States of Jersey policy on spouses and partners working in the same department (FOI)
States of Jersey policy on spouses and partners working in the same department (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 09 March 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Is there a States of Jersey policy regarding husbands and wives/partners working in the same department and if so, what is the policy?
How many of the above relationships exist and how many have a relationship of one reporting to the other one, e.g. A line manager is a partner of the other. If possible, please break this down by department and grade.
The States of Jersey has a policy on the Employment of Close relatives:
Employment of Close relatives policy
This policy outlines the criteria an employee needs to meet in order to be offered employment alongside a close relative (e.g. a spouse or partner, child, parent, sibling, or ‘in-law’ relative). The policy covers the following points:
- who can be involved in the recruitment and selection process
- line management responsibility between close relatives
- performance, disciplinary and grievance management between close relatives
- impact on other members of the team
- what can / cannot be approved by a close relative: eg timesheets, overtime claims, sickness absence etc.
If after reading this policy you still have questions about employing close relatives please contact us.
(Note: Close relative is defined as immediate family members eg spouse (or partner), child, parent and sibling and through marriage is defined as mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law.)
Close relatives can only be offered employment if their appointment meets all of the following criteria:
- relatives or close friends of the candidate cannot be involved in the recruitment and selection process
- the close relative must be the best candidate for the job
- there must be no direct line management responsibility between close relatives
- close relatives must ultimately report to a different senior member of the team
- performance, disciplinary and grievance management cannot take place between the close relatives
- consideration must be given to any potential negative impact on other members of the team
- it must be possible for work to be organised to avoid any potential risks or conflict of interests between the relatives
- financial documents must not be approved by a close relative, e.g. timesheets, overtime claims, purchase orders, purchase card documentation, leave requests, input of sickness absence, flexitime arrangements, etc.
Prior to any offer of appointment, the rationale for the decision must be recorded on the Close Relatives Employment Form, which is available as a download, and final authorisation sought from the Chief Officer or nominee. If approved the completed form should be placed on the employee’s personal file, if not approved the completed form should be placed on the recruitment file.
This is also reinforced by the following extract from the Code of Conduct (which is published on gov.je).
Disclosure of an interest
Where an officer has occasion to deal in an official capacity with any matter in which he has a private or business interest he shall disclose that interest to the head of his department or in the case of the head of a department to the Minister of the department or the employer.
In relation to the second part of the question, we do not hold this data. Furthermore if we did hold it, the information cannot be disclosed because its disclosure to a member of the public would contravene one or more of the data protection principles, which are set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
As a public authority, the States of Jersey must observe all of the data protection principles when processing personal data. The exemption from the duty to disclose personal data, where to do so would breach a data protection principle, is an absolute exemption, and therefore the public interest test in Part 2 of the FOI Law does not apply.