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Section 7 – General Policies

7.1   Environmental Responsibility Policy

7.2   Financial Records Administration and Retention Policy

7.3   Expense Reporting Policy (Including Travel)

7.4   Cash Handling Policy

7.5   Managing Guest Complaints Policy

7.6   Inclement Weather Policy

7.7   Volunteer Policy


7.1      Environmental Responsibility Policy

Intent

The employer promotes and maintains environmentally responsible practices for the benefit of our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate.  We will conduct and grow our business in a manner that respects the environment and strive to protect and conserve our world’s natural resources.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees and corporate operations always and without exception.

Unionized employees are requested to refer to their current Collective Agreement for specific information pertaining to environmental responsibility. Where a Collective Agreement is silent on the issue, this policy shall dictate the requirements for unionized employees.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

The employer is working towards continued improvement through the development of programs designed to address the environmental cost and impact of our activities, facilities and services.  We will:

  • Comply with applicable regulations and standards in the industry;
  • Support pollution prevention and minimization programs in the workplace;
  • Use materials and energy efficiently to conserve natural resources;
  • Minimize the emissions that contribute to climate change;
  • Cooperate and develop relationships with our community, suppliers, contractors, government agencies, and other organizations engaged in improving the environment;
  • Review environmental objectives and monitor performance, so that we can properly assess our strengths and weaknesses, and address them accordingly.

The employer recognizes that every action taken in the workplace can have an environmental impact.  We will strive to create an eco-friendly workplace that will benefit our employees, guests and the community around us.  To lessen our environmental impact and to increase our efficiency, save electricity, reduce waste and greenhouse gases, and fulfill our responsibilities to the environment, the employer will develop and implement environmental measures and initiatives such as:

  1. Whenever possible, all documents shall be printed on both sides, using recycled paper. This will reduce our paper usage, conserve energy, and save waste.
  2. Hold paperless meetings by utilizing technologies such as ‘go to meeting’ and material display and review via projector instead of handouts.
  3. Partner with suppliers and companies that are environmentally friendly.
  4. Use an automated time reporting and paperless payroll system.
  5. Refill our printer cartridges, rather than purchase new ones.
  6. Diligently recycle all paper, cardboard, glass, tins, PCs, and recyclable plastics.
  7. Ensure that computers are turned off at the end of the day, and if not possible, turn off monitors as they consume the most energy.
  8. Purchase energy efficient equipment.
  9. Replace antiquated office equipment with EPA energy star compliant equipment.
  10. Use hand dryers in restrooms, rather than paper towels.
  11. Create a wireless office.
  12. Purchase environmentally friendly office supplies.
  13. Minimize the use of hazardous chemicals, and whenever possible, switch to greener alternatives.

These are simple actions that when employed on a regular basis, can create a huge impact, but it will take all employees working together to make this happen.

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7.2      Financial Records Administration and Retention Policy

Intent

The employer has adopted this policy to ensure that all financial records regarding business activities are documented and retained appropriately. The employer will retain all financial records to ensure the management and assessment of performance, and to comply with Canada Revenue Agency regulations, as well as all applicable local, provincial and federal regulations.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees and all business units always and without exception.

Unionized employees shall adhere to their current Collective Agreement for policies governing financial records administration and retention. Where the Collective Agreement is silent, bargaining members shall refer to the contents of this policy.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

Each department shall ensure that all financial records generated are provided to their financial department for appropriate filing and retention purposes per the following:

  • Individual Employee Payroll Information: Records must be retained for a period of seven years following retirement or separation from the company.
  • Taxable Income: Records must be retained for a period of six years following the end of the fiscal year in which they were generated.

Financial records shall be stored using the most efficient form of media available, within reason. The employer shall strive to archive all records electronically, and in a secure manner. To safeguard the financial records of the employer, records that are of high importance/value shall be stored securely in an off-site location.

Financial records may be disposed of upon the expiration of the required retention period, unless they are required as evidence or to support a current investigation, audit or legal action.

Access to financial records shall be limited to authorized personnel only, and information maintained within the records shall be maintained as confidential, unless otherwise required by law.

The employer shall ensure documentation that includes salary and/or any other compensation information is maintained as strictly confidential.

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7.3      Expense Reporting Policy

Intent

This policy details the procedures and guidelines pertaining to the reimbursement of expenses incurred because of authorized employer business.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees always and without exception.

