The Employee Code of Conduct (also known as the Code of Ethics and Conduct) presents the standards that all company’s staff members must adhere to in their daily activities and relations with others. It is a written group of the rules, standards, principles, values, believes, behavior, and connections that a company considers essential to their profitable and ethical operations.

The Code cannot anticipate all the situations the employees may face during their employment but can provide guidelines that will help them make decisions that are consistent with the company’s values and reputation. You should be aware of your employer’s various policies, in which you will find well-defined guidelines for specific issues that may affect your work. These policies cover, among other things, health, safety and environmental standards, proper marketing, and business operations practices, Internet policy and human resources.

A company adopts an ethical behavior to promote good practices from which everyone benefits. Thus, being honest, sincere and consistent in dealing with others contributes to a positive work environment. In addition, the company that acts with integrity inspires confidence in its employees, customers, shareholders, and suppliers, as well as in the community. The ever-changing business environment and regulations call for a periodic review of the company’s guidelines to ensure the Code is always up-to-date.

Who should adhere to the Code of Conduct?

This Code is intended, in all circumstances and without exception, to all members of the Board of Directors as well as to all employees, suppliers, and partners, as well as third parties (for example, agents) that are also required to comply with the Employee Code of Conduct.

In order to verify that this Code is known and understood by all, most companies have an Ethics Committee or Ethics Department that oversees the implementation of the Code and coordinates all activities related to it. It also provides the employees, in complete confidentiality, with the necessary assistance to solve their ethical problems and difficulties of practical application of the Code of Conduct that they may face in the course of their professional life.

However, this guide cannot cover every situation. If you find yourself in a situation that poses an ethical dilemma that is difficult to be solved, firstly try to answer the following questions:

  • Is it legal or ethical?
  • Is this in line with the company’s policy, procedures and with the Employee Code of Conduct?
  • Can there be a possibility that my employer is publicly attacked because of this?
  • Can I share this problem with my loved ones?