Regular engagement and training in ethical business conduct supports our employees to make ethical decisions and helps to foster a culture of integrity.
We have developed a responsible decision-making model to help our employees with thinking through situations which aren’t necessarily covered in our training scenarios or the Code of Conduct. The model sets out a way to commonly review the concerns and reach conclusions.
The model advises people firstly to gather the facts of the situation, ensuring that they are all facts and not assumptions, then that all policies, laws and regulations are understood, that integrity is applied when considering the situation, and finally that others are asked for advice, be that a manager, HR, Legal or the Ethics Helpline.
The Ethics Helpline is available for anyone to call to tell us about situations where they think the law or our standards may not have been upheld, or where an issue or concern they have reported is not being dealt with properly.
Calls to the Ethics Helpline are free and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Telephone numbers for the Ethics Helpline are shown in the tables below.
When calls are made to the Ethics Helpline, a member of trained staff will take written details then send a confidential report to BAE Systems, but they do not record the call. We use an external company which specialises in operating confidential telephone reporting systems to provide an independent service and assurance to callers of confidentiality and, where they request it, anonymity.
Anyone reporting apparent misconduct honestly, and in good faith, will be supported by us.
Contacting the BAE Systems Ethics Helpline
Ethics training gives employees a shared understanding of what is expected of them and helps create an environment in which all employees feel they can ask questions and be supported in making the right decisions.
Our conversation-based training is delivered annually to employees face-to-face by line managers. Ethical scenarios, which are presented using cards or videos, are discussed in a team environment to promote rich and open discussion about what the implications of decisions are for individuals, the Company and our customers.
Training scenarios cover ethical issues that have arisen across the Company and also cover current and emerging risks and issues, both internal and external to the Company. Training is refreshed, incorporating employee feedback, material risks (including Internal Audit findings, legal and ethics investigation findings and disciplinary information) and best practice, and is delivered annually.
Depending on an employee’s role within the Company, they may be required to undertake additional training. For example, specific training modules have been introduced including for senior executives and business leaders covering Export Controls, Integrity in Business Dealings and Advisers.
We have more than 200 people across our Company, specifically trained to support our employees with ethical guidance and reporting concerns on a day to day basis.
These Ethics Officers form a network made up of:
- Ethics Officers who act as ambassadors for the Code of Conduct, engage employees in increasing their understanding of the Code, provide advice and guidance for employees and managers on how to apply the Code in their everyday working life, and support individuals in resolving ethical concerns. They undertake this role in addition to their day job, usually as around 10% - 20% of their time and they report into Ethics Managers.
- Ethics Managers who are appointed by their business to act as Ethics Officers in a full-time capacity and report into the Chief Counsel (for that business) and central Ethics team. As well as the duties of an Ethics Officer they also lead the network of Ethics Officers in their business, provide reporting to the senior management of the business, manage reports made via the Ethics Helpline and act as a link to the central Ethics team.
- Ethics Leads who carry out the same duties as an Ethics Manager in our smaller businesses (excluding Inc.), where a full-time position is not required. This role reports into the Chief Counsel for the business and central Ethics team.
New Ethics Officers receive training on our case management tool and ethics investigation process, so that they can manage ethics cases raised.
Our Ethics Officer network receives regular communication and training to support them in their roles. Communication with our Ethics Officers includes, webinars, newsletters, email updates and resources on dedicated online team sites and within the Ethics Officer Toolkit. We also hold annual two-day conferences in the UK and US. We encourage Ethics Officers to share information and best practice internally within their Ethics Officer network and promote attendance at external events and industry associations.