ALSA's Code of ethics and best practices
To ensure that work is performed ethically in all its divisions, the National Express Group has prepared a document that records the Group’s Anti-fraud Policy, which was created to define the responsibilities of managers and employees regarding the prevention of fraud and the development of controls for the detection thereof.
Actions such as the theft of a company’s property, forgery or the alteration of corporate documents, the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information, etc., must be identified and reported using the defined channels.
The attached document I have provided for you presents both the Anti-fraud Policy of the National Express Group and ALSA’s Code of Ethics and Best Practices, which has been prepared to adapt the anti-fraud policy of the National Express Group to the uses and customs of the Spanish market and to legislation in force, thereby endeavouring to ensure honesty and transparency in the actions of everyone who may have a business relationship not only with the National Express Group, including employees, shareholders, consultants, sales persons, contractors, etc., but in particular with the ALSA Division.
Our company is one that provides a public service, wherefore we are even more obligated to maintain a good image and reputation with respect to customers, shareholders and public administrations.
As workers of ALSA, we have the duty to act with integrity and responsibly in the entire company, the duty to be the example of ethical behaviour and the duty to continue promoting the Group's Values.
At ALSA Management, we are committed to combating fraud, not only to create a climate of transparency in management, but also to protect the Group's assets and avoid financial losses.
Francisco Iglesias Campos
Consejero Delegado ALSA
This Code constitutes the basis of our Ethics and Best Practices Programme. It has been designed to help us maintain our commitment to integrity in our daily work. It orients us in key areas, thereby helping us to perform our activities according to the ethical rules of the NATIONAL EXPRESS Group (“NEG”) and according to applicable legislation.
The purpose of this Code of Ethics and Best Practices is to regulate the behaviours, actions or events that could constitute violations of both the company's internal standards and the ethical rules or codes that govern its business activity, as well as to prevent situations that could in any way damage ALSA's reputation.
ALSA’s Code of Ethics records the action principles and guidelines of good corporate governance, the values of which guide the actions of all personnel of the ALSA Division.
This Code of Ethics does not cover all possible situations that could potentially arise. However, it does cover the principles that should always guide the behaviour of all persons working for ALSA.
Accordingly, all employees are required to be conversant with the terms of this Code of Ethics and to comply with it and respect its principles while performing their duties. The terms of this Code are subordinate to any special internal rules and, obviously, current legislation, both of which will prevail in the event of any conflict or contradiction with this Code.
2. SCOPE OF APPLICATION
This Code of Ethics is applicable to all companies, executives and employees of the ALSA Division, regardless of the geographical scope where their business activity is developed.
This Code of Ethics is also applicable to all individuals and legal persons in any way linked to the NATIONAL EXPRESS Group (NEG) in the course of their professional or business activities, including but not limited to external auditors, consultants, advisers, suppliers, advertisers, etc.
Limiting ourselves to complying with the Code isn’t enough. We must also remember our responsibilities to others and to our communities, customers, shareholders, suppliers and all other partners. It is the obligation and responsibility of all Employees to know the Code of Ethics.
The first ALSA Code of Ethics was passed in 2010 and came into force on 1 December 2011.
It was updated, the new terms being approved on 21 December 2016 and coming into force on 1 January 2017.
It was updated once again (current document) in December 2018, coming into force in January 2019.
4. CODE OF ETHICS COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE
The Code of Ethics Compliance Committee is created as the body in charge of promoting the dissemination of, knowledge of and compliance with the Code.
The Compliance Committee is formed by the Corporate Legal Advising Service, the Human Resources Horizontal Department and the Economic-Financial Horizontal Department, and it will report, organically and operationally, to the Chief Executive of ALSA.
The Director of the HR Horizontal Department will perform the management and control duties of the Compliance Committee.
The Compliance Committee will have the following functions and powers:
- a) It will resolve all queries that could arise within the framework of interpreting and/or applying this Code.
- b) It will prepare reports on the level of compliance with this Code, as well as on any detected breaches.
- c) It will evaluate eventual breaches of this Code of Ethics.
5. ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND ESSENTIAL VALUES
This Code of Ethics is built based on the following ETHICAL PRINCIPLES, which must be complied with when performing the duties of a job:
• Principle of legality
Complying with the rule of law is a principle mandate for ALSA in all countries where it is present. All workers must comply with the regulations of the legal system within which they work, in addition to the applicable internal policies of NEG and ALSA. A violation of the law must be avoided under any circumstance.
