Sustainable Agriculture Institute

Employment of Relatives Policy

 

Policy brief & purpose

SAI’s Employment of Relatives Policy demonstrates our attitude towards nepotism and employing people who are related either by blood or marriage. We won’t reject a suitable job candidate on grounds of their relation to a current employee. However, we recognize that encouraging the employment of relatives may have a negative impact on productivity and fuel accusations of nepotism and favoritism.

This policy aims to minimize these risks.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees regardless of status, position or department.

Policy elements

We use the term “relatives” to refer to any person who has a relation by blood or marriage within the third degree with our employee. We also include people who live together in a domestic partnership or children who were adopted.

This includes: parents, step-parents, grandparents, in-laws, spouses or domestic partners, children, step-children, adoptive children, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.

We aim to keep our hiring process free of discrimination. We may hire a person who is related to one of our current employees if we consider that person the best fit for a position. We may also accept referrals from employees.

What is nepotism in the workplace?

Favoritism or conflict of interest may occur when manager are involved in a process with their relatives. Examples are when:

  • Managers decide which team member to promote.
  • Managers decide which contracts to renew.
  • Managers complete performance reviews.
  • Managers discipline their relative.
  • Managers are part of a hiring committee.

To avoid such incidents or suspicions of favoritism and conflict of interest, we established anti-nepotism policies:

  • Employees who are related must not be involved in a supervisory/reporting relationship with one another.
  • Employees can not be transferred, promoted or hired inside a reporting relationship with a relative.
  • Employees can not be part of a hiring committee, when a relative is considered for the position.

Please report any relationship with a relative to HR, if you find yourself in a reporting relationship with that relative or in a hiring committee that considers that relative for employment. If you don’t, you may face disciplinary action.

If two employees who are in a reporting relationship become relatives in the course of their employment, one of the two must be transferred. We may give our employees time to discuss and choose which of them will be transferred, before management makes a final decision. Transfers will be discrimination-free. For example, the person being transferred must not always be a woman. This will violate our anti-discrimination policy.

We ask you to act professionally when working with a relative and seek counsel from your manager or HR if there are any problems.

Disciplinary Consequences

If a previously unreported relative relationship is discovered between a manager and a team member one of them will be transferred. If incidents of favoritism or conflict of interest have occurred, both employees will be subjected to disciplinary actions that range from reprimand to termination for cause.