Bescience

Policies

Safer Recruitment Policy

This guidance and associated procedures govern all Conferences, Workshops, Clubs, the Youth and Official Advisory Boards, as well as any BeScience STEM partner project overseas whether under direct or indirect control of the Social Enterprise activities in England.
Its remit includes both auxiliary and full members as well as Volunteers or Trainers in Community Support Projects, Special Projects and Special Works including children’s camps, participating schools and universities and clubs who may encounter them. All of the preceding individuals are known collectively as “our representatives.”

The following individuals will be eligible for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check without barring information, even if they engage in such work infrequently:

  • An individual either supervised/ unsupervised on a frequent/infrequent basis who teaches, trains, instructs, cares for or supervises children or provides advice/ guidance on physical, emotional or educational well-being to children.
  • A person on, either a frequent, intensive or overnight basis, who provides training, teaching, instruction, assistance, advice or guidance to an adult who receives a health, personal or social care service (e.g. receives any form of care or assistance due to illness or disability)
  • Supervised volunteers working/having substantial contact with children in a specified establishment (i.e. school)

Further advice can be found on the Government website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy applies between you, the User of this Website, and BeScience STEM, the owner and provider of this Website. BeScience STEM takes the privacy of your information very seriously. This privacy policy applies to our use of any and all Data collected by us or provided by you in relation to your use of the Website.

Please read this privacy policy carefully.

Definitions and Interpretation

  1. In this privacy policy, the following definitions are used:
DataCollectively all information that you submit to BeScience STEM via the Website. This definition incorporates, where applicable, the definitions provided in the Data Protection Laws;

Data Protection Laws

Any applicable law relating to the processing of personal Data, including but not limited to the GDPR, and any national implementing and supplementary laws, regulations and secondary legislation;
GDPRThe UK General Data Protection Regulation;

BeScience STEM, we or us

BeScience STEM, a social enterprise incorporated in with registered number 10495265 whose registered office is at 90 Melling Drive, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 4UZ.

User or you

Any third party that accesses the Website and is not either (i) employed by BeScience STEM and acting in the course of their employment or (ii) engaged as a consultant or otherwise providing services to BeScience STEM and accessing the Website in connection with the provision of such services; and
Websitethe website that you are currently using, https://www.bescience.org.uk/, and any sub-domains of this site unless expressly excluded by their own terms and conditions.
  1. In this privacy policy, unless the context requires a different interpretation:
    1. The singular includes the plural and vice versa;
    2. References to sub-clauses, clauses, schedules or appendices are to sub-clauses, clauses, schedules or appendices of this privacy policy;
    3. A reference to a person includes firms, companies, government entities, trusts and partnerships;
    4. “including” is understood to mean “including without limitation”;
    5. Reference to any statutory provision includes any modification or amendment of it;
    6. The headings and sub-headings do not form part of this privacy policy.

Scope Of This Privacy Policy

  1. This privacy policy applies only to the actions of BeScience STEM and Users with respect to this Website. It does not extend to any websites that can be accessed from this Website including, but not limited to, any links we may provide to social media websites.
  2. For purposes of the applicable Data Protection Laws, BeScience STEM is the “data controller”. This means that BeScience STEM determines the purposes for which, and the manner in which, your Data is processed.

Data collected

  1. We may collect the following Data, which includes personal Data, from you:
    1. IP address (automatically collected);

in each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

Method of Data Collection

  1. We collect Data in the following ways:
    1. Data is given to us by you; and
    2. Data is collected automatically.

Data That is Given To Us By You

  1. BeScience STEM will collect your Data in a number of ways, for example:
    1. When you contact us through the Website, by telephone, post, e-mail or through any other means;
    2. When you register with us and set up an account to receive our products/services;
    3. When you complete surveys that we use for research purposes (although you are not obliged to respond to them);
    4. When you elect to receive marketing communications from us;
    5. When you use our services.

In each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

Data That is Collected Automatically

  1. To the extent that you access the Website, we will collect your Data automatically, for example:
    1. We automatically collect some information about your visit to the Website. This information helps us to make improvements to Website content and navigation and includes your IP address, the date, times and frequency with which you access the Website and the way you use and interact with its content.

Data Usage

  1. Any or all of the above Data may be required by us from time to time in order to provide you with the best possible service and experience when using our Website. Specifically, Data may be used by us for the following reasons:
    1. Internal record keeping;
    2. Improvement of our products / services;
    3. Transmission by email of marketing materials that may be of interest to you;
    4. Contact for market research purposes which may be done using email, telephone, fax or mail. Such information may be used to customise or update the Website.

In each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

  1. We may use your Data for the above purposes if we deem it necessary to do so for our legitimate interests. If you are not satisfied with this, you have the right to object in certain circumstances (see the section headed “Your rights” below).
  2. For the delivery of direct marketing to you via email, we’ll need your consent, whether via an opt-in or soft-opt-in:
    1. Soft opt-in consent is a specific type of consent that applies when you have previously engaged with us (for soft opt-in consent is a specific type of consent which applies when you have previously engaged with us (for example, you contact us to ask us for more details about a particular product/service, and we are marketing similar products/services). Under “soft opt-in” consent, we will take your consent as given unless you opt-out.
    2. For other types of e-marketing, we are required to obtain your explicit consent; that is, you need to take positive and affirmative action when consenting by, for example, checking a tick box that we’ll provide.
    3. If you are not satisfied with our approach to marketing, you have the right to withdraw consent at any time. To find out how to withdraw your consent, see the section headed “Your rights” below.
  3. When you register with us and set up an account to receive our services, the legal basis for this processing is the performance of a contract between you and us and/or taking steps, at your request, to enter into such a contract.

Data Sharing

  1. We may share your Data with the following groups of people for the following reasons:
    1. Our employees, agents and/or professional advisors;
    2. Relevant authorities

In each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

Data Security

  1. We will use technical and organisational measures to safeguard your Data, for example:
    1. Access to your account is controlled by a password and a username that is unique to you.
    2. We store your Data on secure servers.
  2. Technical and organisational measures include measures to deal with any suspected data breach. If you suspect any misuse or loss or unauthorised access to your Data, please let us know immediately by contacting us via this email address: finance@bescience.org.uk.

Data Retention

  1. Unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law, we will only hold your Data on our systems for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this privacy policy or until you request that the Data be deleted.
  2. Even if we delete your Data, it may persist on backup or archival media for legal, tax or regulatory purposes.

Your Rights

  1. You have the following rights in relation to your Data:
    1. Right to access – the right to request (i) copies of the information we hold about you at any time, or (ii) that we modify, update or delete such information. If we provide you with access to the information we hold about you, we will not charge you for this, unless your request is “manifestly unfounded or excessive.” Where we are legally permitted to do so, we may refuse your request. If we refuse your request, we will tell you the reasons why.
    2. Right to correct – the right to have your Data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
    3. Right to erase – the right to request that we delete or remove your Data from our systems.
    4. Right to restrict our use of your Data – the right to “block” us from using your Data or limit the way in which we can use it.
    5. Right to data portability – the right to request that we move, copy or transfer your Data.
    6. Right to object – the right to object to our use of your Data including where we use it for our legitimate interests.
  2. To make enquiries, exercise any of your rights set out above, or withdraw your consent to the processing of your Data (where consent is our legal basis for processing your Data), please contact us via this email address: finance@bescience.org.uk.
  3. If you are not satisfied with the way a complaint you make in relation to your Data is handled by us, you may be able to refer your complaint to the relevant data protection authority. For the UK, this is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO’s contact details can be found on their website at https://ico.org.uk/.
  4. It is important that the Data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your Data changes during the period for which we hold it.

Links To Other Websites

  1. This Website may, from time to time, provide links to other websites. We have no control over such websites and are not responsible for the content of these websites. This privacy policy does not extend to your use of such websites. You are advised to read the privacy policy or statements of other websites prior to using them.

Changes of Social Enterprise Ownership and Control

  1. BeScience STEM may, from time to time, expand or reduce our social enterprise and this may involve the sale and/or the transfer of control of all or part of BeScience STEM. Data provided by Users will, where it is relevant to any part of our social enterprise so transferred, be transferred along with that part and the new owner or newly controlling party will, under the terms of this privacy policy, be permitted to use the Data for the purposes for which it was originally supplied to us.
  2. We may also disclose Data to a prospective purchaser of our business or any part of it.
  3. In the above instances, we will take steps with the aim of ensuring your privacy is protected.

