At Myers La Roche, we are committed to doing the right thing in the right way. Our Code of Conduct outlines the standards and behaviours that we uphold as a company to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity. This is more important than ever because of the strict new rules brought in by the Bribery Act 2010.
We operate a zero tolerance approach to the making or receiving of bribes or corrupt payments, in any form. This type of conduct is absolutely prohibited whether committed by employees or anyone else acting on the Company’s behalf.
The Company has implemented measures to prevent bribery and to detect, report and deal with any bribery that does occur.
This policy sets out what is and is not acceptable in general terms, but if you are in
any doubt as to whether any conduct could amount to bribery, you must refer the matter to the Chief Executive Officer, who is the Compliance Officer for this policy. It is essential that you read and comply with this policy.
About this Policy
This policy sets out what we must all do to help prevent bribery in all its forms. A bribe may include any payment, benefit or gift offered or given with the purpose of influencing a decision or outcome. The bribe may not always be of a large value. It might be a lunch or an invitation to a sporting event.
We recognise that custom and practice varies widely from individual to individual. What is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another. However, we are fully committed to complying with our obligations under legislation and to ensuring that no bribes or corrupt payments are made, offered, sought or obtained by anyone employed by, or acting on behalf of, Myers La Roche.
If you are ever in doubt about a situation that you believe is corrupt, always seek advice. You should contact the Compliance Officer.
Who must comply?
The Myers La Roche Anti-Bribery policy is mandatory for all employees, intermediaries, consultants, sub-contractors, business partners and suppliers working on the Company’s behalf.
How do you comply?
It is important that you take the time to read and comply with this Policy. The prevention, detection and reporting of any bribery in any form is the responsibility of all employees and all individuals. Appropriate confidential channels for employees and business partners are in place to report any suspicion of bribery. Any failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action and criminal prosecution. You must read and abide by the terms of this Policy. You may also be required to provide written confirmation that you will comply with this policy.
What happens if you do not comply?
Any act of bribery, in whatever form is wholly unacceptable. We will consider taking disciplinary action against anyone who fails to comply with the anti-bribery policy up to and including dismissal. Failure to comply with this policy may also leave you open to a criminal prosecution under the Bribery Act 2010. An offence under the Act can result in a fine and/or up to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Myers La Roche:
A breach of this Policy by an employee or business partner could result in the Company breaching the Act. An offence under the Act can result in the business receiving a fine and lead to negative publicity and serious damage to the good reputation of the Myers La Roche brand.
The following conduct is absolutely prohibited under this Policy:
- making payments to Government, NHS or Local Authority officials in order to obtain any permission or permit;
- appointing any third party or supplier to act on behalf of Myers La Roche who you know or have good reason to believe to have engaged, or to be intending to engage, in any corrupt or unlawful conduct including any offences under the Bribery Act;
- paying any third party for the purposes of being a ‘fixer’ to open doors and make connections for us overseas
- Facilitation payments (‘facilitating’, ‘speed’ ‘back-hander’ or ‘grease’ payments) are any payments, usually small cash payments made to low-level officials, as a bribe to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action or level of service.
- Offering, paying, soliciting or accepting bribes in any form, including facilitation payments.
Exception: The only exception to paying a facilitation payment is where you, or someone else, are threatened with physical violence. If a facilitation payment is made in such circumstances, it must be reported as soon as practicable or possible to the Compliance Officer in order that it can be recorded.
Suppliers and Partners
Where there is a Significant Bribery Risk, employees must consult the Compliance Officer in relation to appropriate anti-bribery compliance measures before:
- appointing a new supplier or agent;
- entering into a partnership;
- appointing an external consultant to work on the Company’s behalf; or
- entering into a new contract/ or amending the terms of an existing contract
Significant Bribery Risks
A Significant Bribery Risk might arise if:
- the supplier, partner or agent is based overseas;
- the services being provided involve work being undertaken, directly or indirectly on our behalf, overseas;
- the services involve monies passing overseas;
- the services involves obtaining official permits, permissions or agreement from public officials or agencies; or
- there are any particular reasons to suspect that the risk of corruption or bribery is higher than normal.
