A Code of conduct defines the expectations of the organizations and also the guiding principle in context of the appropriate behaviour at the workplace. Code of conducts illustrates the policies and regulations framed by the organization, as these policies and regulations defined the legal and ethical guidelines in context of governing the relationship between the employees, service users and clients (Erwin, 2011).
Code of conduct are defined as important document for the organization, as both organizations and chief compliance officers of the organization have taken the important actions for the purpose of enhancing the importance of the organization’s code of conduct. It must be noted that, well designed code of conduct is the base of an effective ethics and compliance program in the organization (Somers, 2001).
This paper discusses the code of conduct of Commonwealth bank of Australia, and consist number of areas in its ambit such as discrimination, exploitation, corruption, dishonest, fraudulent behaviour, whistle blower Protections, Enforcement.
In common wealth bank, each and every person of the organization is under obligation to encourage the working environment where each and every person is treated with the dignity, courtesy, and respect. It mainly impose obligations on the employees and employers of the organization to not engage in any such conduct which results in the bullying, harassment, and unlawful discrimination at the workplace. Members of the team must be aware that the conduct which is found to be bullying, harassment, and discrimination can result in the breach of the provisions of the relevant regulations and considered as illegal (Glodman & gutek, 2006).
In context of the discrimination at workplace:
show material which is offensive in nature
Use of any language which is abusive, insulting or offensive in nature.
unwelcome physical contact
Spreading rumours about the person which are false and malicious.
jokes and comments which are offensive in nature
Any behaviour which humiliates the person.
any remarks which are not invited
Exclusion from the activities of workplace on the unreasonable ground.
In 2017, Commonwealth bank face the issue related to the race, age and sex discrimination, as a senior British banker compliant that he was pushed by the Australian women who was 13 years of his junior. Mr John Marshall was redundant from his position, and in this context he sued the commonwealth bank over his redundancy (Keay, 2017). This issue falls in the ambit of disciplinary action.
Unlawful discrimination is considered as the less favourable treatment of the person or any group of people in terms of any specific attributes. It is necessary for the person to be aware about their behaviour as harassment and discrimination. As this type of behaviour can be conducted by the person in number of ways such as verbally, in writing, e-mail, text messaging, etc., and all these fall under the category of the unlawful discrimination.
In case person fails to comply with these obligations, then it result in the disciplinary action against the person, and this can also result in the termination of employment.
In context of taking the disciplinary action, organization conduct the adequate investigation in terms of any complaint received by the organization. Organization needs to conduct the proper investigation before taken any disciplinary action against the person involve in any such conduct (Souja & Davis, 2014).
The main aim of this policy is to give clarity to the employees and workers of the organization in terms of the organization’s process, standards, and actions that organization takes for the purpose of protecting the workers of the organization from the threat of the labour exploitation.
It must be noted that, head of HR and all those employees who are responsible for recruiting the workers of the organization are also responsible for the enforcement of this policy and also supplement procedures to the line managers, colleagues, and workers of the organization.
Following is the key components of the exploitation policy of the commonwealth bank of Australia:
- Appropriate employees and managers of the organization must be designated for the purpose of handling and identifying the issues related to the hidden labour exploitation issues, and they are also responsible for the purpose of operating and developing the organization’s procedures relevant to this issue.
- Organization and any employee of the organization is not allowed to use any source and supply workers without confirming that workers appointed are not charged with the work finding fee.
- It is necessary to ensure that all the staff members are responsible for the direct recruitment of the employees, and they must be aware in context of the issues related to the third party labour exploitation and signs.
- Employees must sign and complied with the appropriate principles of the compliance which are developed by the organization in this context.
Corruption is defined as the form of dishonesty which is conducted by any such person who holds the position of authority, for the purpose of getting any personal benefit. Corruption is the concept which includes number of activities in its ambit such as bribery and embezzlement. Corruption at the workplace is the serious concern and following are the examples of the corruption practices in the organization:
- Getting personal benefit by conducting wrong practices.
- Use of authority in appropriate manner (Javor & Jancsics, 2013).
In context of this issue, employees must raise the concern of corruption with their line managers, and it is the obligation of the line managers to deal with the matter with complete seriousness and address the matter of corruption raised by employees. This process is defined as the corruption relevance process and procedure of complaint. These process and procedures are extended in terms of the code of conduct of the Commonwealth bank of Australia.
