Revitalize your spirits. A great career awaits you in the cutting-edge technology workspace at IT Niche.
We offer you an opportunity to work with world-class companies, with highly skilled peer groups and an extensive learning environment. We value creativity and innovation, and offer a promising, rewarding future for talented individuals who perform.
At IT Niche, we don't treat academia as a delimiting factor for eliminating competition. We appreciate and value your degrees, but what matters most is your "Knowledge." We understand that "literacy" is not "education." Education is learning and knowing, and if you are sure you can perform, we're sure we can give your talent and spirits a stimulating platform on which to grow with us.
At IT Niche, you will experience a converging pool of talent. We don't believe man-made boundaries can contain our global spirit. You will work with people from all walks of life, different countries, different cultures, different languages but one universal motto of professionalism. If you consider yourself as a citizen of planet "Earth" and quality, knowledge and a hunger for excellence is your goal, then you are one of us.
Best of all, we understand that if you are one of us, you should be as prosperous as any one of us. Profit-sharing is NEVER an issue. A value proposition for IT Niche is a reward to you from yourself.
IT Niche is a marketing firm designed to help businesses and organizations enhance their online presence and branding. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, IT Niche works to provide top-shelf services and products that will give even the smallest of company a unique presentation. We can establish a virtual location for your business so that your doors are always open.
IT Niche can design a custom website for you and teach you how to use it to compete in your market. Small companies can present the look and feel of depth to their organizations by having a website they can use as a tool to tell their story at a tremendous discount compared to other less effective forms of advertising.IT Niche works with businesses of all sizes and in any industry by providing:
IT Niche offers on-site consultation combined with offshore development to provide quality custom websites at affordable price. By working together with business owners, we can create strategies and applications to address any need. We understand the challenges business owners face during these uncertain economic times. Our process offers flexible solutions to help take business Owners online at a price that will fit even the tightest budget. We can take clients online for the first time or work with them to enhance their current website.
At IT Niche, we focus on building your web site correctly from the beginning by using proven methods of design and implementation. We will ensure each web page for the site is created with the appropriate architecture so search engines will index the site. We will provide straightforward features and functionality for the site so it will be easy to navigate for audiences and be recognized by search engines, as well. Getting companies, brand or product found online is our main focus. We will achieve this by utilizing the following methods:
We work with clients to understand their needs and create custom solutions specifically tailored to solve unique issues.
This manual sets out the Company's Administration and Human Resources (HR) Policies & Procedures. It is designed for the guidance of Management and should be applied uniformly to ensure that just and equitable treatment is given to all Employees.
The Policies & Procedures applies to all employees, offices, projects and locations within IT Niche; it follows that all employees are required to implement these policies and to contribute to its continual development and improvement.
IT Niche reserves the right to add to, modify or delete provisions of any of the policies contained in this manual at any time without advance notice in order to reflect the Company's values and changing business objectives but without prejudicing any agreement already in existence.
a) The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidelines for the process to be followed in the recruitment of personnel for IT Niche and ensures that the Company attracts, identifies, and hires the most qualified applicant for the job.2) Policy
a) The Recruitment policy shall not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic and national origin.
b) The Company shall not recruit individuals under the age of 18 years old.
c) The Administration/Human Resources Department shall administer a centralized system of recruiting applicants and will remain the sole custodian and process owner. In the context of this policy, a "Candidate" refers to anyone considered for work with the Company including permanent, temporary, and Contractor and Consultant staff.
d) Recruitment of new personnel may be requested when the following occurs;
1) An approved vacant position exists
2) Qualified internal candidates are not available to fill the Position
e) Under normal circumstances, vacant positions shall be posted in the Company Website along with a brief description of the duties and qualifications required.
f) Vacant positions are created through initiation of an MPR "Manpower Request Form". An MPR must be approved by the relevant HOD/Project Director. A Job Description must be developed for all new positions prior to initiation of an MPR. Recruitment Requests must provide for a minimum of 30 days advance notice before the actual employment start date.
g) Identification of potential candidates is an ongoing process. Reasonable efforts shall be made to attract suitable numbers of qualified applicants to compete for appointments.
h) Interview of candidates shall be initially carried out by the Admin/HR department followed by the designated department/project representatives.
i) For each position, a Secondary candidate shall be identified in the event that the Primary candidate fails to join for any reason.
j) To protect the privacy of candidates and to preserve the integrity of the recruiting process, all personnel involved in the recruitment process are required to maintain confidentiality throughout and after the conclusion of the recruitment process.
k) In order to maintain the uniformity of compensation packages across the Company, the Admin/Human Resources Department shall be the sole authority to initiate, negotiate and finalize employment offers. All employment offers shall be in-line with the Company's standard Compensation structure; exceptions to this must be consulted and approved by the relevant MD.
a) In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest and the improper influence or favor, the employment of relatives may be limited in accordance with this policy.2) Definitions
a) For the purposes of this policy, a "Relative" is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of the persons who are related by blood or marriage, this includes; a parent, foster parent, parent in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, Aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, cousin, or any other person with a "family Relationship."3) Policy
a) Relative of an employee may be appointed to positions when:
A vacant position exists and the candidate is suitably qualified for the position and possesses requisite relevant experience and is found suitable for the position based on Technical and HR interview. The employment of relatives shall not cause a conflict of interest or be perceived as an act of favoritism.
The relative shall not be employed in the same department as far as possible. Any exception shall be expressly approved by the respective MD.
No employees may supervise or work under another employed relative.
The employee may not directly influence the appointment, recruitment, evaluation, promotion or salary increases of a Relative.
b) It will be the responsibility of the new recruit to declare in the Employment Application if he/she is related to an employee of IT Niche.
1) Recruitment group shall inform the concerned Managing Director of the relationship prior to confirming employment offer.
2) Employee and Spouse (married partner) employed by the Company shall not be provided with dual Married Status benefits. Normally, the Spouse with the higher grade will receive Married status benefits and the Spouse with the lower Grade will receive Single status benefits. Similarly, there will be no duplication of Medical Insurance and Leave.
|Allowances||Single Status||Married Status|
a) The purpose of the medical examination shall be;
1) To verify that selected recruitment candidate are physically fit to perform the inherent duties for the position.
2) To assess an Employee's medical fitness for the continuation of the performance of assigned Job duties.
3) Meet location of assignment medical requirements.
class="left-padd2" Satisfy immigration and other legal requirements.2) Policy
a) Pre-Employment Medical Examinations;
1) The Administration Department shall ensure that all selected applicants for employment undergo the necessary pre-employment medical examinations prior to confirmation of Employment with the Company and all Health measures meet with corporate standards. Final approval of employment and/or assignment is contingent on the Employee passing the pre-employment medical examination.
2) Medical Examinations must be conducted in a health facility approved by the Company. Where no such facility is available at the home city/country of the selected applicant, arrangements should be made to by the candidate to visit a medical facility designated by the Company.
3) When deemed necessary, and in order to make an employment decision, special investigations of a candidate's medical history and/or referral to a specialist may be required.
class="left-padd2" Medical examinations and provision for appropriate vaccinations shall be arranged at the Company's expense. Candidate will be reimbursed any amounts paid for such medical exams on presentation of receipts and invoices regardless if candidate is found medical fit or unfit to work.
a) On employment confirmation of the candidate, mobilization procedures shall be initiated by the Administration department.2) Policy
a) On acceptance of Employment Offer, all candidates must successfully undergo a mandatory pre-employment medical examination prior to having their employment offer confirmed. Medical Examinations are covered in more detailed under section "Medical Examinations". All fees relevant to these medical examinations shall be covered by the Company.
b) The following documents are required for immigration formalities:
i) Educational and professional certificates authenticated where these were issued.
ii) Copies of current valid passports with at least six months left to expiry.
iii) Four (4) passport size photographs of the candidate.
c) All costs associated with the authentication of certificates, renewal of Passports and the provision of photographs shall be borne by the employee.3) Joining Formalities
a) On the date of joining, the employee is required to submit to the Human Resources department all the required documents. For claiming medical reimbursement the employee should present all receipts to the Human Resources Department. Usually the reimbursement of Medical Test expenses shall be made by the Accounts Department on the same day.
b) Employee will be required to sign Employment Contract for activation of his Employment status.
c) Employee will also be required to attend the Induction training program arranged by the Human Resources Department.
a) The purpose of this policy is to describe the measures taken to provide a safe, secure healthy and friendly working environment for all IT Niche personnel in office and Field Locations. This Policy covers all measures related to work environment in IT Niche offices and Field Operations.2) Policy
a) Work environment is set of conditions under which a person operates, including physical, social, psychological and environmental factors such as climate, ergonomics, security and safety.
b) IT Niche aim is to provide a safe, secure, clean, healthy and friendly work environment for its employees by attention to the following;
i) Physical Factors
a) Air conditioning throughout the offices
b) Adequate kitchen and toilet facilities
c) Adequate lighting
d) Smoke free environment
ii) Human Factors
a) Security: All Office Employees are provide with ID "swipe" cards which must be used for entry and exit from office premises.
b) Safety: Regular safety orientation is carried out for newcomers and safety Officers are nominated, who are responsible for development and implementation of Safety rules and regulations.
c) The Administration Department is responsible for effective maintenance of Office premises and facilities to support the work environment.
