personnel : LUSENET : Heifer Project International - ASP : One Thread

Dear Rebecca and Janardan,

I got a confession to make, I just now realized while reading again that the Human Resource Handbook is itself the resource book. Right Rebecca? If it is, could we delete sections that is/are policy statement/s?

Anyway, following Rebeccas lead, I came up with the following notes/comments/queries, for our further discussions.

300/00 - Nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policy is not explicitly defined in most Field Offices Manual, hence must be included. As far as Philippines is concerned, I think we would have no problem with the terminologies in 300/00. But I support Rebeccas suggestion, that our statements must be sensitive enough to consider cultural (ethnic/religious) values of each country.

Bear with me Rebecca, I will attempt to re-write Section 300/00 using a resource book format of IIRR. I am thinking it would be easy for field staff to understand/absorbed the policy-guidelines with this format. Please advice if the format is okay so we could proceed. Content may be insufficient still  but you can help us with that.

Section 300/00 Subject: Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment


To promote a healthy, friendly working environment where respect for others, regardless of gender, creed, race, religion, or status in life, is upheld at all times.

Policy Statement:

HP/TH does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, or union affiliation in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs, services, activities or policies. HPI is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination. It is HPI continuing policy: to comply with all applicable local laws regarding employment; to publicize available positions as widely as possible; and to solicit applications from candidates of diverse backgrounds and points of view.

Definition of Terms:

Harassment is consists of unwelcome conduct - verbal, physical, or visual - that is based upon a person's protected status such as gender, color, race, ancestry, religion, national origin, age, medical condition, disability, marital status, citizen status, or other protected group status.

General Guidelines:

1. In keeping with the above commitment, HPI will not tolerate any form of harassment of co-workers, volunteers, vendors, or partners of HP/TH or others with whom we do business. HPI will not tolerate any malicious act that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual's work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

2. All HPI employees are responsible for helping to assure that harassment of any form shall be avoid within working area or during official duties.

3. Any HPI employees who feel have experienced or witnessed any form of harassment, should immediately notify [in writing] the Country Director or area Program Director. The Director/s should verify allegations with accused and aggrieved employee. Accused employee

4. HPI prohibits retaliation against anyone who has reported harassment. Redress should made through the proper grievance procedures.

300/1.0 - The only problem under this section is: involving the Area Program Director in selection of new [field] staff. Unless it is a Directorship position, I believe the selection should be left to the Country Director and the screening within the field team.

Section 300  Subsection 1.0 Subject: Hiring Authority


Policy Statement:

HPI place the responsibility of recruiting qualified, high-calibre staff to Area Program and Country Directors. All positions must be approved by the Area Director before selection/recruitment process shall commence at the country level.

General Guidelines: 1. The Area Program Director must approve all employment vacancies/openings within the country. [For affiliated status: The HPI Board of Directors must make a regular review of positions within the country, and create/abolish position/s depending on the need of the country program.]

2. Once a position is approved, it is the responsibility of the Country Director to conduct a search for candidates in the following manner:

a) Consider present staff with competence and interest in position opened. [Priority must be given to present staff before announcing job vacancy/ies.] b) If no one among present staff is qualified, advertise the availability of the position in local dailies with wide circulation. c) Invite qualified candidates for interviews/testing and final screening [by selection committee.] d) [Once a selection is made the Area Program Director approves the candidate recommended.] e) Once a selection is made, the candidate to be hired will receive a written offer stating the position, title, starting salary, with a copy of the position description. f) New employee will sign a LETTER OF AGREEMENT, which will serve as the employment contract.

[Note: Proceeding in my readings of HR, I noticed that the title Area Program Director is used inter-changeably with Country Directors. Is my perception right? See next Section pls. To see my point.}

300/2.0 - Area Program Directors (APD) or HQ approves operations budget which includes personnel budget. With this process, does it necessary follow that s/he approves salaries of new staff? I dont remember HPI/Philippines submitting salary proposal for new position/s. But for adjustment of salaries of current staff, yes HPI/Philippines Director notify/seek approval from HQ.

If we follow this provision, Country Directors should already include in their proposal for creation of new position the salary proposed for said position [incorporated in the job description].

