– Code of Conduct and Ethics Administrative Guidelines –
Dealing with Others
Employees are not to exercise regulatory, inspectional or other discretionary authority over others where the nature of the relationship may bring the employee's impartiality into question. Employees shall not give preferential treatment to relatives or others if it could be perceived that the employee is conferring the benefit or advantage as a result of the relationship.
Employees are required to advise the Deputy Head or designate if this situation arises, and the Deputy Head or designate will ensure that the matter is handled by another employee or in some other acceptable manner.
In emergency situations where it may not be possible to obtain direction prior to handling the issue, the employee is expected to handle the situation impartially and then advise the Deputy Head or designate.
Employees are expected to seek clarification with their Deputy Head or designate if they are uncertain as to whether dealing with a particular individual(s) would fall within this section.
This section addresses conflict or favouritism situations which may occur between employees who are related to one another. This is not in violation of section 7 of the Alberta Human Rights Act with respect to spouses, provided that the restriction on employment is based on nepotism (favouritism shown to a relative) and not strictly on marital status.
An employee who is directly involved or exercises influence over the assignment of duties, performance evaluation or related responsibilities would be considered to be in a supervisory role. The Deputy Head or designate may approve an exemption to this section of the Code in exceptional circumstances, such as in an isolated location where the only qualified and available candidate is a relative. In this circumstance, the department may outline procedures to be followed in such areas as compensation and performance assessment in order to minimize conflict.
Selection panel members are required to withdraw from competitions where applicants include relatives or other individuals, where the situation could raise the question of the employee's impartiality. No favouritism is to be shown in the staffing process. This process should be fair and should be seen to be fair.
Employees are required to declare the possibility of conflict of interest under this section.
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