Approach to ensuring our legitimacy
The trust and support of our stakeholders is critical to our success and longevity. Our businesses are expected to align with the Group’s frameworks, standards and Values despite local operating differences. These structures serve as a compass for our business decisions and ensure that we are recognised as a responsible corporate citizen that responds to national objectives and complies with local laws, codes and standards.
Updated the Code of Conduct and employees completed a compulsory online assessment on their understanding of the code’s requirements.
Reviews undertaken by internal audit, including in Australia, Canada and the USA, found no major issues of noncompliance.
and investigated, with a small number still under investigation. Appropriate action has been taken in each instance where unethical behaviour was confirmed. This is a marked decrease from the 47 cases reported in FY2017.
The Board leads the Group in striving to achieve the highest standards of business integrity, ethics and corporate governance, in the pursuit of our strategic and business objectives. The structures and initiatives described below ensure ethical business practice across the Group.
Code of Conduct, Values and Statement of Business Principles
We expect everyone who works for or acts on the Group’s behalf to adhere to the highest ethical standards. The Group’s Code of Conduct, Values and Statement of Business Principles clearly define the behaviours expected of our employees and other stakeholders associated with the Group, including suppliers and subcontractors. Behaviours that contradict these principles are not tolerated.
The induction programme for new employees and graduates emphasises the importance of the Group’s Code of Conduct.
We adhere to the regulatory requirements applicable to the sectors and jurisdictions in which we operate. The Group regulatory compliance executive is mandated to investigate and report on:
- The multiple regulatory environments applicable to our businesses.
- The organisational controls in the jurisdictions in which we operate that ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and standards.
- The levels of compliance across the Group based on a comprehensive monitoring and review plan.
- The corrective actions and improvements required, including education and training, to address any identified control weaknesses or compliance failures.
Fraud, corruption, anticompetitive behaviour and unfair business practices
We subscribe to and comply with the 10 business principles set out in the United Nations Global Compact and with the principles and standards of good practice set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. As a member of Business Leadership South Africa, we support its Code of Good Corporate Citizenship.
It is compulsory for all executives involved in preparing and authorising project bids to sign a tender declaration that they have not committed and are not aware of anyone else affiliated with the bid having either directly or indirectly committed, any unethical, unlawful or uncompetitive practice in the preparation and submission of the tender. The declaration is binding throughout the project lifecycle.
To ensure compliance with competition law, written declarations are made biannually by all Group executives.
Compulsory online Code of Conduct and competition law training is completed annually by all employees in high-risk areas.
We encourage our employees, suppliers, subcontractors and concerned stakeholders to report any unethical behaviour within our operations. We operate two hotline services which are administered by Deloitte and KPMG Australia and support anonymous reporting of workplace dishonesty and unethical behaviour, including discrimination, theft, fraud and corruption. The Fair Call hotline serves the Oil & Gas platform and Tip-Offs Anonymous covers all remaining businesses.
We endorse the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and all equivalent rights in all other jurisdictions, including the right to collective bargaining, the right to peaceful industrial action and all other labour rights. We acknowledge the right of individuals to freedom of association, reject child and forced labour and respect the rights of indigenous people.
Unfair discrimination and equality
Discrimination in any form is viewed in a very serious light and appropriate disciplinary action is taken against offenders. We expect all our employees and service providers to treat those with whom they come into contact with dignity and respect. As a South African domiciled company, we believe that it is not unfair discrimination to promote affirmative action in line with the national Employment Equity Act or to prefer any person on the basis of an inherent job requirement.
To remain relevant in our many jurisdictions of operation, we strive to understand local norms so that we are able to address and manage the impact of local factors on project delivery.
Our Group diversity policy commits each business in the Group to supporting programmes that address socioeconomic challenges in their host communities. This includes commercial partnerships with local businesses in various geographies, preferential and targeted procurement, enterprise development and the development of communities located near our projects, as well as transformation in South Africa.
Murray & Roberts creates value for societies through our business activities, which provide employment and develop infrastructure which has considerable positive impact on socioeconomic development. The scale and significance of the projects facilitated by Murray & Roberts in its markets over more than 110 years is testimony to our direct economic contribution.
Effective partnerships and continued engagement with members of host communities and employees ensure that our initiatives and solutions respond appropriately to their needs and expectations. The Murray & Roberts Community Development Programme (“CDP”) prioritises education and skills development, mainly in host communities. The corporate office in South Africa manages three flagship community development initiatives and many of the Group’s businesses have dedicated corporate social investment programmes.
Stringent governance measures are in place to ensure that our investment and donations align to our Values, brand and community development strategy and genuinely benefit disadvantaged communities. The CDP committee approves funding for the corporate-led initiatives and monitors Corporate Social Investment (“CSI”) spend at a platform level. The Murray & Roberts Limited Board and social and ethics committee oversee strategy execution and expenditure.