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CODE OF ETHICS CONDUCT AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST Section 4 – Procedure 2 Date of Issue: January 2013 Date of Review: January 2015

Overview All staff, volunteers and COM members will sign an agreement to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Conduct on joining BINSA. The Code of Ethics and Conduct requires BINSA personnel to commit to the: BINSA Purpose •

Identify needs and represent issues

Advocate for change and action on issues that cause disadvantage

Identify develop and initiate improved services

Be well informed and actively share information

Deliver specialised services where appropriate.

BINSA Beliefs •

Individuals with an ABI, their families and significant other are entitled to the protection of their human, legal, civil and consumer rights

Individuals with an ABI deserve the highest standard of care and support.

BINSA Values •

We give voice to people with ABI

We demonstrate mutual respect and courtesy in our respective roles.

Standards of Work All individuals will perform their duties as best they can and at the highest level of professional conduct. They will be accountable for their work and their interactions with others: •

Respect and courtesy O

act fairly and equitably

O

respect others, their values and their rights

O

respect privacy and confidentiality

O

create an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Accountability O

work within the goals and objectives of the organisation

O

follow the rules, policies and procedures of the organisation

O

act within the law

O O

undertake all duties in a diligent manner not act in a way that brings them or the organisation into disrepute.

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Personal behaviours: O

work cooperatively as a member of the team

O

support colleagues and treat everyone with respect and courtesy

O

discuss ethical concerns with colleagues and managers

O

project a positive image of the organisation

O

not be absent from duties without an appropriate reason

O

maintain confidentiality.

Conflict of Interest BINSA is committed to ensuring that individual interests that conflict with the interests of the organisation are identified and managed so that they do not affect the services, activities or decisions of the organisation. Generally speaking, a possible conflict of interest involves any direct or indirect interest in, connection with or benefit from any outside activities (especially commercial activities), which might in any way adversely affect the organisation. This policy requires that all staff, volunteers and COM members: •

Act impartially and without prejudice

Declare any potential or actual conflict of interest

Do not accept gifts or benefits that would influence a decision

Must be able to maintain an ability to avoid any emotional involvement, which may cloud their judgement, create a conflict of interest or give a client mixed messages

If a client and employee form a close friendship or relationship, it is important for the employee to inform the Executive Officer. In doing so; a conflict of interest is avoided and ensures that the employee is not accused of bias or manipulation

Have a duty not to pass on information to others that may cause the other person to doubt the integrity of BINSA

Rumour and hearsay have no part in quality service provision and are viewed as unacceptable behaviour

Personal views and concerns should be clarified with the EO to ensure that the information is correct

Where a client is concerned that there is a conflict of interest with a BINSA employee or they feel that their interests would be better served elsewhere, they will be given information about appropriate alternative services, with referral assistance if desired

The Employee/Advocate will record in their case notes the agency to which they have referred their client, the process used and why the referral was made.

National Police Certificates All BINSA paid staff and volunteers and COM are required to provide a National Police Certificate (NPC). Paid staff members are required to provide a current NPC for sighting by the EO. The cost for this will be met under their terms of employment. Volunteers can obtain their NPC free of charge using the process provided by the South Australian Government, as advised by the current relevant Fact Sheet of the Office for Volunteers. G:\Policies & Procedures\Section 4 - HR Policies And Procedures\2. Code Of Ethics\Code Of Ethics.Doc

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BINSA is not permitted to retain a copy of the NPC, but must document that it has been sighted, using A National Police Certificate will be required to be renewed every three years for continuing volunteers and staff .G:\FORMS\Form 01 - New Staff Forms Use of Resources Resources include physical, financial and technological resources as well as intellectual property. BINSA personnel must: •

Recognise the resources that belong to the organisation

Use all work resources efficiently and only for appropriate purposes

Respect and safeguard the resources.

