Code of Conduct for Staff
Moni Akinsanya and Frank Sanderson
SMG on 24th February 2009
Responsibility for Policy
Responsibility for document review
HR Manager (Policy, Equality & HR Systems)
Next Review Date
The HR Manager (Policy, Equality & HR Systems) reserves the right to amend this document at any time should the need arise.
1.1 The purpose of this Code is to promote high standards of conduct from all staff members at LJMU.
1.2 The Code applies to all staff members of LJMU engaged on LJMU business in or outside UK, including those holding honorary or visiting appointments.
1.3 All staff should make themselves aware of the content of the Code, including the sources of advice and support available when in doubt about appropriate conduct, and the disciplinary actions that can be applied where the Code is breached.
2. EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBLITY
This code of conduct applies to all staff members of LJMU. It is the responsibility of all staff to familiarise themselves with it. This code of conduct should be read in conjunction with the University’s Disciplinary Procedures, the individual’s contract of employment, and the Staff Handbook including links to associated policy documents e.g. Social Networking Statement.
3. THE UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITY
3.1 The University will raise awareness of the code of conduct and seek the cooperation of staff to ensure compliance.
3.2 Any matter that is suspected to be a professional misconduct will be brought in the first instance to the attention of the staff line manager and then, if required, the HR Department.
4. EXPECTED CONDUCT
4.1 Full realisation of the Mission can only be achieved by a collaborative approach on the part of everyone in the organisation, so that individual attitudes and behaviour are key to success. All LJMU staff are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with our Core Values as follows:
1. We put students and clients first
2. We are committed to excellence in everything we do
3. We respect and trust each other
4. We work as one team
5. We lead rather than follow; and defend independence of thought
6. We recognise and celebrate success
7. We take our work seriously, not ourselves:
5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
5.1 LJMU actively promotes anti-discrimination policies and practices. Individuals are required to respect the rights and differences of others and ensure that their own conduct contributes to a work and study environment free of discrimination and harassment (Equality and Diversity Policy).
5.2 LJMU is committed to the prevention and elimination of bullying and harassment within the University community (Bullying and Harassment Policy).
6. CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
6.1 Staff and students are entitled to confidentiality and privacy with respect to personal information.
6.2 Individuals must maintain the confidentiality, and integrity of personal information to which they have access in the course of their duties.
6.3 All documents (either internal or received from an external source) and which contain confidential information should be appropriately protected. Any member of staff who is uncertain as to whether any piece of information or document is confidential is expected to seek advice from their line manager.
6.4 All personal information [also known as personal data] held by the University is subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 and the handling and disclosure of any personal data must be done in accordance with the Act and University protocols. Personal data held by LJMU is mainly for prospective, current and former students or members of staff and the requirements apply equally to personal data held in paper and electronic form. However any piece of personal data, for example, just a name, constitutes personal data and should be treated with the same level of care as, say, a staff or student file.
6.5 Certain personal data is classed as “sensitive” such as medical information or information about ethnic origin and is subject to higher levels of confidentiality and thus protection. A breach of the DPA is a criminal offence and individuals can be prosecuted as well as the University. Such breaches can incur a fine of up to £500,000.
6.6 The University provides policies and guidance notes on the website to assist members of staff in managing personal and confidential data and has a Data Protection Officer who advises on all matters relating to personal data and the DPA (See Data Protection Policy) and other related guidance notes.
6.7 Personal information about colleagues and/or students should not be shared via social networking sites. Such websites are a public forum and staff should not assume that their entries on any such website will remain private, and should use the appropriate privacy settings to ensure that their profile is protected and not open to the general public. (See Social Networking Statement and the University’s Computing Facilities Conditions of Use)
7. PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE
7.1 Staff members are expected to report the following: criminal offences, non-compliance with financial and legal obligations, breach of the Anti Bribery Policy, actions which endanger the health or safety of staff, students, clients or the public, research malpractice and suspected corrupt conduct (Public Interest Disclosure Policy).
7.2 LJMU will do everything possible to protect staff who in good faith report breaches referred to in sub-clause 7.1, in accordance with the provisions in the Disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblowing).
8. UNIVERSITY PROPERTY
8.1 Members of staff are expected to use University resources in a responsible manner. Fraud, theft, or misuse of University property by an individual may result in dismissal and legal action.
8.2 Members of staff are expected to use LJMU information systems only for official University business. Misuse of LJMU information systems may result in dismissal and legal action (see Computing Policies and Regulations and Social Networking Statement).
9. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
9.1 Members of staff must comply with the University’s Financial Regulations which have been prepared for all staff who handle cash, authorise expenditure, and/or are responsible for other financial matters during the course of their duties.
10. GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY
10.1 Individuals must not accept or solicit gifts or benefits that might in any way compromise or influence them in their capacity as employees of LJMU.
10.2 Individuals should be careful to ensure integrity over receipt of gifts, hospitality and benefits during the course of carrying out their duties. Gifts or benefits that are more than of small value should be brought to the notice of the appropriate Dean or University Officer for recording in the locally-held Register of Gifts (see Gifts and Hospitality Policy).
10.3 Receipt of gifts and hospitality from students is strongly discouraged because of potential conflict of interest (see Section 6, Gifts and Hospitality Policy).
