Effective and ethical leadership

At Blue Label we believe that effective and ethical leadership is centred around integrity. It is about doing the right thing – being accountable, responsible, fair and transparent.

We recognise that ethical leadership within Blue Label improves public trust, enhances risk, compliance and ethics management, and strengthens stakeholder relations. This is achieved through:

  • our key values;
    • customer service orientation;
    • achievement and drive to succeed;
    • honesty and integrity;
    • enjoyment;
    • collaboration;
  • leadership’s commitment to uphold our key values; and
  • the provision of mechanisms to report and manage unethical behaviour.

WeLead

As an organisation, we are proud of our corporate culture and believe that everyone in #teamblu has a responsibility to shape the right culture by living the BLT values in everything that we do. We encourage a growth mindset that allows individuals to improve themselves and their skill while contributing to the success of the team and the Group.

WeLead, an internal awareness programme that empowers every employee to bring leadership skills and behaviours to work regardless of where they are in the organisation, which helps to drive the right behaviour.

Through WeLead we aim to create awareness on the importance of everyone demonstrating our leadership qualities as part of our DNA, driving the behaviour expected of them:

We strive for customer centricity

We build relationships and trust across the business and with our customers, consumers and communities

We create an environment where people have fun and find purpose

We develop our people for long-term success

We behave honestly and with integrity

We innovate boldly

We strive to be both agile and entrepreneurial

In FY2021 we conducted a benchmark study where each employee was requested to rate their manager according to the WeLead behaviours. We were pleased that we achieved a 2.55/3 score, which indicates that managers across the Group display these behaviours frequently. We will continue to enhance internal communication relating to healthy leadership behaviours across the Group.

Maintaining high ethical standards

Blue Label’s Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee is established in compliance with the Companies Act. It in turn elevates social and ethics matters to Board level. This ensures that ethics are treated as a matter of strategic importance.

The Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee maintains oversight of the ethics policies and applications within the Group and the Chairman of the Board sets the ethical tone for the Board as a whole. The main ethics items monitored and reported on at the Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee include:

  • The identified United Nations Global compact principles that influence our alignment;
  • Anti-fraud and corruption policies and procedures;
  • Consumer relations and compliance with consumer protection laws; and
  • Environmental, health and public safety.

Employees are expected to demonstrate ethical business practices at all times. All new staff members undergo an induction programme that includes training on the code of business conduct, the function of the ethics hotline, emphasising on what should be reported and how to report unethical behaviour via this channel.

The ethics hotline is outsourced to KPMG Ethics Line, a division of KPMG, and can be accessed on 0800 22 10 20. The ethics hotline is available to all stakeholders. Two incidents were reported during the year ended 31 May 2021. Both incidents were investigated by management, action was taken where required and feedback was given to KPMG to close out the matters. In FY2021 a key focus area has been the revision and alignment of our policies, supported by the re-education of our employees.

The following policies have been reviewed, implemented and trained in FY2021:

  • Code of Conduct;
  • Ethics Policy;
  • Substance Abuse Policy;
  • Information and Social Media Policy;
  • Leave Policy; and
  • Gifts Policy.

Key provisions of our policies include the following:

  • Each employee of Blue Label Telecoms has an obligation to act in the best interests of the Company and must not let outside activities or outside financial interests interfere with those obligations.
  • Employees must be open and transparent about all gifts and hospitality given or received and are required to disclose these. When a gift is considered lavish or extravagant, it could be construed to amount to a gratification which immediately places the organisation and individuals concerned at risk for being prosecuted for acts of corruption.
  • Fraudulent, corrupt or illegal practices will not be tolerated. Bribes or any other illicit payments will neither be paid nor accepted.
  • The Group does not participate in any illegal anticompetitive activity. Employees should not authorise nor participate in any illegal conduct or action (such as price manipulation or tender fixing) that restricts competition.
  • The Group is non-political. It does not make contributions to political parties or allow its assets and services to be used in any way which favours any particular political grouping, other than in the provision of its normal products and services, under its standard terms and conditions and arm’s length prices.
  • The Company facilities, equipment, and personnel should only be used for the business’s activities and purposes, except when other uses are specifically authorised by Blue Label Telecoms.
  • Employees are required to always be mindful of what a payment is for and whether the amount requested is proportionate to the goods or services provided. Any suspicions, concerns or queries regarding a payment should be clarified.
  • Employees must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, that a facilitation payment or kickback will be made or accepted by us.
  • The Group does not place any limitations on an employee’s right to freedom of association specifically the right to collective bargaining.
  • The Group is against child labour and forced/ compulsory labour.
  • The ethics officer takes responsibility for managing the organisation’s ethics programme. The ethics officer reports to the Ethics Committee on progress with the ethics management plan, and the state of ethics within the organisation.

Ethical breaches

In the latter part of the 2021 year, two employees of a Blue Label subsidiary were suspended on the grounds of suspected unethical practices. Both employees have subsequently resigned and an investigation is in progress.

Other matters that come to the attention of management are addressed in an appropriate manner.

Blue Label is satisfied that its corporate governance framework (including compliance and risk) is at a minimum in keeping with best industry practice and industry norms. Blue Label continues to maintain a zero-tolerance policy regarding any lapses in good governance.