Bullying, Victimisation and Sexual Harassment Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Victimisation are unacceptable and contrary to ethical behaviours and create an intimidating, hostile, offensive and unsafe work environment. Staff members and volunteers have the right to work in an environment free of bullying, harassment and victimisation. In addition, staff members and volunteers have responsibility for being aware of this policy and not bullying, harassing or victimising others. BINSA has a duty of care to provide a safe workplace and accepts and acts on its duty of care and seeks to comply fully with the WHS Act 2012 legislation and regulations covering these aspects of employment. Bullying or harassment incidents experienced or witnessed by staff are to be reported to the EO as soon as possible. BINSA recognises and acknowledges that sexual harassment may involve comments and behaviour that offend some persons but not others. BINSA accepts that individuals may react differently to certain comments and behaviour and as a result, has determined that a high standard of behaviour is required of all employees at all times. BINSA will ensure that all complaints of Bullying, Victimisation, or Sexual Harassment will be investigated quickly and fairly and treated with complete confidentiality. Any employee found guilty will be disciplined, or in serious cases, have their contract of employment terminated. The BINSA Grievance and Complaints Policy and Procedures (Staff and Clients) provide a strategy for prompt and effective resolution of situations where an individual who considers he/she has been bullied, harassed, victimised or discriminated against. If bullying, harassment or victimisation is found to have occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Additionally, harassment on the basis of a person’s sex, race, ethno religious background, age, pregnancy, marital status, disability, transgender (trans-sexuality) or sexuality breaches anti– discrimination and human rights law. Harassment in the workplace can take many forms. It can be obvious or subtle, direct or indirect. It includes: •

Sexual or suggestive remarks or gestures

Displaying or circulating sexually suggestive, offensive or degrading/insulting material on walls, computer screen savers, e-mail

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Making fun of someone, imitating someone’s accent, spreading rumours, unwelcome practical jokes

Obscene or unsolicited telephone calls, letters, faxes or e-mail messages

Invasion of personal space, unnecessary physical contact

Continually ignoring or dismissing someone’s contribution

Pushing, shoving or jostling or assault

Threats, insults, name calling, inappropriate language

Creating a hostile feeling or environment without any direct attacks being made on a person.

Rights of a staff member accused of workplace bullying, harassment or victimisation While every support must be given to the person making the complaint, the person accused of workplace bullying, harassment or victimisation must be accorded natural justice in the process of dealing with that complaint. A Staff member accused of workplace bullying, sexual harassment and/or victimisation has the right to: •

Be fully informed of the complaint against them, including the name of the person making the complaint

Reply in full to the complaint

Be considered innocent until the complaint has been substantiated

Be represented by a person of his/her choice, including union representation

Have the information about the complaint restricted to those who are directly involved

Be given the benefit of any reasonable doubt

Have no mention of the matter placed on his/her personal record if the complaint is not substantiated

Be informed of any rights of appeal that may exist against any decision made on the matter

Receive information, advice or assistance from an appropriate counselling or advisory service e.g. OCAR Services.

Complaints of Discrimination Any complaints about breaches of this policy will be dealt with seriously, confidentially and quickly. BINSA Grievance and Complaints Policy and Procedure (Staff and Clients) are to be followed. If any form of bullying, discrimination, victimisation or harassment has taken place, disciplinary action will be taken. (See attached Sample Grievance Procedure flow chart). The flow chart regarding bullying, harassment victimisation and discrimination in the workplace” identifies the actions in the resolution procedures. Management accepts that the absence of sexual harassment leads to a more stable, more contented and therefore productive workforce, in which people are treated fairly and with respect. Victimisation Any staff member who victimises another staff member who: •

Lodges a complaint of bullying and/or harassment

Intervenes on behalf of another person

Is required to provide evidence during an investigation will be counselled and disciplined. G:\Policies & Procedures\Section 4 - HR Policies And Procedures\2. Code Of Ethics\Code Of Ethics.Doc

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Appendices Definition of Bullying Workplace bullying is the persistent and continuous ill treatment of an individual at work by one or more other members of staff. Behaviours that constitute bullying include: •

Verbal abuse, especially in a loud voice, either privately or in front of other staff or clients.

