On 8 May 2012, our Ethics in the Workplace forum followed on from the highly successful IPAA events of 2010/11 on the then relatively new Code of Ethics and its effects on the public sector. We explored what the Code means on a day-to-day basis with a particular focus on legal issues that arise when employees misinterpret or do not adhere to the values within the Code of Ethics.

The forum was introduced by the Hon Minister Wortley MLC, Minister for Industrial Relations. Warren McCann, Commissioner of Public Sector Employment (who led the development of the Code in 2009) was the MC.

Where then do we stand as employees of the public sector with respect to the law, particularly in relation to Industrial Relations law and other applicable legislation such as OH&S?

How more exposed are we now in relation to emails, texting and social media? Is it appropriate to make a professional decision that will return you personal benefits?

What impact does my conduct have outside of the workplace?

How do we embed the values of the Code within our day to day operations?

Addressing these questions, our presenters and panellists included:

  • Craig Stevens, Managing Solicitor, Crown Solicitor’s Office;
  • Elbert Brooks, Executive Director, Public Sector Workforce Relations;
  • Kate Stephens, Director Workforce Relations and Strategy; and
  • Chris Oerman, Executive Director, Corporate Services, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Following the speaking session, a representative of the PSA joined the panel and forum delegates were then given to opportunity to participate in some healthy and spirited discussion!