These guidelines relate to the appointment, promotion, transfer and supervisory arrangements for married couples, near relatives and other persons with close personal relationships outside the work situation who are employed or appointed by ACU.
It is not the University’s wish to intrude on personal relationships of staff. Moreover, it is stressed that being closely related to or having a close personal relationship with another staff member does not of itself present grounds for refusing employment, promotion or transfer.However, the employment of such persons in close proximity to one another can be compromising to the persons concerned (and others), particularly in supervisor/subordinate situations or in other circumstances where one is in a position to make or influence decisions concerning the other. Difficulties may also arise where one of these persons is required to make objective and unbiased judgements about the other.
Staff are expected to advise the appropriate senior officer 1 of the University where they become aware that they are in a position in any way to influence the appointment, advancement, assignment or other supervisory responsibility with respect to another staff member, or applicant for employment, to whom they are married, closely related or have a close personal relationship. Such advice will be treated with sensitivity and, as far as is feasible, confidentially.
Where practicable the University will seek to avoid placing staff in these potentially compromising situations. Where the situation is not readily avoidable the senior officer1 will endeavour to ensure that the most appropriate arrangements are established.
In particular, the University’s policy with regard to the appointment of such persons is as follows:
an appointment after advertisement may be made to a unit/School provided that the "related" member of the unit/School (whether or not he/she is Head or Acting Head) takes no part in selection and appointment procedures;
an appointment without advertisement requires the written approval of the appropriate senior officer 1 after the submission of a special case which demonstrates that the head of unit/School recommending the appointment has thoroughly explored the availability of alternative appointees to ensure that such an appointment is made on merit.
Sympathetic consideration will be given to requests from such persons working in close proximity for transfer to other areas as vacancies arise at the appropriate level.
Where such appointment, promotion, placement or supervisory relationship adversely affects the efficiency or effectiveness of the organisation, or where one or both of the persons concerned abuses the responsibilities or duties of their positions as a result of their relationship, normal administrative or disciplinary measures will be followed.
 "Senior officer" refers to the:
(i) Vice-Chancellor with respect to executive staff and any other staff reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor; or staff who are related to an officer listed in (ii) below. (ii) Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Campus Dean or Member of the Executive to whom the staff member’s area is responsible.
3. Review of Guidelines
The University will develop a process for reviewing the effectiveness of these guidelines. Where applicable, the review will take account of necessary changes to other relevant University policies, procedures and guidelines. Any staff member wishing to suggest improvements to these guidelines is invited to forward their suggestions to the Human Resources Advisory Service. HR@acu.edu.au or extension 4222.
4. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding these guidelines should first consult their nominated supervisor. Should further advice be needed, they should contact the Human Resources Advisory Service. HR@acu.edu.au or extension 4222.