General Provisions

  1. You may not transfer any of your rights under this privacy policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under this privacy policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
  2. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this privacy policy (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this privacy policy will not be affected.
  3. Unless otherwise agreed, no delay, act or omission by a party in exercising any right or remedy will be deemed a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.
  4. This Policy will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under this Policy will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

Amendments To This Privacy Policy

  1. BeScience STEM reserves the right to change this privacy policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by law. Any changes will be immediately posted on the Website and you are deemed to have accepted the terms of the privacy policy on your first use of the Website following the alterations.

You may contact BeScience STEM by email at finance@bescience.org.uk.

This privacy policy was created on 10th March 2023.

Data Protection


Statement and Purpose of the Policy

  1. BeScience STEM (the Employer) is committed to ensuring that all personal data handled by us will be processed according to legally compliant standards of data protection and data security.
  2. We confirm for the purposes of the data protection laws, that the Employer is a data controller of the personal data in connection with your employment. This means that we determine the purposes for which, and the manner in which, your personal data is processed.
  3. The purpose of this policy is to help us achieve our data protection and data security aims by:
    1. Notifying our staff of the types of personal information that we may hold about them, our customers, suppliers and other third parties and what we do with that information;
    2. Setting out the rules on data protection and the legal conditions that must be satisfied when we collect, receive, handle, process, transfer and store personal data and ensuring staff understand our rules and the legal standards; and
    3. Clarifying the responsibilities and duties of staff in respect of data protection and data security.
  4. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. We may amend this policy at any time, at our absolute discretion.
  5. For the purposes of this policy:
    1. Criminal records data means information about an individual’s criminal convictions and offences, and information relating to criminal allegations and proceedings.
    2. Data protection laws mean all applicable laws relating to the processing of personal data, including, for the period during which it is in force, the UK General Data Protection Regulation.
    3. Data subject means the individual to whom the personal data relates.
    4. Personal data means any information that relates to an individual who can be identified from that information.
    5. Processing means any use that is made of data, including collecting, storing, amending, disclosing, or destroying it.
    6. Special categories of personal data mean information about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life or sexual orientation and biometric data.

Data Protection Principles

  1. Staff whose work involves using personal data relating to Staff or others must comply with this policy and with the following data protection principles which require that personal information is:
    1. Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. We must always have a lawful basis to process personal data, as set out in the data protection laws. Personal data may be processed as necessary to perform a contract with the data subject, to comply with a legal obligation which the data controller is the subject of, or for the legitimate interest of the data controller or the party to whom the data is disclosed. The data subject must be told who controls the information (us), the purpose(s) for which we are processing the information and to whom it may be disclosed.
    2. Collected only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes. Personal data must not be collected for one purpose and then used for another. If we want to change the way we use personal data, we must first tell the data subject.
    3. Processed only where it is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing. We will only collect personal data to the extent required for the specific purpose notified to the data subject.
    4. Accurate and the Employer takes all reasonable steps to ensure that information that is inaccurate is rectified or deleted without delay. Checks to personal data will be made when collected and regular checks must be made afterwards. We will make reasonable efforts to rectify or erase inaccurate information.
    5. Kept only for the period necessary for processing. Information will not be kept longer than it is needed and we will take all reasonable steps to delete information when we no longer need it. For guidance on how long particular information should be kept, contact the Data Protection Officer.
    6. Secure, and appropriate measures are adopted by the Employer to ensure as such.

Who Is Responsible For Data Protection and Data Security?

  1. Maintaining appropriate standards of data protection and data security is a collective task shared between us and you. This policy and the rules contained in it apply to all staff of the Employer, irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all employees, directors and officers, consultants and contractors, casual or agency staff, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers (Staff).
  2. Questions about this policy, or requests for further information, should be directed to the Data Protection Officer.
  3. All Staff have a personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, to handle all personal data consistently with the principles set out here and to ensure that measures are taken to protect the data security. Managers have special responsibility for leading by example and monitoring and enforcing compliance. The Data Protection Officer must be notified if this policy has not been followed, or if it is suspected this policy has not been followed, as soon as reasonably practicable.
  4. Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Significant or deliberate breaches, such as accessing Staff or customer personal data without authorisation or a legitimate reason to do so, may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice.

What Personal Data and Activities are Covered By This Policy?

  1. This policy covers personal data:
    1. Which relates to a natural living individual who can be identified either from that information in isolation or by reading it together with other information we possess;
    2. Is stored electronically or on paper in a filing system;
    3. In the form of statements of opinion as well as facts;
    4. Which relates to Staff (present, past or future) or to any other individual whose personal data we handle or control;
    5. Which we obtain, is provided to us, which we hold or store, organise, disclose or transfer, amend, retrieve, use, handle, process, transport or destroy.
  2. This personal data is subject to the legal safeguards set out in the data protection laws.

What Personal Data Do We Process About Staff?

  1. We collect personal data about you which:
    1. You provide or we gather before or during your employment or engagement with us;
    2. Is provided by third parties, such as references or information from suppliers or another party that we do business with; or
    3. Is in the public domain.
  2. The types of personal data that we may collect, store and use about you include records relating to your:
    1. Home address, contact details and contact details for your next of kin;
    2. Recruitment (including your application form or curriculum vitae, references received and details of your qualifications);
    3. Pay records, national insurance number and details of taxes and any employment benefits such as pension and health insurance (including details of any claims made);
    4. Telephone, email, internet, fax or instant messenger use;
    5. Performance and any disciplinary matters, grievances, complaints or concerns in which you are involved.

Sensitive Personal Data

  1. We may from time to time need to process sensitive personal information (sometimes referred to as ‘special categories of personal data’).
  2. We will only process sensitive personal information if:
    1. We have a lawful basis for doing so, eg it is necessary for the performance of the employment contract; and
    2. One of the following special conditions for processing personal information applies:
      1. The data subject has given explicit consent.
      2. The processing is necessary for the purposes of exercising the employment law rights or obligations of the Social Enterprise or the data subject.
      3. The processing is necessary to protect the data subject’s vital interests, and the data subject is physically incapable of giving consent.
      4. Processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject.
      5. The processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defence or legal claims; or
      6. The processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.
  3. Before processing any sensitive personal information, Staff must notify the Data Protection Officer of the proposed processing, in order for the Data Protection Officer to assess whether the processing complies with the criteria noted above.
  4. Sensitive personal information will not be processed until the assessment above has taken place and the individual has been properly informed of the nature of the processing, the purposes for which it is being carried out and the legal basis for it.
  5. Our Privacy Notice sets out the type of sensitive personal information that we process, what it is used for and the lawful basis for the processing.

Criminal Records Information

  1. Criminal records information will be processed in accordance with our Criminal Records Information Policy.

How We Use Your Personal Data

  1. We will tell you the reasons for processing your personal data, how we use such information and the legal basis for processing in our Privacy Notice. We will not process Staff personal information for any other reason.
  2. In general, we will use the information to carry out our business, to administer your employment or engagement and to deal with any problems or concerns you may have, including, but not limited to:
    1. Staff address lists: to compile and circulate lists of home addresses and contact details, to contact you outside working hours.
    2. Sickness records: to maintain a record of your sickness absence and copies of any doctor’s notes or other documents supplied to us in connection with your health, to inform your colleagues and others that you are absent through sickness, as reasonably necessary to manage your absence, to deal with unacceptably high or suspicious sickness absence, to inform reviewers for appraisal purposes of your sickness absence level, to publish internally aggregated, anonymous details of sickness absence levels.
    3. Monitoring IT systems: to monitor your use of emails, internet, telephone and fax, computer or other communications or IT resources.
    4. Disciplinary, grievance or legal matters: in connection with any disciplinary, grievance, legal, regulatory or compliance matters or proceedings that may involve you.
    5. Performance reviews: to carry out performance reviews.
    6. Equal opportunities monitoring: to conduct monitoring for equal opportunities purposes and to publish anonymised, aggregated information about the breakdown of the Employer’s workforce.

