Governance, Ethics and Sustainability

Table of Contents

Introduction

Code of ethics

Discrimination

Exploitation

Corruption

Dishonest and fraudulent behaviour

Whistleblower Protections

Enforcement

Conclusion

Reference list

Introduction to Code of Ethics

Code of ethic implies proper principle within the workplace that helps in maintaining proper decorum and executes the operations with proper procedures. Besides, the code of ethics involves the imperative in terms of attempting the right thing through which. The organisation can get its desired benefits. It is also effective in handling the sandals aced by the company further working on the image within the market. This study will be focused on creating a draft for Westpac, one of the banking groups in Australia. Different aspects of ethics include discrimination, corruption, exploitation, fraudulent behaviour, enforcement and many others.

Code of Ethics

Currently, Westpac Bank in Australia has been highly accused of violating the money laundering laws within the nation (Johnson, 2019). It has been stated that the bank was related in providing money to the child pornographers situated in the Philippines. The allegation cost the job of the chief executive of the bank further precipitating the early departure of the chairman of the bank. As per the official report, it can be observed that the bank failed to report $7.56 billion in terms of payment within the nation and outside of it (Johnson, 2019). In addition to this, the report also states that the due diligence of 12 customers failed to be maintained by the company.

Other than that, one of the customers was also tracked to be transferring money to child trafficking in the Philippines (Johnson, 2019). Therefore, as a result of all the activities carried out by the bank, the nation’s authority suspected the bank to be involved with the activities of child pornography. Considering all the aspects it can be assumed that the code of ethics is a necessary criterion within the organisation. As per Taylor-Bianco et al. (2017, p. 23), code of ethics within the company can help the company in functioning while maintaining all the desired areas. It will also be effective in guiding the company through the right pathway. Therefore, a possible code of ethics has been drafted below that can help the company in maintaining all brand image along with the operations within the domain.

Discrimination

Westpac needs to create a better experience within the nation through the engagement of the employees as well as its customers. The company should aim at implementing equality among all the cultured people within the nation. This leads to the mitigation of discrimination among the customers as well as the employees. As per the statement of Epstein (2018, p. 35), discrimination involves the act of unfavourable distinction that is also considered being biased to a particular society or a group of people. It involves several aspects including age, colour, race, sexuality and many others.

However, a company with the values of discrimination often seems to be neglecting certain groups of people and focusing on the needs and demands of a particular customer group. This further leads to the dissatisfaction of some of the customers leading to the low brand image within the domain. For instance, the indigenous population within the domain of Australia are often discriminated due to race and colour. On the other hand, some o the Australian women also get discriminated due to the factor of gender.

However, as per Australia’s anti-discrimination law, discrimination of all types such as race gender, colour, sex and others are prohibited. It involves the Age Discrimination Act 2004, Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Racial Discrimination Act 1975, and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Australian Government, 2020). These acts reflect that the Australian population or the companies are bound to respect the different cultured people within the domain. Any types of discrimination within the domain seem to be punishable offended. Hence, Westpac in this respect should implement anti-discrimination policy as their code of ethics that will focus on all the aspects of discrimination and eliminating it from the workplace.

Exploitation

As mentioned in the above section, Westpac should implement the value of equality to promote proper operational value within the market. While the implementation of equality, the company should also consider equality among the labours. Labours within an organisational domain play a crucial part and are responsible for increasing the brand value within the domain. However, in this respect, the organisation must focus on the aspect of exploitation. As mentioned by Adelstein and Clegg (2016, p. 66), exploitation of the labours within an organisation aims at the systematic usage of power to extract more amount of value from the workers as compared to their wages. It can also be considered as the social relationship between the employer and the employee. For instance, making the workers work for 12 hours a day despite having the law of working for 8 to 10 hours. In addition to this, making the workers work more than they are being paid is also considered to be an example of exploitation of labours within the domain.

