It is the duty of every individual engaged by the Listening Dog Media to behave in a responsible and reasonable way towards fellow employees, colleagues, his/her employer, Company property, customers and suppliers at all times and to adhere to the Code of Conduct (“the Code”). You are reminded that you are a representative of the Company at all times when you are engaged on Company business, including travelling.
For security reasons, you may not bring any visitors onto the premises without permission.
You may not take any company data, articles, IT Equipment or other equipment off the premises unless authorised.
You are expected to maintain a reasonable standard of appearance at all times, particularly when meeting customers or suppliers.
BREACHES OF THE CODE
Not all failures to comply with rules are of equal importance, and neither do they require the same degree of severity of sanction. The sanction imposed should equate to the degree by which the code is breached, but the Company will also take into consideration length of service and previous conduct, where applicable.
There are two broad categories of misconduct and gross misconduct. However, no single set of examples can cover every circumstance or be exclusively categorised under one heading. The examples given below are only a guide and are not exhaustive.
MISCONDUCT may include but is not limited to:
- failure to meet the required standards of performance;
- bad time-keeping;
- minor damage to Company property;
- minor breach of the Company’s rules and policies;
- minor failure to observe Company procedures; and/or
- persistent absenteeism or irregular attendance – which may include persistent self- certified absence. GROSS MISCONDUCT, which may lead to dismissal without notice or pay in lieu, includes but is not limited to: theft or dishonesty such as fraud or any other similarly serious offence;
- breach of the Company ‘Social Media Policy’; gross negligence or incompetence; misuse or intoxication by reason of alcohol, drugs or other substances; physical assault, including actual or threatened conduct, violence (or threatened violence), dangerous or intimidatory conduct; abusive language; absence without leave or proper reason; unauthorised possession or use of Company equipment, materials, stores, tools or facilities; malicious damage; damage to Company property, plant or equipment or to another employee’s or customer’s property caused deliberately or recklessly or as a result of wilful omission/negligence; flagrant or unauthorised misuse of the Company’s IT Equipment Policy including software and systems. This will include (but is not limited to) the downloading of unauthorised material or the use of sexually explicit or pornographic material as well as those matters which are expressed to be acts of gross misconduct within the Electronic Information and Communications Systems Policy; gross or flagrant disregard of reasonable instructions; refusal to carry out duties or reasonable instructions; carrying out work of any kind for a competitor; serious breaches of the Company’s Equal Opportunities Policy and/or related procedures or related legislation, including harassment, discrimination and bullying; serious breach of the Company’s rules or policies; serious breaches of health and safety legislation; serious breach of confidence; unauthorised disclosure of confidential information; and/or unethical or inappropriate behaviour whether during or outside work which could bring the Company into disrepute or adversely affect the employee’s ability to do his/her job.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SUBSTANCE MISUSE POLICY
Misuse of alcohol, drugs or other substances may result in a staff member being subject to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
Please note the following points:-
Anyone who admits to alcohol dependency and seeks help will be treated sympathetically by the Company. However they will still be expected to comply with the following rules at all times:
- Anybody attending work under the influence of alcohol which affects performance or behaviour or anybody who drinks on Company premises during normal working conditions will be subject to disciplinary action which may result in summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
- No member of staff may bring any alcohol onto Company premises at any time or carry any alcohol in any Company vehicle or on their person whilst on Company business or during working hours, without permission.
- Any act of random, excessive drunkenness may be regarded as gross misconduct for which summary dismissal may be the penalty.
- The Company provides alcohol for staff at certain events e.g. leaving drinks, awards events. You should respect other people and be aware of your own limits when consuming alcohol. You will be held responsible for your behaviour towards other people at such events. Conduct which becomes inappropriate or constitutes harassment, discrimination and/or bullying.
Any event at which customers are present is an event where you are considered to be ‘on duty’ and represent the Company (whether the behaviour has taken place during or outside working hours), your behaviour should conform to the Company’s expected standards and the Code of Conduct or you may face disciplinary action.
- Anybody attending work who has misused drugs or other substances which affects performance or behaviour or anybody who takes controlled drugs or otherwise misuses substances on Company premises or during Company time will be subject to disciplinary action which may result in summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
- Anyone taking any prescribed drugs will be required to report to the MD with the drugs if there is a possibility that drugs could affect judgement or ability to carry out normal duties. Employees are advised to continue to take any medication prescribed by their doctor and should it come to the attention of management that this is not the case, the Company reserves the right, where appropriate, to require that the employee refrains from work.
- It is a criminal offence to use, possess or deal in any controlled substance and anyone caught on Company premises involved in any of these activities will normally be dismissed for gross misconduct. The Company reserves the right to refer the matter to the police in any case it deems necessary.
- Misconduct outside work in connection with a controlled substance, misuse of drugs or other substances, (at a work function or otherwise) may lead to disciplinary action if, for example, it affects the Company’s image and reputation and/or damages trust and confidence between employer and employee. Conviction of an offence in connection with a controlled substance will not result in automatic dismissal. Matters such as the nature of the conviction and the sentence, whether the conviction affects the employee’s ability to do the job and the effect on the Company’s image and reputation will be taken into account.
Anybody considered by the MD to be unfit for work due to alcohol, drug or substance misuse may be suspended from duty whilst a full investigation is followed. This may lead to disciplinary action being taken which may result in dismissal for gross misconduct. Referral to an independent medical practitioner may be necessary, which may include medical evaluation, including drug/alcohol screening.
