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Code of Conduct Policy

Download Evolve Housing 'Code of Conduct' Policy (PDF)



1. Purpose

This document outlines the standard of behaviour expected of individuals representing Evolve Housing in the course of carrying out their duties the workplace or when attending external meetings or events.

2. Scope

This Code of Conduct applies to Evolve Housing employees, contractors, volunteers and consultants.

3. Definitions

  • Employee – any person employed by, or engaged to represent, Evolve Housing
  • Managers – anyone in a position of leadership who may or may not have direct reports
  • Workplace – the office or any alternative location where an employee is representing the company

4. Policy Statement

Evolve Housing is committed to managing its services and assets effectively, fairly, impartially and with integrity. As a not-for-profit housing provider, we make decisions that affect the lives of others. We hold an important position in the community that requires transparency, honesty, respect and fairness for all people we engage, support and serve.

This Code of Conduct (“the Code”) policy outlines the minimum standards of conduct and behaviour expected of Evolve Housing employees. All employees are responsible for upholding the integrity of the organisation and complying with the Code in the course of their duties. Employees should allow the Code to guide their behaviour and decision making and assist them to display the highest reasonable standards of professional and personal conduct while serving the needs of customers and stakeholders.

The Code aims to foster and maintain employee and public trust and confidence in the integrity and professionalism of the company by ensuring employees maintain:

  • Appropriate standards of conduct;
  • Fairness in decision making;
  • Behaviours guided by our core values;
  • Uphold and enhance the reputation of Evolve Housing; and
  • Adherence to appropriate ethical and legal standards.

This policy is subject to change from time to time at the discretion of Evolve Housing. A breach of this policy by an individual or group will be addressed by management and may lead to disciplinary action being taken.

5. Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the:
Chief Executive Officer to ensure this policy and associated procedures are applied and committed to by the Business Leadership Team.
People & Culture Department to provide Team Leaders with timely policy-related support and guidance.
Leadership Team/Team Leaders to ensure familiarity with this policy and related procedures, to commit to following them accordingly and where relevant, promote the policy to their team.
Employees to ensure they comply with this policy, be responsible for their own behaviour and if required, attend relevant training as provided by the company from time to time.

5.1 Additional Leadership Responsibilities

Leaders at all levels of the organisation have an important role in demonstrating ethical leadership and role modelling the standards of behaviour outlined in this Code. Managers must demonstrate accountability for their own performance and behaviour as well as that of their direct reports. They are also accountable for addressing unsatisfactory performance, misconduct and breaches of this Code and any other company policies and procedures.

6. Elements of the Code

6.1 Core Values

The core values guide our actions and determine who and what we aspire to be as a company and as employees of the company. The core values should be expressed through our interaction with colleagues, applicants, tenants, residents, suppliers and all other stakeholders.

Employees are required to adopt the following core values at all times during their engagement by the company:
Inspiration – we instil the motivation and courage to do it better
Honesty and Integrity – we act with sincerity, we do what is right not what is easy
Empathy – we understand what others are going through and are there to help
Accountability – it’s what we do and do not do, for which we are accountable
Respect – we show people they are important to us by what we say and do

6.2 Obligations

All employees have an obligation and duty of care to:

  • Comply with prevailing community standards of equity, justice, fairness and compassion in dealing with others within and beyond the company
  • Perform duties in a responsible and professional manner, with due regard for company policies and other legal requirements and obligations
  • Exert responsible stewardship of company resources
  • Promote and protect the company’s reputation in the wider community
  • Act appropriately when a conflict arises between our self-interest and our duty to the company

6.3 Behaviour

Personal Conduct

All employees are expected to:

  • Refrain from perpetrating or condoning all forms of bullying, intimidation and abuse;
  • Treat everyone with courtesy, respect, kindness, consideration, and sensitivity to their rights
  • Refrain from all forms of harassment and discrimination based on gender, race, religious belief, political affiliation, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation or illness
  • Always act honestly, in good faith, and respectful of the trust placed in us
  • Respect each individual’s rights to privacy and keep personal information in confidence
  • Consider the impact of decisions and behaviour on the well-being of others
  • Refrain from acting in any way that would unfairly harm the reputation and career prospects of other employees
  • Refrain from allowing personal relationships to affect professional relationships
  • Seek advice from an appropriate manager where a colleague’s behaviour is perceived to be in breach of the Code, and report any suspected corrupt, criminal or unethical conduct to the People and Culture Manager or CEO.

