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Staff Code of Conduct

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Code sets out the expectations for staff and affiliates of Macquarie University (the University) with respect to their professional and personal conduct.

(2) It is intended to promote ethical behaviour aligned to the University’s values of scholarship, integrity, and empowerment, and to guide individuals’ dealings with colleagues, students, the University community, and the national and international community.

(3) This Code serves as a guide to the core expectations of the University’s policies and how these policies are anchored in the University’s values. It stands beside but does not exclude or replace other legally binding obligations or the University’s other policies.

Scope

(4) This Code applies to all staff and affiliates of the University.

(5) It covers all circumstances when staff and affiliates are performing work, duties, or functions for the University, as well as related activities, such as work-related functions, travel, conferences, and any circumstances when a person is representing the University.

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Section 2 - Code

Part A - Primary obligations

(6) The University and its staff and affiliates are accountable for their conduct and for upholding high standards of professional and personal behaviour as outlined in this Code.

(7) Staff and affiliates have four primary obligations with respect to their professional and personal conduct:

  1. creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive work and learning environment;
  2. acting with integrity and protecting the reputation and resources of the University;
  3. accountability and managing risk to the University; and
  4. fulfilling our responsibility to society.

Creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive work and learning environment

Act with mutual respect and courtesy towards each other

(8) University staff and affiliates are responsible for acting with respect and courtesy when dealing with other staff, students, affiliates, visitors or member of public.

(9) In their day-to-day interactions with others, staff and affiliates must:

  1. treat staff, students,affiliates, visitors and member of public with respect;
  2. act and communicate professionally and courteously with all staff, students and affiliates;
  3. demonstrate transparency and fairness when making decisions;
  4. give due credit to the contributions of other staff, students or affiliates;
  5. refrain from acting in any way that would unfairly harm the reputation and career prospects of other staff, students or affiliates;
  6. refrain from behaviours that may constitute bullying, harassment or discrimination as set out in the Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy and Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy; and
  7. adhere to the standards of personal and professional behaviour as outlined in this Code.

Foster diversity and inclusion

(10) The University is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion as set out in its diversity and inclusion strategies and plans (see Our Strategies and Priorities).

(11) All staff and affiliates of the University have collective responsibility for creating a work and study environment that is safe and inclusive for all; where diversity in background, thought and experience is welcomed, valued, and encouraged; and where unlawful discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation in any form are not tolerated.

(12) All staff and affiliates have a personal responsibility to:

  1. act in a way that is fair, equitable and inclusive;
  2. promote and support principles of diversity and inclusion at every level of the University;
  3. ensure that decision-making is fair, equitable and conducted without bias;
  4. not engage in unlawful discrimination, bullying or harassment as set out in the Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy; and
  5. not engage in behaviours that may constitute sexual harassment as set out in the Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy.

Contribute to a safe and productive workplace

(13) The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that supports the proactive identification and management of safety risks. While at work or performing duties or functions for the University, staff and affiliates are required to:

  1. take reasonable care for the health, safety and welfare of themselves, and others in the University community and meet their obligations under the Health and Safety Policy;
  2. ensure that they do not attend work or perform duties or functions for the University while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The Alcohol and Drug Policy sets out these obligations in more detail; and
  3. cooperate with the University to ensure compliance with all relevant health and safety laws.

Acting with integrity and protecting the reputation and resources of Macquarie University

Demonstrate integrity in all academic duties

(14) Our scholarly community upholds the values of academic integrity that inform and strengthen teaching, learning, research, and professional practice at the University. Staff and affiliates are expected to demonstrate academic integrity in all duties relating to teaching and research in accordance with the principles and values set out in the Academic Integrity Policy.

Conduct research responsibly

(15) The University is committed to responsible research practices. Through the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research the University seeks to ensure that research being undertaken under its auspices is conducted with the highest standards of ethics, responsibility and integrity.

(16) Staff and affiliates undertaking research under the auspices of the University must uphold the principles of responsible research conduct in all aspects of their research.

Pursue critical and open inquiry in a responsible manner

(17) Macquarie University recognises and protects the concept and practice of academic freedom (see the Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy) in the conduct of research, learning and teaching and scholarship within the University. The University stands for, promotes, and defends the right of all people to have access to knowledge, education, and open debate.

(18) While academic freedom confers rights, it carries with it a set of responsibilities as outlined in the Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy.

