Code of Conduct and Ethics

The National Ballet of Canada (the “Company”) is committed to conducting business in an open and ethical manner.  This is accomplished by creating and maintaining a workplace built on the strength of trust, accountability, and integrity in all our business practices.  This Code of Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”) is intended to protect the Company’s integrity and reputation, its people, its resources and its organizational processes.

About the Code

This Code is intended to set out basic principles and provide a clear and broad understanding of the appropriate conduct expected of us; to provide guidelines, which may be changed from time to time; to promote understanding of what is considered acceptable and unacceptable conduct and behaviour; to provide mechanisms on reporting non-compliant conduct; and to further foster a culture of honesty, integrity and accountability within our Company.

This Code applies to all Company Employees and Volunteers, (excluding members of the Board of Directors who have a separate Code*) regardless of employment status, level of authority or job function and duties.  Employees includes all persons engaged by the Company who are paid, whether they are dependent contractors or employees, including interns, dancers and musicians, regardless of whether permanent or contract, full-time or part-time, unionized and non-unionized (“Employees”).  Volunteers are persons who freely choose to provide services to the Company without being remunerated or paid for such service (“Volunteers”).  This Code also applies to individuals and the employees and representatives of companies that are contracted to provide services to the Company including, but not limited to, freelancers, independent contractors, guest artists, service providers and consultants (“Third Parties”), who are required to abide by the provisions of this Code when providing the contracted services or interacting with Employees or Volunteers.

All Employees and Volunteers are expected to conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with the values and ethical standards of the Company and to promote the mission, vision and objectives of the Company in all dealings with any external person, organization or group on behalf of the Company and within the Company.  We should act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness, while respecting the opinions of others and treating all with equality and dignity. 

Each of us is responsible for reading, understanding and complying with this Code and all other applicable Company Statements of Policy and Procedure and observing rules of conduct that are normally accepted as standard in a business enterprise.  Failure to comply with this Code, or other Company policies, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

This Code is to be reviewed annually by each Employee and Volunteer at the beginning of the fiscal year and a signed Acknowledgement must be provided to the Human Resources Department.  Third Parties must review the Code at the commencement of their contract and acknowledge that they will abide by it.

No code of conduct and ethics can replace the thoughtful behaviour of an ethical employee or address every possible situation we might encounter at work.  Supervisors and managers, especially members of senior management, are expected to maintain a work environment that fosters respect of this Code and ethical decision-making.  Supervisors and managers are to have conversations with Employees and Volunteers about ethics and encourage Employees and Volunteers to raise any issues and concerns regarding conduct or ethics that they may have.

If you have questions while reading this Code or need advice regarding certain situations you might be facing, reach out to your manager or the Human Resources department without delay.

*The Board of Directors’ Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest policies are posted on the Company Website Board of Directors’ page.

Expected Behaviours

Discrimination and Harassment

The Company is committed to providing and maintaining a work environment free from discrimination, workplace harassment, and sexual harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities.  All relationships among persons in the workplace must be business-like and free from bias, prejudice and harassment.

The Company will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code and prohibits any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin/identity, disability, citizenship, creed, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, and/or record of offences.

In addition, the Company does not tolerate workplace harassment (including sexual harassment) and will treat all incidences seriously.  

Workplace Violence

The Company does not tolerate violence in the workplace perpetrated by or against Employees, Volunteers, or other Third Parties.  Any action, conduct, threat or gesture of a person towards an Employee, Volunteer, or other Third Party that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury, or illness must be reported immediately.  

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when a person’s private interest interferes, or can reasonably be perceived as interfering, with the interests of the Company.  For example, an outside interest or relationship which could have, or could be reasonably perceived as having, an adverse effect on the Company (or on our business judgement) constitutes a conflict of interest, as does any dealing for personal profit or gain based on inside knowledge or confidential information obtained during employment. Conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest must be declared immediately. Employees and Volunteers must not engage in any business activity, employment or outside interest or activity that interferes with their duties to the Company, divides loyalty or creates an actual or perceived conflict of interest.  Employees and Volunteers have a responsibility to act in accordance with the best interests of the Company.

