deductions from payroll and also a written warning on the same, as this will be treated as gross negligence of accountability and transparency by the said employee.

5.7   CONFIDENTIALITY OF SALARY INFORMATION

Salary information is strictly confidential. Only the DOFIA, the Bishop and employees who process salaries will have access to the employee’s salary information. Employees should not disclose their salaries to persons other than their line manager, the DOFIA or the Bishop. Employees who have access to salary information in the course of their duties should handle the information with extreme care to ensure confidentiality at all times.

Chapter 6: OTHER STAFF BENEFITS

The Diocese is committed to providing a range of benefits for staff necessary to attract, motivate and ultimately maintain a high calibre of professional staff. The benefits are categorised as statutory, health factor enhancers, motivators and compassionate.

6.1   PENSION SCHEME CONTRIBUTIONS

The Diocese will provide any statutory benefits due to its employees in accordance with the specific labour legislations of Malawi, Pension Scheme contributions being one of them. The Diocese shall establish an appropriate pension scheme for all full-time employees. The Diocese will contribute the equivalent of 10% of gross pay each month into employees account effective the date of appointment. Employees will contribute 5% monthly. All full time employees are eligible to participate in this plan at the time of their appointment.

All contributions by the Diocese into the plan are fully vested to the employee upon the employee enrolment in the plan. Enrolment in the pension fund begins with the start of the employment with the Diocese and shall include a part of investment towards life insurance cover for the said employee.

In addition to the 5% mandatory contribution, employee may make additional investment into their investment account separate from or independent of any and all contributions made by the Diocese. The Diocese will seek to negotiate the least possible administration cost for the pension account.

Termination or resignation of employment with the Diocese will end the employee’s participation in the Diocese plan. The Diocese will not make any additional contributions to this account on behalf of the employee. Such termination of employment with the Diocese does not affect the eligibility of the employee to continue participation with his/her investment account. Upon separation or end of contract the pension scheme administrator will avail the balance of the funds to the employee’s new employer (or designated beneficially in case of death), following written instructions from the Bishop signed by the Bishop and the DOFIA.

The Diocese encourages staff to retain this investment for retirement as intended under the establishment of the pension plan.

On the enrolment application form, the primary and contingent beneficiaries must be designated. The complete name of each beneficiary, his or her relationship to the employee and present address must be shown.

6.2   MEDICAL SCHEME

The Diocese shall maintain a medical scheme to cater for medical expenses for each employee. The Diocese shall pay 20% subscription for each staff member’s contribution subject to renewal by the Diocesan Finance Council.  The scheme will be that of Executive MASM.  Any additional costs shall be borne by the individual staff member.

6.3   STAFF BEREAVEMENT

In the case of the death of a permanent employee (including his/her spouse and his children –see in Conditions of Service), the Diocese will pay the cost of a coffin and transport of the dead body to the burial place. The Diocese shall also make a fixed contribution towards other funeral expenses, determined by the Management.

Salary and any other accrued benefits, including pension benefits, will be paid to the person specified in the will. All staff members should leave a will or specify beneficiaries.

6.4   AIRTIME

Diocesan staff (as described in the document of Salary Scales and Allowances) shall be entitled to a monthly telephone airtime/units at the rates prescribed by the Finance Council from time to time, subject to availability of funds in the specified month.

6.5   FUEL

Diocese staff shall be entitled to a monthly fuel or transport allowances at the rates prescribed by the Finance Council from time to time, subject to availability of funds in the specified month as described in the transport policy.

6.6   USE OF DIOCESE ASSETS

Use of Diocese assets in the performance of an employee’s duties shall be as per the Diocese’s Transport and Assets Management Policy which is annexed to this Human Resources Policy Manual.

Chapter 7: WORKING CONDITIONS

7.1   WORKING HOURS

Diocese staff are generally expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week; an average of 8 hours per day (07:30 to 12:00 and resuming at 13:30 to 17:00) Monday to Friday, including lunch break.

All employees are expected to keep time as specified above without exceptions. Lateness beyond 15 minutes into the hours 07:30 to 17:00 should be reported to the employee’s line manager and the reasons given. Consistent lateness may be a cause for a formal cautioning which if it persists may be a case for disciplinary action.

It is understood that professional level employees will put in extra hours of work required by the demands of their individual positions. Because professional employees (Levels D & E) are assessed primarily on their results (not so much in relation to attendance) their attendance hours of work is a little more flexible provided the flexibility of attendance does not cause disruption or dissatisfaction among other staff members.

The official working hours are as follows:

Monday to Friday:

07:30- 12:00         – Morning sessions

12:00 – 13:30         – Lunch break

13:30 – 17:00         – Afternoon sessions

7.2   MONITORING ATTENDANCE OF STAFF

The Diocese views regular attendance at work as an important issue and consequently requires that all employees’ attendance record must be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis. Daily attendance records shall be maintained in every office for each staff member. All Diocese staff members shall sign daily attendance register which will be reviewed weekly to ensure that staff member’s attendance problems do not go unnoticed for an extended period of time. In addition, staff shall submit monthly Time Sheets a few days before payday, indicating how they spent their time in relation to agreed Key Performance Areas.

Unjustified absenteeism shall be recorded and captured as unpaid leave days. An employee whose attendance demonstrates either a consistent pattern of unscheduled absences (or tardiness) or excessive unscheduled absence (or tardiness) will be subject to disciplinary action).

7.3   ABSENCE OR LATE ARRIVAL

Absence from work should be reported by telephone or personal message to the line manager the same day not later than 09.00 hours unless arrangements have been made in advance. Unauthorised absence from work (for reasons other than illness) will automatically result in time off without pay or a reduction in the staff member’s annual leave.

Unauthorised absence from work of five or more consecutive days without authority or good cause will be deemed desertion of service and may result in termination of employment.

Permission to leave the office during working hours must be obtained from the immediate supervisor or line manager. 

