PROJECT CODE OF CONDUCT

PROJECT EVEREST VENTURES

V.4 June 2018

INTRODUCTION

Scope

This policy document outlines the official Code of Conduct for Employees and Participants on Project with Project Everest Ventures (the Company). This policy applies to all persons, regardless if Trekker, Leader, staff member, consultant, director, shareholder, representative or otherwise (collectively referred to as Employees and Participants). This policy document aims to protect and maintain the integrity of the Company and those part of the organisation. This policy shall never replace the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia or the laws of your host country.

 

Basis of Policies

You must comply with the policies contained in this Code of Conduct and any other policies provided to you by the Company from time to time. The policies in this Code of Conduct do not impose a contractual obligation upon the Company nor otherwise form part of the terms and conditions of your employment contract, or contractor’s agreement, and are guidelines for the Company only. These policies do not give rise to any rights or entitlements to any Employees and Participants.

These policies are reasonable expectations and written directions issued by the Company to all Employees and Participants and in accepting employment with the Company or engaging our Services, you are accepting your awareness and understanding of the policies contained in this Code of Conduct. You should familiarise yourself with these policies on a regular basis.

The policies, procedures and expectations set out in this Code of Conduct are effective immediately unless otherwise stated. The policies contained in this Code of Conduct may be changed, replaced or removed from time to time without notice at the discretion of the Company.

This document will be available to all Employees and Participants via the Company’s website: https://www.projecteverest.ventures/project-code-of-conduct

If you have engaged our Services, this Code of Conduct is explicitly referenced in your Service Agreement and compliance with this Code of Conduct forms part of your obligations as a condition of us providing the services to you.

At any point where you are suspended or removed from Project as a result of breaching the Code of Conduct, you will be required to return home, at your own cost.

Breach

Breach(es) of the policies contained in this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action against you, which may include:

  • removal from Project;
  • counselling;
  • mandatory retraining and assessment;
  • a verbal or written warning;
  • a requirement to provide a written apology (depending on the context);
  • suspension with pay;
  • termination of employment with notice;
  • termination of employment without notice; or
  • termination of your services (if applicable).

You may also be personally liable for conduct engaged in contrary to this Code of Conduct.

 

GENERAL EXPECTATIONS

Failure to adhere to the general expectations set out in this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate suspension and/or removal from Project.

Risk Protocol

You must follow all risk protocols as advised to you by the Company as varied from time to time. Breaches of risk protocols are taken very seriously and if you breach risk protocols it will result in disciplinary action including your suspension and/or removal from Project and you being returned home.

Violence

Any aggression, violence including verbal aggression and swearing will not be tolerated.

If you breach this policy you may be subject to disciplinary action including your suspension and/or removal from Project and potentially criminal action may occur in accordance with local laws. 

Criminal activity

Each host country while on Project has local laws relating to criminal conduct. You are not to engage in any criminal conduct. If you have questions about what would constitute criminal conduct please discuss further with your Team Leader, Senior Leader or staff member. It is your responsibility to continuously familiarise yourself with local laws.

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism. If you commit these offences while overseas, we will refer you to the Australian Federal Police and you may be prosecuted in Australia.

Engagement in any criminal activity may also be reported to your University in line with our agreements with them.

Children

There may be instances in host countries where children from local communities will be nearby Employees and Participants. However, to preserve cultural sensitivities as well as your own safety and well-being, you are expressly prohibited from being by yourself with a child.

If there is an instance where there is a risk of being alone with a child you are to speak to your Leader immediately, leave the child and/or ask the child to leave your presence.

Tattoos and body piercing

Tattooing and body piercing establishments overseas may not have as stringent health requirements as Australia and therefore the Company expressly forbids that Employees and Participants receive tattoos or body piercings while on Project as these procedures may be a serious risk to your health and well-being.

Airport Conduct

The Company takes airport conduct very seriously. You must not engage in any conduct that is likely to cause security concerns, (such as making jokes about bombs), or behave in a manner that will cause other travellers concerns. 

Interactions

You are required to always move in a pair for your safety, for your colleague’s safety and the safety and well-being of the communities you are attending. If you are found to be moving alone through a community may result in disciplinary action including the immediate suspension and/or removal from the Project.

