E: support@e-carehub.co.uk

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Anti-Nepotism for Care Services Policy

Introduction

It is recognised that many care services are run as family businesses, often involving different members of the same family occupying different roles in the organisation. Care services might also employ people in different positions who have known family ties or personal relationships with other employees.

Where these relationships are present in the organisational structure or its working practices, there is always the potential for people receiving favourable treatment because of their personal connections with the decision-makers in the organisation or, alternatively, unfavourable treatment because they do not have those connections.

The former can be referred to as nepotism; the latter as unfair or discriminatory treatment. Conflicts of interest can then arise where the potential for nepotistic decision-making is present.

This policy sets out the underpinning values, principles and procedures to prevent and deal with any potential nepotistic decision-making that might occur in the development and delivery of {{org_field_name}}.

It has been developed to affirm and strengthen {{org_field_name}}’s commitment to having an open, transparent and well-led organisation that, in line with its registration requirements, is capable of delivering person-centred care by insisting on fairness and equality in all of its decision-making.

Purpose and Scope

The aim of this policy is to reassure people receiving care and staff employed by {{org_field_name}} that they will be treated fairly and equally without discrimination because of any family or social relationships that exist within {{org_field_name}} organisation that might favour those members because of their kinship or other close ties.

The policy has been produced in line with the “fit person” requirements for managers and directors that the service must meet for registration purposes, anti-discrimination employment laws and the Equality Act 2010.

The policy applies indirectly to all care businesses but more specifically to any that employ in different capacities people who are related to one another as family members and/or who have close connections as members of a common reference group, including religious, political and social affiliations.

The scope extends to all relationships in the work setting that are based on nuclear or extended family ties, formed through marriage, civil contracts, partnerships and emotional and social intimacy that extends outside the work setting.

It is consistent with several other policies, which the service has adopted, including these examples. The list is not exhaustive.

Policies concerning people who use servicesSafeguarding, Complaints, Equality, Diversity and Social Inclusion
Staffing policiesStaff Recruitment, Whistleblowing, Equal Opportunities Bullying and Harassment, Grievances, Disciplinary Procedures

Policy Statement

This care provider seeks through the development and implementation of this policy to avoid having to deal with situations and circumstances in which high quality service delivery might be disrupted through accusations and charges of favouritism and conflicts of interest. In doing so it recognises that working relationships can be seriously impaired by any perception of favourable or unfavourable treatment of any individual because of their personal connections or lack of connections to the person or persons responsible for that treatment. It will therefore work to the following principles.

  1. It will be transparent in its descriptions of any family and personal relationships that are represented in the organisational structure at all levels and particularly in senior management positions.
  2. It will apply strict equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practices in its recruitment, selection and appointment of staff so that no one is unfairly discriminated against, including an applicant who is in a relationship with another applicant.
  3. However , it will also require staff on or after appointment who are in any formal relationship with one another to disclose their connections in order to ensure there is always equal treatment while recognising any need to maintain their confidentiality and privacy.
  4. The application of any person with any personal connection with anyone else in the organisation will be dealt with strictly on its merits following formal appointment procedures. Any person on the appointing side will, if informed or once known of the application, declare their conflict of interest and withdraw from the selection process for that post in order that no applicant will be treated any more or less favourably than any other.
  5. Line management and supervisory relationships will be structured to avoid any potential conflict of interest arising from their relationships with one another outside the work setting, eg one spouse or partner will not line manage another, act as supervisor or carry out appraisals. This is to ensure that there is no abuse of authority, which might result in more or less favourable treatment of any staff member.
  6. {{org_field_name}} will ensure that all inquiries and investigations arising from safety and safeguarding incidents, complaints, staff grievances and disciplinary actions will be carried out independently wherever there is a potential conflict of interest within the situation that might affect the outcome.
  7. In line with its duties under equality laws, {{org_field_name}} will always seek to make reasonable adjustments to its working practices to ensure that staff who are personally connected are not discriminated against or unfairly treated because of their relationships.
  8. {{org_field_name}} will also seek to find constructive solutions with the involvement of those concerned whenever it identifies potential conflicts of interest in situations and circumstances that could result in accusations or charges of favourable or unfavourable treatment.

Implementation

The following examples show how the service might deal with situations involving conflicts of interests where family ties and personal relationships could influence decision — taking so that they do not result in the unfair treatment of people who are outside those connections. However it also recognises that it must respond to potential conflicts of interest on a situation by situation basis.

Potential Conflict of InterestExamples of How Conflicts of Interest Can ArisePossible Mitigating Measures
Safeguarding and WhistleblowingA person receiving care reports to a care worker that they have been shouted at and bullied by another care worker who is the son of the registered provider and owner.The care worker should follow this policy and have enough trust to report the matter like any other safeguarding concern so that an alert can be raised with the local safeguarding authority. There will be an independent investigation with further actions based on the findings. However {{org_field_name}} will also respect the staff member’s whistleblower’s rights to raise their concerns directly with the safeguarding authority and/or care regulator.
ComplaintsAn informal carer who has complained about the registered manager’s handling of their care plan receives a reply saying that it will be investigated by the nominated individual who is the spouse of the manager.{{org_field_name}} will reassure the complainant that they will appoint an independent complaints handler to investigate and decide in the complaint and inform the m of their rights to escalate the complaint to the Ombudsman if dissatisfied with the procedure or outcome.
Recruitment{{org_field_name}}’s daughter who is also employed by the service is on a shortlist of two for a post where applicants would normally be interviewed by the parent as owner.{{org_field_name}} will step aside from the interview to ensure both candidates are fairly treated and appointed on merit.
GrievanceA care worker has a problem with their immediate line manager, who is related to the person to whom they would normally escalate their grievance.The service will ensure that the grievance will be addressed by a competent independent expert and the person will not be unfavourably treated regardless of the outcome.
DisciplinaryA line manager in a small family run care service wants to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a staff member, which would otherwise be investigated by their married partner as one of {{org_field_name}}s.As above, the disciplinary process will be carried out independently of either conflict of interest and further actions will be based solely on the outcomes and recommendations.

Training

All staff will be made aware of the anti-nepotism policy and be encouraged to raise any issue that is in line with it.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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