We hold ourselves as a company and as individuals to the highest standards of ethical business conduct. We envision a world where cats and dogs live well and believe in the power of business to do good. Our values are core to how we think and behave, and fundamental to our success. Scrumbles’s Code of Conduct details some of the ways we put our values into practice. Please read through our Code and Scrumbles’s values, and follow both in spirit and letter, always bearing in mind that each of us has a personal responsibility to incorporate, and to encourage other Scrumblers to incorporate, the principles of the Code and values into our work. We’re constantly evolving and not perfect, so if you think as individuals or as a company as a whole, we’re falling short of our commitment, we want to hear from you.
Our values: conscious – daring – curious – real
Who Must Follow Our Code?
This code is for anyone employed by Scrumbles as well as Board members. Failure to follow our code can result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. Moreover, while the Code is specifically written for Scrumbles employees and Board members, we expect Scrumbles contractors, consultants, and others who may be temporarily assigned to perform work or services for Scrumbles to follow the Code in connection with their work for us. Failure of a Scrumbles contractor, consultant, or other covered service provider to follow the Code can result in termination of their relationship with Scrumbles.
What If I Have a Code-Related Question or Concern?
If you have a question or concern, don’t just sit there. Please raise with your manager, HR, or one of the founders.
I. Serve Our Customers
Everything we do must ultimately serve our vulnerable end customers (cat’s and dog’s). Keeping the following principles in mind will help us to do so:
We want our customers to trust us implicitly, and it is up to all of us to make sure that we continually earn and keep that trust. All of our communications and other interactions with our customers should serve to increase their trust in us and our products and services should focus on providing reliable quality.
Our customers rely on us to provide a quality product and service. We recognise relevant customer feedback when we see it, and we do something about it. We take pride in responding quickly to communications from our customers, whether questions, problems, or compliments. Continually improving our products and services takes all of us, and we want to empower our customers to communicate their needs.
For us to achieve our mission of enabling cats and dogs to live well, we need to be available to our customers, physically and affordably.
II. Be Inclusive
All employees should treat others inclusively, respectfully and considerately. We are committed to a supportive work environment, where employees have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Scrumblers are expected to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias, and unlawful discrimination.
- Equal Opportunity Employment
Employment here is based solely upon individual merit and capability. We strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, age, gender, religion, marital status, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law. We also make all reasonable accommodations to meet our obligations under laws protecting the rights of the disabled.
- Harassment, Discrimination, and Bullying
We are committed to a safe workplace, free from violence and abuse. Scrumbles prohibits discrimination, harassment and bullying in any form – verbal, physical, or visual. This includes discriminatory jokes. If you believe you’ve been bullied or harassed by anyone at Scrumbles, or by a Scrumbles partner or vendor, we strongly encourage you to immediately report the incident to your manager, HR or both. Similarly, anyone who learns of any such incident should immediately report it to HR. HR will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaints and take appropriate action.
- Drugs and Alcohol
Substance abuse is strictly prohibited. Occasionally there may be events at the office that involve alcohol. Please use good judgment and never drink in a way that leads to impaired performance, inappropriate behaviour, endangers the safety of others, or violates the law. Illegal drugs in our offices or at sponsored events are strictly prohibited.
- Animal Policy
Furry things are central to what we do and our affection for our canine and feline friends is an integral facet of our business’ culture. We have equal love for cats and dogs, but for their best interests, the general rule is for cats to not visit the office. Well behaved, non-aggressive, toilet trained dogs are welcome. The more the merrier!
III. Avoid Conflicts of Interest
All Scrumbles employees are expected to act in the best interest of Scrumbles while performing your job. Your personal interests and relationships must not interfere in your ability to make decisions in the best interest of the company. Below is some guidance on possible conflicts of interest that may arise. We’re unable to address every potential conflict of interest, so please use your conscience and common sense – if you’re considering something that might benefit you as an individual it’s likely to be a conflict of interest. If unsure, please seek guidance.
- Personal Investments
Avoid investments that might cause, or appear to cause, you to act in a way that could harm Scrumbles e.g. in companies that are Scrumbles competitors or business partners. If you have a prior investment before joining Scrumbles, this must be disclosed.
Typically, investments in venture capital or other similar funds that invest in a broad cross-section of companies and may include Scrumbles competitors or business partners are not considered conflicts of interest. However, if you control the fund’s investment activity, then this is a conflict.
- Outside Employment, Advisory Roles, Board Seats, and Starting Your Own Business
With the exception of Scrumbles customers, suppliers or competitors, you may hold other employment outside of Scrumbles, so long as the employment doesn’t interfere in your ability to perform your job to the best of your abilities at Scrumbles. Any outside employment, advisory positions etc need to be disclosed to HR. Finally, do not start your own business if it will compete with Scrumbles, there are plenty of other cool things you can do.
