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THE VALUE OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST GUIDELINES

What is the purpose of conflict of interest guidelines?

  • To avoid conflict between the interests of employees and the interests of the Company.

What is expected of employees?

  • Always act in good faith and in the best interests of the Company.
  • Avoid any conflict between own interests and the interests of the Company.
  • Don’t engage in any activitiy that is or may be construed to be in conflict or prejudicial to the interests of the Company, whether directly or indirectly.

Where can such conflicts arise from?

  • Outside business appointments
  • Relationships with contractors or suppliers
  • Shareholding
  • Excessive voluntary services, etc.

What must typically be disclosed?

  • Outside business appointments or undertakings
  • Holiding a directorship postion
  • Holding an interest in a 3rd party who has dealings with the Company
  • Holding a statutory or public appointment
  • Family working for the Company.

How should inside information on Company Business be treated?

  • Confidential information about the Company’s affairs may not be disclosed to unauthorsed persons; or used or appeared to be used for the benefit of employees or others.

Is money lending a potential conflict?

  • Employees should not under any circumstances borrow from or loan money to other employees, customers or suppliers or their staff.

What must happen in the case of bribery situations?

  • Bribes and all forms of inducements are at all times unacceptable and should be reported immediately to the manager.

Must a ‘Declaration of Business and Other Interests Form’ be completed?

  • All employees must complete such a declaration once per annum. The purpose is to be proactive and prevent potential situations that can be construed conflicting.
  • If your situation changes or if you incur a situation which you THINK could be conflicting, declare it immediately.

Are conflict of interest transgressions serious?

  • It is a common law duty of the employee to act in food faith and in the best interests of the Company.
  • Conflict of interest transgressions are serious. It often breaks down the trust relationship making continued employment impossible. In most companies, if found guilty of such a transgression it can result in a sanction of final written warning or dismissal.

The best is therefore to avoid such situations. Rather declare interests upfront; and if any doubt exists then ask before partaking in such conflict.