a) The Dress code enhances our overall professionalism and ensures that all employees are able to attend to their duties in a presentable, safe and distraction-free manner.2) Policy
a) This policy is intended to define appropriate "business attire" from Monday to Friday and "casual business attire" on Saturdays.
b) As an international company with multiracial and multicultural workforce, it is important that the dress code reflects a professional image of the organization while respecting local customs and sensibilities.
c) While employees are expected to exercise common sense and good judgment in choosing their attire befitting their role and position, as a general rule it is always advisable to dress conservatively to be on the safe side.
d) Typical Business attire for all Office Locations would normally include the following:Men, Women
1) Suits / Blazers Dresses
2) Formal slacks Below knee Skirts
1) Ties Formal slacks
1) Formal shirts with buttons and collars Blouses
5) Formal shoes Nylons or stocking
1) Formal shoes
e) Inappropriate attire such as sandals, sneakers, shorts, beach costumes and ragged, torn or dirty clothing are not acceptable. Similarly, revealing and provocative clothing should be avoided.
f) Saturday would be "Dress Down" days. It is expected that employees would dress appropriately in "casual business" attire. Sandals, hats, shorts and round neck T-shirts and clothing with offensive wording or pictures will not be acceptable on Dress Down days. It is understood that employees having official engagements and meetings with clients / customers would dress appropriately in business attire for the occasion.
g) As Good personal hygiene and personal habits are extremely important in the work place. Employees are expected to maintain a high degree of body cleanliness and be odor-free during working hours.
a) The purpose of this policy is to maintain sufficient organized space for Employees to work and efficiently operate equipment with proper support to ensure a smooth workflow.
b) This procedure applies to all IT Niche Employees involved in the allocation of workspace, maintenance and safety of equipment and facilities.2) Policy
a) Work Space
1) Sufficient work space is to be made available for each Employee to enable Employee to carry out the assigned work duties in an efficient manner. The Employee is expected to maintain a high degree of tidiness within the provided work space by ensuring that files are stored properly in filing racks and that there are no hazards such as cables in the passageways. Loose paper lying about the workspace is to be avoided.
1) Properly functioning equipment shall be available and easily accessible to all Employees to enable them to carry out their work. Such equipment includes telephones, computers, printers, copiers etc.
2) Equipment shall be maintained regularly to ensure functionality. Equipment shall be changed or upgraded when their efficiency affects the quality and time of work generated.
1) All company software shall be upgraded when their functionality does not meet the job requirement.
2) All Software shall be officially licensed. Use of unlicensed software in not permitted in any of the Company's locations.
d) Storage and Archives
1) Accessible space shall be made available to ensure proper storage and archiving of company files in line with the relevant Quality Procedure
e) Support Services
1) Support staff shall be available to provide bulk copying, filing, distribution of documents and stationery, and general assistance to other Employees where required.
f) Fault Reporting
1) A Fault Report form is available with the Administration Department for personnel to notify the Administration department of faults such as equipment failure and maintenance requirements.
2) The Administration as the case might be, shall log such reports and rectify them immediately.
3) After corrective action has been taken, a Fault Rectification form shall be filled reflecting the date of completion and the action taken.
g) Facility Inspection
1) A representative of the Administration department shall inspect the facilities on a fortnightly basis. On the month end visit, Administration shall be accompanied by a representative of the Safety Department in their inspection.
2) This inspection shall cover the exterior space of the facilities including roofs, staircases, space under the stairs, storage rooms, fire exit passages, electrical and telephone rooms, extinguisher cupboards, archive areas, as well as territories immediately attached to the facilities.
3) On the basis of this inspection, a fortnightly Facilities Inspection Checklist shall be filled in. The following aspects shall be checked by the inspectors and shall be reflected in the Checklist.
h) Inspection Checklist
1) Housekeeping: This covers general tidiness and neatness of the inspected area as it may have direct impact on safety issues.
2) The inspectors shall pay attention to the walls, ceiling, A/C frames, check electric and telephone rooms as well as stairwells/staircases.
1) This covers technical and functional conditions of the inspected area.
2) The inspectors shall pay attention to the proper functioning of lights, A/C, building sign lights. They shall also inspect the condition of doors, wall paint, floor finish as well as ceiling tiles.
1) This covers those conditions, which provide preventive measures against safety hazards of any nature.
2) The inspectors shall pay attention to the presence of cables that might be tripped over, staircases are clear, that no exit sign is missing, that fire extinguishers are in their correct place and in good working condition with their validity labels attached and up to date, that there are no broken electrical outlets around and all fire doors are closed.
3) The inspectors shall pay attention that there are no hazardous situations within electrical and telephone rooms or any potential for such situations.
k) Corrective Action
1) The necessary corrective action shall be logged and acted upon immediately. In some cases, rectification may require time and / or upper Management approval.
2) After corrective action has been taken, a Fault Rectification form shall be filled reflecting the date of completion and the action taken.
l) Check List Approvals
1) The checklist shall be signed by all inspectors, which would attest to the correctness of the information in it.
a) The Company has a vital interest in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for its Employees, clients and visitors while respecting individual choices. This policy outlines the restrictions concerning Smoking during working hours.2) Policy
a) The Company takes the view that smoking constitutes both a fire risk and a health hazard to all its employees, both smokers and non-smokers alike as a result of passive smoking. Company rules therefore expressly forbid anyone to smoke in any of the following areas:
i) Offices (individual or open plan)
ii) Common parts of all buildings or facilities, including fire escapes, stairways, corridors, meeting rooms, WCs, kitchens, canteens, Lifts and reception areas
b) It is strictly prohibited for employees to smoke while working. Special Smoking areas have been provided in the building located in designated safe areas and where others are not affected by the effects of smoking.
c) Employees acting hosts to visitors on Company premises are required to explain this rule politely but firmly and are to ensure that visitors comply fully.
d) Staffs who currently smoke may apply to the HR department in confidence who will give advice on courses or self-help groups to enable them to give up smoking. They will also allow those employees access to literature on the hazards of smoking and of the benefits of giving it up.
e) Responsibility for compliance with this Policy resides with the Administration Department. It is also the responsibility of everyone to be aware of the risks and to take measures commensurate with the implementation of this policy.
a) This policy describes the Probation Period of a new employee and conditions of confirmation of employment with the Company.2) Policy
a) The probationary period allows an employee to adjust and adapt to the job demands and the working environment, while at the same time, allows the supervisor to observe if employee will be able to meet the requirements of the job and become a contributing member of the department and a successful part of the Company as a whole.
b) Generally, all new Employees are required to serve a probationary period of a minimum of three (3) months. The Management may, at any time, extend the probationary period by another three (3) months up to a maximum of six (6) months from date of employment.
c) During the Probationary Period, the Employment Contract may be terminated by either party at any time, without notice or compensation in lieu of notice.
d) During the Probationary period, Employee will not be eligible for any type of leave benefits including Annual leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave and Compassionate Leave. On exceptional basis, and based on the approval of the department head, an unpaid leave may be granted which may not exceed 5 working days.
e) Prior to completion of the Probationary period, the Employee's performance shall be assessed by the immediate supervisor in consultation with the Head of Department.
f) On successful completion of the Probation period, Employee will be confirmed for employment and notified accordingly.
a) The Company shall establish the work week and hours of work for all its employees in accordance with the applicable local labor laws.2) Policy
a) Employees based at offices are required to work a minimum of 48 hours per week, 6 days a week. The working week and hours may be changed from time to time as required by changing laws and regulations and/or by changes in this policy reflecting changes in Company operational requirements.
b) India office-based employees may arrive any time between 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm and work for 8 hours on weekdays (excluding break).
c) At on field projects and other offices, the working hours applicable to each location shall be advised to the Employees concerned.
d) Employees must abide by the published daily working hours. Employees are required to be at their work stations on time at the start of each work day, and leave at the official designated closing time. It is understood that the exigencies of work may require employees to work longer hours and working on the weekly off days.
e) All employees are required to complete their Daily Time Sheet booking their time to the project or activity as applicable. Timesheets must be approved by the respective Supervisor and HOD/Project Manager/Director as applicable.
f) As far as possible and practically applicable, employees are expected to obtain prior approval from their respective Supervisor for delay or absence from workplace. If for any reason an Employee is not able to report to work (such as illness), the Employee must inform his/her immediate supervisor or the Department Head when the supervisor is not available, as soon as reasonably possible. The Employee will be expected to provide reasonable justification for the absence, with documentation where applicable, upon return to duty.
g) Working hours and punctuality are regularly monitored and instances of tardiness or shortage of work hours shall be reported to the Department Head who will take appropriate disciplinary action depending on the severity of the violation.
a) IT Niche aims to be a performance driven organization. The purpose of the Performance Management policy is to provide an objective, consistent, and uniform process in the assessment and improvement of Employee performance.2) Policy
a) Performance assessment shall be conducted for each employee at least once every year. The main objectives of the Performance assessment exercise shall be to:
i) Provide Employee and his Supervisor with a structured opportunity to discuss work performance issues.
ii) Objectively evaluate employee's contribution in the previous year and review progress against agreed goals and targets.
iii) Review employee performance in relation to the behavioral indicators and provide constructive feedback.