Favouritism occurs when Employees or Volunteers provide preferential treatment to a family member or someone with whom we have a close personal relationship.  Employment of relatives is permissible but only under the guidelines outlined in our policy concerning Employment of Relatives.  Employees and Volunteers in a position of influence or authority must refrain from decisions (including, but not limited to, hiring, evaluations, promotions, compensation, work assignments, casting and discipline) that may reward a family member or someone with whom they have a close personal relationship.

If you are unsure of what constitutes a conflict of interest, discuss the specific concern with your Department Director.  If you become aware of or become involved in a conflict of interest, you must immediately disclose such conflict of interest to your Department Director.  You must also disclose what could be “perceived” as a conflict of interest.  

Gifts, Favours and Entertainment

The Company is committed to conducting business in an open and ethical manner and the practices of the Company and its Employees and Volunteers should be above reproach. Consistent with this philosophy, the Company has created a Gifts, Favours and Entertainment Policy which is designed to ensure that the giving or receiving of gifts, favours or entertainment do not influence, or create the perception of influencing, Company decisions. Under this Policy Employees and Volunteers are limited in what gifts, favours and entertainment they can receive and are required to immediately disclose receipt of offers and gifts.  

Company Information and Assets

Protecting Personal Information and Confidential Information

In the course of carrying out, performing and fulfilling duties with the Company, Employees and Volunteers will have access to and will be entrusted with detailed confidential information concerning the Company, Employees, Third Parties, clients/customers and any confidential or proprietary information entrusted to the Company by others.   Employees and Volunteers must preserve confidential information during and after their relationship with the Company.

Company assets, including its proprietary information, are to be used to advance the Company’s business.  Employees and Volunteers must protect the Company’s assets and ensure their efficient use.  Theft, carelessness and waste have a direct impact on the Company’s resources.

The Company’s network, email and internet resources are business systems for use by authorized Employees and Volunteers to conduct legitimate Company business.  Although the Company respects the principles of privacy, this does not extend to use of the Company’s network, email or internet resources.  No person using such resources should expect privacy in their communications.

We are all expected to adhere to the Company’s Policies regarding the protection of personal and confidential information and the use of the Company’s information systems and resources.  Refer to the Company’s Information Security End User Policy; the Network Access, Email and Internet Use Policy; the Personal Information Protection Policy; Mobile Devices and Acceptable Use Policy; and the Social Networking/Social Media Policy for more information, including the processes that must be followed.

Compliance with the Law and our Policies

Employees and Volunteers are obligated to comply with all applicable federal, provincial and local laws, rules and regulations.  Employees and Volunteers are responsible for reading, understanding and complying with this Code.  Any questions or clarification should be directed to the appropriate Department Director or Human Resources.   Employees and Volunteers must, on a good faith basis, report or cause to be reported information relating to, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • A violation or suspected violation of this Code or the law;
  • Any improper, inaccurate or misleading information included or to be included in any Company public communication, financial filing or financial statement;
  • Questionable accounting, auditing, financial reporting or internal controls;
  • Any suspected fraud or theft, or improper use of Company assets; and
  • Any claims of retaliation or change in employment status that might constitute retaliation against any person reporting any of the above matters.

Criminal History Investigation

Depending on the position with the Company, Employees may be required to undergo a Police Record Check or a Vulnerable Sector Screen.  A Vulnerable Sector Screen is required for all Employees working in a position of authority or trust with children.  All information obtained will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with applicable laws and the need to conduct a fair and adequate investigation.

Report a Concern or a Breach of the Code - (Whistleblower Policy)

It is important to speak up if inappropriate behaviour is observed or experienced.  Employees and Volunteers are strongly encouraged to immediately notify their manager of any possible breach of this Code.  Managers must then report to Human Resources.  If the breach involves a manager, or if the Employee or Volunteer is uncomfortable raising the issues with a manager, notify Human Resources or the Executive Director.

