Code of Conduct and Professional Practice
1.1. The purpose of this Code of Conduct and Professional Practice Policy is to support a culture of openness, trust and integrity within all North Lanarkshire Leisure business practices.
1.2. A well understood Policy requires the support and participation of every North Lanarkshire Leisure employee/worker.
1.3. At North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd we are committed to conducting all of our business activities with the highest standards of ethical conduct, to respect confidentiality and to act in good faith and exercise due care in all that we do, complying with all appropriate rules and regulations and proactively promoting ethical behaviour.
1.4. We expect each employee/worker to exercise the highest level of integrity, ethics and objectivity in actions and relationships that may affect North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd, including representing or negotiating on behalf of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd.
2. Scope of Policy
2.1. Whilst it is not possible to specify every business practice to which this policy will apply; examples of particular areas will include;
- The acceptance of or provision of gifts and hospitality.
- The procurement of goods and services.
- The provision of services.
- The use of company assets or business relationships for personal use or gain.
- Secondary Employment.
- Conduct Outside of Work.
2.2. This Policy applies to all staff groups, including casual staff and those who are self-employed providing a service within our facilities.
3. Conflicts of Interest
3.1. The underlying principle of “conflict of interest” is that all employees/workers must act in the best interests of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd and should avoid any activity, investment or interest that might reflect unfavourably on the reputation of the company.
3.2. It is accepted that from time to time the company may seek sponsorship for some of its activities or events. However, employees/workers should ensure that their involvement with any sponsor is specific to the activity or event in question. Specifically employees/workers must ensure that any involvement in this area avoids the intent or appearance of unethical or compromising practice in relationships, actions or communications.
3.3. A conflict of interest can occur when an employee’s/worker’s private interests interferes or appears to interfere with the best interests of the organisation.
3.4. A conflict of interest can also arise when an employee/worker, family member or partner, receives improper personal benefits as a result of the employee’s/worker’s position in the organisation. Improper benefits may include anything of value offered in an attempt to inappropriately influence our business judgement.
3.5. As a representative of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd all employees/workers are obliged to place the interests of the company in any transaction involving North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd, ahead of any personal interest or personal gain including any business involvement with a family member, partner or friend, and to disclose all facts in any situation where a potential conflict of interest may arise.
3.6. It will be the responsibility of all employees to seek clarification of and discuss any questions or doubts about potential conflict of interest with their manager.
4. Declaration of Interest/Personal Gain
4.1. Employees/workers must declare and record any personal interest which might influence or be seen by others to influence their impartiality in arriving at a decision. Those who have business relationships with, or links to those employed by, outside organisations bidding for North Lanarkshire Leisure contracts must inform the Chief Executive.
4.2. In these instances employees/workers should normally withdraw from any involvement in purchasing decisions for that contract. However, the final decision in instances such as this will rest with the Chief Executive.
4.3. The confidentiality of information received in the course of duty should be respected and never used for personal gain.
4.4. Personal discounts for goods or services should not be accepted from a supplier or a potential supplier if the offer is made because of the business relationship and is not generally an offer open to all staff or the public.
4.5. The name of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd must not be used in the context of the private purchase of any goods or services.
5. Acceptance of Gifts and Hospitality
5.1. When NLL is directly engaged, at the time, in any tendering or contract letting process with a particular company or organisation, no member of staff should accept any gift, sponsorship, or offer of hospitality/entertainment of any kind from the company or organisation.
5.2. If NLL is not directly engaged at the time in any tendering or contract letting process, reasonable and proportionate acts of hospitality may be offered/accepted subject, in all cases, to prior notification and approval by the Chief Executive and recorded, in all cases, on register of gifts and hospitality maintained by the Financial Controller.
5.3. In summary good practice will include the following provisions which will be applicable to all employees/workers.
- Be honest and ethical in your conduct including ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships.
- Comply with applicable government legislation and any relevant rules and regulations.
- Maintain the confidentiality of information entrusted to you except where authorised or otherwise legally obliged to disclose.
- Deal fairly with customers, suppliers, competitors and other staff.
- Protect and ensure the proper use of company assets.
6. Secondary Employment
6.1. North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd recognises that in some instances employees wish to undertake other employment, whether paid or unpaid, out with the Trust. It is acceptable for employees to have second jobs providing there is (i) no conflict of interest with NLL Ltd and (ii) no impact on their employment in terms of performance and/or attendance within the Trust.
6.2. Secondary employment is any additional employment an employee undertakes for another employer or work undertaken as a self employed person.