Accuracy and Relevance

  1. We will:
    1. ensure that any personal data processed is up to date, accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was collected.
    2. not process personal data obtained for one purpose for any other purpose, unless you agree to this or reasonably expect this.
  2. If you consider that any information held about you is inaccurate or out of date, then you should tell the Data Protection Officer. If they agree that the information is inaccurate or out of date, then they will correct it promptly. If they do not agree with the correction, then they will note your comments.

Storage and Retention

  1. Personal data (and sensitive personal information) will be kept securely in accordance with our Data Retention Policy.
  2. The periods for which we hold personal data are contained in our Privacy Notices.

Individual Rights

  1. You have the following rights in relation to your personal data.
  2. Subject access requests:
    1. You have the right to make a subject access request. If you make a subject access request, we will tell you:
      1. Whether or not your personal data is processed and if so why, the categories of personal data concerned and the source of the data if it is not collected from you;
      2. To whom your personal data is or may be disclosed, including to recipients outside of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) and the safeguards that apply to such transfers;
      3. For how long your personal data is stored (or how that period is decided);
      4. Your rights of rectification or erasure of data, or to restrict or object to processing;
      5. Your right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you think we have failed to comply with your data protection rights; and
      6. Whether or not we carry out automated decision-making and the logic involved in any such decision making.
    2. We will provide you with a copy of the personal data undergoing processing. This will normally be in electronic form if you have made a request electronically, unless you agree otherwise.
    3. To make a subject access request, contact us at finance@bescience.org.uk.
    4. We may need to ask for proof of identification before your request can be processed. We will let you know if we need to verify your identity and the documents we require.
    5. We will normally respond to your request within 28 days from the date your request is received. In some cases, e.g. where there is a large amount of personal data being processed, we may respond within 3 months of the date your request is received. We will write to you within 28 days of receiving your original request if this is the case.
    6. If your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, we are not obliged to comply with it.
  3. Other Rights:
    1. You have a number of other rights in relation to your personal data. You can require us to:
      1. Rectify inaccurate data;
      2. Stop processing or erase data that is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
      3. Stop processing or erase data if your interests override our legitimate grounds for processing the data (where we rely on our legitimate interests as a reason for processing data);
      4. Stop processing data for a period if the data is inaccurate or if there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the Employer’s legitimate grounds for processing the data.
    2. To request that we take any of these steps, please send the request to finance@bescience.org.uk.

Data Security

  1. We will use appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep personal data secure, and in particular to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
  2. Maintaining data security means making sure that:
    1. Only people who are authorised to use the information can access it;
    2. Where possible, personal data is pseudonymised or encrypted;
    3. Information is accurate and suitable for the purpose for which it is processed; and
    4. Authorised persons can access information if they need it for authorised purposes.
  3. By law, we must use procedures and technology to secure personal information throughout the period that we hold or control it, from obtaining to destroying the information.
  4. Personal information must not be transferred to any person to process (e.g. while performing services for us on or our behalf), unless that person has either agreed to comply with our data security procedures or we are satisfied that other adequate measures exist.
  5. Security procedures include:
    1. Any desk or cupboard containing confidential information must be kept locked.
    2. Computers should be locked with a strong password that is changed regularly or shut down when they are left unattended and discretion should be used when viewing personal information on a monitor to ensure that it is not visible to others.
    3. Data stored on CDs or memory sticks must be encrypted or password protected and locked away securely when they are not being used.
    4. The Data Protection Officer must approve of any cloud used to store data.
    5. Data should never be saved directly to mobile devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones.
    6. All servers containing sensitive personal data must be approved and protected by security software.
    7. Servers containing personal data must be kept in a secure location, away from general office space.
    8. Data should be regularly backed up in line with the Employer’s backup procedure.
  6. Telephone precautions. Particular care must be taken by Staff who deal with telephone enquiries to avoid inappropriate disclosures. In particular:
    1. The identity of any telephone caller must be verified before any personal information is disclosed;
    2. If the caller’s identity cannot be verified satisfactorily then they should be asked to put their query in writing;
    3. Do not allow callers to bully you into disclosing information. In case of any problems or uncertainty, contact the Data Protection Officer.
  7. Methods of disposal. Copies of personal information, whether on paper or on any physical storage device, must be physically destroyed when they are no longer needed. Paper documents should be shredded and CDs or memory sticks or similar must be rendered permanently unreadable.

Data Impact Assessments

  1. Some of the processing that the Employer carries out may result in risks to privacy.
  2. Where processing would result in a high risk to Staff rights and freedoms, the Employer will carry out a data protection impact assessment to determine the necessity and proportionality of processing. This will include considering the purposes for which the activity is carried out, the risks for individuals and the measures that can be put in place to mitigate those risks.

Data Breaches

  1. If we discover that there has been a breach of Staff personal data that poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, we will report it to the Information Commissioner within 72 hours of discovery.
  2. We will record all data breaches regardless of their effect in accordance with our Breach Response Policy.
  3. If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to your rights and freedoms, we will tell affected individuals that there has been a breach and provide them with more information about its likely consequences and the mitigation measures it has taken.

International Data Transfers

  1. In the course of carrying out our business, we may need to transfer your personal information to a country outside the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) including to any group company or to another person with whom we have a business relationship.
  2. Your personal data will only be transferred to a country outside of the UK or EEA if there are adequate protections in place. To ensure that your personal data receives an adequate level of protection, we have put in place appropriate procedures with the third parties we share your personal data with, to ensure your personal data is treated by those third parties in a way that is consistent with and which respects the law on data protection.
  3. If you wish to know more about international transfers of your personal data, you may contact the Data Protection Officer.

Individual Responsibilities

  1. Staff are responsible for helping the Employer keep their personal data up to date.
  2. Staff should let the Employer know if personal data provided to the Employer changes, eg if you move house or change your bank details.
  3. You may have access to the personal data of other Staff members and of our customers in the course of your employment. Where this is the case, the Employer relies on Staff members to help meet its data protection obligations to Staff and to customers.
  4. Individuals who have access to personal data are required:
    1. To access only personal data that they have authority to access and only for authorised purposes;
    2. Not to disclose personal data except to individuals (whether inside or outside of the Employer) who have appropriate authorisation;
    3. To keep personal data secure (eg by complying with rules on access to premises, computer access, including password protection, and secure file storage and destruction);
    4. Not to remove personal data, or devices containing or that can be used to access personal data, from the Employer’s premises without adopting appropriate security measures (such as encryption or password protection) to secure the data and the device; and
    5. Not to store personal data on local drives or on personal devices that are used for work purposes.

Training

  1. We will provide training to all individuals about their data protection responsibilities as part of the induction process and at regular intervals thereafter.
  2. Individuals whose roles require regular access to personal data, or who are responsible for implementing this policy or responding to subject access requests under this policy will receive additional training to help them understand their duties and how to comply with them.

General Provisions

  1. You may not transfer any of your rights under this Data Protection and Data Security Policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under a policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
  2. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this Data Protection and Data Security Policy (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this Data Protection and Data Security Policy will not be affected.
  3. Unless otherwise agreed, no delay, act or omission by a party in exercising any right or remedy will be deemed a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.
  4. This Policy will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under this Policy will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

Amendments To This Data Protection and Data Security Policy

  1. BeScience STEM reserves the right to change this Data Protection and Data Security Policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by law. Any changes will be immediately updated and posted on the various BeScience STEM platforms,

You may contact BeScience STEM by email at finance@bescience.org.uk.

This Data Protection and Data Security was created on 17th March 2023.

Disciplinary Action Policy And Procedure

Purpose and Scope

  1. This policy and procedure for BeScience STEM is non-contractual and sets out how any issues with employees, standards of conduct, attendance and job performance will be dealt with. The aim of this policy and procedure is to ensure consistent and fair treatment for all employees, volunteers, trainers or advisors. If an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor has any queries in respect of this procedure, they should contact the Human Resources and Finance Manager.

