Dealing with ethical issues
We are transparent about our handling of ethical, social and human rights issues so that we are clear about how we have reached our decisions.
Each Divisional Board reviews ethical and social considerations as part of its annual strategic planning round. Ethical dilemmas are also assessed and considered within the Business Lifecycle process.
All new geographic markets are assessed for potential human rights issues by applying our Human Rights Decision Tree process.
Serco will consider operating in countries with known human rights issues, provided we are not connected to abuses. This includes abuses by third parties which we are associated with through our operations. Serco does not intend to work in countries where:
- we would be breaching international sanctions, or
- the local population has shown (for example through fair elections) that it does not want foreign businesses operating in the country
Where we have influence and believe we can use that influence to improve others' respect for human rights, we have the option but not the requirement to do so.
If a significant ethical or human rights consideration is raised, it is reviewed by Divisional executive management. Agreed direction is then communicated to management. Where a significant ethical issue arises it is raised for debate by the Divisional Board.
If the Divisional Board requires further guidance, the issue is raised to the Ethics Committee for a final decision.
The Ethics Committee determines Serco's position in relation to new geographic markets, opportunities and activities that have been identified as presenting an ethical dilemma which:
- have implications across the Group
- represent a significant reputational risk to the Group
- a Divisional or Group Function wishes to seek clarification on the Company's position on
The Ethics Committee regularly reviews and approves a 'watch list' of countries with poor human rights records. All opportunities in countries on the 'watch list' are approved by the Ethics Committee.