Integrity and compliance are core principles at Adecco. How we conduct ourselves day to day - with each other, our clients and our competitors - is the foundation of our reputation as an ethical company. That's why we do everything we can to protect our reputation by making sure our actions and policies are not only legal, but in line with the highest levels of business ethics and personal integrity.
Adecco fosters an environment of open, honest communication, and encourages all employees to raise their questions or concerns and to report suspected violations of law or company policy without fear of retaliation. The Adecco Compliance and Ethics Line (ACE Line) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with representatives who can consult with colleagues in almost any language. We encourage you to contact us because no one has better insight into what is happening within Adecco than our people.
The Group Compliance Office operates independently of any other business unit in the company and reports to the Corporate Governance Committee and to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
The most effective solution to compliance and ethics problems is to prevent them before they occur. The Group Compliance Office has implemented a web-based program designed to deliver timely, consistent and effective training to all colleagues worldwide to help them better understand Adecco’s values, as well as the policies, procedures and legal requirements that affect their daily decisions, behaviors and activities. All colleagues are required to complete a set of core training modules, as well as specialty training modules that are assigned based on job function. This program provides assurance that compliance and education are delivered in a consistent manner and effectively documented through online registration and tracking of course completion.
As part of Adecco's commitment to an ethical workplace and to ensure that the company meets its legal obligations, the Group Compliance Office responds to reports of possible violations of the Adecco Code of Conduct, subject to local restrictions and guidelines.
Our office depends on our colleagues in other departments to refer these reports to us. If you learn of a possible incident which represents an actual or potential violation of the law or Adecco Group policies, procedures or of the Code of Conduct, subject to local restrictions and guidelines, you should report the matter to the Group Compliance Office. Adecco has a Compliance Issue Reporting and Response Policy which governs how reports should be made and addressed. This policy is available for review by Adecco colleagues.
Suspected violations of the Code of Conduct, subject to local restrictions and guidelines, are referred to the Group Compliance Office that reviews the report and, if appropriate, refers the matter to an investigator for handling. The Group Compliance Office aims at helping managers implement measures to stop misconduct and ensure that it does not happen again.
The importance of work, and what we do to help people find it, cannot be overstated. Work can define who we are. It can give purpose and meaning to our lives. It permits us to apply our talents to contribute to society. It is essential for our personal and financial well-being. It is the means by which we can each realise our dreams.
Our success in helping others realise their dreams is based upon the trust and loyalty they have in us. Trust and loyalty are the most precious assets in any business, but it cannot be bought or manufactured, it must be earned.
We are dedicated to earning the trust and loyalty of our associates, clients, customers, shareholders, the communities in which we operate and one another, by performing our work in accordance with our Code of Conduct and our core values of team spirit, customer focus, responsibility and entrepreneurship.
You can read or download our Code of Conduct using the link below:
Adecco Group created the Group Compliance Office to help ensure that our company operates according to high ethical standards and in compliance with both our legal obligations and established internal procedures. Following are a set of answers that have been developed to respond to frequently asked questions that may be raised about the ACE Line and our group.
Q: Where does the Code of Conduct apply?
A: The Code of Conduct applies in all countries where Adecco does business. All colleagues are subject to the laws and regulations of the locations where they work. Because Adecco is a global company, other laws may apply as well.
Q: Does management really want me to report?
A: We certainly do. In fact, we need you to report. You know what is going on in your company - both good and bad. You may have initial knowledge of an activity that may be cause for concern. Your reporting can minimize the potential negative impact on the company and its people. Also, offering positive input may help identify issues that can improve corporate culture and performance.
Q: What may I or should I report to the ACE Line?
A: You may report any actual or suspected violation of the law or Adecco Group policies, procedures or of the Code of Conduct or any ethical concerns you may have. You should first consult with your superior or your department head. Contact your local human resources representative for help with issues relating to working conditions. Contact your local legal department if the matter involves compliance with any legal, regulatory or government requirements.
If taking the preceding steps did not resolve the issue, or you are reluctant to use one of the other resources, you can contact the Adecco Group Compliance Office. The Group Compliance Office seeks to prevent unlawful or unethical business conduct and to detect it if it occurs. The Group Compliance Office can also answer questions and respond to concerns about compliance, ethics and the requirements described in the Code of Conduct.
Please feel free to contact the Group Compliance Office even if you are in doubt about whether a matter should be reported.
Q: If I see a violation, shouldn't I just report it to my manager, security, or human resources and let them deal with it?
A: You certainly can, but there are several reasons why you may want to use the ACE Line as well. The ACE Line ensures that your report gets to the appropriate people. More importantly, subject to local legislation, reports can be filed anonymously and all report information is secure and held in confidence.
Q: What is a "whistleblower?"
A: A whistleblower is a colleague who provides information or raises a concern in good faith regarding suspected misconduct, mismanagement, waste of resources and/or abuse of authority within Adecco.
Q: How does Adecco protect a whistleblower?
