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This Code of Ethics and Conduct (the "Code") embodies a set of principles and norms of behaviour to:
• Raise awareness of, clarify, and promote VidaMar's values and ethical principles so that everyone can perform their entrusted work with dignity;
• Ensure shared values and norms of conduct, reinforcing a common organizational culture, and thus create a work environment that promotes respect, integrity, and equitability.
• Act as a reference for the professional conduct of all VidaMar Employees;
• Eliminate subjectivity from the personal interpretation of moral and ethical principles;
• Promote VidaMar's commitment, strengthen its public image, and the confidence of all its employees, clients, and suppliers;
• Ensure trust and respect between all Employees;
• Ensure VidaMar's organizational ethics are effectively put into practice, namely through the conduct of its Employees.
1.2. Scope of Application
The Code applies to all workers or collaborators at VidaMar, regardless of their seniority and/or positions, and their location.
1.3. Vision, Mission, and Values
VidaMar's success is based on the confidence of its clients, employees, and managers in the quality and excellence of the services it provides on a daily basis. This has allowed VidaMar to progressively establish and expand its activity.
To ensure this widespread culture of trust, a high level of awareness and individual ethical commitment is required, which motivated this compilation of ethical norms themselves based on VidaMar's guiding values and principles.
Among the values that reflect and guide VidaMar, the following are highlighted:
• Integrity, loyalty and team spirit;
• Trust, sharing, and dedication;
• Lawfulness, transparency, and rigour; and
• Social and environmental responsibility.
2. Internal Rules of Conduct
2.1. Respect for the Law
Employees must respect the general character of the Law, and all national and/or international regulations, norms, and procedures applicable to the activities developed by VidaMar, as well as cooperate with the competent authorities as required, and not behave in any way that may prevent them from exercising their duties.
2.2. Loyalty and Transparency
Employees are expected to act loyally toward VidaMar, and the company for which they work, striving to safeguard its credibility, good image, and prestige.
2.3. Cooperation and Team Spirit
Relationships between VidaMar Employees must be based on trust, honesty, and mutual respect, and attitudes contrary to these principles will not be tolerated.
All Employees must contribute to a good working environment through mutual cooperation, and not seek to obtain personal advantages at the expense of their colleagues.
Relationships between Employees must be cordial, respectful, and professional, and acts of physical or psychological violence will not be tolerated.
2.4. Professional Responsibility
Employees must fulfil their entrusted tasks with rigour, seriousness, and zeal.
Employees must carry themselves with dignity in the workplace, and perform their job with zeal, diligence, initiative, and responsibility.
2.5. Drugs and alcohol
Employees are prohibited from consuming, using, transferring, selling, manufacturing or possessing drugs and any associated paraphernalia, as well as alcohol or other substances that have a similar effect, during work hours and/or at the VidaMar premises and its immediate surroundings.
Employees may not be under the effect of alcohol or drink alcoholic while performing their professional duties, except if previously authorized by VidaMar.
Any behaviour that constitute non-compliance with these stipulations will be treated as disciplinary infractions.
2.6. Business Courtesies
VidaMar Employees must refrain from any practices that may jeopardize the irreproachability of their conduct, particularly regarding offers made to or by third parties, including clients and suppliers.
To this end, Employees must not accept any gifts or other offers for themselves or on behalf of others, that may influence or be likely to influence their ability to perform their duties.
Employees may, however, accept gratuities from clients related to the performance of their duties, provided that such practices are customary, and comply with the internal norms and procedures in force.
2.7. Confidentiality and Professional Secrecy
In the course of their work, Employees must ensure the confidentiality and secrecy of all information about the activity of the company, its clients, suppliers, and partners and/or collaborators accessed in the exercise of their duties.
For this purpose, confidential information includes all non-public information, written or verbal, which is directly or indirectly revealed to Employees, in any way observed or conveyed, which, if disclosed, may be used to the detriment of VidaMar or any third parties.
In particular, it includes all non-public financial, technical, operational, commercial, personnel, and management information, or other information, data, and know-how.
Employees must maintain the confidentiality of all information provided by VidaMar, its clients, and/or suppliers, both during their employment and after termination, unless otherwise expressly authorized by VidaMar and/or if legally required to do so.
This obligation holds even after the Employee's employment contract with VidaMar has been terminated.