Professional Conduct

Employees should behave professionally in all situations and with all stakeholders including, but not limited to: each other, management, board members, suppliers, contractors, applicants and residents. Professional conduct should be exhibited through verbal language, communication methods, personal appearance and the way in which interactions are undertaken both in the workplace and externally.

All employees are expected to:

  • Perform duties diligently, impartially, conscientiously, with integrity, and to the best of their ability
  • Take responsibility for their health and safety and of others when carrying out duties
  • Keep up to date with advances and changes in the body of knowledge and the professional and ethical standards relevant to their area of expertise
  • Strive to always achieve the highest product, service and professional standards
  • Comply with any relevant legislative, industrial or administrative requirements including observance and application of anti-discrimination policy
  • Comply with the principles of environment responsibility
  • Foster teamwork and collegiality among all employees, and always give due credit to the contribution of others
  • Maintain adequate documentation to support any decisions made
  • Take no improper advantage of any official information gained in the course of employment
  • Refrain from allowing personal political views and/or affiliations or other personal interests to influence the performance of duties or exercise of responsibilities.

6.4 Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment

Evolve Housing has a zero tolerance when it comes to discrimination, bullying and harassment. The company will ensure that all decisions affecting employees and tenancy-related decisions and practices are free from discrimination.

Discrimination, bullying and harassment are against the essence of Evolve Housing’s core values and this Code. Employees must ensure their behaviour and actions do not offend, intimidate or humiliate any person an employee engages with in the course of fulfilling their role.

The Equal Employment Opportunity & Anti-Discrimination Policy and the Bullying Policy should be referred to for further guidance.

6.5 Equal Employment Opportunity

Evolve Housing is committed to an environment free from discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, religion, disability, age or political or sexual preference, and where decisions on allocation of housing and staff employment matters are made on the basis of merit and assessment. Equitable employment and service delivery policies and practices are essential to meet the objectives of the Company.

Behaviour which constitutes sexual harassment or physical or any other form of intimidation is unacceptable. Staff and board members are required to comply with all legislation in this area and the guidelines established by the Company.

Successful staffing practices require equity in employment. High quality service delivery requires equity in access to housing, housing management and support services. These cannot be achieved without the full support of all people in the organisation.

It is expected that everyone will take responsibility for fair, non-discriminatory behaviour in all dealings with each other and with clients and for the development of policies and procedures that facilitate this.

Discriminatory behaviour is often unlawful and always undesirable and will not be tolerated by the Company. Employees and Directors are expected to act with respect for the diversity within Australian society and particular regard for those groups within society that have traditionally experienced disadvantage or been marginalised or discriminated against.

Refer to the Equal Employment Opportunity & Anti-Discrimination Policy for further information about behavioural and process expectations that form part of this policy and are required to be committed to.

6.6 Duty of Care

Evolve Housing seeks to ensure a safe and healthy workplace is provided to employees and others on the premises. Managers are responsible for ensuring that activities within their areas are undertaken with due diligence for the health, safety and well-being of employees and others located or working in the area.

All employees have a duty to take reasonable care and to avoid causing harm to others and must follow safe working practices and actively promote safe working conditions. Employees must adhere to the Work, Health and Safety Policy and report any accident, near miss or injury to their manager as soon as practicable.

Employees must ensure that personal use of alcohol or drugs does not affect the performance of their duties or the safety and well-being of themselves or others.

6.7 Corrupt Conduct, Gifts and Benefits

An employee must not participate in any activity that is fraudulent or gives the perception of being fraudulent. An employee must not solicit gifts, bribes, hospitality, benefits, services or favours as this may be considered corrupt conduct and certain types of corrupt conduct may amount to a breach of the state or federal law.

