Staff Code of Conduct
Why we have a Code of Conduct
The University is committed to comply with applicable laws and Standards, to promote a culture of fair and ethical behaviour and to encourage the reporting of corrupt practices, breaches of the law, and other breaches of ethical standards detrimental to the University or its reputation.
The Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (Qld) applies to the University as we are a public sector entity (established by an Act of Qld parliament). The legislation prescribes that we are to have a Code of Conduct consistent with the principles in that legislation.
The Act outlines four Ethical Principles:
- integrity and impartiality
- promoting the public good
- a commitment to the system of government
- accountability and transparency
The Code of Conduct applies to all public officials, and also may apply to other persons who have a contract or other agreement with the entity, such as volunteers and contractors.
JCU’s Code of Conduct principles
Consistent with the Public Sector Ethics Act, the JCU Code of Conduct sets out a number of principles that the University requires staff members to comply with in the performance of their roles.
For the purposes of this Code, staff means ongoing, fixed-term and casual staff, including senior management, executive, academic, professional and technical, visiting and adjunct staff, volunteers and conjoint appointments.
Principle 1: Seek excellence as part of a learning community
This principle describes the University’s expectations around excellence and continuous improvement in the quality of our teaching, research, administration and management; and that we will periodically undertake reviews to identify improvements.
Academic freedom, intellectual honesty and the right to make public comment within fields of professional expertise, freedom of expression and compliance with ethical standards of professions are commitments JCU also upholds. Clear guidance on these commitments is provided within the accompanying Explanatory Statement to the Code of Conduct.
Principle 2: Act with integrity
Appropriate behaviours prescribed include acting with care and diligence, behaving honestly, impartially and with without bias, acting with authenticity, sincerity and truthfulness, acting in good faith, and communicating with transparency, openness and honesty.
Ethical standards in the use of University resources, maintaining the University’s public reputation, conflict of interest management, personal relationships and limits of authority are also outlined.
In addition, all staff must comply with local, State and Commonwealth laws, and all policies, procedures, rules, guidelines and statements contained within the University’s Policy Library.
Principle 3: Behave with respect for others
In this principle, JCU’s expectations around compliance with health and safety, privacy, fairness and natural justice, diversity, discrimination and harassment, respect and courtesy are outlined. Examples of appropriate use of social media are also provided in the Explanatory Statement.
Every individual has the right to be treated in a respectful and polite manner. Staff must have conscious regard for the dignity and needs of the people with whom they interact.
Principle 4: Embrace sustainable and social responsibility
In support of the Act’s principle of promoting the public good, JCU commits to minimise the University’s environmental impact and to protect the natural environment; ensure the efficient, effective and sustainable use of resources; strive to embed environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability in all our activities; contribute to the cultural and social well-being of our communities; promote socially-inclusive employment practices; and treat animals with consideration and sensitivity.
Suspected breach of the Code
Failure to comply with the Code may lead to disciplinary action, and in serious cases may lead to termination of employment or appointment and/or criminal prosecution.
The Enterprise Agreement outlines the principles and processes used in consideration of misconduct and serious misconduct.
If you have any doubts or would like to discuss any Code of Conduct issues please contact the Chief of Staff, University Secretary or Director Human Resources, via the contact points below:
- Chief of Staff, Vanessa Cannon, phone 4781 4078
- University Secretary, Michael Kern, phone 4781 4115
- Director HR, Geoff Rogers, phone 4781 5532