Wk 4 - What is? A 'Code of Conduct' Policy

Hi everyone, I’m Peta Cussell from Project Ops and this week I am going to talk about the ‘Code of Conduct' Policy.

When the Fair Work Act came in in 2009 so did higher protections for employees, legal obligations for employers and the introduction of fines. Now more than ever, clearly defined HR Policies are essential in any business that has staff. They (should) set out clear conduct and performance guidelines as to how the employees should behave and what is expected of them in the workplace. They should also state that non-compliance may lead to disciplinary action from the employer. 

The Code of Conduct Policy indicates to employees the minimum standard of behaviour that is expected of them at work and what the consequences of any breach will be.

The Code of Conduct Policy should cover employees and contractors in their dealings with customers, clients, co-workers, management and the general public. And it may cover items like confidentiality, other employment, maintaining the workplace, fighting, language, dress standards, alcohol, drugs, smoking, borrowing company property, theft, statements to media etc.

In the absence of a Code of Conduct Policy, dismissing an employee because of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ leaves the employer open to a successful claim for unfair dismissal because the employee could argue he or she was unaware the employer considered such behaviour as inappropriate.

As with any successful claim for unfair dismissal, the employer could be ordered by the Fair Work Commission to reinstate the employee to their previous position, or pay up to 6 months’ ordinary remuneration to the affected employee. Imagine having to pay $40,000 to an employee, when they have acted inappropriately!

Compliance and transparency is key.

With Project Ops, we ensure compliance and take all the heavy-lifting out of all HR and Staffing matters. Small business owners have enough to worry about... HR matters can be one less thing keeping business owners up at night.

If your business is yet to establish HR Policies and Procedures and you don’t know where to start or you need advice on a particular staffing issues, please get in touch


Project Ops are one of Australia’s leading outsourcing specialists, providing some of Australia’s best talent to businesses of all sizes on short or long-term contracts. Specialising in Human Resources (HR), Recruitment, Business Operations, Change Management, Project Management and Event Management across a multitude of industries.