2.8. Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination
VidaMar provides equal opportunities for hiring, promotions, benefits, and remuneration practices.
Discrimination against anyone based on age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, family status, reduced working capacity, disability, illness, religious, political or ideological conviction, trade union membership, or for any other reason will not be tolerated during recruitment, hiring, promotions or any other circumstance related to employment. All VidaMar employees have the right to equal opportunities and equal treatment based on merit.
Discriminatory warnings, or any observation, joke or form of conduct that creates or promotes an offensive or hostile work environment will also not be tolerated.
2.9. Sexual harassment and Bullying
Harassment is strictly forbidden, when hiring, during training, and during the performance of professional duties, inside or outside the workplace.
Bullying is all unsolicited behaviour – such as gestures, words, and passive or active attitudes – that, whether it constitutes unlawful discrimination or not:
a) Impacts personal dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or destabilizing environment for Employees;
b) Unreasonably affects the Employee's performance;
c) Conditions the decision to hire and/or promote an Employee, or their acceptance of such an offer.
Sexual harassment is any and all unsolicited behaviour of a sexual nature, verbal or non-verbal, physical or otherwise, which produces the effects described in the previous paragraph.
Without prejudice to any potential compensation, direct or with legal recourse, VidaMar will institute the appropriate disciplinary procedures whenever it is aware of alleged situations of harassment at work.
The accuser in a possible harassment case and the witnesses indicated by them cannot be disciplined (unless the allegation is knowingly false and/or intended to cause harm), nor discriminated in any way which affects their status or the exercise of labour and civil rights.
2.10. Conflicts of Interest
A "conflict of interest" is deemed to exist whenever any Employee has, or may come to have a personal interest in a given matter that may directly or indirectly influence the impartial and objective performance of their duties.
Personal interest means any potential advantage for oneself or a third party that may be a detriment to one's duties and/or the interests of the employer.
For this reason:
• VidaMar Employees are forbidden from engaging in any acts that may directly or indirectly constitute conflict of interest;
• VidaMar Employees are forbidden from engaging in any external professional activity, whether remunerated or not, that may interfere with their professional duties and/or the activity and interests of VidaMar, except in the cases expressly provided for by law, or in duly justified situations approved by their superiors;
• VidaMar Employees are bound to report any potential or actual conflict of interest they become aware of;
• Employees faced with a potential conflict of interest in the exercise of their duties, namely decision-making processes directly or indirectly involving entities with whom they have professional links (past or present), and entities where they are partners or members of governing bodies, must recuse themselves and communicate this fact to VidaMar.
2.11. Corruption and bribery practices
VidaMar repudiates and condemns any conduct that may constitute corruption or bribery, in all its possible forms, as well as influence peddling, abuse of trust, embezzlement and/or undue advantage.
2.12. Private transactions
Employees must refrain from negotiating any contracts or transactions with entities that have commercial relations with VidaMar under conditions other than those normally practiced on the market, namely but not only when negotiating loans, obtaining discounts, and negotiating payment terms.
2.13. Asset Protection
Employees must protect and preserve assets (VidaMar's physical, financial and intellectual assets), and refrain from using any of VidaMar's goods, services, and rights for their own benefit or that of third parties.
Employees must protect and preserve the working condition of the equipment and tools used by VidaMar, and placed at their disposal, using them diligently and efficiently. Their use for private purposes requires the prior express permission of VidaMar.
2.14. Accounting Records
VidaMar Employees are obliged to record all financial operations in accordance with applicable legislation and accounting practices, in a clear and truthful manner, namely all accounting transactions, incoming and outgoing funds, and payments.
2.15. Privacy and Personal Data Protection
VidaMar observes national and international norms and regulations on the collection, processing and sharing of its Employees' personal data.
VidaMar only collects and stores the personal data permitted by law that is needed to ensure the effectiveness of its operations, and safeguards its Employees' legal rights regarding the use and removal of their data.
Employees responsible for keeping personal data (third-part Employees or those with whom VidaMar maintains a relationship) and those who have been granted access to such information must not disclose it or use it for any purpose other than that established by VidaMar, under the risk of being found in breach of the law and/or VidaMar's personal data protection policy.
Access to personal records must be limited to personnel with the appropriate authorization, and a clear business need to access such information.