Regardless of the sanctions that could be imposed by law, any worker who is liable for a breach will be subject to disciplinary consequences as a result of violating their obligations as an employee.
It is therefore expected that, when dealing with customers, public administrations, suppliers and all other partners, we will act in ALSA's interest and in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
• Principle of integrity and professionalism
ALSA promotes integrity and professionalism as guiding elements in business relations at the company.
Professionalism in the performance of one’s job is understood as diligent, responsible and efficient action that is focused on excellence, quality and innovation.
Integrity in the performance of one’s job is understood as action that is loyal, in good faith, objective and aligned with the interests of the Group and/or of the ALSA Division.
ALSA’s reputation is determined, to a great extent, by our actions and by how each and every one of us acts and behaves. Illegal or inappropriate behaviour by just one of our workers can cause considerable harm to the company. Every employee must be aware of the need to maintain and promote ALSA’s good reputation in the corresponding country.
ALSA’s workers have the obligation to make business decisions in ALSA’s interests and not based on their own personal interest. Conflicts of interest arise when personnel become involved in activities outside the scope of their competencies at the company or when they give preference to their own personal interest.
Workers must therefore inform their hierarchical superiors about any personal interest that could exist in relation to carrying out their professional obligations. Therefore, when entering into personal contracts or orders, they must not use companies with which they may have commercial dealings as a part of their activities at ALSA if any advantage for the personal contract or order could be derived from such dealings.
A business relationship with or an equity holding in a competitor or customer of ALSA, or participation in additional activities, could give rise to a conflict that prevents workers from complying with their responsibilities at ALSA. It is important that we all, in the performance of our professional activities, recognise and avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
• Principle of objectivity, impartiality and transparency in the contracting of suppliers
ALSA has adapted its supplier selection and contracting processes to the criteria of objectivity, impartiality and transparency. This principle will always be applied in all stages of negotiation or in the performance of commercial contracts.
Consequently, ALSA is bound to promote the presence of a number of suppliers of goods and services whose characteristics and offered conditions adapt, at all times, to the needs and conditions of the company established in the contracting specifications, therefore always valuing the most advantageous offer.
Once a supplier has been selected, ALSA's Legal Services will prepare or supervise the corresponding contract, which must necessarily include the good behaviour clause drafted by the SC of Legal Advising.
• Principle of respect and equal opportunities
ALSA believes that diversity strengthens the Organisation. We must all –not only the companies that belong to the Group but also all workers, customers and suppliers– contribute to creating an open and inclusive work environment, as well as ensure that both our work colleagues and people who apply for a job at ALSA have equal opportunities. Therefore, we must not discriminate against anyone because of their personal traits, such as the colour of their skin or their sex, race, religion, origin, political opinion, sexual orientation, social origin, age or any physical or intellectual disability, thus following the principles set forth in our Constitution and other parts of the legal system, as well as in Conventions of the International Labour Organisation, in particular the conventions pertaining to equal pay and non-discrimination.
• Protection of human and labour rights and the fight against modern slavery
It is ALSA's desire to develop its business activity according to ethics and integrity, in any event ensuring full respect for the rights of its workers in accordance with applicable national and international regulations. ALSA states its commitment to and pledge to respect human and labour rights recognised in national and international legislation, particularly in the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation on Forced Labour (No. 29), concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (No. 87), concerning the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (No. 98), concerning Equal Remuneration (No. 100), concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour (No. 105), concerning Discrimination (No. 111), concerning Minimum Age (No. 138) and concerning the Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182).
Furthermore, our parent company, the National Express Group, insofar as it is a company of English law, is subject to compliance with the Modern Slavery Act, which has been in force in the United Kingdom since 2015. Its main objective is to fight against situations of slavery, human trafficking and forced labour. As a Division of the National Express Group, ALSA undertakes to apply the necessary measures for assuring compliance with the policy adopted by the group in this regard, for the purpose of avoiding, in the exercise of its business activities and throughout the entire supply chain, any type of behaviour that could be qualified as a form of modern slavery or human trafficking.
