CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

Peter Hewitt Care for Africa Foundation Inc (CfA) intends to apply for membership of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).  It is an ACFID requirement for CfA to have Code of Conduct Policy in place and CfA endorses the requirement. 

 Once accredited CfA will adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which defines minimum standards of governance, management and accountability of development in non-government organisations (NGOs). CfA will ensure that all staff engaged in activities which support our international program, will be informed of the obligations arising from the ACFID Code of Conduct. 

CfA is conducting its activities according to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, respect and fairness when dealing with all of our volunteers, staff, partners, observers, contractors and associates, when dealing with any activity associated with CfA.  We require that our Board of Directors, volunteers and staff meet these high standards. 

The organisation takes seriously its obligations to comply with all Australian, Tanzanian and International laws and regulations, as well as common law obligations, and again requires all Board of Directors, volunteers, staff, contractors and associates to do the same. 

Responsibilities

Managers and Supervisors 

Managers and supervisors are responsible and accountable for: 

  • Undertaking their duties and behaving in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of Code of Conduct and behaviours.
  • The effective implementation, promotion and support of the Code of Conduct and behaviours in their areas of responsibility. 
  • Ensuring Staff under their control understand and follow the provisions outlined in the Code of Conduct. 

 

Staff and Volunteers 

All Staff and Volunteers are responsible for: 

  • Undertaking their duties in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the Code of Conduct and behaviours.
  • Reporting suspected corrupt conduct.
  • Reporting any departure from the Code of Conduct by themselves or others.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The following Code establishes the standards of behaviour that should be met by volunteers, staff and members of the Board of Directors. 

Where these standards are not met, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. In cases where the breach involves serious misconduct, this may result in instant dismissal of volunteer, staff or removal of a Director from the Board. In cases where a breach of the policy involves a breach of any law, then the relevant government authorities or the police will be notified. 

  1. Ensure that you treat all volunteers, staff, clients and visitors with courtesy and respect.
  2. Do not engage in any threatening or harassing behaviour towards other volunteers and staff, including physical or verbal abuse.
  3. Behave honestly and with integrity. You will avoid behaviour that could suggest that you are not following these principles. This will include a duty to report other Staff and Volunteers who are behaving dishonestly.
  4. Carry out your volunteer work and/or paid work efficiently, economically and effectively, ensuring that the standard of your work reflects favourably on yourself and the organisation.
  5. Maintain individuals’ rights to privacy and undertake to keep personal information in confidence.
  6. Not use, possess or distribute pornographic or offensive materials. 
  7. Use other social media tools responsibly and respectfully in line with the organisation’s social media policy. 
  8. Do not discriminate on the basis of irrelevant characteristics, such as sex, race, disability, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual preference, gender, family status or family responsibility.
  9. Do not perpetrate, permit or fail to report violations of any federal, state or local government law or regulation including theft, fraud, bribery and abuse.
  10. Ensure that you declare any conflict of interest between your role as a volunteer or staff member and your involvement in an outside activity.
  11. Be aware of the organisation’s policies as set out in the policy manual and ensure that you comply with them.
  12. Do not come to work while affected by drugs or alcohol.
  13. Do not participate in unacceptable behaviours including all forms of exploitation and abuse.
  14. Transactional sex is prohibited. No volunteer or staff member will engage in any form of transactional sex with primary stakeholders. Any form of sexual activity in exchange for goods or services, money, employment or preferential treatment is strictly prohibited.
  15. Do not use work information or work time for private gain.
  16. Do not leak confidential information to anyone, including the media.
  17. Ensure honest dealings with all volunteers, staff and clients.
  18. Do not misappropriate organisation funds or property.
  19. Do not misappropriate funds or property of volunteers, staff or clients.
  20. Ensure the highest standards in carrying out your duties.
  21. Do not falsify reports.
  22. Do not breach copyright.
  23. Always acknowledge other people’s work and ideas.
  24. Always put safety first and do your utmost to comply with health and safety requirements

Public comment

Individuals have a right to give their opinions on political and social issues in their private capacity as members of the community. Volunteer and staff  must not make official comment on matters relating to the organisation unless they are: 

  • authorised to do so by the Chair of the Board and CEO; or
  • giving evidence in court; or  
  • otherwise authorised or required to by law. 