Physical abuse, (this can also be a criminal offence)

Threatening gestures such as finger pointing, fist shaking, arm waving, and hostile facial expressions

Threats of dismissal or other severe punishment for no justified reason

Humiliating a staff member through sarcasm, insults and persistent and unjustified criticism, especially in front of other staff or customers

Spreading gossip, malicious rumours or making malicious allegations

Unjustifiably removing and/or replacing areas of responsibility with menial or trivial tasks

Unfairly undervaluing a staff member’s contribution, especially in comparison to other staff

Assigning a much greater proportion of unpleasant work to one staff member compared to other staff

Unreasonably denying opportunities for training and development

Placing unreasonable demands on a staff member’s performance, including setting unreasonable objectives and deadlines

Unjustified over-monitoring a staff member’s performance, or whereabouts in comparison with other staff members

Sabotaging the staff member’s work, usually by hiding or changing documents or equipment, not passing on messages, and withholding information with the intent of deliberately affecting a staff member’s performance

Not assisting the staff member with work difficulties, but pointedly helping other staff in similar situations

Unreasonably excluding staff members from workplace social events and/or not speaking to them at all.

a.

Definition of Harassment Harassment is a single or sequence of unwelcome offensive comment(s) or action(s) concerning a person’s race, colour, language, ethnic origin, religion, political beliefs, gender, sexual preference, pregnancy, marital status, age, appearance, disability or impairment. Harassment is behaviour that degrades, threatens, taunts, insults, abuses or disadvantages a person (or significant other) because of one of the qualities cited above and can include: • Intimidation, ridiculing and teasing • Offensive jokes • Negative, insulting or belittling comments • Unreasonably setting different conduct or work standards • Excluding a staff member from activities, allocation of facilities and resources or information G:\Policies & Procedures\Section 4 - HR Policies And Procedures\2. Code Of Ethics\Code Of Ethics.Doc

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b.

Definition of Sexual Harassment “Sexual harassment” Refers to any unwanted, unwelcome and uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature that results in a person feeling humiliated, intimidated and offended and under the circumstances, it would be reasonable for them to feel this way. The perception by an employee that they have been sexually harassed is sufficient for them to lodge a complaint. Sexual harassment does not refer to behaviour based on mutual attraction, friendship and respect if the interaction is consensual, welcome and reciprocated. Sexual harassment is a general term covering many forms of unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature or having sexual connotations. Sexual harassment may include: •

Uninvited touching or fondling

Uninvited kisses or embraces

Making promises or threats in return for sexual favours

Sexually explicit conversation

Gestures or remarks with sexual connotations

Offensive phone calls or letters

Stalking (criminal offence)

Offensive e-mail messages, computer screen savers, wall papers or any other electronic media

Demands that revealing clothing be worn

• Sexual assault (criminal offence) •

Obscene telephone calls (criminal offence)

Sexual jokes or innuendos

Unwelcome comments or questions about a person’s sex life or physical appearance

Direct or implied sexual propositions or unwelcome and continual requests for dates

Displays of sexually graphic material or pornography including posters, pin ups, cartoons, graffiti, electronic images or messages left on screens, notice COMs, desks or any other public area

“Flashing” or sexual gestures (criminal offence)

• Sex-based insults, taunts, teasing or name-calling •

Staring or leering at a person or at parts of their body

Unwelcome physical contact such as massaging a person without invitation or deliberately brushing up against them.

The key word is unwelcome. If any of the above behaviours is unwelcome and the person to whom it is directed feels offended, humiliated or intimidated, then it is sexual harassment – regardless of the intentions of the person doing the behaviour. Sexual Harassment contravenes the rights of staff members to a safe and healthy work environment and is discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexuality. It contravenes the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA). Sexual harassment very often has little to do with sex and a lot to do with one person exercising G:\Policies & Procedures\Section 4 - HR Policies And Procedures\2. Code Of Ethics\Code Of Ethics.Doc

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power over another. The second person often is not in the position to demand that the behaviour stop. Humour, friendship and relationships based on mutual consent are NOT sexual harassment. However, consent is something actively given, as opposed to “just going along with” because of being too uncomfortable, embarrassed or scared to object openly. Sexual harassment can involve employer and staff member (or potential staff member), staff member and staff member, or employer/staff member and client. All categories of staff members are covered (e.g. full/part-time, contract, casual, unpaid, agent, voluntary). Sexual harassment can involve male and female, male and male, or female and female

c.