iv) Cascade management objectives and agree on the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) goals, objectives and KPIs for the coming year.
v) Identify specific learning needs and resources in relation to the performance plan.
vi) Obtain reliable data for annual employee compensation and rewards.
b) While the formal Performance Appraisal is carried out annually for all Employees at all grade levels, performance management is a continuous process that should be monitored throughout the year and mid-course revisions undertaken in order to ensure achievement of annual business goals and objectives.
c) In normal cases, the Employee's performance shall be evaluated by a minimum of two assessors � viz. Direct/line Supervisor and Project Head/ Department Head as the case may be.
d) The Direct supervisor is expected to conduct a face-to-face performance meeting with the employee prior to completion of the Performance Assessment form. During the meeting the Supervisor shall discuss the overall performance of the Employee and agree on output to be delivered by the employee in the coming year, and the knowledge, skills and behavior ('competencies') to be developed by the employee in order to achieve the required results.
i) Employee's performance during the year is one of the many inputs for the Annual Compensation Review in addition to other factors like cost of living, market trends, peer group parity, criticality and potential of employees.
ii) Respective Heads of Departments shall suitably group employees based on the above factors and compensation guidelines provided by management for the year and propose annual increment and bonus.
iii) Respective Heads of Department shall also review the employee grade, designation and peer group parity to propose changes as necessary.
iv) All increment recommendations, corrections, grade changes and other status changes shall be reviewed and approved by the respective Managing Directors in consultation with human resources.
a) The aim of the Performance Improvement Policy is to encourage and maintain acceptable standards of performance. The policy and procedures set out below will normally be followed if an Employee fails to meet the standards set for the satisfactory performance of a job. This will apply to all IT Niche employees based on the formal or informal performance reviews.2) Policy
a) In the event of an employee not meeting the performance standards and expectations, this procedure shall be followed to provide appropriate feedback to employee. The concerned Supervisor / Department Heads shall explain to the employee the role expectations and desired standards of performance, key result areas and performance measures. A clear time frame shall be established to achieve the desired standards of performance.
b) Verbal Counseling
i) As a first step, employee shall be verbally counseled by the direct supervisor citing specific areas of deficiency in performance and set specific time frame (30-45 days) for a demonstrable improvement in performance along the agreed parameters. The Supervisor shall maintain a written record of such sessions and provide a copy to the HR department for Employee's personnel file.
i) The Verbal Counseling shall be followed by a review session at the end of agreed time frame. In the event that no demonstrable improvement is seen, the Supervisor shall highlight the matter to the Department Head and the employee will be issued a written warning in consultation with Human Resources Department with a specific time frame (30-45 days) to achieve desired performance levels along the agreed parameters. A Performance Improvement Plan should be made clear to employee that continued lack of performance may lead to termination of employee on performance grounds. A copy of warning letter shall be filed in Employee's personnel file.
d) Final Review
i) During the agreed time frame, the Supervisor would carefully monitor employee's performance and provide all necessary assistance, input to achieve a turn-around in performance. The performance plan shall be formally reviewed by Supervisor, Department Head and HR Representative on completion of the agreed time frame.
ii)In case of successful turnaround in performance, the employee will be informed and encouraged to continue his/her efforts. This will be recorded and placed in the Employee Personnel File.
iii) In the event of continued low performance and no demonstrable improvement in the employee's performance, the Department Head would advise Human Resources Department to terminate the employee's services in accordance with the Employment Agreement. Employee will be given the option to resign from the services on his own accord.
a) This policy describes the guiding principles and considerations in defining the company's Compensation & Benefits Policy.2) Policy
a) It is the policy of the company to attract and retain competent employees by offering them competitive salaries and benefits in compliance with applicable labor laws and prevailing market forces.
i) Grading Structure:
1) Company has established a grading structure based on "Job Evaluation" principles by analyzing and evaluating the value of benchmark jobs and aligning all the job positions to them.
2) The grading structure is comprised of Junior Staff, Senior Staff. and Certain key Executive Management positions are "unclassified".
ii) Job Position
1) Typically, each job position would correspond to 2 or 3 grades reflecting the level of proficiency on the competencies required for the job and progression of an employee within the same position. Such changes may result in change in designation.
2) Management may at its discretion temporarily provide a different designation to employee for the duration of project assignment based on the project requirement and a specific role employee is expected to play on the project. This will not in any way affect the system designation consistent with the job position of the employee.
iii) Employment Status
1) Junior Staff employee would be provided "Single Status" employment.
2) Married Employees in Senior Staff and above working in any office location at may be eligible for "Married Status" employment based on role and responsibility and at the discretion of management. In all cases Married status benefits are provided only if the Spouse is living with the Employee in the Country of assignment.
3) Usually, all Site based assignment would be on "Single Status". Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis depending on practical considerations and living conditions.
4) In specific cases, Management may approve "Married opted Single (MOS)"status for Senior Staff employees who do not wish to avail married status but would prefer more time with their families. Such employees will receive Single status allowances.
iv) Compensation Structure
1) Various allowances like Housing Allowance, Transport Allowance etc. shall be defined for each grade and be uniformly applicable to employees at each grade.
2) Basic salary ranges shall be established at each grade as a general guideline. The actual Basic salary offered to each employee would depend on external and internal parity with similar employee profiles within the company.
3) Benefits and allowances may vary based on location and be applied to employees based on Site policies.
v) Compensation Review
1) Periodical compensation reviews (usually annually) shall be carried out based on relevant inputs like market trends, inflation, living costs and any other factor deemed necessary. Based on these inputs Management may propose revision in Basic Salary and Allowances.
2) Any change in allowances would automatically be reflected in employee's compensation.
3) Usually a departmental increment budget shall be sanctioned by executive management based on the above and each Department Head would be required to recommend Basic salary increase.
4) Increase in Basic Salary would be based on various factors such as performance, peer group parity, criticality and potential of resource, date of joining the organization etc.
vi) Annual Reward / Bonus
1) In order to encourage employee commitment, ownership and superior performance IT Niche has a policy to reward employees based on consistency of performance, criticality and future potential through Annual Bonus.
2) The Annual Bonus is totally discretionary and dependent on company's business results and employee's contribution towards achieving business goals through individual performance, ingenuity, innovation, initiative, teamwork and alignment with IT Niche values.
3) Company may offer Bonus in the form of cash and/or deferred shares at its discretion.
vii) Career Progression
1) Promotions/Grade Change shall be based on demonstrated higher capability or achievement of higher degree of proficiency in the current job besides consistently superior performance in the assigned role.
2) If necessary, employees may be required to undergo assessment center evaluation, personality tests and interviews to qualify for advancement to a higher grade.
3) All grade changes would require Executive Management approval.
a) This policy aims to provide guidance to employees and managers on the eligibility of overtime and outlines the rates of pay applied to overtime work.2) Policy
a) Junior Staff Employees are eligible for overtime pay for hours worked beyond the Company regular working hours or for hours worked during weekends or public holidays. The monthly salary of Senior Status Employees includes payment of any extra time that Employee may work outside normal working hours to complete assigned tasks.
b) Overtime is paid in accordance with the current local Labour Law.
c) Overtime is strictly need based and its usage is monitored closely. The number of overtime hours that an employee may work is based on location and project of assignment. In all cases, overtime work must be approved prior to it being worked. The control of overtime is vested in the supervisors and managers who will assess the need for overtime work and be able to justify the reason for overtime.
d) All Employees are required to work a minimum of 8 hours per day. During Company declared weekly rest days and official holidays, junior staff employees will be eligible to a maximum of 10 hours overtime per day. Due to the nature of work, junior status Employees may be required to work in excess of 10 hours per day for which compensation for such overtime hours is included by way of Hardship and separation allowances.
a) All Employees are entitled to an Accommodation Allowance or company provided accommodation. Amount of allowance and type of accommodation may change from time to time.2) Policy
a) The Accommodation Allowance (comprised of House Rent Allowance and Special HRA)is an all-inclusive amount paid to Employees and covers rent and associated expenses like security deposits, municipality fees, furnishing, utilities costs, finder's fees, Agents fees, and any other costs incurred in obtaining, using and relinquishing the accommodation.
b) Accommodation Allowance is paid on a monthly basis along with the salary and continues during Annual Leave, approved Sick Leave, Rest & Recreation and paid Compassionate Leave. Accommodation Allowance is not paid during leaves without pays and leave encashment.
c) The Accommodation Allowance and HRA Special Allowance shall be activated once the employee submits sufficient proof of accommodation
d) During joining and induction program the employee will be provided a list of recommended real estate agencies. In addition to this, employee may use the local newspapers for rental advertisements. It is recommended to seek accommodation within close proximity of the IT Niche office to avoid long travel.
e) Employee would normally enter into a 11 month rental agreement with the landlord. This can be renewed on expiry of 11 months with mutual agreement.
f) In most cases water, electricity, gas and other related utility expenses will be additional to the monthly rental amount and will have to be borne by the employee directly. Some buildings may have central air conditioning and parking included in the house rent.
g) It is essential for an employee to open a current bank account. As salaries are disbursed through Bank, all employees are encouraged to open an account with the same bank of the company.
