Code of Conduct

The Victorian Artists Society will not tolerate inappropriate conduct under any circumstances and will:

  • Promote appropriate standards of behaviour at all times.
  • Treat complaints of inappropriate conduct in a sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner.
  • Implement training and awareness-raising strategies to ensure all employees know their rights and responsibilities.
  • Provide an effective procedure for complaints of inappropriate conduct to be addressed.
  • Encourage the reporting of behaviour which breaches the Code of Conduct policy.
  • Ensure protection from victimisation or reprisals for persons reporting inappropriate conduct.

What is inappropriate conduct?

Inappropriate conduct includes discrimination, harassment or bullying.

Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person or group of people is treated less favourably than another because of their background or certain personal characteristics.

Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards an person or group of people that creates a risk to health and safety. This kind of behaviour may also amount to unlawful discrimination.

Under discrimination law, harassment includes treating people less favourably on the basis of particular protected attributes such as a person’s sex, race, disability or age. This can include sexual harassment which is any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome physical conduct, sexual language, or suggestive comments.

What are examples of inappropriate conduct?

The following types of behaviour where directed towards an individual and repeated, or occurring as part of a pattern of behaviour, could be considered to be inappropriate. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Demeaning language or verbal abuse.
  • Threats, physical or verbal intimidation.
  • Outbursts of anger or aggression.
  • Excluding or isolating people.
  • “Ganging up” on people.
  • Psychological harassment or intimidation.
  • Deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective performance.

Grievance Procedure

The aim of this procedure is to give a volunteer an opportunity to raise a grievance or a breach of the code of conduct either informally and/or formally and to discuss this with their supervisor with a view to having it resolved.

  • Grievances should be raised as soon as possible, to allow issues to be resolved quickly.
  • Volunteers should be given the opportunity to explain their grievance and how they think it should be resolved.
  • If the volunteer’s grievance is against their supervisor they may raise the matter with another staff member in the organisation, where possible.
  • If necessary, a grievance and appeal meeting will be scheduled. Staff, volunteers and their companions should take reasonable steps to attend grievance and appeal meetings.
  • Records shall be kept detailing the nature of the grievance raised, the response, any action taken, the reasons for it and other information relevant to the process. These records shall be kept confidential.
  • If it is not possible or appropriate to resolve a grievance informally, they should raise the matter formally in writing to the VAS Manager. The written grievance should contain details of the nature of the grievance and how they feel it might be resolved.
  • We will make every effort to resolve grievances fairly.