SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
‘Gifts’ is a blanket term to cover any gift and includes, favours, hospitality, discounted rates and accepting payment for any service provided under a private arrangement.
Anyone working for Hull City Council is in a position of public trust and must not themselves open to allegations of abuse of that trust. If gifts are offered, they must be refused sensitively to avoid causing offence to the person offering the gift.
The Code of Conduct for staff states that employees must notify their line manager of any gifts which are received.
Employees or members of their family should not accept any significant personal gifts from contractors or outside suppliers, although employees may keep insignificant items of token value (not to exceed £25.00 in total in any year) such as pens, diaries etc., for use in the workplace. Any gifts or benefits must be declared by completing the Declaration of Gifts and Hospitality form.
When a gift or hospitality has to be declined, the offer should be courteously but firmly refused and the giver/organiser be informed of the procedures and standards operating within the Council.
2. Procedural Steps
|In order to avoid the issue from arising in the first place, adults and carers should be made aware of the Hull City Council Code of Conduct for Staff and the Procedure for the Declaration of Hospitality and Gifts.
|If adults or carers wish to give gifts to the City Council, these should be discussed with the Service Manager (Assistant Head of Service) who will make the decision about whether they can be accepted. Examples of this are where someone has bought a new television and wishes to donate their old one to the City Council or where someone has died and the family wish to gift some of their possessions.
|If the adult or carer makes a seasonal gift to the team, for example brings in a box of sweets or biscuits at Christmas, the manager must be satisfied that there has been no coercion and can use their discretion to accept them on behalf of the team. Caution must be exercised however, because if there is a general expectation that people and carers will make a seasonal gift, they may feel compelled to do so.
|If individual staff members are offered any gift, favour, hospitality (other than a cup of tea on a home visit or similar) they must tactfully refuse the gift, citing this procedure and inform the line manager.
|If a person requests support to buy a gift for someone other than a staff member (such as their family or another adult using the service) this can be given provided the staff member is certain that the adult is exercising freedom of choice and that no coercion or compulsion is involved.