– Code of Conduct and Ethics Administrative Guidelines –

Volunteer Activities

Restrictions on Volunteer Activities

Many organizations rely heavily on volunteers and while the Government does not wish to discourage its employees from participating in volunteer activities, the restrictions of the Code regarding Outside Employment apply. Volunteer union activity on the part of an employee is exempt from the first of these restrictions as by its very nature such activity may involve the representation of divergent interests.

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Defining the Conflict

Employees are not prohibited from using their skills and expertise in volunteer organizations, however, there should be no advantage gained by the volunteer organizations as a direct result of the public role which the employee holds.

Employees should be mindful of their public role when they are involved with a volunteer organization which is lobbying the government. Depending on their public role, it may be a conflict if they publicly advance views contrary to government policy.

It is critical that employees disclose their involvement in these organizations where a conflict may arise.

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Examples - Volunteer Activity

  • It could be a conflict of interest if a manager in a government department was involved with a volunteer organization which lobbied to change that department's policy on an issue.

  • It would likely not be a conflict if an employee in a department was involved in his private capacity with an association which was making representations to another department with respect to policy changes.

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About this Guideline

Authority:   Code of Conduct and Ethics Regulation
Application:   Organizations Under The Public Service Act
Effective Date:   March 18, 1998
Contact:   Labour Relations

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