Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
CODE OF ETHICS AND BUSINESS CONDUCT
Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
Build Trust and Credibility
The success of our business is dependent on the trust and confidence we earn from our employees, customers and shareholders. We gain credibility by adhering to our commitments, displaying honesty and integrity and reaching company goals solely through honorable conduct. It is easy to say what we must do, but the proof is in our actions. Ultimately, we will be judged on what we do.
When considering any action, it is wise to ask: will this build trust and credibility for SiClothing? Will it help create a working environment in which SiClothing can succeed over the long term? Is the commitment I am making one I can follow through with? The only way we will maximize trust and credibility is by answering “yes” to those questions and by working every day to build our trust and credibility.
Respect for the Individual
We all deserve to work in an environment where we are treated with dignity and respect. SiClothing is committed to creating such an environment because it brings out the full potential in each of us, which, in turn, contributes directly to our business success. We cannot afford to let anyone’s talents go to waste.
SiClothing is an equal employment/affirmative action employer and is committed to providing a workplace that is free of discrimination of all types from abusive, offensive or harassing behavior. Any employee who feels harassed or discriminated against should report the incident to his or her manager or to human resources.
Create a Culture of Open and Honest Communication
At SiClothing everyone should feel comfortable to speak his or her mind, particularly with respect to ethics concerns. Managers have a responsibility to create an open and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable raising such questions. We all benefit tremendously when employees exercise their power to prevent mistakes or wrongdoing by asking the right questions at the right times. .
Set Tone at the Top
Management has the added responsibility for demonstrating, through their actions, the importance of this Code. In any business, ethical behavior does not simply happen; it is the product of clear and direct communication of behavioral expectations, modeled from the top and demonstrated by example. Again, ultimately, our actions are what matters.
To make our Code work, managers are responsible for promptly addressing ethical questions or concerns raised by employees and for taking the appropriate steps to deal with such issues. Managers do not consider employees’ ethics concerns as threats or challenges to their authority, but rather as another encouraged form of business communication. At SiClothing we want the ethics dialogue to become a natural part of daily work.
Uphold the Law
SiClothing’s commitment to integrity begins with complying with laws, rules and regulations where we do business. Further, each of us must have an understanding of the company policies, laws, rules and regulations that apply to our specific roles. If we are unsure of whether a contemplated action is permitted by law or SiClothing’s policies, we should seek the advice from the human resource expert. We are responsible for preventing violations of law and for speaking up if we see possible violations.
We are dedicated to ethical, fair and vigorous competition. We will sell SiClothing products and services based on their merit, superior quality, functionality and competitive pricing. We will make independent pricing and marketing decisions and will not improperly cooperate or coordinate our activities with our competitors. We will not offer or solicit improper payments or gratuities in connection with the purchase of goods or services for SiClothing or the sales of its products or services, nor will we engage or assist in unlawful boycotts of particular customers.
It is important that we respect the property rights of others. We will not acquire or seek to acquire improper means of a competitor’s trade secrets or other proprietary or confidential information. We will not engage in unauthorized use, copying, distribution or alteration of software or other intellectual property.
We will not selectively disclose (whether in one-on-one or small discussions, meetings, presentations, proposals or otherwise) any material nonpublic information with respect to SiClothing, its securities, business operations, plans, financial condition, results of operations or any development plan. We should be particularly vigilant when making presentations or proposals to customers to ensure that our presentations do not contain material nonpublic information.
Health and Safety
SiClothing is dedicated to maintaining a healthy environment. A safety manual has been designed to educate emloyees on safety in the workplace.
Gifts, Gratuities and Business Courtesies
SiClothing is committed to competing solely on the merit of our products and services. We should avoid any actions that create a perception that favorable treatment of outside entities by SiClothing was sought, received or given in exchange for personal business courtesies. Business courtesies include gifts, gratuities, meals, refreshments, entertainment or other benefits from persons or companies with whom SiClothing does or may do business. We will neither give nor accept business courtesies that constitute, or could reasonably be perceived as constituting, unfair business inducements that would violate law, regulation or polices of SiClothing or customers, or would cause embarrassment or reflect negatively on SiClothing’s reputation.
Accepting Business Courtesies
Most business courtesies offered to us in the course of our employment are offered because of our positions at SiClothing. We should not feel any entitlement to accept and keep a business courtesy. Although we may not use our position at SiClothing to obtain business courtesies, and we must never ask for them, we may accept unsolicited business courtesies that promote successful working relationships and good will with the firms that SiClothing maintains or may establish a business relationship with.
