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GMEC Values, Ethics & Codes

Understanding values, ethics and codes

What are values?

  • Values are beliefs that describe what is important. Values influence decisions, and directly affects behaviour.
  • Every individual has values that define who you are, what is important to you and how you will behave (referred to as personal values). 
  • Organisations also have values that describe what is important to the organisation and influence the behaviours within the organisation.

What is a Code of Ethics?

A Code is similar to an agreement on the standards for behaviour, which is to be applied in the workplace.

A Code of Ethics highlights the ethical values, such as respect, honesty, compassion, etc. that explain what behaviour is good and right in the workplace.

The Code of Ethics sets the standard of behaviour within the organisation, and guides employees in making ethical decisions.

GMEC’s Ethics presentation is a tool which assists employees in living the GMEC Values in an ethical manner.

What is ethics? 

  • It is learning about what is right and wrong; and then doing the right thing.
    • Ethics is the thought process that comes into play when we are deciding between right and wrong, and requires action.
    • Ethics concerns itself with what is good or right in human interaction
    • Right is about doing what is good.  
    • Good should be remembered as not doing any harm

Purpose of the Ethics training

To re-iterate GMEC’s commitment to ethical standards in its business dealings. 

  1. As GMEC employees, how do we treat each other, our customers, suppliers, shareholder, and other stakeholders on a daily basis.
  2. As employees, how do we live the GMEC values of Integrity, Excellence, Customer Satisfaction, and Innovation.
  3. Our Ethics defines the road we need to take as employees, as we walk together into the future.
  4. Our Ethics assists us in building a legacy to be proud of.
  5. Adhering to GMEC’s Ethics is not optional: It is the Way we do business at GMEC

We Demonstrate Integrity

  1. by being respectful;
  2. by being honest and trustworthy;
  3. by being professional at all times;
  4. by being loyal to our organisation, our country and its people;
  5. by being fair and transparent;
  6. by being disciplined.

We Demonstrate Satisfaction

  1. by being committed to employee satisfaction;
  2. by being committed to effective, ethical supplier relationships.

We Demonstrate Customer Satisfaction

  1. by being passionate and committed to service delivery of the highest standard for both our internal and external customers;
  2. by understanding our internal and external customers’ needs and expectations;
  3. by striving to offer timely, reliable and quality service;
  4. by encouraging customer feedback, both positive and negative, to improve our service.

We Demonstrate Innovation

  • by being committed to continuous improvement. 
  • We think of and implement new, ethical ways:
  • Ways that will improve processes;
  • Ways that will improve GMEC’s
  • impact on the environment;
  •  Ways to improve service delivery;
  •  Ways to satisfy our internal and external customers’ needs. 

Why is Ethical Behaviour important?

  • Builds effective relationships in the workplace.
  • Builds effective relationships with customers, suppliers, stakeholders etc.
  • Upholds positive image and good reputation of the organisation and employees.
  • Prevents crime (including fraud) and irregularities in the workplace. 
  • Makes it possible for employees to be role models for each other, and GMEC, in turn, will be a role model amongst it s peers. 

Adopt the GMEC way

Being Honest

  • You communicate openly and honestly with your colleagues and all stakeholders using the right channels to keep them informed of matters affecting them. 
  • Perform your duties with care and dedication.

By being trustworthy

  • You keep your promises and provide accurate information.
  • You establish trust among your stakeholders through teamwork and open communication.
  • You protect confidential information and only share it with those who are authorised to have access.

By being fair

  • You ensure that your objectivity is not compromised by conflicts of interest and the offering and / or acceptance of inappropriate gifts and entertainment.

 By being transparent

  • You are proud to put your behaviour under the  spotlight for our stakeholders to examine.

Conflict of interests

A conflict of interest arises when personal interests affect, or have the potential to affect, or are perceived to affect, the employee’s objectivity and decision-making, when acting on behalf of GMEC.

Consequences of a conflict of interest

  • Leads to biased decisions, unfairness, lack of trust;
  • Negatively impacts on GMEC business if not acting in GMEC’s best interest, or not being an ambassador for GMEC, etc; and
  • Negatively impacts the image and reputation of GMEC and it’s employees.