Expressly, Group Leaders and 2IC’s may move individually, however must continuously familiarise themselves with the risks of doing so.

Weekend behaviour

On weekends where you are not performing duties you are expected to adhere to this Code of Conduct as well as other Company policies and procedures.

 

SEXUAL CONDUCT/BEHAVIOUR

Unacceptable sexual relationships

The Company has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual relationships of its Employees and Participants.

The Company promotes an environment in which people treat each other with courtesy and respect on a global scale. Sexual relationships between members of the local community and with your fellow colleagues is strictly not permitted as it conflicts with the Company’s values.

Any sexual relationships between members of the local community or fellow colleagues may result in disciplinary action including the immediate suspension and/or removal from the Project and being returned to Australia if overseas.

Sexual assault

If you have experienced a sexual assault please immediately:

  • Go somewhere safe and away from the person who assaulted you
  • Let a friend and your Team Leader know (if appropriate), so they can provide you with support
  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible – this is for health reasons and to collect evidence
  • A support person or your Team Leader can assist you in contacting the police or relevant authorities (if you wish).
  • The Company will take all reasonable steps to return you home if you are overseas.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful discrimination under Australian anti-discrimination legislation and will not be tolerated within the Company. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour that occurs in circumstances in which a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, intimidated or humiliated. The harasser’s intention is irrelevant. There is no requirement that the harasser intends to offend, humiliate or intimidate another person.

Sexual harassment is not limited to a person of one sex harassing a person of the opposite sex, and can be carried out against a person of any gender. It can be a one-off incident and it is unnecessary for a person to object to the behaviour at the time it occurs.  

Sexual harassment can be physical, non-physical, written or spoken. It can occur in person, or can be conducted through some other means such as emails, text messages, social media or other digital forms.  Harassers can be any person in the workplace including managers, Employees and Participants, contractors or service providers. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • comments about a person’s body or appearance;
  • staring at a person or parts of their body;
  • gender based insults or taunting;
  • sexist jokes;
  • asking questions or divulging confidences of a sexual nature;
  • repeated requests for a date;
  • sexually suggestive behaviour;
  • making jokes, verbal abuse or derogatory comments of a sexual nature;
  • pornographic, rude or sexual emails, screensavers, text messages or postings on social networking sites;
  • conversations or innuendo of a sexual nature including via email or by text message;
  • touching another person’s body in a sexual way;
  • kissing or attempted kissing; and
  • behaviour which would be an offence under criminal law such as sexual assault, indecent exposure or stalking.

Conduct of a sexual nature which is not specifically directed at a particular person can be sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination. For example, banter of a sexual nature may intimidate or offend others who hear the discussion but do not participate in it, whether or not they expressly object to it.

Breach of this policy

Breaches of this policy may be viewed as serious misconduct which may lead to the immediate suspension or termination of your employment and/or your removal from Project.

 

SECURITY

The Company strongly recommends that you do not take valuables on Project as accommodation may not have areas where valuables can be secured.

Travel insurance will not extend to personal valuables taken on Project and the Company will not be held liable for any lost or stolen property of its Employees and Participants.

This advice does not extend to personal computers.

 

EXPENSES FOR TEAM LEADERS & GROUP LEADERS

Allocation

Each Team Leader and Group Leader is allotted a weekly budget in advance of the beginning of the week. The Team Leader and Group Leader is responsible for the security of the weekly budget monies. The Company reserves its rights to take disciplinary action against the Team leader or Group Leader if the Team Leader or Group Leader loses all or part of the weekly budget monies due to negligence or recklessness.

This budget is to be allocated across communications, research and development, food (if necessary) and transport.

Your allocated budget must be managed in the best interest of your team and the Company.

Receipts must be provided for each and every purchase and processed in accordance with your training.

Exceeding Allocation

You must notify your Second in Charge if you intend to exceed your weekly budget with at least 24 hours’ notice.

If you are unable to provide this notice, you must clear the expense with your Second in Charge, before purchase. Please understand that your request may be denied.

 

EXPENSES FOR SECOND IN CHARGE

Allocation

Each Second in Charge is responsible for the overall management of a Group’s finances as described as part of their duties of employment. The Second in Charge is responsible for the security of the budget monies allocated to the Group by the Company. The Company reserves its rights to take disciplinary action against the Second in Charge if the Second in Charge loses all or part of the budget monies due to negligence or recklessness.

