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AS Balticovo Code of Ethics

Basic Principles of Company’s Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics is aimed at making a business practice based on ethical principles and helping employees to get answers related to various ethical dilemmas. 

Ethical principles and rules included in the code are mandatory for employees in their attitude towards work, interrelation, as well as in relations with state and non-governmental institutions and business partners.

The company's basic values are honesty and fairness, responsibility, loyalty, professionalism, respect, openness, kindness and enthusiasm.

1. Basic values

1.1. Honesty and fairness

1.1.1 According to the Latvian legislation document transparency and availability are ensured. Therefore all the company's information that is not confidential is made available for customers and the public. 

1.1.2 Company’s record keeping is impartial, accurate and fair. 

1.1.3 Employees assume their duties fairly, act on principle in any unfair case.  None of business partners is so important for the company not to preserve its basic values. 

1.1.4 The company supports and encourages maintaining high ethical standards and fair competition because a good reputation is a precondition for cooperation. Thus the company promotes improvement of its own standards, ethical standards and growth. If these principles are not taken into consideration, company may refrain from the start of the cooperation or suspend the already started cooperation. 

1.1.5 Salaries are appropriate for each employee's professional knowledge and experience. Employees with similar education, experience and work skills receive an equal salary. 

1.1.6 Additional payment for accomplished tasks is possible, if only there is no influence on person's point of view in a certain situation.

1.1.7 Counterfeiting of documents when presenting academic and professional papers or other kind of unfair play is prohibited. 

1.1.8 When presenting the diplomas or other similar documents as well as carrying out job responsibilities where appreciation should be expressed to more than one person that must be admitted fairly and objectively. 

1.1.9. Questions asked by employees and problem situations are dealt honestly and fairly, but honestly does not necessarily mean equal.

1.1.10 Management should be immediately informed about any legal liability or breach during non-working hours which may affect job responsibilities.

1.2. Responsibility 

1.2.1 An employee receives salary, according to the Latvian law certain working hours are defined as well as social security and consistent working conditions specific to each company' s unit (the criteria include: noise, temperature in the workplace, ventilation, lighting, toilet facilities).

1.2.2 The manager supports employees by transferring them the company's values and providing with advice, involving them actively in solving problems till the employee becomes sufficiently knowledgeable and independent.

1.2.3 The company is working as a united team to achieve common goals. The manager trusts his/her subordinates and visa versa because the company's operating results also depend on the willingness to trust each other and allow the process to be managed by the most appropriate employee.

1.2.4 Employees are aware of their job description and conditions, as well as input of their activities and therefore they feel a personal responsibility for the quality of the work in order to achieve company’s common goals. 

1.2.5 The employee shall perform his/her duties professionally, with precision, care and a timely manner to ensure the company's efficiency and quality. Employees perform the functions and take decisions that correspond to his/her level of competence.

1.2.6 Employees when carrying out their duties and in a decision-making procedure limit their personal interests and outside influences (other persons, political, religious or social group interests). 

1.2.7 Each employee is under an obligation to follow these ethics standards every day and work according to and improve them.

1.2.8 Every employee at his/her leisure time is legally free to take part in different interest clubs and associations of his/her own choice.

1.3. Loyalty

1.3.1. Employees are committed to business goals and basic values of the company. Job responsibilities are carried out in order to raise their professional dignity and avoid any action which may be unfair and unethical. 

1.3.2 Employees, especially senior management when fulfilling their responsibilities as well as outside working hours, act in accordance with company values in order to protect and grow company's reputation.

1.3.3 Loyalty means not only carrying out duties assigned, but also cooperation with other colleagues – a creative participation, professional support and advice.

1.3.4 Arrival to work under influence of narcotics, drugs and alcoholic substances is strongly prohibited. Their use, sale or distribution in the company’s premises is strictly prohibited, too.

1.4. Professionalism

1.4.1 The company works in accordance with international law, national laws, rules and regulations for the relevant business industry, as well as develops the company's internal instructions. 

1.4.2 The employees take care of a continuous professional qualification and broadening of experience: they are targeted, show initiative, regularly update their professional knowledge by reading literature, attending seminars and educational courses, as well as following the appropriate processes in Latvia and in the world and submit proposals for improvement and development.