In summary:

a)   All employees are expected to keep time as specified above without exceptions. Lateness beyond 15 minutes should be reported to the employee’s line manager and the reasons given.

b)   Consistent lateness may be a cause for a formal cautioning which if it persists may be a case for disciplinary action.

c)  Offices will remain officially closed on weekends and public holidays unless there is a formal request and approval from line manager and management.

7.4   TIME OFF IN LIEU AND OVERTIME

Staff members from Grade levels C to E are not eligible for paid overtime and are expected to work the hours necessary to do the job satisfactorily. However, excessive overtime or weekends worked may be recognised by the DOFIA who will agree to time off in lieu (TOIL). The principle is one day off for every 8 hours (one working day) overtime worked, subject to the demands of the job. TOIL should normally be taken within two months of being earned or as agreed with the DOFIA in consultation with the line manager.

It is expected that senior staff (Level C) will work overtime only occasionally. In these cases they too should be prepared to do so without additional remuneration. However, where they are asked to undertake a substantial piece of work outside normal working hours, they should be eligible for TOIL on the same principal as for Management Staff and a consideration for meal and transport refunds is highly recommended.

Junior staff levels A and B, may be expected to work overtime on a more frequent basis. In order to compensate them for this their salaries are adjusted above average to take account of the normal overtime. But since their salaries are revised every year at a higher rate, their overtime must be minimised. They may qualify for paid direct expenses to carter for their lunch, dinner and transport wherever determined as appropriate by line manager or management.

Any employee who is away on duty outside his/her work station for several days including Saturdays and Sundays or public holidays will be entitled to an equivalent number of days off from work as TOIL or, at their request, overtime payment in lieu of the TOIL. Any TOIL earned must be taken within a reasonable period of being earned unless approval is obtained from the DOFIA. Work done under these circumstances concerning projects will be treated according to the project contract between the Diocese and the partner who funded the project.

7.5   ANNUAL LEAVE

An employee shall be entitled to leave as set out in his /her contract of employment. Leave year is from January to December. Leave is not normally allowed during the first two months of employment or the probation period whichever is longer. Leave forms will be maintained for all staff and an annual leave schedule covering all staff will be prepared by the HR Officer early in the year to ensure adequate coverage of the office.

Only full-time staff shall be entitled to leave of a maximum of 24 working days.

Annual leave must be taken in the year it is due at a time mutually convenient to both employer and the employee. Leave shall not be accumulated. However, a maximum of 7 days may be carried over to the following year with the approval of the DOFIA. To facilitate the management of annual leave, employees shall be required to adhere to the leave plan. Any deviation from this requires at least 1 month notice. It should be noted that the application may be declined. The Diocese shall give an employee as much notice as is practicable and reasonable of approval or disapproval of a request to change vacation leave dates. Line managers must ensure that all staff members take their leave, within the time limit specified. If an employee refrains from taking leave when it is due and convenient to the employer, such leave may be forfeited.

Diocese staff take compulsory leave during Christmas break in December to early January. This leave is planned months in advance and the exact dates are set annually by the DOFIA. The remainder of leave is planned for on an individual basis and is applied for weeks in advance if it is for a week or more. Ad hoc leave (1 or 2 days) may be taken upon approval as and when such a need arises. It should be noted that the shut-down is regarded as part of the normal leave due and not as additional leave. Leave forms must, therefore, be completed for the shut-down.

7.6   COMPASSIONATE LEAVE

Following the death of an employee’s immediate relative, compassionate leave not exceeding 10 days may be granted at the discretion of the DOFIA. Compassionate leave may also be granted in event of prolonged, serious illness affecting an officer’s immediate family.

Immediate family means the officers spouse, children, mother and father. Employees shall be requested to supply evidence in support of their applications.

7.7   MATERNITY LEAVE

The Diocese recognises the need for expectant mothers to have adequate rest both before and after childbirth.  Maternity leave shall consist of three months (90 consecutive days) with full pay and shall be applied for at least two months before the expected date of confinement. The provision will be once in every three years.

Any additional days required will be at the discretion of the DOFIA unless there is production of a doctor’s certificate certifying that one is unable to resume or continue with duty on medical grounds.

An employee, if she works at least 12 months for the Diocese is entitled to three consecutive months’ maternity leave, at three years’ intervals, of which 3 months will be on full pay and the 4th month may come from unused annual leave. An employee may commence maternity leave:

a)    At any time 4 weeks before the expected date of birth; or

b)    On a date from which a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that it is necessary for the employees’ health or that of her unborn child.

In addition, lactating mothers may at the discretion of the DOFIA and in consultation with the line manager, be allowed time off during normal working hours to go and breastfeed their babies.

The Diocese will endeavour to provide all the necessary support to female employees during the period of pregnancy by relieving them of certain duties, which might be detrimental to good maternal health. An employee may not work for 8 weeks after the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that she is fit to do so.

The employee who is pregnant must inform the management with medical certification.

If an employee has miscarriage during the third trimester of pregnancy or bears a still born child, she will be entitled to maternity leave for 6 weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth, whether or not the employee had commenced maternity leave at the time of the miscarriage or stillbirth.

An employee must notify the DOFIA in writing, unless she is unable to do so, of the date on which the employee intends to commence maternity leave; and return to work after maternity leave. This notification must be given at least 4 weeks before the employee intends to commence maternity leave; or if it is not reasonably practicable.

If an employee has worked continuously for the Diocese for at least 1 year immediately before she commences   maternity leave, she will be entitled to her full ordinary remuneration during her maternity leave. In addition, her entitlement to annual leave will continue to accrue during her maternity leave.

Any employee who has not worked continuously for the Diocese for at least 1 year immediately preceding her commencing maternity leave, will not be entitled to any remuneration during her maternity leave.

7.8   PATERNITY LEAVE

Owing to the importance that the Diocese attaches to strong family units, male staff will be allowed one week’s paid leave following birth of a child. This leave shall normally be taken within four weeks of delivery of a child or otherwise at the discretion of the DOFIA.