h) The Rental Agreement is between employee and Landlord. Employee is obligated to pay the rents as long as he/she utilizes the accommodation irrespective of employee's employment status with It Niche. In normal situations, Employee would require to inform landlord in writing at least two months prior to vacating the premises.
a) The Company shall provide Employees with either Company provided transport or a Transport Allowance commensurate with their grade. The Transport allowance is intended to cover cost of transportation to and from Employees place of residence and Work.2) Policy
a) The Transport Allowance is paid monthly to all office based Employees who are not provided with a Company vehicle or other transportation means. The Allowance covers all costs incurred to travel from residence to work and back.
b) While Transport Allowance shall be paid during all approved leaves, the Allowance would not be payable in case of unpaid leaves.
c) Transport Allowance is not payable with Leave Encashment.
d) Work related transportation costs are addressed in the "Business Travel Policy".
a) Annual Bonus is essentially a reward and retention mechanism for recognizing and rewarding employees for their contribution to company's well-being. Consistent with the IT Niche DNA emphasizing high performance, commitment and ownership, Bonus scheme has been established to address the following factors:
i) High performance
ii) Employee's extra time and effort in achievement of company goals and objectives.
iii) Employee commitment and consistent track record of performance
iv) Retention of talent
v) Any other consideration deemed fit by executive management2) Policy
i) In most cases Bonus payments are made in the month of March for the previous calendar year. Payments dates may be revised by management from time to time based on operational requirements.
ii) Bonus payments are made only to employees who are still in the employment of the Company on the date of Bonus award subject to a minimum of 12 months of continued service with the Company. Minimum requirements may be revised by management from time to time.
iii) Based on the factors listed in the "Purpose" section above, management shall award bonus to eligible employees pro-rated to number of days worked in the previous year.
iv) Guaranteed bonuses (wherever contractually agreed) shall be computed on a pro-rated basis for the number of days worked in the calendar year for which a Bonus is being considered. Actual bonus for such employees may be higher than pro-rated guaranteed bonus depending on their performance and various other factors listed.
v) Bonus is usually paid out as a combination of cash and/or deferred company shares (DBSP) unless specifically agreed in the employment contract to the contrary. The ratio of cash and shares shall be at management discretion.
a) The Company provides Education Assistance to Married Senior Staff Employees to assist them towards the cost of education of dependent children.2) Policy
a) Education Assistance is a monetary assistance provided to employees and should not be construed as an allowance. The amount of Education Assistance is based on the Employee's grade and paid to Employees on a monthly basis along with the payroll.
b) To be eligible for the Education Assistance Employee must fulfill the following criteria;
i) Employee must be on Married status above.
ii) Employee must be permanently assigned to an office location or any other office location where Married Status benefits are applicable.
iii) Employee's child must be at least 2 years old. i.e. child must have completed their 2nd Birthday.
iv) Child must be registered in a school and residing with Employee in the Country of Employment.
c) Eligible Employees will be entitled to receive a monthly Education Assistance for a maximum of two (2) resident dependent children at any one time, up to their 19th birthday.
d) Employees are required to register a school-aged child with the Company immediately on arrival.
e) Education Assistance for children attending school for the first time will commence from the date the child is admitted to the School. The Employee will be required to provide HR with the necessary school enrollment confirmation or original invoices.
f) Any change in Education Assistance as a result of Grade changes shall be effective from the date of such change.
g) Special cases for Employees with disabled children will be considered by Management on a case-by-case basis.
a) As an additional benefit, the Company shall provide Employee Medical benefits through a suitable insurance scheme for the purpose of providing quality medical care.2) Policy
a) All permanent staff employees shall be covered under the Company's Medical Insurance Policy.
b) Medical Insurance benefits vary for Junior and Senior level employees.
c) Employees and their eligible dependents shall be provided with Insurance cards which are renewed on an annual basis. It is strictly prohibited for any person other than the insured to use the Insurance card. Dependents who exceed the maximum age before expiry of the card will continue to be insured until the expiry date of the Insurance card.
d) It is crucial that every Employee becomes fully familiar with the Medical Insurance Policy and understands the extent of cover and policy limitations.
e) The Company reserves the right to alter the Medical Insurance limits terms and conditions, at any time and without notice, provided that these alterations do not conflict with the applicable Labor Laws.
f) The Company may, at any time, require an Employee to undergo certain medical examinations by an approved Medical service provider. All such medical tests shall be borne by the Company.
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a) Employees will be eligible for Annual Leave benefits based on the UAE Labor Law.2) Policy
a) Annual Leave
i) ACCRUAL: Employees shall be entitled to 22 working days Annual Leave for every 12 months of service with the Company. In case such Employees are deputed to client Sites and are eligible, they will not accrue Annual Leave. for the duration of their deputation to Sites.
ii) WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS: Annual Leave excludes all weekends and official holidays falling within the leave period. When official holidays fall within the Employee's leave, those days will be added to the Employee's leave entitlement. Annual leave does not accrue during periods of unpaid leave.
iii) SICKNESS DURING ANNUAL LEAVE: Days of illness falling within Annual Leave will normally be treated as part of the Annual Leave. Serious illness cases requiring hospitalization or confinement supported by medical evidence will be reviewed on a case by case basis by HR in coordination with the Company Medical Advisor for grant of sick leave during the annual leave period. The final decision shall remain with HR.
iv) PROBATION PERIOD: Employees will not be eligible to avail Annual leave during the Probationary period.
v) LEAVE PLANNING: While Annual leave may be availed at any time during a calendar year, it is strongly recommended that employees plan their leave schedule in advance in consultation with their respective Supervisor to ensure smooth functioning of the department. Management may reschedule Annual leaves based on operational requirements.
vi) APPLYING FOR ANNUAL LEAVE: Employee must complete and submit a Leave Request letter which must be approved by the relevant HOD / PM prior to proceeding on annual leave.
vii) EXTENSION: Employees are expected to resume duty immediately on completion of Annual Leave. In the unforeseen event of an Employee requiring an extension of Annual Leave, relevant Supervisor or Department Head must be informed at the earliest and approval sought. Management reserves the right to decline extension of leave due to operational reasons. If an Employee fails to report on the scheduled date of return, he/she shall be considered as absent without permission. Such periods of absence will be treated as Unpaid Leave and Employee may face disciplinary action.
viii) LEAVE ACCUMULATION: All Employees are encouraged to avail their Annual leave as scheduled. Employees are permitted to accumulate a maximum of 33 Annual Leave days as of end of calendar year. At the end of each year, Annual Leave days in excess of 33 working days shall be automatically encashed and paid to Employees.
ix) AUTO ENCASHMENT OF ANNUAL LEAVE: Encashment of Annual leave days shall be based on Basic Salary only. Number of calendar days paid while encasing the Annual Leave shall be calculated using a multiple of 1.4 to convert working day leave to Calendar Days.
x) ENCASHMENT OF LEAVE: Employee may encase the accrued leave at any time. However, leave encashment shall be based on BASIC SALARY only.
a) This policy describes the conditions for eligibility for sick leaves.2) Policy
a) An employee may apply sick leave in the event of illness, provided he/she has completed the Probation Period.
b) Employee falling sick must advise his / her immediate supervisor and HR Dept. on the first day of absence or as soon as possible thereafter. The Employee shall also keep the HR department advised of health progress should the illness result in a long period of absence.
c) Paid sick leave related illness or injury is granted in accordance with the current Labor Laws.
d) Maximum of 5 single day sick leaves per calendar year without a Medical certificate, any days exceeding this will require a medical certificate.
e) All medical certificates must state the nature of the illness and the number of recommended leave days. All sick leave applications shall be reviewed and approved by the Company's Medical Advisor and HR Department. Supporting documentation shall cover a detailed diagnosis of the medical condition, its treatment and the recommended number of leave days.
f) The Company may seek the opinion of an authorized medical provider and the Employee may be required to undergo medical examinations and tests as deemed necessary before resuming duty.
g) Days of illness falling within Annual Leave will normally be treated as part of the Annual Leave. Serious illness cases requiring hospitalization or confinement supported by medical evidence will be reviewed on a case by case basis by HR in coordination with the Company Medical Advisor for grant of sick leave during the annual leave period. The final decision shall remain with HR.
h) Unapproved sick leaves shall be treated as Annual Leave and, if all leaves are exhausted, such sick leave shall be treated as unpaid leave.
i) Sickness due to substance, drug or alcohol abuse shall not be treated as Sick Leave.
a) Compassionate leave shall be granted to Employees in the case of death or critical illness of an Employee's immediate family member.2) Policy
a) For the purpose of this policy, Compassionate Leave shall apply only to an Employee's immediate Family Member; father, mother, sister, brother, spouse or child.
b) Critical Illness is defined as a physical condition where the patient is in medical care and is in imminent danger of dying. Serious illness does not necessarily mean critical illness.
c) Compassionate Leave shall be approved by the Company's Medical Advisor and HR Department and shall apply on the following circumstances;
i) Death of an immediate Family Member - Compassionate leave of Fourteen (14) calendar days.
ii) Critical Illness of an immediate Family Member - Compassionate Leave of Seven (7) calendar days.
d) In the event of the death of an employee's resident or non-resident immediate family member, and where employee chooses not to travel, the employee shall be entitled to three (3) calendar day's compassionate leave. Company shall not provide compassionate leave ticket or encashment of ticket in such situations.