However, the Fair Work Act 2009, of Australia depicts all the rights of the labour within the workplace (Australian Government, 2020). This act also indicates the labour within the Australian domain must be accessed through all kinds of rights of labour; it also depicts the proper salary of the workers along with the proper working condition. This act also regulates a positive relationship between labour and an employer. Therefore, the code of Westpac ethic must deal with the avoidance of labours exploitation. The organisation should treat all the workers fairly and equally with proper wages and proper relation.

Corruption

Corruption involves criminal activity with improper usage of power. As per the statement of McNamara et al. (2018, p.730), the person undergoing corruption are often trusted with an important authority within an organisation. Corruption can disrupt the images of the organisation within the domain and also affects the operations performed by the company, other than that, the activity of corruption also involves illicit benefit that can endanger the lives of millions of people working within the company.

For instance, the act that has been performed by Westpac in terms of involving child pornography is considered to be an act of corruption among the population of the nation. Other than that, illegal transfer of the money along with supporting illegal activities is also considered to be the act of corruption within the domain. Considering the motto of the company in terms of implementing quality and providing a better and suitable service to the customers, the organisation must strictly prohibit the act of corruption further leading to suspension or other strict action against the person doing it.

However, as per the crimes act 1900 of Australia, it has been stated that corruption is a severe offence within the domain of an organisation (NSW Legislation, 2020). As per this act, bribery is also considered under the sane section of crime. Hence, the person committing the act of bribery or corruption must have 10 years of imprisonment. Therefore, based on Australian enforcement, the company must also be setting ethics that state anti-corruption activities. Therefore, it will help the company creating a proper environment free of all corrupted activities. Besides, the company can also implement a policy where all the operations of the company will get reviewed by a senior manager before it passed to the state of accomplishment.

Dishonest and Fraudulent Behaviour

Fraudulent and dishonest behaviour is involved in the activity of fraud. As per the analysis of Kaplan et al. (2017, p.120), fraud involves deception that further seems to cause huge financial losses. Activities of corruption that has been mentioned in the above section of the study also involve the activity of dishonest behaviour. This mainly refers to the act of employee without the interest of the company or against the interest of the company. It is likely to cost the company with the negative brand image further improper management of the operational values. For instance, illegal dealing by one of the employees of Westpac without having any legal concern our concern from the organisational activities is considered as the dishonest or fraud behaviours. Therefore, with the prevailing of these activities within an organisational domain is also likely to impact on the customer base.

However, as per the crimes act 1900, it has also been stated that any illegal activities within a company can lead to fraud and dishonest behaviour (NSW Legislation, 2020). As per this enforcement, the organisation is bound to follow transparency within the operations so that they can be effective in eliminating fraud and corruption. Transparency can help in building a proper trust of the customers along with the employees and helps in the operation executed successfully. Westpac can also be effective in promoting equality through these criteria.

Whistleblower Protections

Data loss seems to be a major issue among the industries dealing with technological advancements. Banking is a sector that constantly needs the support of technology to execute their operations. It is considered to be an integral part of the company. As per the mentions of Westmarland and Rowe (2018, p. 60), whistleblowers are the person involved in the selling private information of the company to the competitors in the exchange of money or other beneficial things. For instance, leaking the strategically moves of the company to the other company in the market is considered to be an action of a whistleblower. Therefore, protecting the company from the whistleblower is the most required step to keep the company’s information safe.

However, as per the Whistle blowing legislation of Australia, certain acts tend to guide the activities of the whistleblower. The Corporations Act 2001 intends to provide legal rights to certain people along with the protection of whistleblower (Australian Securities and Investment Commission, 2020). It tends to expand the protection of the action to a greater extend. Therefore, as per this law, the person involved with the mentioned activity is likely to face certain consequences even if the company tends to get benefitted through it. Therefore, Westpac must include a policy clearly stating the implications of a whistleblower within the domain. This will create awareness among the employees that will prevent the employees from conduction such action within the organisational domain.