A male employee shall be entitled to paid-paternity leave of a maximum of (7) working days which must be taken subject to the following criteria:

a)   The male employee has completed not less than 40 weeks of continuous service with the Diocese immediately before the expected date of the birth of the child.

b)    Application of the paternity leave must be supported by documents providing the legibility of the employee to the satisfaction of the Diocese. The supporting documents must include the medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner specifying the expected date of birth of the child, and a copy of the birth certificate of the child.

c)    The male employee must provide proof that mother of the said child is a lawfully married wife.

d)   The period within which paternity leave must be taken is one month immediately before the expected date of birth of the child up to one month immediately following the birth of the child. Leave can be taken in single block or in blocks of the day or days during the eligible period.

For the avoidance of doubt, an employee who has submitted notice of resignation is not eligible to apply for paternity leave. If an employee’s application for paternity leave has been approved prior to his submission of notice of resignation and leave falls within his notice period, the approved leave will be subject to cancellation.

7.9   SICK LEAVE

Where an employee is unable to show up for work on account of illness, he/she must contact the line manager at the earliest possible time preferably before 09:00 hours and explain the reasons for his/her absence.

An employee who falls sick or who is injured other than through his/her own gross negligence shall be entitled to a maximum of two months sick leave with full pay and thereafter to a maximum of two months with half pay, in each period of 12 consecutive months of service, subject to production of a certificate of incapacity to work, signed by a qualified medical practitioner.

If the employee does not recover to full working capacity at the end of the four months, the Diocese will review his/her situation on its own merit. The Diocese reserves the right to terminate the employment of an employee if he/she is not fit to resume work at the end of the four months.

An employee who fails to show up for work for more than one and half days for reasons of illness must produce a medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner in order to be paid for that period.

Abuse of these provisions, for instance, feigning illnesses and/or forging doctors’ certificates, will, if proven, be a serious offence leading to disciplinary action which may result in summary dismissal of the staff concerned.

Sick leave forms must be completed and submitted for all absences due to illness and may be authorized by the line manager concerned if she/he is satisfied that the employee is unable to work because of illness or injury.

Any staff member who is absent from work due to illness or injury must endeavour to notify his/her department head as to the reason for his/her absence by 09:00 hours on the first day either by telephone or letter.

A staff member may be required to undergo a medical examination, if requested to do so by the Diocese.

If an employee is absent from work due to illness for more than 2 (two) consecutive days, before or after a public holiday, the employee is required to submit a medical certificate upon return to work.  Failure to produce a certificate, or provide a satisfactory explanation, may result in the following action being taken:

a)   Disciplinary action being taken against the staff member; and/or

b)   The period of absence being treated as unpaid leave.

In the event of accidents, or major operations, Management shall use its discretion to determine the period of full pay or otherwise.  A maximum of 3 (three) months unpaid leave may be allowed at Management’s discretion, thereafter the employee shall be discharged from duties on account of inability/incapacity due to illness.

In the event of prolonged sick leave, where the Diocese has been provided with a medical report, the staff member is entitled to the following sick leave and pay benefits at Management’s discretion:

Period of Sick LeaveRemuneration
Up to 90 daysFull salary
From 91 to 180 daysHalf salary
From 181 to end of contractUnpaid leave/Retirement

Compensation due to illness is governed by prevailing labour legislation.

Employees are not compensated for unused sick days at termination, resignation from the Diocese or at the end of their employment contract.

7.10   STUDY/ EXAMINATION LEAVE

Upon application by an employee, up to five days paid leave will be allowed to prepare for a major professional examination.  Paid leave will be granted each day the employee has an examination provided the training for which examinations are being taken has been approved by the Bishop. See section on training.

Study leave only applies to the Diocese approved training or course, provided proof or registration and the examination time-table are submitted. Further leave may be possible depending on operational necessities. Any other forms of study leave will be granted at the sole discretion of the Bishop. Study leave does not apply for training courses initiated by the Diocese.

7.11   LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

A person may apply for leave without pay for whatever reasons where annual leave is not enough for him/her for the same.  Leave without pay will be at the discretion of Management with approval from the Finance Council.

7.12   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS

Diocese Offices observe the statutory holidays observed in Malawi. The dates of some of the holidays vary from year to year. Offices will remain officially closed on weekends and public holidays. The following are currently the official public holidays in Malawi:

DATE                                                                            DESCRIPTION OF HOLIDAY

1)     1st January                                                          New Year’s Day

2)    15th January                                                        John Chilembwe Day

3)     3rd March                                                           Martyr’s day

4)    xx April                                                                Good Friday

5)    xx April                                                                Easter Monday

6)    1st May                                                                 Labour Day

7)    14th May                                                               Kamuzu Day

8)   6th July                                                                  Independence Day

9)   9th October                                                         Mothers’ Day

10)   25th December                                                Christmas Day

11)    26th December                                                Boxing Day

(Note: Where a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes the public day off from work although celebrations may be held during the actual date of the occasion.)

Chapter 8: TRAINING

8.1   PURPOSE

The purpose of the Diocese, in view of this section of the Manual, is to provide appropriate training to the staff members with a view to improving their efficiency and effectiveness in the Diocese in general and in their specific assignments in particular.

8.2   APPROVAL

Any person considering taking a training course will be recommended by their line manager and forwarded to the Bishop for approval.  Training recommendations must fall under the following classifications:

a)   Classification 1: This classification applies when the Diocese has nominated an employee to attend a certain course that is directly applicable to the work of the Diocese.  Under this classification the Diocese pays 100% of the cost required for the course.  For a training which is for more than 6 months there will be bonding with the Diocese. Details are annexed to this manual.

b)   Classification 2: This classification applies to employees who are personally in need of advanced level of academic training but whose further training would be beneficial to the Diocese both in the present and in the future. The classification also applies to employees who would like to improve themselves in professional courses related to their assigned jobs.  Under this classification, the Diocese may agree to meet costs at a level to be determined by the Bishop.  However, employees would be expected to make substantial contributions to this type of training.

c)   Classification 3: This applies to employees who would like to improve themselves in courses unrelated to their assigned jobs. Under this classification, the Diocese will not normally meet any costs other than at the discretion of the Finance Council. The DOFIA will consider granting leave for the exams, otherwise staff members will need to arrange to take time off as part of their own annual leave.