e) Compassionate leave is inclusive of travel time and may not be accumulated. Compassionate leave is forfeited if not taken at the time of the event.
f) Employees are required, upon return from Compassionate Leave, to provide all necessary documents approved and attested by the relevant authorities confirming the illness or death of the immediate family member.
g) Any additional days off beyond the Compassionate leave entitlements shall be treated as Annual leave. In any event, all leave extensions shall be requested in writing by the Employee and must be approved by the relevant HOD.
h) Should an Employee become eligible for Compassionate Leave during Annual leave, the Company shall provide Employee with an additional three (3) calendar days of paid leave.
i) Compassionate Leave is not granted while the Employee is on any type of unpaid leave.
j) Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by a Managing Director.
a) Maternity Leave is granted to female employees subject to the provisions of the current Labor Laws.2) Policy
a) Maternity Leave shall be granted for a period of 45 calendar days including the period preceding and the period following Employee's delivery.
b) Maternity Leave shall be granted at full pay to a Female Employee who has completed at least Two (2) year of continuous service with the Company and at 50% pay if Employee has not completed Two (2) full year of continuous service with the Company.
c) An Employee who has exhausted her maternity leave may be absent from work without pay for a maximum period of 45 calendar days if such absence is due to a delivery-related illness preventing her from resuming her work.
d) During the 18 months following delivery, a female Employee nursing her child shall be entitled to two additional breaks each day for this purpose, neither of which shall exceed half an hour. These two additional breaks shall be considered as part of the regular working hours.
e) All medical certificates must be issued by an authorized medical institution and approved by the Company's Medical Advisor and HR department.
a) The Company shall provide Employees with paid holidays in accordance with the applicable Labor Laws.2) Policy
a) Public Holidays falling in any one calendar year may vary from one location to another. However, subject to the local Labor Laws, paid leave is provided to all Employees for Public Holidays declared for the private sector by the competent local government authorities and announced by the Company from time to time.
b) The actual dates in which the official holidays fall depend on Government announcements and are published in the local newspapers before they occur.
c) Official Holidays falling on rest days (weekends) shall not be compensated on another day.
a) This policy lays down the guidelines governing the grant of "Unpaid Leave" to the employee.2) Policy
a) Unpaid Leave is restricted to cases of emergency or for humanitarian reasons other than those specified as Compassionate Leave. Such leave is granted at the sole discretion of the Company.
b) Application for an unpaid Leave must be made by Employee through the Leave letter providing justification for the request. Unpaid Leave will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be recommended by the respective HOD and approved by the Human Resources Department.
c) General Unpaid Leave Conditions:
i) Unpaid Leave may not exceed a maximum of 30 days. Leave requests for a period longer than 30 days shall require the approval of the Managing Director.
ii) Applications for unpaid leave shall be considered only if the Employee has exhausted all Annual leave balances.
iii) During unpaid Leave, all entitlements and benefits of the Employee, with the exception of Insurance Benefits, shall cease until such time as the Employee is resumes normal duty.
iv) The full duration of the unpaid Long Leave shall not be included as part of the Employee's Services with the Company.
v) The Company may terminate the employment services of the Employee at any time during an unpaid Long Leave in accordance with the Employment Contract and Labor Laws. In such event the Company will pay the Employee the Contractual Notice pay if any.
a) This document details the framework within which all of IT Niche travel arrangements will be managed and controlled. It establishes the policies governing travel and related expenditure incurred when Employees are required to travel on business.
b) Its purpose is to ensure a consistent and uniform approach to all travel arrangements and ensure the safety of our Employees while travelling on business. This policy should also ensure the most cost-effective quality assured service for IT Niche.
c) The Policy covers all Employees & Contract staff of the Company, except where specific terms have been agreed under a separate agreement.
d) All Approvers are responsible for ensuring that Employees who incur business expenses comply with this Policy.
e) Prior written approval by the relevant business unit Managing Director, or their designee is required when out-of-policy travel arrangements are made.2) Definitions
a) Managing Director: An Employee appointed as the Managing Director of one of the Business Units.
b) Approver: The person authorized to approve based on this Policy's Approval Authority
c) Traveler: An Employee of IT Niche who has been authorized to Travel
d) Travel Officers: The Administrative Staff responsible for the overall Travel Services of Employees undertaking travel.
e) Client: An organization to whom IT Niche services are provided in connection with an awarded project.3) Policy
a) Approvers Responsibility
i) Approvers are expected to evaluate business travel requests to ensure the necessity of such travel and if travel is in the best business interest.
ii) Approvers are expected to develop travel plans for their Employees that are both goal oriented as well as cost effective.
iii) Approvers are expected to review and approve travel expense reports in accordance with this policy.
b) Traveler Responsibilities
i) It is the Employee's responsibility to read, understand and adhere to the Company Travel Policy.
ii) Subject to health and safety considerations, all travelers have a responsibility to minimize expense to IT Niche on travel, whilst ensuring that their duties are carried our effectively. At all times they must conform to the travel procedure as detailed in this document.
iii) Traveler must familiarize themselves with this Travel policy and any other travel regulations and restrictions before embarking on travel.
iv) Traveler must exercising care in incurring expenses and accomplishing the purposes of the travel.
v) Traveler must ensure that all travel documents are valid and in order including passport, photographs, visas and any other documents necessary for the intended travel.
c) Need to Travel
i) The need to undertake travel and the numbers of personnel involved should be questioned on each occasion. This should include consideration of whether written or electronic communication could effectively replace the need for personal meetings, or whether video-conferencing facilities could be utilized. In all events, Need to Travel authorization must be obtained in accordance to the Travel Authorization procedure as described in the following section.
d) Travel Authorization
i) All business travel must be approved by the persons authorized to approve travel (Authorized Persons). Approval Authorization will normally follow the following process;
ii) First Level Approval Immediate Supervisor
iii) Second Level Approval Cost Owner or Project Head
iv) A travel authorization must be signed for all business travel and submitted to the designated Travel Officers prior.
v) Exceptions to this Policy must be highlighted by the Travel Officers and require the approval of the relevant business unit Managing Director.
e) Travel Requests
i) Travel requests should be raised by Employee and issued for approval as soon as the journey is known as late bookings often incur higher fares. A log of the timing of travel bookings will be maintained by the Travel Officers and reported to Company and Divisional management to aid travel management.
ii) It is important that cancellations are notified to the Travel Officers immediately when they become known in order that maximum relief on cancellation costs can be obtained.
iii) Employees should plan their own travel program in consultation with their Head of Department. The designated Travel Officer will make the necessary travel arrangement on the basis of the Travel Request Form and in accordance with this policy.
iv) Travel Requests shall not be processed by the Travel Officers until previous ticket issuances to Employee have been cleared.
f) Ticket Purchases
i) The Travel Officers will investigate, negotiate and form strategic vendor relationships with airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other travel facilitators to provide optimum cost and quality benefits.
ii) In order to ensure that premium rates, route and reservations are obtained, all Ticket purchases must be made through the Company Travel Officers. The Travel Officers will apply for ticket purchases through approved Airlines and Travel Agencies. Choice of airlines and ticket costs shall be investigated by the Travel Officers to ensure optimum and cost effective travel solutions are provided. Travel Officers shall provide travel reports to Management on a monthly basis highlighting exceptions.
iii) Company policy is to use E- tickets wherever E-tickets are accepted.
iv) When a ticket is lost, the Employee should contact the Travel Officers immediately.
v) It is the traveler's responsibility to notify the Travel Officers of any cancellations or changes to travel plan.
g) Travel on Client Account
i) Travel on Client Account may be required under certain conditions. Such approval must be obtained from the Client in Writing through the respective Project Manager. Employee Travel approval via this policy still remains to be undertaken irrespective of Client approval.
h) Spouse Travel
i) Expenses incurred for accompanying spouses or family members on business travel are considered personal in nature, such expenses are not reimbursable as a business expense.
i) Mode of Travel
a) Advance ticket purchase can result in significant savings on published fares. Travelers should therefore plan their trips as far in advance as practical and specify whether the nature of their journey makes it practical for advance tickets, which carry cancellation and alteration charges, to be booked. It may be cost effective to book low-cost advance tickets, even if there is a risk that these may have to be changed, providing that the cost to change, combined with the low-cost ticket price, is not more expensive than the normal fare alternative.
b) All air travel reservations must be made through the Company Travel Officers and in accordance with this policy. Exceptions may be authorized for travel to areas of specific danger where safety and security considerations outweigh those of cost. Such exception requires the approval of the relevant business unit Managing Director.
c) The policy is to utilize the cheapest fares on approved airlines for all flights. For IT Niche to obtain the best airline discounts, it is necessary to concentrate airline purchasing with a selected number of airlines that must be supported to optimize the benefits for the business. In order to provide for flexibility in the implementation of the policy, Company Travel Officers will quote a minimum of two ticket fairs, however, it is preferred that three ticket fairs are quoted where available. In most cases direct flights are preferable, however, the Travel Officers should review all travel options, even if this involves a change of planes. In all cases the Travel Officers must quote travel and transit durations.
j) Class of Travel
i) Economy Class for all staff
k) Frequent Flyer Club Memberships
i) Employees may retain all benefits from frequent flyer club memberships. All dues for such clubs must be paid by Employee.
