Business ethics Assignment: Discussion On Legal & Ethical Breaches
Write a business ethics assignment addressing the following sections:
1. Identify three (3) legal and ethical breaches that have occurred or could occur in a community sector organisation. Keep the following in mind:
At least one (1) of the breaches must relate to a legal non-compliance and at least one (1) must relate to an ethical non-compliance. Breaches may be based on actual breaches that have occurred in the organisation or may be potential breaches for that particular organisation.
2. Write a strategic report in response to each breach that includes (for each breach):
a) Summary: A summary of each breach, including:
Details of what has been breached.
Whether it is a legal or ethical breach or both
Risks to the organisation/potential consequences of the breach.
b) Appropriate response: Describe an appropriate response to the breach, including the organisational policies and procedures and other documents that apply.
c) Improvements to work practices: Recommend the steps you believe need to be taken to improve the work practices of the organisation to ensure compliance against relevant national standards.
d) Communication to employees: Describe how feedback would be communicated to employees and team leaders regarding these work practice improvements. Include an explanation of how you would enhance understanding of legal and ethical responsibilities.
e) Updates to legal and ethical information: Outline how the organisation could receive and review updated legal and ethical information related to the industry so that any changes that need to be made to policies, procedures and processes can be made as soon as possible.
f) Evaluation of staff compliance with policies and procedures: Include three (3) methods that could be included in the organisation's policies and procedures to evaluate the work performance of employees to ensure that policies and procedures are being consistently adhered to in the organisation.
The investigation conducted on this business ethics assignment signifies that “Scope” is one of the biggest and most reliable service providers in Australia for the disabled. The community sector organization supports several people with varying disability conditions, including physical, intellectual or multiple disabilities. The mission of Scope Australia is to empower the disabled to live a life which is equal and enriched. The organization was established in Victoria, however, it is now growing and expanding further. It has entered New South Wales now. The community sector organization, Scope, offers varied services and supports to people of different ages. Scope is registered with NDIS and provide support to people to transition into NDIS. As per Scope (2021), the main services provided by Scope include Short Term Accommodation, Early Childhood intervention, Supported Independent Living,Day and Lifestyle Options, Therapy, etc.
Legal and Ethical Breaches
There could be various forms of breaches that could impact the operations of the community sector organization, Scope. The breaches could be either pertaining to legal non-compliance or ethical non-compliance.
Legal non-compliance means not acting as per the laws, rules or regulations. The legal obligation of the organization is to adhere to the laws and regulations prevailing in the area of practice, Victoria, New South Wales and other regions. The duty of Scope Australia is to eliminate injustice with the disabled and make their lives better, equal and empowered. (Scope, 2021).
• Scope Australia is working with the disabled people with various disabilities. While carrying out their duty and extending the support services, Scope needs to ensure that they are not breaking any laws of the region, here Australia. The projects and programs of Scope should comply by the laws and regulations of Australia, adhere to the NDIS norms and Disability Laws in Australia. The legal compliances need to be addressed by Scope Australia within their scope of practice.
Ethical non-compliance means not making ethical considerations while taking decisions or in actions. Scope Australia is working with thousands of disabled people across Australia so it is their ethical duty to ensure that they apply the ethical codes in practice (Aitken et al, 2020).
• Scope Australia should be ethical while supporting the disabled population. The help must be extended fairly without any discrimination.
• The staff at Scope while working with the disabled population, it is an ethical compliance to maintain professional distance.
• As the disability varies, many people do not have the ability to give their consent to things. However, it is only ethical that the sensitive information is not revealed and the disabled persons who come for help, their privacy is valued (Batista and Francisco, 2018).
Strategic Report in Response to each Breach
Legal Non-Compliance Breach: Scopestarted its journey in 1948 helping the children who suffered from cerebral palsy. Today, they support thousands of people with different forms of disabilities.However, in trying to help the disabled, Scope should not forget or violate the Australian laws.