8.3   RULES THAT GOVERN TRAINING

a)  All needs for training must be discussed with the line manager formally during the employee’s appraisal;

b)   Application for training should be made through the line manager to the DOFIA who will then discuss with the Bishop.

c)   Application for training will be approved subject to the following:

d)   Line manager’s recommendation based on identified training needs, authorisation by the Bishop, and availability of funds.

8.4   AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS

a)   The Diocese will consider each employee and each period of training separately. An employee’s success in any training may be a factor in determining the participation of the Diocese and classification for the following term.

b)   The Diocese may meet the cost of any necessary books purchased for use on an approved course. Where this is done the books will be kept in the resource room after the training course for reference and use by all staff.

c)   There are no automatic promotions or increments on completing a course and passing an examination. However, during the appraisals, any course taken and examination passed will be considered in favour of the employee in their next assessment.

d)   The courses must be taken outside working hours unless the Bishop approves otherwise.

e)  The Diocese will neither contribute resources nor allow for any time off for repeated courses. Any support from the Diocese will only be considered where the course has not been undertaken before and meets the other requirements as specified above.

8.5   PROCEDURE

a)   During the Performance Appraisal interviews with staff, the line managers will identify the training needs of their staff.

b)  The identified training needs will be communicated to the Bishop who will review the means of training available and the costs involved and select the one which will best meet the training needs for the individual staff member.

c)   Before a training programme for an employee is implemented, the employee will have to submit an application for training to the line manager for recommendation who will then pass it on to the DOFIA who will in turn pass it on to the Bishop for approval.

Chapter 9: HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK

9.1   SAFETY INFORMATION

The Diocese will to its best ability provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, and will try to provide the necessary level of information, training, and instruction in safety procedures to achieve this.

Staff members have a responsibility to take reasonable care both of their own health and safety and that of those around them, and to comply fully with the organisations safety procedures.

9.2   ACCIDENTS

In case of any accidents causing bodily harm, follow the guidelines below:

a)    Remove the accident-causing obstacle to avoid further injury, if it is safe to do so;

b)   Telephone the nearest hospital/ emergency service providers immediately if the injury is severe or call for an ambulance;

c)   If injury is not severe but medical attention is required, contact any person in the office with access to a vehicle and rush the patient to the nearest medical facility.

Remember always that first aid is employed in order to stabilise the patient before getting trained/ expert medical attention help.

9.3   SMOKING AT WORK

All Diocese premises are no smoking zones. Smokers are requested to do so outside the Diocese buildings.

All staff members are, however, strongly advised against smoking owing to the risks it poses to their health.

9.4   AIDS/ HIV POLICY

It is a policy of the Diocese not to discriminate against any member of staff who is living with HIV or AIDS. Discrimination against any member/s of staff with HIV/AIDS will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Should any employee become HIV positive in the course of their employment with the Diocese, he/she will be treated with support and understanding, and strict confidentiality will be maintained on the part of the Diocese.

Unless an HIV infected employee develops symptoms that reduce or hinder his/her ability to work, the Diocese will not alter the terms of employment. Any illness that may arise out of HIV related infections will be treated in the same way as any other illness. Clauses within sick leave will apply as with any other ailments.

9.5   POLICY ON PROLONGED USE OF VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS (VDUS)/ COMPUTER MONITORS

Owing to the risks associated with the use of VDUs particularly to one’s eyesight and repetitive injuries, employees are advised not to subject themselves to continuous use of the VDUs and electronic keyboards for more than 2 hours without a 10 to 15 minutes break. This break may be in form of other work not involving VDUs or a short walk around or within the building. All employees are asked to abide by this advice.

Chapter 10: OFFICE PROCEDURES

 10.1   TELEPHONE

The Diocese does not forbid staff to make local, national or international calls and faxes as long as they are kept to an absolute minimum and are connected with their line of work.

Occasionally the fax/phone bills will be passed to all staff members where certain numbers that are not recognisable nor recorded nor declared by any member. Full honesty and integrity are called for in this area.

The respective staff members will be charged for any private international and long distance calls or faxes. This will be done at cost including VAT. Staff members are asked to record details in the fax book or make a note of any long distance calls made and inform the DOFIA for billing when the bill is received.

 10.2    VISITORS

Friends and relatives of employees should be discouraged from coming to the office during working hours unless the visits are business related.  Any staff member available and around the reception area should take responsibility for receiving visitors and channelling them to those they wish to see.

10.3   PERSONAL MAIL

There is no objection to employees receiving personal mail through the Diocese post office box number. As all office mail is opened centrally, personal mail should be marked “Personal” or “Private & Confidential” otherwise it may not be possible to determine whether the correspondence is connected with office business or not.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances personal mail will not be opened where the person’s designation/job title is not indicated on the envelope. Should any official mail not be opened in this manner, the person to whom it is addressed is requested to give it back for logging by the person assigned the duties.

Should any personal mail be accidentally opened, the person doing so will reseal it after reading not more than is necessary to determine that it is not official and whenever possible personally hand it over to the addressee and give an explanation if required. 

10.4   PHOTOCOPYING

To minimise breakages and reduce costs of the photocopier, it should be properly handled and carefully used by a designated officer. Please note that it should be left ON once switched on in the morning until the end of the day.  A register is provided to record all non-Diocese photocopying (i.e. personal and other organisations such as the partners etc.

10.5   IDENTITY CARDS

Staff members will be issued with Identity Cards, which they should carry with them at all times. The ID card is the property of the Diocese.  It should be returned to the office when an employee leaves the Diocese.  

10.6   BULLETIN BOARD

A Bulletin Board is located at the reception area and should be read regularly.

10.7    EMPLOYEE RECORDS

The Human Resource Officer will maintain records for all the members of staff. She/He will also ensure that there is on file, a passport size photograph for each member of staff.

It is each employee’s responsibility to inform the Administration Department immediately about any changes in the following records.

a)   Residential address and/or telephone number(s);

b)   Person to be notified in case of emergency;

c)   Legal change in name with the effective date;

d)   Change of marital status with effective date;

e)   Birth of 1st to 4th child or any change of dependants;

f)   Change in academic or professional qualifications.

