Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct was approved by the Trustee Board 24 January 2017 and reviewed in May 2023.

Aims and Objectives

  1. The provisions of this Code of Conduct will apply to all CAB Gwynedd paid staff. It is the responsibility of all staff to read, understand and work in accordance with it.
  2. The aim of this Code is to ensure that the rules and standards that CAB Gwynedd expects of its paid staff are clear and to provide a clear framework within which paid staff are expected to conduct themselves. The public and our clients expect conduct of the highest standards from CAB Gwynedd staff and their confidence would be shaken if we fell below these standards.


  1. CAB Gwynedd expects individuals to follow all reasonable rules and instructions given by those supervising or managing their activities and/or work areas. Failure to do so and deliberate failure to adhere to the policies set out in this code of conduct will result in disciplinary action.
  2. Staff are expected to have regard for the impact of their personal behaviour on CAB Gwynedd, colleagues, customers, the environment and our community. CAB Gwynedd does not seek to dictate how staff conduct themselves in their personal lives outside work. However, unlawful, anti-social or other conduct by staff which may jeopardise CAB Gwynedd’s reputation or position will also be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure.


  1. Staff must ensure that they treat colleagues and clients, fairly, impartially and with dignity and respect. Language and behaviour in the workplace must be conducive to productive and harmonious relationships.
  2. One of CAB Gwynedd’s core values is the promotion of inclusivity and valuing diversity. CAB Gwynedd seeks to ensure that the work environment for its staff is supportive, and one where individual respect is shown to all. All members of staff, regardless of their gender, race, ethnic background, culture, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, age, religion, socio-economic status or any other factor will be supported and encouraged to perform to their potential.

Harassment and bullying

  1. CAB Gwynedd is committed to ensuring that everyone is able to work and to participate within CAB Gwynedd without fear of harassment, bullying or intimidation.
  2. Everyone in CAB Gwynedd has a part to play by ensuring that their own behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional, does not constitute harassment.
  3. CAB Gwynedd will take action against inappropriate behaviour which shows lack of respect for others or which leads people to feel threatened. See Dignity at Work policies for paid staff and volunteers.

Absence and time-keeping

  1. Please refer to the flexi-time policy with regards to hours to be worked.
  2. Timing of all annual leave is subject to the needs of the employer and must be requested in advance and agreed with your immediate line manager. Annual leave in excess of 15 consecutive working days may only be taken by special arrangement and with the approval of the Chief Executive. Further information is included in your contract. Requests for special leave will be considered in accordance with the special leave policy.
  3. Any staff absent due to sickness or injury must inform their Line Manager by phone by 10.00am at the latest on the first day of sickness or injury and on each subsequent working day of absence until you have provided a GP’s certificate. You should state the reason for absence and the date on which you expect to return.  You should not simply leave a voicemail or email message or a message with a colleague.
  4. In the event of absence due to sickness or injury for seven days or less (including Saturday / Sunday) on return to work you must complete a self-certification statement.
  5. In the case of absence due to sickness or injury for more than seven days (including Saturday / Sunday) you must obtain and submit a doctor’s certificate covering the period of absence (Known as a “fit note” or “Statement of Fitness for Work”). You must ensure that certificates are forwarded to the HR and Learning Manager to cover the entire period of absence. Further details can be found in your contract.
  6. Sick pay will be paid in accordance with your contract – the policy can be read here. Where you return to work on reduced hours on medical advice, your pay will be reduced pro rata according to the number of hours worked.
  7. If you are unable to reach your normal place of work for other reasons, contact your line manager to discuss options. We have reciprocal arrangements with neighbouring bureaux which mean that you may be asked to report to your nearest bureau instead of your usual place of work or you may be able to work from home.

Staff Meetings

  1. You are expected to attend staff meetings and training events when requested to do so by your line manager or the Chief Executive. If you are ever in doubt on this, discuss with your line manager.

Health and safety

  1. CAB Gwynedd places a high priority on providing a safe working and learning environment and will act positively to minimise the incidence of all workplace risks as required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other associated legislation. All activities should be carried out with the highest regard for the health and safety of staff, students, visitors and the public. Our aim is excellence in health and safety, by means of continuous improvement of standards, and the comprehensive use of risk assessments so as to systematically remove the causes of accidents/incidents and ill-health. This, together with more specific aims and objectives, reflects CAB Gwynedd’s commitment to promote employee well being. See Health and Safety Policy for further information.

Office Wear

  1. CAB Gwynedd does not operate a formal dress code for its staff. However, staff must ensure that their dress is appropriate for the situation in which they are working and that they present a professional image that reflects sensitivity to client perceptions and which the public will have confidence in. This may reflect your ethnicity and lifestyle, but should not be provocative or cause offence to those with whom you have contact.

