The Styles Street Code of Professional Conduct incorporates our core values, our policies and procedures, professional standards of behaviour and sound human resources practice.
Our Code of Professional Conduct encompasses the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics, the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the National Quality Standards for Early Childhood and the National Employment Standards. Implicit in our Code is the recognition of human rights, the principles of natural justice and a fair and just environment for children, families and our staff.
Our Code of Professional Conduct confirms our commitment to our values, to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct and affirms our belief in a responsible, fair and ethical work culture. The Code applies to all staff and clarifies the behaviour, practice and standards that we expect from all of our employees.
You are required to comply with and work to our Code of Professional Conduct. Your agreement to comply with the Code is integral to your appointment and ongoing employment with Styles Street.
An ethical environment relies upon individuals having responsibility for their own professional behaviour. Styles Street has a responsibility to provide a safe, encouraging and supportive work environment that recognises and values staff diversity, abilities and contributions. All members of staff are entitled to be treated with respect and work in an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment or bullying. Equally, you have a responsibility to act with integrity, honesty, transparency and impartiality in your dealings with colleagues, families and members of the wider community.
You will act professionally and with integrity at all times. You are required to perform your duties to the best of your ability, with care, competence and efficiency and demonstrate the following behaviours:
In the course of your work you will be exposed to all kinds of information. At all times you are to comply with the privacy laws, protecting the privacy of others and maintaining appropriate confidentiality.
You must not discuss nor disclose private or confidential information with other employees or any other person, unless such discussion and disclosure is required to perform their duties or to comply with a legal requirement.
All information relating to the operations of Styles Street, which includes at a minimum: child and family information; employee-related information; and organisational records must be kept in an appropriate, secured, storage area.
You are required to adhere to Styles Street’s approved photographic images policy with regard to the taking and displaying of photographic images unless prior consent is given by the parent or guardian.
If you are unsure as to the status of information or the need to use/disclose/discuss any information, you are required to seek advice and direction from the Centre Director.
Styles Street requires all employees to sign a confidentiality agreement. The confidentiality agreement is provided to you when you accept a position with the organisation. The agreement requires you to observe the confidential status of all information in relation to the children, families, employees and operations of the organisation.
Establishing and maintaining a safe work environment includes setting standards for a workplace dress code.
Working with children requires you to be mindful of the nature of your work and to dress accordingly, conducive to active participation in the program with children, parents, colleagues and other professionals. Given the physical nature of the work clothing needs to be comfortable and allow for freedom of movement. In addition, as you are a role model for children, this includes maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene and demonstrating sun smart behaviours. Styles Street provides a staff uniform, which includes a polo shirt with logo and approved sun smart hat.
Our objective in providing a staff uniform is to promote comfortable and safe clothing while projecting a professional image. We encourage you to wear the Styles Street uniform teamed with appropriate footwear, pants or skirt. With that in mind we have developed a workplace dress code which must be adhered to at all times.
NOTE: All clothing is to reflect the requirements of our Sun Smart Policy, be well maintained and freshly laundered.
Given these guidelines our expectation is that you will make informed decisions and present in appropriate work attire. If you present for work inappropriately dressed you will be sent home to change. Work time lost will not be paid.
Styles Street staff uniform
We encourage you to wear the Styles Street uniform. The uniform is provided as follows:
Laundering of uniforms
Readiness for work:
You are required to arrive at the Centre with time to store your belongings and address any personal needs (bathroom/breakfast) prior to the commencement of your shift. You are required to be in the classroom for your shift start time and leave the classroom no earlier than your shift finish time.
You are required to return on time from any breaks or planning time. Tardiness in time-keeping impacts on others and the smooth flow of the program for children.
Any late arrival must be personally reported to the Centre Director as soon as practicable and prior to the shift starting time. An estimated time of arrival should be provided to allow for any interim re-organising of staff and adjustments to the daily program.
Absence due to illness, injury or any other reason must be personally reported to the Centre Director as soon as practicable and a minimum of two hours before your shift start time if you are unable to work, to allow for the organising of replacement staff. If you are unable to make contact personally, a family member or other individual must telephone on your behalf.
Note that an SMS will not be accepted to avoid cases where text messages are not seen or received. Absences should be reported via phone where you/your family member and the Centre Director have spoken. You should not assume your leave is accepted until you have spoken with the Centre Director.
If you are a Styles Street casual employee, you are required to contact the Centre Director and provide details of your shift to ensure program staff replacement occurs in a timely manner and educator to child ratios are maintained.
Agency casual staff
To ensure Styles Street meets the required educator to child ratios at all times, the Centre Director/ Responsible Person after exhausting Styles Street staff resources will access the services of a reputable early childhood staffing agency.
The Centre telephone should be used for business purposes only. When making or receiving calls, you are required to follow the Centre’s telephone protocol:
You are to ask the Centre Director prior to accessing the centre telephone if you need to make a personal call during work hours.
It is not appropriate to make personal mobile calls or send text messages while working with children, attending a work meeting or during planning time. Personal mobile phones are to be switched off and stored in the employee’s locker. Personal mobile phones may be used during work breaks.
In all communications you are representatives of Styles Street and are required to uphold the values and policies of the organisation at all times. You need to be respectful, courteous and responsive in your dealings with others, using appropriate language and modelling professional behaviour. Language and/or behaviour that is abusive, threatening or derogatory in nature is unacceptable in the workplace or at any work related functions or associated activities.
