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Code of Conduct

Purpose and Intent

The Code of Conduct provides a framework for employees in relation to standards required of them in the ethical and professional performance of their duties. It describes the behaviours that exemplify of the City of Casey. It is a statutory requirement under the Local Government Act 2020.2. Scope This Code of Conduct applies to all members of the City of Casey workforce, including permanent, temporary, part-time, and casual employees as well as volunteers, agency employees, contractors working on-site, work experience students and graduate placements.

Policy

The public is entitled to expect that employees will:

  • act with efficiency, impartiality and integrity in conducting Council business;
  • act in a manner which is objective, politically neutral and in the best interests of the community in implementing the policies of Council;
  • exercise a duty of care to customers, children and young people and be responsible for their own actions in exercising such duty of care; and
  • act in a transparent, accountable and ethical manner in the delivery of Council services.

Employees are entitled to perform their duties in an environment free from discrimination and bullying and harassment. The City of Casey takes a zero-tolerance approach to behaviour that compromises this ability.

4.1. Conduct and Behaviour of Employees

4.1.1. Expectations of Employees

Employees are required to: 

  • demonstrate the values of the City of Casey at all times, these values are Dream Big, Empower Each Other, Make Our Community Proud;
  • comply with their prescribed terms and conditions of employment, authorised hours of duty and Council’s policies, procedures and privacy policy;
  • not absent themselves from duty without specific approval;
  • notify their supervisor at or before their scheduled time of commencement of any inability to attend for duty;
  • display skills, care and diligence in the performance of their duties;
  • comply with reasonable and lawful oral or written directions given by a person authorised to issue such directions;
  • not make statements to the media about Council business; instead referring all media enquiries to the Communications Department for response;
  • comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017, and support safe working practices so as not to endanger themselves or others;
  • comply with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, Equal Opportunity Act 2010, Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 and Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
  • take all reasonable action to protect Council assets from damage and or loss;
  • not unlawfully discriminate in their service delivery against any person, party, entity or group;
  • be clean, neat and tidy in appearance, and dress appropriately for their position;
  • ensure that their work performance or conduct is not adversely affected by alcohol, drugs or other substances;
  • not borrow or lend money to anyone they meet in the course of their duties;
  • be respectful of all customers and colleagues and accept responsibility for actions and outcomes
  • report any inappropriate behaviour or conduct to their supervisor or to People and Culture.

4.1.2. Ethical Behaviours

Employees are required to:

  • not to lobby or advocate to Councillors or local politicians on behalf of customers unless within their work scope (as outlined in their Position Description);
  • to avoid the promotion of political, religious or social beliefs to other employees, or anyone else they encounter in the course of their duties;
  • to observe the highest standards of honesty and integrity and avoid any contact or behaviour which might suggest departure from these standards;
  • to undertake service delivery and communication in a non-judgemental way;
  • to avoid social or intimate contact or behaviour with customers which may compromise, or be perceived to compromise, the employee’s ability to maintain responsible and ethical relationships;
  • to recognise and respect that customers may choose to live or behave in a way different from the employee;
  • not to actively participate in, or spread, gossip;
  • not to denigrate other employees, volunteers, Council or management,including any decision that Council or management has made;
  • not to seek or accept gifts, benefits or hospitality from customers,contractors, external authorities or agencies outside of Council’s Gifts,Benefits and Other Hospitality Policy;
  • not to ask customers to purchase goods or services from them, their relatives or friends;
  • not to recommend any tradesperson, retailer or commercial service provider to customers unless sanctioned beforehand by Council;
  • not to accept keys from customers to access their property. Employees must not enter a property without the customer or their representative being present unless they have legal authority or have approval from their supervisor;
  • not to canvass, request, accept or undertake private work with customers; and
  • to only take cash from a customer if the transaction is a necessary part of the employee’s duties. Receipts must be obtained and retained, and interim receipts given to the customer when money, in any form, is taken as part of their duties.

4.1.3. Child Safe Standards

Employees are responsible for ensuring the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children by:

  • taking all reasonable steps to protect children and young people from abuse;
  • treating all children and young people equally and with respect and dignity;
  • listening and responding to the views and concerns of children and young people, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another;
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and young people (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification);
  • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children and young people with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children and young people with a disability;
  • reporting any allegations of child abuse to the Internal Response Team and ensure any allegation is reported to the police or child protection as soon as possible;
  • if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child or young person is safe;
  • encouraging children and young people to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to and/or impact them;
  • avoiding any behaviour or conduct which is contrary to the City of Casey Child Safe Policy and the statement of commitment to child safety;
  • notifying your supervisor of any planned, ongoing or otherwise interactions or contact with a child, young person or their family outside of your role at the City of Casey (accidental contact such as seeing people in the street does not apply);
  • behaving as a positive role model to all children and young people;
  • reporting any signs of child abuse or inappropriate behaviour of Councillors, employees, volunteers or contractors to the Internal Response Team as soon as practicable;
  • ensuring employees do not provide their personal details i.e. a phone number, address, social media to children or young people involved in Council Programs, Services or Activities; and
  • using images of children or young people taken at Council’s services,programs or activities appropriately and in a manner consistent with Council processes and procedures.

