Ethical employers matter more than ethical employment.

The list of ethical employment is long and updated daily, but do we need a list of ethical employers?

Let me first point out that this is a personal rant rather than a policy position of the Injured Workers Support Network. Usually that wouldn’t matter much but I want the reader to know that I write as an employee, not as the spokesperson for my organisation.

So why should that statement matter? Well, this is a public post, anyone can read through this and some of those people may be in a position to decide my future employment prospects. Yes, even I can be afraid of what I say just in case it could be a barricade against the gate of a future employer. But if they hold it against me, would I truly want to work for them. Would the fact that they could hold an opinion against me for voicing an opinion before I even worked for them be ethical?

That’s what this is about. What is more important, being an organisation that work is for an “ethical” cause or being an organisation that treats its employees in an ethical way? Would it matter if I worked as a brick layer with an ethical boss? Or working day in day out for the good of others but for an employer that wasn’t ethical in the way they treated their employees?

So what is an ethical employer? I think we can rule out those employers who have cheated their employees on their wages that should be easy to understand and we should also rule out those who force or pressure employees to do unpaid overtime (that’s just another form of cheating workers out of their wages). We should also exclude those employers who have “ethical policies” such as paid parental leave or disability support programs who then ignore them, ethical employers practice what they advertise on the side of bus shelters.

Ethical employers would also take responsibility for the care of their employees, not take any excuse to throw them away when their “team” doesn’t match a human resource text book.

Treating everyone with dignity, taking work health and safety seriously, actively following a non-discriminatory hiring and firing policy, allowing employees to have a personal life and personal opinions, paying the proper wage as well as providing an incentive to employees to work smarter and productively, not blaming employees for the failures of the markets or their executives, ensuring all levels of the production chain treat their employers in the same way as the head office and not using the excuse that because the work is considered morally righteous, that they can skip the above.  These things are at the core of an ethical employer and

This isn’t just the prerogative of ethical employment, that concept is levelled at employees; it is well past time we have a list of ethical employers and this list may look different to that which describes ethical employment and rightly so.

Note: I believe my employer fits the bill as an ethical employer, but I have worked for other organisations that wouldn’t make my list.  

What about you? Do you agree with the list? Would you like to add anything else to a list of what an ethical employer would look like?