Code of Conduct
Policy Brief & Purpose
The Cognatio Law (“Company”) Employee’s Code of Conduct outlines our expectations regarding employees’ behavior towards their colleagues, supervisors and overall organisation.
We promote freedom of expression and open communication. But we expect all employees to follow our Code of Conduct. They should avoid offending, participating in serious disputes and disrupting our workplace. We also expect them to foster a well-organized, respectful and collaborative environment.
This policy is non-contractual but applies to all our employees regardless of employment agreement or rank.
What are the components of an Employee Code of Conduct Policy?
Although the Code of Conduct is non-contractual, all employees must follow the Code of Conduct while performing their duties. We outline the components of our Code of Conduct below:
1. Compliance with Law
All employees must protect the Company’s legality. They should comply with all environmental, safety and fair dealing laws. We expect employees to be ethical and responsible when dealing with our company’s finances, services, partnerships and public image. Employees shall always respect the terms of their contract of employment with the Company.
2. Respect in the Workplace
The Company is an equal opportunity employer and all employees should respect their colleagues. We won’t allow any kind of discriminatory behavior, harassment or victimisation.
We endeavour to ensure that every job applicant and employee has equal employment opportunities compared to people of equal ability. The diversity of individual talents in our workforce strengthens our creativity, and allows us to develop and best serve our clients. We believe that everyone has the right to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, vilification, and victimisation.
We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment. This means that all job applicants and employees will receive equal treatment regardless of sex, marital status, race, religion, family status, sexual orientation, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, or disability.
The Company will not accept any kind of harassment based on the aforementioned protected characteristics. Harassment is behaviour that is not welcome, and which is likely to cause an uncomfortable workplace by humiliating, seriously embarrassing, offending or intimidating someone. You are responsible for your own actions and should not engage in potentially offensive behaviour. The Company will not disadvantage you for complaining about unlawful conduct in this workplace or for helping someone else to do so. We take reports of discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimization very seriously and will handle such complaints as quickly, confidentially and fairly as possible.
3. Protection of Company Property
All employees should treat the Company’s property, whether material or intangible, with respect and care.
- Should not misuse company equipment or use it frivolously.
- Should respect all kinds of incorporeal property. This includes trademarks, copyright and other property (information, reports etc.). Employees should use them only to complete their job duties.
Employees should protect company facilities and other material property from damage and vandalism, whenever possible.
All employees must show integrity and professionalism in the workplace:
5. Personal Appearance
All employees must follow our dress code and personal appearance guidelines.
6. Anti-Corruption & Bribery
Neither the Company nor any of its employees, representatives or agents shall make any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorize the payment of any money or anything of value to any person contrary to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap. 201), the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the UK Bribery Act 2010 or any other local or international laws that prohibit any kind of corrupt payments or bribery.
Neither the Company nor any of its employees, representatives or agents shall accept or receive, directly or indirectly, on their own behalf or via others, any payment, benefit or gift of value from any third party, including clients, suppliers or partners. This provision does not prevent the acceptance of reasonable entertainment or modest corporate gifts with a value (or estimated value) of less than HK$500.
7. Job Duties and Authority
All employees should fulfil their job duties with integrity and respect toward customers, stakeholders and the community. Supervisors and managers must not abuse their authority. We expect them to delegate duties to their team members taking into account their competences and workload. Likewise, we expect team members to follow team leaders’ instructions and complete their duties with skill and in a timely manner.
We encourage mentoring throughout the Company.
8. Absenteeism and Timekeeping
Employees should follow their schedules. We can make exceptions for occasions that prevent employees from following standard working hours or days. But, generally, we expect employees to be punctual when arriving at work.
9. Conflict of interest
We expect employees to avoid any personal, financial or other interests that might hinder their capability or willingness to perform their job duties. This includes making investments in individuals or businesses that could reasonably be perceived to be or are in competition with the Company, or that may place the employee in a position where his obligations to the Company are conflicted.
Employees should be friendly, transparent and collaborative. They should try not to disrupt the workplace or present obstacles to their colleagues’ work. Deadlines should be agreed upon and met. Changes to agreements and expectations should be discussed openly, transparently and in a timely manner.
All employees must be open, transparent and timely for communication with their colleagues, supervisors or team members.
12. Benefits & Expenses
We expect employees to not abuse their employment benefits. This can refer to time off, insurance, facilities, subscriptions or other benefits our company offers. Employees may not incur costs on behalf of the Company unless they are agreed in advance by a Director. Employees may not enter into Agreements in the name of the Company unless agreed by a Director.
All employees should read and follow our Company policies. If they have any questions, they should ask Lesley Hobbs, Managing Director.
14. Disciplinary Actions
Our company may have to take disciplinary action against employees who repeatedly or intentionally fail to follow their contractual obligations or the Code of Conduct.
Disciplinary actions will vary depending on the violation.
Possible consequences include:
- Suspension or termination for more serious offenses.
- Detraction of benefits for a definite or indefinite time.
We may take legal action in cases of corruption, theft, embezzlement or other unlawful behavior and refer the matter to the relevant authorities.