(19) All staff and affiliates must comply with the Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy.

Communicate accurately to the public

(20) The University encourages its staff to participate in public debate, provide submissions to government, and be available to the media for comment on matters within their academic or professional areas of study, research, and administration. When commenting in public forums, including the media and social media platforms on matters related to the field of their professional or academic expertise, staff are subject to the provisions of the University's Public Comment Policy and Social Media Policy.

(21) In accordance with the Public Comment Policy, staff and affiliates must not act as spokespersons for the University on matters of policy, management or corporate issues, unless they are authorised to do so.

(22) This does not preclude staff and affiliates from making statements on political matters, including policies affecting higher education, and to criticise the University and its actions, subject to, and in accordance with, the Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Policy. In doing so, staff and affiliates may identify themselves as members of, but not spokespersons for the University.

Safeguard University’s resources

(23) Staff and affiliates are expected to be responsible stewards of the University’s resources. This includes using University resources exclusively for University purposes, caring for and maintaining University resources within their possession or control and avoiding waste and abuse of resources.

(24) Reasonable private use of some resources (e.g. phones, computers) may be permitted provided it does not interfere with the performance of University duties and does not harm our work environment. Staff or affiliates who are uncertain about personal usage must seek the advice of their manager / supervisor (for staff) or University designated contact person (for affiliates).

(25) University resources must not be used for the purposes of private or individual commercial business (refer also to the Private Outside Work and University Consultancy Policy).

(26) All staff and affiliates must comply with the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy.

Honour privacy and confidentiality

(27) Staff and affiliates are required to respect and protect the privacy of the University’s staff, students, and affiliates while undertaking learning, research, engagement and other activities and support services. All staff and affiliates of the University have an obligation to be aware of and implement the privacy principles and practices established by legislation and articulated in the Privacy Policy and other associated policies.

(28) Staff and affiliates must:

  1. maintain the integrity, privacy, confidentiality and security of University records and information to which they have access in the course of their employment or engagement;
  2. take all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised access to, use or disclosure of University records and information; and
  3. comply with the University’s Privacy Policy, Records and Information Management Policy, Cyber Security Policy and Social Media Policy.

Protect Intellectual Property

(29) Staff are encouraged to innovate and develop intellectual property in the course of their employment. Such intellectual property will be fairly and transparently managed in accordance with the Intellectual Property Policy, which seeks to protect the rights of intellectual property owners and the interests of the University, while enabling access and engagement by industry, government and the community for the use of the University’s intellectual property for national and global benefit.

(30) All staff and affiliates must comply with the Intellectual Property Policy.

Accountability and managing risk to the University

Act with professionalism, care and diligence while performing University duties

(31) Staff are expected to perform their duties diligently, impartially and conscientiously, to the best of their ability. In the performance of their duties, each staff member is expected to:

  1. perform duties with proper diligence, care and attention;
  2. strive to keep up-to-date with advances and changes in the body of knowledge and the professional and ethical standards relevant to their area of expertise;
  3. comply with any relevant legislative, industrial, and administrative requirements, and all University rules, policies, codes and procedures;
  4. maintain adequate records to support any decisions made and/or meet regulatory or business requirements;
  5. follow lawful and reasonable directions provided by staff in more senior positions of responsibility; and
  6. be accountable for their conduct and decisions.

Avoid conflicts of interest

(32) The University is committed to acting with integrity and independence and staff and affiliates are required to avoid actions that give rise to a conflict of interest wherever possible. Conflicts of interest may arise with respect to personal interests, personal and family relationships, financial interests, and other professional or organisational interests that conflict with the individual’s professional obligations to the University. Such interests may be financial or non-financial, such as personal academic standing and reputation, or advancing the interests of associated individuals or groups (including friends, relatives or competitors) as described in the Conflict of Interest Policy.

(33) Staff and affiliates must:

  1. be proactive in identifying conflicts of interest;
  2. disclose personal interests in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy;
  3. not allow personal interests to affect the way professional obligations are carried out;
  4. promptly and transparently disclose a conflict of interest to their manager / supervisor or other relevant University official as per the Conflict of Interest Policy; and
  5. in a situation where a conflict of interest has been identified, together with the manager / supervisor or other relevant University officer, develop, implement and follow the most appropriate management plan in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Be transparent if undertaking outside work activities

(34) The University values external engagement and recognises the benefits consultancy and other outside work can bring. It recognises that such work can help enhance and disperse knowledge and professional expertise of our staff and establish beneficial relationships between the University and the community. To support such activity and to manage and mitigate any risks, the University has an Private Outside Work and University Consultancy Policy. Staff undertaking outside work, must comply with the requirements of the Private Outside Work and University Consultancy Policy and ensure that outside work does not:

  1. compromise the reputation of the University; or
  2. give rise to a conflict of interest which cannot be managed or resolved; or
  3. adversely affect the performance of the staff member's normal duties and responsibilities at the University.