In case employee is not able to raise the matter through the defined procedure and such person holds the strong believe that escalated matter has not been investigated, then such employee or person holds the right to speak up. Following are the examples of the issues which can be raised in speak-up:
- Looming related to the health and safety of any individual.
- Any fraud which can be suspected.
- Any activity results in the corruption.
- Any activity which is illegal in nature.
Dishonest and Fraudulent behaviour:
Dishonest and fraudulent behaviour in the organization is defined as the involvement of any person in any such activity which results in the fraud for the purpose of gaining any advantage. There are number of fraudulent and dishonest practices which are conducted by the organizations such as:
- Evasion of tax
- Dishonest practices
- Activity results in the fraud.
Conducting right action at the right time includes the activity conducted with the honesty, integrity, and trust in the workplace and outside of the workplace. Dishonest and fraudulent activities are the unacceptable behaviour.
Organization follows strict process for the purpose of dealing with the person involving in the fraudulent and dishonest activities, because these activities not only cause damage to the organization but also harms the community at large (Omar, Nawawi & Salin, 2016).
If any employee in the organization involve in nay such practices then strict action is taken against that person such as termination of the employees. Recently, in commonwealth bank of Australia few employees of the organization involve in some fraudulent activities and breach the trust of consumers. Some staff members of the organization used the funds of the bank and their own funds for activating the youth saver accounts in illegitimate manner (ABC, 2018).
In case employees find any such activity in the organization, then they must inform this to their line managers and the other authorized person. Line mangers and other person to whom such issue is notified must take appropriate action to resolve this issue (Bressler & Bressler, 2007).
Whistle Blower Protections:
Whistle blower protection policies are defined as important tools which protect those individuals who report those incidents to the line mangers which they believed are illegal, dishonest, unethical, or also not proper in nature (Latimer, 2008).
It must be noted that, organization cannot hit back the whistle blower. This includes the protection of the whistle blower against the retaliation in the form of the adverse employment action which includes termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm. In case any whistle blower feels that organization hit him/her back, then they hold the right to contact and raise the issue with the top management on immediate basis. It is necessary to understand that, protection against the retaliation does not include any immunity in context of any personal wrongdoing which is alleged and investigated.
Recently, Jeff Morris raises his voice against the corrupt practices conducted by the Commonwealth bank of Australia and he becomes the whistle blower in this context. This matter results in the parliamentary inquiry and at last in the royal commission (Barker, 2017).
This policy provides protection to the whistle blowers in two important areas that are confidentiality and retaliation. As stated, confidentiality on the part of the whistle blowers is the most important area and needs to be maintained. However, it is necessary to disclose the identity in terms of conducting the investigation, compliance with the legal requirements, and for the purpose of providing legal rights to defence to the accused individuals (Moy, 2018).
Protection in terms of the individuals includes:
- Employee and any individual acting on behalf of the employee who raise the matter with the public body or is about to report to the public body any matter which is of public concern.
- Any employee who participates in the Court of Action, any investigation, hearing, or any inquiry held by the public body on the matter related to the public concern (Moy, 2018).
Code of conduct of the organization is deemed as the cultural foundation of the organization. Top management and all other staff members of the organization are under obligation to complied and promote with this code of conduct. Activities and authorities of the organization can be derived from the code of conduct of the organization (Volkov, 2015).
It can be said that, enforcement of the code of conduct is important and vibrant pat of the commitment of the company in context of its code, and management must communicate the importance of this code of this code to the employees of the company. Promotion of this code among the management and staff members is the prime focus. Following are the ways which ensure the enforcement and promotion of the code of conduct:
- CEO and senior managers of the organization are under obligation to communicate the importance of the code to the other members of the staff.
- Management and employees must use this document as the guiding document.
- Harsh penalties and strict consequences are introduced in context of the violations of the code.
After considering the facts of the above paper, it is clear that code of conduct is the document which ensures cultural foundation for the organization, and also guides the management and staff members while conducting any action. Code of conducts illustrates the policies and regulations framed by the organization, as these policies and regulations defined the legal and ethical guidelines in context of governing the relationship between the employees, service users and clients. It must be noted that, well designed code of conduct is the base of an effective ethics and compliance program in the organization.
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