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Ethics and professionalism

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  • 1.  The highest legal and moral standards are upheld when dealing with any stakeholder of the business. ◦ Managers ◦ Co-employees ◦ Owners or investors ◦ Customers ◦ Community ◦ Environment ◦ Suppliers ◦ Government
  • 2. ETHICAL UNETHICAL Recalling products because of potential dangers Misinforming the public and conveying untrue information Not starting a business venture at the expense of someone else Dishonesty, deception and lack of transparency Taking care of the environment and society Omitting facts to mislead or confuse consumers Paying employees fair remuneration Creating false documentation Treating all employees equally Harming the environment Paying taxes to SARS Invasion of privacy Sexual discrimination/harassment Nepotism Industrial espionage
  • 3.  Being professional means: ◦ Demonstrating appropriate behaviour towards colleagues, superiors, subordinates and the public at large ◦ Avoiding the pursuing of personal agendas at the company’s expense ◦ Representing your employer, co-workers and yourself with dignity ◦ Setting standards for expected practice, respect ◦ Career practices that are developed, dress code ◦ Appropriate behaviour towards persons in positions of authority ◦ Not keeping promises is unprofessional
  • 4.  Ethical behaviour ◦ Following the priciples of right and wrong in business practice  Professional behaviour is a broader concept: ◦ Appearance ◦ Communication ◦ Attitude ◦ Responsibility ◦ Knowledge and skills ◦ Integrity ◦ Respect ◦ Loyalty
  • 5.  The way in which a business is managed.  Includes ethical business practice  Former Judge of the High Court, Mervyn King developed the KING CODE of best practice ◦ Transparency (clear and easy for anyone to interpret) ◦ Responsibility (do what needs to be done) ◦ Accountability (responsible for actions and willing to explain) ◦ Fairness ◦ Sustainable development (positive effect over long terms) ◦ Leadership ◦ Values
  • 6.  Investors/Owners: ◦ Do not take unnecessary risks with the money of owners or investors ◦ Payments of dividends or profit share should be timeously ◦ Transparency in business dealings is essential
  • 7.  Employees: ◦ Remuneration and working conditions should be no less than the requirements set by BCEA ◦ Fair appraisals and promotion opportunities ◦ Nepotism should be avoided  Customers: ◦ Information regarding the product or service needs to be made clear to the customer, so that they can make an informed decision ◦ Ensuring customer safety at all times ◦ Customer information should not be exploited for gain of the business
  • 8.  Competition: ◦ Industrial espionage must be avoided ◦ Competitors should not be unfairly placed in a disadvantaged position ◦ Unfair advertising practices should not be used  Community: ◦ Business should be involved with Social Responsibility ◦ Products and services should be fairly priced to avoid exploiting the community
  • 9.  Government: ◦ Adhering to rules and regulations, legislation ◦ Paying taxes ◦ Avoiding monopolistic trade practices  Environment: ◦ Sustainable environmental practices ◦ Polluting industries should comply with government requirements regarding air, water, land and noise pollution
  • 10. Issue Suggestions • Tax evasion - Corporate tax - personal income tax - VAT • Be familiar with latest changes in tax legislation to avoid fines • Accurate record of incoming and outgoing funds must be kept • Government could work toward reduction of taxes • Government should utilise taxes for correct purposes to encourage contributions • Sexual harassment - unwelcome or unwanted attention of a sexual nature - Cause discomfort, humiliation, offence, distress - advances, gestures or remarks, touching, quid pro •Employers should be proactive in preventing, rather than curing •Clear policies should be in place regarding sexual harassment
  • 11. Issue Suggestions • Pricing of goods in rural areas - Products and services should be accessible - Pricing should be kept as affordable as possible - Competitiveness • Encourage rural traders to be more ethical in their dealings • Determine fair, market related prices for their goods • Keeping prices low, would benefit them in the long run. • Unfair advertising - Advertising an item at an extremely low price, but not making it available - Describing products as free, but with hidden costs - Having statements that directly or by implication, omit, are ambiguous, exaggerate and are likely to mislead • All advertisements should be in line with ASA Code •All advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful
  • 12. Issue Suggestions • Unauthorised use of funds - Use of funds for personal gain, without permission - Use of business assets - Claim for personal expenses • Identify risk areas where unauthorised usage of funds occur. • Limit the number of employees who have access to funds to the absolute minimum • Have a fraud prevention strategy and do internal audits regularly. • Abusing work time - Employees are expected to work for the payment they receive - Using work time for person matters are unethical • Compile a workable business policy that prohibits misuse of assets • Disciplinary rules against offenders •Educating employees on these issues • Allow limited use of business assets where the workers must pay for their use.
  • 13. Issue Suggestions • Abusing work time - Employees are expected to work for the payment they receive - Using work time for person matters are unethical • Compile a workable business policy that prohibits misuse of assets • Disciplinary rules against offenders •Educating employees on these issues •Allow limited use of business assets where the workers must pay for their use.