 1.4.3 The company prefers to support and train employees, instead of punishment for misdeal. Employees can ask for advice a higher level manager or a colleague with the relevant expertise.

1.4.4 Employees and team leaders maintain a mutually good relationship. They are willing to give and receive constructive and open assessment regularly.

1.5 Respect

1.5.1 The company observes human rights.

1.5.1.1 None of employee should suffer mentally or physically while they are doing their job. 

1.5.1.2 Employees should feel free to express their personal opinion both in the workplace while it is not injuring colleagues’ pride and at leisure time if it is not ruining the company's reputation.

1.5.1.3 None of employee should be discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, age, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, income level and disability, if such is a case.

1.5.1.4 Abusive behaviour, including intimidation, harassment (bully), violence, and distribution of offensive verbal, printed and electronic materials is strictly prohibited.

1.5.1.5 Child labour is absolutely prohibited. 

1.5.2 Employees treat with the respect people with different experiences and recognize this distinctness as the company's potential. 

1.5.3 Employees shall respect and treat equally all colleagues, regardless of their position in the company. 

1.5.4 Management ensures to maintain respect for everybody’s individuality. 

1.5.5 Documents of each employee connected with his/her direct responsibilities are filed with respect. It is possible to see them only if agreed with the employee or management. 

1.5.6 Employees protect both company assets and confidential information and do not use it for private purposes.

1.5.7 The employee gives all necessary personal information for the company and the information is kept confidential and not made public. It is possible to make this information public only if agreed with the employee.

2. Communication Ethics

2.1 In order to avoid a mismatch of views in the public space, the company has developed procedures how and when employees of the company publicly express views in the mass media, to investors, financial and other industry analysts and consultants.

Employees must not give comments/company’s view to mass media while it has not been agreed with PR expert. Comments to investors may be passed only when agreed with investment department of the company.

2.2 Finance and other information of the company disclosed to the mass media, public institutions, and society or in other public space is relevant, precise, accurate and understandable.

2.3 Employees shall refrain from publicly expressing an opinion contrary or inconsistent with business objectives. If demonstrating a different position on an issue, personal opinion should be strongly and clearly distinct from the company's official point of view

2.4 If there is a misunderstanding of communication within the company or its relations with partners, then the company immediately corrects it by giving the correct information. Making mistakes, honestly admitting it and justifying the truth is a person’s part of ethical behavior 

2.5 Mentioning false information and blackening competitors is strictly prohibited.

3. Interrelation

3.1 The relationship also includes the values described in the chapter 1. Basic values and in 2. Communication Ethics.

3.2 Employees cooperate with colleagues, giving and receiving the necessary assistance for professional discharge of duties and not for using colleagues' confidence maliciously.

3.3. Humiliation of colleagues, public criticism and cynical attitude are inadmissible. Colleagues’ mistakes should be discussed personally. Colleague's work may be evaluated, not his personality or beliefs.

3.4 Employees should avoid conflicts, but, if any incurred, they are addressed during constructive co-operation. The employee should respect everyone's right to his/her opinion; take into account other opinions, with no personal insult and offense. 

3.5 Employees divide private life from employment relationships and do not use working hours to deal with private problems, if that is the case.

4. Conflict of interests

4.1 If there is a possibility to come into personal or business conflict of interest when exercising authority or using company’s capital or other resources, with a personal benefit, the manager should immediately be informed or a decision must be taken independently in order to put an end to this situation.

4.2 In case of conflict of interest, employees inform the manager and finish their activities in decision-making process, decline performing of duties which are involved in their or third person’s (financial or non-financial) interests.

4.3 Employees are not entitled to take any financial or non-financial profits, etc. benefits (donations and gifts, loans or other payments from organizations or individuals that may influence or cause doubt as to impartiality of the obligation or execution.

4.4 Employees do not participate in private activities and additional work as well as holding more than one job that hinders performing duties in a responsible and professional way as well as creating suspicion about potential, real or supposed conflicts of interests. 

4.5. Company’s resources during working hours for necessities not connected with performing duties are used according to established internal rules of each company

5. Requirements for Implementation of Code of Ethics

This chapter refers to minimum requirements the company should follow during the implementation of Code of Ethics. If the company’s employee or partner is acting unethically, the company employee may refer to this Code of Ethics and say: „Sorry, I cannot act this way because it is not allowed in the Code of Ethics.”