Staff should be conscious of these issues when they use social media. In addition, they cannot release the contents of unpublished or privileged material unless they have the authority to do so, including photographs and stories of members of the communities that CfA operates in. 

Use of organisation resources

Staff/Volunteers must ensure responsible management and security in the use of CfA resources and any resources managed by them for or on behalf of others. Requests to use CfA resources outside core business time should be referred to management (or person authorised to handle such matters), for approval. If Staff/Volunteers are authorised to use organisation resources outside core business times they must take responsibility for maintaining, replacing, and safeguarding the property and following any special directions or conditions which apply. Organisation resources can include equipment, motor vehicles etc. Staff/Volunteers using company resources without obtaining prior approval could face disciplinary and/or criminal action. Organisational resources are not to be used for any private commercial purposes (eg. for ‘profit’ purposes) under any circumstances. 

Security of Information

Staff and volunteers are to make sure that confidential and sensitive information in any form (eg documents, computers files) cannot be accessed by unauthorised persons. Sensitive material should be securely stored overnight or when unattended. Staff and Volunteers must ensure that confidential information is only discussed with people who are authorised to have access to it. It is considered a serious area of misconduct to deliberately release confidential documents or information to unauthorised persons, and may incur disciplinary action. 

Intellectual Property/Copyright

The term ‘intellectual property’ includes the rights relating to CfA’s method of practice. CfA is the owner of intellectual property created by Staff and volunteers in the course of employment/volunteering unless a specific prior agreement has been made. Staff/volunteers must clarify the intellectual property position before making any use of that property. 

Health, Safety, Security & Environment

It is the responsibility of all Staff/volunteers to act in accordance with the resp occupational health and safety legislation, regulations. Specifically all staff/volunteers are responsible for safety whilst working by: 

  • reporting incidents, advising management of areas where there is potential problem in safety and reporting suspicious occurrences.
  • minimising risks in the workplace.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OPERATIONAL TEAM

In addition to complying with the above, the Board of Directors and the Operational Team also have the responsibility to execute their managerial and supervisory duties with fairness. You should also ensure that you: 

  1. Do not condone, permit or fail to report any breaches of the above code by volunteers and staff under your supervision.
  2. Promote a team spirit amongst the volunteers and staff through your own behaviour.
  3. Maintain confidentiality when conducting investigations into employee grievances. Avoid bias in decision making. 
  4. Indicate conflict of interest/potential conflict of interest as soon as it arises. 
  5. Ensure compliance with the organisation’s procedures when counselling and disciplining staff.
  6. Disqualify yourself from decision making where you are unable to remain objective.
  7. Never pressure an employee or volunteer to resign. 
  8. Exercise objectivity when administering rewards or discipline. 
  9. Do not accept bribes, gifts or benefits.
  10. Do not represent someone else’s ideas as your own. 

CHILD SAFETY PROCEDURE

The Child Safety Procedure and Child Safety Code are available on the website.  This Code of Conduct supports these policies and reflects the minimum professional standard expected by CfA staff, volunteers, partners, observers, contractors and associates when dealing with children in the communities within which we work and provides a framework for managing and reducing risks of child abuse or harm in the content of CfA’s clinics held in Tanzania and elsewhere.

Failure to comply with the standards of the Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action.

Child Protection

The onus is on Staff/Volunteers to use common sense and avoid actions or behaviours that could be construed as child abuse when Volunteering/Working for CfA. 

When carrying out your duties, you will: 