I will not attempt to write this section in the above proposed format yet. Let us discuss this little bit more.

300/3.0 - Isnt this part of the A/SP Operations Manual already? I think we received one-page document on employee orientation kit (or something) before. This must also be included here.

General Guidelines: 1. New employee shall be provided with copy of the Personnel Resource [Employment] Policy Manual on the first day of work.

2. S/He shall also be given an orientation on the employee benefits, and general office policy by the Country Director/Supervisor. S/He shall be given a tour of the office to get acquainted with the staff, the different departments within the office, as well as the communication and records management system. This orientation will assist her/him in understanding the benefits, procedures, policies and operations of HPI.

3. [The Philippine office practice: Part of the orientation is a two-week intensive reading about HPI and its international/country programs. The employee is provided several books and reading materials about HPI programs. This is to ensure she will have a relatively good grasp of HPI-International and country program activities, and its cornerstones, before getting into the mainstream of work.

4. New staff are encouraged to visit project areas during the probationary period to enable them to understand fully what HPI is doing and how it is helping the farm-families.]

300/4.0 - The law in the Philippines does not require a probation period due to promotion or transfer from one office to another. Philippine law states that an employee you had worked in a company for over a year, should be given permanent status. In HPI/Philippines for a time it is somehow violating Phil. Labor Law, as all of us are considered contractual employees. Now, to possibly get away with the law, our contracts have no termination period/date  just an effectivity date of its enforcement.

For this particular section, I suggest to drop the or promoted in the subject title, and for it to cover only new employee/s.

Also, what would comprise of regular benefits? Does this include sick/vacation leave benefits; life/medical insurance; and separation gratuity? We need to define REGULAR BENEFITS. What about salary increases - would the government mandated salary increases covered by the prohibition? Please let us discuss this.

General Guidelines:

1. New employees will begin a probation period commencing on the first full day of their employment and extending for at least 90 days. Upon demonstrating satisfactory job performance by the end of this period, the employee will receive a letter so stating.

2. Written evaluations during probation will take place at least every 45 days before termination of probationary contract. Peer evaluation will be conducted in addition to the evaluation by the Director/immediate supervisor. The new employee concerned with be appraised of the result of the peer and supervisors evaluations during the meeting with her/him. The Director/Supervisors evaluations are filed with the Area Program Directors office.

3. The employee shall be given written notice that the job performance is unsatisfactory. Upon the discretion of the Director, s/he may have her/his probation period extended or be terminated.

4. Employees on probation receive all regular benefits. New employees, however, may not use paid annual, sick, or personal leave time during the probation period. In addition, all employees on probation are not eligible for salary increases or adjustments until after successful completion of the probation period.

300/5.0 - Employment of Spouses and Relatives - Either we allow relatives to be hired by HPI or not allow them. In the Field Offices, especially, where staff is very lean, it is almost impossible to eliminate staff-relative to report to Director (which is the sole supervisor in the office as everyone else has coordinative functions). We need to think carefully on this, as there are country offices now that will be affected. For further discussion.

General Guidelines:

1. Immediate family members (including spouse/s, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild) of employees may apply for posted positions, and could be considered for hiring upon fulfillment of academic/employment requirement of the position and selection/recruitment process.

2. An employee may not directly supervise or be supervised by a member of his/her immediate family,[ nor may any two members of an immediate family report directly to the same supervisor.]

{Note: the one in [ ] in No. 2 is not very clear to me. Rebecca, kindly explain.]

300/6.0 - Work Hours/Schedule - In the Philipines, the normal work hours is 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. But the law allows office to adopt flexi-time (flexible time), meaning work need not necessarily be from 8 am to 5 pm. It could be 9 to 6 or 7 to 4. This is because of traffic problems in the urban areas especially in Manila. If we have Muslims at the field office/s, we also must consider their religious practices of praying five times a day.

I suggest we abide by the labor laws within the country. Any adjustment in work time will be among field staff, and must not be reflected in the handbook, so we will not be violating any law.

I will stop here. I will be happy to read your comments on the above.


-- Anonymous, September 25, 1999

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