Kazakhmys Group pays special attention to maintaining corporate culture demonstrating commitment to principles of good faith, transparency and integrity.
To sustain positive image Speak Up hotline service has been in operation from 2012 onward. Its main focus is to identify and prevent violations including fraud, corruption, discrimination, unethical conduct and other violations.
The hotline enables employees, company partners, counterparts and other stakeholders to not only report suspicions, but also receive clarifications on issues concerned.
To ensure confidentiality and anonymity all claims are received and processed by a hotline operator who issues daily report on received claims and submits it for examination to Anti-Corruption Policy Legal Support Section, Legal Department.
At the same time, the service shall not be used to put pressure on employees and counterparties and enforce them to commit/abstain from certain actions. It shall not be viewed as a means of settling personal scores either.
Legal entities and natural persons can contact Speak Up for free in three ways: by phone 8-800-080-8089, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and mail to the registered office (12 Abai Str., Karaganda city, 100012).
In 2020, Speak Up hotline received 51 appeals (versus 58 appeals in 2019). Of these, 49 (55) were handled; 2 cases were pending examination as of the end of the reporting period.
Of 51 (58) appeals 29 or 57% (41 or 71%) involved violations in labor relations and OHS. 7 appeals or 14% (9 or 16%) referred to complaints lodged against structural unit heads. 5 appeals or 10% (3 or 5%) were filed in reference with disagreements with procurement arrangements and their results. 2 appeals or 4% (5 or 8 %) involved non-compliance with anti-corruption policies on conflict of interest. 8 appeals or 15% related to other issues.
Breakdown of appeals received by Speak Up service
- concerning labor
- senior management actions
- concerning procurements
- concerning compliance with anti-corruption policies
- other issues
Breakdown of 51 (58) appeals by enterprises is as follows:
- Kazakhmys Corporation – 32 or 62.7 % (versus 31 or 53.4 %);
- Kazakhmys Smelting – 7 (7);
- Kazakhmys Distribution – 4 (4);
- Zhezkazgan Medical Center – 4 (2);
- Kazakhmys Maker – 1 (1);
- Kazakhmys College of Technology Private Institution – 1 (0).
Breakdown of appeals by enterprises
- 32 - Kazakhmys Corporation
- 7 - Kazakhmys Smelting
- 4 - Kazakhmys Distribution
- 4 - Zhezkazgan Medical Center
- 4 - Kazakhmys Maker
- 4 - Technology Private Institution
The following groups contacted Speak Up service:
- company employees – 38, or 74,6% (against 51 or 88%);
- company employees’ relatives – 7, or 13.8% (4 or 5%);
- counterparties – 3, or 5.8 % (3 or 11 %);
- other enterprise employees outside Kazakhmys Group – 3, or 5.8%.
Groups contacted hotline service
- company employees
- company employees’ relatives
15 of 51 appeals, or 29.4% (in 2019, 33 out of 58 or 56%) were anonymous; claimants refused to give their full names and residence address. Compared to the same period in 2019, level of anonymity fell by almost half in 2020 (29.4% in 2020 compared to 56% in 2019).
Of 15 (33) anonymous appeals, 3 or 20% (13 or 39%) were confirmed to be true during inspection followed by issuance of two improvement notices. One person was subjected to disciplinary and material liability. In regard with 10 appeals or 66.6% (15 or 45%), claimants’ allegations were false. Clarification was provided for 1 (4) anonymous appeal, and 1 appeal (1) was dismissed without examination but a verification letter was issued.
It should be noted, however, that disclosure of complainant’s personal data significantly increased handling the received claims. On the contrary, because of anonymity it was less likely to examine all arguments.
Of 49 (55) claims examined, 12 (20) were satisfied, 25 (28) were rejected, 11 (6) were clarified and 1 (1) was followed by verification letter.
Outcomes of Applications Accepted and Processed by Speak Up Hotline
- explanation given
- reference made
For example, 12 appeals were satisfied in the areas of compliance with labour legislation, occupational health and safety, procurement arrangements and other issues. Thus, following examination results, sanitary-hygienic labor conditions in one of the mines were improved, a heater was installed in a shower room, premises of administration and amenity block were renovated and roads adjacent to enterprises were improved.
Thus, following examination results, sanitary-hygienic labor conditions in one of the mines were improved, a heater was installed in a shower room, premises of administration and amenity block were renovated and roads adjacent to enterprises were improved.
An appeal involving unjustified refusal to entitle annual leave was satisfied; violations were eliminated and the leave was provided.
Facts regarding violation of internal procedures of contract award to a successful bidder were partly confirmed. Improvement notice was issued to rectify the violations and ensure accountability for perpetrators.
Two claims regarding inadequate provision of PPE and necessary tools to underground workers in one of the mines were approved, and violations were rectified.
It was confirmed that a head of one structural unit submitted false time sheet of a worker. Based on inspection results an improvement notice was issued, and the head was subjected to disciplinary and material liability.
Owing to Speak Up service, two employees were paid for temporary incapacity to work and were reimbursed additional expenses.
At the same time, not all complaints corresponded to factual circumstances and were not verified. Of 49 claims examined, 25 were rejected.
For example, 10 anonymous appeals involving payment issues, violations of quarantine during pandemic, poor nutrition, unreasonable power cuts, purchase of medical products at inflated prices, changes in shift schedule and other issues were not substantiated. Due to anonymity, there was no chance to directly contact claimants resulting in failure to examine the claim.
Appeals were rejected which involved unjustified disciplinary action, disagreement with employment contract termination, unfair dismissal of an employee without transferring to restricted work, unjustified exclusion of persons from housing need list, unlawful preference during counterpart selection, as well enforceable court decisions.
Of 49 claims examined, 11 were clarified. They related to providing financial assistance to pensioners, registering primary disablement, compensation for industrial injury and occupational disease, transferring to restricted work resulting from disability and providing financial assistance to mothers with many children.
Thus, a claimant contacting the Speak Up said that she was a pensioner, but the enterprise she worked for would not pay due attention to her, would neither congratulate with holidays nor provide financial assistance. The claimant was explained how to apply to Veterans' Council under Kazakhmys Corporation.
In four cases, regarding registering primary disablement and payment issues, current legislation and internal company regulation requirements were explained, which set out procedure and list of documents for compensation for industrial injury and occupational disease and transferring to restricted work.
There were cases when applicants failed to provide necessary information affecting quality, timing of claim consideration and efficiency of actions taken. For example, due to absence of any information, a driver’s claim that delivered goods to one of enterprises was dismissed. The claimant complained about lack of loaders and downtime of 1.5 hours. He mentioned storekeepers and loaders, but did not give their names and place of goods shipment. Therefore, the anonymous claim failed to be examined.
Monitoring Speak Up service has shown that need for the service remains high, as evidenced by nature of incoming claims. The hotline provides timely, high quality and full consideration of claims. Measures are being taken to eliminate violations.
We will continue informing Kazakhmys Group employees of the active hotline service by distributing information on Company’s Instagram and Telegram messengers, as well as Company’s official website where everyone can familiarize themselves with goals, principles and tasks of the Speak Up service.