l) Excess Baggage
i) Excess Baggage caused by the necessity of taking items for business reasons must be authorized by the Department Head and advised to the Travel Officers at the time of Ticket booking. Excess Baggage payment receipts must be attached to the Expense Claim for reimbursement.
m) Charter of Airplanes
i) Airplanes may only be chartered for use under the following circumstances with consideration to the restrictions indicated under Article 10 (Security) of this Policy;
ii) Where there is no other form of transportation to fulfill the journey in question;
iii) Where the number of people travelling together warrants the charter of the plane on grounds of cost saving;
iv) Where the value of time saved significantly exceeds the cost incurred and the charter is compatible.
v) Approval for Charter of Airplanes may only be made by the Group CEO.
n) Rail Travel
i) It is strongly recommended that rail reservations are made through the Travel Officers. Where practical, travelers should aim to book tickets in advance to benefit from more economic fares. Bearing in mind the many different variables in Rail class of travel, Employee should exercise sound judgment and travel by the most economical means.
o) Vehicle Travel
i) If Employee is required to travel by vehicle, ticket/fare cost will be reimbursed at actuals; therefore, Employee must obtain all receipts in conjunction with such travel.
ii) For longer journeys, where the use of public transport is of lower cost and practical, claimants are expected to use public transport.
p) Car Hire
i) Car leases must be approved by the Employees Department head. The Lease of a vehicle should only be considered in the following situations;
ii) Where there is no Company Transport available;
iii) Where no taxi service is available or where the rental of a vehicle will cost less than the actual cost of using taxis.
iv) The Company contract with rental agencies for special corporate rates and insurance coverage. These companies are to be used for automobile rental for all business travel. Travel Officers shall select alternate rental agencies in certain foreign locations where the contracted firms do not have operations or are not available.
v) Employee should inquire of the rental agency if special promotional rates are in effect at that location. These rates may be lower than the corporate rate. Weekly rates should be used in rental of five days or more.
vi) Gasoline charges on a rental car will be reimbursed with submission of an original receipt and the rental agreement.
vii) Traveler should:
1) Accept the standard comprehensive insurance offerings of the rental car supplier.
2) Inspect vehicles for signs of damage at the beginning and end of each rental to protect the individual and Company's interests.
3) Damage found, either on acceptance or on return of a rented vehicle, must be noted on the rental agreement documents and signed by both hirer and rental company representative.
4) Any damages to vehicle not reimbursable by the Vehicle Insurance Policy shall be at Employee's expense.
5) All rented vehicles must meet with the Company's minimum Safety Standards.
viii) Use of Own Vehicle
1) Excludes those Employees who are provided with a company vehicle for business and personal use where the Company will absorb running expenses including fuel, maintenance and repair, insurance and registration.
2) Employee should seek approval to use a personal vehicle for business purposes
a) A Company Vehicle is not available
b) Public transport is not a reasonable alternative;
3) For approval, the following conditions must be satisfied:
a) Employee must possess a valid driving license for the type of vehicle to be used.
b) Vehicle must have a valid Registration
c) Vehicle should have comprehensive insurance valid for all areas where the vehicle will be used. Proof of insurance and registration must be provided to the designated Company Representative prior to authorization of vehicle use.
d) Personal vehicle used for business related travel must comply with Company safety requirements including, but not limited to, seatbelts, headrests, airbags and ABS break systems. List of vehicle safety requirements may be obtained from the HSSE department.
e) Employee shall abide by all laws and regulations regulating vehicle traffic and Company's driving and safety rules. The Company shall not reimburse Employee for any fines or traffic violations even if such fines were incurred during the course of the business travel.
4) Employee may claim reimbursement for the use of a personal motor vehicle on business purposes where the distance travelled is greater than 100 km on any day.
5) In order to claim reimbursement, employees shall keep a log of journeys performed. It must be submitted to the Accounts Department after approval by the concerned Department Head.
6) The amount of reimbursement will be based on a per Kilometer rate published by the Company from time to time. This is an all inclusive rate for the use of the vehicle including, but not limited to, petrol, maintenance, repairs, insurance, depreciation and any other related running costs of the vehicle.
q) Traffic Offence Fines
i) Employees are responsible for meeting the costs of any speeding, parking or any other traffic violation charge they may receive.
r) Taxi Use
i) Taxi fares are reimbursable when it is necessary to use such means of transportation. Receipts are required, on occasions where receipts are not available, taxi costs are to be itemized on the Travel Expense Claim.
s) Airport Transportation & Airport Parking
i) mployee should make own arrangements for transportation to and from the Airport. Cost of Transportation to and from Airports shall be reimbursed at actuals based on submission of original receipts.
ii) The parking of private cars at airports while on business travel shall not be reimbursed.
t) Travel Accommodation
i) Hotel Selection
1) It is strongly recommended that all hotel reservations are made through the Travel Officers who have access to special rates. The Travel Officers will maintain a hotel directory summarizing the Company special rates.
2) The Travel Officers will maintain a list of acceptable Hotels for each destination of travel. Any Exceptions must be justified and authorized by the relevant business unit Managing Director.
3) It is strongly recommended that the Travel Officers be used to book conference facilities when required.
ii) Hotel Rates & Charges
1) In destinations where It Niche has negotiated special hotel rates and the traveler chooses to stay elsewhere, resulting in a higher rate per day, the traveler will be reimbursed at the lower established rate for that destination.
2) The hotel charges are to be paid by the Employee and claimed on the Expense Claim Form. In all events, the rates for the Hotel room should be in line with this Policy.
3) A single room with private bathroom facilities in a moderately priced business class hotel is the IT Niche standard, in all events, the room rates shall not exceed the amounts indicated on the Travel Expense Charts.
4) Exceptions to this will require the relevant business unit Managing Director's approval with an explanatory note attached to the Expense Claim Form.
5) If reservations must be cancelled, it is the responsibility of the traveler to make sure that cancellation is made in advance so that "no show" charges will not be incurred
u) Meals, Living Expenses and Per Diem
i) Per Diem / Living Expenses
1) Company shall provide Employees a Per Diem for meals and other living expenses while Employee is on business travel.
2) The Per Diem rate includes food, laundry, personal telephone, gratuities and other miscellaneous living expenses. The Per Diem rate does not include Hotel Room Charge or Transportation Costs which will be reimbursed at actuals.
3) The Per Diem is based on the country of destination cost of living expense. Payment of Per Diem takes effect from the date of Employee's departure until the date of Employee's arrival at original travel departure point. The Per Diem is not applicable on site locations where Food and other living facilities are provided by the Company.
4) Company may decide to reimburse Employee for meals and other living expenses at actuals up to a maximum limit of 25% over the Per Diem amount. Original receipts are required for reimbursement of all such living expenses.
5) All alcoholic beverages will be at Employees personal expense, exceptions to this is made only when Employee is entertaining business clients. Reimbursement of such expenses must be approved by the Employee's Department Head with the relevant justification.
v) Business Meals
i) The expense of entertaining clients or potential clients is reimbursable when such entertainment serves a business purpose and when expenditures are reasonable in relation to the number of clients entertained and the potential benefits to be derived. In all events, Employee must obtain prior approval from Head of Department.
ii) A description (either a list of names or identification of the hosted group) and the total number in attendance at a business function must be indicated on the reimbursement request along with the business purpose of the entertainment. It is important that the Travel Expense Claim clearly document the business purpose of the entertainment.
w) Telecommunications Costs
i) Business Related Telecom Expenses
1) Traveler should apply judgment in using the most cost-effective telecommunication option, whether, by mobile, office or hotel telecommunications. Such costs must be included on the Travel Expense Claim with a copy of the transcript of the business calls made and received.
2) Travelers will be reimbursed for business phone calls:
3) That is reasonable and necessary for conducting business
4) When the hotel bill with the itemized calls or original phone bill is attached to the Expense Report.
x) Personal Telecom Expenses
i) All Personal Telecom Expenses are included in the Per Diem and should be paid directly by the Employee.
y) Cash Travel Advance
i) Cash Advance Requests & Eligibility
1) A Cash Travel Advance may be obtained from the Finance Department. The Company may provide cash advances in limited amounts for Employees travelling on authorized business to cover reasonable Travel expenses. Cash advances must not be used to cover personal expenses or any activity which is the sole responsibility of the traveler. The amount of advance shall be a reasonable estimate of the cash necessary to conduct the intended business.
