Guidance for Managers: Staff declarations of potential conflict of interest

Within every staff member’s contract of employment is the requirement to declare to their Head of Department any potential conflict of interest of which they may be aware.

This guidance is intended to help Heads of Departments to deal with such declarations in a consistent manner, to ensure the University’s interests are protected as far as is reasonably possible.

When a member of staff contacts you regarding a role/relationship/involvement which could potentially represent a conflict of interests:

1. Consider whether you know enough about the situation to be able to judge whether or not this role/relationship presents a conflict of interest risk to the University (either in reality or by perception). If not, take advice from colleagues who may be better placed to make this assessment – within your Faculty, in Research Services, Human Resources, Finance, or wherever appropriate.

2. Using the template letter as a basis, reply to the member of staff in writing to confirm your response. Importantly, the response includes a reminder that this is not the end of their obligation, and that even if you are satisfied there is no conflict at this point in time, the employee has a responsibility to flag up any future situation when their other roles/relationships etc could potentially be in conflict with their University role.

3. If you do feel there is a conflict of interest, your reply will need to set out clearly what you expect the employee to do about it – e.g. decline an external role, ensure they do not take part in certain activities or negotiations, etc.

4. Send a copy of your letter to your Faculty HR Team contact so that it can be held on the employee’s personal file as a record of the declaration and your response.

Document Control
Last Update: 01/18
Date of Next Review: 01/20