Address should include detailed directions to house to be used in case of any emergencies.

10.8   OFFICE CLEANLINESS

All persons shall keep their desks and office equipment in a neat and orderly condition. It is important that all equipment be appropriately covered at the close of each working day, and that all windows be closed and lights/power turned off before leaving the office.

10.9    OFFICE SECURITY

Offices will remain open between 07.30 hours and 17:00 hours during the week. In case any member of staff is working late they must ensure that the main door is   closed after 17:30 hours

It is the responsibility of all staff members to ensure that Diocese property is well protected and safeguarded by utilising the security devices provided and observing the security procedures.

10.10   OFFICE KEYS

The DOFIA shall determine who to have copies of keys to facilitate access to particular offices at any time.

Members of staff wishing to gain access into the office outside normal working hours should contact the DOFIA or the line managers and make the necessary arrangement. They should ensure that they are conversant with the office security system.

Any persons accessing the office outside normal working hours should ensure that they draw all curtains and arm the alarm system on leaving the office.

10.11   FIRE PROCEDURES

The main door has been provided within the main office block. For security and other reasons the fire exits are not marked as such so all staff members are asked to familiarise themselves with them.  Fire extinguishers should be located along the corridor.

10.12    REFRESHMENTS

Facilities for coffee or tea will be provided in the office along with tea/coffee mugs for each staff member. Staff should make own tea or coffee whenever required and they will all be responsible for cleaning own cups in between taking coffee or tea during the day. All members of staff are required to ensure that they leave the kitchen clean whenever they use it.

Chapter 11: TRAVEL POLICY

11.1   PURPOSE STATEMENT

The purpose of these regulations is to guide staff members when travelling on Diocese business. Most of the guidance on the travel policy are contained in the Finance, Investment and Administration Manual. However, this section is included in this Manual in recognition that staff members may be required to adhere to staff/ HR Policy guidance whilst travelling on Diocese business. It is also recognized that most of the Diocese’s projects involve travelling extensively, hence having a huge implication on staff conditions of service and operations.

11.2   GENERAL PRINCIPLES

The Diocese is committed to utilizing its funds in the most cost effective manner for the benefit of the individuals and communities we seek to assist. To this end the basic travel principles should be followed in every case. These principles are:

a)   Ensure safety of the lives of staff members and the safety of Diocese’s assets;

b)  Ensure that Diocese vehicles are utilized for the benefit of the Diocese’s projects and objectives;

c)  Ensure that the Diocese has a reputation for being moderate and conservative in the expenditure of funds;

d)   Adhere to expenditure standards that are in tandem with the generally accepted practices for the Diocese;

11.3   MEANS OF TRANSPORT

Possible means of transport are:

a)   Diocese’s fleet of cars;

b)   Taxis and public transport;

c)   Use of personal car

d)   Boats.

In case of travelling on any Diocese business, Management decides the appropriate means of transport to be used.

11.4   USE OF DIOCESE VEHICLES

A request for use of office vehicle must be made and lodged with the Transport Officer, after members of staff have been given permission by their line managers to implement the said activity.

When using Diocese vehicles, the driver must account for the mileage by filling the logbook, which gives the date, the mileage at the beginning and the end of the trip, the destination and the reason for the trip. The driver shall be responsible for the custody and liquidation of fuel funds.

For details please see the Diocese Transport Policy.

11.5   VEHICLE LOGBOOKS

Each vehicle is allocated a vehicle logbook. The driver of the vehicle will be required to complete the logbook to record the following details:

a)   Date of journey/trip

b)   Speedometer reading at end of journey

c)   Total Mileage (Kilometres) for the trip

d)   Details of each journey or trip made

e)   Fuel in litres taken

f)   Engine Oil in litres taken

g)  Transmission (i.e. Gear box and differential) oil in litres

The above details should be entered in the logbook during the following times:

a)   Whenever a long trip is taken for business purposes.

b)   Whenever the vehicle is taken to a fuel station for refuelling.

In addition, the vehicle logbook will contain the list of tools and equipment held in the vehicle and the following information is to be recorded whenever the vehicle goes for service, lubrication, and change of tyres or battery.

a)   Record of tyres changed

b)   Record of battery changed

c)   Record of repairs and replacements

d)   Record of lubrication changes

11.6   CLEANLINESS AND GENERAL CONDITION OF VEHICLE

All vehicle users entrusted with vehicles will be required to keep them clean at all times. In addition, the driver will be responsible for reporting the condition of the vehicle, service requirements, unusual noises, areas needing attention, or other malfunctions and should ensure that the vehicle is checked without delay.

11.7   OVERNIGHT LOCATION OF VEHICLES

All vehicles will be parked at Diocese office compound overnight, or other location identified by the DOFIA, where they are not authorised for evening or weekend use. The vehicle should always be securely locked and parked and any other security devices fitted to the vehicle engaged every time the vehicle is parked even at Diocese office compound. 

No valuables should be visibly left in the vehicle and the user should try the best to conceal the radio cassette especially when out of the office compound.  Where the radio fitted has a removable face off, the face should be removed and left in the office whenever possible.

All officers shall be provided with transport when going for official duties.

11.8   ACCIDENTS AND DRIVING OFFENCES

All driving offences, accidents, bumps or scrapes to the vehicle must be reported within 6 hours of the next working day to the DOFIA or the Bishop.  In case of an accident, verbal communication must be made immediately and formal communication must be made within 6 hours.

Where any damage to the vehicle is due to gross negligence or carelessness of the driver he/she will be required to make good the cost of repair.

All drivers will be responsible for all court fines and parking tickets for offences committed due to negligence or undue carelessness.

In order to reduce the risk of accidents, drivers are advised not drive continuously for long distances without breaks. They should take rest whenever possible and should try to get to their destination before dark. Staff members should always remember that driving during the day is safer than night driving.

Any misuse of vehicles may render that particular driver being disqualified from using Diocese vehicles and may result in disciplinary action.