Definition of Victimisation Victimisation is unlawful. Victimisation means treating someone unfairly because they acted on rights given to them by equal opportunity laws (such as to seek advice, or to complain) or supported someone else acting on their rights. A person who is victimised (e.g. being sacked or demoted, or having hours lessened, or by being subject to taunts by other workers) could lodge a complaint with the Commission. Victimisation is treated very seriously and may attract severe financial penalties. The behaviour being referred to is unwelcome, unsolicited, usually unreciprocated and usually (but not always) repeated. It makes the workplace or association with work unpleasant, humiliating or intimidating for the people or group targeted by this behaviour. This can make it difficult for effective work to be done. The behaviour being referred to, however, must not be confused with legitimate comment, feedback or advice. Examples of the destructive behaviour that should be eliminated are: •

Interference with a person’s workspace, work materials, equipment or property, apart from that which is necessary for the ongoing work of the organization

Continual unjustified and unnecessary comments about a person’s work or capacity to work

Continual exclusion of a person or group from normal conversation, work assignments, work related social activities and networks in the workplace

Insulting or threatening gestures

Offensive or coercive behaviour which is derogatory or intimidating

Persistent following or stalking within the workplace, or to and from work

Conversation with suggestive or sexual innuendo.

Often this type of behaviour is of a minor nature. Individual incidents may seem too trivial to warrant attention, or the person subjected to it may seem unaffected. However, where continued, such behaviour can undermine the standard and conduct within a workplace that may: • Erode the wellbeing of the individual group targeted. • Lower overall staff performance.

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The person being subjected to this type of behaviour does not always complain. This is not necessarily because they find this behaviour trivial, but because the person may lack the confidence to speak up on their own behalf and feel too intimidated or embarrassed to complain.

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Sample Complaint Procedure

Complaint

Complainant approaches a staff member. If approached they should: • listen

Complainant decides how

give information / options

act as support person; or

refer to a mediator (another member of staff or could be EO)

Remember: The complaint belongs to the complainant. Although this is an example procedure, the complainant always decides how they would like their complaint to be handled.

Complainant decides how they want to handle the complaint

Informally

Complainant wants no

Formally

action taken

Mediation attempts to resolve complaint

Successful Resolution

Unsuccessful Resolution

External Complaints Process

Complainant lodges written complaint to BINSA

Mediation attempts to resolve complaint

Successful Resolution

Sometimes the complainant simply wants their issue to be heard. In this case no formal or informal action needs to be taken.

Unsuccessful Resolution

Investigation

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Reporting unethical behaviour If a person believes that the behaviour of any staff member, volunteer or COM member is unethical they must report it to the EO. Unethical behaviour is defined as: • Workplace behaviour that is contrary to these procedures • Workplace behaviour that violates any law, or is corrupt conduct or misconduct • Mismanagement of resources or fraudulent behaviour • Behaviour that creates a danger to public health, safety or the environment.

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Attachment 1 Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Agreement The Brain Injury Network of SA Inc.(BINSA) is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of client information as defined in the Privacy Act 1998.

BINSA is committed to ensuring that all staff, volunteers and Committee of Management (COM) members abide by the BINSA Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy. Please read Human Resources Section 4 Policy 2.

Having read the above policy I hereby agree to ensure that I do not in any way, be it verbal, written or through any other form of communication, disclose to any person or organisation sensitive or personal information that might breach or threaten the privacy, security and/or peace of mind of clients, staff, carers, volunteers, family members or other concerned persons or agencies. In addition, I agree that I will abide by the stated policy terms.

Where informed signed consent has been secured, sharing of information with the service providers can be undertaken by authorised BINSA personnel, if that sharing of information is directly related to ensuring that clients, or those involved with them, receive high quality service.

I acknowledge that this Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Agreement extends beyond my term of involvement with BINSA.

Signed:

Date:

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RELEVANT LINKS •

Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) – N/A

Operational Instructions (OI) – N/A

Forms (F)

Form 00

BINSA Confidentiality Agreement ..\..\..\..\Policies & procedures\Forms\Form 00 - BINSA Confidentiality Agreement.doc

Form 01

BINSA Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Agreement ..\..\..\..\Policies & procedures\Forms\Form 01 - BINSA Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Agreement.doc

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2. Code of Ethics, Conduct and Conflict of Interest Procedure  
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