Do any of you all have a policy that allows employees who are leaving to keep or purchase the laptop they’ve been using? Any criteria for who might be eligible? Do you wipe it or leave it as is?
We don’t have a policy, but we do allow staff an option to purchase their laptop upon exit.
We remove all Granger software and our admin accounts. The purchase price is based on the low side of what that model has been selling for on ebay. Naturally, we inform them that once it leaves our hands that’s the end of IT support from us
We do something very similar. We “give” it to them, but add the fair market value (determined from ebay selling price) to their taxable income.
Basically, we do not do this, and for a variety of reasons.
- We refresh our office systems on a 5 year schedule. We have plenty of needs in the church outside the office to use the system we’re rotating out. So if we were to do allow exiting employees to do this, we would either have to purchase 1-2 new systems or it would screw up our refresh plan forcing us to have much older equipment.
- We discourage staff from using church equipment for personal use. Personal use seems to trigger this request when employment ends and makes it exceedingly difficult to properly remove all church data, settings, etcetera while retaining personal files and settings.
- Our policies and procedures call for the drive to be securely wiped before we will dispose of it. This insures no church information, settings, or church licensed software is compromised.
- There are all kinds of legal risks to the church in doing this. Besides those listed above there are many ways this can run afoul of the prohibition of private inurement. It’s just too easy for the IRS to challenge the church on adequate compensation when the church has to purchase additional new computer(s), put all the labor in to setup those computers, plus the labor put into getting the existing system ready to leave the site. They can easily [and correctly] assert that none of that or very little of that would have had to be done if the computer remained in the hands of the church.
I should add that when this request comes up we do usually offer to answer questions on things like specifications for an equivalent or similar system, so they can go out and purchase something similar.
At my current church we do not give them the option to take their computers with them for the sole purpose of being able to reuse it elsewhere. At my previous church we would allow them to purchase their computer if it was a computer that wouldn’t have been reallocated elsewhere after their departure. If they did purchase we would remove any company owned software or install a fresh image of the OS before giving it to them.
We are in the same boat as @leftshot. Inurement being our main concern. If we have ever offered any type of equipment to staff, we have a policy in place that requires us to offer it up to the entire staff for a cost. It is first come first serve.
We do not have a policy although I’ve dreamed of drafting one and giving it to HR. In the past, certain individuals were allowed to purchase their laptop when they transitioned off staff. This sometimes happened without IT’s knowledge as the transitioning employee made their case and obtained approval from their overseer, and wrote a check for what they determined it was worth. (Not Good).
I really discourage allowing this for primarily a stewardship issue. If we allow an exiting employee to purchase a 2 year old Mac that we could have redeployed to a new/existing staff member, then we have to purchase new equipment, reinvest in something we already owned. To me that just doesn’t see like good stewardship.
If the equipment is older and wouldn’t be good to redeploy to an individual, then we wipe/reimage and add it to our loaner pool. Staff can check them out while traveling to conferences, training, etc.
I’ll also add that we have very little staff turnover so we’re not dealing with this often … maybe 1 a year. If we were churning through staff often, then I’d not want to dork with this.
It also depends on your staff culture. We see this as another opportunity to bless a staff member as they transition to what God has called them to next.
I have a policy that no one listens to so in reality, we don’t have a policy. I don’t like selling them or giving them away because even if I sold them for ebay prices it’s not like I could buy another for another staff position for that money! So the church pretty much loses 1/2 a laptop when we do that. I’ve resigned to the fact that leadership will continue to give computers to departing employees and I just ask that we get it back for a few hours to decommission it. If it is less than 2 years old I will put up a fight though. I’ll offer them a different one from our stockpile. We’ve also had a bunch of interns pop up this summer that were unexpected and they used laptops worked great for them.
I’ve never had an exiting staff member request to keep or purchase their laptop computer because we have a Four Year Upgrade Plan that defines new computer purchases, as well as defines the life cycle of a computer based on rebuilding and redistribution. Because of this, it’s understood by leadership and staff that regardless of the employee, the equipment has a purpose based on a plan.
With that said, we have had iPads purchased by departing employees because it is not standard who would get an iPad, and is purchased case-by-case with executive approval. We’ve had a few that have purchased their iPad as they left. We are getting away from iPads, however, with the purchase of MS Surfaces as the mobile platform of choice. So this is less and less.