Human Resources Procedures/Guidelines
Appendix 1 - Sample Questions and Answers

Relates to: Employment of Relatives Policy
Category: Staffing

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Sample Questions & Answers

The specific examples that follow do not exhaust the possibilities for the situations involving the employment of relatives. They identify common situations covered by the policy. The questions and answers are illustrations to help explain the policy. Questions should be directed to your manager or the HR representative in your division.

Question #1

I am a manager in the City’s Planning Division and my neighbour is a district manager in Parks, Recreation and Forestry. My daughter is looking for summer employment as a labourer. Is it appropriate for me to give my daughter’s resume to this manager so that my daughter can be considered for employment?

Answer: According to the Employment of Relatives policy, it is acceptable for your daughter to work as a labourer in Parks, Forestry and Recreation as you are not in a direct or indirect reporting relationship with her. However, under the City’s Public Service By-law – a conflict of interest refers to a situation in which a public servant has private interests that could compete with or that may be perceived to compete with their duties and responsibilities as an employee. A conflict of interest can also be a situation where an employee can use their position for private gain or expectation of private gain, non-monetary or otherwise. A conflict may also occur when the private interest benefits an employee's family, friends or organizations in which the employee or their family or friends have a financial interest. Rather than giving the resume to your neighbour, your daughter should submit her resume through the process outlined on the City’s internet site.


Question #2

I am a manager in a large division. Currently, I am in an acting position for the director who is on parental leave. A senior policy analyst position has become vacant in a unit that I will not be managing when my director returns. My sister who works in another division is interested in applying for this position. I don’t want to delay the hiring process by waiting for my director’s return and don’t want to restrict my sister’s opportunity for advancement. How should I proceed?

Answer: The Employment of Relatives policy states that an employee must not participate in any part of the selection process where a relative is an applicant including screening applications, interviews and reference checking. You will need to discuss this potential conflict of interest with your manager and the HR representative in your division to determine the appropriate action.


Question #3

I am a manager with a temporary vacancy in my unit. My boss told me that her son is unemployed and has been looking for a similar job for the past few months. I think my boss would appreciate it if I interviewed her son. Of course, I would only hire him if he is the best qualified candidate

Answer: Hiring your boss’s son, even if he is the best qualified candidate, would contravene the Employment of Relatives policy. Even though her son would be reporting directly to you, he would be in an indirect reporting relationship with his mother.


Question #4

I am a senior level manager in the Emergency Medical Services. My daughter has always wanted to be a paramedic. She recently obtained an Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant certificate and would like to work for the City of Toronto. Should I encourage her to pursue a career with the City?

Answer: You can encourage your daughter to submit her resume through the process outlined on the City’s internet site. If there is a need to hire paramedics and your daughter qualifies, she may be contacted to participate in the assessment process. You will need to ensure that you are not involved in any aspect of the hiring process. In addition, you will have to report a conflict of interest if she is considered for any positions so that she is not placed in a position of directly or indirectly reporting to you.


Question #5

I am a district manager and am planning on getting married in six months. My future step-son is working in one of the units in my area of responsibility. Do I need to report this and will it mean that one of us has to change jobs?

Answer: You will need to report this potential conflict of interest to your division head in writing. Your division head, with the help of human resources, will discuss reassignment opportunities with you and your future step-son. This could involve offering one of you a permanent alternate position in another section of the same division, placing one of you on a temporary assignment or transferring one of you to a comparable position in another division. Preferences of both your step-son and yourself will be taken into consideration when discussing these options.


Approved by

Corporate Management Team

Date Approved

October 6, 2005

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