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Ethics policy template

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Use this model ethics policy to define how people within your organiation will interact with one another, as well as how they will interact with customers or clients and suppliers of goods or services.

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What is an Ethics policy?

A clear Ethics Policy may help ensure that workers understand the type of behaviour that is expected of them, which can help avoid potentially embarrassing or damaging situations when employees operating on behalf of the firm act improperly or unethically. Because this is generally due to inexperience rather than purposeful ethically dubious behaviour, an Ethical Policy can assist to avoid such situations by establishing good practice in all personnel.

An Ethics Policy is also an excellent means of displaying a corporate commitment to honest and proper business practices, from how a company treats its people to how it manages its environmental impact. This, in turn, can improve a company's external reputation and image, as well as its business prospects.

This policy contains the following sections:

  • Honest and ethical conduct
  • Duties and confidentiality
  • Competition and fair dealing
  • Proper use of company assets
  • Compliance with laws, rules and regulations
Ethics policy template
ethics policy template

Ethics Policy


Introduction

This policy is intended to give protection and assistance to anyone who work for or on behalf of [Company]. It accomplishes this by giving direction and assistance in identifying ethical hazards and the company's anticipated standards.

In general, UK legislation should be seen as prescribing the minimum acceptable level of behaviour. There is an expectation that we will always follow the law.

Scope

This policy applies to anyone acting for or on behalf of [Company]. This includes not only employees but for example contractors, agents and representatives.

General principles

The basic level required of anybody operating at or on behalf of [Company] is compliance with UK law, but at [Company], we wish to go above and beyond.

Wrongdoing may have devastating ramifications for both businesses and individuals. Fines, loss of reputation, prison sentences, and being barred from engaging in certain sorts of business are common repercussions.

Even if no misconduct is confirmed, the cost of an inquiry and the reputational damage caused by an allegation can considerably affect a company and deplete vital resources.

Harassment, discrimination, bribery, fraud, theft, or retribution are all examples of unethical behaviour.

Honest and ethical conduct

People and organisations covered by this policy are expected to maintain the highest levels of personal and professional integrity, honesty, and ethical behaviour at all times. The basis of honest and ethical behaviour are to do the right thing in accordance with the ideals of:

  • transparency
  • careful decision-making
  • the avoidance of fraud

The following disciplines frame our code of conduct:

  • Health and safety
  • Workplace conduct
  • Anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-fraud
  • Conflict of interest
  • Fair markets
  • Accounting
  • High quality work
  • Trade controls
  • Long term business
  • Use of company resources and information

Duties and confidentiality

Conflicts of interest: Must be disclosed transparently

Duties to the company

There is a duty to act in the best legitimate interests of the company at all times

There is a duty to avoid activities outside work which could foreseeably harm the company, its reputation or its prospects

Duties to other parties

There is a duty to honour and adhere to agreements made by [Company] with other parties. This duty does not over-ride the duty to [Company].

There is a duty to treat all parties with respect at all times

Confidentiality

There is a duty to respect and protect the confidentiality of information and to act within the UK Data Protection Act. This includes the company’s information and that of other parties.

It is important to note that in some circumstances UK law may over-ride this duty of confidentiality.

Competition and fair dealing

[Company] is committed to competing fairly and vigorously in the marketplace.

Unfair advantage

Information must be obtained fairly from public or legitimate private sources. Information which has not been obtained legitimately must not be accepted or used. Any illegitimately obtained information must be disclosed appropriately.

Positions of power

When an individual, a firm, or a relevant external entity has a privileged position, they must expressly address the decision-making, transparency, and confidentiality standards outlined elsewhere in this policy. This usually entails maintaining correct records and making timely internal disclosures.

Bribery

[Company] has a zero tolerance policy for any sort of bribery or corruption. All parties are expressly prohibited from engaging in any such conduct inside, for, on behalf of, or for the profit of the company, regardless of size or consequence. The UK Bribery Act must be strictly followed. This holds true whether or not business resources are employed in the activity.

Proper use of company assets

Company assets are only to be utilised for the legal operations of the company. The authority to utilise assets will be given directly or implicitly through roles, contracts, and the company's operational processes.

Giving or receiving gifts and entertainment entails a high danger of inadvertently crossing the line between personal and corporate assets and must be approached with considerable caution and openness.

Theft, carelessness, and waste are all examples of improper use of firm assets.

Compliance with laws, rules and regulations

This policy's primary requirement is compliance with UK law.

Compliance with supplemental authorities, including appropriate foreign laws, regulations, and industry rules, is necessary unless it conflicts with UK law.

When there is a serious disagreement between UK law and the jurisdiction of an alternative authority, we must officially examine whether we can conduct business within the jurisdiction of the alternative authority. Before any action can be taken, the results of such a review must be approved by the Board of Directors..

Interpretation and implementation of this policy

Responsibility and authority to apply and interpret this policy rests with the Board of Directors of [Company].

Misconduct or suspected misconduct must always be reported.

The company maintains an escalation and whistleblowing process which supports this policy.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

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