Primary Principles 

  1. Employees, volunteers, trainers or advisors are expected to know the standard of conduct or work expected of them. 
  2. Depending on the severity of the employee’s, volunteers, trainers or advisors’ alleged misconduct, the employer may at its discretion start the procedure at any of the below stages. 
  3.  A final decision on a disciplinary sanction will not be taken against an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor without the employer carrying out what it reasonably believes in the circumstances to be an appropriate level of investigation.
  4. A formal disciplinary sanction will not be taken against an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor without the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor being advised of the nature of the problem. The employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will also have the opportunity to state their case at a formal disciplinary meeting before a final decision is taken. 
  5. Except where an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor has been found to have committed a gross misconduct offence or is still serving their probationary period, no employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be dismissed for a first breach of discipline. 
  6. An employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor can appeal against any disciplinary action taken by the employer.
  7. Disciplinary matters will be dealt with confidentiality, so far as is reasonably possible and employees, volunteers, trainers or advisors should keep confidential any information they learn in relation to any disciplinary matter (unless they are the subject of the investigation and disclosure is required to prepare for a meeting under this procedure). 
  8. The employer may suspend an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor on full pay and benefits, including: 
    1. Access or use of the following benefits:
  • Work laptop 
  • Work mobile phone 

In each case, in accordance with this Disciplinary Action Policy And Procedure.

  1. Performance-based pay or benefits such as: 
  • Bonus 
  • Commissions 
  • Discretionary shares or options 
  • Rights under any incentive plan

at any stage of the disciplinary process, whilst an investigation is completed into an employee’s conduct. 

  1. The employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor agrees that if the employer requests, they will not contact clients, employees, suppliers or other business contacts of the employer whilst suspended from work. The period of suspension will be as short as is reasonably practicable in the circumstances and is not a disciplinary penalty or an indication as to the decision that will be made once the investigations have been completed by the employer. 
  2. BeScience STEM processes personal data collected during the investigation stage and any subsequent stages of disciplinary action in accordance with its data protection policy. In particular, data collected as part of the investigation stage and any subsequent stages of disciplinary action is held securely and accessed by, and disclosed to, individuals only for the purposes of completing the disciplinary procedure. Inappropriate access or disclosure of employee data constitutes a data breach and should be reported in accordance with BeScience STEM’s data protection policy immediately. It may also constitute a disciplinary offence, which will be dealt with under this disciplinary procedure. 

Informal Discussions

  1. Where possible and appropriate the employer will initially deal with disciplinary matters informally. This will take the form of the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s immediate manager speaking with them in confidence about the disciplinary issue(s), making a confidential note for the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s personal file and monitoring them informally to see if there is an improvement. Only if this does not resolve the issue(s) or the matter cannot be dealt with adequately informally, will the employer start the formal procedure.

Formal Procedure

  • Stage 1 – Formal Meeting

      1. An employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will usually be invited to a formal meeting in writing and given at least two (2) working days’ notice. If required, there may be an investigatory interview before this meeting. At the meeting, the person chairing will explain the complaint against the employee and go through the evidence, giving the employee the opportunity to ask questions, present their case and respond to allegations including responding to witness statements (although an employee will not usually question witnesses directly). If the employee wishes to call a witness they should notify the employer at least 24 hours before the meeting. 
      2. The employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be advised that they are able to bring a companion to the meeting with them. The employee’s choice of companion will be agreed to if they are either a colleague, a trade union official or a trade union representative (which if not an employed official, must be certified by their union as competent to accompany a worker) and under the circumstances, the employee has made a reasonable request to be accompanied. The employee should advise the employer of the identity of the companion (or any change in their choice of companion) and whether they will require any special adjustments to be made for their or their companion’s attendance, at least 24 hours before the start of the formal meeting. 
      3. The employer encourages employees, volunteers, trainers or advisors  to bring their choice of colleague, trade union representative or trade union official to formal meetings under this procedure, but the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor should bear in mind how practical it is for their choice of companion to attend and consider if there is a suitable and available individual who is geographically close to where the meeting is to be held, rather than first considering an individual geographically based further away.
      4. If an employee, volunteer, trainer, advisor or their companion is unable to attend the meeting at the time, date and place specified by the employer, they must notify the chair of the meeting as soon as possible in writing. Except in the case of an emergency, this should be at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting and the employee should advise of a time when they and their choice of companion will be available within five (5) working days of the original proposed meeting and provided this is reasonable, the new meeting time will be agreed.
      5. The role of the companion in a formal meeting is to make notes, confer with the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor and if the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor  requests it, to address the hearing to state the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s case and respond to any views expressed at the meeting. The companion does not have the right to answer questions or address the hearing if the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor does not request this and must not prevent the employer from explaining its case. 
      6. Employees, volunteers, trainers or advisors  must make every effort to attend any scheduled meeting under this procedure, failure to cooperate under this procedure could be treated as a disciplinary offence in itself and a decision could be made in an employee’s absence if they are unable to attend more than two consecutive scheduled meetings. If the employer will be referring to any documentation during the formal meeting, unless this is a document an employee will have already seen (such as an email sent by the employee) this should be sent to the employee at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting, so that they have a reasonable chance to prepare. Likewise, if the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor wishes to refer to any documentation, this should be sent to the person chairing the meeting at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting.
      7. If the employer finds as a result of the first formal meeting that a disciplinary offence was committed by the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor, the sanction will normally be either:
        1. an improvement note setting out the performance problem, the improvement required, the timescale in which the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor must make the improvement, any support or training the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will receive to help with the improvement and the right to appeal the improvement note. The employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be advised that this constitutes the first stage of the formal procedure. A record of the improvement note will be kept on the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s file for six months, but will then be disregarded for the purpose of continuing with this procedure, subject to achieving and sustaining satisfactory performance; or 
        2. a first written warning for misconduct if the conduct does not meet acceptable standards. The warning will be in writing and set out the nature of the misconduct, the change in behaviour required and state that there is a right of appeal against the first written warning. The warning will also inform the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor that a final written warning may be considered if there is no sustained satisfactory improvement or change. A record of the warning will be kept, but it will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months. 
  • Stage 2 – Second Formal Meeting

      1. If there is sufficiently serious misconduct, further misconduct or a failure to improve performance during the currency of a prior warning, the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be invited to a second formal meeting in writing by the employer, with at least two (2) working days’ notice. As in the case of the first formal meeting, (b)-(e) under Stage 1 above will apply. 
      2. If the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor is found to have committed a disciplinary offence as a result of a Stage 2 meeting, the sanction will usually be a final written warning. A final written warning will give details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale. It will also warn that failure to improve may lead to dismissal (or some other action short of dismissal) and will refer to the right of appeal. A copy of this written warning will be kept on the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s file but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months, subject to achieving and sustaining satisfactory conduct or performance. 
  • Stage 3 – Final Formal Meeting

    1. If there is sufficiently serious misconduct or still further misconduct or failure to improve performance, the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be invited to a third and final meeting in writing by the Ceo/Founder, with at least two (2) working days’ notice. Again, at this stage of the disciplinary procedure, (b)-(e) under Stage 1 above will apply. 
    2. If the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor has been found to have committed a disciplinary offence as a result of a Stage 3 meeting, the sanction may be dismissal or some other action short of dismissal, such as demotion, disciplinary suspension or transfer to another role if permitted by the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s contract of employment with the employer. 
    3. Decisions taken under Stage 3 of this disciplinary procedure can only be taken by the CEO/Founder of BeScience STEM. If the CEO/Founder takes the decision to dismiss as a result of a Stage 3 meeting, they will advise the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor in writing of the reasons for dismissal, the date on which the employment will terminate, practical arrangements on termination and the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s right of appeal. 
    4. If the CEO/Founder takes the decision after a Stage 3 meeting to impose some sanction short of dismissal, the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will receive details of the complaint, will be warned that dismissal could result if there is no satisfactory improvement, and will be advised of the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s right of appeal. A copy of the written warning will be kept on the employee’s, volunteer’s, trainer’s or advisor’s file, but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months subject to achievement and sustainment of satisfactory conduct or performance.