This budget is to be allocated in accordance with the line items outlined in the budget prepared for you by the Company.

Your allocated budget must be managed in the best interest of your Group and the Company.

Receipts must be provided for each and every purchase and processed in accordance with your training.

Exceeding Allocation

You must notify the Head of Country Operations if you intend to exceed your budget with at least 24 hours’ notice.

If you are unable to provide this notice, you must clear the expense with the Head of Country Operations, before purchase. Please understand that your request may be denied.

 

DRESS CODE

General dress code

You are expected to be well groomed at all times and are expected to wear presentable clothing. Basic hygiene should always be attended to. Clothes should be practical, clean and casual. The Company encourages you to wear the Company provided branded shirt and closed in and safe footwear as often as possible. You are expected to dress in a culturally respectful manner at all times. The following is not acceptable during business hours while on Project:

  • Beach wear, (swimwear, bikinis, boardshorts);
  • Clothing with rips or tears, including clothing with intentional rips or tears;
  • Midrift tops;
  • Thongs or other unsafe footwear; and
  • Any outfit deemed to be inappropriate for the local culture.

Business meetings and events

During business meetings you are expected to wear the Company branded company shirt as provided.

Cultural sensitivities

You will be advised by your Team Leader of any cultural sensitivities that may apply and required clothing in this regard. You are expected to be aware of these cultural sensitivities and not wear any clothing that is likely to cause offence.

If you breach this policy you will be asked to change your clothing. Repeated breaches of this policy may be result in disciplinary action taken against you including the suspension and/or removal from the Project.

ACCOMMODATION

Use of Project Everest Accommodation

  • Company accommodation will be available for use during Project dates only.
  • Company accommodation is available for use on weekends.
  • Should Company accommodation be used on the weekends, there must be a minimum of one leader staying in the area or at said accommodation.
  • Company accommodation is available to staff at all times, except those who are operating in another capacity outside their employment.
  • Company accommodation is available to Team Leader’s no earlier than three days prior to Project and no later than one day after close of Project, unless a Senior Leader is present at the accommodation
  • Team gatherings at Company accommodation is at the discretion of the Group Leader.
  • Accommodation is not able to be used or visited by any members not affiliated with Project Everest Ventures at any time
  • Alcohol is not to be consumed in Company accommodation under any circumstances, without clearance from the Head of Country Operations

Stocktake

  • Second in Charge Employees must conduct a stocktake of accommodation prior to commencement of Project.
  • Stocktake must be conducted at close of Project.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

Zero tolerance policy

The Company aims to provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe work environment and to promote the health and safety of all people performing work for the Company.

The Company strictly prohibits the use of alcohol and/or drugs by Employees and Participants. The use of drugs and/or alcohol could impair the Employees and Participants ability to safely undertake their duties, their productivity or that of others, or could increase the risk of injury to themselves and others.

The use of drugs and alcohol also jeopardises an individual’s ability to behave safely and effectively and it is for this reason that the Company has a zero tolerance approach with regards to the use of drugs and alcohol.

This policy sets out the Company’s expectations regarding drugs and alcohol in connection with work.

Definition of work / workplace

For the purposes of this policy, “work”/ “workplace” is broadly defined, and includes any work or other services done for the Company at any location, and is not limited to the Company’s offices or at any overseas Project location. This policy will also apply to out of hours conduct.

Participant & Employee obligations

Participants and Employees undertake that they will:

  • not consume and/or purchase alcohol and/or take drugs when affiliated with the Company;
  • attend work in a fit and proper condition, and not affected by alcohol or drugs when performing duties;
  • not operate any vehicle or machinery under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, nor under the influence of medication which carries a warning against the operation of vehicles or machinery;
  • not possess drugs in the workplace other than medication prescribed by a medical practitioner or available over the counter;
  • notify their manager or supervisor if they perceive that another person is posing a risk to themselves or others due to appearing to be affected by alcohol or drugs;
  • notify their manager or supervisor if they become aware of an actual or suspected alcohol or drug related incident or hazard; and
  • act consistently with their obligations under work health and safety legislation and their employment or engagement contract to take reasonable care not to adversely affect the health and safety of themselves or others within the workplace and to behave appropriately and professionally at all times when at work or when representing the Company at functions.