All personnel of ALSA must keep the Group's policy in mind when performing their activities and in any negotiation with contractors or suppliers, therefore ensuring that contractors and suppliers know and comply with the policy. Likewise, personnel must report any suspicious behaviour at the company that they may become aware of, therefore using the existing channels and specifically the HELP LINE, which is referenced in section 8 of this document.
• Principle of secrecy and confidentiality
ALSA is aware of the importance of complying with the duty of secrecy and confidentiality.
ALSA's employees therefore endorse, as one of their employment obligations, compliance with the duty to keep secret all data and information that they may become aware of as a consequence of exercising their job duties.
Consequently, all employees must use said data or information solely for performing their functions, and they may not provide such data or information to anyone other than those persons who need to know it for the same purpose and must abstain from using it to their own benefit or in benefit to third parties. This obligation of secrecy will continue even after the relationship with the company has ended.
• Principle of information security
Information is an essential asset of ALSA, and it consequently requires adequate protection. ALSA acknowledges the importance of having duly identified and protected its information assets. It therefore prevents the unauthorised destruction, disclosure, modification or use thereof and undertakes to develop, implement, maintain and continuously improve all organisational information security policies, procedures, controls and structures that may be necessary for such purpose and that guarantee preservation of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information, thereby ensuring that users have access only and exclusively to the information they need in order to perform their functions.
Therefore, all employees are responsible for preserving the confidentiality, integrity and availability of ALSA's information assets, wherefore they must comply with the policies and procedures that are comprised in the Information Security Management System.
• Principle of health and safety in the workplace and protection of the environment
ALSA undertakes to reach the highest levels of occupational health and safety. ALSA applies the necessary programmes, training activities and internal controls for the continuous promotion of safe work practices. Through these practices, we endeavour to avoid any risk to our work colleagues, customers and communities. In this regard, we must become familiar and comply with all occupational health and safety procedures and policies that are implemented, particularly the Driving Out Harm Programme.
Based on the means made available by the Company, all employees are liable for ensuring that their working environment complies with health and safety requirements, and that they perform their duties in the strictest observance of standards and policies in these matters.
ALSA acknowledges to the global community that it is responsible for protecting the environment, and it therefore aspires to be an eco-efficient company. We must promote eco-efficiency in all our business activities and make every effort to reduce our global environmental and carbon footprint. We must also comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding the environment wherever we may conduct our business activities, and we always attempt to exceed the requirements of such provisions wherever we are present.
ALSA has put in place and made available to all employees' policies, procedures and rules for the prevention of occupational hazards and the protection of health. Likewise, all contracts with suppliers contain terms and conditions to ensure that said suppliers undertake to observe and comply with legislation on the prevention of occupational hazards, to safeguard the health of its employees in the course of their professional duties, to protect the environment and to efficiently and effectively manage waste and emissions.
The concept of transport from a holistic view and ongoing customer satisfaction are the core pillars according to which ALSA develops its business activity, based on these VALUES: Excellence, Security, Customers, Persons and Community.
These principles and values, which we must use as a guide, will be adopted by all of ALSA's business lines and will be appropriately transmitted by managers to all company personnel. Identifying with the new Vision and Values will serve as a guide in all our business lines, will facilitate decision-making and will strengthen our position as a leading operator in the transport market.
• Drugs and alcohol
The possession, distribution or use of drugs of any type are strictly prohibited during working hours. Alcohol may not be consumed during working hours. As an exception, moderate amounts of alcohol may be consumed at celebrations, meals and other situations, in line with our business culture, providing it does not affect the employee's capacity to perform their duties.
• Audits and inspections
All employees are required to cooperate fully with all internal and external audits, investigations and inspections conducted at the Company. Likewise, in the course of our activity, we may be required to undergo investigation or to supply information to public officials or regulatory agencies. We should immediately notify our immediate superior and the Legal Advisory Service of any potential investigations or inspections made known to us before taking any measures in this regard. All employees shall cooperate fully and all information provided shall be accurate, clear and complete.
In regard to audits, investigations and inspections, we MUST NOT:
• Destroy, alter or conceal any documents that have been or may be required from us.
• Make false, misleading or incomplete (except when the information or documents required are absolutely not available to us) statements to any Company investigator or public official or try to influence any other person to do so.
• Conduct any investigations individually, as all investigations must be assigned the required, necessary resources.