6.3. The purpose of this policy is to:
- ensure that employees do not engage in other paid or unpaid work which conflicts or competes with the business and commercial interests of NLL Ltd.
- ensure that employees do not engage in other paid or unpaid work which may conflict with or affect their performance or attendance under their Contract of Employment with the Trust.
- prevent employees and/or the Trust from contravening legislation on working time/hours.
6.4. The trust may take disciplinary action against employees who undertake secondary employment which conflicts with the following:
- The business or commercial interests of the NLL Ltd
- The performance of normal duties within NLL Ltd
- The requirements of the Working Time Regulations
6.5. Working time Regulations (WTR)
6.5.1 Employees must ensure that their total working hours do not exceed the limit as outlined in the WTR and that they comply with this legislation in respect of taking required rest periods. Details of the WTR are attached in Appendix 1.
6.5.2 Employees wishing to opt out of the maximum 48 hour working week may exercise their right under Regulation 5 of the WTR by agreeing to sign an Opt Out Agreement (Appendix 2).
6.6. Sickness Absence/Timekeeping
6.6.1 Any employee who undertakes secondary or self employment whilst receiving occupational/statutory sick pay form the Trust may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Trust’s disciplinary procedure.
6.6.2 An employee who is absent as the result of injury connected with their secondary employment may not be entitled to occupational sick pay from the Trust.
6.6.3 Any adverse impact on attendance and/or timekeeping attributable to secondary employment will be investigated in accordance with the Trust’s Disciplinary Procedure.
6.7. Capability and Performance
6.7.1 Employees undertaking secondary employment must ensure that their performance at work within the Trust is not affected in any way. Unsatisfactory performance due to secondary employment will be investigated in accordance with the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy.
6.8. Application Procedure
6.8.1 All employees wishing to undertake secondary employment must seek written approval form their line manager using the Approval to Undertake Secondary Employment Application Form (Appendix 3).
6.8.2 The request must be approved by the individual’s line manger and forwarded to the HR Section. Line managers should respond to requests within 14 days.
6.8.3 Employees must not commence secondary employment until approval has been granted.
6.8.4 In the event that a request is deemed unsuitable in the interest of the Trust, the line manager will confirm this decision in writing outlining the reasons for refusal.
6.8.5 Failure to comply with this procedure may result in action being taken in accordance with the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy.
6.9. Appeals Procedure
6.9.1 If a request for secondary employment is refused, the employee has a right to appeal against this decision. This should be confirmed, in writing, to the Chief Executive, within fourteen days following confirmation of the refusal of the request.
6.9.2 The Chief Executive or other nominated senior manager shall acknowledge receipt of the notification of appeal within five days and shall also inform an HR representative.
6.9.3 The Chief Executive or a nominated senior manager shall arrange a meeting with the employee. The meeting shall be arranged, although not necessarily take place, within five working days and the written reply shall be made as soon as possible but in any event within five working days of such a meeting.
6.9.4 The decision of the Chief Executive or nominated senior manager shall be final.
7. Conduct Outside of Work
7.1. Employees/Workers should be aware that inappropriate behaviour or conduct outside work can have a bearing on their employment, particularly when it affects the reputation of the organisation and may be taken into account by North Lanarkshire Leisure in terms of our Disciplinary Policy. In particular the following must be observed.
7.2. If an employee/worker is charged with committing a crime which could be considered to impact on their employment then he or she is required to notify their Line Manager, without delay, of the nature of the charges and the details of the allegations. Examples of this are drug offences, sexual offences, crimes of violence, crimes of dishonesty and driving offences where the job involves the use of a car or NLL vehicle.
7.3. It should be noted that other conduct outside working hours which could bring North Lanarkshire Leisure into disrepute or which is related to employment with North Lanarkshire Leisure, for example, disagreements with colleagues or conduct at staff social events, may be taken into account under NLL’s disciplinary policy.
7.4. The use of online social networking sites (for example facebook, twitter, wikis or blogs) has grown significantly and become a major part of life for many people. These sites can provide a positive way to keep in touch with family, friends or colleagues, however, it is important to ensure that the informal nature of these sites does not give rise to professional, ethical or reputational concerns with regard to North Lanarkshire Leisure employees/workers, even out with working hours.
