Ethics

The HALO Trust Code of Ethical Conduct

Introduction

1               Status and Scope

1.1           The Code of Ethical Conduct (“the Code”) has been approved by the Board of Trustees (“the Trustees”) of The HALO Trust Charity (“HALO”); it reflects the standards of ethical conduct which HALO expects from Trustees and employees and, where the context permits, anyone else working or providing services for or on behalf of HALO (hereafter, ”you” or ”your”).

1.2           We all have a responsibility to protect HALO’s reputation in everything we do and say.  This means:

1.2.1           complying with the applicable laws and regulations in all countries in which we operate;

1.2.2           conducting ourselves in a professional manner with the highest standards of honesty, integrity and behaviour;

1.2.3           following HALO’s policies and procedures;

1.2.4           working with our stakeholders to ensure our high ethical standards are maintained; and

1.2.5           if in doubt, seeking guidance and always striving to do the right thing.

1.3           Working with HALO puts you in a position of trust and responsibility to uphold our values. 

1.4           Part 1 of the Code sets out the behaviours which HALO expects from you to ensure that the highest standards of ethical conduct are upheld.

1.5           Part 2 of the Code deals with the responsibilities of those using HALO’s property and resources.

1.6           The Code should be read in conjunction with HALO’s Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy and its Gifts and Hospitality Policy.

 

2               Compliance with the Code

2.1           On a day-to-day basis, the Code is likely to be of greatest relevance to HALO’s employees and workers and it is for this reason that a number of its provisions are addressed directly to those individuals.

2.2           However, it is the Trustees’ intention that, where relevant, the Code should apply to all persons working or providing services for or on behalf of HALO, including contractors, suppliers, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.  We want you all to understand why this is important and what is expected of you.

2.3           Any employee or worker who breaches the Code will face disciplinary action, which in some cases could result in dismissal for gross misconduct.  Any non-employee or non-worker who breaches the Code may have their contract terminated with immediate effect.

2.4           The Code does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and HALO may amend it at any time.  It will be reviewed regularly.

 

3               What are the Trustees expected to do?

3.1           In addition to complying with the Code, the Trustees have additional responsibilities to:

3.1.1           ensure the Code is understood by HALO’s employees and, where applicable, non-employees;

3.1.2           provide advice and guidance on interpreting the Code;

3.1.3           uphold and promote the requirements of the Code; and

3.1.4           complete an annual attestation of HALO’s performance in complying with the Code.

 

4               How to raise a concern or ask a question?

4.1           HALO aims to conduct business with the highest standards of ethics, honesty, integrity and behaviour, and recognises that you have an important role to play in achieving this aim.  Anyone concerned about any form of malpractice, improper action or wrongdoing by HALO or anyone working or providing services for on behalf of HALO is strongly encouraged to report the matter.

4.2           We believe it is essential to create an environment in which individuals feel able to raise any matters of genuine concern internally without fear of disciplinary action being taken against them, and for the individuals to feel that these matters will be taken seriously and investigated, and as far as practicable be kept confidential.

4.3           HALO believes that anyone with knowledge of wrongdoing should not remain silent.  We take all matters of malpractice, improper action or wrongdoing very seriously and you are strongly encouraged to raise incidents or behaviours that are not in accordance with the Code, or the policies to which it refers.  Employees should do so by following HALO’s whistleblowing procedures, which can be found in the Staff Code of Practice and Policies.  Non-employees may raise any concerns with the head of Human Resources.

 

Part 1: Personal and Organisational Behaviours

 

5               The Protection of Human Rights

5.1           HALO recognises that while states have a duty to protect human rights, it also has a responsibility to avoid infringing on the rights of others and addressing the adverse impacts of its operations.  HALO operates in particularly sensitive parts of the world, frequently in locations where wars are ongoing or have recently taken place.  HALO therefore has a very significant role to play in furthering the protection of human rights in those communities.

5.2           HALO also believes that respecting human rights is of growing importance to its employees, workers, regulators, investors, contractors, suppliers, the communities where it operates and civil society groups. 

5.3           HALO is therefore committed to respecting Internationally Recognised Principles (as defined below).  HALO is also a member of the United Nations (“UN”) Global Compact Network UK.  Through appropriate contractual arrangements, HALO also makes its contractors and suppliers aware of and expects their compliance with HALO’s human rights commitments.

