Our success depends on us being trusted by all our stakeholders to uphold high standards of governance and business conduct. Robust governance remains at the core of our business and underpins the sustainability of the business. Our Operational Framework sets out our approach and the policies, processes and standards to which we adhere and apply everywhere we operate.
Our policies, processes and due diligence along with our Code of Conduct and Supplier Principles – Guidance for Responsible Business cover all aspects of our sustainability agenda and outline expectations for employees and business partners.
Each employee has a vital role to play in ensuring that we maintain the high standards of ethical conduct that our customers, shareholders, partners and colleagues expect. BAE Systems has a zero tolerance policy regarding corruption in all its forms.
Our anti-corruption programme is designed to ensure adherence to the relevant legal and regulatory requirements recognising the bribery and corruption risks faced by the Company. Clear policies and principles inform our business decisions and provide our employees with practical guidance. It also helps employees to understand what is expected of them and to create an environment in which employees feel they can ask questions and raise issues and concerns.
We continually check and test the effectiveness of our programme receiving both internal and external oversight and assurance, including encouraging feedback internally from our employees and externally from independent third parties. Risk-based due diligence procedures have been implemented to address bribery, corruption and other financial and non‑financial risk, and our policies include processes for risk-based internal and external approvals, ongoing monitoring and repeat due diligence.
We drive improvements in the programme annually to ensure it continues to meet best practice. The programme also includes our Code of Conduct and training which covers scenarios our employees may face, defines the standards and behaviours we aspire to every day and gives guidance on where to go for further advice.
Employee ethics programme
During 2020, we updated our Code of Conduct to include changes to our internal processes and policies and incorporate external best practice. The Code will be rolled out across our business during early 2021.
All employees are required to complete training annually. During 2020, with the backdrop of COVID-19, we adapted our ethics training, Scenarios for Team Discussions, to be fully accessible online to address employees working remotely or working under different conditions at Company locations. Managers and employees across the business could download ethical scenarios to discuss during virtual or socially distanced team meetings.
97% of our employees completed this training, with the majority of those who did not complete being employees on secondment, maternity leave, sick leave or other long-term absence. These employees will complete the training in due course on their return to the business.