Gross Misconduct

  1. If an employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor is accused of an act of gross misconduct, they may be suspended from work on full pay, normally for no more than five (5) working days, while the alleged offence is investigated by the employer. 
  2. If, on completion of the investigation and a formal meeting, the employer is satisfied that gross misconduct has occurred, the result will normally be summary dismissal without notice or payment in lieu of notice. 
  3. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the type of offences which are normally regarded as gross misconduct, together with any other behaviours which in the reasonable opinion of the employer constitute gross misconduct: 
    1. Any form of dishonesty, including theft or fraud; 
    2. Physical violence or assault; 
    3. Deliberate damage to employer property; 
    4. Breaking any law, even outside of work, could bring the employer into disrepute;
    5. Incapacity under the Mental Health Act 1983;
    6. Repeated or serious failure to follow reasonable instructions given by the employer or repeated or serious failure to comply with the terms of your contract of employment or the employer’s policies and procedures;
    7. Discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying of staff, customers, suppliers or other third parties; 
    8. Committing an act of arson; 
    9. Misusing confidential information acquired during and as a result of your employment; 
    10. Failing to devote all working time and effort to the employer or being disloyal to the employer whilst employed by it; 
    11. A serious or repeated breach of BeScience STEM Health and Safety Policy; 
    12. Accepting bribes; and/or 
    13. Being under the influence of drinks or drugs at work, so as not to be able to perform contractual duties. 

Appeals

  1. An employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be advised about their right of appeal whenever a decision is made under this procedure. An employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor who wishes to appeal against a disciplinary decision must do so in writing as directed by the employer when they are informed by the employer of the disciplinary decision, within five (5) working days. 
  2. A manager who has not been involved with the process until this stage will invite the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor to an appeal hearing, where (b)-(e) under Stage 1 above will again apply. At the appeal hearing, any disciplinary penalty imposed will be reviewed or the case reheard, at the employer’s discretion. 
  3. The employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be informed in writing of the result of their appeal, usually within five (5) working days and the Ceo/Founder’s decision on the appeal is final. 
  4. If the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor appeals a dismissal, their employment will not continue whilst the appeal process is taking place. However, if the appeal is successful the employee, volunteer, trainer or advisor will be reinstated with no loss of continuity of employment or pay.

General Provisions

  1. You may not transfer any of your rights under this Disciplinary Action Policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under this Disciplinary Action Policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
  2. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this Disciplinary Action Policy and Procedure (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this Disciplinary Action Policy and Procedure will not be affected.
  3. Unless otherwise agreed, no delay, act or omission by a party in exercising any right or remedy will be deemed a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.
  4. This Policy will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under this Policy will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

Amendments To This Disciplinary Action Policy and Procedure

  1. BeScience STEM reserves the right to change this Disciplinary Action Policy and Procedure as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by the law. Any changes will be immediately updated and posted on the various BeScience STEM platforms,

You may contact BeScience STEM by email at finance@bescience.org.uk

This Disciplinary Action Policy and Procedure was created on 26th March 2023.

Whistle Blowing Policy

Statement and Purpose of Policy

  1. BeScience STEM (the Employer, we, our or us) is committed to upholding and providing information about our Staff Members’ rights in relation to making qualified and protected disclosures (i.e. whistleblowing), to help our organisation operate with honesty and integrity. We expect all Staff Members to maintain high standards, however, we recognise that all organisations face the risk of things going wrong from time to time and the risk of unknowingly harbouring illegal or unethical conduct. A culture of openness and accountability is essential for preventing such situations from occurring and for addressing them when they do.
  2. All Staff Members should have the confidence to raise suspected wrongdoing and should know that it will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate. Staff Members, volunteers, trainers or advisors raising genuine concerns should be able to do so without fear of reprisals, even if the Staff Member, volunteer, trainer or advisor turns out to be mistaken.
  3. Any questions in relation to this Policy should be referred to the Human Resources and Finance Manager in the first instance.

Scope of this Policy

  1. This Policy explains the law on whistleblowing and provides Staff Members with guidance as to how to raise any malpractice or wrongdoing concerns.
  2. This Policy applies to all individuals working for BeScience STEM in the UK at all levels, including senior managers, officers, employees, consultants, trainees, homeworkers, part-time and fixed-term workers, casual workers, agency workers, volunteers, and interns (collectively ‘Staff Members’).
  3. This Policy should not be used for complaints relating to Staff Members’ own personal circumstances, for example, complaints about the way they have been treated at work. In such cases, Staff Members should use BeScience STEM’s Grievance Procedure, which can be found online at:https://www.bescience.org.uk/.
  4. This Policy does not form part of any contract of employment and the Employer may amend it at any time at its absolute discretion.

What can be reported under this Whistleblowing Policy?

  1. Whistleblowing is the disclosure of information that relates to suspected wrongdoing or dangers at work, as defined by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (the ‘Act’) (As Amended). To constitute whistleblowing, a disclosure must be a ‘Qualifying Disclosure’ under the Act (i.e. the Staff Member must reasonably believe that the disclosure is in the public interest and the disclosure must communicate that the alleged wrongdoing is happening, has happened, or will happen). Such disclosures may be disclosures about:
    1. Criminal activity;
    2. Miscarriages of justice;
    3. Danger to health and safety;
    4. Damage to the environment;
    5. Failure to comply with any legal obligation;
    6. Bribery;
    7. Financial fraud or mismanagement;
    8. Breach of BeScience STEM’s internal policies and procedures including any Codes of Conduct;
    9. Unauthorised disclosure of confidential information; or
    10. The deliberate concealment of any of the above matters.
  2. A whistleblower is a person who raises a genuine concern relating to any of the above. It is important to note that the ‘Act’ only covers concerns raised by workers and employees.
  3. If you have any genuine concerns related to suspected wrongdoing or danger affecting any of BeScience STEM’s activities (i.e. a whistleblowing concern), you should report it following the procedures set out in this Policy.
  4. If you are uncertain whether something is within the scope of this Policy, you should seek advice from the Human Resource and Finance Manager.

How to Raise A Whistleblowing Concern

  1. For a Qualifying Disclosure to constitute a ‘Protected Disclosure’ (i.e. a disclosure within the scope of this Policy and covered by the law on whistleblowing) it must be made in the correct way. To ensure disclosures are made correctly, it is recommended that the steps within this section of the Policy are followed.
  2. We hope that in many cases you will be able to raise any concerns with BeScience STEM. Where possible, we ask that any concerns are raised with the Human Resources and Finance Manager. You may tell them your concerns in person or put the matter in writing. They may be able to agree with you on a way of resolving your concern quickly and effectively. In some cases, they may refer the matter to another department within BeScience STEM.
  3. However, where the matter is more serious, or you feel that the Human Resource and Finance Manager has not addressed your concern, or you would prefer not to raise it with them for any reason, you should contact the person or department within BeScience STEM responsible for the area of concern. For example:
    1. If the concern relates to alleged dishonesty, fraud, or corruption, please contact the Legal Department .

Wider disclosures

  1. The aim of this Policy is to provide an internal mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying any wrongdoing in the workplace. In most cases, you should not find it necessary to alert anyone externally (i.e. anyone outside of BeScience STEM).
  2. The law recognises that in some circumstances it may be appropriate for you to report your concerns to an external body, for example, a regulator. It will very rarely if ever be appropriate to alert the media. We strongly encourage you to seek advice (e.g. legal advice) before reporting a concern to anyone external.
  3. Be aware that unique rules sometimes apply to determining when a Protected Disclosure can be made to an external party. For example, disclosures can be made to an external party if a Staff Member reasonably believes that the disclosure is substantially true, is not acting for personal gain, and it is reasonable for them to make this disclosure in all the circumstances of the situation. You can contact the Human Resources and Finance Manager for more information on this.

How BeScience STEM Will Respond to Disclosures

  1. Once you have raised a concern, it will be assessed to determine what initial action or further investigation should be taken. You will be advised:
    1. Who is handling the matter;
    2. How to contact them; and
    3. Whether any further assistance will be needed from you (e.g. whether any further information is required).
  2. You may be required to attend additional meetings in order to provide further information. You may bring a colleague or union representative to any such meetings. Your companion must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and of any subsequent investigation.
  3. All allegations will be investigated thoroughly. Depending on the complexity of the matter, it may take time to investigate. We will try to keep you informed of the progress of the investigation and its likely timescale. However, sometimes the need for confidentiality may prevent us from giving you specific details of the investigation, its outcome, or any disciplinary action taken as a result. You should treat any information about the investigation as confidential.
  4. If we conclude that a Staff Member has made false allegations maliciously or with a view to personal gain, the Staff Member may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with our Disciplinary Procedure, which can be found online at :https://www.bescience.org.uk/.
  5. We cannot always guarantee the outcome you seek. However, we will always deal with your concerns fairly and in an appropriate way.