Employees who award contracts or who can influence the allocation of business, who create specifications that result in the placement of business or who participate in negotiation of contracts must be particularly careful to avoid actions that create the appearance of favoritism or that may adversely affect the company’s reputation for impartiality and fair dealing. The prudent course is to refuse a courtesy from a supplier when SiClothing is involved in choosing or reconfirming a supplier or under circumstances that would create an impression that offering courtesies is the way to obtain SiClothing business.
Meals, Refreshments and Entertainment
We may accept occasional meals, refreshments, entertainment and similar business courtesies that are shared with the person who has offered to pay for the meal or entertainment, provided that:
• They are not inappropriately lavish or excessive.
• The courtesies are not frequent and do not reflect a pattern of frequent acceptance of courtesies from the same person or entity.
• The courtesy does not create the appearance of an attempt to influence business decisions, such as accepting courtesies or entertainment from a supplier whose contract is expiring in the near future.
• The employee accepting the business courtesy would not feel uncomfortable discussing the courtesy with his or her manager or co-worker or having the courtesies known by the public.
Employees may accept unsolicited gifts, other than money, that conform to the reasonable ethical practices of the marketplace, including:
• Flowers, fruit baskets and other modest presents that commemorate a special occasion.
• Gifts of nominal value, such as calendars, pens, mugs, caps and t-shirts (or other novelty, advertising or promotional items).
Generally, employees may not accept compensation, honoraria or money of any amount from entities with whom SiClothing does or may do business. Tangible gifts (including tickets to a sporting or entertainment event) that have a market value greater than R100 may not be accepted unless approval is obtained from management.
Employees with questions about accepting business courtesies should talk to their managers or the HR department.
Offering Business Courtesies
Any employee who offers a business courtesy must assure that it cannot reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to gain an unfair business advantage or otherwise reflect negatively upon SiClothing. An employee may never use personal funds or resources to do something that cannot be done with SiClothing resources. Accounting for business courtesies must be done in accordance with approved company procedures.
Other than to our government customers, for whom special rules apply, we may provide nonmonetary gifts (i.e., company logo apparel or similar promotional items) to our customers. Further, management may approve other courtesies, including meals, refreshments or entertainment of reasonable value, provided that:
• The practice does not violate any law or regulation or the standards of conduct of the recipient’s organization.
• The business courtesy is consistent with industry practice, is infrequent in nature and is not lavish.
• The business courtesy is properly reflected on the books and records of SiClothing.
Set Metrics and Report Results Accurately
Accurate Public Disclosures
We will make certain that all disclosures made in financial reports and public documents are full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable. This obligation applies to all employees, including all financial executives, with any responsibility for the preparation for such reports, including drafting, reviewing and signing or certifying the information contained therein. No business goal of any kind is ever an excuse for misrepresenting facts or falsifying records.
Employees should inform Executive Management and the HR department if they learn that information in any filing or public communication was untrue or misleading at the time it was made or if subsequent information would affect a similar future filing or public communication.
We create, retain and dispose of our company records as part of our normal course of business in compliance with all SiClothing policies and guidelines, as well as all regulatory and legal requirements.
All corporate records must be true, accurate and complete, and company data must be promptly and accurately entered in our books in accordance with SiClothing’s and other applicable accounting principles.
We must not improperly influence, manipulate or mislead any unauthorized audit, nor interfere with any auditor engaged to perform an internal independent audit of SiClothing books, records, processes or internal controls.
Promote Substance Over Form
At times, we are all faced with decisions we would rather not have to make and issues we would prefer to avoid. Sometimes, we hope that if we avoid confronting a problem, it will simply go away.
At SiClothing, we must have the courage to tackle the tough decisions and make difficult choices, secure in the knowledge that SiClothing is committed to doing the right thing. At times this will mean doing more than simply what the law requires. Merely because we can pursue a course of action does not mean we should do so.
Although SiClothing’s guiding principles cannot address every issue or provide answers to every dilemma, they can define the spirit in which we intend to do business and should guide us in our daily conduct.
Each of us is responsible for knowing and adhering to the values and standards set forth in this Code and for raising questions if we are uncertain about company policy. If we are concerned whether the standards are being met or are aware of violations of the Code, we must contact the HR department.
SiClothing takes seriously the standards set forth in the Code, and violations are cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Confidential and Proprietary Information
Integral to SiClothing’s business success is our protection of confidential company information, as well as nonpublic information entrusted to us by employees, customers and other business partners. Confidential and proprietary information includes such things as pricing and financial data, customer names/addresses or nonpublic information about other companies, including current or potential supplier and vendors. We will not disclose confidential and nonpublic information without a valid business purpose and proper authorization.