Sustainable business topics |

Ethical workplace

Ethical workplace

Key issues

Promoting and maintaining an ethical workplace has become a priority for many organisations in recent years. With increasing scrutiny by the UK financial regulatory authorities on workplace culture and requirements across all sectors for greater transparency around remuneration, organisations and senior leadership within them are becoming increasingly accountable for these issues.  Key topics we have been assisting clients with include “speak up”, prevention of bribery, pay and remuneration, anti-bullying and harassment, Working Time and National Minimum Wage obligations.

 

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Overview of relevant law and regulation

Risks

Employers who do not successfully promote and maintain an ethical workplace face a variety of risks, both legal and otherwise: 

  • risk of legal claims – e.g. from employees, contractors and suppliers. Potential for personal liability for certain “speak up” and discrimination claims
  • “comply or explain” – failure to comply with or adequately explain a decision not to comply with the UK Corporate Governance Code may result in increased scrutiny by investors holding directors to account
  • reputational risks – issues indicative of an unethical workplace are increasingly attracting high-profile media attention
  • business risks - risk of low employee engagement, poor culture and high attrition

 

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Our work

Our business ethics offering to our clients includes:

  • advice on anti-bribery policies and procedures, and bribery investigations
  • developing whistleblowing and speak-up and other associated policies and procedures and advising on their effective implementation
  • advising on and carrying out investigations
  • delivering practical training on these topics (to boards, senior executive teams, HR professionals and other employees)

Recent work

Examples of work in this area include

Contacts and further reading

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