Ethical Non-Compliance Breach: ScopeAustralia tries to provide customized employment, accommodation and housing, mobility services, etc. to the disabled (Scope, 2021). While carrying out such operations, the organization needs to maintain the ethical standards. The distribution must be fair, without discrimination and corruption. This is an ethical consideration which Scope needs to prioritize in their actions.
The other ethical breach occurs when the members of Scope are working with the disabled population of the community and they cross their ethical limits. When Scope Australia is supporting the disabled through their projects or services, like therapy services, support coordination, specialized communication services, services in NSW, etc. they need to assure that their staff within the scope of practice or while serving these people maintains professional distance. The vulnerable or helpless disabled people should not be mistreated and their dignity must be ensured.
Risks to Scope
Scope Australia as a community sector organization will lose its grants, sponsors, aids, etc. from different individuals and organizations if it violates the ethical and legal compliances. The people will lose faith in the community service they provide and will not be enthusiastic to avail their services. This will be a loss of face and reputation for the organization.
The organizational policies at Scope Australiashould incorporate code of ethics and legal compliance norms. This will facilitate maintaining the legal and ethical compliances. Besides, the chances of breaching of compliances by the organization as a whole or its members will also be reduced.
Improvements to work practices:
The work practices at Scope can be improved so that the legal and ethical compliance is assured and the breaches are eliminated from the process. The following are the recommendations for work practice improvement:
• Staying on track and being informed about the regulations and laws.
• The organization should employ specialists to check if the compliance is being violated.
• Conveying the right message to the employees so that their actions are aligned to the compliances.
• The organization requires internal audits at regular intervals to identify the loopholes and avoid chances of breach (Pope et al, 2018).
• Using the correct software for compliance management.
Communication to employees
The management of Scope needs to note the evaluation report of the internal audit and convey to the employees where they are going wrong. This will help in minimizing the chances of committing any legal or ethical breach of compliances. The feedback can be effectively communicated by:
• Conducting meetings and training sessions for employees to make them aware of the ethical and legal compliances.
• Conveying the motto of the organization through frequent mails, soft board displays, etc. which will prevent the employees from deviating from the right track.
• Providing Do’s and Don’ts’ to employees for reducing breaches.
Updates to Legal and Ethical Information
Scope Australia is a community sector organization which works towards providing the disabled people a dignified, just and safe life. Therefore, the organization must be always updated and informed about the latest legal and ethical compliances so that they do not breach the compliances through in their policies and procedures. The site of United Nations and other international agencies often release the ethical codes and legal norms to be followed by community sector organization, which Scope must follow. The organization must also follow the judicial system and laws of the nations where it operates.
Evaluation of Staff Compliance
The staff compliance can be evaluated through the following three methods:
• Conducting mock audits for evaluation of staff’s compliance to legal and ethical obligations (Bhatti et al, 2020)
• To know the level of knowledge of the staff regarding the various compliances they need to adhere to, the organization can conduct a surprise quiz
• Close and frequent monitoring of the staff’s actions
Aitken, M., Toreini, E., Carmichael, P., Coopamootoo, K., Elliott, K. and van Moorsel, A., 2020. Establishing a social licence for Financial Technology: Reflections on the role of the private sector in pursuing ethical data practices. Big Data & Society, 7(1), p.2053951720908892.
Batista, A.A.D.S. and Francisco, A.C.D., 2018. Organizational sustainability practices: A study of the firms listed by the corporate sustainability index. Sustainability, 10(1), p.226.
Bhatti, M.H., Akram, U., Bhatti, M.H., Rasool, H. and Su, X., 2020. Unraveling the effects of ethical leadership on knowledge sharing: The mediating roles of subjective well-being and social media in the hotel industry.Business ethics assignment Sustainability, 12(20), p.8333.
Pope, S., Bromley, P., Lim, A. and Meyer, J.W., 2018. The pyramid of nonprofit responsibility: The institutionalization of organizational responsibility across sectors. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 29(6), pp.1300-1314.
Scope. 2021. About Us. Available at https://www.scopeaust.org.au/about-scope/. [Accessed 4 November 2021]