​NZ employees not given enough support to act ethically, reveals Institute of Business Ethics’ survey

Only 29% of the New Zealand employees say that their organisation has a comprehensive formal ethics programme

28th November 2018: The Institute of Business Ethics today publishes the results of a survey which asks New Zealand employees their views of ethics in their workplace.

It reveals that only 29% say that their organisation has a comprehensive formal ethics programme, while 10% say that their organisation offers no work ethics-related information, training or support channels.

The IBE’s Ethics at Work survey is the only one of its kind covering Australia and New Zealand. It provides real insight into employees’ views on ethics across all sectors and job roles. Over 2,000 employees were surveyed across Australia, New Zealand and the UK, including 752 in New Zealand.

This is the first time that the survey, first introduced in the UK in 2005, has been conducted in Australia and New Zealand. It asks employees how they experience ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day working lives. It looks at whether they have witnessed misconduct; whether they have reported it; and what if anything stops them from doing so.

The IBE asked employees how their organisation supported them to ‘do the right thing’. The IBE has identified four key building blocks needed for a comprehensive ethics programme:

  • Code of Ethics - 70% of NZ employees say their organisation has written standards of ethical business conduct that provides guidelines for their job
  • Speak Up/Whistleblowing process - 56% of NZ employees say their organisation provides employees with a means of reporting misconduct confidentially (compared with 61% in Australia and 64% in the UK)
  • Advice line - Less than half of NZ employees (46%) have access to advice or an information helpline where they can get advice about behaving ethically at work
  • Ethics training - 51% of NZ employees are given training on standards of ethical conduct (compared with 59% in Australia and 56% in the UK).

  • The Ethics at Work: 2018 survey of employees: Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom highlights the positive impact on employees of having a comprehensive ethics programme, for example:

  • 85% of employees across Australia, New Zealand and the UK in organisations with a comprehensive ethics programme say their organisation acts responsibly in all its business dealings, in comparison with 54% in organisations without an ethics programme.
  • Employees across Australia, New Zealand and the UK in organisations with an ethics programme who have been aware of misconduct are more likely to have spoken up about misconduct (79% vs. 32% of those without an ethics programme)
  • Line managers in organisations with a comprehensive ethics programme are more likely to be perceived as setting a good example
  • 83% of employees in organisations with a comprehensive ethics programme say their line manager sets a good example of ethical business behaviour, in comparison with 38% in organisations without an ethics programme.
  • Philippa Foster Back CBE, Director of the Institute of Business Ethics said: “The NZX has issued recommendations for listed companies to have a code of ethics and training programme, and these results show the value of these programmes.
    Not only do they support employees to do the right thing; they also provide assurance to stakeholders – like investors and customers – that the organisation is operating sustainably, with business ethics in mind.”



    To obtain an advanced press copy of the report, or Op-Eds please contact k.bradshaw@ibe.org.uk

    For New Zealand interviews, please contact Jane Arnott, IBE NZ Associate, j.arnott@ibe.org.uk


    Ethics at Work: 2018 Survey of Employees: Australia, New Zealand, and UK

    By Guendalina Dondé ISBN 978-1-908534-40-8 Free to download

    Publication date: 27 November 2018

    Available from www.ibe.org.uk

    Ethics at Work: 2018 Survey of Employees: New Zealand

    By Guendalina Dondé Free to download

    Publication date: 28 November 2018

    Available from www.ibe.org.uk

    About the Ethics at Work survey

    The IBE has surveyed British employees since 2005, but given that organisations are increasingly taking an integrated approach at the international level, we have expanded the number of countries included in the research to cover France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK within Europe and Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

    This report describes findings from Australia, New Zealand and the UK and provides comparisons with averages for the three countries. The survey was completed by a total of 2,268 respondents across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It was comprised of a representative sample of about 750 working adults in each country aged 18+. The survey was undertaken between 5th and 25th February 2018.

    The averages reflect the percentage of the 2,268 Australian, New Zealand and UK employees after each country’s data was weighted to be representative of the workforce by gender, age and region.

    A separate report looks deeper at the New Zealand findings.

    These reports present the findings of public research undertaken by ComRes on behalf of the IBE. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables for 2018 are available at www.comresglobal.com

    The Institute of Business Ethics

    The Institute of Business Ethics, whose purpose is to promote high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values, is an important partner to any business wanting to preserve its long-term reputation by doing business in the right way.

    For over 30 years, the IBE has advised organisations on how to strengthen their ethical culture by sharing knowledge and good practice, resulting in relationships with employees and stakeholders that are based on trust.

    The IBE is a registered charity funded by corporate and individual subscriptions. www.ibe.org.uk @ibeuk

    The author: Guendalina Dondé

    Guendalina Dondé is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Business Ethics. She writes and researches on a range of business ethics topics for the IBE.

    Before joining the IBE, she collaborated in developing the code of ethics for the Italian Association of Management Consultants and worked for a European CSR Business Network in Brussels. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Ethics and CSR from the University of Trento in Italy.

    She is the author of the IBE survey report Corporate Ethics Policies and Programmes: 2016 UK and Continental Europe Survey and co-author of the 2017 IBE report Setting the Tone: a New Zealand perspective on Business Ethics, the 2017 TEI & IBE Ethics and Compliance Handbook, the 2016 IBE Codes of Business Ethics: examples of good practice and of the French and Italian editions of the 2015 IBE survey Ethics at Work: 2015 Survey of Employees.

    She is also responsible for reviewing corporate codes of ethics and related policies, benchmarking them against other organisations’.

    The IBE would like to thank the following IBE subscribers for their financial support for this project:

  • Gold supporters: Rolls Royce
  • Silver supporters: Aviva, Centrica, L’Oréal, Morgan Stanley
  • Bronze supporters: Expolink
  • The IBE would like to thank our national partner the Brian Picot Chair in Business Ethics at the University of Victoria in New Zealand. for their support for this project:

    More information from: https://www.victoria.ac.nz/som/professorial-chairs/brian-picot-chair-in-ethical-leadership

    Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Institute of Business Ethics, on Monday 3 December, 2018. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

    New Zealand Employees Ethics Business Ethics Survey Speak Up Whistleblowing Business & Finance Education & Human Resources Opinion Article Public Sector & Legal
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