Do not engage in fraudulent or corrupt activities

(35) The University is committed to complying with the law and upholding personal accountability for actions and decisions. Staff and affiliates must comply with the laws of the State and Commonwealth while undertaking University responsibilities or activities and must not engage in corrupt or fraudulent conduct or maladministration. Staff and affiliates are required to comply with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and the Reporting Wrongdoing - Public Interest Disclosures Policy.

Treat gifts, hospitality, and travel responsibly

(36) Staff may on occasion be offered gifts or benefits such as equipment, consumables, entertainment, or hospitality. The University has an obligation to ensure good conduct, integrity and independence are not compromised by the giving or receiving of gifts or benefits. Staff and affiliates may only accept or confer gifts or benefits in accordance with the University's Gifts and Benefits Policy.

Be transparent in affiliations and collaborations

(37) The University recognises the importance of and supports engagement and collaborations with international partners. In undertaking such collaborations, staff and affiliates are required to comply with the Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector and all related legislation, including the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018. Staff and affiliates are required to notify the University of any foreign collaborations or agreements they propose to enter in accordance with the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020.

(38) In addition, staff and affiliates must disclose personal interests in respect to affiliations with other organisations, institutions or governments in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Fulfilling our responsibility to society

(39) The University is committed to incorporating sustainability into its actions and practices as part of its responsibility to the community and the environment, strives to contribute to the cultural and social well-being of our communities, as well as promoting a healthy workplace and campus for staff and students. This means promoting connections to the global community and environment through knowledge gained from research, utilising creative approaches to learning and teaching, and modelling sustainability in campus operations.

(40) All members of the University community have a shared responsibility for the University’s sustainability performance as outlined in the University’s Sustainability Policy.

Part B - Additional Responsibilities for Managers and Leaders

(41) Managers and leaders of staff at the University have additional responsibility for setting the culture, direction, and work environment for their teams. As such, there is a higher level of accountability and responsibility under this Code. These responsibilities include:

  1. upholding as a role model the University’s values and the ethical behaviours outlined in this Code;
  2. supporting staff in understanding their responsibilities under this Code;
  3. exercising ethical judgement and being fair and consistent in decision making when there are reports of staff not complying with this Code; and
  4. encouraging staff to speak up (as outlined in Part D) if they see something that goes against this Code and ensuring that they are treated fairly and respectfully when they raise an issue.

Part C - Compliance with this Code

(42) All staff and affiliates are required to comply with this Code.

(43) If a staff member is alleged to have breached the expectations outlined in this Code, the University will investigate the alleged breach in accordance with the applicable policy, enterprise agreement or relevant industrial instrument, and may take commensurate action.

(44) If an affiliate breaches expectations outlined in this Code, the University may take commensurate action against them in accordance with their contract of appointment or conferral.

Part D - Seeking Guidance and Raising Concerns

(45) If a situation arises which is not expressly covered in this Code, individuals must apply the principles of this Code and not act in conflict with this Code. If an individual is unsure about their obligations, they should seek guidance prior to taking any action from the following:

  1. staff should contact their manager / supervisor;
  2. affiliates should contact the University contact person designated under their contract or appointment letter.

(46) If staff or affiliate becomes aware of actual or potential breaches of this Code, they should deal with them in an appropriate manner. This involves, wherever possible, raising concerns or allegations internally with their manager / supervisor (for staff) or their designated contact person (for affiliates) in the first instance.

(47) In addition, staff and affiliates can seek guidance or raise concerns with the following:

  1. Head of Department / School / Office;
  2. Director, Human Resources;
  3. Chief Risk Officer; or
  4. relevant member of the Executive Group.
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Section 3 - Procedures

(48) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(49) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(50) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. affiliate means persons holding Honorary titles with the University, consultants and contractors, and volunteers working for the University; and
  2. staff means all persons employed by the University, including continuing, fixed-term, and casual staff members.