UK employees are among the most honest in Europe and generally do not fall prey to a wide range of ethical breaches common in other countries, such as France, Germany and Spain, research shows.
A survey of more than 19,000 workers in 12 countries across Europe, by recruitment firm Kelly Services, reveals that only 14% of UK staff approve of taking office supplies home for personal use – along with Russia, the lowest of all countries surveyed.
It also shows that 21% approve of using office software at home – the second lowest in the survey.
A total of 31% approve of using the internet for personal use during work time – the third lowest. And just 3% say it’s OK to use unlicensed software at work – the lowest in the Europe-wide study.
The research also shows that more than half of those surveyed in the UK are satisfied with their employer’s ethical standards. This was significantly higher than most other countries.
“This survey shows that when it comes to ethical behaviour in the workplace, the majority of workers and employers in the UK are getting it right,” said Steve Girdler, marketing director of Kelly Services UK.
But Girdler said the overall findings reveal the real difficulty that many workers have in meeting high standards of ethical behaviour.
“In recent years, we have seen many instances of corporate misconduct at the highest level which reflects a breakdown in workplace ethics,” he said.
“It is important that employers communicate their values for an organisation to make it clear at all levels, what is acceptable, and what is not.”