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Confidentiality Policy

Policy Statement

This policy applies to all Uniting Church SA (UCSA) personnel as defined in the Workplace Policies and Procedures Manual introduction, i.e. Ministers of the Word, those in specified ministries, lay staff and volunteers.

Definition

For the purpose of this policy, “confidential information” is defined as:

  • the names, details and other personal or business information relating to Ministers, members, adherents, clients and volunteer or paid personnel of UCSA judged to be of a sensitive nature;
  • matters of a pastoral, professional or personal nature, intellectual property of any type, information on the reasons for any UCSA decision, marketing procedures and information, accounting programs and procedures, financial information, strategic and business plans whether they relate to the Presbytery and Synod or individual faith communities and congregations;
  • other information which UCSA through any of its policy and processes has defined as confidential or which, if disclosed, could be reasonable expected to be detrimental to the standing of UCSA as a whole, any specific group within UCSA or any of its employees, members or adherents; and
  • all other information which is communicated to personnel in circumstances which they know, or ought reasonably to know, is confidential to UCSA or any other persons with whom UCSA is associated,

but excludes any information that could be reasonably assumed to be public knowledge or that was known to you prior to the commencement of your employment or volunteer duties with UCSA.

Expectations of personnel currently employed

  • will have signed the Confidentiality Agreement as attached in Appendix 1;
  • will use confidential information solely for the purposes of performing their duties for UCSA;
  • will take reasonable steps to ensure the ongoing confidentiality of all information is maintained; and
  • will use an appropriate coding system where the sensitivity of the information requires this level of security.

Personnel should note that as outlined in Section 5.1 of the Confidentiality Agreement, you may be required to divulge confidential information to a third party in any manner required by law or legislative requirement.

Personnel currently working for UCSA who are found to be in breach of this confidentiality policy whilst employed by or in volunteer service for UCSA, may be subject to disciplinary action.
    
However, it is important that UCSA personnel recognise that the work of the Church can be significantly enhanced by the responsible transfer of confidential information between those who need access to this confidential information in order to make the most informed decisions. In this sense the use of confidential information should be seen as a ministry advantage rather than impediment.

Expectations of personnel at retirement or resignation

At the end of a person’s employment or volunteer service, they must return to UCSA;

  • all confidential information whether held in electronic or hard copy form; and
  • all copies of confidential information and notes and other records based on or incorporating confidential information

in their possession or control where this information relates directly to the person’s position in UCSA rather than information that should continue to remain the property of the person.

UCSA personnel’s obligation to confidentiality will continue after the end of their employment or volunteer service other than to the extent that this information forms part of their stock of general skills and knowledge.

Any ex-employee or ex-volunteer found to be in breach of this confidentiality obligation may be subject to legal action.

Relationship to employment contracts

This Policy and the attached Confidentiality Agreement will operate in conjunction with the terms and conditions of employment for all USCA personnel. This agreement:    

  • must be signed prior to the commencement of employment; and
  • will be signed by volunteers where it is deemed relevant for their role.



Executive Officer, Resources Board

    

Appendix 1

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