2) Request for Travel Advances are submitted on Cash Advance Vouchers and approved by the Finance department and the Head of the Employee's Department. Travel Cash advances will generally not be provided earlier than 2 working days before planned departure date.
z) Employee Responsibility
i) Each cash advance is the personal obligation of the traveler until it has been discharged by processing a properly completed Travel Expense Claim.
ii) mployees are responsible for the proper record keeping of expenses incurred while travelling and for settling any unused advance owed to the Company. Travel advances must be accounted for on a Travel Expense Claim within 7 working days after returning from the trip. Employee will be required to return all un-expensed cash advances to the Finance department on return from Travel.
iii) Cash Travel Advances not settled within 30 days of Employee's arrival will be forwarded to Payroll for deduction from Employee's salary.
aa) Expense Reports
i) Expense Claims & Reimbursements
ii) It is the Company's procedure to reimburse Employees for all necessary travel, accommodation and other related expenses incurred while Employees are engaged on authorized business.
iii) The level of reimbursement allowed will be sufficient to provide a standard and quality which will adequately meet the needs of Employees from the viewpoint of both comfort and acceptability for the effective conduct of business. The Company expects Employees to travel in the most 'cost-effective' manner, but also with due regard to safety and comfort, such that personnel arrive at their destinations physically and mentally able to fulfill their business commitments.
iv) Following return from travel, Employee is required to complete a Travel Expense Claim within Ten (10) days from the actual date of arrival. The Expense Claim should state the business purpose of each trip, summarize the expenses by classification, and provide support documentation. The Travel Expense Claim must be approved by the Employees Head of Department and forwarded to the Finance Department for Processing.
v) Expense Reports must be submitted in Indian Rupees/U.S. Dollars with an explanation and translation of the foreign receipts and their conversions.
vi) In order for the expense report to be processed, Travel Expense Claims must contain all original supporting invoices and documents including ticket & Hotel receipts, meal and transportation receipts and other justifiable travel expenses. Receipts are not required for expenses less than $1.00 where receipts cannot be obtained due to the nature of the service (i.e., tips, luggage handlers, etc.) Although receipts are not required, these expenses must be itemized and documented on the Travel Expense Claim.
vii) Employees are responsible for limiting expenditures while on company business to necessary expenses which are normal and appropriate under the circumstances.
viii) When an Employee combines business and personal travel, any additional costs of the personal travel (supplementary hotels, travel and meals) will not be reimbursed.
ix) The Employee's supervisor is responsible for reviewing the Employee's expense reports to ensure that all requirements are met, special approval requirements have been received and that all necessary documentation is furnished prior to authorizing reimbursement. The supervisor also reviews expense reports to ensure that they are reasonable and appropriate. The Finance Department shall investigate all questionable expenses with the Employee.
x) The Finance Department is responsible for maintaining the books and records and for establishing adequate internal controls to assure that reimbursements are accurate and documentation is complete.
bb) Reimbursable Expenses
i) Other Reimbursable Expenses include the following; such expenses must be itemized and documented in accordance with this policy;
ii) Business office expenses such as word processing services; equipment rentals; fax and computer expenses; copy services and internet charges incurred for business purposes.
iii) Tolls and parking for vehicles used for business purposes;
iv) Hotel Vaults
v) Loss or theft of cash advances, airline tickets, or personal funds or property with an official police report.
cc) Non-Reimbursable Expenses
i) Non-Reimbursable Expenses Include;
ii) Amenities such as movies, in-room bars, saunas, massages, etc.;
iii) Any personal clothing or accessories;
iv) Travel Insurance
v) Prescriptions, over-the-counter medication, or other medical expenses; such expenses should be claimed in accordance with the Company Medical insurance policy.
vi) Magazines, books, newspapers, or other personal reading material;
vii) Outlays for personal recreation or entertainment
viii) Expenses related to non-Company activities or personal time off taken before, during, or after a business trip;
ix) Loss of cash advances, airline tickets, or personal funds or property without an official police report.
x) Fees for personal credit cards
dd) Non-Reimbursable Expenses approved reimbursable payments will be included in the Employees payroll.
ee) Employee is responsible for any additional costs incurred for travel which includes additional routing to visit family, accompanying family members or short vacations. When receipts include cost for both business and personal expense, an explanatory note should accompany the expense report with the appropriate separation of costs.
ff) Credit Card Payments
i) When an Employee uses their own Credit card for payment of business related travel expenses, Employee will be reimbursed the amounts based on original receipts and credit card slips. Such expenses must be entered on the Travel Expense Claim.
ii) There is generally ample time to claim reimbursement prior to the due date of the card bill. The Company will not reimburse late fees assessed as a result of late payment by the cardholder.
gg) Foreign Currency Exchange
i) Foreign currency conversion fee will be reimbursed by Company based on receipts to be attached to the Expense Claim Form. It is recommended that Currency Exchanges are made in Banks or official Exchange establishments, only where no such facilities are available or are not reasonably accessible should currency be exchanged in Hotels.
i) Destination Security Restrictions
1) Travel Officers are required to coordinate on travel restrictions for all travel destinations. Travel arrangements may not be made to locations where travel restrictions apply. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Group CEO.
ii) Travel Together Restrictions
1) To effectively manage the risk in the event of the loss of members of the Executive Management, not more than two (2) Managing Directors shall at any one time, travel together on the same aircraft
2) If the requirement specified above cannot be achieved a deviation may be granted provided that written approval is obtained from the Group CEO. Such approval may be granted provided it can be demonstrated that the requirement cannot be reasonably attained. This must be supported by an assessment identifying additional control actions for additional potential risk posed by the deviation.
jj) Safeguarding Of Assets and Records
i) Discretion should be used regarding the security and confidentiality of business information while travelling.
kk) Visas & Passports
i) It is the Employee's responsibility to ensure that he/she possesses a valid passport for business travel.
ii) Employee should ensure that the visa requirements for each country to be visited have been completed. The Administrations Department can assist in obtaining all necessary visas, but will require adequate notice to do so.
i) The cost of flight insurance, including that provided by credit card companies, is considered an Employee's personal expense.
i) Employee is expected to carry the Company Identity card and Company Emergency Contact details at all times during business travel. The latest Emergency Contact details may be obtained from the Administration Department. In the event that Employee encounters an Emergency during travel, the Employee must immediately inform the Department Head and the Administration Department. Depending on the type of Emergency, the Administration Department will coordinate efforts with other departments to resolve the crisis.
i) In the event that a traveler may have a complaint about any aspect of their travel arrangements, a complaint must be registered with the Administration Department within 5 working days upon their return. A Customer Complaint letter must be forwarded to the Administration Department for necessary action to be taken.
oo) Exceptions to Travel Policy
i) Exceptions to this travel policy may be approved when necessary to meet special circumstances or when in the best interest of the Company.
ii) Requests for exceptions to travel policy must be documented, explained, and certified. Exceptions are not considered without the approval of the relevant business unit Managing Director.
a) This Policy addresses the Employee Separation Process in the event of decision by either party (Employee or Employer) to terminate the Employment Contract/Agreement.
a) Following Employment Confirmation, The Employment Contract may be terminated, at any time, by either party by giving the other party notice as specified in the Employee's contract of employment. In the event that the Company terminates the services of an Employee following completion of the probationary period, the Company shall, at its sole discretion, either provide the Employee with notice of contract termination in which case the Employee will be required to work the notice period, or pay Employee compensation in lieu of the notice period. Compensation in lieu of notice shall be based on the Employee's last salary including all applicable allowances.
i) Retirement: Refer to the Retirement Policy for details on this section.
ii) Resignation: Refers to termination of the employment contract by the Employee. A resignation must be submitted in writing by Employee to the respective Department Head.
1) The resignation letter must specify date of resignation, last day of work and the reason.
2) Resignation letters must be accepted by the Head of Department before Separation procedures can commence.
3) The HR department will review each resignation on a case by case basis in coordination with the Department Head and wherever possible conduct Exit Interview with employee.
4) Employees resigning from service are expected to serve the notice period as specified in the employment contract. In case of any shortfall Basic salary for the shortfall period shall be deducted from final settlement.
5) Company may require an employee to work for a longer period beyond the specified notice period based on the Exigencies of work. As far as possible such extension shall be mutually agreed between employee and employer
6) In the event employee is prepared to serve the notice period but company exercises the option to release the employee earlier than the end of notice period, employee will be paid full salary for the shortfall period.
iii) Termination: Labor laws permit the Employer to terminate an employee's services by giving contractual notice at any time after the confirmation of services. Usually, termination of employment contract shall be effected due to following:
1) Unsatisfactory Performance: In the event the management is of the opinion that employee is unable to perform his duties satisfactorily employee's services may be terminated. Management may arrive at this decision based on formal or informal review of performance, feedback from customer, supervisor or stakeholders. Management may provide oral or written warning to employee and opportunity to improve before taking such a decision.
2) Redundancy: Refers to termination of the Employee due to completion of project assignment and whereby no other positions exist in the Company that meet with the Employee's knowledge, skills and abilities.
3) Medical Grounds: Refers to termination of employment if employee's health does not permit him/her to discharge the job function satisfactorily.
4) Termination for Cause: Refers to termination of the employment contract by the Company for reasons of inappropriate behavior, misconduct or negligence. These include, but not limited to, the following:
o Violation of the Company's Code of Business Conduct
o Violation of Company Rules, Regulations and Policies.
o Serious recklessness manifest that may jeopardize the Company's personnel, property or Employee.
o Using or under the influence of intoxicants, narcotics or any kind of illegal substances or drugs at during working hours or in performance of Company work related duties.
o Insubordination, intentionally ignoring or not following supervisor's instructions.
o Violating any of the work safety regulations and instructions.
o Falsification or misrepresentation, submittal of forged certificates or documents.
o Engaging in unlawful or illegal acts. • Disclosing Confidential Information.
o Causing agitation resulting in trouble at the work or causing disorder, chaos, dispute, quarrel, physical confrontations or use of threatening language or gestures.
o Acts that damage Company image, sales or business.
