Today’s consumers, employees, procurers and investors expect certain ethical standards. They increasingly want businesses to treat workers fairly, ethically and sustainably – not just their own workers but also the workers in the organisations they engage with.
New Zealanders are becoming more aware of exploitation and mistreatment of workers, especially of migrants, and do not want to engage with businesses that exploit their workers. When deciding where to shop, consumers consider how businesses treat their workers.
These expectations apply to all parties who employ or contract people in their businesses. These include, but are not limited to, organisations acting as employers, franchisors, investors and procurers, businesses providing labour on hire, individuals acting as directors or managers, and work brokers.
Why good work practices matter
Behaving ethically and sustainably is the right thing to do.
Good work practices help create a level playing field where those who meet employment obligations cannot be undercut by those who cut corners using unfair work practices. Good work practices can have a positive impact on customer goodwill, loyalty and demand for your goods and services. They can also help to attract and retain good workers.
On the other hand, employment practices that are not legal, ethical or sustainable can hurt your reputation and brand. This could reduce your company’s revenue, profit, financial viability and market value.
Businesses that have been penalised for exploiting or mistreating their workers are identified in publicly available information. The law fines and penalises these businesses, and prevents them from supporting visa applications from overseas workers for a specific period.
It is essential to have systems and processes in place to identify and eliminate worker exploitation in your business and the businesses you engage with, for example, through your supply chain. This will help ensure you can meet your stakeholders’ expectations and reduce the risks to the viability of your business.
Employment New Zealand has developed resources to help you consider the requirements of being a viable and sustainable business.
What are ethical and sustainable work practices
Businesses that don’t meet their legal obligations to employees or that don’t understand and apply ethical and sustainable work practices are risking their future financial viability.
Demand for ethical and sustainable work practices
In New Zealand and across the world, demand is increasing for businesses to look after the wellbeing of their employees.
End-to-end assurance systems and processes
End-to-end assurance processes that focus on improving conditions for workers, and future-proofing the ability of New Zealand businesses to trade.
Employer's approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices
Employers are responsible for ensuring their staff are treated fairly and provided with their employment rights.
Procurer's approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices in supply chains
Procurers play a key role in assuring that workers within supply chains are treated fairly, including compliance with employment standards.
Franchisor's approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices
To reduce brand reputation risk, a franchisor should implement and ensure their franchisees operate using ethical and sustainable work practices.
Recruiters and employment brokers approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices
Recruitment and employment brokering agencies, and HR recruitment personnel have a duty of care to ensure that their clients have ethical and sustainable work practices.
Director’s approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices
Directors play a key role in assuring that workers within their organisation and supply chains are treated fairly, including compliance with employment legislation.
Investor’s approach to assuring ethical and sustainable work practices
Investors need to know and understand about responsible investments, and the impact their investment decisions can have on ethical and sustainable work practices.