Conflict of Interest Policy

Declaration of interest Procedure

Related persons

  • (a) an individual is related to another individual if they –
    1. Are married, or live together in a relationship similar to a marriage; or,
    2. Are separated by no more than two degrees of natural or adopted consanguinity or affinity;
  • (b) an individual is related to a juristic person if the individual directly or indirectly controls the juristic person;
  • (c) a juristic person is related to another juristic person if –
    1. either of them directly or indirectly controls the other, or the business of the other;
    2. either is a subsidiary of the other; or
    3. a person directly or indirectly controls each of them, or the business of each of them.

Inter-related persons

  • When used in respect of three or more persons, means  persons who are related to one another in a linked series of relationships, such that two of the persons are related, and one of them is related to the third in any such manner, and so forth in an unbroken series.

Inter-related persons

  • When used in respect of three or more persons, means  persons who are related to one another in a linked series of relationships, such that two of the persons are related, and one of them is related to the third in any such manner, and so forth in an unbroken series.

Declaration of Interest

What do I have to do?

  • Declare the conflict: The obligation is to declare all conflicts of interest in the prescribed form annually; revise the form when interests change; declare the interest at relevant meetings; have a discussion with manager/supervisor.
  • Manage the conflict:  Where there is a conflict of interest (actual, potential or perceived), the employee or director must refrain from being part of any deliberations, document preparations, or meetings, and must not have access to information dealing with that particular matter and must also not participate in any decisions relating to the matter. 
    • Conflicting = choice between two options: you want to do A but have to do B, or want to do both but can’t (have to choose).
    • E.g. Tax deadline is tomorrow, still have 20 customer returns to submit (private work).  I am at work and have specific duties to perform. You wonder how you can attend to both today…
    • Conflicting interests often become unethical behaviour; for example: abuse of GMEC time, resources, assets, etc.

Business Courtesies

Business Courtesy

  • A gift or a favour (tangible or intangible) from a person or firm for which a business relationship exists.

Purpose of a Business Courtesy

  • Businesss courtesies can be used under the guise to build good business relationships, and are offered as a kind gesture and to show courteousness or respect. 
  • It may create the appearance of a conflict of interest, impropriety or favouritism, or damage GMEC’s image & reputation.
  • Employees may not offer or accept gratuities, facilitation payments, bribes, kickbacks, vouchers or money. 
  • Reciprocity is essential – no form of debt must be incurred. 
  • Gift vouchers or meals must not be offered to, or accepted from  customers and suppliers. 
  • Business courtesies must not negatively affect GMEC’s image and reputation. But must be dealt with in the Delegation of Authority:
  • Staff birthdays, bosses/secretaries day, Year end functions, baby showers, kitchen teas, weddings, retirement, etc. paid for by GMEC
  • Gift vouchers (internal to GMEC only) on condition that it is stipulated in the Delegation of Authority document.
  • Sponsorships and Donations.
  • Promotional items: are items with no significant commercial value (?? or less), are widely distributed, and usually display a company’s name, or logo. E.g. Calendar from a supplier are not considered business courtesies for the purpose of completing the courtesy register.

Purpose of the training

Do the ethics quick test

  1. Does this solution comply with legislation and GMEC policies?
  2. Does this solution comply with our Code of Ethics?
  3. Would I be proud to tell my family about my decision or have it made public?
  4. If I were on the other side of the table, would I consider it fair?  Would I like to be treated the same way?
  5. Would my peers view my actions as proper?
  6. Will my decision still seem correct a year from now; five years from now; ten years from now? 

Managers are required to

  1. Give staff members opportunities to discuss ethics issues and concerns both formally (e.g. staff meetings) and informally (open door policy).
  2. Assist staff members in:
    • addressing ethics issues and concerns, and/or 
    • reporting unethical behaviour and violations of the law and policies, so that incidences can be investigated, and appropriate action taken.  
  3. Managers and supervisors may not, under any circumstances, victimize staff members who report unethical behaviour, and/or violations of the law and policies.
  4. Whistle-blowing is an effective tool in the fight against unethical behaviour, crime and irregularities in the workplace.
  5. All employees are required to make disclosures of crimes, including fraud and corruption, irregularities, and abuse of GMEC assets and unethical behaviour.
  6. Employees making disclosures in good faith and in compliance with GMEC’s.