UK employees less ethical than European counterparts

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UK employees seem to take a more lenient approach than the average European employee to questionable workplace practices, according to a survey by the Institute of Business Ethics which found that 38% believe petty fiddling is inevitable in a modern organisation compared to 30% of their European counterparts.

The survey sought to establish whether employees are able to identify ethical issues relating to everyday choices that they might have to face in the workplace and whether they apply ethical values to their decision-making. Respondents to this survey were presented with nine common work-related scenarios and were asked whether or not they considered them acceptable.

Pretending to be sick to take a day off; minor fiddling/exaggeration of travel expenses and charging personal entertainment to expenses are considered the most unacceptable practices in the UK, in line with views from employees across Europe.

However, a higher percentage of UK respondents said these practices are acceptable. One of these issues (making personal phone calls from work) is considered acceptable by more than half of UK respondents (53%) – the first time in the history of the survey that any issues has been reported as acceptable by more than 50% of UK respondents.