11.9   REIMBURSEMENTS FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES

Travelling expenses will only be covered by the Diocese if they are unavoidable and if they qualify as allowable, reasonable and allocable.

Reimbursements are given for the following expenses, but only if they are covered by receipts:

  • Fuel,
  • Taxis,
  • Buses.

In case of prescribed rates, no receipts are needed; unless demanded otherwise by partners. Expenses in excess of the fixed rates are paid by the member of staff.

Approval for this type of expenses has to be given by the Head of Department (or for the Head of a Department: by the DOFIA) before the trip is made.

The Diocese reserves the right to refuse reimbursement for expenses that are not supported by receipts or sufficiently explained, and/or are not submitted on a timely basis.

11.10   UNALLOWABLE EXPENSES

The Diocese will not reimburse for the following expenses:

  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Personal parking fines or tickets.
  • Expenses during a trip with a personal character.
  • Mileage by own car or motorbike from home to office (and the other way around).

11.11   TRAVEL ADVANCE

The Diocese does not require members of staff to use their own money for travel costs. Instead, the Diocese issues travel advances.

The first working day after completion of travel, employees must submit to the administration department expense reports together with receipts. If a balance remains, the employee must return the balance to the Diocese with the expense report.

Failure to refund or submit field liquidations is regarded as a serious financial misconduct and could result into disciplinary action to the concerned staff member.

Chapter 12: CONFIDENTIALITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

12 .1   CONFIDENTIALITY

Disclosure of any information considered confidential to unauthorised persons without the explicit approval of Management is prohibited.

All requests for information from other agencies and outsiders should be referred to the Bishop’s Secretary.

12.2   PUBLIC RELATIONS

All employees of the Diocese are considered representatives of the Diocese. The manner in which visitors are handled in person or on the telephone creates definite impressions in the public’s mind.  Members of staff must at all times be as courteous and helpful as possible. All visitors are to be well received and handled without discrimination.

Every employee must maintain a high standard of cleanliness around his/her place of work and the office at large.

All employees are expected to appear well groomed and presentable at all times and to dress modestly and in good taste.

12.3    CONFLICT OF INTEREST

It is the policy of the Diocese to prohibit its employees from engaging in any activity or practice which conflicts with the interests of the Diocese or her partners.  Examples of conflicts of interest that should always be avoided are set out below:

a.   No employee shall solicit for any personal help or favours from the donors or partners of the Diocese in any form.  Any areas that may have potential for conflict of interest should be reported to the Bishop, through the appropriate line manager, for authorisation before any action or transaction is undertaken.

b.   If an employee or member of his or her immediate family has a financial interest in a firm which does business with the Diocese and the interest is sufficient to affect the employee’s decision or action, the employee must not represent the Diocese in such transactions. The employee should inform the Bishop and seek prior authorisation before undertaking any business on behalf of the Diocese with such firm or organisation.

c.   No employee shall accept gifts or bribes from any other person or firm doing or seeking to do business with the Diocese under circumstances from which it might reasonably be inferred that the purpose of the gift is to influence the employee in the conduct of the business of the Diocese with the donor. Such gifts should be returned with a note of explanation. 

d.   However, employees are not prohibited from accepting advertising novelties such as pens, pencils, calendars, etc. or other gifts of minimal value when circumstances clearly show that the gifts are offered for reasons of personal esteem, affection or appreciation.

e.   It is not practical to describe all of the situations that may arise involving conflict of interest.  Therefore, when any employee has a question concerning a possible conflict of interest it is expected that he or she will request advice from the Bishop or other senior members of staff.

Chapter 13: CODE OF CONDUCT

The Diocese expects employees to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. The employee’s adherence to the required standards of conduct is assessed in the annual performance appraisal. If the conduct or conflict of interest regulations are violated, the Bishop will exercise discretion as whether to institute disciplinary steps, including dismissal.

All Diocese employees are expected to observe laws of the Government of the Republic of Malawi and to conduct themselves in a responsible, mature and sober manner at all times when representing the Diocese in any capacity.

The following list is a compilation of unacceptable activities. Note that the list is not exhaustive and some may or may not result in disciplinary action or termination of employment:

13.1   THEFT, FRAUD AND CORRUPTION

The following list of definitions includes the most common type of irregularities that would be considered as fraudulent and corrupt by the Diocese:

a)   Fraud:

Fraud can encompass an array of illegal acts characterised by intentional deception. It can be perpetrated for the benefit of the person or even the Diocese but usually is to the detriment of the Diocese and may be done by persons outside as well as those inside the Diocese.

The type of fraudulent act designed to benefit the Diocese generally produces such benefit through the exploitation of an unfair advantage or dishonesty that may also deceive an outside party. Perpetrators of such fraud usually benefit indirectly.

Fraud perpetrated to the detriment of the Diocese generally is for the direct or indirect benefit of an employee, outside individual or another institution.

b)   Theft:

A person is guilty of theft if property belonging to another is dishonestly appropriated with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

c)   Deception:

A person is guilty of deception if property belonging to another is obtained through deliberate misrepresentation of facts with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Inducing or attempting to induce another person to recklessly invest through the making of statements known to be false or misleading is also deception.

d)   Manipulation of Accounting Entries:

Destroying, defacing, concealing or falsifying accounting records or knowingly furnishing false information is a serious irregularity.

e)   Bribery:

Bribery is any circumstances where an inducement is offered and given in order to influence any action of others and place the person offering the inducement at an unfair advantage which would not have otherwise been acquired but for the inducement. Such inducements are serious irregularities which the law specifically forbids and undertaking them implies a person committing an offence.

f)   Corruption:

Corruption is the offering, giving, soliciting or acceptance of an inducement or reward, which may influence the actions taken by the authority, its members or officers.

13.2   ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS, ENTERTAINMENT, FAVOURS AND OFFERS OF REWARD

An employee shall not solicit or accept money, gifts, goods, presentations, or any form of reward for services provided or to be provided by virtue of his/her position in the Diocese. This shall include any acts solicited or accepted from other parties to deviate any staff member from a meritorious or fair decision. This shall also include any acts defined within the definition of corrupt practices. Disciplinary action for disregarding this rule will include suspension or even termination of employment in worst case scenarios.