- Business Opportunities Found Through Work
Business opportunities discovered through your work here belong first to Scrumbles, except as otherwise agreed to by the board and HR.
- Friends and Relatives
You may have friends or relatives who are employed by, or have ownership interests in, Scrumbles’s customers, competitors or suppliers. If you deal with such a customer or supplier, take care to ensure that your friendship does not affect, or appear to affect, your ability to act in the best interest of the Company.
In addition, personal relationships at work must not influence your ability to act in the best interest of the Company and must not affect any employment relationship. Employment-related decisions should be based on merit, capability, qualifications, performance, skills and experience.
- Accepting Gifts, Entertainment, and Other Business Courtesies
We have a strict policy against accepting gifts, meals or entertainment, or any other favour, from customers or suppliers where it might compromise, or appear to compromise, your ability to make objective business decisions in the best interest of Scrumbles.
IV. Protect Scrumbles’s Assets
Do not use Scrumbles assets for your personal benefit or the benefit of anyone other than the company.
- Intellectual Property
Scrumbles’s intellectual property rights (our trademarks, logos, copyrights, trade secrets, “know-how”, and patents) are among our most valuable assets. Unauthorised use can lead to their loss or serious loss of value. You must respect all copyright and other intellectual property laws, including laws governing the fair use of copyrights, trademarks, and brands. You must never use Scrumbles’s (or its affiliated entities) logos, marks, or other protected information or property for any business or commercial venture.
Likewise, respect the intellectual property rights of others including our competitors. Inappropriate use of others’ intellectual property may expose Scrumbles and you to criminal and civil fines and penalties.
- Company Equipment
Scrumbles provides the tools and equipment needed for you to carry out your job effectively and entrusts you to behave responsibly and not wasteful. Company funds, equipment, and other physical assets are not to be used for purely personal use.
- Use of information
Please do not disclose non-public information e.g. product launches and marketing plans with any individual outside of Scrumbles employment, including friends and family. Equally do not disclose confidential information that our partners have shared with us. If you come across an opportunity to access confidential competitor material don’t.
- Physical Security
If you’re not careful, people may steal your stuff. Always secure your laptop, important equipment, and your personal belongings, even while on Scrumbles’s premises.
- Use of Scrumbles’s Equipment and Facilities
Anything you do using Scrumbles’s corporate electronic facilities (e.g., our computers, mobile devices, network, etc.) or store on our premises (e.g., letters, memos, and other documents) might be disclosed to people inside and outside the company. For example, Scrumbles may be required by law to monitor, access, and disclose the contents of corporate email, voicemail, computer files, and other materials on our electronic facilities or on our premises. In addition, the company may monitor, access, and disclose employee communications and other information on our corporate electronic facilities or on our premises where there is a business need to do so, such as protecting employees and customers, maintaining the security of resources and property, or investigating suspected employee misconduct.
- Ensure Financial Integrity and Responsibility
Financial integrity and fiscal responsibility are core aspects of corporate professionalism. This is more than accurate reporting of our financials, though that’s certainly important. The money we spend on behalf of Scrumbles is not ours; it’s the company’s and, ultimately, our shareholders’. (Please also refer to the expenses policy) Every employee at Scrumbles has a role in ensuring money is appropriately spent, our financial records are complete and accurate, and internal controls are honoured. This matters every time we hire a new vendor, expense something to Scrumbles, sign a new business contract, or enter into any deals on Scrumbles’s behalf.
Each time you enter into a business transaction on Scrumbles’s behalf, there should be documentation recording that agreement and it should be signed by the person authorised to do so – if you’re unsure, please speak to your manager and refer to your roles and responsibilities.
VII. Adhere to Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws
Scrumbles takes its responsibilities to comply with laws and regulations very seriously and each of us is expected to comply with applicable legal requirements and prohibitions. All forms of bribery and corruption are prohibited. Any breach of this policy or local law could result in disciplinary action being taken and ultimately could result in dismissal. A few specific laws are easy to violate unintentionally and so are worth pointing out here:
- Competition Laws
Most countries have laws – known as “antitrust,” “competition,” or “unfair competition” laws – designed to promote free and fair competition. Generally speaking, these laws prohibit 1) arrangements with competitors that restrain trade in some way, 2) abuse of intellectual property rights, and 3) use of market power to unfairly disadvantage competitors.
Certain conduct is absolutely prohibited under these laws, and could result in your imprisonment, not to mention severe penalties for Scrumbles.
