Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 41 – Registrant information and standards of behaviour

First of all I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. 2006 is already looking like it is going to be an extremely busy year at IEA. We have lots of new training courses on offer, and for the first time ever IEA will be hosting a Seminar on Electronic Document and Records Management Systems – EDRMS – Local People, Local Knowledge. The program is almost in place, so as soon as it is, we will give you the details. 

January is usually the time people set aside to set goals for the next 12 months. Whilst this is not a bad thing to do, try not to make too many changes all at once, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed and drift back into old habits. So a question – Have you managed to stick with your New Year’s Resolutions this year? And whilst we can look at goal setting as this month’s topic– we are going to start this year off with a few reminders.

In this issue we will look at:

• Contractors 10 Commandments
• The Contractor’s Professional Code of Conduct
• A Thought to ponder

Do you remember receiving a copy of the Registrants Handbook when you registered for work with IEA? Inside this rather lengthy document there are a number of do’s and don’ts associated with being a contract employee (and this applies no matter which employment agency you happen to be working for). Section 4 – covers your roles and responsibilities, and in particular the Contractors Professional Code of Conduct.

What follows is a little light hearted attempt to highlight some of the more serious issues.
We hope you enjoy reading.

 The Contractors 10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt not beg, borrow or steal client’s stationery
(including envelopes to send in timesheets – unless you have been given specific permission to do so)

2. Thou shalt not use the Internet during work time. You are being paid to work not surf.

3. Thou shalt not use the telephone to chat to your mates (see point 2). Mobiles should be switched off unless on a break.

4. Thou shalt complete thy timesheets honestly.

5. Thou shalt dress in an appropriate professional manner – unless we (or the client) tell you otherwise.

6. Thou shalt undertake all safety inductions and observe all safe work practices.

7. Thou shalt inform IEA if you are away from work (for whatever reason).

8. Thou shalt inform IEA if you are having any problems at work. We cannot help thee if we do not know.

9. Thou shalt acknowledge IEA as thy employer on thy CV. (Failure to do so may look like thy cannot hold down a position for more than a couple of weeks).


10. Thou shalt be pleasant to all work colleagues whilst you are there. After all you may be asked to return.

The Professional Code of Conduct

Punctuality – You must report for work at the specified time, and observe the stated lunchtime. The minimum legal requirement is a 30-minute break for every 4-5 hours worked. If you require additional time off during the day it is vital that you speak to the client BEFORE doing so.  Working times and/or days may be varied at the discretion of the client and yourself.

Dress Standards – You are required to present a professional image in respect to your dress standards at all times. If personal protective clothing and equipment is provided by the client then please use it.

Behaviour – It is vital that that you conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.  You must not intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass fellow employees by using physical violence, improper language (written or spoken) or other disorderly conduct.  Please note, this also applies to any social function that you may be invited too. If you feel that you are being treated in an unprofessional manner by the people with whom you are working, please let us and the client know immediately. We cannot help you if we are not aware of the problem.

Client’s Property – Do not abuse, deface or wilfully damage client’s property. Do not use the client’s telephones for personal calls except in an emergency, or use the client’s Internet or e-mail system for the access, download or transmission of offensive or pornographic material.  Unless you are specifically allowed, do not use the client’s Internet connection to check your personal email accounts either. Most organisations monitor email traffic and the use of Hotmail and Yahoo based email accounts are high on the list of “watched” sites. If you are allowed to check your mail, please do so during your permitted breaks. After all, you are being paid to work – not surf.

And whilst we are on the subject of clients property, please do not appropriate office supplies to supplement the back to school purchases.  If this sounds like I am being a real spoil sport – remember that it can be classed as theft.

Health & Safety – Smoke only where smoking is permitted. Do not carry any form of weapon, explosive or inflammable substance onto IEA’s and/or the client’s premises.  In the event of an emergency, follow the client’s evacuation procedure.

Duties – There may be occasions when the client will ask you to undertake work that is not stated in your contract. If this occurs please contact the office so that we can determine if you need additional training, and/or if we need to negotiate a new contract with the client.

Confidentiality – It is essential that you hold in strict confidence all data, information and records sighted or handled by you in the course of your contract and not divulge such, or any part, to any person or organisation. In addition you may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before joining the organisation and in some cases a police clearance will be required.  You will be advised if this is the case.

Employment Opportunities – You should not use your position to obtain opportunities for further employment with the client, as you may be seen to be in direct competition with IEA and further work through IEA may not be offered. Nor should you use, or take advantage of, confidential information that may lead to gain or profit obtained in the course of your duties, until such time as it has become publicly available. If a client does approach you with the offer of work, please notify IEA.

And whilst we are on the subject of being approached by the client – please do not give them your mobile number. If the client asks you to go back to them to undertake more work, and you expect to be paid, then please make sure they are negotiating the proper rates, cover for insurance purposes, and will be paying your tax and super. Do not make the assumption that we know anything about the additional work…ring us and tell us. Or better still, get the client to ring us.

A Thought to Ponder
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”