You are now in the main content area

Employment of Relatives Policy

  • Related Documents: Employment of Relatives Procedure
  • Owner:  Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs; Human Resources
  • Approver:  Provost and Vice-President, Academic; Vice-President, Administration and Operations
  • Approval Dates:  February 1994, February 2004, August 2007


The University is committed to hiring the best qualified candidates for all positions within the University.  Therefore, there shall be no general prohibition against relatives being employed at the University.

In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Employment Equity Act, and all other applicable employment legislation, some restrictions will be placed on hiring relatives and/or placement of relatives following a change in personal status subsequent to hiring.

This policy will be interpreted and applied in conjunction with the Conflict of Interest Policy of the University.


For the purposes of this policy, relative is defined as a member of the employee’s family or an individual with whom the employee has an intimate personal relationship.

Intimate personal relationships refer to consensual relationships. The University’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention policy deals with situations involving unwanted comments or conduct.


1.    To ensure consistency and equity in hiring practices and to ensure adherence to employment legislation and University policies.

2.    To avoid current or potential conflicts of interest and/or influence.


This policy applies to all faculty and staff of the University.


1.   Relatives will not be hired or be permitted to transfer into departments in which a relative is currently employed, when the hiring/transfer will result in or has the potential to result in a conflict of interest/influence.  The following are examples of conflict situations:

a.   direct or indirect supervisory responsibility;

b.   direct or secondary involvement in processes which involve decision making in situations such as hiring, promotion, salary and leave arrangements of a relative;

c.   direct or indirect involvement in situations which could or potentially could create a risk in sound internal control, accounting or labour relations practices;

d.   access to confidential information pertaining to a relative or a relative’s employment.

This list is illustrative and not all encompassing.  There may be other situations where a conflict may potentially exist, and these situations will be handled in the same way.  (Please refer to the Conflict of Interest policy for further details.)

Each case is reviewed on its own merits and decisions made will not constitute a precedent for future decisions.

3.    Employees whose personal status changes and who become involved in an intimate personal relationship with an employee in the same department may be required to transfer to another department at the earliest possible opportunity following the change in personal status.

4.    In situations where the conflict, or potential conflict, involves hiring/transfer of a relative and where, in the opinion of the University, the concern has sufficient validity, the relative will not be hired/transferred.


This policy falls under the joint jurisdiction of the Provost and Vice President Academic and the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The interpretation and application of this policy is a joint responsibility of the offices of the Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs and Human Resources.