The board of directors and management team of NetLink NBN Management Pte. Ltd. are fully committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance, and firmly believe that good corporate governance is essential to protecting the best interest of Unitholders and maintaining the sustainability of the business.
More details can be found in the Corporate Governance chapter of NetLink NBN Trust's Annual Report.
The NetLink NBN Group believes in establishing and maintaining the highest levels of ethical standards amongst our employees, vendors, business partners, suppliers, contractors.
To this end, we have established and implemented a number of policies to guide our employees and to facilitate the development of appropriate controls and procedures to achieve the highest levels of ethical standards.
Employee Code of Conduct
NetLink NBN Group has in place an Employee Code of Conduct applicable to all its employees.
The Employee Code of Conduct sets out ethical values and business principles which all employees of the NetLink NBN Group are expected to observe while carrying out their duties and responsibilities in their daily dealings, such as personal and corporate integrity, responsibility, and accountability.
The Employee Code of Conduct also provides for standards of practice expected of all employees when dealing with conflicts of interests, confidential information, health, safety and environment concerns, and other matters.
Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
In line with the NetLink NBN Group's goal of establishing and maintaining the highest ethical standards, we have adopted an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy.
The NetLink NBN Group adopts a "zero tolerance" position to bribery and corruption, and the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy provides guidance on acts which may constitute bribery, corruption, and/or money-laundering, sets out the responsibilities of the NetLink NBN Group and its employees in observing and upholding this position, and facilitates the development of controls that will aid in the detection and prevention of bribery, corruption, and money-laundering.
If any employee encounters a prohibited act, a report is to be made to the relevant Head of Department and Senior Management for the appropriate actions to be taken.
Gift, Prize, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy
The NetLink NBN Group's Gift, Prize, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy further reinforces our commitment to the maintaining the highest ethical standards. This policy is specifically designed to guide employees on the acceptance or giving of gifts, prizes, entertainment and/or hospitality from or to vendors, customers, business partners, suppliers, contractors, etc.
As with all aspects of their work, our employees are expected to demonstrate the highest levels of professional conduct. They are required to exercise prudence and integrity, and must at all times guard against putting themselves in actual or perceived positions of compromise or conflict.
The acceptance or giving of gifts, prizes, entertainment and/or hospitality is strongly discouraged unless permitted under the Gift, Prize, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy. Senior Management approval is required for any deviations.
Code of Best Practices on Securities Dealings
As part of our drive to establishing and maintaining the highest ethical standards, the NetLink NBN Group has adopted an internal compliance Code of Best Practices on Securities Dealings to provide guidance to Directors and employees on dealing in securities of NetLink NBN Group.
In accordance with the Code of Best Practices on Securities Dealings, Directors and employees who have access to or are in possession of unpublished material price-sensitive information ("Officers") are prohibited from dealing in NetLink NBN Group's securities.
Additionally, Directors and Officers are especially reminded that they are not to deal in the Trust's securities during the period commencing:
- two weeks before the announcement of NetLink NBN Trust's business updates for the first and third quarters of its financial year; and
- one month before the announcement of NetLink NBN Trust's financial results for its half year and full financial year, and ending on the date of the announcement of the relevant results (collectively, "blackout periods").
In exceptional circumstances when they wish to deal in NetLink NBN Group's securities (especially during a blackout period), Directors and Officers must obtain prior written approval of the Board, the Chairman, or the CEO, as the case may be. A full explanation of the exceptional circumstances and proposed dealing must be given before any such request will be entertained.
Directors and Officers should not deal in NetLink NBN Group's securities until the information is appropriately disclosed to the market, regardless of whether or not it is during the blackout periods. They are also discouraged from dealings on short-term considerations.
Quarterly notices are issued to Directors and employees to, among other things:
- remind them that it is an offence to deal in NetLink NBN Group's securities (as well as securities of other listed issuers) while in possession of unpublished price-sensitive information; and
- inform them on the start of each blackout period.