The Compliance Officer will advise on the level of due diligence required and the form of any
anti-bribery clauses required in relation to an agreement or contract, taking external legal advice if necessary. You must ensure that due diligence is complete before:
- a contract with an agent or partner is signed or renewed; and
- the partner or agent does any work.
Conflict of Interest
You must not put yourself in a position of conflict between your work and your private interests. If you have a private interest (for example, a personal or family connection with one of the Company’s suppliers or customers) which could potentially conflict with your duties to the Company, then you must declare this interest to the Chief Executive. You must not participate in any business decision on behalf of the Company which could affect your personal interests without the express consent of the Chief Executive.
Gifts, Hospitality and Entertainment
Myers La Roche expects all employees to conduct themselves with integrity, impartiality and honesty at all times. Accordingly, all employees are required to follow these rules on Gifts, Hospitality and Entertainment.
You must maintain a high standard of professionalism and not open yourself up to suspicion of dishonesty.
- You must not give or receive gifts and entertainment as a reward, inducement or encouragement for preferential treatment or inappropriate or dishonest conduct.
In particular, no gifts, hospitality or entertainment may be given or accepted during contractual negotiations if there is any realistic risk that such gifts or entertainment could influence the outcome of such processes or negotiations.
It is important that all Myers La Roche employees’ actions are able to withstand rigorous scrutiny, and not cause any embarrassment to the Company, yourself or any third party, including customers and suppliers.
Receiving and Giving Gifts
You may accept low value token gifts such as pens, coffee mugs and mouse mats produced as ‘give-aways’. You may also receive occasional boxes of confectionery, bottles of wine, etc from grateful customers on behalf of your department or the whole company. You must record all gifts with a retail value of £100 or more in the Gifts Register in accordance with guidelines issued by the NHS. On occasion, the Compliance Officer may decide that you cannot retain a gift and that you must give it to charity
Hospitality / Entertainment
Myers la Roche employees may occasionally receive invitations from suppliers or others to corporate hospitality or entertainment events.
You may accept hospitality or entertainment if:
- employees or personnel from the supplier are in attendance;
- the entertainment and / or acceptance of it could not be interpreted as a reward, inducement or encouragement for a favour or preferential treatment; and
- it is not unduly lavish or extravagant.
Political and Charitable Contributions
Myers La Roche does not make contributions or donations to political organisations or independent candidates, nor does it incur any political expenditure. However, we respect the right of individual employees to make personal contributions, provided they are not made in any way to obtain advantage in a business transaction.
Myers La Roche communicates views to Central Government, Local Authorities and the NHS, on matters that affect its business interests through its relationship with the Association of Optometrists.
From time to time Myers La Roche will donate to charities connected with eye care and research in an open and transparent manner.
Reporting Bribery and Whistleblowing
Myers La Roche aims to conduct business with the highest standards of ethics, honesty and integrity, and recognises that you have an important role to play in maintaining this aim. Any employee concerned about any form of malpractice, improper action, or wrongdoing by the Company, its employees or others are strongly encouraged to report the matter to the Compliance Officer.
We believe it is essential to create an environment in which you feel able to raise any matters of genuine concern internally without fear of disciplinary action being taken against you, that you will be taken seriously, and that the matters will be investigated appropriately and as far as practicable be kept confidential.
Myers La Roche believes that any employee with knowledge of bribery in any form should not remain silent. We take all matters of malpractice, improper action or wrongdoing very seriously and you are required to raise incidents or behaviours that are not in accordance with the policy with the Compliance Officer.
The Compliance Officer will investigate all reports of bribery. If the Compliance Officer finds no evidence of actual wrongdoing, protection will be given and no disciplinary action taken against the whistle blower if disclosure is reasonable, made in good faith and the information believed to be true.