Home Human Resources News A third of Londoners would choose money over ethics at work

A third of Londoners would choose money over ethics at work

17th Nov 16 9:44 am

Yep, it’s true

More than a third of workers in London 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 38 per cent of Londoners would rather work for a company that paid them more, over one whose morals they agreed with.

Despite this, 9 out of 10 people in London say they do uphold ethical standards in their workplace.

The study also found that 39 per cent of Londoners have taken a sick day in the last two years when they weren’t really ill, higher than across the UK as a whole where only 34 percent had.

Shockingly one in six London-based 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.

Over a quarter of people in London (28 per cent) had worked somewhere with ethical practices they didn’t agree with, although only 16 per cent left a job because of it.

58 per cent of Londoners in the study would continue to work for a company that avoided paying tax, and 14 per cent said they currently work somewhere with managers or senior staff members that they believe are dishonest in their company’s tax returns.

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, over a fifth of people in London told us that they have applied for a new job while sitting at their desk in their current one.

And 48 per cent of Londoners think nothing of using company time to make personal phone calls or browse non-work-related websites while at work.

Adam Harper continued: “63 per cent of London-based 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.”

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