5.4           HALO’s approach to the protection of Human Rights is principally informed by the international principles enshrined in:  

5.4.1           the International Bill of Human Rights;

5.4.2           the UN Global Compact;

5.4.3           the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;

5.4.4           the International Labour Organisation’s (“ILO”) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;

5.4.5           the ILO’s Convention No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment; and

5.4.6           the ETI Base Code

together the “Internationally Recognised Principles”.

5.5           HALO will not tolerate, nor will it condone, abuses of the Internationally Recognised Principles (or any other recognised human rights principles) within any part of the organisation or its supply chains and it will take seriously any allegations that human rights are not respected.  This applies just as much to the treatment of individuals within the communities that HALO operates as to HALO’s employees or workers and those of the organisations with whom HALO is associated.

5.6           HALO also seeks to purchase any goods or services that are produced under labour conditions which meet the ETI Base Code and therefore do not involve the abuse or exploitation of any person.  HALO is committed to only working with those organisations who share this commitment to ethical purchasing.  

5.7           HALO has designed a checklist of risks that it considers most salient to its operations to ensure that it is complying with the Internationally Recognised Principles and does not engage in business with third parties who do not comply with the Internationally Recognised Principles.  This checklist is modelled closely on the structure of the ETI Base Code, which is itself founded on the human rights conventions of the ILO and the UN.  

5.8           HALO will be entitled to terminate any existing contract with those who are found to be non-compliant with any of its check listed principles, otherwise known as HALO’s Fundamental Requirements.  Such termination may be without notice and shall be without liability of any description on the part of HALO. 

5.9           HALO’s Fundamental Requirements are as follows:

5.9.1           third parties must prohibit the use of all forms of forced labour, including prison labour, indentured labour, bonded labour, military labour, slave labour and any form of human trafficking;

5.9.2           third parties shall respect their employees’ right to join, form or not to join or form a labour union without fear of reprisal, intimidation or harassment;

5.9.3           third parties shall provide a safe and healthy workplace and comply with applicable health and safety laws, regulations and internal requirements;

5.9.4           third parties must prohibit the hiring of individuals that are under 18 years of age for positions in which hazardous work is required;

5.9.5           third parties shall ensure that employees and workers are remunerated competitively relative to the industry and local labour market;

5.9.6           third parties shall ensure reasonable limitations on working hours are imposed and that employees and working hours are not excessive in accordance with international labour standards;

5.9.7           third parties shall ensure that no discrimination is practised in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation; and

5.9.8           third parties shall ensure that, to every extent possible, work performed is on the basis of a recognised employment relationship established through national law and practice.

5.10        HALO’s Fundamental Requirements are not, nor are they intended to be, exhaustive of the behaviours expected of itself and the organisations with whom HALO is associated.  HALO will investigate alleged infringements of human rights notwithstanding that they may not fall squarely within HALO’s Fundamental Requirements and reserves the right to terminate existing arrangements where it considers that a third party has failed to uphold the standards of conduct which HALO seeks to uphold, in like manner to clause 5.8 of the Code.

5.11        HALO is committed to engaging with stakeholders in the communities in which it operates to ensure that it is listening to, learning from, and taking into account their views.  The Trustees will annually review and report upon the steps that HALO is taking to further the protection of human rights in the communities in which it operates.

 

6               Procurement

6.1           HALO’s procurement procedures and practices are designed to ensure:

6.1.1           that transactions entered into by HALO are economically viable and represent good value for HALO and its donors;

6.1.2           that HALO only enters into agreements with suppliers and contractors who share its commitment to upholding the highest ethical and quality standards;

6.1.3           that transactions entered into by HALO are fully audited and the processes followed are consistent and transparent; and

6.1.4           that transactions entered into by HALO are approved by the appropriate people, commensurate with the value and profile of the transaction.

6.2           HALO staff should refer to policy documents ‘SP07a: Purchasing’ and ‘SP07b: Purchase Controls’ for further information.

 

7               Bribery and Corruption

7.1           HALO takes a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and is committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all its dealings and relationships.

