33% of North West workers
would choose money over ethics at work
A ⅓ of workers in the North West
would turn a blind eye to a company's ethics as long as the salary was good,
according to a new study.
A survey of 2,000 employed adults in the UK found that 33% of North West workers
would rather work for a company that paid them more, over one whose morals they
Despite this, 9 out of 10 people in the North West say they do uphold ethical
standards in their workplace.
The study also found that 34% of North West workers have taken a sick day in the
last 2 years when they weren't really ill, the same average as that across the
UK as a whole.
Shockingly 1 in 8 North West respondents said that EVERY sick day they've taken
in the last 24 months has been false.
Adam Harper, spokesman for AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), who
commissioned the report, said:- "Ethics is a grey area for many people,
with Britons demonstrating a range of responses to what they consider 'ethical
behaviour' in their professional lives.
It's important for long-term success for businesses and their employees to be
ethical; even small things like employees taking sick days when they're not ill
can build up and waste time and money.
Some of the results also show that many employees disagree with practises some
businesses carry out. Managers need to be aware that getting a reputation for
unethical behaviour could lead to demotivated staff, and have a negative impact
on their business."
One respondent to the study said that their company made fantastic profits that
could have been passed on as savings to the customer; but weren't. And one, who
worked in food services, reported on their management removing sell by dates
from food to extend its shelf life.
18% of people in the North West had worked somewhere with ethical practices they
didn't agree with, although only 12% left a job because of it.
49% of North West workers in the study would continue to work for a company that
avoided paying tax, and 14% said they currently work somewhere with managers or
senior staff members that they believe are dishonest in their company's tax
AAT has recently published updated guidance on the standards expected of Tax
advisers and agents, in relation to the facilitation and minimisation of tax
avoidance, to ensure their members know of the ethical problems involved.
In other results, a fifth of people in the North West told us that they have
applied for a new job while sitting at their desk in their current one. And 56%
of North West workers think nothing of using company time to make personal phone
calls or browse non work related websites while at work.
Adam Harper continued:- "60% of North West respondents said they don't
think they were paid enough for the work they do, and so many could have used
this as an excuse for carrying out some unethical behaviour. However, this
doesn't justify some of the less ethical behaviours highlighted by the survey
respondents. Regardless of how employees see their company's practises, they
should be responsible for their own ethical behaviour."