6. SITUATIONS THAT ARE CONTRARY TO THE CODE OF ETHICS AND BEST PRACTICES
The Code covers possible ethical or legal dilemmas, but it cannot envision every possible situation that could arise. If we find ourselves facing a difficult situation, it is possible that the Code and the corresponding procedures and polices will be enough to guide us. However, in more complex situations, it may be necessary to seek additional guidance. We are each responsible for seeking the necessary advice.
Therefore, any action that is contrary to the provisions set forth in the following sections must be reported to the company as soon as possible through the channels referenced in section 8 of this document.
6.1 Security and legality in operations
Any action and/or omission that, in the performance of one's job, may be in detriment to the interests of NEG and/or of the ALSA Division will be considered actions that are contrary to security and legality in operations.
Personnel of the ALSA Division must always act in the interest of NEG, therefore making adequate use of the means placed at their disposal and avoiding actions that could be harmful.
Employees will protect and care for the assets of the company that they have available or to which they may have authorised access, which will be appropriately used for the purpose of performing the functions for which those assets have been delivered.
Employees are bound to comply with all regulations that may be applicable to fulfilling their occupational duties and obligations. In this regard, given that our main business activity is to provide public passenger transport services, full and strict compliance with laws that regulate road transport are especially important. Therefore, breaches of this Code will include but not be limited to the following:
- Manipulation of the tachograph or the elements thereof, of the speed limitation device or of means of control that must be installed in the vehicle when that manipulation is designed to alter the normal operation of such devices.
- Not having the tachograph, the speed limitation device or other instruments or means of control that must be installed in a vehicle.
- The falsification of record sheets, driver’s cards or other elements or means of control that must be carried in a vehicle, as well as falsification of the content thereof or alteration of the mandatory mentions of a record sheet or driver’s card.
- Not having the corresponding record sheet or driver's card inserted in a tachograph whenever it may be required, or having inserted a record sheet that does not have the name and surname of the driver recorded or having inserted record sheets or cards corresponding to another driver.
- Not having the record sheets of a tachograph, the driver’s card or the printed documents that must be carried in a vehicle.
- The failure to make the manual annotations pertaining to a driver's activity that must be made by a driver whenever a tachograph may be broken.
- Using the same record sheet for several work days whenever this causes the superimposition of records that prevents those records from being read.
- Using, in the tachograph, more than one record sheet during the same work day by the same person, except when changing vehicles and the record sheet used in the tachograph of the first vehicle is officially approved for use in the tachograph of the second vehicle.
- Verbal or physical mistreatment of users by company personnel during passenger transport.
- The failure to notify the company of the loss of a driver's licence or any other necessary qualification for performing one’s professional duties.
- Showing up for work or performing one's job under the influence of alcohol or of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
- Any negligent or intentional behaviour that may jeopardise the physical safety or integrity of oneself or other people (colleagues, passengers, pedestrians, other drivers or third parties in general) or the company's assets.
Any action or omission that causes or could cause an eventual situation of corruption and/or bribery must be immediately reported to the company.
An action that is contrary to this Code includes but is not limited to bribery, trading in influence, etc. and other actions of similar characteristics that are defined in the Criminal Code.
Given the recent relevance and public importance of certain conduct or behaviours in the business arena that could generate social rejection and, in certain cases, constitute the commission of an illegal act, for the purposes of this Code, corruption, trading in influence, bribery and public official will have the meanings listed below:
The offer or delivery of a bribe or remuneration of any other kind to an authority, public official or person who participates in exercising a public function so that they perform an act that is contrary to the duties inherent in their position or perform an act that is not particular to their position.
Trading in influence
Influencing a public official or authority, therefore taking advantage of any situation derived from a personal relationship with the same or with another public official or authority, in order to obtain a decision that can directly or indirectly generate a financial benefit for oneself or for a third party.
The direct or indirect promise, offer or delivery of any monetary incentive or any other kind of incentive to a person so that that person, violating their obligations, acts or ceases to act for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining a commercial operation or improper advantage in the performance of a business activity.
A person who holds a legislative, administrative or court position in a certain country (including all government levels and bodies, whether national or local), and whether by appointment or election. Any person who performs a public function in a certain country, including public agencies and companies. Any agent or representative of an international public organisation. This also includes candidates for political positions and political employees or members or parties.
6.3 Financial crimes
Any action or omission that indicates or could indicate the commission of a financial crime, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code and whenever it involves bad faith, must be immediately reported to the company.