Prescription and Over-the -Counter Medication

Employees and Participants who take prescription and/or over-the-counter medication (“Permitted Drugs”) must:

  • do so in accordance with the instructions on the packaging and/or instructions of their medical practitioner;
  • if Permitted Drugs are prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, consult with the medical practitioner as to whether it may impair their ability to perform their role or endanger their own or others safety and obtain written advice on their effect from their registered medical practitioner; and
  • notify their supervisor if taking Permitted Drugs which may impair their ability to perform their role or endanger their own or others safety.

If there may be any impact on the Employees and Participants ability to work safely and perform the inherent requirements of the role, alternative arrangements will be made which may include performing alternative duties, ceasing work or being required to take personal leave.

Illegal Drugs

Should you be found to have consumed illegal drugs at work or otherwise be under the influence of illegal drugs while at work (as opposed to Permitted Drugs) you may, depending on the circumstances, be deemed to have committed an act of serious misconduct in which case you may be suspended, have your employment or services terminated and be removed from Project immediately.

Should you be believed to be buying, selling, creating, distributing or in possession of illegal drugs you may also be considered to have engaged in serious misconduct which may result in the immediate termination of your employment or services.

Where your behaviour or conduct may involve a breach of Australian law, (or any laws of your host country) the Company may notify the police or other relevant government authority as appropriate/required.

Alcohol consumption and cultural sensitivities

Alcohol is forbidden to be consumed in local community areas unless the culture requires.

Consumption of alcohol on weekends

You are permitted to consume alcohol in moderation on weekends, however, if you become intoxicated the Company may take disciplinary action against you as your intoxication may be a serious risk to your health and safety.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

The Company recognises and embraces the opportunities that social media presents as a tool for communication and engaging with the community. However, as in all communications, you should exercise good judgment about what material you put online and in what context.

This policy sets out the Company’s expectations with respect to the use of social media. The Company requires that Employees and Participants will not use social media to engage in inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying or harassing other Employees and Participants of the Company or engaging in vilifying or criminal conduct or conduct that is likely to cause offence to local customs and cultures.

Where you are officially authorised by the Company to represent the Company in social media, or where you are representing the Company when on Project you must follow this policy.

This policy covers both original posts and other materials that are reposted, shared or otherwise created and distributed via social media by any user. The policy also covers commenting upon, ‘liking’ or otherwise engaging with content via social media.

Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, social media is defined as all online media tools which allow user participation, communication and/or interaction, and may include, but is not limited to Facebook and Instagram.

Prohibited Conduct

Inappropriate and prohibited uses of social media, in either a professional or personal capacity (where such use is connected with your employment or engagement with the Company), include but are not limited to:

  • posting any material that may be discriminatory, offensive, defamatory, harassing, abusive, vilifying, bullying, racist, sexist, threatening or intimidating;
  • posting any material that is a risk to the health and safety of any person;
  • accessing, downloading or transmitting any sexually explicit material or violent/graphic images;
  • accessing, downloading or transmitting information on the use and construction of weapons, explosives and other tools of violence or terrorism;
  • accessing, downloading or transmitting any illegal or unlawful material in breach of any legislation;

You are expected to immediately notify your Leader if you become aware that other users who are associated with the Company, are engaging in conduct which may constitute a breach of this policy.

You are also expected to not respond to any discussions or posts that may contain information that is confidential to the Company.

 

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Background

The Company has strict emergency response protocols in place in each host country.

International SOS is an international partner, providing 24 hour access to medical and security services, 7 days a week.

All personnel deployed on Project are required to obtain and keep up to date a first aid certificate.

All leadership personnel are trained in crisis management and response.

Priority Response Protocol Classification

Priority Red – Loss of life or limb within one hour.

Priority Orange – Loss of life or limb within 6 hours.

Priority Green – Any incident involving minor sickness or injury.

Evacuation Protocol

Should emergency evacuation from country be advised by the Company, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or International SOS, the Group Leader will coordinate with the relevant personnel and organisations to commence the evacuation.

