This policy should be read in conjunction with the employment agreement of the individual employee. If there is any conflict between this policy and the relevant employment agreement, the terms of the employment agreement supersede these guidelines.
Education Payroll Ltd (EPL) employees and contractors are required to recognise, disclose and manage any conflict of interest between their personal/outside of EPL interests and their duties and responsibilities to EPL. At all times employees and contractors must behave and be seen to behave in an honest, impartial and transparent manner and avoid situations which might compromise their integrity or otherwise lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest.
The existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily imply wrongdoing on the part of any person. However, any interests which could give rise to a conflict of interest (including perceived or potential ones) must be promptly disclosed, managed and documented in accordance with this policy.
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest is a perceived, potential, or actual conflict between an employee’s or contractor’s private or personal interests and the official duties and responsibilities they have to EPL; or a conflict between different duties and responsibilities within EPL.
A conflict of interest occurs when:
a. An employee/contractor is in a position to derive personal benefit, or benefit to a family member, friend, acquaintance or business associate, from actions or decisions made in their EPL capacity.
b. An employee’s/contractor’s activities outside of their EPL employment leads to, or could lead to, material benefit for the person concerned either directly or indirectly to the detriment or potential detriment of EPL.
c. An employee/contractor’s actions and/or decisions made in their EPL employment are, or could be, affected by some other personal or financial interest or duty. Examples include, but are not limited to, relationships (including, but not limited to, living together, family, close friends), commercial interests (eg. company directorships, business partnerships, advisory positions, company shareholdings), secondary employment and appointments to public bodies, professional boards, boards of trustees and/or committees.
d. When you have multiple roles within EPL that conflict with each other or you are given additional duties that conflict with your primary role.
e. When you are required to make a decision on a matter that you have multiple interests eg. prioritising funding for your own team over the needs of EPL.
f. A person’s activities outside of EPL interfere or could interfere with the fulfilment of their employment obligations.
Disclosing a conflict of interest
A conflict of interest must be disclosed and dealt with quickly and transparently.
Prior to employment or start of contract for services
Employees and contractors must declare in writing any conflict of interest (actual, perceived or potential) prior to starting their employment or contract at EPL. This will be facilitated via the employment documentation sent by People and Leadership who will refer a declared conflict of interest to the hiring manager for action.
During employment or a contract for services
Employees and contractors must immediately declare to their manager, in writing, any new conflict of interest (actual, perceived or potential) that arises during their employment or service with EPL.
Employees must seek their manager’s approval prior to accepting any secondary employment. Consideration will be given to whether there is a potential for conflict, whether it would detract from the employee’s responsibility to give priority to EPL work and whether there are any adverse impacts to the employee’s health and wellbeing.
Contractors must not enter into any contractual arrangements that could compromise EPL and should discuss any possible instances with the relevant manager. The manager will need to consider whether this breaches the contract or affects EPL’s decision to continue the contract.
Responding to disclosed conflict of interest
Managers must consider and respond to a disclosure of a conflict of interest promptly. Where the manager determines that a conflict of interest exists, or is perceived to exist, the manager will acknowledge the conflict of interest and either:
- authorise the employee/contractor in writing to continue in their current duties, or
- create a Conflict of Interest Management Plan outlining processes to ensure the impartiality of the employee/contractor in performing their duties which may include removing themselves from decision making that could give rise to the actual or perceived conflict of interest, or
- review and re-organise the duties of the employee/contractor to remove the conflict of interest and document the changes made. This may include a review of the governance/reporting arrangements, or
- report the matter to a General Manager or the Chief Executive for action.
Conflicts of interest may raise complex issues. Where necessary, managers should seek advice from their own manager and/or People and Leadership.
Matters under consideration
If a person has a conflict of interest (including potential or perceived) in a matter under consideration, they must not take part in any discussion or decision on the matter giving rise to the conflict, unless the chair or relevant manager decides otherwise.
All EPL boards, forums and other decision-making bodies will have appropriate procedures in place for declaring and responding to any conflict of interest prior to discussion beginning or decisions being made.
Employment matters and procurement
Employees/contractors must not be involved in the recruitment, promotion or management decisions of any relatives, close friends or people they have commercial/business relationships with outside of EPL. They must also not be involved in any procurement decisions involving relatives, close friends, or people they have commercial/business relationships with outside of EPL.
Recording the decision made in relation to a disclosed conflict of interest
The record of the decision made in relation to a disclosed conflict of interest must be lodged in the Conflict of Interest Register which is maintained by the People and Leadership team.
The manager is responsible for ensuring these are recorded on the register and for letting their own manager know.
Disclosure of a conflict of interest may involve disclosing personal information. This information must be handled with due regard to the privacy of all individuals concerned.
The record of the conflict of interest will be securely stored in the employee/contractors personnel file and on the Conflict of Interest Register.
The Conflict of Interest Register may at times be reviewed by external auditors and EPL is required to disclose any conflict of interest for management in its annual review.
- no less than annually, remind employees of the need to declare conflict/s of interest
- no less than six monthly, remind all mangers of the need to declare conflict/s of interest.
Employees are responsible for understanding this policy and declaring any conflict of interest.
Managers are responsible for ensuring their employees/contractors are aware of this policy and its applications, and for remaining vigilant for any conflict of interest in their reports.
Failure to disclose a conflict of interest or other breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including instant dismissal. In the case of a contractor, failure to disclose a conflict of interest or a subsequent breach could result in termination of the contract and/or legal action being taken by EPL.
|Owner||General Manager, Organisational Performance|
|Responsible||Head of People, Leadership and Facilities|
|Date last updated||October 2022|
|Next review date||October 2023|