Code of Conduct (Compliance Guideline)

1 Definition and sphere of application

Compliance means compliance with the laws, regulations and internal instructions. The code of conduct is aimed at all members of the management as well as all employees of the company.

2 Duty to supply information

Each employee has to inform himself about the laws, regulations and internal instructions which apply to his sphere of responsibility.

In case of doubt he has to ask the management or responsible department for support.

3 Principles and values

We base our actions on our customers´ satisfaction and treat them the way we want to be treated ourselves.

We adapt ourselves to the progressional and changing conditions on the market. Our top priority is to perform services which meet our expectations on best quality, reliability and on-time delivery.

Our company is committed to the principles of equal opportunities, social enhancement, trust and productivity.

We offer our employees a pleasant working environment and promote a culture of mutual trust and respect.

We encourage our employees to act responsibly and to work in a team.

Each employee has the right to obtain an individual performance appraisal.

We comply with the relevant laws and regulations regarding working hours, health and safety at work, and we guarantee fair payment.

4 Principles of business acitivities

According to our company´s policy, we treat our partners fairly and in accordance with national and international competition laws, such as unfait competition and antitrust laws. It is not allowed to agree upon competitors´prices, quantities and conditions.

We can enact additional internal regulations which have to be observed by all employees.

We accept the regulations of the international community and base our business activities on the common international rules and regulations. Especially, we observe the ban of import – and export and the embargo regulations, and we expect from our suppliers to do the same.

We do not export goods which are subject to a trade restriction.

5 General requirement of behaviour

Every employee is obliged to

  • comply with the rules and regulations concerning his sphere of responsibility

  • act fairly, reliably and respectfully in all business matters

  • respect and promote the reputation of our company

  • avoid conflicting interests

  • meet the requirments of industrial safety, environment and data protection

  • report any violation of compliance

Every supervisor is obliged to

  • ensure the compliance with this guideline in his sphere of responsibility

Every employee has the right to

  • receive an individual evaluation

6 Non-discrimination principle

Discrimination due to race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, philosophy, impairment, age, sexual identity or other personal characteristics is strictly prohibited. This has to be considered especially when dealing with colleagues and business partners and in terms of hiring, advancement and dismissal of employees.

We do not tolerate sexual harassment at work. Neither do we accept other dicriminating actions, drugs, intimidation or mobbing.

7 Consumption of drugs and alcohol at work

Drugs impair the ability to make decisions and increase the risk of accidents at work. The consumption of drugs and other substances which affect our consciousness is strictly prohibited at work.

Our employees start their working day free from the influence of such drugs and substances.

It is pricipally not allowed to consume alcohol at work or during breaks.

For the sake of health of all employees, smoking is only permitted in a designated area.

8 Avoiding conflicts of interest

Employees have to make sure that personal activities do not conflict with the interests of the Wilhelm Schmerbeck GmbH. The mere appearance of a conflict of interest has to be avoided.
A conflict of interest always arises when we have a personal interest in a business decision.
Explicitely forbidden are sideline activities for competing companies or business partners.

9 Invitations, gifts and other personal benefits/ corruption

We do not accept gifts or invitations that could place us in an obligatory dependence. The acceptance of symbolic gifts and invitations within the limits of common business practice is permitted.

The acceptance of larger gifts is prohibited if a common local value is exceeded.

In Germany, gifts for business partners up to € 35,- per person are admissible and can be claimed as business expenses (§ 4 subsection 5 income tax law).

Employees are not allowed to take money or other non-cash benfits from third parties.

The Wilhlem Schmerbeck GmbH prohibits any form of corruption such as bribery or the granting or acceptance of other benefits, whether directly or indirectly through third parties.

10 Safety at work and environmental protection

On behalf of the health and safety of all employees, the applicable laws, regulations and standards regarding safety at work have to be observed.

Each employee is jointly responsible for environmental protection of his/ her sphere of work and is obliged to comply with the laws, regulations and standards of environmental protection.

The focus is on careful use of resources in terms of sustainability.

11 Handling of information, data and documents

Personal data may only be collected, used or stored in accordance with the applicable data protection laws- and regulations.

Company- and business related data have to be treated confidentially and may only be used for specific purpose.

Our document management regulates the creation, storage and destruction of all business‑relevant and personal data. Further details are regulated by the internal guideline on data protection.

12 Protection of intellectual property

We protect the intellectual property of the Wilhelm Schmerbeck company, such as know- how, trade secrets, brands, internal price lists, calculation structure, marketing and sales structure as well as the intellectual property of others. The intellectual property of the Wilhelm Schmerbeck GmbH is very valuable which is why all employees have to ensure that this is protected.

Before intellectual property is transferred to third parties or made available in any way, appropriate agreements have to be signed to prtotect the rights of the Wilhelm Schmerbeck GmbH.

13 Donation

The Wilhelm Schmerbeck GmbH makes donations for non-profit and charitable purposes such as education, culture and social affairs. Donations exceeding € 1.000,- may only be made with the prior approval of a member of the management.

Grants to political parties or for political activities are generally prohibited.

14 Consequences of compliance vioations

Compliance vioaltions can have the following consequences for employees:

  • adhortatory letter

  • dismissal

  • third party-claims for damage

  • fine and imprisonment.

Compliance violations can have the following consequences for the company:

  • third party-claims for damages

  • costly trials

  • fines

  • loss of prestige.

15 Contact persons

In case of questions and concerns, supervisors and management are available for a clarifying discussion.

All employees are instructed to report any violations of this code of conduct immediately to their head of department or a member of the management.

Confidentiality of content and persons has to be guaranteed at any time.