4.1.4. Use of Council Facilities, Funds, Employees and Equipment

  • Employees must be honest in their use of Council facilities, funds,human resources and equipment and must not permit their misuse (orthe appearance of misuse) by themselves or any other person or body.

4.1.5. Conflict of Interest/Pecuniary Interest

  • Employees are to ensure they act at all times in the best interests of Council.
  • Employees shall ensure there is no conflict between their personal interests and the impartial fulfilment of their duties and shall disclose to their supervisor any interests or relationships which may have the potential to be in conflict. This includes private involvement in Committees of Management.
  • Employees shall obtain written approval from their Manager prior to engaging in any business dealing, or undertaking outside employment, that relates to or could impact upon the activities of the Council or would give rise to an actual or perceived conflict of interest.
  • Employees shall not be engaged and/or participate in work or contracts for the City of Casey with their secondary employment or businesses.
  • Employees must comply with the conflict of interest obligations imposed on them by the Local Government Act 2020.First, employees who have a conflict of interest in a matter in which they have a delegated power, duty or function must:
  1. not exercise the delegated power or perform the delegated duty or function or delegate to a direct report; and
  2. disclose the type and nature of the interest to the CEO in writing, as soon as the employee becomes aware of the conflict of interest.
  3. The CEO (or, with the CEO’s approval, the employee’s supervisor) will then decide who else within the Council must exercise the delegated power or perform the delegated duty or function.

Secondly, employees who provide advice or a report to a Council or Special Committee meeting and who have a conflict of interest in a matter to which the advice or report relates must disclose the type of interest when providing the advice or report. If the advice or report is in writing, the disclosure can be made in the body of the document itself. Any disclosure must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

  • Employees occupying the office of the CEO have particular conflict of interest obligations. When exercising their CEO responsibilities or a delegated power, duty or function, they must not exercise the responsibility (or exercise the power or perform the duty or function)and must disclose the type and nature of the conflict of interest in writing to the Mayor as soon as they become aware of the conflict of interest, and to the Council itself by no later than the next ordinary meeting. The Council should then decide who is to exercise the responsibility (or exercise the power or perform the duty or function).The CEO is, like any other Council employee, subject to disclosure obligations in respect of any advice or report provided to a Council or Special Committee meeting. Everything said above about this is equally applicable to the CEO.
  • Employees shall notify the CEO in writing (or, in the case of the CEO, the Council) prior to undertaking a dealing in land in the municipality (other than purchasing or selling a principal place of residence), should there be potential for a perceived pecuniary interest.
  • Employees who exercise a regulatory, inspectorial, recruitment or other discretionary function shall make disclosure to their supervisor before dealing with relatives or persons with whom they are closely associated, in cases where the Local Government Act 2020 conflict of interest provisions are inapplicable. Whenever possible or in doubt, they shall then disqualify themselves from dealing with those persons.
  • Employees who become aware that other Council employees working with them are dealing with relations or persons closely associated with the first mentioned employee are encouraged to tell their supervisor of the situation, and ask that no aspect of the matter be dealt with or discussed in their presence.
  • When dealing with contractors, employees need to ensure they maintain a professional relationship which is firm, fair and friendly. They should ensure that the relationship remains transparent and able to withstand public scrutiny.

4.1.6. Council’s Gift, Benefit and other Hospitality Policy

The default position of Council is that gifts, benefits or other hospitality should be declined if offered. However, in limited occasions there may be times where the business case may demonstrate a strong benefit to the community and/or Council.

Payment for the hospitality or benefit is the preferred option, however, where payment is not made for the hospitality or gift, approval is required prior to acceptance of the hospitality or gift. Such approvals will be made by the relevant manager and the Manager of Governance. Please note:

  • There is a requirement for members of Council staff to disclose all gifts above a $20.00 value;
  • If any gift, benefit or hospitality is deemed an unacceptable gift under the Gift, Benefits and Hospitality procedure, they must be declined and declared.
  • The disclosed gifts will be recorded in a gift register of which a summary of the register will be published quarterly on Council’s website. For further information please refer to the Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality SharePoint page and Offers of Gifts, Benefit and/ or Hospitality process in Promapp.

4.1.7. Reporting

Employees must immediately report to their supervisor or to People and Culture any aggression, sexual advances, manipulation, abuse or any behaviour that may be considered to be discrimination, bullying or harassment by an employee, or anyone else they encounter in the performance of their duties. Employees must immediately report to their supervisor and manager any inappropriate pressure exerted by Councillors in the performance of their duties. The supervisor is to be advised when an employee has reasonable grounds or suspicion that a customer is being emotionally, sexually or physically abused or is otherwise being taken advantage of. Employees are encouraged to make a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic) about unethical behaviour or wrongdoing by Council or a Council employee. Full details are available in Council’s“Procedure for handing disclosures made under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic)” a copy of which is available from Council’s website.Any situation that has the potential to seriously compromise the reputation and/or operation of a Council service is to be communicated by the employee to their supervisor immediately.

4.1.8. Criminal Charges

The CEO must be notified immediately if an employee is charged with a criminal offence while they are employed which:

  • Is punishable by imprisonment; or
  • If the offence is proven could significantly affect the employee’s ability to perform their work.

4.3. Breaches

Breaches of this code may lead to action in accordance with Council’s Disciplinary Code, infringements under the Local Government Act 2020 (where applicable),and/or referral to Police.

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