7.2           Please refer to HALO’s Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy and Staff Code of Practice and Policies for full information of what is expected from you and how you can raise a concern.

 

8               Gifts and Hospitality

8.1           The Code does not prohibit the giving or accepting of reasonable and appropriate hospitality for legitimate purposes such as building relationships, maintaining our image or reputation, or furthering HALO’s charitable purposes.

8.2           A gift or hospitality will not be appropriate if it is unduly lavish or extravagant, or could be seen as an inducement or reward for any preferential treatment (for example, during contractual negotiations or a tender process).  As a general rule, gifts of a value of more than £50 should not be accepted.

8.3           You must seek the advice of senior management before accepting any gift or hospitality and thereafter keep a written record of all gifts or hospitality given or received.  You must also submit all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or payments to third parties in accordance with our expenses policy and record the reason for expenditure.

8.4           All accounts, invoices and other records relating to dealings with third parties including suppliers and customers should be prepared with strict accuracy and completeness.  Accounts must not be kept “off-book” to facilitate or conceal improper payments. 

8.5           HALO staff should refer to the Staff Code of Practice and Policies for further information.

8.6           Trustees and members of Senior Management should refer to the Trustees’ Role and Responsibilities Policy (Annex 3, Trustees’ Expenses Policy) and the Gifts and Hospitality Code for Trustees/Directors and Senior Management.

 

9               Fraud

9.1           Any fraudulent activity is deemed gross misconduct where committed by one of HALO’s employees or workers.  Disciplinary procedures will be rigorously applied to any instances of fraud and could result in dismissal.  Where a non-employee or non-worker is engaged in fraudulent conduct, HALO shall be entitled to terminate the contract by which that individual or organisation is engaged with immediate effect.

9.2           Please refer to HALO’s Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy for full information of what is expected from you and how you can raise a concern.

 

10            Conflicts of Interest

10.1        You should not put yourself in a position where you are involved, directly or indirectly, in an activity for personal gain, to you or your family, which conflicts with HALO’s interests.  Conflicts of interest can take many forms including, but not limited to:

10.1.1        engaging in any activity that competes with HALO;

10.1.2        taking personal advantage of an opportunity that belongs to HALO;

10.1.3        engaging in a business relationship on behalf of HALO where you or a family member has an interest in the other party, including a directorship or shareholding, unless previously advised to, and agreed by management.

10.2        If you are in doubt as to whether an activity involves a conflict of interest, you must discuss it with an appropriate member of senior management.

10.3        Further guidance is set out in HALO’s Conflicts of Interests Policy and the Staff Code of Practice and Policies.

 

11            Equality, Respect and Dignity

11.1        HALO is committed to an active equal opportunities policy, from recruitment and selection, through training and development, appraisal and promotion, right up to retirement.  We treat everyone equally regardless of age, gender, gender reassignment, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, hours of work, nationality, religion or belief, marital or civil partner status, political opinions or sexual orientation.

11.2        We all have a responsibility not to indirectly support unfair behaviour by ignoring what is happening around us.  It is HALO’s policy to promote an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation where everyone will receive equal treatment.  All decisions relating to employment practices will be objective, free from bias, and based solely on work criteria and individual merit.  In every set of circumstances we aim to find the ‘best fit’ between personal requirements and organisational needs.  

11.3        HALO recognises the importance of respecting your privacy and the need for appropriate safeguards in relation to the collection, storage and processing of personal data.  We expect that all information held about individuals will be dealt with properly and responsibly.  It is everyone’s responsibility to handle this information properly.

11.4        HALO staff should refer to the Staff Code of Practice and Policies for further information.

 

12            Confidentiality

12.1        We all have a duty to protect Confidential Information (as defined below) and so you must not (except in the proper course of your duties, as authorised by law or as authorised by HALO):

12.1.1        use any Confidential Information; or

12.1.2        make or use any copies of the Confidential Information; or

12.1.3        disclose any Confidential Information to any person, company or other organisation whatsoever.

12.2        You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of the Confidential Information and will:

12.2.1        use your best endeavours to prevent the use or communication of any Confidential Information by any person or organisation; and

12.2.2        inform HALO immediately on becoming aware, or suspecting, that any such person or organisation knows or has used any Confidential Information.

