8 July 2012
Contracts are legally enforceable agreements between the organisation and its staff (employment), the organisation and its suppliers/consumers (some of this is covered automatically under contract law), collaborators (agreements to work together and how products are exploited), 'contractors' (such as construction companies and non-permanent workers), etc. Each contract is typically unique.
Policies are statements of what the organisation does, or will do, in given circumstances. Disclaimers deny responsibility, and typically state that users should use the organisation's products 'at their own risk' - diminishing (but not eradicating) the organisation's liability. Policies are only considered valid if they are:
Staff are beholden, under the terms of their employment contracts, to adhere to and uphold the policies of the institution (such as health and safety, fire and the institutional policies relating to the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)). The organisation is beholden, under law, to inform staff about its policies and to develop staff so that they know what to do.
Organisations often take out liability insurance to insure themselves against litigation arising from breaches of policy. The better their policies and ensuring that staff follow them and their 'no claims' status, the lower the annual insurance premiums.
Related tags: #score, #UKOER, advice, contracts, copyright, digital rights, FAQ, Newcastle University, OER, oer phase 3, policies, policy, score, staff development, support, training, ukoer
Posted by: Megan Quentin-Baxter