13.3   PERSONAL FINANCIAL GAIN OR FAVOURS

An employee will not seek to benefit, in cash or favour, from awarding Diocese contracts for work to any party. Diocese Conflict of Interest Policy is generally not to hire or favour relatives of existing employees. However, exceptional cases may be made. Any case where there is actual or potential conflict of interest should be brought to the attention of the Bishop or the DOFIA.  The details of Diocese Conflict of Interest Policy are in Annex to this Policy Manual. Staff members are required to declare real, potential or apparent conflict of interest on an annual basis and undertake to inform any changes in their circumstances, including if an issue arises during the course of their association with the Diocese. The copy of Declaration of Interest Form is in Annex.

13.4   VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR: VERBAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

The Diocese prohibits any form of violence including but not restricted to: violence causing bodily harm, persistent indiscipline, serious negligence resulting in loss to the Diocese, malicious damage to property or name of the Diocese, or persistent use of insulting or abusive language. Bad behaviour of any of these kinds may be a cause for a formal cautioning which if it persists may be a case for disciplinary action.

13.5   SMOKING, DRINKING AND DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE

The Diocese prohibits drunkenness or abuse of prohibited substances and drugs which render the employee incapable of performing his/her work properly. This includes employees dealing or transacting in such banned substances or actions deemed to facilitate the consumption of such to minors.

13.6   MISUSE OF DIOCESE PROPERTY

An employee shall not, directly or indirectly, use or allow the use of Diocese property of any kind, including property leased to the Diocese, other than for officially approved activities. Each employee has a duty to protect and conserve Diocese property including vehicles, equipment, appliances, supplies and other property entrusted or issued to the employee. Misuse of Diocese property (e.g. vehicle) is considered a serious misconduct.

13.7   ETIQUETTE: DRESS AND APPEARANCE

Employees are expected to dress appropriately for a professional office environment in keeping with the requirements of their duties. Employees will conform to business casual standard Monday through Friday, unless the situation requires more formal attire. Please note that jeans, sandals and shirts without (T- shirts) collars are NOT considered appropriate for normal working hours.  For details consult the Diocese’s dress-code.

13.8   GENERAL CONDUCT

An employee shall not engage in criminal, dishonest or disgraceful conduct, or any other conduct prejudicial to the Diocese. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a polite, friendly, and helpful manner when dealing with or serving clients and enquiries. Employees must not misuse alcohol or other intoxicants whilst on the job and must not report for work while intoxicated. Employees are expected to treat all their colleagues with courtesy and respect, to maintain good relations with colleagues and contribute to team spirit.

13.9   PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IF BREACH OF CODE OF CONDUCT IS DISCOVERED

In the circumstances that any Diocese staff member if found to have breached the above mentioned Code of Conduct, the following procedures may be followed:

a)   The Bishop will determine the seriousness of the fraud or irregularity and in conjunction with the DOFIA determine whether to inform and involve the police immediately, or later, or not at all.

b)   In all cases of irregularities, as described above, the Diocese lawyer must be made aware immediately of all the circumstances before any action is taken.

c)   Any necessary disciplinary action should be taken in accordance with the disciplinary procedures as specified in the disciplinary sections below.

Chapter 14: DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

14.1   PURPOSE

The Diocese’s disciplinary procedures have been designed to help and encourage employees to achieve and maintain standards of conduct, good attendance and job performance.  The rules contained in these procedures will apply to all employees with the aim of ensuring consistency and fair treatment for all.

14.2   PRINCIPLES OF THE PROCEDURE

a)   No disciplinary action will be taken against any employee until the case that gives rise to a need for disciplinary action is fully investigated;

b)   At all stages of the procedure, the employee will be advised of the nature of the complaint and will be given the opportunity to state his/her case before any decision is reached;

c)   During formal disciplinary interviews, the employee will be able to invite his/her witness if need be;

d)   At stages I, II and III of the procedure, the employee will be set targets for performance and standards of behaviour to be achieved within an agreed period of time.

e)   No employee will be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except in the case of gross misconduct where the penalty will be dismissal without notice.

f)   An employee will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary penalty imposed.  The direct line of appeal will be specified in any warning notice.

g)   Management reserves the right to register the disciplinary procedure in the employee’s personal file at any stage.

h)   At all stages, the initiator will consult the DOFIA of the need to use the disciplinary procedure.

14.3   THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURAL MEETINGS

Minor faults will be dealt with informally but in more serious cases, the following procedures shall be followed:

a)   Stage I – Verbal Warning:

If after an informal reminder, conduct or performance does not meet acceptable standards, following a formal disciplinary meeting the employee may be given a formal VERBAL WARNING from their immediate line manager.

A record of this warning indicating the date, reasons for the warning and what is expected of the employee will be kept in the employee’s personnel file and shall be removed from the file after a period of six months, subject to satisfactory conduct or performance.                             

b)   Stage II – First Written Warning:

If a further offence occurs within the validity period of the verbal warning, the employee will be informed in writing of the complaint and will be invited to attend a formal disciplinary interview with the first and second line managers.

The outcome of the interview may be a first WRITTEN WARNING which will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the time scale. A dated copy of this warning will be kept on the employee’s file but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a period of 12 months, subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

c)   Stage III – Final Written Warning:

If conduct and/or performance are still unsatisfactory within the given time-scale, the employee will be issued with a written request to attend a second formal interview with the first and second line managers.

A FINAL WRITTEN WARNING may be issued which will warn that if there is no satisfactory improvement within a given time scale, dismissal will result.

A copy of the written warning will be kept on the personnel file but may be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a period of 12 months, subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

d)   Stage IV – Dismissal:

If the final written warning is not complied with within the stated period, termination of employment will be considered.  Employees will be entitled to the notice period of termination as stated in their contracts of employment; if the Diocese so wishes it may consider paying off the employee in lieu of notice.