11. ANTI BRIBERY
11.1 The University values its reputation for ethical behaviour and financial probity. Members of staff must comply with the University’s Anti Bribery Policy at all times. The policy provides a coherent and consistent framework to enable staff to understand and implement arrangements enabling compliance with the Bribery Act 2010. Staff must not deliberately offer, promise or give a bribe, whether cash or other inducement or deliberately request, agree to receive or accept a bribe whether cash or other inducement in order to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business (see Anti Bribery Policy). Failure to comply with the Anti Bribery Policy may result in dismissal and legal action.
12. EXCLUSIVITY OF SERVICE
Any member of staff considering undertaking outside employment and private work for which payment is made, directly benefiting thereby, should ensure they comply with the terms and conditions sets out in their contract of employment. (See Exclusivity of Service Guidelines)
13. HEALTH AND SAFETY
While recognising its own health and safety responsibilities, the University expects and the law requires the cooperation of all staff in assisting in meeting health and safety requirements. Health and safety is the responsibility of all (see Health & Safety Policy Statement and Supporting Codes of Practice and Guidance)
Breaches of health and safety requirements may result in dismissal and legal action.
14. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
14.1 In discharging University business, all staff need to be aware of actual, potential or perceived conflicts which might arise between their private interests and their University responsibilities and the interests of LJMU.
14.2 Actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest may arise in connection with, for example:
(a) personal and family relationships;
(b) staff and student relationships (see 14. 6);
(c) financial interests and affiliations;
(d) receipt of gifts and hospitality;
(e) acceptance of outside professional work or secondary employment;
(f) use of LJMU information;
(g) misuse of LJMU premises, equipment and materials
(h) external activities and public comment (including the misuse of social networking sites);
(i) multiple roles; and
(j) conduct of research.
This list is not exhaustive.
14.3 It is the responsibility of each member of staff to disclose to their line manager details of situations that may give rise to an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest.
14.4 Individuals in management positions must be especially alert to the various situations in which conflicts of interest may arise in the workplace and handle such situations with common sense and in a sensitive manner. If in doubt advice should be sought from their line-manager and, if necessary, the HR Department.
14.5 Members of the Senior Management Forum (SMF) are responsible for ensuring that they keep up-to-date their entry in the University’s publicly available Register of Interests. SMF members with changes to their interests or queries about what should be registered should contact the Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
14.6 The University is committed to providing a learning environment in which relationships between staff and students are cordial and professional. Staff are in an unequal power relationship with students and must recognise professional boundaries. They must ensure that their relationships with students are not of a kind that compromise or could be perceived to compromise their professional responsibilities, e.g., an undeclared personal relationship in which the staff member is assessing the student’s work, misuse of social networking sites.
14.7 No member of staff should employ their spouse, partner or any other family member on a consultancy basis.
15. BREACH OF CODE
Breaches of this Code are likely to lead to disciplinary action (see Disciplinary Procedure).
16.1 The University has procedures for dealing with complaints in a fair, just, timely and transparent manner (see Staff Grievance Procedure and Student Complaints Procedure). The University will offer support and advice to students and staff who feel they have not been treated fairly in accordance with this code of conduct. There will be provision for an informal hearing of allegations of misconduct before formal proceedings are instituted.
The University has mediation procedures in place if that is deemed as the way forward by the investigating officer.
Every member of staff has a responsibility to ensure colleagues are treated with dignity and respect. Any act of victimisation is a ground for disciplinary proceedings which may lead to dismissal. Victimising a person who has made a complaint or who has given evidence relating to a complaint is unacceptable and will be treated very seriously (see Public Interest Disclosure Policy).
18. ASSOCIATED POLICIES
- Anti Bribery Policy
- Bullying & Harassment Policy
- Computing Policies & Regulations
- Data Protection policy
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Exclusivity of Service Guidelines
- Financial Regulations
- Health and Safety Policy Statement
- Health and Safety Codes of Practice and Guidance
- Public Interest Disclosure Policy
- Social Networking Statement
- Staff Grievance Procedure
- Staff Disciplinary Procedure
- Student Complaints Procedure
- Student Disciplinary Procedure
- Staff Development Policy
- Work-Related Stress Policy and associated Guidance for Managers & Staff
19. SOURCES OF HELP INTERNAL TO THE UNIVERSITY
- HR Advisers
- Equality & Diversity Adviser
- Data Protection Officer
- Line manager
- Chaplaincy (The Chaplaincy can also provide contact to representatives of other faiths and persons who could support those without religious beliefs)
- Trade Union
- Students Union
- Student Policy & Regulation
- Counselling Service (confidential for staff and students)
- Staff Support Groups (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Group, Cultural Diversity Group; staff Disability Equality Group)
- Health and Safety Unit
- Occupational Health Unit
- Heads of Department, Hall Wardens and Personal Tutors
19. SOURCES OF HELP EXTERNAL TO THE UNIVERSITY
- UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line:
- Equality and Human Rights Commission:
- First Assist telephone counselling helpline service:
20. REVIEW OF THIS CODE OF CONDUCT
The operation of this code of conduct will be reviewed every two years by the HR Manager (Policy, Equality & HR Systems) in consultation with the Equality & Diversity Adviser and trade union representatives.