More than 250 employees at under-fire defence company BAE were sacked last year for unethical behaviour – a rise of 17% on the previous year.
BAE’s multi-billion pound arms deal with Saudi Arabia is currently under the spotlight following a High Court ruling that the Serious Fraud Office acted unlawfully by dropping a corruption inquiry. The company denies any wrongdoing.
BAE said it now trains all new employees in ethics as part of their induction process. The firm revealed the drive as part of its 2007 Corporate Responsibility Report, published last week.
In total, 260 workers were dismissed for reasons relating to unethical behaviour, the report said. This included fraud, inaccurate labour charging, misuse of company IT and threatening behaviour. In 2007, the company received 327 enquiries to its ethics helplines and e-mail addresses.
Last year BAE appointed Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice, to head up an independent committee to advise on ethical business practices in arms deals.
The firm said it had also increased the proportion of directors’ pay linked to its ethical and safety performance. In 2008, 12% of the bonus allocation for its senior executives will be determined by organisational performance in these areas.
BAE employs 97,500 people worldwide and recorded a profit of £1.1bn last year.