Conflict of interest arises whenever the personal, professional or business interests of an employee are potentially at odds with the best interests of Styles Street. You should aim to avoid being put in a situation where there may be a conflict between the interests of Styles Street and your own personal or professional interests, or those of relatives or friends. Where such a conflict occurs (or is perceived to occur), the interests of Styles Street will be balanced against your interests, and unless exceptional circumstances exist, resolved in favour of Styles Street.
You must disclose in writing to the Committee of Management/Centre Director the existence of any potential or actual conflicts of interest that may impact on your Styles Street-related duties.
It is impossible to define all potential areas of conflict of interest. If you are in doubt if a conflict exists, you should raise the matter with the Centre Director.
Circumstances that may lead to a conflict of interest include but are not limited to:
If you declare such an interest, Styles Street will review the potential areas of conflict with you and mutually agree on practical arrangements to resolve the situation.
Failure to declare a potential, actual or perceived conflict of interest or to take remedial action as agreed with Styles Street, in a timely manner, may result in performance improvement proceedings including dismissal.
The Committee of Management recognises that gifts are commonplace in everyday life. Gifts can range in value from nominal to significant and are usually offered to say thank you or to celebrate important events.
In the interest of fairness and transparency the following applies:
All Styles Street related documents, materials and tools (including its policies, procedures and learning and educational programs) are the property of Styles Street and cannot be copied or re-produced without obtaining written approval from the Management Committee.
If you develop material that relates to your employment with Styles Street, the copyright in that material will belong to Styles Street. This may apply even if the material is developed in your own time at home.
When creating material you need to ensure the intellectual property rights of others are not infringed and any third party copyright is referenced.
You have a responsibility to:
In addition, you must:
Styles Street provides a number of property and resource items to enable employees to undertake their role within the organisation. This may include but is not limited to: laptops, iPads, iPods, camera, USB sticks, stationary and program equipment.
These resources and property items are provided to enable Styles Street to effectively manage its business activities and provide the children’s program. Whilst there may be some approved usage of these items by employees on a ‘personal-use’ basis, such usage is at the discretion of Styles Street. Employees are required to acquire the permission of the Centre Director/Committee of Management before using any of the organisation’s property or resources (of any sort what so ever) for personal/non-business use.
Styles Street logo, letterhead and other stationary must be used carefully, lawfully, honestly and not misappropriated. This includes the provision of references of any description using the employee’s role at Styles Street to give the reference credibility.
In addition, Styles Street property is not to be removed from the Centre premises without the permission of the Centre Director/Committee of Management.
Styles Street recognises the importance of promoting and supporting positive work relationships across the Styles Street Team, including those who have management and leadership responsibilities for educators and staff.
Styles Street acknowledges that you have the right to raise concerns or lodge a complaint when you experience a sense of injustice, which may include:
Styles Street is committed to the principles of procedural fairness, equity, timeliness and confidentiality in reviewing, evaluating and the conciliation of employee complaints and grievances. Our aim is to resolve problems and grievances promptly and as close to the source as possible. When necessary, graduated steps will be taken for further discussion and resolution at higher levels of authority.
The Centre Director will do his or her utmost to action grievances objectively, discreetly and promptly.
Procedure relating to concerns/complaints/ grievances of individual team members:
Procedure relating to disputes between the employer and their employees:
Disputes in relation to the interpretation, application or operation of a provision of the industrial award/agreement in place will be handled in accordance with the dispute resolution procedure of that award/agreement.
Ethical conduct guides the actions, behaviours and decisions made within the care and education setting. It is founded in respect for, and the valuing of children, families, educators and staff, and the extended community.
As a representative of Styles Street, you are required to act in accordance with the organisation’s values and expected to conduct yourself in a professional and courteous manner observing our Code of Professional Conduct in your actions, behaviours and decisions. This includes out of work conduct in any circumstances connected to work e.g. a work-related function, attending a community event.
Misconduct constitutes non-compliance with our Code of Professional Conduct and may result in performance management (disciplinary action) leading to dismissal.
The actual performance management procedure to be adopted will be a matter for the discretion of the Management Committee and in consideration of the circumstances as a whole. Styles Street will endeavour to investigate all allegations of unacceptable conduct fairly and promptly. Nothing in our policy prevents Styles Street from issuing a final warning at any stage of the process. Similarly, if circumstances warrant, nothing in our policy prevents Styles Street from dismissing an employee at any stage of the process.
Employees are directed to raise concerns with the Centre Director about what might be considered unacceptable actions or behaviours of team members.
Refer: Valuing People / Managing Performance
This policy will be monitored to ensure compliance with legislative requirements and unless deemed necessary through the identification of practice gaps, the service will review this Policy every two years.
Families and staff are essential stakeholders in the policy review process and will be given opportunity and encouragement to be actively involved.
In accordance with R. 172 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations, the service will ensure that families of children enrolled at the service are notified at least 14 days before making any change to a policy or procedure that may have significant impact on the provision of education and care to any child enrolled at the service; a family’s ability to utilise the service; the fees charged or the way in which fees are collected.
Policy adopted: 15 August 2016
Policy Reviewed: 1 June 2019
For review: December 2019