Unionized employees are requested to refer to their current Collective Agreement for specific information pertaining to expense reporting. Where a Collective Agreement is silent on the issue, this policy shall dictate the requirements for unionized employees.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

It is the policy of the employer to reimburse personnel for reasonable expenses incurred while conducting company business. To ensure accuracy and integrity concerning the reimbursement of expenses the employer will require employees to receive approval prior to incurring business-related expenses and will further require such expenses to be reported utilizing an expense report.

Travel

All company transportation will be conducted in the most economical manner possible.  Whenever possible, tickets must be booked at least seven days in advance to benefit from any discounts offered by the carrier, or through the negotiations made by the employer. All tickets shall be purchased from employer preferred vendors.

  • Air travel may be required for employees traveling more than 500 km/300 miles.
  • Coach class shall be used as the standard in the interests of cost-savings.
  • The cost of public transportation (i.e. taxis, buses or subways), will be reimbursed contingent on production of a receipt. Expenses related to personal travel will not be reimbursed.
  • Employees may use their own vehicle for business travel purposes if it is deemed less expensive than the rental of a car, public transportation, or if it offers a significant savings of time. The employee must have business use coverage through his/her personal insurance provider.
  • The employer will reimburse employees per the Canada Revenue Agencies guidelines for mileage reimbursement. This considers all actual expenses including fuel, oil, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc. Parking, tolls, and ferries will be reimbursed.
  • Expenses related to the cost of commuting to work are not reimbursable.
  • Any traffic violations, including parking tickets, are the explicit responsibility of the vehicle driver and will not be reimbursed by the company.
  • When renting a car, compact or economy models will be used. Exceptions may be made regarding vehicle size in the event of two or more passengers, or load requirements. Any exceptions must have written approval prior to their reservation.
  • Rental of vehicles should be discouraged in metropolitan areas that have substantial public transportation services available.
  • Personal liability and physical damage insurance is required on all rented vehicles, either pre-arranged through company negotiations with a preferred vendor or through standard renting from a non-preferred vendor.
  • In the event of damage to a rental car, contact management immediately. All accidents must be reported in writing immediately upon return, or earlier with trips lasting more than three days after damage has occurred. A police report where applicable, is also required.
  • Employees are required to fill the gas tank prior to the return of the rental car. The employee renting the vehicle may be required to personally reimburse the fuel surcharge fee if he/she fails to fill the vehicle gas tank prior to return.
  • Pre-purchase of gas at the rental counter is discouraged.
  • With respect to train travel, all reservations will be made in coach class.
  • Bus travel will only be used when travel by other means is not feasible, or when specifically requested by the employee.

Meals

  • While away standard meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) will be reimbursed based on approved receipts. Employees are encouraged to be reasonable when making dining decisions and consider what would be a normal meal if they were not away.

Accommodations

  • Reservations for accommodations should be made with mid-range hotels.
  • In the interests of economy, minimum requirement reservations (i.e., single traveler – single occupancy) should be made.
  • Reservations should be made with preferred vendors.
  • It is the employee’s responsibility to cancel reservations by 4:00 pm (hotel local time). Room costs incurred due to failure to cancel will not be reimbursed.

Entertainment

  • The employer will provide reimbursement for costs incurred during the pre-approved entertainment of current and/or potential clients.

Training and Education Fees

  • Employees that wish to receive training or education through third party sources must request approval prior to the authorization of the reimbursement of funds.

Claim Procedures

  • Employees are expected to submit an expense account report within 48 hours upon their return from any business travel, or monthly for all other business-related expenses.
  • Employees are obligated to retain and submit receipts for all transactions which they expect a reimbursement for.
  • Receipts where possible must be a vendor specific receipt and not a payment slip such as a receipt from using a debit or credit card. Receipts should always detail the transaction items, subtotal and taxes. Receipts should also note the vendor’s HST number where applicable.

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7.4      Cash Handling Policy

Intent

This policy is intended to communicate cash-handling and management procedures.

Scope

This policy applies to the employer and its employees, specifically those responsible for the collection and storage of funds received by the company.

Unionized employees shall adhere to their current Collective Agreement for policies governing cash handling and storage. Where the Collective Agreement is silent, bargaining members shall refer to the contents of this policy.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

The employer has developed and implemented the following cash handling and cash management guidelines to prevent the mishandling of funds and to mitigate against loss associated with the mishandling of such funds. Employees are expected to strictly adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. At no point, may cash/funds be left unattended. This measure has been adopted to avoid the potential for theft or robbery.
  2. Access to cash storage devices must be limited to authorized personnel only, including cashiers, management and department heads.
  3. All cash is to be reported at the close of business and accounted for through a balanced report of sales; cash is to be deposited into an appropriate storage device, e.g. register, safe or lock-box with a witness present.
  4. Delivery of cash to the bank shall be performed by a designated employee from the accounting department or executive management team.

