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Conflict Minerals Whistleblowing Policy


To encourage employees and the public to disclose any misconduct of which they become aware with regard to Smith & Nephew’s use, and its reporting of its use, of tin, tantalum tungsten and gold (the “Conflict Minerals”), and to provide protection for employees who report allegations of such misconduct.


This policy applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time and temporaries, and agents, contractors, suppliers and customers of Smith & Nephew, and to the general public.


This whistleblowing policy is designed to encourage employees to report alleged misconduct, to ensure that all allegations are thoroughly investigated and suitable action taken where necessary. Any whistleblowing employee is protected against adverse employment actions (discharge, demotion, suspension, harassment, or other forms of discrimination) for raising allegations of business misconduct. An employee is protected even if the allegations prove to be incorrect or unsubstantiated. Employees who participate or assist in an investigation are also protected. Every effort will be made to protect the anonymity of the whistleblower, however there may be situations where anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Below are some examples of misconduct with regard to Conflict Minerals:

  • Intentional misrepresentations regarding Smith & Nephews use of Conflict Minerals
  • Failure to adequately investigate the source of Conflict Minerals used by Smith & Nephew
  • Failure to follow Smith & Nephew’s proscribed procedures for determining and reporting on Smith & Nephew’s use of Conflict Minerals

Whistle Blowing Procedures


A person who reasonably believes that inappropriate conduct is occurring with regard to Smith & Nephew Conflict Minerals should raise the issue with his/her manager or if this is considered inappropriate the issue should be raised with his/her senior manager. If the employee is not comfortable in reporting to his/her manager or senior manager the conduct or activity should be reported to the Designated Executive identified herein. It is be the responsibility of the Designated Executive to initiate an inquiry.

All incidences of whistleblowing to the Designated Executive will be reported to the Group Company Secretary in London who, in turn, will report the occurrence to the Chief Executive or Chairman and the Audit Committee of Smith & Nephew plc.


Once the claim of misconduct is made, the Designated Executive will respond to the whistleblower within 10 working days, setting out the intended investigation plan. An investigation may include internal reviews, reviews by the external auditors or lawyers or some other external body.

When the investigation is complete, a company representative will inform the whistleblower of the results of the investigation as well as any corrective steps that are being taken.

Employees who believe they are being penalized in any way for whistleblowing or who believe that there has been cover up of the action disclosed or who do not consider that there has been a satisfactory response to their disclosure should write to the Chairman of the Audit Committee stating facts that support their concern.


If requested by the whistleblower all reasonable steps will be taken to protect the anonymity of the whistleblower. However under certain circumstances to assist with the investigation the whistleblower’s identity may become known or needs to be revealed.

Disciplinary Action

If the claim of misconduct is substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the responsible individual(s) up to and including termination of employment.

Any act of retaliation or victimization against the whistleblower will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

The malicious use of this whistleblowing policy will result in disciplinary action against the whistleblowing complainant, up to and including termination of employment.

External Disclosure

Whilst internal disclosure is encouraged at all times an employee may be of the view that there is an exceptionally serious issue, which warrants reporting to an external body. This disclosure must be made in good faith and not for the purposes of personal gain.


Designated Executives

Mark Gladwell
President Global Operations
Smith & Nephew
5 Hatters Lane, Croxley Park,
Watford, England, WD18 8YE