Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct Document for Dublin Food Co-op (DFC)
Adopted at Adj OGM 21.11.2013

As a consumer co-operative DFC encourage the active involvement of its members in the operation and management of the society.

1. DFC Members must be impartial in the performance of their duties, and perform such duties with diligence and courtesy, observing appropriate behaviour.

2. DFC Members must work within the law, the DFC’s rules/constitution as registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies, the secondary rules as decided by the members at general meetings and the specific guidelines set out here.

3. DFC Members must observe the co-operative values of equality, equity, democracy, solidarity, self-help and self- responsibility as well as the ethical values of openness, honesty, concern for community and caring for others. They must observe these values in all their dealings with fellow DFC members and with the public (i.e. non-members and other visitors) on the DFC premises.

4. DFC Members must respect one another. Particular care must be taken to safeguard any information concerning the privacy and personal details of our fellow members.

5. DFC Members must not engage in any business or activity on the DFC premises that would in any way conflict with the DFC’s stated objectives, or impair the volunteer members, working groups or staff in carrying out their duties and responsibilities therein.

6. DFC Members must have a clear understanding of their individual roles as members, including any duties or other responsibilities they may occasionally undertake. When dealing with cash or matters of expenditure, due regard must be given by DFC members to fiscal responsibilities, e.g. in relation to DFC finances, which ultimately belong to all the DFC members.

7. DFC Members must abide by the standards and principles of the DFC Health and Safety Statement, as well as any other* statutory policies of the DFC and other relevant policy documents or guidelines that are published from time to time.

8. DFC Members who breach this code of conduct may result in a disciplinary procedure being invoked that may lead to the suspension of their membership (subject to their statutory rights under their membership status and after a fair disciplinary process). DFC members are expected to co-operate fully with any disciplinary procedures.

9. Where it is suspected that a DFC member has engaged in gross misconduct (gross misconduct as it is defined in Appendix 1 overleaf), they may be temporarily suspended pending a disciplinary process and if their actions are deemed gross misconduct following the process, they will be suspended or expelled or disqualified from DFC membership and premises.

*e.g. DFC Child Protection Guidelines, Safety of Children on the DFC premises, Bullying, Equality Policy, Environmental Health directives and other agreed directives.

Appendix 1: Gross misconduct

Examples of gross misconduct include, but are not limited to:

i. theft, fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, bribery or corruption, lack of due care for DFC resources

ii. deliberate falsification of records, violation or misuse of confidential information, organisational property, material or equipment

iii. serious breaches of health and safety rules, fighting, assault on another person in the course of their DFC duties or as an ordinary member or producer member

iv. serious incapability through alcohol, being under the influence of illegal drugs or misuse of prescribed medication; possession and/or sale of illegal drugs

v. serious negligence which causes unacceptable loss, damage or injury to the DFC

vi. discrimination, obstruction, serious bullying, harassment, sexual harassment

vii. misrepresentation or misuse of authority

viii. engaging in prohibited activities, eg.dealing in meat or meat products

ix. failure to disclose conflicts of interest in business or fiscal dealings of a major interest or nature

x. improper influence in order to make personal/family gains in business or fiscal dealings of a major interest or nature.

Disciplinary Principles for Breaches of the Code of Conduct (subject to statutory rights)

1. It is essential that all DFC Members behave appropriately, fairly, and consistently in all aspects of their work, shopping, interactivity or any engagement with the DFC. It should be recognized that most problems relating to misconduct, irregularity, neglect or unsatisfactory behaviour can be dealt with before reaching the point at which disciplinary action is contemplated by the DFC Co-ordinating Body, (hereafter called the ‘CB’) or any investigator/mediator acting on their behalf. When dealing with any persistent/recurring breaches of the Code of Conduct that might arise or be deemed to be improper or in serious breach of a member’s Duty of Care, all matters of discipline will be dealt with by the CB in a manner that protects the dignity of the members and follows due disciplinary and grievance principles.

2. “that the member concerned has the right to a fair and impartial determination of the issues concerned, taking into account any representations made by, or on behalf of, the member and any other relevant or appropriate evidence, factors, or circumstances – and should be given a clear statement of the areas where his or her conduct and/or performance is unsatisfactory and given an opportunity to respond - save where any act of gross misconduct or breach of the law demands an instant suspension”.

3. It is essential for the operation of this Code that all members co-operate fully in any disciplinary principles. Any member who fails to co-operate fully in a disciplinary procedure will be in breach of his or her terms of Code of Conduct contract of membership and subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

4. While it is essential to be fair and just in dealings of any disciplinary nature, the appropriate procedures to be followed should be done as swiftly as and where possible and practicable. However, the rate of progress at which an investigation will proceed will be determined by the investigating party (CB and/or 3rd party), taking into consideration the complexity of the issue.

5. THIS Code of Conduct has an accompanying Grievance & Disciplinary Principles guideline to be followed in the event of a breach of the code. Nothing in the Code of Conduct or the Grievance & Disciplinary Procedure documents overrules an individual’s legal and statutory right.