Loss of licence due to a conviction for driving while over the legal alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs or other substances can have repercussions on employment. Where driving is an integral part of the job, dismissal may be inevitable unless there is the possibility of alternative work. If you are charged with an offence whilst under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances when you are away from work or if there are criminal charges pending against you relating to drug or alcohol misuse, the Company will carry out a detailed investigation during which time you may be suspended. If the situation affects your suitability to carry out your duties or brings the Company into disrepute, disciplinary action will be taken which may result in dismissal. Each case will be dealt with on an individual basis.
When a member of staff suspects another member of staff to be under the influence of alcohol/drugs/other substances, the member of staff should report the incident to the MD immediately. The employee about whom the allegation is made will be suspended immediately pending a full investigation.
The Company reserves the right to search staff and any staff property held on the Company’s property at any time if it reasonably believes that the prohibition on substances is being or has been infringed. Failure to submit to such a search will normally be treated as gross misconduct and will lead to disciplinary action, potentially resulting in dismissal.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Social media provides us with an opportunity to engage and communicate with our audiences, and provide a powerful two-way medium for exchanging views, news and other information, with greater immediacy. It is a key part of our communication. The Social Media Policy should be adhered to by both employees, agency workers and self- employed freelance workers and is aimed at protecting the Company, our brands, workers, audiences and clients.
Social media should never be used in a way that breaches any of the Company’s other policies. As a valued member of the Company’s team, you are also an ambassador for the Listening Dog Media brand. You are expected to behave appropriately and consistently with our values, policies and the law, as well as the rules of each social media platform, whenever:
- you are administering social media pages (including blogs) on behalf of the Company;
- due to the nature of your role, you are obviously associated with the Company / one of its brands; or
- you deliberately identify yourself as working for the Company on your personal social media profile or blog. If you fall into one of the above detailed categories, this policy applies to you and you must adhere to it at all times and under any circumstances. A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action and, in extreme cases, the termination of your employment or engagement with us. You are expected to include the following disclaimer (or something to the same effect) on all personal social media profile pages if, due to the nature of your role it is obvious you are, or you have deliberately and very prominently identified yourself as working for the Company: “these are my own views, not those of the company I work for”. You should exercise common sense when posting anything online. Always be mindful that what you post online is not anonymous and is permanent. It may be traced back to the Company. You should not –
post comments that would be harmful to or lower the Company’s reputation or any of its brands;
make defamatory, derogatory or offensive comments about the Listening Dog media, our parteners, or any other person or company, nor post anything about a person which isn’t true but which would, if published, cause that person harm;
post comments or opinions about an on-going court case or the people involved, and you should never record or film the inside of a court room;
use social media to harass, discriminate, bully or abuse another person or group of people, especially colleagues/audiences/suppliers/clients;
be seen to support an inappropriate cause such as sensitive topical issues or inflammatory causes including (but not limited to) suicide, self-harm and eating disorders. Please see the red flag topics listed in our “Crisis Guidelines” for details;
disclose commercially sensitive information, sensitive business-related topics nor anything that you’ve been told to keep secret;
use Listening Dog Media systems nor your working hours to develop your own personal social media profiles unless this forms part of your role for the company;
post advisory comments that are outside your area of expertise and where you are not qualified to do so;
post sexually explicit content or swear words;
promote violence or intimidation of others. If your account is verified on Twitter with the blue tick (as shown below), this means that you are publicly identified as being an authority for the brand. This, inevitably, means that you must be extra careful about what you post to your account. If in doubt don’t post it! If you see any social media content that disparages or reflects poorly on the Company in anyway, you should report this to your line manager or HR. The Company reserves the right to monitor, intercept and review, without further notice, staff activities using the Company’s IT resources and communications systems, including but not limited to social media postings and activities, to ensure that the Company’s policies are being complied with and for legitimate business reasons. You consent to such monitoring by your use of such resources and systems.
USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
All social media platforms have their own rules and policies that you must accept when you open an account. If you fail to comply with this policy, you may also be in breach of your contract with the relevant social media platform, which may result in you being denied access.
If you are contacted for comments about the Company for publication anywhere and in any format, including in any social media outlet, by the press about a post on a social media page that you are administering on our behalf or about a post from your personal social media page or profile that mentions the Company or one of our brands you should speak to the MD before responding. In these circumstances, we also advise that you stop posting on social media until you have taken advice from the MD on the most suitable course of action.
Just because you are on social media does not exempt you from legal rules and regulations. You are personally liable for content that you upload (unless, of course, you are posting for profile owned by the Company and you have been asked by the company to post something). If in doubt – don’t post it!
Consideration towards colleagues, audiences and clients
Under no circumstances should social media be used as a means to harass, discriminate, bully or abuse another person or group of people (especially colleagues/audiences/suppliers/clients (including potential clients)). This could be deemed a disciplinary offence. It may not always be appropriate to share work photos, videos or comments online. For example, if you are attending a private event or meeting where sensitive information is being discussed, especially where there are well-known people also attending or persons who are well-known as being highly of their privacy please do not post about it without checking with the MD unless you have been encouraged to do so by the event organisers.
Consideration should always be given to colleagues and you should not post information/photographs about/featuring someone else when asked not to and should immediately remove information/photographs if asked to.
Always assume that other companies are potential clients and be mindful that you may not be aware of every relationship the Company has, or is trying to develop.