12.3        All Confidential Information (or copies) are the property of HALO.  Upon request, you will hand over all Confidential Information (and copies), delete any Confidential Information (or copies) stored in electronic format and provide a signed statement of compliance with your obligations under this clause.

12.4        Nothing in this clause shall prevent a worker from making a protected disclosure within the meaning of section 43A of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

12.5        For the purposes of this clause, Confidential Information means information in whatever form (including, without limitation, in written, oral, visual or electronic form) relating to HALO’s property, operations, services, affairs, finances, grants, contracts and any information that might jeopardise the security or viability of HALO’s work or the safety of HALO’s staff.

 

13            Social Networking Sites

13.1        HALO recognises that you may use blogs or social networking sites in your personal time, both in and outside of work.  These sites can be a useful and enjoyable way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues.  However, you should be aware that information posted on these sites is public and may be viewed by others, including the press, and you should never post disparaging or derogatory comments about HALO or its employees, third parties, contractors, patrons, donors, beneficiaries or HALO’s host nations.  

13.2        You have general obligations to act in the best interests of HALO, and not breach confidentiality or the relationship of trust and confidence that exists between you and HALO.  This would include:

13.2.1        posting illegal, inappropriate, derogatory, discriminatory, threatening, defamatory, offensive or intimidating comments on blogs and social networking sites;

13.2.2        making statements which are untrue or are misleading;

13.2.3        representing yourself (for example, impersonating another individual) or HALO in a false or misleading way; and

13.2.4        participating in social media when the topic being discussed may be considered sensitive (e.g. a crisis situation, intellectual property, issues which may impact upon HALO’s reputation, commercially sensitive information or topics and issues which may give rise to cultural sensitivities) without first seeking guidance from HALO.

13.3        You are responsible for your words and actions online or via apps and should always stop to consider whether any comment, photograph or video that you are about to post complies with these principles.  If you are in any doubt, you should not post any material until you have sought guidance and approval from an appropriate member of senior management.

 

Part 2: HALO Property and Resources

 

14            Information Governance

Information Governance is HALO’s system for handling and controlling information, including personal data, confidential materials, and other important information.  We are committed to good Information Governance which involves compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory obligations, keeping data secure and ensuring that we are able to access and use information for legitimate business purposes.

 

15            Personal Data

15.1        HALO is committed to handling personal information in line with data protection laws.  You have an important part to play in enabling us to meet this commitment.

15.2        It is your responsibility to ensure that all personal information is handled in compliance with data protection laws and HALO’s Information Security Management Policy.  This applies to all information, held on computer or in hard copy files, from which a person could be identifiable.  Beware of people trying to obtain information to which they are not entitled.  Do not access personal data about people without appropriate authorisation, only use it for legitimate legal or business purposes and only hold the information as long as is necessary to carry out the business or legal task.

15.3        Please refer to HALO’s Information Security Management Policy for further information.

 

16            Use of Information Technology

16.1        The use of HALO’s IT facilities is subject to HALO’s Information Security policies and procedures which are aimed at protecting IT equipment, systems, networks and information including smart phones and other handheld devices.  Using IT equipment inappropriately can result in the security of these systems being compromised.

16.2        Failure to follow and adhere to HALO’s Information Security policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.  Deliberate or serious breaches may lead to criminal prosecution.  Reduce the risk of theft, particularly of portable equipment, damage and unauthorised access to computer systems by following Charity procedures above and care about such equipment as though it was your own.

16.3        Further guidance is set out in HALO’s Information Security Policy.

 

17            Innovation and Intellectual Property

17.1        HALO owns any inventions, discoveries, improvements, brands and designs made by employees during the course of their employment and all related intellectual property rights. 

17.2        HALO will be entitled to the exclusive use of these rights, as far as the law permits and employees will have no right to use them for their own purposes unless otherwise agreed in writing.  Copyright and similar rights in work created during employment will also be owned by HALO and employees agree to waive any moral rights they may have.  It is also a term of employees’ employment that they do everything necessary, during or after their employment, to enable HALO – at its request and expense – to obtain patents, design, copyright, trademark and similar protection in any part of the world.

 

Effective from: 27 February 2018