 

Assurances

  1. We are committed to this Policy. All staff should be able to voice concerns openly under this Policy. However, if you are concerned about reprisal as a result of raising a concern under this Policy, we can take additional measures to preserve confidentiality.
  2. The law on whistleblowing requires that Staff Members do not suffer any detrimental treatment as a result of raising a whistleblowing concern (i.e. a concern under this Policy), even if the Staff Member turns out to be mistaken in their claim. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats, or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. BeScience STEM will always take care not to subject Staff Members to detrimental treatment when dealing with whistleblowing disclosures. However, if you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the Human Resources and Finance Manager immediately to discuss the resolution of the situation. If the matter is not remedied, you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure.
  3. Staff Members (e.g. managers) must not in any way threaten or retaliate against other Staff Members who have made whistleblowing disclosures. If you are involved in such conduct you may be subject to disciplinary action.

General Provisions

  1. You may not transfer any of your rights under this Whistle Blowing Policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under this Whistle Blowing Policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
  2. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this Whistle Blowing Policy (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this Whistle Blowing Policy will not be affected.
  3. Unless otherwise agreed, no delay, act or omission by a party in exercising any right or remedy will be deemed a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.
  4. This Policy will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under this Policy will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

 

Amendments To This Whistle Blowing Policy 

  1. BeScience STEM reserves the right to change this Whistle Blowing Policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by law. Any changes will be immediately updated and posted on the various BeScience STEM platforms.

You may contact BeScience STEM by email at finance@bescience.org.uk


This Whistle Blowing Policy was created on 7th April 2023.

Ethics Policy and Procedure

Staff and Volunteers

Purpose 

This policy has been created to provide a framework and guidance on the social enterprise’s approach to achieving and maintaining good business behaviour by means of sound ethical conduct.

It serves to ensure that all employees and associates are aware of their individual and collective responsibilities with regard to the social enterprise’s ethics, and to emphasise our employees’ and clients’ expectations of being treated fairly and in accordance with good business practices. 

All employees are responsible for reading this document in its entirety and for ensuring that they comply with all the policy requirements as stated within this document. 

The purpose of this ethics policy is to maintain a culture of openness, trust and integrity in the social enterprise’s business practices. Effective ethics is a ‘team effort’ involving the participation and support of every BeScience STEM employee.

BeScience STEM is committed to protecting employees, volunteers, business partners and associates from illegal or damaging actions by individuals knowingly or unknowingly. When BeScience STEM addresses issues proactively and uses correct judgement, it will help to set the social enterprise apart from others and help further enhance its reputation. 

BeScience STEM will not tolerate any wrongdoing or impropriety at any time. The social enterprise will take the appropriate measures and act quickly when the ‘ethical code’ is broken. 

Scope 

This policy applies to everyone we employ or have business relations with at BeScience STEM.

This includes individual people such as all employees, interns, volunteers, contractors, consultants and partners but also business entities, such as vendors, enterprise customers or venture capital companies.

Policy Elements

BeScience STEM bases our business code of ethics on the common principles of ethics. 

BeScience STEM Management’s Commitment to Ethics:

  • Integrity is one of the social enterprise’s core values.  
  • To ensure we are objective and fair and don’t disadvantage others
  • To set and lead by example. In any business practice, honesty and integrity are of the highest importance.
  • To exercise competence and accountability.
  • To have an open door policy and welcome suggestions and concerns from all employees. This creates an environment that will allow employees to feel comfortable discussing any issues and will serve to alert Management to concerns within the social enterprise.

BeScience STEM Employee’s Commitment to Ethics:

  • To engage in carrying out the social enterprise’s mission in a professional manner and in line with the core values of the social enterprise which includes integrity.
  • To disclose any conflicts of interest regarding their position with the social enterprise.  
  • To treat everyone fairly, have mutual respect, promote a team environment and avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or compromising practices.
  • To respect the structure and responsibilities of management, provide them with facts and advice as a basis for decision and policy-making, and uphold and implement decisions and policies adopted by management.
  • To recognise that the main function of the social enterprise is at all times to serve the best interests of its current and future clients, and to do this with respect, concern, courtesy and responsiveness.
  • To strive for personal and professional excellence, encourage the professional development of others and keep up-to-date on emerging issues affecting the social enterprise
  • To treat all persons with respect and consideration, without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, maternity, marital or family status, disability, age or national origin.
  • To conduct themselves at all times with professional competence, fairness and impartiality. 
  • To demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness and honesty in all activities in order to inspire confidence and trust in such activities, both internally and externally.

BeScience STEM Social Enterprise’s Commitment to Ethics:

  • To collaborate with and support partners in carrying out the BeScience STEM mission and in line with the social enterprise’s ethics policy.
  • To hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in performing the BeScience STEM professional duties.
  • To build professional reputations on the merit of our capabilities and refrain from competing unfairly with others.
  • To refrain from engaging in any business practice or process or with any entity, including potential clients, that does not match BeScience STEM ethical standards.
  • To frequently appraise the local communities on issues that may affect them. 

Governance and Review

BeScience STEM employees and associates will remain personally balanced so that their personal life will not interfere with their ability to deliver quality products or services to the social enterprise and its clients.

BeScience STEM employees and associates agree to disclose unethical, dishonest, fraudulent and illegal behaviour, or the violation of social enterprise policies and procedures, directly to management;

Should any BeScience STEM employee or associate be in any doubt about a relevant course of action, require clarification on a particular issue, or want to report a potential breach of BeScience STEM ethical code, they should report directly to their Immediate Manager or independently to the managing director/Ceo.

Once a complaint has been registered, the grievance will then be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible, by the immediate Manager or by Director/CEO if appropriate.

All BeScience STEM employees and associates will obey all Equal Employment Opportunity laws in the UK and act with respect and responsibility towards others in all of their dealings.

Violation of this Code of Ethics will result in disciplinary action, including possible termination. The degree of disciplinary action relates in part to whether there was a voluntary disclosure of any ethical violation and whether or not the violator cooperated in any subsequent investigation.

This policy will be held by the Managing Director/CEO on behalf of BeScience STEM employees and its associates.

This policy will be reviewed annually to ascertain its relevance both internally with all employees/associates, and externally in consideration of changing social and moral attitudes and business best practices.

Safeguarding Policy

Staff and Volunteers

1. Policy Statement

BeScience STEM, for the purposes of this policy and procedure documents, considers a Vulnerable Person as an adult who may be restricted in capacity to guard himself/herself against harm or exploitation or to report such harm or exploitation. Restriction of capacity may arise as a result of physical or intellectual impairment. Vulnerability to abuse is influenced by both context and individual circumstances.

BeScience STEM, for the purposes of this policy and procedure documents, considers a child in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989 (As Amended), under the Policy a child is defined as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday. Although the national laws in countries that we work in may have different ages at which a child is considered an adult, or at which a child can give consent or is responsible, we use the definition of a child according to international law as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

BeScience STEM is committed to the safeguarding of vulnerable persons and children from abuse. The definitions of safeguarding that guide our work in BeScience STEM are taken from the statutory guidance below:

  • Safeguarding children as defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018(As Amended)
  • Safeguarding adults at risk as defined in the Care and Support Statutory Guidance issued in the Care Act 2014(As Amended).

Safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, well-being and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It acknowledges that all adults have the right to be safe and to live a life free from abuse. All persons are entitled to this right, regardless of their circumstances.

All BeScience STEM activities have a publicly declared ‘No Tolerance’ approach to any form of abuse and promote a culture that supports this ethos.BeScience STEM believes that everyone we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.BeScience STEM will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel.

BeScience STEM commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.

This policy is mandatory and must be applied in all situations where BeScience STEM or our partners work.