Directors and employees are required to confirm annually that they have complied with the Code of Best Practices on Securities Dealings.
In addition, Directors are required to report to the Company Secretaries within two business days whenever they deal in NetLink NBN Group's securities and the latter will make the necessary announcements in accordance with the requirements of SGX-ST. Officers are required to report to the Company Secretary as soon as possible whenever they deal in NetLink NBN Group's securities.
All employees of NetLink NBN Group are reminded that it is an offence to deal (whether directly or indirectly) in NetLink NBN Group's securities while in possession of unpublished material price-sensitive information. As and when appropriate, Directors and employees will be issued advisories to refrain from dealing in NetLink NBN Group's securities.
Supplier Code of Conduct
The NetLink NBN Group also firmly believes that business is truly ethical only if it maintains an ethical supply chain. As such, NetLink NBN Group has in place a Supplier Code of Conduct which it requires all its suppliers and sub-contractors of the NetLink NBN Group (collectively, "Suppliers") to observe.
The Supplier Code of Conduct sets out the baseline standards that Suppliers need to comply with. Among other things, the NetLink NBN Group requires Suppliers to act ethically, and to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in their business operations.
A copy of the Supplier Code of Conduct is made readily available to all Suppliers via the website of its operating arm, NetLink Trust (see: https://www.netlinktrust.com/procurement).
At the same time, the NetLink NBN Group values its Suppliers, and is committed to safeguarding creditors' rights. We therefore acknowledge the importance of paying invoices, especially those from small businesses, in a timely manner. It is our practice to agree payment terms with Suppliers when entering into contracts, and to meet our obligations accordingly.
In support of the NetLink NBN Group's various policies, including the Employee Code of Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct, Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy, Gift, Prize, Entertainment and Hospitality Policy, and Code of Best Practices on Securities Dealings, we have adopted a whistleblowing policy.
The Whistleblowing Policy provides for a platform by which employees, external parties (such as customers, suppliers, contractors and applicants for employment), and the general public to report concerns in good faith about any perceived irregularity or misconduct within the NetLink NBN Group, and sets out strict procedures for the NetLink NBN Group to follow in the event we receive a whistleblowing report.
As an integral part of the Whistleblowing Policy, retaliation against whistleblowers making good faith reports is strictly prohibited. The Whistleblowing Policy includes several measures to guard against retaliation, including allowing whistleblowers to choose to remain anonymous when reporting their concerns. That said, whistleblowers who wish to disclose their contact details in order to aid investigations may also choose to do so.
The identities of whistleblowers is further safeguarded by providing whistleblowers with the option of reporting their concerns via an independent external conduit.
Making a Report
Whistleblowers may report their concerns via an independent external conduit, KPMG Ethics Line, through the following channels:
All concerns reported or information received will be treated as strictly confidential and shared only with authorised persons on a 'need-to-know' basis. Every effort will be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the process and that the identity of the whistleblower (where the whistleblower chooses to disclose it) is protected.
However, there may be exceptional circumstances requiring the NetLink NBN Group to divulge the information to third parties. Exceptional circumstances include instances where the NetLink NBN Group is under legal obligation to disclose the information provided to the appropriate governmental or regulatory authority.
NetLink Human Rights Statement
NetLink NBN Group’s mission is to connect consumers and businesses anywhere in
Singapore to the nationwide fibre broadband network, and through that to the entire world via
the internet. We build strong and trusted partnerships with our industry operators to deliver
reliable fibre connectivity to their customers. Our fibre network is open to all industry operators.
In the pursuit of our mission, we create sustainable value, enable growth and economic
progress, and open opportunities for all.
NetLink NBN Group understands the importance and impact of human rights on our business,
the communities in which we operate, and society at large. We believe that respecting human
rights is key to the sustainable operation and growth of our business.
Through the provision of an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, where
all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, we create equal opportunities for all to
contribute fully. Our commitment to human rights is enshrined in our culture of respect, trust
and inclusion within our organisation and across our supply chain.
