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Employment of Close Relatives and Other Close Associates Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These procedures provide guidance on the application of the Employment of Close Relatives and Other Close Associates Policy.

Section 2 - Procedures

(2) A Head of Cost Centre needs to be aware of any potential Conflict of Interest issues arising where staff in their area are in Close Personal Relationship and such relationship, past or current, may influence, or be seen to influence, decision making processes.

(3) When it becomes apparent that employment of a close relative or associate is a likely outcome, the Head of Cost Centre must seek approval from Human Resource Services, before an offer of employment is made.

(4) A Head of Cost Centre seeking approval for the employment of a close relative or associate of a staff member in their cost centre, must provide the following information to the Human Resource Services Directorate:

  1. Detailed description of the process undertaken that has lead to the request for the employment of a close relative or associate;
  2. The employment of the close relative or associate is of benefit to the cost centre and what other measures have been considered to mitigate the issue;
  3. How the employment of the close relative or associate can be managed in the cost centre in order to avoid potential Conflicts of Interest, or compromise of, other staff members in the area;and
  4. The type of relationship that is held between the staff members in question.

(5) The Director, Human Resource Services will review the documentation that has been provided by the Head of Cost Centre and make a determination if the employment process can continue. In the case of an appointment made through the advertising and recruitment process, the Director will advise on appropriate requirements to avoid or mitigate the impact of such appointment. This may include actions such as reporting line changes. This decision will be made based on the information provided and take into account the provisions of the Employment of Close Relatives and Other Close Associates Policy to ensure an appropriate outcome.

(6) Where a staff member becomes aware that a staff member has failed to disclose a Conflict of Interest of a Close Personal Relationship when involved in a decision making process for any employment process, they should bring it to the attention of the party who has not disclosed the Conflict of Interest and make them aware of the need for disclosure. If the Staff member observing the Conflict of Interest does not feel comfortable to do this then they should bring it to the attention of their own Supervisor and ask for advice. Disciplinary action may be invoked against the staff member involved under the applicable employment agreement.

Section 3 - Definitions

(7) Close Personal Relationship - means a relationship between an employee and a relative, a financially dependent person, a person where there is a financially connected relationship, a close friend, a de facto partner or any person with whom there is currently, or has been, an intimate or agonistic relationship. This does not include a working relationship which exists due to ordinary collegiate collaboration, where colleagues are not relatives, financially dependent, de facto or intimate partners.

(8) Conflict of Interest - a conflict of interest may arise where an employee has the responsibility to make, or participate actively in making, decisions or recommendations relating to the employment of another individual, which makes it difficult for the employee to be objective, or that for a reasonable person would create the appearance that the employee may not be objective.

(9) Employment processes include:

  1. Appointment or continuing appointment;
  2. Conditions of appointment, promotion or reclassification;
  3. Termination of employment;
  4. Provision of opportunities and resources allocation for research, conferences or training and development;
  5. Referee reports or performance appraisals;
  6. Payment of funds; and
  7. Any other employment related matters where a staff member is in a position to make or influence decision concerning another staff member.

(10) Head of Cost Centre - normally means the Head of School or Director (as the case may be) of the relevant School or Directorate. Where it is not appropriate for the Head of School or Directorate to act, or where the circumstances relate to a position reporting directly to a Senior Executive, the Head of Cost Centre will be taken to mean the relevant Senior Executive. Where the matter relates to a Senior Executive, the Head of Cost Centre will be the Vice-Chancellor.

(11) Reporting Relationship - exists between two employees where one of the employees reports to the other employee or to a direct report of the other employee.

(12) Supervisor- means the role to whom a position reports to.