Except in case of termination for cause, in all other cases of termination of employment by company, the employee shall be entitled to full salary for the shortfall in contractual notice period. In cases of termination for cause, management is authorized to terminate the employee's services without notice.
Wherever possible and practical, termination notices shall be given by the Department Head to the Employee during a face to face meeting and in the presence of the HR representative. Where this is not possible, notice may be delivered through registered mail, email or facsimile.
a) The Retirement Policy establishes the framework to process the Retirement of an employee from the services with the Company.2) Scope
a) This policy applies to all Permanent employees of the Company.3) Definitions
a) For the purposes of this policy, "Retirement" is the termination of employment of an employee after satisfying the criteria of age as provided in this Policy.4) Policy
a) IT Niche follows a flexible policy on the issue of Retirement from services.
b) Company may choose to continue with the regular employment even after the employee has reached the age of 60 years depending on various factors including employee's criticality, health and performance. However, such decision to continue the employee's service beyond the age of 60 shall be contingent upon labor laws of the country of employment and prevailing rules and regulations governing the employment and residence visa.
c) Either the employee or company may initiate the Retirement process any time after employee completes 60 years age taking into consideration employee health, performance, future progression and any personal commitments of employee.
d) HR department along with the concerned HOD will provide a letter to the employee and confirm the date of retirement providing a notice period in accordance with the Employment Contract
e) In the event of Retirement, the retiree shall be entitled to full and final settlement which will comprise of wages, salaries, benefits, indemnities and all other benefits due and accrued to the employee as a result of the employee's employment with the Company.
f) All cases of Retirement shall be approved by the respective Managing Director.
a) The purpose of this policy and process is to identify factors which may have contributed to an Employee's decision to leave employment with a view of identifying trends requiring attention to ensure the retention of valued Employees.2) Policy
a) The interview will be conducted in an atmosphere of openness and honesty. Employee should be encouraged to be sincere, candid and constructive in their responses and understands that the information and feedback provided will be confidential and will not be detrimental to their future in any away. Major Areas that must be covered during the Exit Interview include;
i) Supervision and Management
ii) Work Satisfaction
iii) Workload Distribution, Schedule Flexibility & Working Hours
iv) Salary, Benefits
v) Relationships with co-workers
vi) Training and Development
vii) Career Advancement Opportunities
viii) Working Environment
b) The First Exit Interview is normally performed by the Direct Line manager/supervisor immediately on official notification of the Employees resignation/separation notice. The supervisor shall explain the purpose and privacy of the process. Results of the interview should be provided to the Head of the Department and to the Human Resources Department soon after completion.
c) All Separating Employees will be requested to complete the "Exit Information Questionnaire". The Human Resources will schedule and conduct a face-to-face exit interview with the separating Employee. This interview will normally occur not more than one week after receiving notification of the Employee's resignation
d) HR shall review all exit interview results and following up with Departments and/or immediate supervisors as appropriate.
e) Copy of the Exit Questionnaire and Interview shall be placed in the Employees file.
a) The purpose of the grievance procedure is to ensure that employee grievances are addressed and resolved expeditiously and within the framework of company policy.2) Policy
a) The Company supports the rights of its Employees to express grievances on any subject relating to the organization and/or Employees of the organization and have a satisfactory hearing of that grievance and be assisted to work towards resolution.
b) A grievance can be;
1) A complaint about actions taken by management
2) A complaint about actions taken by another Employee or Employees
3) A complaint on an act of discrimination, bullying and harassment
4) A complaint about any other employment related decision, policy, procedure or behavior which Employee may think is unfair, unjust or upsetting.
c) All discussion of grievance will be confined to those who can assist in its resolution.
d) As far as possible, a grievance should be resolved quickly at the lowest level to avoid unnecessary escalation or the need for Employee to go outside the organization for assistance.3) Procedure
a) The purpose of the grievance procedure is to ensure that employee grievances are addressed and resolved expeditiously and within the framework of company policy.
b) In the first instance, the grievance must be raised with the Employee's immediate supervisor, unless the grievance relates to the supervisor. The supervisor will investigate the issue and attempt to resolve the grievance within a reasonable period.
c) In the event the Supervisor is unable to resolve the grievance or the employee is not satisfied with the resolution or the grievance pertains to the Supervisor, the Employee may raise the grievance with the Head of the Department.
d) The Head of department may choose to resolve the issue directly or direct the matter to the Human Resources Department.
e) If necessary, Human Resources department may conduct an independent investigation into the grievance or assign a qualified representative to perform this task.
f) While the dispute settling process is taking place, the Employee is to continue in their position as normal, unless the situation is unworkable or unsafe.
g) Should the situation be considered by management, in consultation with Human Resources, to be unworkable or unsafe, management will take action to remove the Employee from the situation if the situation is having a serious adverse impact on the work and the workplace.
h) The Immediate Supervisor, Department Head and HR have an obligation to;
1) Hear the grievance as soon as possible and discuss with Employee privately
2) Establish facts: what, where, when, who, how and why
3) Document the discussion and facts
4) Clarify understanding of the situation
5) Investigate all allegations
6) Meet with the respective parties on discussions
7) Explain the grievance procedure and give a copy of this policy
8) Explain consequences if claim substantiated or not
9) Seek witnesses
10) Maintain open communication and confidentiality
11) If a solution has been achieved, document and ensure all parties clearly understand the terms of agreement.
12) Monitor and ensure implementation of agreed solutions
i) In all grievance cases, if an agreement is not reached, the final decision shall be made by HR and shall be final and binding. All records and investigations shall be filed in the HR department.
j) This policy does not restrict Employees rights to the "Speaking up" and "Bullying and Harassment" policies of the Code of Business Conduct.
a) The Disciplinary Policy of the company is aimed at demonstrating our commitment to maintain high standards of work conduct and ensure consistent and fair treatment for all. The policy is intended to achieve compliance with Code of Business Conduct and local Labor Laws with an aim to correct the deviant behavior and apply the provisions of the policy in a fair and consistent manner.2) Scope
a) These disciplinary procedures outlined below shall be followed by all staff and may change from time to time based on policy requirements.
b) A grievance can be;3) Policy
a) The policy and procedures set out below will normally be followed if an Employee:
i) Acts in a manner contrary to normal acceptable standards of conduct/behavior
ii) Violates the Code of Business Conduct
iii) Breaches the terms and conditions of employment
i) No disciplinary action will be taken against any Employee until the matter has been fully investigated and at every stage the Employee has had a fair opportunity to respond. Employee may raise their concerns by way of raising a grievance.
ii) The Project Director /Department Head shall convene an Investigation Committee comprising the representatives from immediate management, HR/Admin. The Investigation Committee shall examine the nature of offence and ascertain facts relating to the incident including the employee's version.
i) If the results of investigations indicate that the Employee is guilty of misconduct or violation of the Code of Business Conduct, the following disciplinary measures shall be considered based on the investigating committee's assessment of the seriousness of the offense:
ii) Formal Verbal Warning: Verbal warnings may be given for offences of a less serious nature. Immediate supervisor and a representative from the HR/Admin shall call the Employee and advise him/her of the offense and warn that continued/repeated misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action, including dismissal. A note of the warning shall be placed in the Employee's personnel file.
iii) Formal Written Warning: If the Investigating Committee deems that the offense is of a serious nature, or there is repetition of misconduct in spite of a formal verbal warning, Employee shall be issued a Written Warning detailing the offense committed and the consequences of unsatisfactory improvement. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Employee's personnel file.
iv) Final Written Warning: If the misconduct or offense is sufficiently serious or if, following a formal written warning, there is a further incident of misconduct (whether or not of the same nature); Employee shall be issued a Final Warning Letter. Employee will be interviewed by the supervisor and/or Head of Department and the HR/Admin. Department who shall clarify to the Employee the seriousness of the offense and decide on the actions to be taken. The final warning letter must specify that if immediate corrective action is not taken dismissal will result. A copy will be placed in the Employee's File. The decision to dismiss an Employee shall be taken by the Head of Department, in conjunction with a senior member of the HR department, following a review of the evidence.
v) Suspension: If misconduct or offense is sufficiently serious or if, following a formal written warning, there is a further incident of misconduct (whether or not of the same nature); Employee may be suspended from work with reduced pay up to a maximum period of ten (10) days. Employee shall be interviewed by the Supervisor and Head of Department and the HR/Admin. Department who will explain to the Employee the seriousness of the offense and decide on the actions to be taken. The seriousness of the offense shall be decided with the relevant HOD, the HR department.
vi) Termination: Termination may be brought about due to many factors including, but not limited to, performance, misconduct, breach of company policies or breach of Company code of business conduct. All cases of terminations will be investigated by the Human Resources department and brought to the attention of the respective Business Unit Managing Director. All cases of terminations shall be brought to the attention of Business Unit Head and prior approval shall be obtained before issuing the Termination Letter to the Employee. The letter shall be issued by Department Head in the presence of HR representative.
i) Employee has the right to appeal against any disciplinary action decided by the Company.
ii) The appeal shall be reviewed at the appropriate level in management. The outcome of the appeal will be confirmed to the Employee by Human Resources in writing as soon as possible after the appeal has been reviewed. The decision made at this stage will be final and binding on the employee.
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