Cash Collection Points

  1. All cash collected must be received using an appropriate device such as a cash register, and a receipt must be generated. This measure has been adopted to ensure that all transactions are properly recorded, and documentation is created.
  2. All cash received and counted at the close of business must balance with the records indicated by the registers.
  3. Prior to the delivery of cash for deposit at the bank, a deposit slip must be created stating the total amounts.
  4. Coins must be rolled for the purposes of bank deposits.
  5. Where required, cash collection points will be provided with a float to ensure that transactions may be completed efficiently, and change may be made appropriately.

Petty Cash Funds

  1. Any request for petty cash funds must be made by submitting the completed and approved petty cash form to the designated person. The request must state the reason for the request, the posting code and the amount required.
  2. Petty cash funds are to be managed by the designated representative at each property. All petty cash funds will be kept in a secure location under lock and key.
  3. Petty cash shall not be used for the purposes of any form of loan or salary advance.
  4. Petty cash requests shall not exceed $100. For funding requests in excess of $100.00, please forward your request to the general manager.

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7.5      Managing Guest Complaints Policy

Intent

Working in the hospitality industry may result in situations where employees encounter dissatisfied and/or angry customers/guests. There are effective methods to neutralize these situations and provide peaceful resolutions; this policy has been adopted to ensure that employees are provided with a set of guidelines for receiving and managing guest complaints and where required, dealing with angry customers.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees always and without exception.

Unionized employees shall adhere to their current Collective Agreement for policies governing managing guest complaints. Where the Collective Agreement is silent, bargaining members shall refer to the contents of this policy. In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

When a customer complaint is addressed in a professional and courteous manner, the chance that the customer becomes disgruntled, angry or hostile diminishes greatly.

Employees are to take ownership of the complaint and resolve it in a satisfactory manner as efficiently as possible. Once resolved, employees are required to ask if the actions taken were to the guests’ satisfaction and expectations. If the guest is still unhappy, the employee should escalate the matter to a member of the management team.

All complaints require immediate attention and response. Employees are also encouraged to take the time necessary to assist their fellow employees in problem resolution to make the guest stay experience enjoyable.

The following guest service procedures should be utilized with all customers/guests and in doing so, may quickly diffuse a situation where a customer/guest begins to get angry:

  • Greet all customers/guests in a friendly tone, and welcome them to the hotel.
  • Give the customer your full attention, and use active listening skills to ensure that they know you are working with them. Try paraphrasing the questions/concerns of the customer to show them that you are actively engaged in providing them with assistance.
  • Repeat the guests concern back to them to ensure that you have understood them correctly.
  • Attempt to resolve the situation as quickly as possible for the guest per hotel policy and within your assigned responsibility. Do not make any promises to the guest that cannot be delivered upon.
  • Always attempt to reason with the guest and ensure that they understand the company policy, and why that policy is in place. Ensure that they understand that we must treat each customer fairly, and equally.
  • If the client’s requests are unreasonable, beyond your responsibility or ability to resolve, let the guest know that you will involve the manager on shift and/or employee responsible for guest services. In such situations employees are required to locate management immediately, inform them of the situation and allow management to find an appropriate and acceptable resolution to the situation.

The following are additional guidelines to be followed by employees encountering an unhappy or hostile guest.

Avoid Engaging in Conflict

  • Remember that the customer may be angry for several reasons and try not to take it personally. While we strive to offer customer service that will meet or exceed the expectations of our guests/customers, we need to understand that sometimes there will be external forces such as issues at home, etc. that create anger or hostility in customers, and regardless of the actions that we take, we may be unable to make the customer happy.
  • Always maintain professionalism and do not engage in a heated argument with the customer as this will only make the situation worse.
  • Use logic and kindness to attempt to get the situation under control.

Determine the Customer’s Needs

  • Determine what the initial issue is/was, what was or can be done, and offer them a solution, or offer to escalate the situation to a specialist or manager.
  • Try to determine what they need, and what it is that they want to tell you. Sometimes a customer will simply want to vent their anger and be heard.
  • Be sure to acknowledge their anger, and where possible, attempt to alleviate the issue or solve the problem.
  • Do not brush off their anger or ignore them as this may lead to increased anger.

Observe the Customer on Approach

  • Be observant, and pay close attention to your customers. An upset or angry customer will generally display visible characteristics like clenched fists, a red face, agitated behaviours, etc.
  • If you notice a customer exhibiting behaviours associated with hostility/anger, prepare yourself for a potential situation, and remain composed and professional.