7.5. It is important that employees/workers are aware of the potential problems that can occur from the inappropriate use of social networking sites at home, on mobile phones or other equipment. Accordingly, no employees are permitted to access social networking sites during work hours (apart from during rest breaks) or by using North Lanarkshire Leisure’s computer or internet facilities. Social networking sites will be monitored and anything which could be interpreted by North Lanarkshire Leisure as being inappropriate and directly or indirectly related to NLL or its employees/workers will be investigated.
7.6. The following guidelines should be applied when using social network sites. No pictures, links, videos, information or comments should be placed on sites which could directly or indirectly;
- Discredit services provided by North Lanarkshire Leisure.
- Discredit North Lanarkshire Leisure as an employer.
- Portray North Lanarkshire Leisure or any of its employees in an inappropriate manner.
- Breach Confidentiality.
- Breach Trust or Ethics.
- Constitute harassment of an individual or group.
- Constitute defamation of character.
- Be otherwise inappropriate, offensive, insulting, disrespectful, intimidating or abusive towards NLL or any of its employees, officers, customers, suppliers, business partners or other stakeholders. Employees must not post anything related to such persons or organisations without their written permission.
- Breach any of North Lanarkshire Leisure’s other policies such as our policies relating to Data Protection, computer and internet use, equal opportunities or bullying/dignity at work.
7.7. Staff may be required to remove postings which are deemed by North Lanarkshire Leisure to constitute a breach of this policy. Failure to comply with such a request may, in itself, result in disciplinary action.
7.8. If an Employee discloses his or her affiliation as an employee of North Lanarkshire Leisure, he or she must also state that his or her views do not represent those of North Lanarkshire Leisure.
7.9. If an Employee sees content in social media that disparages or reflects poorly on our organisation, employees or our other stakeholders, he or she must report this as soon as possible to his or her line manager. All staff are responsible for protecting our business reputation.
8. Status of Code of Conduct
8.1 This document constitutes guidelines for the behaviour and conduct of employees/Workers of North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd. Whilst it will be open to an employee/worker, in a particular situation, to argue that the procedures or application of the policy were not applicable, this will only be considered acceptable in exceptional circumstances.
8.2 As a general rule, this document should be taken to be read as a compliance requirement on the part of employees/workers. Failure to comply may constitute grounds for instigating disciplinary procedures which, in serious cases, will be considered as gross misconduct which could result in dismissal.
Appendix 1: Working Time Regulations
The 48 Hour Working Week
Adult workers cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours a week on average – this is normally averaged over 17 weeks. You can work more than 48 hours in one week, as long as the average over 17 weeks is less than 48 hours per week.
Your working week is not covered by the working time limits if you have a job:
- where you can choose freely how long you will work (e.g. a managing executive)
- in the armed forces, emergency services and police – in some circumstances
- as a domestic servant in private houses
- as a sea transport worker, a mobile worker in inland waterways or lake transport worker on board sea going fishing vessels
Since 1 August 2009 if you are a trainee doctor the 48-hour maximum working hours applies to you.
Opting out of the 48 hour week
If you are 18 or over and wish to work more than 48 hours a week, you can choose to opt out of the 48 hour limit. This must be voluntary and in writing. It can’t be an agreement with the whole workforce.
You shouldn’t be sacked or unfairly treated (for example refused promotion or overtime) for refusing to sign an opt-out.
You can cancel your opt-out agreement whenever you want – even if it is part of your employment contract. However, you must give your employer at least seven days notice. This could be longer (up to three months) if you previously agreed this in writing with your employer. Your employer is not allowed to force you to cancel your opt-out agreement.
Appendix 2: Working Time Regulations - Opt Out Agreement
This form is to be completed by staff with second jobs or by staff working more than 48 hours over a rolling 17 week period.
I, agree that I may work for more than an average of 48 hours a week.
I confirm that if I change my mind I will give three month’s written notice to North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd explaining my reason for doing so.
Employee Payroll Number
To be returned to- HR Section
1 Ardgoil Drive
Appendix 3: Approval to Undertake Secondary Employment Application Form
Section 1 – Existing Employment within North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd
Number of hours working per week:
Patter of hours:
Section 2 – Secondary Employment
Name and Address of Proposed Employer(s) (If self employed please confirm the name of your company) :
Type of work/Nature of business:
Average hours to be worked per week:
Risks associated with this employment:
Section 3 – Employee Declaration
Having read and understood NLL’s Secondary Employment Policy, I agree to comply with its requirements.
Section 4 – Line manger’s Decision
Date Application Received:
Decision: Approved Refused
Please state full reasons for refusing this request, if appropriate.
Date employee notified of decision: