7-Eleven: Code of Conduct
This code of conduct is meant to be followed by every member within 7-Eleven. Starting from the top management to the employees and other internal and external stakeholders, the clauses mentioned in this code of conduct would be applicable to every member of this organization. This code of conduct should be deemed as the established norm and regulation of the organization and any breach of its clause by any person should be considered as an action liable for punitive measures. There are several sections in which this code of conduct is divided and every member of the organization is requested (and ardently instructed) to go through every section properly and thoroughly so that no ambiguities are left in terms of understanding the principles and the clauses with which this code of conduct is constituted.
It is to be noted that the code of conduct has been established to liberate the organization from the menace of discrimination and corruption. Moreover, the code of conduct is meant for saving the employees and other members of the organization from exploitation and from dishonest or fraudulent behaviours. Moreover, the code of conduct is ingrained with clauses that are meant for upholding the principles of whistleblower/s protections, and there are also constituent clauses that have to be adhered to by the members of the organization in order to uphold compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations of not only the organization but of the government as well.
The Directors, management and employees of 7-Eleven must be abided by the clauses mentioned in the code of conduct, and following such clauses and principles they must always refrain from committing any act of discrimination that might be harmful to the socio-economic health of any member of this organization. Complying with the clauses mentioned in Australian Human Rights Commission Act (1986), the code of conduct covers different types of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, skin colour, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion and point of view, national extraction, social origin, medical record, criminal record, marital or relationship status, impairment (both physical and mental), mental, intellectual or psychiatric disability, physical disability, nationality, and trade union activities (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2017). The Directors, management and employees of 7-Eleven should never commit any action that upholds discrimination in any of its form. If found guilty of discriminating, every member of the organization would be equally treated in terms of imposing punishment that can even turn to job termination.
7-Eleven is an organization that rests on the principles of diversity and inclusion. Hence, as discrimination is the primary enemy to diversity and inclusion, no member of the organization should practice discrimination in the tenure of his/her job with the organization. The organization’s top management is always willing to sustain an environment conducive to diversity and inclusion and such environment is also promoted to sustain the organization’s market and public reputation. Considering this fact, no member in the organization should resort to discriminatory practices because such practices are not only against the organization’s principles and ideology, but are also against humanity and sociability. Every member of 7-Eleven must keep in mind the fact that, “Building a more inclusive workplace enables greater diversity of thought, more informed decision making and ultimately better business outcomes” (Stockland, 2017). Hence, the code of conduct of 7-Eleven reinforces members’ commitment to the process of improving the quality of diversity and inclusion in every workplace of 7-Eleven. The Directors, the management and the employees – all should always strive to leverage the maximum potential of all members of the 7-Eleven and of every of its stakeholders (both internal and external) irrespective of “individual differences such as gender, ethnicity, age, physical abilities, sexual preference family status, beliefs and perspectives” (“Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion”, 2016). Addressing the issue of gender discrimination, the organization has established a women-centric policy that should be supported by each and every member within the organization. Moreover, following the government model, the organization has arranged for the establishment of three Employee Advocacy Groups (EAGs) that would look after aspects like gender equity, parents and carer responsibilities, wellbeing of members and inclusion, disability and flexibility, and the EAGs would also be responsible for developing those important areas which are directly related to the process of enhancing and developing the strategy of diversity and inclusion in the organization (“Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion”, 2016).
Moreover, to prevent discrimination and workplace harassment, every member, new and existing, of the organization would be liable to go through an online course on Equal Employment Opportunity so that they can become more aware of the need of avoiding discriminatory policies (“Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion”, 2016). Moreover, the online training session has to be completed along with a two hour interactive face-to-face course established for making employees understand the importance of refraining from committing acts of discrimination and harassment (“Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion”, 2016). Also, it must be taken into account that the people managers in 7-Eleven have to participate in a workshop for improving awareness of unconscious bias and of negative outcomes of stereotypical beliefs, and such workshop would assist the people managers in uncovering their and their subordinates’ unconscious bias that impact negatively on the process of decision-making (“Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion”, 2016).
In terms of wages and salaries, no member of the organization should resort to discriminatory or exploitative practices. As found in 2016, an operator of one of the organization’s stores committed breach of law by underpaying and discriminating workers at the store (Patty, 2016). It is to prevent the occurrence of such undue incidents in the future that every member of 7-Eleven must abide by the rules, principles, and clauses mentioned in the code of conduct. Moreover, to ensure that the operations of the organization are devoid of any intention of exploitation and to make sure that none of the members is victimized by exploitation or corruption, each and every member of the organization must uphold the fundamental human rights. No member of the company, without valid legal reasons, should be denied his/her right to equality (in terms of job promotion, salary increase, etc.), and every member should be given freedom from any kind of discriminatory practices (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). Moreover, the top management of the organization must protect the right of the member5s to a safe work environment (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). Every member should be ensured of his/her right to family and right to rest and leisure (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). The right of every member to fair remuneration should never be denied unduly and every member of 7-Eleven should be given the right to freedom of association (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016).
Moreover, the top management of 7-Eleven must keep special watch on the process of preventing those activities that are detrimental to employee growth and organizational prosperity. Putting an end to any discriminatory or exploitative policy, the top management of 7-Eleven must provide each and every member of the organization with the right to collective bargaining and the right to social security (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). A member’s right to political participation should not be curbed by the management and an employee’s right to privacy should always be upheld (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). Every member of the organization should be provided with the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and indigenous peoples, who are the employees in the organization, should be provided with some specific rights mentioned in the constitution (“Human Rights Policy”, 2016). Provision of such indigenous peoples’ rights should be deemed as a part of the organization’s affirmative action policy.
Corruption, Dishonesty and Fraudulent Behaviour
7-Eleven believes in the power of honesty and integrity in shaping the present and future of the organization and its members. Owing to this inclination the organization thoroughly protests and prohibits corruption, dishonesty and any form of fraudulent behaviour. Any claim of diversion of cash, falsification of expense claims or false invoicing, dishonesty or deliberate misleading of financial performance reporting, theft of organizational assets (“Fraud and Corruption Policy”, 2016), and unauthorized usage of a credit card is found to be true then the perpetrators of such action would be severely punished and his/her job can also be terminated. 7-Eleven treats bribery as a form of corruption and fraud and that is the one reason why if any of the members of the company is found guilty of bribery or receiving bribes should be expelled from the organization. The top management of the organization encourages employees to report any form of corruption or fraudulence to their immediate line manager or to their compliance group (“Fraud and Corruption Policy”, 2016). If they feel that the issues are not addressed properly then they can approach the Director of Human Resource and they may even appeal to higher authorities if unsatisfied with the resolution.
Ethical whistleblowers are encouraged by the top management as they can be effective means of addressing the problems related with corruption, fraudulence, and dishonesty. Every employee of 7-Eleven is provided with the right of raising their concern against any kind of corruption, fraudulence or exploitation either anonymously or explicitly to 7-Eleven’s Group Risk team or to 7-Eleven’s Whistleblower Protection Officers (“Whistleblower Policy”, 2016). Ethical whistleblowers, who are willing to safeguard the wellbeing and reputation of the organization, are informed that “All allegations of Improper Conduct raised and investigated under this Policy will be treated as confidential” (“Whistleblower Policy”, 2016). And safety and security of the whistleblowers would be considered matters of paramount importance by the management of 7-Eleven.
All the members of 7-Eleven are hereby informed that “enforcement of the Code of Conduct is a critical and vibrant part of a company’s commitment to its Code and to communicating the importance of the Code to the company employees” (Volkov, 2015). 7-Eleven would promote its vigilance in promoting the Code of Conduct and if anyone is found to be in breach of the Code then his/her job tenure with the organization would be terminated on legal and proven grounds. The enforcement policy of the organization is in compliance with the employment laws of the land and is subjected to the concerned jurisdictions only. But the organization does not believe in the policy of publicizing the violator/s or their names. Moreover, employees are informed that “Privacy laws and general sensitiveness prohibit such disclosures and no one would benefit from it anyway” (Volkov, 2015).
Australian Human Rights Commission (2017). A quick guide to Australian discrimination laws. [online] Available at: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/employers/good-practice-good-business-factsheets/quick-guide-australian-discrimination-laws [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Patty, A. (2016). 7-Eleven store cops record penalty for exploitation of workers. [online] Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/7eleven-store-cops-record-penalty-for-exploitation-of-workers-20160621-gpo026 [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Fraud and Corruption Policy (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.stockland.com.au/~/media/corporate/pdf/about-stockland/fraud-and-cor [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Human Rights Policy (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.stockland.com.au/~/media/corporate/pdf/about-stockland/human-righ [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Our Approach to Diversity and Inclusion (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.stockland.com.au/~/media/corporate/pdf/about-stockland/our-approac [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Stockland (2017). Corporate Governance. [online] Available at: https://www.stockland.com.au/about-stockland/corporate-governance [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Whistleblower Policy (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.stockland.com.au/~/media/corporate/pdf/about-stockland/whistleblow [Accessed June 8, 2017].
Volkov, M. (2015). Corruption, Crime & Compliance. [online] Available at: https://blog.volkovlaw.com/2015/04/code-of-conduct-enforcement/ [Accessed: June 8, 2017].