Examples of prohibited conduct include:
- agreeing with competitors about prices
- agreeing with competitors to boycott a supplier or customer
- Other activities can also be illegal, unfair, or create the appearance of impropriety. Such activities include:
- sharing competitively sensitive information (e.g., prices, costs, market distribution, etc.) with competitors
- entering into a business arrangement or pursuing a strategy with the sole purpose of harming a competitor using Scrumbles’s size or strength to gain an unfair competitive advantage
Although the spirit of these laws is straightforward, their application to particular situations can be quite complex. Scrumbles is committed to competing fair and square. If you suspect that anyone at the company is violating the competition laws, please contact HR.
- Non-government relationships
You should be careful when you give gifts and pay for meals, entertainment, or other business courtesies on behalf of Scrumbles. We want to avoid the possibility that the gift, entertainment, or other business courtesy could be perceived as a bribe, so it’s always best to provide such business courtesies infrequently and, when we do, to keep their value moderate. Consult Scrumbles’ Non-Government Related Gifts and Client Entertainment Policy before providing any business courtesies and contact Ethics & Compliance if you have any questions.Dealing with government officials
Offering gifts, entertainment, or other business courtesies that could be perceived as bribes becomes especially problematic if you’re dealing with a government official. “Government officials” include any government employee; candidate for public office; or employee of government-owned or -controlled companies, public international organisations, or political parties. Several laws around the world, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act, specifically prohibit offering or giving anything of value to government officials to influence official action or to secure an improper advantage. This not only includes traditional gifts, but also things like meals, travel, political or charitable contributions, and job offers for government officials’ relatives. Never give gifts to thank government officials for doing their jobs. By contrast, it can be permissible to make infrequent and moderate expenditures for gifts and business entertainment for government officials that are directly tied to promoting our products or services (e.g., providing a modest meal at a day-long demonstration of Scrumbles products). Payment of such expenses can be acceptable (assuming they are permitted under local law) but may require pre-approval from Ethics & Compliance under Scrumbles’s Anti-Bribery and Government Ethics Policy.
VIII. Be a Model Scrumbles Employee
- Be punctual and available during working hours
Employees are expected to be regular and punctual in attendance. Absenteeism and tardiness burdens other employees and the company. Employees are expected to notify managers ahead of arriving late.
Employees who are unable to work due to illness or an accident should notify their manager on the morning of absence. This allows the company to arrange for coverage of their duties, and helps others continue to work in their absence. If an employee doesn’t report for work and the company is not notified of an employee’s status for 3 days, it will be considered as job abandonment.
For virtual employees, you’re expected to work in accordance with the pre-approved schedule for your employment. Typically, this will be 9-5. You are required to be available for communication by phone and email during schedule hours, with the exception of the lunch period.
- Use your mobile phone appropriately
Personal calls during working hours are not allowed, except in extreme cases such as an emergency
- Dress respectfully
We want employees to feel comfortable. Employees are free to dress individually as long as it’s appropriate and doesn’t cause offence to others. Equally employees should be well groomed.
Scrumbles aspires to be a different kind of company. It’s impossible to spell out every possible ethical scenario we might face. Instead, we rely on one another’s good judgment to uphold a high standard of integrity for ourselves and our company. We expect all Scrumblers to be guided by both the letter and the spirit of this Code. Sometimes, identifying the right thing to do isn’t an easy call. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Be thoughtful of your impact on the environment
- Go paperless -We hate business cards and unnecessary wastage. Help us avoid contributing to landfill, please recycle all work materials appropriately and refer to our procurement list for details of environmentally friendly suppliers for office equipment and stationery. If something doesn’t need to be printed, don’t – all internal communications can be done electronically and stored on the business server.
- Unplug – Do not leave laptops and mobiles plugged in. Your battery will have a longer life if you unplug it when fully charged as well as conserving energy.
- Energy efficiency – Virtual employees are entitled to flat rate relief towards light, heat and power expenses. This is paid monthly and submitted via your expenses. For employees who use renewable energy suppliers, you’ll benefit from a higher relief amount – we recommend Bulb. Switching to motion activated light switches, can help further.
- Say no to plastic – Whenever you come across plastic, stop and think is there a better option e.g. a water bottle instead of a single-use bottle and a reusable mug for hot drinks on the move.
- Buy green – Office and cleaning equipment will be provided to you where relevant. For any stationery requirements you might need for business purposes, we have an account with eco-friendly thegreenoffice.co.uk. If anything is missing, please get in contact and we’ll be able to provide a suitable alternative.
- Keep a clean Work environment
Please keep your working environment uncluttered and clean at all times and look after all equipment. For virtual employees, the working location should be appropriate and have the tools required for effectively doing your job e.g. adequate working area, lighting, power and temperature control. We recommend that home offices are in a separate room to allow for uninterrupted work.