For these purposes, the following are understood as financial crimes: fraud, criminal bankruptcy, crimes against Public Finance or Social Security, the forgery certificates, misappropriation and all other, similar actions defined in the Criminal Code.
Given the special features and complexity of this subject, the Compliance Committee will be at the disposal of any worker to resolve any doubts about the occurrence or not of any event listed under this category.
6.4 Anti-competition practices
Any action or omission that causes or could cause a presumed crime of unfair competition, as well as other anti-competition practices described in regulations, must be immediately reported to the company.
Only fair and complete competition allows the markets to develop freely.
All workers are bound by the rules of fair competition. The determination of whether or not a matter is subject to anti-trust legislation could create difficulties, mainly due to the fact that laws can vary between countries and from one event to another. In any case, workers must not obtain information about competitors through industrial espionage, bribery, theft or electronic eavesdropping and must not intentionally communicate false information about competitors or about their products or services.
6.5 Disclosure or revelation of secrets
Any action or omission that causes or could cause a presumed crime of disclosure or revelation of secrets (privileged information), in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Criminal Code, must be immediately reported to the company.
Privileged information is considered to be any information that is not public and that refers to ALSA. Privileged information can be acquired as a consequence of the position and responsibilities of a worker or involuntarily, and it includes non-public information such as the following: financial results and/or budgets, dividends, mergers or acquisitions, divestitures, concessions of contracts or strategic plans, information about litigation, changes of management and commercial contracts or relations.
Privileged information must not be published or be made available to third parties without proper authorisation. The publication of privileged information is prohibited whenever it may be done beyond the usual scope of one's labour functions or beyond compliance with other obligations on behalf of ALSA. This applies to information that is published both within ALSA and outside of ALSA, including journalists, financial analysts, customers, consultants, relatives and friends. Moreover, workers must also be sure that any medium that may contain privileged information is kept such that it is impossible for unauthorised persons to access it.
6.6 Intellectual and industrial property; damages derived from improper use of work tools
Any action or omission that causes or could cause a presumed crime against intellectual property, damage to the company’s IT system, etc., must be immediately reported to the company.
Employees must respect intellectual property regulations and the right of use that corresponds to NEG and/or to ALSA in relation to licences, projects, IT programmes and systems, equipment, technology, know-how and, in general, all other works or jobs developed or created at NEG and/or ALSA.
Employees will abstain from using, to their own benefit, business opportunities that are of interest to NEG and/or ALSA.
Employees must respect the specific rules that regulate the use of e-mail, Internet access or other means placed at their disposal, wherefore in no event may they be improperly used.
Employees undertake to comply with their obligations regarding the duty of secrecy and confidentiality pertaining to all data and information that they may become aware of due to the normal development of and compliance with the employment relationship. This obligation will remain in force even after the employment relationship has ended at the company.
6.7 Conflict of interest
The term “conflict of interest” covers all situations in which the interests of persons linked to the NEG may directly or directly differ from or be opposed to the interests of Group companies, for personal, professional, business or other reasons. In these cases, the terms of this document will apply.
Conflicts of interests include, but are not limited to the following:
- Entering into a contract on behalf of NEG with a company owned or managed by a family member or personal friend.
- Providing services to an ALSA customer or supplier.
- Working on one's own behalf in business similar to that of ALSA.
- Having a personal or financial interest in a business transaction with ALSA.
- Obtaining a personal advantage or financial gain (other than one's normal remuneration) as a result of an agreement between any third party with the NATIONAL EXPRESS Group.
7. RULES APPLICABLE TO GIFTS/HOSPITALITY, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND SPONSORSHIPS
Regarding business courtesies, gifts and hospitality that are offered to or received from customers, suppliers and other partners, they are a highly extended practice for promoting good relations and showing recognition for professional treatment. In any event, this courtesy must not have an influence on (or give the impression of influencing) any business decision.
In no event will gifts in cash and/or monetary compensation be allowed.
In such situations, we must be guided by good judgement, discretion and prudence.
Regarding the delivery and/or receipt of gifts and/or shows of hospitality, such as tickets to events, trips, lodging and others, those exceeding a value of 150 euros or the equivalent value in another currency may not be accepted and/or given. In any event, the frequency of such gifts/hospitality will be weighed. If there is any doubt, the corresponding hierarchical superior, the Compliance Committee or the Corporate Legal Advising Service must be consulted.