Relate to the Customer

  • Try to speak with the customer in a way that shows them that you understand and can sympathize with the issue, while working with them to find an agreeable resolution. An angry customer will generally decrease their hostility when they realise that you care and are genuinely interested in their issue.

Thank the Customer

  • Regardless of how angry a customer is, thank them for their business, patience and understanding during the problem resolution process.
  • Apologize for their inconvenience, and assure the customer/guest that we will rectify the situation and ensure them that we will do our best to prevent it from happening again.

When a guest exhibits increased hostility and/or is threatening or becoming violent, the employee is required to contact security immediately. At no time should an employee attempt to handle such a situation on their own. While the provision of exceptional customer service is of the upmost importance, our number one priority is to ensure employee and customer/guest safety.

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7.6      Inclement Weather Policy

Intent

This policy is intended to communicate attendance expectations for employees in the event of inclement weather.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees always and without exception.

Unionized employees are requested to refer to their current Collective Agreement for specific information pertaining to inclement weather. Where a Collective Agreement is silent on the issue, this policy shall dictate the requirements for unionized employees.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

We are a hospitality company that aspires to be the property of choice for travelers. In order to achieve this, the employer will provide its guests with quality facilities and exceptional guest services at all times, regardless of the day, hour or weather.

As the employer is open 24/7, 365 days a year, regular attendance for scheduled shifts is required. While the occurrence of inclement weather such as snow storms or other extreme weather conditions may make it difficult for some employees to commute to work, it is expected that all employees will make the best possible effort to arrive for their scheduled shift regardless of weather conditions to ensure the continued and effective operation of the hotel. Unless notified otherwise, or pending a police ordered road-closure, employees of will be expected to arrive, on-time, for regularly scheduled work.

  • In the event of either extreme cold weather conditions, extreme inclement weather conditions or a combination of both, employees should make the best possible effort to arrive to work for their scheduled shift. Employees are requested to watch weather conditions and allow ample travel time to compensate for unfavourable road conditions.
  • Employees should make the best possible effort to attend work during adverse weather conditions, however, employees shall not be expected to put their lives in danger to make their shift at the hotel. Employees are asked to use their best judgement in determining whether to travel. Employees are expected to contact on-shift management as soon as possible to inform them of their absence due to weather conditions.

If there are extreme levels of inclement weather during a regularly scheduled work day, management will be responsible for regularly monitoring local weather forecasts/reports, and determining when to send any employees home.  Employees are required to wait for direction from management prior to leaving the workplace before the end of their regularly scheduled shift.  If an employee leaves work without advance permission, they will be subject to disciplinary action for abandoning their shift without authorization.

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7.7      Volunteer Policy

Intent

The employer recognizes it is our responsibility as a good corporate citizen to help strengthen the communities in which we live and work and encourages employees to lend their voluntary support to programs that enrich the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens.  The employer will devote time and energy to programs, associations and organizations whose goals are considered strategically relevant to the mission of the company.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees always and without exception.

Bargaining members are requested to refer to their current Collective Agreement for procedures and guidelines pertaining to volunteerism.  Where the Collective Agreement is silent, bargaining members shall refer to the contents of this policy.  In situations where the directions of this policy cover issues also in the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement will be the final authority.

Guidelines

The employer requires that any organization, event or association that requires the volunteer efforts of the company or an employee of the company, meet the following standards:

  • The organization, association or event are categorized as having an alignment with the employer’s values and beliefs, and provides a benefit to the community.
  • The organization, association or event has obtained appropriate levels of insurance for volunteers. All registered volunteers should be covered against general liability claims made by another person because of their volunteer work.
  • Any health and safety risks are clearly identified, and appropriate training is provided.
  • A clearly communicated volunteer screening process is consistently applied.
  • Volunteer assignments address the purpose of the organization, association or event and involve volunteers in meaningful ways – reflecting their various abilities and experience.
  • Volunteers will receive orientation to the organization, and receive training for their volunteer assignment.
  • Volunteers receive appropriate levels of supervision and are given opportunities to receive and give feedback.

Volunteer time should not conflict with the employee’s work schedule or create a need for overtime. Time away from work for volunteering purposes should occur during lunchtime, before work, after work, or on the weekends depending upon the type of volunteer program the employee is involved in.  In extenuating circumstances and with the prior approval of management, volunteer time may occur within the regular business day (ie: charity golf tournament).

Employees are expected to adhere to company policies regarding confidentiality, harassment, conflict of interest, and health and safety while performing their volunteer work as they are acting as representatives of the company.

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