Data Protection and Use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

  1. You must ensure that you have an up to date understanding data protection requirements and the UK General Data Protection Regulation by completing the annual training. You must also familiarise yourself with the expectations on use of ICT. This content has been moved to here.


  1. Smoking (including use of e-cigarettes) is strictly prohibited on all parts of CAB Gwynedd’s premises, including at entrances or anywhere on its grounds. This includes areas that are outside but that form part of the bureau premises. Staff wishing to smoke during their breaks need to ensure that they respect this rule by moving away from CAB Gwynedd premises.

Drugs and Alcohol

  1. No employee shall –
  • report or try to report for work when unfit* due to alcohol or drugs (whether illegal or not) or to substance abuse;
  • be in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace;
  • supply others with illegal drugs in the workplace;
  • supply others with alcohol in the workplace
  • consume alcohol or illegal drugs or abuse any substance whilst at work

* Whether an employee is fit for work is a matter for the reasonable opinion of management.

  1. Staff have a duty to report any problems associated with their ability to drive, use equipment or perform other work related tasks and must not drive or use such equipment whilst their judgment and/or physical ability may be impaired by the use of alcohol, drugs, medicines or fatigue.


  1. Gambling activities must not be conducted on CAB Gwynedd premises, discretion may be used in relation to small raffles for charitable purposes, national lottery syndicates, occasional sweepstakes etc.

Financial regulations/ probity

  1. CAB Gwynedd’s financial procedures create a framework of financial controls within which the staff of CAB Gwynedd must operate. These procedures regulations are designed to protect CAB Gwynedd and individual members of staff. Failure to comply with these procedures may lead to the loss of assets, significant delays in payments to staff and suppliers, and additional work for colleagues.

Hospitality & Gifts

  1. Staff must not accept gifts or hospitality that could give rise to a suspicion that they have a conflict of interest or have been influenced in anyway. Any hospitality or gift received must be recorded with the HR and Learning Manager and consideration given on whether to accept the gift should be accepted personally or corporately, returned/ politely declined or given to charity. If staff are in any doubt, they must refer this to their line manager immediately.

Conflicts of interest

  1. The highest standards of behaviour are expected in all areas of CAB Gwynedd life, especially where individuals are in positions to make decisions which may have significant impact on others. In all such cases it is important that decisions are taken in a fair and balanced way that can withstand external scrutiny. Conflicts of interest should be identified so that individuals are not involved in decisions where their actions could be seen as biased. Note: the appropriate test is not whether you would be biased but whether you might be perceived as being biased.
  2. You should not act for or provide casework support to friends or someone in your own family through the local Citizens Advice. Care should be taken to avoid giving the impression that any advice that you give outside of work is official advice on behalf of your employer as this could give rise to a complaint against Citizens Advice which would not be covered by our insurance.
  3. Friends and family should be advised to seek advice from another member of staff or, if possible, from another local Citizens Advice. If the individual is to be advised within the local Citizens Advice, care needs to be taken to treat them in the same way as other clients to avoid accusations of partiality and unfair treatment. For further information see advice on Conflict of interest and clients. It is essential that potential conflicts are recorded along with the actions to mitigate this risk.

Bribery Act 2010

  1. Under the Bribery Act 2010, a bribe is a ‘financial or other advantage’ offered, promised or given to induce a person to perform a relevant function or activity improperly, or to reward them for doing so. The Act makes it a criminal offence to:
  • offer, promise or give a bribe
  • request, agree to receive or accept a bribe
  • bribe a foreign public official to obtain or retain business or a business advantage
  • by an organisation) fail to prevent bribery by those acting on its behalf (‘associated persons’) to obtain or retain business or a business advantage for the organisation.

See Fraud, Theft and Bribery policy for more information

Raising matters of concern

  1. Staff have a right and a duty to raise concerns which they may have about breaches of the law or propriety by CAB Gwynedd. This should normally be through the Chief Executive but in circumstances where this is not appropriate they may approach the Chair of Trustees in confidence. No individual who expresses their views in good faith and in line with this guidance will be penalised for doing so. CAB Gwynedd is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability, and expects staff who become aware of activities which they believe are illegal, improper, unethical or otherwise inconsistent with this Code to report the matter, acting in accordance with the employee’s rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and with the bureau whistleblowing policy. Staff must assist in any investigation or hearing into suspected misconduct.

Private Purchasing

  1. Staff must not use the bureau’s purchasing systems to purchase items for private use without prior authorisation from the Chief Executive.

Private Trading

  1. Staff are not permitted to carry out private trading in relation to goods, or services on the bureau premises nor may they do so elsewhere whilst on bureau duties. Staff are not permitted to advertise the sale of private goods or goods wanted on the bureau website nor any bureau social media site.