In accordance with these guidelines, ALSA personnel are obligated to send information (using the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding any gifts or shows of hospitality whose financial value is between 100 and 150 euros, according to the model that has been placed at their disposal. Said information includes both the gifts/shows of hospitality that may be received as workers of ALSA and those that may be offered to third parties on behalf of the company or on our own behalf as personnel of ALSA. Only Christmas gifts are excluded: the delivery thereof is organised centrally by the company.
ALSA does not donate to political causes. As a responsible member of society, ALSA makes donations of money or services for education, culture and projects of social and humanitarian interest. Sponsorships from which ALSA obtains advertising are not considered donations. Contributions to employer associations and dues of organisations that serve business interests also are not considered donations. Some donations are always prohibited, including donations (1) made to for-profit persons and organisations; (2) made to private accounts; (3) made to organisations whose objectives are incompatible with ALSA’s corporate principles; or (4) that could harm ALSA's reputation.
All donations must be transparent. This means that the identity of the receiver and the planned use of a donation must be transparent and that the reason for and objective of a donation must be justified, documented and approved according to internal rules.
Sponsorship means any contribution made by ALSA, in money or in kind, to an event organised by a third party as consideration for announcing the ALSA brand.
All sponsorships must be transparent, must be in writing, must be for legitimate business objectives and must be proportionate (not excessive) to the consideration offered by the organiser of the event.
8. PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALERTS. “HELP LINE” CHANNEL
ALSA is committed to promoting a working environment where employees feel free to report any situation or event that causes concern or that they feel is important to the company.
In this regards, any worker of ALSA who may have a reasonable indication of the existence of any behaviour, event or omission that might violate this Code can, in first instance, resolve any doubt or question or notify any alert through their hierarchical superior or the Compliance Committee.
Likewise, if, for any reason, a worker does not feel that the help from any of these persons is adequate or possible, then the worker can pose the question and/or alert through the HELP LINE.
The HELP LINE system is also available to all stakeholder groups.
To increase confidentiality in the system, ALSA has decided to outsource management of the telephone line that is going to receive alerts, and it has contracted an outside supplier that specialises in this type of service. Alerts will be treated in a secure environment by a restricted number of employees of the service provider, who has received adequate professional training.
ALARES SOCIAL CEE, S.A. (ALARES) is the company in charge of managing the telephone number where employees can notify behaviours that are contrary to the provisions set forth in this document.
Use of the HELP LINE is completely voluntary and will be governed by the following conditions of use:
People who have reasonable indications that any irregularity is being committed, or any act against current laws or against the standards of behaviour of this Code of Ethics, can report said presumed irregularity by phoning the HELP LINE at (+34) 900 901 427.
The number is toll free and is available on business days from Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Callers to the HELP LINE are required to identify themselves; anonymous complaints will not be admitted. The system will record the data of the reporting person and of the alleged offender, the reported facts and the result of all investigations.
ALSA will do everything possible to protect the identity of persons using the HELP LINE Channel, in accordance with the resolution of the matter and with applicable legislation. In any event, the identity of the reporting person will be considered confidential information, and in no event will their identity be reported to the alleged offender or to third parties. All reports will be investigated promptly and in detail, in accordance with applicable legislation.
The results of the investigation of any matter submitted through the system will be communicated through ALARES to the Compliance Committee.
After receiving a report from the external provider, the Compliance Committee will conduct an initial review and evaluation of the report, and it will decide who needs to know about the report, as well as the adequate and timely response that must be given.
The Compliance Committee is also responsible for supervising any corrective actions, which could include disciplinary proceedings, in accordance with national regulations.
As soon as the decision to investigate an alert has been made, the Compliance Committee will notify all persons involved in the alert in order to allow them to exercise their rights without delay, including their right of defence. However, the Compliance Committee has the right to adopt precautionary measures, such as the necessary measures for preventing the destruction of proof in relation to an alert, before notifying a person involved.
The Compliance Committee can respond to and communicate with the person who gave an alert through the external provider. The Compliance Committee will promptly notify the results of the investigation to the person who gave the alert through the external provider. In turn, the external provider will obtain the employee's reaction regarding the information communicated by the Compliance Committee.
In cases in which the identity of the reporting person cannot be verified due to using a false name, the complaint that is made will be immediately invalidated.