Employees or Volunteers in positions of authority must take action when a breach of the Code is reported or suspected.

A Whistleblower Policy has been established to provide a means to raise good-faith concerns about serious improper misconduct.  The Company also provides a method for reporting anonymously through a third party called ConfidenceLine.

Protection from Reprisals

The Company prohibits any form of harassment, retaliation, or other adverse employment consequence and will protect Employees who, in good faith, raise a concern in accordance with this Code, or other related Company policies.

Rules of Conduct

The following actions will not be condoned or tolerated.  Violation of any of these rules may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  This list of Rules of Conduct is not meant to be all-inclusive and does not preclude the Company from taking disciplinary action or making amendments to this list from time to time.

Integrity and Judgement
  • Job abandonment, abandoning a work-station or job assignment, excessive absenteeism or unavailability for work without prior management or Company approval.
  • Insubordination or refusal to take or follow reasonable direction from management.
  • Dishonesty of any kind, falsification of information or records or being an accessory to such falsification (including, but not limited to, forgery, providing false information or omitting required information when applying for employment, entering time(s) on the time card/record for another employee, and falsifying time records).
  • Violation of any public laws on the Company’s premises or in the course of conducting company business, including lewdness, vandalism, gambling or felonious acts.
  • Unauthorized use (including misuse) of Company equipment, facilities, supplies, documents or systems (including electronic\communication systems, such as email, the internet, the intranet and phone systems).  This includes using Company computers to access, send or download information that is illegal or could be insulting or offensive to another person, such as sexually explicit messages, cartoons or jokes, unwelcome propositions, ethnic or racial slurs or any other message that could be viewed as harassment.
  • Unprofessional conduct (verbal and/or physical) or participation in any form of unlawful discriminating or harassing behaviour toward another employee, volunteer, customer, supplier, or an invited guest of the Company.
  • Unauthorized manipulation and/or distribution of Company financial data.
  • Maliciously false, reckless or malicious accusations against another employee, volunteer, customers, supplier, or an invited guest of the Company.
Loss Prevention and Safety
  • Unauthorized concealment or removal of Company property from Company premises.
  • Tampering with, defacing, destroying, borrowing or taking the personal property of another person without their consent (including any unclaimed property).
  • Failure to pay a debt owed to the Company.
  • Misuse of staff complimentary tickets to performances, including receiving payment for tickets.
  • Any activity detrimental to the safety or security of Employees, customers or Company assets (including, but not limited to, physical violence, threats of violence, physical security infractions, defacing or destroying property belonging to the Company, a customer or another employee, and possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons on Company property or at Company-sponsored events).
  • Negligent or intentional acts, omissions to act or recklessness resulting in damage to Company property, financial loss to the Company or injury to others.
Alcohol and Drugs
  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages while engaged in business activities (except moderate alcohol consumption at Company-sponsored events when authorized in advance by senior management and at business-related meetings or social functions).
  • The manufacture, possession, use, sale, distribution, dispensation, receipt or transportation of cannabis, any illegal drug or any related paraphernalia, while on Company premises or engaged in business activities for the Company.  Illegal drugs in this policy means inhalants and controlled substances, and includes medications, which contain a controlled substance, which are used for a purpose or by a person for which they were not prescribed or intended or otherwise used under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.
  • Being “under the influence” of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or controlled substances (other than medically authorized prescription medications) in any detectable manner during business hours, or while engaged in business activities for or on behalf of the Company, whether or not they are consumed on Company premises, outside of work, or during working hours.

Original Issue Date: SPP HR 4.02 September 1, 2009
Amended Date: July 1, 2018
Scheduled Review Date: June 1, 2019
Approved by: The Board of Directors
Date: June 28, 2018