A union alleges that migrant employees employed by Freedom Foods, one of Australia’s largest dairy producers, do activities not covered by the skilled worker visa program and are being paid appallingly little. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has opened an investigation into major accounting flaws that led to the misreporting of financial results to shareholders and involve the Australian cereal brand Freedom Foods. Freedom Foods is charged with underpaying foreign employees by 25%. The business claims that it is “unaware” of any underpayments. Labour claims that alleged worker mistreatment harms the employment market and poses a safety risk. Freedom Foods takes its duties to treat all of its employees fairly, including those with work permits, very seriously. The business continues to follow all laws that are relevant to its operations and visa employees. Despite claims to the contrary from the union, Freedom Foods did not know of any underpayment of a single visa worker. The alleged conduct is that over the claim period, Noumi made several financial representations to the ASX that were inaccurate and, as a result, violated Noumi’s continuous disclosure obligations. These representations included those regarding the value of Noumi’s assets (De Cremer & Moore, C. (2020).
Over the course of the claim period, the second defendant (Deloitte) examined Noumi’s accounts and formally attested to their accuracy and conformity with accounting standards. This is said to be a separate instance of misleading or deceptive behavior in the claim. The plaintiffs and group members say that they suffered losses from buying Noumi shares at inflated prices as a result of the alleged behavior. Over 560 employees work for Freedom Foods Group Limited, a leading consumer-branded beverage, and nutritional company, in two places in Asia and four locations throughout Australia (Singapore and China). The following were the group’s main ongoing activities throughout the fiscal year: creating, obtaining, producing, selling, promoting, and distributing dairy and plant-based beverages; providing dietary supplements to retail and consumer markets; the sale, promotion, and distribution of specialized seafood in the canned form to consumer markets; and a financial commitment to dairy farming.
If the Group is unable to successfully defend against these allegations, the Group may be held responsible for significant monetary damages, which could affect how the Group can conduct business. There is a chance that the Group won’t have enough money to cover these compensation sums, and limitations on the Group’s operations could seriously affect its ability to continue as a going concern. Since the Directors are actively managing and mitigating the risks associated with the claims, the financial report has been prepared even though any potential financial impact and likely outcomes cannot be determined with any certainty at the time of signing the financial statements.
CODE OF ETHICS
Discrimination: All employees are given equal treatment, and the company does not accept discrimination based on an individual’s age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship, status, familiar situation, disability, or any other legally recognized cause. This pledge applies to all interactions with people transacting with the company, such as recruiting, investment, involvement, compensation, benefits, training, promotion, transfer, discipline, and termination in all of the organization’s sponsored events, activities, and programs (Act., 2016). Discrimination violates our fundamental human rights. The non-discrimination principle serves as the foundation for Amnesty International’s operations. To ensure that everyone can exercise their rights equally, we challenge discriminatory laws and practices in collaboration with communities around the world.
CODE OF ETHICS AT WORKPLACE
In the workplace, a code of conduct sets the guidelines and requirements for conduct. The guideline applies to tasks carried out while the employee is functioning in an official position, such as attending a business conference or presenting products at a trade fair. Theft, embezzlement, abusing sick time, and harassing or bullying a co-worker are just a few examples of actions that violate the code. Employees must at the very least follow corporate standards, observe the law, and dress appropriately, according to a workplace code of conduct. The company’s mission, basic values, and guiding principles should be included in the code, according to many employers. A values-based code supports and upholds the desired company ethos and culture when it is fairly and consistently applied (Mityagina, et al.,2019).
Benefits of code of ethics
Any organization, regardless of size, can profit from having a code of conduct. When newly hired employees are aware of and agree to follow corporate rules and procedures, ambiguity can be avoided. Rules regarding absenteeism, conflicts of interest, maintaining confidentiality, health, and safety, accepting other cultures, treating everyone with respect, and appropriate use of technology and resources are frequently included in a well-written code of conduct. A code of conduct also has the advantage of ensuring that federal and state anti-harassment and discrimination laws are being followed. The code of conduct aids in distinguishing an organization’s values from those of its rivals. When presented with a moral conundrum, staff members can consult the code to decide on a course of action that adheres to the company’s beliefs (Crossman & J. E. (2015).
Purpose of Code of Ethics
Building and preserving the company’s reputation is a key goal of a code of conduct. Certain principles, like truthfulness, reliability, teamwork, innovation, and transparency, let stakeholders and clients know what to anticipate from the business. Employee performance in the workplace and how to engage with the public may be the main topics of employee orientation. When the code shields those who come forward to disclose legal and moral transgressions, risk management is improved (Richardson, et al., (2016). Employee comprehension of anticipated behaviors and standards is deepened through ongoing training and interactions with co-workers. Employees are directed on how to respect one another by regulations and ethical standards that are clearly stated. Following the code can lead to career advancement and success at work. The disciplinary review process may be triggered by a violation of the code.
CODE OF ETHICS: EXPLOITATION
Employee exploitation is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstance or the method used. Some businesses use this concern as a chance to take advantage of their workers. Employers who mistreat their staff do so to save expenses and boost profits. To do this, they usually use a range of strategies, such as underpaying their employees, exhausting them through excessive work, treating them unfairly, and failing to give them credit for their accomplishments. At some point throughout your working career, you are likely to experience some form of exploitation by your employer (Farbenblum, B., & Berg, L. (2017).
