Nepotism

Policy

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Nepotism
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Policy Number: CA.52.01.135
Effective Date: February 1, 2015

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) makes all hiring and employment related decisions based on legitimate transparency, equitable opportunity, and an overall emphasis on merit. This policy aims to eliminate nepotism in hiring and employment related decisions, to maintain confidence in the integrity of hiring and employment practices. This policy is in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).S.24(1) (d).

WDGPH is committed to preventing nepotism in any employment related decisions to preserve employee morale; to provide the highest quality service possible; to ensure equitable opportunities; and ensure integrity in the recruitment process.

No employee or Board of Health (BOH) member shall attempt to use a family or significant social relationship for his or her personal benefit or gain. This includes an employee misusing their authority to influence or make an employment related decision. Employment related decisions where a benefit may be gained or authority may be misused include but are not limited to the following:

  • the approval/denial of compensation increases;
  • hire, transfer, promotion, demotion decisions;
  • performance rating, discipline or termination;
  • the assignment and approval of compensating time or overtime;
  • the assignment or direction of work assignments;
  • approval of leaves of absences; and
  • the negotiation of salary level.

Family members of employees and BOH members will be considered for employment or advancement provided they:

  • have made application in accordance with established procedures;
  • have been considered in accordance with established procedures; and
  • possess the necessary qualifications; and are considered to be the most suitable candidate.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all WDGPH employees, including but not limited to, permanent full-time and part-time, casual and temporary, and student employees. 

DEFINITIONS

Conflict of Interest – a conflict of interest is a situation in which an employee has personal or private interests that may compete with the public interests of the Agency. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety or a perception of bias that can undermine confidence in the person and in the Agency generally. A conflict exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can either be an apparent conflict or a real conflict.

Apparent Conflict – exists where an informed and reasonable person reviewing the matter and having thought the matter through could conclude that a conflict of interest exists.

Real Conflict – exists where a personal interest exists and that interest:

  • is known to the employee; and
  • has a connection to the employee’s duties that is sufficient to influence the exercise of those duties.

Direct Reporting Relationship – involves a reporting relationship where an individual has the authority to direct and control the activities and work assignments of another employee; review or approve performance reviews, wage and salary adjustments; and administer disciplinary action and recommend or approve the hiring or firing of an employee.

Family Member – includes the following family relationships:

  • spouse (includes married and common-law of the same or opposite sex);
  • mother, father, or legal guardian(foster or step);
  • son, daughter (foster or step);
  • sister, brother, step-sister, step-brother;
  • aunt, uncle, niece and nephew;
  • mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law;
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law;
  • grandchild, grandparent, step-grandparent, step-grandchild; and
  • any family member who lives with the employee on a permanent basis.

Indirect Reporting Relationship – exists between the employee and the second-removed manager.

Nepotism – favoritism granted to a family member or significant social relationship, usually in the form of hiring practices or other employment decisions without regard or with lesser regard to the individual’s merit, qualifications or performance.

Significant Social Relationship – includes personal relationships/friendships and emotional connections.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.52.02.135 Nepotism
CA.52.01.101  Conflict of Interest
CA.52.01.109  Recruitment and Selection
CA.52.01.149  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).S.24(1) (d)

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services

APPROVED BY

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services


Procedure

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Nepotism
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.135
Effective Date: February 1, 2015

PROCEDURE

All job applicants will be requested to disclose the names of any family member who is a current employee or member of the Board of Health (BOH). Job applicants will be asked whether they are aware of any family or significant social relationships who currently work as a Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) employee or elected official (BOH). With the exception of a spouse, child, or parent, applicants will not be requested to provide the names of any other family member or significant social relationships, in accordance, with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Employees who become involved in a spousal relationship, significant social relationship, or who become related over the course of their employment may continue as employees if no direct reporting or indirect reporting relationship exists between such employees. If there is a direct reporting or indirect reporting relationship, WDGPH will attempt to find a suitable job to transfer one of the affected employees. If WDGPH is unable to transfer the employee or the employee is unable to find alternative employment, then a decision will be made by management, in consultation with Human Resources, as to appropriate next steps.

A family member of a current WDGPH employee or BOH member shall not be considered for employment, or changes in employment, if placement would create a direct or indirect reporting relationship with these family members.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Management will:
  • Not knowingly place employees in positions where their duties could create a conflict of interest with a family member or significant social relationship;
  • Notify their immediate supervisor, who, in consultation with Human Resources, shall determine whether the employee has breached, or may potentially become in breach of this policy where conflict of interests exist;
  • Instruct the employee in writing to withdraw from participation in any dealings or decision-making processes if a real or apparent conflict exists that is reported where the employee is or may become in breach of this policy; and
  • In consultation with Human Resources, where a direct or indirect reporting relationship exists between family members or a significant social relationship, make reasonable efforts to transfer one of the employees to a different division or program.
Human Resources will:
  • Provide consultation, as required to employees and management, on this policy relating to specific situations involving a conflict of interest.
Employees will:
  • Immediately notify their immediate supervisor in writing of any conflict of interest that may include the existence or formation of a direct or indirect reporting relationship with a family member or person for whom there is a significant social relationship; and
  • Inform their immediate supervisor or Human Resources directly if they have knowledge of a reporting relationship where an undisclosed conflict of interest exists.

DEFINITIONS

Conflict of Interest – a conflict of interest is a situation in which an employee has personal or private interests that may compete with the public interests of the Agency. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety or a perception of bias that can undermine confidence in the person and in the Agency generally. A conflict exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can either be an apparent conflict or a real conflict.

Apparent Conflict – exists where an informed and reasonable person reviewing the matter and having thought the matter through could conclude that a conflict of interest exists.

Real Conflict – exists where a personal interest exists and that interest:

  • is known to the employee; and
  • has a connection to the employee’s duties that is sufficient to influence the exercise of those duties.

Direct Reporting Relationship – involves a reporting relationship where an individual has the authority to direct and control the activities and work assignments of another employee; review or approve performance reviews, wage and salary adjustments; and administer disciplinary action and recommend or approve the hiring or firing of an employee.

Family Member: includes the following family relationships:

  • spouse (includes married and common-law of the same or opposite sex);
  • mother, father, or legal guardian(foster or step);
  • son, daughter (foster or step);
  • sister, brother (step);
  • aunt, uncle, niece and nephew;
  • in-law: mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter;
  • grandchild, grandparent (step); and
  • any family member who lives with the employee on a permanent basis.

Indirect Reporting Relationship – exists between the employee and the second-removed manager.

Nepotism – favoritism granted to a family member or significant social relationship, usually in the form of hiring practices or other employment decisions without regard or with lesser regard to the individual’s merit, qualifications or performance.

Significant Social Relationship – includes personal relationships/friendships and emotional connections.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy:  CA.52.01.135  Nepotism
CA.52.01.101  Conflict of Interest
CA.52.01.109  Recruitment and Selection
CA.52.01.149  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
Ontario Human Rights Code (Code).S.24(1) (d)

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services

APPROVED BY

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services