Confidential Information

  1. Confidential information must not be disclosed except where there is a legitimate reason to do and not unless specific approval has been given by an authorised manager. If there is doubt about whether information can be disclosed, staff must consult the Chief Executive, Quality Manager, HR and Learning Manager or Casework Manager.
  2. Deliberate disclosure of confidential information may be considered gross misconduct and may result in dismissal. It may also be a criminal offence and lead to criminal proceedings during and potentially after the employee’s employment has ended.
  3. Staff must act positively to prevent information misuse and ensure the accuracy of information by protecting information against unauthorised access

Fidelity – commitment and loyalty to CAB Gwynedd

  1. In addition to their express terms of employment, staff have common law duties implied in their contracts of employment. These duties require the employee to obey lawful and reasonable instructions, serve the employer personally and faithfully, exercise reasonable care and skill in carrying out their work, abide by the law as established by Parliament and the Courts and not to disclose confidential information after the employment ends. Breaches of these terms could, if proven, lead to disciplinary or legal action being taken against the employee.

Appointment of staff and other employment matters

  1. Staff involved in the recruitment and appointment of prospective staff must ensure that these are made on the basis of merit. Staff must not be involved in decisions relating to appointment, promotion, pay, discipline or grievance where the person is a relative, partner or close personal friend. If such a situation arises they must advise the Chief Executive.


  1. CAB Gwynedd has a statutory duty to ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and adults at risk. All staff who, during the course of their employment, have direct or indirect contact with children or adults at risk, or who have access to information about them, have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk. Ensure that you have read and understood our policies on Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding Children if you are dealing with such clients.

Notification of Criminal Investigations and other required disclosures

  1. There is a general obligation on all staff to disclose information which is relevant to their capability, capacity and suitability to carry out the duties and responsibilities for which they are employed or volunteer. This general obligation applies irrespective of the role undertaken by staff and is not limited to information which relates to a conviction, caution, reprimand or warning. For staff undertaking roles for which a criminal record disclosure is required there is a specific obligation on them to disclose any convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings that they receive in the course of or which are relevant to their employment.
  2. In all cases a failure to disclose relevant information or the deliberate withholding of such information is likely to amount to a breach of trust and confidence and has the potential to lead to the termination of employment or ending volunteering commitment.

Political Neutrality And Political Activity

  1. It is a condition of employment at CAB Gwynedd that all paid staff remain politically impartial in the course of their work, and do not engage in any political activity outside of their employment which would conflict with the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service.
  2. You must not display any badges, symbols or other material which is party political in content whilst you are at work or undertaking duties on behalf of the bureau.
  3. You should take care when displaying badges or symbols in support of other causes or campaigns, to avoid causing offence to others with whom you work. Such badges or symbols should not be displayed when meeting with clients, external stakeholders such as journalists, funders, government civil servants or other officials.
  4. All employees have the right to take part in other political activities in their own time, but should be careful to keep any political activity or involvement completely separate from their role as an employee of CAB Gwynedd. See Political impartiality policy.

Breaches and non-compliance

  1. This code of conduct has been drawn up to provide a source of guidance to CAB Gwynedd’s staff. It is not a contractual document and can be amended at any time by CAB Gwynedd.
  2. All staff must comply with both the provisions of this code and CAB Gwynedd’s policies and procedures, breaches of which will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. There are certain acts that CAB Gwynedd will not tolerate and these will be deemed to constitute gross misconduct. Gross misconduct is misconduct of such a nature that the employer is justified in no longer tolerating the continued presence at work of the employee concerned. Whilst any serious breach of conduct will be considered to be gross misconduct, the following are given as examples:
  • Theft
  • Damage to CAB Gwynedd property
  • Fraud, or any other act of dishonesty including soliciting or accepting bribes
  • Serious breach of the equalities policy
  • Incapacity for work due to being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Physical or verbal assault towards another employee or client,
  • Gross insubordination or refusal to obey the reasonable orders of your immediate supervisor
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Wilful disregard of health and safety rules
  • Any deliberate acts of harassment or bullying or discrimination
  • Serious misuse of the bureau’s IT system
  • Any action (including outside the workplace) that could bring CAB Gwynedd into disrepute.

It should be noted that the above examples are neither exclusive nor exhaustive. Where other breaches of a serious nature have occurred they could also be deemed to be gross misconduct.

Further Advice

  1. Advice must be sought from your line manager or the Chief Executive if there is in any doubt as to the interpretation of this Code.

Evaluation and review

  1. This Code will be subject to regular review and will also be reviewed in the following circumstances:
  2. Where new legislation is published or existing legislation is updated.
  3. Where new guidance is published or existing guidance is updated.
  4. Research, monitoring or auditing suggests that a review may be required.