Quit your job. It is to realize that this may sound like a drastic solution to your workplace issues, but in certain cases, it is the only option. The majority of businesses take advantage of their workers because they know you’re terrified to leave, therefore they’ll let it happen. You are a worthwhile individual. Never let anyone take advantage of you, especially a boss. Don’t work for a company out of fear or a lack of confidence in your ability to get employment elsewhere. Staffing and employment companies are eager to assist you in finding work, and there are constantly fresh positions available. There are steps you can take if you ever find yourself being taken advantage of.
CODE OF ETHICS: FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOUR
Workplace fraud schemes can range from the straightforward theft of business property to the intricate falsification of financial statements. Examples: unreported sick and vacation days, stealing money or something similar (inventory, machinery, or supplies), counterfeit receipts, fake purchase orders or trip vouchers, Unauthorized individuals approving documents, False mileage, fabricated transaction information, using university resources for private benefit, entertainment without a genuinely commercial goal. Internal control issues frequently make fraudulent behavior more likely to occur. Examples comprise failure to separate duties, No ledger reviews or charge reconciliations, and inadequate management oversight (Townsend., (2014). If found guilty of engaging in fraudulent activities, the following examples of punishments may be taken: immediate leave for investigation.
CODE OF ETHICS: WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTIONS
Whistleblowing is the practice of an employee reporting misconduct they have seen or experienced, typically but not always at work. The whistleblowing laws may shield you if you are afraid that revealing information may subject you to retaliation from your employer or result in your termination from your position. You must expose wrongdoing that is in the public’s best interest. This suggests that it must affect other people, like the general population. You have the right to report an incident that has already happened, is happening now, or you believe will happen shortly at any moment.
Any “worker” who makes a “protected disclosure” of information is protected by the whistleblower rules from being fired or otherwise penalized by their company. Anyone who works (or has worked) under a contract is considered a “worker” according to a broad definition. It contains Employees who are employed, those who work from home, those who are casual or contract workers, those who use personal service firms, and those enrolled in training programs or doing work-related experience. Find out what you need to do to comply with the whistleblower protection rules here: Information Sheet 246 Company auditor obligations under the whistleblower protection provisions (INFO 246), Information Sheet 247 Company officer obligations under the whistleblower protection provisions (INFO 247) (Sadiq, K. (2018).
Managing disclosures from whistleblowers
A whistleblower policy is now required for public firms, sizable proprietary businesses, and corporate trustees of superannuation organizations subject to APRA regulation. The law mandates that the whistleblower policy contains details regarding the legal protections that are available to whistleblowers, how a corporation would investigate disclosures from whistleblowers, and how to safeguard whistleblowers from harm, among other things. To assist businesses and other entities in creating a whistleblower policy that conforms with their legal requirements, ASIC has produced Regulatory Guide 270 Whistleblower policies (RG 270). Additionally, it includes our recommendations on best practices for developing and upholding a whistleblower policy.
How to safeguard eligible whistle-blowers: Noumi safeguards your identity by: (1) utilizing the online whistleblower platform; and (2) permitting you to use a fictitious name to make your disclosure. we are also entitled to the following if you meet the criteria for an Eligible Whistleblower: (1) Identity theft defense; (2) defense against damaging deeds or oversights; (3) Restitution and further remedies; and (4) Protection against civil, criminal, and administrative liabilities.
CODE OF ETHICS: ENFORCEMENT
The Fair Work Act 2009 established the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), an independent statutory entity (FW Act). The Compliance and Enforcement Policy (Policy) was created to give the FWO’s legal compliance and enforcement duties under section 682 of the FW Act some straightforward information.
Our tasks under the Fair Work Act of 2009 are outlined in our functions to fulfill our purpose: to provide information, support, counsel, and direction to employers, workers, independent contractors, and independent contractor entities and organizations (Boddington & P2017).
Noumi is dedicated to openness and creating a setting where individuals can voice any reasonable complaints regarding the company’s policies and procedures. Noumi is dedicated to offering safeguards and procedures so that those who report a problem can do so in confidence and without being concerned about being intimidated, disadvantaged, or subjected to retaliation. This policy’s goals are to: encourage anyone who may be aware of wrongdoing to report it; ensure that those who report; provide transparency regarding handling and investigating disclosures; and encourage open communication between parties involved in the disclosure process to promote Noumi’s principles, code of conduct, and ethics guidelines uphold Noumi’s reputation and long-term viability, and fulfill Noumi’s legal and regulatory requirements.
Act, C., 2016. Code of Ethics.
Boddington, P., 2017. Towards a code of ethics for artificial intelligence (pp. 27-37). Cham: Springer.
Sadiq, K., 2018. Country notes: Tax and Whistle-Blower Protection: Part of a Commitment to Tackling Tax Misconduct in Australia. Intertax, 46(5).
Farbenblum, B., & Berg, L., 2017. Migrant workers’ access to remedy for exploitation in Australia: the role of the national Fair Work Ombudsman. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 23(3), 310-331.
Richardson, C., Yaapar, M. S., & Amir, S., 2016. Budi and Malay workplace ethics. Journal of Asia Business Studies.
Crossman, J. E., 2015. Being on the outer: The risks and benefits of spiritual self-disclosure in the Australian workplace. Journal of Management & Organization, 21(6), 772-785.
De Cremer, D., & Moore, C., 2020. Toward a better understanding of behavioral ethics in the workplace. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 7, 369-393.
Mityagina, V. A., & Naumova, A. P., 2019, March. Professional translators’ ethics in workplace communication. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 483, No. 1, p. 012010). IOP Publishing.