This policy forms part of an employee’s terms and conditions of employment and may be subject to change at the discretion of management. It is therefore the responsibility of all staff of BeScience STEM to raise any concerns they have or any concerns which are reported to them according to this policy.

A core governance responsibility is to ensure that safeguarding policies, procedures and associated practices are in place and appropriate to the activities provided.

Definitions

  1. Staff – A paid employee, contractor, or volunteer.
  2. Social Enterprise Representatives – All staff, contractors and volunteers collectively
  3. The Social Enterprise – BeScience STEM
  4. Young person – anyone under the age of 18 years of age

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that BeScience STEM, a Social Enterprise, exercises its duty of care to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

We also have a duty to protect our trustees, staff, volunteers and programme participants (including children and vulnerable adults) from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with BeScience STEM.This includes harm arising from:

  • The conduct of staff, personnel or trustees, associated with BeScience STEM.
  • The design and implementation of BeScience STEM programmes and activities

The policy lays out the commitments made by BeScience STEM, and informs staff, associated personnel and trustees of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

This policy does not cover:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace – this is dealt with under BeScience STEM Human Resources Policies and Procedures.
  • Safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by BeScience STEM or associated personnel. 

3. Scope

This Policy and associated Procedures apply to:

  • All staff employed by or contracted to BeScience STEM globally.
  • Trustees and directors of BeScience STEM and/or its subsidiaries.
  • The licensees of BeScience STEM, including their directors, staff, and associated personnel
  • Associated personnel whilst engaged with work or visits related to BeScience STEM, including but not limited to the following: consultants, volunteers, contractors, programme visitors and guest contributors
  • Partners, contractors and suppliers, and is also relevant for those with whom we engage for example children, parents and communities, to act in accordance with this policy.
  • All Conferences, Workshops and Clubs, as well as any BeScience STEM partner project overseas whether under the direct or indirect control of the Social Enterprise activities in England.
  • Its remit includes volunteers or staff in Community Support Projects, Conferences, Special Projects and Special Works including Children’s Camps, Coding Clubs and participating schools, universities and clubs who may encounter them. All of the preceding individuals are known collectively as “our representatives.”

In cases where we are not the lead partner, then it is expected that we will encourage and advocate for our partners to either follow the BeScience STEM Safeguarding Policy or develop their own.

Programme participants and members of the public are not within the scope of the policy. Programme participant behaviour is addressed through the BeScience STEM Conventions and the terms of conditions of their specific programme.

4. Principles

All our policies and procedures promote welfare, reflect inclusion and transparency in the provision of activities and promote a culture of safeguarding.

The practices and procedures within this policy are based on the principles contained in UK legislation and Social enterprise guidelines from England. They take the following into consideration:

  • The Children Act 1989 (As Amended).
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989(As Amended).
  • The Children Act 2004 & 2007(As Amended).
  • Working Together 2018 (As Amended).
  • The Care Act 2014 (As Amended).
  • Human Rights Act 1998 (As Amended).
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 (As Amended).
  • Safeguarding Children from Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession 2007(As Amended).
  • Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced 2008 (As Amended).
  • Safeguarding Children who may have been trafficked 2011 (As Amended).
  • Children and Families Act 2014(As Amended).
  • Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and Guide for Practitioners(As Amended).
  • The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime Policing Act 2014 (As Amended).
  • Counterterrorism and Security Act, 2015; Section 26 (As Amended). 
  • What to Do If You Are Worried a Child is being Abused 2015 (As Amended).
  • Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who Work with Children and Young People in Education 2015 (As Amended).
  • General Data Protection Regulation 2016(As Amended).
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education – Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges, September 2018 (As Amended).
  • The Data Protection Act 2018(As Amended).
  • Draft Guidance: Out-of-school Settings: Voluntary Code of Practice, 2018(As Amended).

The Social Enterprise’s safeguarding policy is guided by justice, moral and ethical values which stem from BeScience STEM’s principle that each child and young person has the right to be treated with the highest level of care, protection, love, encouragement and respect.

We hold this principle in the highest regard and this is reflected in our efforts to honour the dignity and rights of every child and to inculcate a safe, appropriate, healthy, supportive and conducive environment for education regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, beliefs, or any other differences.

Our commitment recognises there is a need for special care and additional responsibility to protect the welfare of children and young persons to ensure that sufficient, prompt and appropriate steps are carried out to support them, if and when they face any known risk of significant harm from anyone.

We also acknowledge the additional challenges and strive to meet the additional needs and support required by beneficiaries from minority ethnic groups and disabled young persons. 

The beneficiaries include young persons who are members of marginalised or minority groups and communities who face exclusion and whose voices and opinions may not be heard or represented.

The best interest of children and young persons will be at the core of our decisions and actions.

Social Enterprise Representatives are responsible and entrusted to carry out relevant, sufficient, prompt and appropriate steps to support a child when they face any known risk of significant harm from anyone be it neglect, sexual, physical, psychological, emotional, financial or any other kind of abuse.

When working with the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society, we recognise that an unequal power dynamic may be created and we commit our efforts to guard any potential scenario where this dynamic might be exploited by our representatives, no matter how small the risk.

In this policy, we explicitly declare the Social Enterprise’s commitment to the development of best practices and rigorous internal procedures. This will be reflected in the way we handle all safeguarding referrals and all those involved with support, sensitivity, respect, professionalism and efficiency in a timely and discreet manner.

Social Enterprise Representatives are responsible to report to management when they deem that a child may face any risk of significant harm from anyone.

BeScience STEM will respond to any concerns or allegations reported to them with sensitivity, respect, professionalism and efficiency in a timely and discreet manner.

5. Implementation

Responsibility for leading the implementation of this policy and procedure rests with BeScience STEM’s Human Resource Team, namely the Human Resources and Finance Manager.

The Human Resource and Finance Manager will have overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy and procedure within their administrative area, and, will ensure that each manager of relevant BeScience STEM activities will undertake the following:

  • Communicate this policy to all staff and volunteers;
  • Appropriate training is provided;
  • Ensure that service specific procedures are developed, implemented and reviewed in compliance with this policy.

6. Definitions of Abuse

Abuse may be defined as “any act, or failure to act, which results in a breach of a vulnerable person’s human rights, civil liberties, physical and mental integrity, dignity or general wellbeing, whether intended or through negligence, including sexual relationships or financial transactions to which the person does not or cannot validly consent, or which are deliberately exploitative. Abuse may take a variety of forms.”

Although this abuse definition focuses on acts of abuse by individuals, abuse can also arise from inappropriate or inadequate care or programmes of care.

There are several forms of abuse, any or all of which may be perpetrated as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or lack of insight and ignorance. A person may experience more than one form of abuse at any one time. The following are the main categories/types of abuse.

A. Types of Abuse

  • Physical abuse includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.
  • Sexual abuse includes rape and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the vulnerable person has not consented, or could not consent, or into which he, she or they were compelled to consent.
  • Psychological abuse includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Neglect and acts of omission include ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services and the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
  • Discriminatory abuse includes ageism, racism, sexism, based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
  • Institutional abuse may occur within residential care and acute settings including nursing homes, acute hospitals and any other in‐patient settings, and may involve poor standards of care, rigid routines and inadequate responses to complex needs.

B. Related Areas To Safeguarding

  • Forced marriage
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Modern slavery
  • Honour-based violence
  • Domestic abuse
  • Stalking
  • Hate crime
  • Extremism and radicalization
  • Cyber abuse/stalking
  • Gangs
  • Bullying
  • Mate crime


7. Prevention

A. BeScience STEM Responsibilities
The key to safeguarding is abuse prevention. It is widely recognised that organisational awareness and good practice can promote positive staff actions, reduce opportunities for offending and enable earlier detection and response to safeguarding concerns.

In this regard, BeScience STEM will:

  • Make this policy available to all staff, and provide appropriate means for staff to become familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.
  • Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with BeScience STEM. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.
  • Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff and associated personnel.
  • Adopt safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Develop and implement an effective e-safety policy and related procedures.
  • Make training available on safeguarding for staff as required.
  • Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to the agreed procedures as set out in the Safeguarding Reporting Procedures.
  • Appoint a lead manager with responsibility for safeguarding.
  • Review this policy annually and have it approved by the CPCT board.
  • Record and store information professionally and securely, and share information about safeguarding and good practice with staff and volunteers via the staff handbook and other communication.
  • Use its safeguarding procedures to share concerns with agencies who need to know.
  • Use its procedures to manage allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately.
  • Create and maintain an anti-bullying environment and include appropriate policies and procedures to help it deal effectively with any bullying that does arise.
  • Establish effective complaints and whistleblowing measures.
  • Provide a safe physical environment for staff, volunteers, and programme participants by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.