2.16. Occupational safety, hygiene, and health
VidaMar is committed to ensuring a safe working environment for all its Employees, observing all safety, hygiene, and health related rules and practices.
All VidaMar Employees are responsible for complying with occupational safety, hygiene, and health rules, and must inform their superiors or departments of any irregularities or situations with the potential to compromise said rules in a timely manner.
3. Information and Communication Technology
3.1. Marketing and Advertising Practices
Employees must disclose true, correct, and accurate information about VidaMar products and services, their features, prices, and payment conditions.
3.2. Social Media and Media in General
VidaMar Employees must respect, comply with, and embody the principles, values, and rules of conduct enshrined in this Code when on social media and the media.
It is expressly forbidden to share internal or confidential information about VidaMar, public information must be limited, and the implications of publishing content related to VidaMar must always be considered.
Employees must protect VidaMar's image by not publishing content that may be considered illicit, offensive, defamatory, or threatening or which may result in damage to the image and reputation of VidaMar or any of its collaborators.
Use of social media during work hours must not interfere with professional duties, and merely act as a source of information.
3.3. Social Media
In matters related to the activity and public image of VidaMar, Employees cannot give interviews, publish opinion articles, and provide information of any nature that is not available to the general public, of their own initiative or at the request of the media, without prior express authorization from the Board of Directors.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the relations between VidaMar and the media are the sole responsibility of the Board of Directors.
4. Rules of Social Conduct
4.1. Human Rights
VidaMar recognises the importance of fundamental and universal human rights, as recognised by Conventions, Treaties and international initiatives such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization.
4.2. Child labour and forced labour
VidaMar does not employ, nor is it directly or indirectly involved in practices related to child labour, and forced and compulsory labour. VidaMar repudiates and does not tolerate any activity related to child labour.
5. Environmental Sustainability Rules
VidaMar promotes biodiversity and the preservation of natural resources, the environment, and cultural heritage.
In the exercise of their functions, VidaMar Employees must contribute to sustainable development by implementing environmental protection policies, adopting measures to rationalize waste management (reduction, recycling, and recovery), and reduce energy, water, and fuel consumption.
• Rational Use of Resources:
- Reduce water consumption;
- Use all forms of energy efficiently;
- Reduce paper consumption.
- Reduce waste production and recycle waster wherever possible;
- Reuse generated waste wherever possible (for example paper, packaging...);
- Adequately separate waste according to its type;
- Do not dispose of waste illegally (burning, burying or dumping it, etc.)
6. Implementation of the Code
6.1. Entry into force and Disclosure
The Code becomes effective on 01-04-2019.
VidaMar undertakes to adequately promote this Code, with the aim of consolidating and implementing the principles and behaviours established herein, namely through email, its intranet, and its website.
VidaMar Employees expressly accept the norms of conduct established in this Code.
Future VidaMar employees must expressly accept the norms and principles established in this Code.
This Code may be updated from time to time, and its Employees are duty-bound to respect the stipulations in force at any given moment.
Violation of the rules contained in this Code of Ethics and Conduct by any VidaMar employee constitutes an infraction, with disciplinary consequences, without prejudice to any possible civil, criminal or infractional liability.
Any eventual violation of the norms and principles established in this Code must be reported in writing to the Ethics Commissioner through the following Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reports of alleged infractions must be reliable and contain a detailed description of the facts (including the identity of the infractor, date, place, and context), as well as the name and contact details of the person reporting the infraction, unless they have cause to remain anonymous.
The Group does not tolerate retaliation against those who complain about or denounce irregularities, and ensures they are treated fairly.
The Ethics Commissioner must keep a record of all complaints received regarding violation of this Code.
The record must contain a complaint number and the date of receipt.
7. Ethics Commissioner
The Ethics Commissioner acts independently to ensure the norms contained in this Code are observed, and is committed to:
→ Promoting the Code of Ethics to those covered by it;
→ Assessing and replying to questions received under the terms set out in this Code;
→ Verifying the existence of internal mechanisms for communicating non-compliance, ensuring that these comply with legal regulations, particularly those concerning confidentiality, data processing, and preventing relation against those who denounce irregularities;
→ Receiving, assessing and forwarding reports of non-compliance under the Code to the respective Governing Bodies.
The Ethics Commissioner must also strive to develop preventive mechanisms to mitigate any risk of non-compliance, as well as update the norms of conduct and their regulations.