14.4   GROSS MISCONDUCT – CAUSE FOR SUMMARY DISMISSAL

If any member of staff is considered by the Diocese to be guilty of gross misconduct or commits actions that reflect or could reflect adversely upon the Diocese’s reputation, the DOFIA will submit a report for consideration to the Bishop.

The employee will be summarily dismissed following a formal disciplinary meeting.

The following list provides some examples of offences that are regarded as gross misconduct and may lead to summary dismissal without any notice or benefits:

a)   Absenting oneself from the duty without leave or other lawful cause for a consecutive period of five days or more.

b)   Wilfully neglecting to perform any work that was his/her duty to have performed or carelessly and improperly performing any work, which from its nature it was the employee’s duty under his/her contract to have performed carefully and properly.

c)   Use of abusive or insulting language, or behaving in a manner insulting to the Diocese or to a person placed in authority over the employee by the Diocese.

d)   Unauthorised dealings with sponsors and partners, such dealings including soliciting for personal support and favours as well as other dealings that create conflict of interest.

e)   Knowingly failing or refusing to obey a lawful and proper command that was within the scope of the employee’s duty to obey, issued by the Diocese or a person placed in authority over the employee.

f)   Theft, fraud, misappropriation and gross deliberate mismanagement of the Diocese resources.

g)   Drunkenness or abuse of prohibited substances and drugs which renders the employee incapable of performing his/her work properly

h)    Any form of violence within the office which puts at risk other persons’ lives.

i)    Violence causing bodily harm, persistent indiscipline, serious negligence resulting in loss to the Diocese, malicious damage to property or name of the Diocese, or persistent use of insulting or abusive language.

j)   Any other lawful causes for summary dismissal as may be specified on the relevant employment legislations.

The Diocese reserves the right to undertake any and all necessary legal measures for cases involving misappropriation and mismanagement of its resources.

14.5    DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

The Disciplinary Committee will be set up by the Bishop to hear disciplinary issues from different departments on case by case basis.

Chapter 15: TERMINATION OF SERVICES

15.1   RESIGNATION FROM THE DIOCESE – VOLUNTARY TERMINATION

Until the completion of any stated probationary period, the length of notice required on either side to terminate the employment is a period of two months.  Thereafter, any notice period shall be of one month.

A member of staff shall give the Diocese the same length of notice of an intention to terminate their employment as that which the Diocese is required to give.

The periods of notice set out in this clause may, by consent, be varied in writing, having regard to the circumstances of the case and to what is reasonable.  The Diocese or the employee may  opt to pay salary in lieu of notice.

Employment will automatically terminate at the end of the month in which an employee attains the retirement age of 60.

During any period of notice of termination (whether given by the employee or by the Diocese), the Diocese will be under no obligation to assign any duties to the employee or to provide any work for him/her and will be entitled to exclude them from its premises for any part of the notice period.  This will not affect employee’s entitlement to receive his/her basic salary, together with a payment that reflects the value of all contractual benefits that would have been due to them during the period of notice.

15.2   INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION

The Diocese may terminate services of an employee on the following grounds:

a)     Inability to perform satisfactorily as required and specified in the employee’s job description.

b)  Failure to co-operate and uphold the policies and procedures that the Diocese has established.

c)   Redundancy; where a change in work procedures or organisational restructuring makes a staff member’s position redundant, every effort will be made to place him/her elsewhere in the Diocese structure. However, if no suitable post is vacant, then the employee will be declared redundant in accordance with the prevailing labour laws. In addition he/she shall be entitled to all other benefits accrued to him / her.

15.3   CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

All property of the Diocese must be returned to the Diocese when the services are terminated and a clearance certificate to that effect issued before payment of final dues.

15.4   CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

Upon the termination of employment, an employee shall be given a certificate of service duly signed by the Bishop.

Chapter 16: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

16.1   PURPOSE

The Diocese has drawn up staff grievance procedures in order to resolve any problems that an employee may have that cannot immediately be resolved in consultation with his/her first line manager. From time to time, an employee may have a problem that he/she is unable to resolve with the immediate line manager. In order for such problems to be dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible, it is necessary to have a formal grievance procedure, to which the employee can have recourse.

16.2   PRINCIPLES OF THE PROCEDURE

It is the desire of the Diocese to resolve grievances speedily.  However, it is understood that senior personnel are frequently engaged in other matters and also, that time may be needed for fact-finding and further investigations.  Taking this into consideration, matters will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Employees will be given the opportunity to discuss their grievances with their representatives before any formal meetings.

With the mutual agreement of the parties, other relevant persons who may be able to contribute to a settlement may be invited to attend any of the formal procedural stages from stage II onwards.

16.3   THE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURAL MEETINGS

Effort should be made to resolve minor grievances with the first line manager but if this fails, the following procedure will be followed:

a)    Stage I – First Meeting:

The employee should request the first line manager to arrange a first meeting to discuss the grievance.  The meeting should take place within five working days of this request.  The next senior manager will if possible be present, together with the first line manager and the employee or an appointed person.  Following the meeting and if the matter remains unresolved, a written statement of the grievance by the employee, together with a statement of failure to agree and a request for a further meeting should be forwarded by the line manager to the DOFIA.

b)   Stage II – Second Meeting:

A second meeting will take place within five days of the written request being received.  Those present at the first meeting and the DOFIA will be present. For subordinate and non-management staff the decision of the DOFIA at the end of this meeting will be final and will be submitted to the employee in a written statement. For management and senior staff, if the matter should still remain unresolved, the employee shall submit a written appeal stating the grievance to the Bishop.

c)   Stage III – Third Meeting and Final Decision:

Further consultation will be made by the Bishop in respect of the written statement from the employee following stage II above.  The decision of the Bishop on appeal at this stage will be final and will be submitted to the employee in a written statement.                             

ADDITIONS AND AMENDMENTS

The Diocese reserves the right to amend the terms of service after giving prior notice to the affected staff. Any matters not covered by this Policy will be dealt with at the discretion of the Bishop who will if need be consult with the Finance Council.