  • treat children with respect regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
  • not use language or behaviour towards children that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning or culturally inappropriate.
  • not engage children in any form of sexual activity or acts, including paying for sexual services or acts, where under the law(s) applicable to the child, the child is below the age of consent or the act(s) are an offence under relevant laws.
  • wherever possible, ensure that another adult is present when working in the proximity of children. 
  • not invite unaccompanied children into the CfA Centre, unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger.
  • not sleep close to unsupervised children unless absolutely necessary, in which case you will obtain your supervisor’s permission, and ensure that another adult is present if possible. 
  • use any computers, mobile phones, or video and digital cameras appropriately, and never to exploit or harass children or to access child pornography through any medium. 
  • refrain from physical punishment or discipline of children (excluding your own children).
  • refrain from hiring children for domestic or other labour which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage, which interferes with their time available for education and recreational activities, or which places them at significant risk of injury.
  • comply with all relevant legislation, including local and international labour law in relation to child labour; and immediately report concerns or allegations of child abuse in accordance with appropriate procedures. 
  • When photographing or filming a child for work related purposes, you will: assess and endeavour to comply with local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images before photographing or filming a child.
  • obtain consent from the child or a parent or guardian of the child before photographing or filming a child and in doing so, you must explain how the photograph or film will be used.
  • ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Children should be adequately clothed and not in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive.
  • ensure images are honest representations of the context and the facts.
  • ensure file labels do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically. Breaches of this child protection code of conduct may result in disciplinary and/or criminal action.

Corrupt Conduct

Commonly it involves the dishonest or partial use of power or position which results in one person/group being advantaged over another. Corruption can take many forms including, but not limited to: 

  • official misconduct.
  • bribery and blackmail.
  • unauthorised use of confidential information.
  • Fraud and theft. 
  • Any form of corrupt conduct will not be tolerated by the company. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal will be taken in the event of any Staff member participating in corrupt conduct. 

HARASSMENT AND BULLYING

It is an employee’s right, and a volunteer’s right, (in this policy called “employee”) to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is an employee’s responsibility to treat others the same way.

In this policy, the term “employee” includes employees, workers, contractors, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, work experience students and volunteers.

CfA is committed to providing a workplace free of all forms of harassment and bullying, as prescribed by Commonwealth and state legislation. CfA is committed to meeting its legislative obligations relating to harassment and bullying, and will take all reasonable, practicable steps to provide and maintain a working environment free from these behaviours.

The CfA Harassment and Bulling Policy, available on the website, applies to all activities, and all people involved in those activities, that take place on work premises and where activities are undertaken in the course of employment, or at work-related activities, such as social functions. This policy covers employees, contractors, customers and visitors.

An internal grievance resolution process assists employees to raise issues of concern. All complaints will be treated confidentially, seriously and sympathetically. No employee will be penalised or disadvantaged as a result of raising any genuine concern or complaint.

Relevant and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found to have breached this policy.

CfA prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, an unwelcome request for sexual favours or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person.

CONDUCT WHICH BREACHES THIS POLICY

Conduct which breaches this policy is unacceptable. Depending on the severity and circumstances, breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, regardless of the seniority of the particular individuals involved.

Staff & volunteers to report violations of the organisation’s Code of Conduct to the CEO or where not appropriate the Chair of Board

CfA will take appropriate disciplinary action against an employee who is responsible for, or engages in, any form of harassment or bullying.

Disciplinary action might include any of

  1. demotion;
  2. a requirement to provide a written or verbal apology;
  3. a formal warning;
  4. a requirement to attend training or counselling; and
  5. dismissal

DIRECTOR’S RESPONSIBILITY – CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Directors must declare any conflict of interest on the consent to appointment as director and notification of interest’s form.
Directors must also note conflict of interest at the commencement of each Board meeting. To facilitate this, conflict of interest is the first agenda item at all Board meetings – requiring directors to state nature of any conflict prior to the meeting commencing. This is in accordance with CORPORATIONS ACT 2001 – SECT 191 – Material personal interest – director’s duty to disclose. 

In the event there is a conflict of interest, the Director who is implicated in the potential or real conflict leaves the room during the entire discussion of the matter and should not return until invited by the other board members. The minutes of the meeting must record why the board member left the room and at what time they returned to join the meeting. 

DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS

Term Meaning 

Conflicts of Interest is conflict between an individual’s public duties and his / her private
of interests which may mean that a decision is made on the basis of the Interest benefit to the individual, not the benefit to the organisation 

Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, an unwelcome request for sexual favours or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person

“Staff” means Employees as well as other non-Employees (such as independent and sub-contractors) who perform work for a Coffey Group Company. 

“Volunteers” means anyone in Australia or Tanzania who is donating their time to CfA. This could include fundraising or volunteering on specific programs. 

CFA-P20.V1  Code of Conduct Policy – Effective Date: 7 August 2020 Document
Approved By: Board of Management.

Controlled Document — Printed Versions are not controlled. CFA