Although conflicts of interest are not uncommon in the workplace, they can be harmful to a business if they are not appropriately managed. Is dealing with conflicts of interest important?

A conflict of interest exists when an employee’s private interests interfere with their performance of their duties. For example, it may give them a personal advantage. It is important to note a conflict of interest can be an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest.

Some examples of conflict of interest in the workplace include:

  • an employee recommending a friend for an advertised position
  • an employee starting up their own business on the side with similar products or services
  • a supervisor dating a staff member
  • a manager not disclosing that a candidate applying for a position is a relative or close friend
  • an employee accepting a gift from a supplier in exchange for business over other suppliers
  • an employee failing to disclose a second job which conflicts with the business

Creating a Code of Conduct

Creating a code of conduct is one of the best ways for dealing with conflicts of interest.

A code of conduct provides guidelines explaining your business’ culture, mission and expectations for professional behaviour.

You can include what is classified as a conflict of interest including examples and how they will be managed, i.e., disclosing a conflict of interest to a manager.

Need assistance with dealing with conflicts of interest in your business and are looking for effective strategies to manage conflicts of interest? Get in touch with our business advisory team from Taggart & Partners today for knowledge advice to help your business grow.

*** This publication is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication. Publication date July 2018.

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