5.1 Structure and responsibility of company

5.1.1 Chairman of the Board in collaboration with the company's Board, Quality Manager, Lawyer and Office Manager develop Code of Ethics and provide resources for its implementation. 

5.1.2 Production director, technical director, business manager and finance director are responsible for complete implementation of Code of Ethics in their units and ensure complete process management.

5.1.3 Chairman of Executive Board should have employees’ awareness and confidence about Code of Ethics; only then it is successfully implemented in all business levels.

5.2. Training about Code of Ethics 

5.2.1 Company's employees and managers are provided with training for Code of Ethics.

5.2.2 Types of training are the following: 

5.2.2.1 Code of Ethics is available in the printed form in the company's web site or in local intranet and the employees can read it independently. This training involves an electronic or direct communication with Chairman of the Board or department directors in case a question arises.

Employees can address questions to Quality Manager, Lawyer or Office Manager who help to solve ethical dilemmas. They inform and give examples about company’s “best practice” for colleagues to really understand them so next time they will be able to solve a similar situation by themselves.

5.2.2.2 The company organizes trainings separately for each department or unit (every department has its director and every unit has its manager).

5.2.3. Chairman of Executive Board makes a decision if employees need to sign a document that they are instructed on Code of Ethics and this document serves as an annex to the labour contract therefore it is an integral part of the work relation which is very strictly followed.

6. Implementation and performance of Code of Ethics

6.1 Each employee is obliged to carry out his/her tasks according to the company Code of Ethics, as well as other business rules and guidelines developed.

6.2 Managers with their own position and actions show an example for employees and reply to questions about ethical dilemmas, if such arise.

6.3 Direct manager or directors should be informed, if someone notices breach of rules. 

6.4 Chairman of Executive Board is responsible for maintaining reporting procedure. In case of violations relating to human rights and working conditions one should inform the direct manager, the respective director or Chairman of Executive Board. If the manager is also involved, then you should inform the senior management. It is even possible to summon an extraordinary meeting for company’s owners. Chairman of Executive Board gives a guarantee that it will not lead to any discrimination or other revenge to an employee who reported about breach. 

There are two types of reporting: first, for serious violations in internal intranet (Share point) the unit manage can inform Chairman of Executive Board. The case is investigated during company’s next weekly management meeting, but in urgent cases, the Chairman of Executive Board reacts without delay. 

You can appeal to your direct manager quality manager, office manager or lawyer in simple situations orally or in a written form.  

The informing person is ensured a complete confidentiality. 

6.5 Employees can also seek the advice of Chairman of Executive Board, directors, office manager, quality manager and lawyer about the Ethics Code or suggest ideas for improvement. 

6.6 There is a procedure about non-compliance of the Code of Ethics and its significant violation cases. Every employee needs to keep to regulations and exclusive cases are judged individually. Non-observance of a certain rule may be accepted only in agreement with management as an exception. Though someone from company’s management can breach rules only if it is agreed with the management board of the company

In cases of breach the employee may be imposed disciplinary punishment even terminating the labour contract. It can finish with civil and criminal liability in more serious cases.

6.7 Information on serious breaches is distributed across the company to reduce the recurrence in the future and to create a practice that it is condemnable. 

6.8 Information can also be distributed across the company about various cases of dilemma so employees can learn and can make better decisions next time.

7. Monitoring and improvement of Code of Ethics

7.1 Company reputation is made by all employees because each of them makes decisions and each employee is identified with the company. Employees can come in ethics controversies therefore the company management and the unit manager monitors application of the Code of Ethics in practice, periodically checking its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness in all levels of the company and improving in case of necessity 

7.2. Unit manager after daily observations and discussions with employees evaluates suitability and compliance of Code of Ethics.

7.3 Unit manager informs Chairman of Executive Board or the department director if verification results and conclusions to confirm suitability and observance of the Code of Ethics. 

7.4 It is requested for managers of different levels to keep  documentation on the various dilemmas of the Code of Ethics to ease decision making in the future referring to the occurred events.