Code of conduct


Without consent or unless required by law, an employee must not: 

  • disclose information given to them in confidence by anyone 
  • disclose information acquired which they believe is confidential 
    • without the consent of a person authorised to give it
    • unless they are required by law to do so
  • prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law 

Use of information and confidentiality  

Employees are required to understand and comply with information governance requirements. 

An employee may work in areas other than their normal office or in premises shared with employees working in other services. If they view, overhear or otherwise come into contact with confidential information, they must maintain the privacy of this at all times. An exception can be if you are expressly authorised to divulge it, or are required to do so by law for example to:

  • members
  • auditors
  • government departments
  • service users
  • the public

Employees must use their discretion on where to hold conversations of a confidential nature. Refer to the information governance guidance document and be vigilant with information. 

Employees have a duty of confidentiality, no matter what their function or capacity within the county council is. 

Information governance is the framework of law and best practice. It regulates how we manage information.  

Information concerning an employee's private affairs will not be supplied to any person outside the county council without their consent. This applies to anyone within the county council unless that person has authority or responsibility for such information. 

Employees must never use their authority or position for personal gain. Employees must not enable colleagues or others to gain personally.   

Employees must not divulge any information received from a councillor which is personal to that councillor and does not belong to us. Exceptions are if the employee has the prior consent of the councillor or where the law requires disclosure.

Identity cards  

Employees must have your identity (ID) card with you at all times. If an appropriate person, for example another employee or the commissionaire, challenges an employee, they must show their ID card.  

Media contacts 

Employees are not permitted to make statements to the media or any other public statement which concerns our business unless they are: 

  • authorised by their manager to act generally as a spokesperson 
  • expressly authorised to act as a spokesperson for a particular situation 
  • acting as an authorised trade union spokesperson 

Employees are not permitted to make statements concerning the position of an employee.  

If there is a media or press enquiry or other requests for a statement regarding an employee's position, they will be advised of this enquiry immediately by their line manager.  

Employees must advise the communications and engagement team of the enquiry. We recommend that employees use the following statement:

"We are unable to comment on any matters that relate to individual members of staff."  

If there are any other approaches from the media, the relevant director and the head of HR, will discuss and agree on any future statements with the communication and engagement team. They will notify our executive team as appropriate.