Enforcement

Enforcement involves the legal compliances within the nation. It also involves the compliances of the legal system with the actions of the company. As per the statement of Moraga et al. (2017, p.1850), enforcement helps in reviewing legal activities and ensures proper following of the activities within the current operations of the company. For instance, in Australia, the enforcement involves Australia’s anti-discrimination law, crimes act 1900,

Fair Work Act 2009, Whistle blowing legislation and others. This helps in guiding the companies through legal procedures and helps in the implementation of proper policies that will help the company in its operations. Therefore, as per the code of ethics likely to be followed by Westpac, the enforcement of the nation plays a vital role. Following the enforcement of the nation, Westpac is likely to include transparency within the domain along with the implementation of the anti-discrimination act. Additionally, the code of ethics of Westpac also involves proper protection of the whistle blowing activities and will also be treating all the stakeholders equally.

Conclusion on Code of Ethics

Overall from the study, it can be inferred that the code of ethics within a company is an important aspect. It helps in the development of certain policies that help the employees in guiding through the operations. It can also be effective in accomplishing the targeted goals within the domain. However, in the case of Westpac, it can be observed that the company recently faced a scandal that seems to hamper the reputation of the company along with certain operational losses. This increases the need for implementing a code of ethics within the domain. The code of ethics of Westpac is likely to deal with the anti discriminating laws further implementing equality among the workers and the customers. The company will also be respecting all the cultural people further prohibiting the act of fraud and corruption within the domain. Transparency will be the main focus of the company in order to gain the trust of the customers and improve the brand image within the market.

Reference List for Code of Ethics

Adelstein, J. & Clegg, S., 2016, ‘Code of ethics: A stratified vehicle for compliance’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 138, no.1, pp.53-66.

Australian Government 2020, Australia’s anti-discrimination law, Australian Government, viewed 15 April 2020, https://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/HumanRights/Pages/Australias-Anti-Discrimination-Law.aspx

Australian Government 2020, Fair Work Act 2009, Australian Government, viewed 15 April 2020, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00512

Australian Securities and Investment Commission 2020, Whistleblowing, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, viewed 15 April 2020, https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/asic-investigations-and-enforcement/whistleblowing/

Epstein, A., 2018, ‘Incorporating Sport into the Business Ethics Segment of the Course’, Journal of Business Law & Ethics Pedagogy, vol. 1, pp.35-44.

Johnson 2019, Why Heads Are Rolling at Another Big Australian Bank, Bloomberg, viewed 15 April 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-27/why-heads-are-rolling-at-another-big-australian-bank-quicktake

Kaplan, D.M., Francis, P.C., Hermann, M.A., Baca, J.V., Goodnough, G.E., Hodges, S., Spurgeon, S.L. & Wade, M.E., 2017, ‘New concepts in the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics’, Journal of Counseling & Development, vol, 95, no. 1, pp.110-120.

McNamara, A., Smith, J. & Murphy-Hill, E., 2018, October, ‘Does ACM’s code of ethics change ethical decision making in software development?’, In Proceedings of the 2018 26th ACM Joint Meeting on European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, pp. 729-733.

Moraga, M.Á., García‐Rodríguez de Guzmán, I., Calero, C., Johann, T., Me, G., Münzel, H. & Kindelsberger, J., 2017, ‘GreCo: Green code of ethics’, Journal of Software: Evolution and process, vol. 29, no. 2, p.e1850.

NSW Legislation 2020, Crimes Act 1900 No 40, NSW Legislation 2020, viewed 15 April 2020, https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1900/40

Taylor-Bianco, A., Tucker, M., Rosado Feger, A., & Barnett, T. 2017, ‘Teaching" Business" Ethics: Affecting Change through Self-Regulation and Reflection’, Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, vol. 19, pp. 23.

Westmarland, L. & Rowe, M., 2018, ‘Police ethics and integrity: can a new code overturn the blue code?’, Policing and society, vol. 28, no. 7, pp.854-870.

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