Earthwatch (Europe) complies with the statutory requirement to have policies on the handling of Disciplinary or Grievance issues and these have recently been updated to comply with changes to the legislation. We have also updated our policy on Equal Opportunities to include specific provisions on Dignity at Work and Age, reinforcing our requirement that all who work with us are treated with respect and dignity and that harassment and improper discrimination will not be tolerated.
New staff undertake a comprehensive Induction programme to ensure they understand the full range of our work and spend the first months of their employment under a Probationary Period policy that ensures that they have regular meetings with their manager to receive the necessary training, support and encouragement during that key time.
Thereafter individual training and development needs for all staff are discussed and assessed at Performance Reviews that take place regularly throughout the year. In addition to work-related training, we have a policy on personal study leave to assist staff to further their own interests and development. We also encourage appropriate secondments to other Earthwatch offices or other appropriate organisations and have agreed a policy to enable longer serving staff to take a career break to pursue personal development opportunities.
As many staff as possible are given the opportunity to undertake fully funded Site Visits to our various international field research projects, in order to increase their understanding of our research programme first hand and to carry out specific tasks in the field.
Over the last two years, Earthwatch (Europe) has carried out staff surveys involving the completion of a questionnaire by all staff and a series of one-on-one interviews with a sample of staff to enable us to capture staff perceptions and to address concerns on a range of issues relating to employment with Earthwatch (Europe).
Flexible working and benefits
Earthwatch (Europe) recognises the need to enable staff to achieve a work/life balance, and as well as existing arrangements for Flexitime working, Homeworking and Career breaks, and we have recently implemented a Job-Share policy.
As part of our policy to increase the range of benefits that we can afford to offer staff, we have introduced a Childcare Voucher Scheme and an Employee Assistance Programme.
We shall be continuing to examine the possibility of introducing further benefits in the future.
Health and Safety
Earthwatch (Europe) has a comprehensive Health, Safety & Welfare Policy which ensures compliance with current and developing legislation. This involves carrying out full office risk assessments and ensuring a clean, tidy and safe working environment. Regular fire alarm checks are undertaken and appropriate staff are trained as first-aiders. The policy also outlines guidance on the safe use of display screen equipment and mobile phones.
As an environmental organisation, we have a responsibility to ensure our staff reduce and manage their use of resources in a way that contributes to the goals of sustainable development. To achieve this we have an Environmental Management System which is defining how we can deliver our Environmental Policy (pdf) objectives in the office as well as in our mission activities. As part of this, staff who travel on business are required to exercise the principles of responsible travel and we are developing a formal staff policy on this.