Training

You may from time to time be required to participate in CASEVAC or Evacuation training as the Company deems necessary. You will comply with any request by the Company to attend such training. Refusal to attend this training may result in your immediate suspension or removal from the Project.

Risk Assessment & Management

This Code of Conduct does not explicitly outline all Risk Assessment, Management, Protocols or Emergency Procedures. All of this information is contained in our Risk Assessment & Management documentation, which is freely available to you to review at any time. You can access this via Google Drive and/or speaking with a Leader or Staff Member.

TRANSPORT

Motor Vehicles

Each Group will be allocated one or two motor vehicles and these vehicles will be for emergency purposes only.

Only those who are Second in Charge or Group Leader or as otherwise nominated by the Company are permitted to operate Company vehicles.

Company staff may operate Company vehicles if they are only working in the capacity of their employment.

Minimum of one vehicle is to remain within 15km of the majority of the Group at all times.

Vehicles must not exceed 80km/h in speed at any time.

You must possess at minimum a Provisional 2 Australian Drivers Licence, in conjunction with an International Driving Permit. You must provide a copy of both licences to the Head of Country Operations at the Company.

You must only carry as many passengers as is the legal capacity of the vehicle, each passenger must have access to a working seat belt in accordance with local laws and you must not drive in a manner that is dangerous, unlawful or in contravention of local driving laws or in a manner that voids insurances.

Motor vehicles are not to be used outside Project dates, unless express written permission is given by the Company. Where vehicles are used outside Project dates and not for reconnaissance purposes, fuel and maintenance will not be covered by expenses.

Hitchhiking

The Company expressly forbids you from hitchhiking.

Motorbikes

Riding a motorcycle is not permitted by the Company when on Project. This includes riding on the back of a motorcycle or scooter.

If you have received express written permission to ride a motorcycle by the Head of Country Operations you elect to do so at your own risk and agree to only do so on weekends and not in the company of other Employees and Participants. You also agree to hold the relevant licenses required to operate a motorcycle.

 

TRAVELLING

Whilst travel requirements are common sense you still have an obligation to ensure that you are ready to travel when on Project. The below guide is not definitive and you should ask your Leader, Staff Member or travel agent if you require further information about travel requirements.

Arrivals and Departures

The arrival and departure of Employees and Participants varies depending on your engagement as follows:

  • Employees should arrive as they believe necessary to carry out the course of their duties.
  • Team Leaders on placement are required to arrive in country three full days prior to commencement of Project and remain in country one full day at the close of Project.
  • Trekkers must arrive in country no later than 0800 on the day of commencement of Project and must not leave earlier than the completion of final dinner.

Long Weekend

Leaders may leave no earlier than 0001 on the date of the commencement of the long weekend and must return no later than 2359 on the date of the conclusion of the long weekend.

Departure and Arrival of Trekkers is at the discretion of the Group Leader.

Before you travel checklist:

  • Leaders may leave no earlier than 0001 on the date of the commencement of the long weekend and must return no later than 2359 on the date of the conclusion of the long weekend.
  • Departure and Arrival of Trekkers is at the discretion of the Group Leader.

Visas

  • Do you have the correct, valid and up to date visa?

Passports

  • Do you have a current passport with at least 6 months until its expiry?

Cash and Credit Cards

  • Have you notified your bank that you are travelling?
  • Do you have sufficient cash and/or credit whilst on Project?

Phones and SIMs

  • Have you confirmed whether your phone will work overseas? If not have you arranged to have a working phone whilst overseas?

Vaccinations and Medicines

  • Do you have all of the correct vaccinations for the country you are travelling to?
  • Do you have all of the medicines you require? These might not be available overseas.
  • Have you checked that any medications and medicines that you require are allowed in the relevant country prior to travel?
  • Have you undertaken a health check prior to travel to ensure you are fit for the Project?

Insurance

  • Do you have copy of the Company arranged travel insurance?

Itinerary

  • Provide your itinerary and the details of where you are staying to your family and friends.

Medical Care

  • Are you away from medical care? Have you notified your Team Leader and complied with Company instructions?

Do you have copies of records and key details for?

  • Passport
  • Insurance
  • Visa
  • Details of where you are staying
  • Key phone numbers