The Human Resources Horizontal Department will be responsible for deciding whether or not disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against the violating party based on the result of the investigation.
If an investigation shows that a complaint was unjustified or was made for improper reasons or in bad faith or without reasonable and probable cause, then the Compliance Committee may take disciplinary measures against the reporting party.
9. DISCIPLINARY POLICY. CONSEQUENCES
Without prejudice to the legal effects of practices whose existence has been proved as certain, when the Compliance Committee identifies behaviours that are defined under applicable labour regulations (Statute of Workers’ Rights, Collective Bargaining Agreement or Award, etc.) as subject to sanction, then Human Resources Management will initiate the pertinent disciplinary process against the person or persons regarding which their involvement in said behaviours has been proved.
This process will begin with the opening of disciplinary proceedings, when necessary, in accordance with the regulation of reference and, after processing it, (if applicable) a labour sanction will be applied according to laws in force and internal organisational criteria. No breaches of this Code will be tolerated. Actions or omissions which may constitute serious or very serious breaches of the terms of this Code may be considered labour misconducts and be sanctioned as such, in accordance with the type and degree of same, as regulated in the applicable collective bargaining agreements or legislation.
Breaches of this Code may also imply breaches of current legislation and the persons responsible may be declared as being in said breach, from a civil, criminal and/or administrative standpoint.
In any event, Human Resources Management will respect all legal guarantees.
10. PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT
The company values the assistance of employees who decide to warn of possible irregularities. It will therefore take the necessary measures to protect any employees who, in good faith, use the Internal Alert Process (HELP LINE) to report a possible illegal situation or irregular action that is protected by this Code, even if their declarations or revelations are imprecise.
ALSA will not tolerate any reprisals against those employees who may report any problem in good faith and/or who help to investigate possible violations of the Code. Good faith means reporting a matter without malice, without seeking personal benefit and with well-founded reasons to believe the veracity of a report.
11. INFORMATION PROCESSING. DUTY OF SECRECY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
The company assures compliance with the Organic Law on Personal Data Protection (LOPD) that is in force at any given time and with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016, on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (GDPR), and specifically, compliance with the obligation of the duty of secrecy and confidentiality. It therefore incorporates the appropriate technical and organisational measures to assure a level of security that is adequate to the risk, all for the purpose of avoiding the alteration, loss or accidental or illegal modification of data or unauthorised access to said data, thereby considering the state of technology, the nature of the stored personal data and the risks to which they are exposed, whether those risks come from human actions or from the physical or natural environment, and observing, at all times, the duty of confidentiality and professional secrecy that is imposed by legislation in force on data protection.
The collection, use, processing and storage of the personal data of customers takes place while assuring, at all times, the right to privacy and compliance with legislation in force on personal data protection.
In order to duly defend the interests of an alleged offender, they will be informed in the briefest possible period of time about the reported events, about the recipients of the information, about the department that is responsible for the system and about their data protection rights.
Data will be cancelled within the maximum period of two months after the end of any investigations if the facts are not proved. If legal actions are taken, the data will be stored to the extent necessary so that the company may exercise its rights in court.
To exercise the rights of access, rectification, erasure, restriction of processing or objection, as well as the right to the portability of data (if applicable), you may contact ALSA GRUPO, S.L.U. in writing by sending a letter to Calle Miguel Fleta, 4, 28037, Madrid, or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. In any event, to exercise the requested right, you must attach a photocopy of your DNI [Identity Document] or valid legal equivalent that allows proving your identity. Moreover, if you believe that your data have been inappropriately processed, you may contact the Data Protection Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or file a complaint before the Spanish Data Protection Agency at Calle Jorge Juan, 6, 28001, Madrid.
12. NOTIFICATION AND DISSEMINATION OF THE CODE OF ETHICS
The General Management of the company shall circulate this Code among all ALSA employees, executives and administrators.
The Code of Ethics Compliance Committee shall evaluate the level of compliance with the Code yearly, issuing the corresponding report. The report shall be submitted to the Board of Directors.
13. APPROVAL, UPDATES AND VALIDITY
The Code of Ethics was approved by the CEO of ALSA in 2010 and came into force on 1 December 2011.
It was updated, the new terms being approved on 21 December 2016 and coming into force on 1 January 2017.
It was updated once again (current document) in December 2018, coming into force on 1 January 2019.