This Code of Ethics is the basic document describing the fundamental principles of ethical conduct and the behaviour expected from employees of the AURES Group. It does not introduce new principles of conduct, but merely defines the adopted and usual rules of conduct for the Group in formal terms.
This Code of Ethics applies for all employees of the group. The group includes all companies in the AURES concern in all countries (“Group”). Employees in managerial positions have a greater degree of responsibility; they lead their teams by setting an example with their conduct and create an environment in which the basic qualities presented are honesty and integrity.
The Code of Ethics applies for all co-workers and employees of the Group and all other external entities that perform any action or tasks entrusted to them by the Company. It is applicable for all the countries in which the Group operates, regardless of local practices, and for employees and coworkers of all companies of the Group.
Binding nature of the Code of Ethics
As an internal regulation, this Code of Ethics ranks alongside the generally applicable labour-law regulations and for each of the employees of all companies of the Group it constitutes the basic description of the ethical standards on which the corporate philosophy of the entire Group is based. Each employee and external co-worker is aware that respect for the ethical aspects of their work is important for perceiving the seriousness of the entire Group. We also expect our suppliers to adopt similar principles and rules. Failure to comply with this Code will not be tolerated.
Purpose of the Code of Ethics
The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to provide guidance to our employees, colleagues and partners in doing business in accordance with the highest ethical standards. By abiding by the Code we support our values.
This Code also helps in the effective promotion and protection of our brand. It helps us to focus on ethical risks and provides a guideline in recognising and resolving ethical problems and also provides us with a mechanism for reporting unethical conduct without fear of reprisal.
Obligations of employees
Honest work and mutual respect promote a culture that stimulates innovation and helps us all to achieve success. Any activity that could be unlawful, fraudulent or unethical must be reported immediately. The AURES Group takes all reported violations seriously and investigates them
immediately. It does its utmost to protect the anonymity of anyone who reports a possible violation in good faith, and will not tolerate reprisals against anyone who reports a violation in good faith. The details of the procedure for reporting problems are defined by a separate internal regulation. The employees of the Group also have access to an online box that enables reports to be filed anonymously.
Ban on reprisals
Our Company prohibits and will not tolerate any reprisals against anyone who reports, in good faith, an actual or suspected violation of any law, rule, regulation or provision of this Code or any other principles of the Group. Reprisal or repression is in itself considered a violation of this Code and the other internal directives of the Group. If you suspect that you have experienced any form of reprisal, you should immediately report the matter to your superior, or the Compliance Officer.
Acting in accordance with the principles of the Code of Ethics
This Code of Ethics does not aim to cover all the laws, rules, principles and circumstances relating to ethical conduct.
When deciding what constitutes suitable behaviour we must all use common sense and good judgment. If, as an employee of the Group, you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of the ethical impact of your actions, ask yourself the following simple questions, which may serve as a certain moral compass:
If your answer to any of these questions is “no”, don’t do it.
If you still need advice, the basic rules for the individual areas of our activity can be found in the Compliance Manual, or you can discuss the matter with your superior, manager, division head or the Compliance Officer.
Compliance with the law
Everyone who works for AURES Holdings a.s. (the “Company”) or for any of the companies within the Group is obliged to comply with the laws of the country in which they work, and also the internal regulations of the Group. They are also obliged to act in an honourable manner and in accordance with the moral and cultural principles generally recognised in the place they are currently in. Environmental protection
The Group is committed to protecting the environment and actively helping to reduce the adverse effects of its activities on its surroundings. The standard is to at least comply with all the legislative requirements and permits granted by state authorities.
In order to uphold our environmental protection principles we have implemented and apply systems for the management of waste, wastewater and energy.
We are aware of the danger of climate change and its consequences. We intend to gradually reduce our carbon footprint with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in 2025.
Everyone who works for the Group is obliged to respect their superiors and colleagues and uphold the principles of mutual trust and cooperation. Each employee must be aware that the manner in which they conduct themselves outside the company represents a firm with international significance and reach.
We must respect everyone as individuals and treat them in a respectful manner. In the spirit of openness we accept the individual differences that all people have and strive to provide them with the opportunity to develop their full potential. By acting with respect for one another, in a courteous, polite and fair manner, we continue to build on our success through teamwork and cooperation.
Protection of confidentiality and duty of confidentiality
Any information associated with the Group’s business activities that is not in the public domain is considered to be confidential information and each employee is obliged to keep such information confidential. The disclosure of confidential information to any person not authorised to receive it, including other employees of the Group, and any misuse of confidential information for any purpose other than that designated by the Company may be seriously detrimental to the Company.
Employees are obliged to keep information secret and avoid the above both while employed with the Company, and after leaving the Company. The Company also ensures the proper flow of information and the sharing of information “necessary for management” with employees for the purpose of developing the Company’s business activities.
The Company projects its image to the public through its business communication. All our communication must therefore always be transparent and in accordance with our strategic aims and values. Therefore, only employees authorised to communicate with the press or post on social networks should speak on behalf of the Group.
Employees of the Company who are not its authorised spokespersons may not respond to questions relating to the business, facilities, employees or customers of the Group posed by persons they do not know and representatives of the media. All such questions must be put to the Group’s PR department.