B. Staff Responsibilities

BeScience STEM staff and associated personnel must not:

  • Sexually abuse or exploit anyone.
  • Subject anyone to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.
  • Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity.

Additionally, BeScience STEM staff and associated personnel are obliged to:

  • Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy.
  • Value, listen to and respect all people whom they come into contact with.
  • Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by a BeScience STEM staff member or associated personnel to the appropriate staff member.

8. Enabling Reports

BeScience STEM has a duty of care to ensure we respond appropriately to concerns of actual or suspected abuse/harm both internally and externally.

Irrespective of the role, all BeScience STEM staff have a responsibility and mandatory duty to report any allegations or concerns in a confidential manner. It is not for staff to decide whether abuse has taken place. No staff member can agree to keep information relating to safeguarding in personal confidence.

As a result, BeScience STEM Common has established a safe, appropriate and accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns for staff and the programme participants we work with.

Any staff reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by BeScience STEM’s Whistleblowing Policy.

Following the Public Disclosure Act 1998, Social Enterprise representatives are encouraged to report any safeguarding concerns about fellow volunteers, or staff, made in good faith, without fear of repercussion.

BeScience STEM will also accept complaints from people other than staff, such as programme participants and members of the public.

Below you will find the appropriate channel to raise an allegation or concern.

A. Reporting a Safeguarding Concern – (Staff)

Staff members who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to Nur Fadeela binti Jamal, Human Resource and Finance Manager, BeScience STEM,or to finance@bescience.org.uk.

If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to the Human Resource and Finance Manager for example if they feel that the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern they may report to Jessica Okoro, Founder of BeScience STEM.

B. Reporting a Safeguarding Concern –(Other Participants Excluding Staff)

Programme participants and members of the public who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should contact Nur Fadeela binti Jamal, Human Resources and Finance Manager, BeScience STEM or to finance@bescience.org.uk.

9. Response

BeScience STEM will follow up on safeguarding allegations and concerns according to the transparent processes set out in the following Safeguarding Reporting Procedures, and legal and statutory obligations. BeScience STEM is not an investigative authority, and therefore where appropriate referrals will be made to the relevant social or law enforcement agencies.

BeScience STEM will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.

Where staff or associated personnel have caused harm to a person, regardless of whether or not a formal internal response is initiated (such as an internal investigation), BeScience STEM will offer appropriate support to that person.

10. Safeguarding Decision Steps

The following steps highlights the consideration we follow when an allegation or complaint is received;

  • An allegation is raised or concern is received;
  • Reporting to Human Resource and Finance Manager or CEO/Founder;
  • Whether the allegation/concern involves staff of or associate partners of BeScience STEM;
  • Whether allegation/concern regards abuse outside of the Social enterprise;
  • Does the concern need reporting to the local/national authorities;
  • Whether allegation/concern is due to the way BeScience STEM is delivering business;
  • Reporting to local Authorities;
  • Application of internal safeguarding procedures;
  • Follow Up on actions taken by authorities;
  • Deciding further response, recording case and action is taken.

11. Investigation Procedure

Our investigation procedure is based on the following key steps. The steps will be climbed up and down at different stages of the process and may need to be revisited as the investigation progresses;

  • Initial assessment/information gathering;
  • Clarify exact nature of allegation/concern;
  • Clarify what national laws, rules, policy code or procedure have been violated;
  • Identify documents and other data that the investigation team will need;
  • Scope out terms of reference;
  • Plan process and interviews;
  • Conduct risk assessment;
  • Produce witness and investigator protection plan;
  • Complete investigation;
  • Produce final report and action plan.

A. Investigation Process

To ensure complete transparency, during the investigation stage we use the PEACE model to ensure that we are gathering all pertinent information without bias. Our findings and final reports will outline the information found at each stage of this process.

B. Confidentiality

Staff and associated personnel will maintain confidentiality at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management will be shared strictly on a need-to-know basis and will be kept secure at all times.

C. Recording and Information Sharing

All safeguarding concerns, decisions and actions will be recorded promptly and saved securely. This includes retaining a copy of a referral and evidence of prompt completion of any agreed actions to protect a child or vulnerable adult.

Information sharing decisions will be recorded whether or not the decision is taken to share. Reasons to share should also include what information has been shared and to whom.

Consideration must be given to what information to share and the impact of disclosing information on the individual or any third party. Any information shared must be proportionate to the need and level of risk. It must also be accurate, relevant, and adequate to the purpose of sharing the information.

From the outset of identifying safeguarding concerns, we will be open and transparent with the individual about why, what, how and with whom the information will, or could be shared. We will also seek their agreement to share information unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.

All information should be shared in a timely manner to reduce the risk of harm and in an appropriate and secure way.

Policy

A. Low-Level Concerns

The Social Enterprise practises a Low-Level Concerns reporting policy to create and maintain a safer environment for all children and young persons.

The Social Enterprise defines a low-level concern as  any disquieting behaviour towards children which falls below the threshold of an allegation or is otherwise not serious enough on its own to merit a referral to a statutory agency.

Such concerns include behaviours that may range from inappropriate interaction, communication or treatment, to any behaviour that is intended to enable abuse or mistreatment, even when it occurs outside of the activities conducted on behalf of the Social Enterprise. The management will respond to all reports appropriately, led by the Safeguarding Officer and with guidance or referral to authorities.

This policy ensures no opportunity is missed to recognise, identify, respond and act against any known risk of significant harm towards a child by enabling and easing the early sharing of any genuine concern about a child. It also brings forth the responsibility that Social Enterprise Representatives must uphold during activities conducted on behalf of the Social Enterprise at all times.

B. International Partnerships

With reference to our work with international partners, the Social Enterprise is committed to upholding the following international safeguarding standards:

  1. The United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant Human Rights Conventions (UNCR)(As Amended); 
  2. UN Secretary General’s Bulletin for Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (As Amended);
  3. IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee) Minimum Operating Standards for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (As Amended); and 
  4. The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) (As Amended).

The Social Enterprise recognises that each country upholds its own specific legislative requirements relating to safeguarding such as criminal law, recruitment vetting processes, data protection and reporting protocols. If circumstances arise where BeScience STEM’s Safeguarding Policy contravenes or contradicts local legislation, local legislation must be followed with guidance from the Safeguarding Officer and management.

In the event that BeScience STEM Safeguarding Policy is more elaborate and complete than local legislation, then BeScience STEM Safeguarding Policy will prevail.

C. Support for Victims and Survivors of Abuse

BeScience STEM is dedicated to protecting all survivors of abuse, standing up against abuse and mistreatment and upholding accountability.

All individuals involved will be offered and provided support guided by the results of a needs assessment conducted by the Human Resources Department. The availability of resources, capacity and all other circumstances will also be considered.

13. General Provisions

      1. You may not transfer any of your rights under this Safeguarding Policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under this Safeguarding Policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
      2. If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this Safeguarding Policy (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this Safeguarding Policy will not be affected.
      3. Unless otherwise agreed, no delay, act or omission by a party in exercising any right or remedy will be deemed a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.
      4. This Policy will be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales. All disputes arising under this Policy will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

14. Key Roles and Contacts

PositionNamePhoneEmailReports To
FounderJessica Okoro+447931 577561jessica@bescience.org.uk  
Safeguarding Officer   Founder 
Human Resource and Finance ManagerNur Fadeela binti Jamal+601135578321finance@bescience.org.uk Founder 

15. Amendments To Safeguarding Policy

    1. BeScience STEM reserves the right to change this Safeguarding Policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by the law. Any changes will be immediately updated and posted on the various BeScience STEM platforms.

You may contact BeScience STEM by email at finance@bescience.org.uk


This Safeguarding Policy was created on 30th March 2023.

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