A: Adecco recognizes its obligation to protect whistleblowers from being subjected to possible retaliation, or the fear of such consequences, as a result of raising workplace concerns in good faith. There are three ways in which Adecco affords protection: (1) subject to local legislation, colleagues may choose to remain anonymous when reporting suspected misconduct or raising concerns; (2) colleagues may request to have their identities kept confidential during the investigative process; and (3) as a deterrent, Adecco expressly prohibits retaliation against any person who makes such a report in good faith.
Q: How does the ACE Line work?
A: If you make a report online, the site will prompt you to provide the information that is required to investigate a concern. You will have the option to navigate the site in one of several languages. However, you may make your report in any language. You will be given the option to remain anonymous or to provide your name and contact details. Once you have completed your report, you will be provided with a Report Key, and you will be asked to create a password. You can return to the site later on for an update. At that time, we may need to pose questions back to you in order to investigate the matter further. You will need to enter both your Report Key and your password.
If you make a report by telephone, your call will be answered in English by a qualified call center specialist. Depending on the language in which you wish to conduct the conversation, the call center specialist will either continue with the call, transfer it to a colleague who is able to speak your language, or ask an interpreter to join the conversation. The ACE Line supports all languages.
Once a report is made to the ACE Line, details of the report are sent to the Group Compliance Office for follow up.
Q: Can I still file a report if I don't have access to the Internet?
A: You can file a report from any computer that can access the Internet. You can file from home. Many public locations, including the public library, have Internet computers. If you don't have access or are uncomfortable using a computer, you can call the ACE Line at (800) 279-6315 within the United States and Canada. Outside the United States and Canada, please use your country's AT&T Direct access code, and then dial 800-279-6315. The ACE Line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Q: Do I need to identify myself?
A: No, only if you wish. When you call the ACE Line, you may remain anonymous. The call will not be recorded, and no attempt is made to determine the number from which you are calling. We understand the value of complaints provided by individuals who wish to remain anonymous. We also understand the value of being able to contact those who make reports to ask for additional information or clarification of the issues. Often, additional information is necessary for a successful conclusion of an investigation. We encourage you to identify yourself; however, it is not required.
Q: Is the telephone toll-free hot line confidential and anonymous too?
A: Yes. You will be asked to provide the same information that you would provide in an Internet-based report and an interviewer will type your responses into the ACE Line Web site. These reports have the same security and confidentiality measures applied to them during delivery.
Q: When can I submit a report?
A: You can submit a report anytime, anywhere. The ACE Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, globally for both Internet and telephone reporting.
Q: What information should I be prepared to give?
A: Your report should tell us (1) what happened, (2) when it happened, (3) where it happened, (4) who was involved, (5) what was done and/or said, (6) whether there were any witnesses other than you, (7) where these other parties can be contacted, and (8) what documents may support your report. In order to protect the reputations and privacy rights of all parties, and to promote due process and the fairness of investigations, it is important that the information you provide be accurate and given in good faith.
Q: Can I file a report from home and still remain anonymous?
A: A report from home, a neighbor's computer, or any Internet portal will remain secure and anonymous. An Internet portal never identifies a visitor by screen name and the ACE Line system strips away Internet addresses so that anonymity is totally maintained. Plus, the company that maintains the ACE Line for Adecco is contractually committed not to pursue a reporter's identity.
Q: Is it possible that my ACE Line call can be traced back to me by using "Caller ID?"
A: No. Caller ID is disabled for all incoming calls.
Q: What if I want to be identified with my report?
A: There is a section in the report for identifying yourself, if you wish.
Q: Will I get into trouble if I report an ethical concern, or if I suspect someone of violating the Code?
A: No. Adecco strictly prohibits retaliation, in any form, against anyone who reports any matter of ethical concern in good faith. Any suspected retaliation should be reported to the ACE Line. However, any employee who knowingly makes a false report might be subject to disciplinary action.
Q: Do I have to participate in any investigation under the Code of Conduct?
A: Yes. You would be requested to cooperate in an investigation in accordance with your contractual and/or employee obligations to the company.
Q: What are the consequences for violating the Code of Conduct?
A: Colleagues who violate the Code of Conduct, subject to local restrictions and guidelines, may be subject to disciplinary action. Those who violate the Code may simultaneously violate applicable laws, regulations or policies. This may subject them to prosecution, imprisonment and fines, and they may be required to reimburse the company and others for losses.
Q: Does an investigation ever lead to the prosecution of someone?
A: If necessary, we will contact law enforcement authorities. Adecco supports, as a matter of principle, the criminal prosecution of those involved in criminal conduct, regardless of whether any restitution is paid. When appropriate, Adecco will also institute civil proceeding against violators.
Q: How will I know a violation has been corrected?
A: All allegations will be investigated thoroughly. Depending on the complexity of the matter, it may take time to investigate. For confidentiality reasons, you will not necessarily be told the specifics of how a particular matter is being / has been resolved. However, if the problem was in your immediate work area, you may see a change in procedures or potentially a change in personnel.