Health and safety
Everyone must ensure full compliance with all the health and safety regulations, principles and procedures and be prepared to implement emergency readiness plans. Dangerous working conditions or procedures must be reported immediately, to enable timely precautions to be taken. All workplace related accidents must be reported immediately, regardless of their significance. The work health and safety procedures are defined in detail in an internal regulation.
In all circumstances each employee is obliged to defend the good name of the Company and to act to promote the good reputation of the Group. This also means that any promotion of one's own interests in violation of the Company’s interests is prohibited. Employees are expected to comply with the internal guidelines and rules.
Teamwork is the basic principle of work in the Company. We therefore emphasis behaving and acting as a team, which includes not only cooperation with colleagues, but also respect for the work of others. Only a strong team is able to create values and move the Company forwards.
Ban on substance abuse
We are committed to maintaining a workplace free of drugs and alcohol. When working for the Company or on the Company’s premises no one is permitted to be under the physical or psychological influence of drugs or alcohol, in order to maintain a pleasant and safe working environment.
If someone is found to be working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or to be using, possessing or selling illegal drugs during working hours or when working for the Company, they risk having their employment terminated with immediate effect. The purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Company’s premises are prohibited, with the exception of cases explicitly permitted by the Company management at corporate events. If you take prescribed medication that could affect your performance at work or could impair your ability to work safely, discuss the matter with your manager or superior.
Diversity and equal opportunities
The Company wants to create a working environment that is open to everyone, regardless of their gender, race, skin colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, world opinion, state of health, age or sexual orientation.
We aim to create diverse teams and select our employees objectively, without prejudice, on the basis of their competence. This is the only way to enable all people, regardless of their individual differences, to fully develop their personal potential.
Ban on harassment and violence in the workplace
Everyone has the right to a safe working environment, free of any form of harassment. We will not tolerate any verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct by anyone associated with our Group (including suppliers and clients) that constitutes harassment or creates an intimidating, offensive, defamatory or hostile working environment, including violence in the workplace and sexual harassment.
We require all our employees and managers to comply with all the anti-harassment laws in the places in which they work.
In accordance with the applicable laws and regulations we prohibit the possession and/or use of firearms, explosives and/or other hazardous substances in the Company’s premises or when performing work for the Company.
Protection of the Company’s property
Theft, vandalism and the inappropriate use of the Company’s property may impair the Company's profitability and the status of its assets. Employees are obliged to protect the tangible and intangible assets of the Company entrusted to them, including assets for which they are responsible, and must also ensure that the Company’s property is used for the purposes for which it was entrusted to the Company’s employees.
Principles of dealing with authorities
During the course of its business activities the Group needs various licences, approvals and permits from a variety of authorities in each individual country. The Company undertakes to maintain the required contact with these authorities according to highly ethical and professional standards and also respect the relevant laws. The Company’s employees are prohibited from using illegal or dishonourable means (including the provision of bribes, gifts or other payments and incentives) for the purpose of promoting the Company’s business interests.
The Company undertakes to cooperate with official authorities and all their requests and requirements and is subject to their legal rules; it also undertakes to provide true and accurate information, if required to do so. In the event of any doubt as to how to respond to a request from an authority, each employee must consult the request with their direct superior and the legal department of the Group.
Principles of dealing with customers
We always act honourably with customers and courteously provide them with true and verified information. We always strive to be accommodating for our customers, including when they have problems meeting their contractual obligations.
Principles of dealing with suppliers
The Group maintains efficient, honourable and legal business relations with its suppliers based on organised procedures. The Company insists on compliance with tender procedures with various suppliers in order to obtain the best possible terms and prices and so as to provide potential suppliers with a competitive opportunity to gain a share in the total quantity of the Company’s purchases. This helps to ensure that suppliers are motivated to provide quality services at competitive. The Company considers it important to build business relationships with suppliers that have to strictly comply with the law during the course of their activities, as regards employee rights, health and safety, environmental protection, etc.
Principles of dealing with competitors
The Company and its employees will not engage in any activity that could include the exploitation of employees or other parties cooperating with competitors to obtain information relating to competitors’ business activities and thus breach the confidentiality agreement or other commitments to competitors, or exert influence over their assets or rights.
The Company and its employees will carry out their activities in accordance with the relevant competition laws and under no circumstances may be a party to any agreements or arrangements, written or verbal, with current or potential competitors that do not uphold the law.
Zero tolerance for bribery and corruption
The Group thoroughly applies a zero tolerance policy as regards bribery and/or corruption, as follows:
Avoiding conflicts of interest
During negotiations and decision-making employees may not favour their own private interests or allow themselves to be influenced by positive or negative relations with specific people. Employees must not allow their private interests to come into conflict with their position as employees of the Company. Private interests include any advantage for employees, their families, people close to them, relatives, and legal entities or individuals with whom they have business or other relations.
Employees are obliged to avoid conflicts of interest and prevent situations that could give rise to a suspected conflict of interest. In order to avoid even an apparent conflict of interest employees are obliged to inform their direct superior and/or Compliance Officer in writing and report their concerns in the event that they suspect that such a conflict of interest has occurred or could occur.
In addition to this, employees may not directly or indirectly accept any gifts or other forms of consideration from any suppliers or third parties with which the Group trades (this does not apply to nominal gifts, which are usually given).
The details of managing conflicts of interest and the giving or acceptance of gifts and hospitality are regulated by the Group’s internal regulations.
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