This statement provides an overview of our approach to human rights and the standards that
we have set for ourselves, our employees, our contractors, suppliers, customers, business
partners, and all entities directly linked to our operations, products, and services (Partners).
We are guided by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related
covenants, and the International Labour Organisation’s core conventions. We are aware that
the laws of some countries where our suppliers are based might differ from some global
human rights norms. To ensure compliance, we have developed a Supplier Code of Conduct
where we put our suppliers through rigorous assessment.
We respect the human rights of all individuals and are committed to providing our employees
with a work environment that is safe and conducive, free from discrimination and harassment.
Any discrimination on any grounds such as such as race, language, religion, age, gender,
marital status, political convictions, pregnancy, or disability is strictly prohibited. We also
prohibit any form of retaliation against any person for making good faith reports concerning
allegation of discrimination, harassment, violation of this code or any other allegation of
Freedom of Association
We are committed to maintaining harmonious labour relations. We respect our employees'
right to freedom of association with the trade unions. NetLink and the Union of Telecoms
Employees (UTES) enjoy a cordial working relationship, working together to promote positive
working environment and improving productivity for the mutual benefits of the employees and
the company. NetLink is also guided by the Industrial Relations Act that allows representation
of staff by trade unions for collective bargaining, thus providing them with an avenue to seek
redress for any industrial disputes.
Fair Employment Practices
We treat our employees fairly and with respect, provide them with equal opportunities based
on meritocracy. We abide by the Employment Act and ensure that our practices are aligned
with the tripartite guidelines set by the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress
(NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). We adopt fair, responsible
and progressive employment practices set out by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive
Employment Practices (TAFEP).
All contracts of employment are written, with agreed terms and conditions, including notice
periods on both sides. We provide timely and full payment of wages, provident fund
contributions, and other benefits prescribed under the applicable laws. All staff are entitled to
reasonable working hours and conditions for its employees with proper rest days and breaks
in accordance with applicable laws. All work, including overtime work, are voluntary.
Child, Forced and Involuntary Labour
We have zero tolerance for modern slavery and all forms of child, forced or involuntary labour.
We are committed to ensuring that our operations are free of such malpractices, and we
expect the same from our Partners.
Health & Safety
We are committed to creating a safe and healthy work environment for our employees and
likewise, we expect the same from our suppliers and contractors. In this regard, we have and
expect our suppliers and contractors to have an effective occupational health and safety
programme (e.g. OHSAS 18001) in place to promote workplace health and safety. Such
programmes should include the implementation of workplace health and safety policies, risk
assessments to identify and eliminate safety hazards, safety audits and external certification
of the occupational health and safety programme./p>
Personal Data Protection
We respect and protect our Partners’ privacy in respect of information collected through or in
connection with our business operations. We believe it is our responsibility to properly
manage, protect, process and disclose our Partners’ personal data and we are committed to
adhering to the provisions and principles of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012./p>
We recognise that corruption has a negative impact on human rights, and that disadvantaged
groups and persons tend to suffer disproportionately from corruption.
We are committed to maintaining high ethical standards and have zero tolerance with regards
to any form of unlawful, improper or dishonest practices, including but not limited to bribery,
corruption, fraud or misrepresentation./p>
Responsible Business Practices in Our Supply Chain
We expect all our Partners to adopt policies that promote the respect for human rights, fair
and ethical employment practices. We hold our Partners to the principles described above
and expect them to establish and maintain such internal management systems as may be
necessary to ensure compliance to fully comply with all laws and regulations that apply to
them in the countries that they operate in.
Partners who breach applicable human rights standards as well as our other policies risk
adverse consequences, including but not limited to blacklisting or termination of their contracts
We have a whistleblowing channel to encourage employees and stakeholders who have
serious concerns about any aspect of NetLink's business practices to come forward and voice
those concerns. Our contracts also provide us with the right to terminate our relationship with
suppliers who have been found to be in breach of the Supplier Code of Conduct.