An employee may accept gifts or benefits of a nominal or token value that is or may be viewed by a reasonable person as appropriate, proper and ethical provided full disclosure is executed. Acceptance of any such gifts or benefits must be in accordance with the Gifts and Benefits Policy.

6.8 Conflicts of Interest

All employees are to avoid any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest with the primary responsibility being the disclosure of the conflict in advance. Employees must ensure that the company’s financial and other interests and actions do not conflict or seem to conflict with the obligations and requirements of the company position or advance own interests over those of the company.

Employees must disclose to the company any situation which has or is likely to arise from an employee having a family, personal or commercial relationship with another party related to Evolve Housing, especially where the employee is likely to have direct or indirect decision-making input with relation to that party.

Where a conflict of interest is disclosed, measures must be taken to resolve such conflicts and mitigate risks.

6.9 Use of Company Equipment and Resources

Employees must not abuse, waste or destroy company equipment and resources. Reasonable use of company equipment and resources for personal use is acceptable, however this must not be abused or impact on the operations of the business, your ability to complete your work, or impact the company financially through time or resource wastage.

Any use of company equipment must not be used for pornographic, racist or any illegal purposes and must not put the reputation of Evolve Housing at risk. Equipment and resources should be treated with care and secured against theft.

6.10 Procuring Goods and Services

When procuring goods and services for Evolve Housing, employees must be responsible with the company’s money and ensure good value for money. Employees must follow the Delegations of Authority Policy when purchasing or entering into agreements on behalf of the company.

6.11 Privacy and Confidentiality

All employees must respect the privacy of others and ensure that personal information kept by Evolve Housing will be kept confidential, stored in a safe location and only be used for lawful purposes as specified by legislation to ensure we do not breach our privacy obligations as specified under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1988. All employees have a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, security and safe storage of employee, resident and tenancy information.

Corporate Confidential Information
Information which has not been released to the public via our website, media releases, etc should be considered confidential unless otherwise stated by the Chief Executive Officer.

Public Comment
Employees must not make public comment on behalf of Evolve Housing in any form without prior consent of the Chief Executive Officer.

Record Keeping
All employees have a responsibility to keep full and accurate records of its activities relating to employment, residents and tenancy applications in the relevant record keeping systems and files. In doing so, we meet our privacy and confidentiality obligations. Records are evidence that we have followed proper procedures and the law in carrying out our work.

6.12 Other Business Employment

Outside work must not be undertaken by an employee where it may cause conflict of interest with Evolve Housing duties. An employee who is already involved in or considering outside employment or contract work that relates to the business of Evolve Housing or that might conflict with their role or professional duties must notify the People & Culture Manager who will consult with, and seek approval from, the Evolve Housing Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to being given approval it must be ensured that the outside employment or business will not:

  • Conflict with their role within Evolve Housing;
  • Involve using confidential information or company resources obtained in their role; and
  • Discredit or disadvantage Evolve Housing in any way.

6.13 End of Employment

Upon separating from Evolve Housing and employee is required to return all documentation, equipment and resources provided or obtained during the course of their employment. During subsequent employment and activities an employee should continue to respect the confidentiality of information gained during the time worked at Evolve Housing and not use it for personal or financial gain.

6.14 Company Reputation

All employees are expected to:

  • Promote the company wherever possible in our professional dealings with others
  • Refrain from engaging in any activity that may compromise the company’s integrity and reputation

6.15 Compliance and Breaches

This Code regulates the behaviour of Evolve Housing employees and also forms part of each employee’s conditions of employment. All employees must comply with this Code and where they are aware or suspect a breach of this Code, they must immediately report the breach to their manager for further action.

Employees whose conduct falls below the standards outlined in the Code will be counselled. A breach of the Code may lead to other disciplinary action, training or even dismissal. Criminal or civil legal action may also be taken against an employee where state and commonwealth law is breached.

The company may take action against a person making a frivolous or completely fabricated report. Any employee found to have made such a report may be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action being taken against an employee who has provided false information.

7. Where to get more information

Contact Evolve Housing on 1300 692 245 or 02 8862 1500 or

Document No:  PC003.3.1  |  Approved:  20/05/2014  |  Review Due:  20/05/2015