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Corporate responsibility 3: Employment
Look at this list of responsibilities a company should have for its employees. Then look at the notes about the company RJW Ltd on the next page. For each note, decide which responsibility is being ignored or abused. In some cases, there is more than one possible
A. A company should not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, class, religion, disability, etc,
when it comes to recruiting staff.
B. A company should ensure that its employees are proportionally representative of the community in
which it is based.
C. A company should ensure that working hours are reasonable and that employees receive regular
D. A company should ensure that its employees receive regular paid annual leave (and also maternity
and compassionate leave when required).
E. A company should provide equal pay for work of equal value.
F. A company should pay a sustainable living wage to all of its employees.
G. A company should provide adequate child-care facilities.
H. A company should ensure that there is no physical, sexual or verbal harassment or abuse of
I. A company should ensure that health and safety rules are applied and closely followed.
J. A company should not force its employees to have regular health checks, and then use the results
to dismiss the employee.
K. A company should not dismiss an employee on the grounds of pregnancy.
L. A company should allow its employees to organise or join workers' organisations that represent
M. A company should have a grievance procedure that is easy to understand and open to all
N. A company should provide adequate compensation for accidents and injuries sustained on its
O. A company should not dismiss or otherwise penalise an employee who refuses to work overtime.
P. A company should not dismiss or otherwise penalise employees for failing to reach production
Q. A company should not use indentured, forced or slave labour, or employ anyone under duress.
R. A company should ensure that an employee is dismissed as a last resort only, and only after verbal
and written warnings.
1. Several factory floor workers have been fired or had their wages reduced for refusing to stay and
work late when needed.
2. Production manager Laurence Bailey broke his wrist when some unsecured panels fell on it. He is
trying to get money out of the company for his injuries. 'You're not getting a penny out of this
company,' his boss tells him. 'It's your problem, not ours'
3. Andrew Kelly is thinking of starting a union for the workers at RJW Ltd. The Company Director
warns him that if he does, he will regretfully have to 'let him go'.
4. Manager Maureen Blake is always patting her male PA's backside and telling him he has 'a
wonderful body'. He has complained several times, but nothing ever gets done about it.
5. Susie Roberts, a secretary for RJW Ltd, recently had a baby. She cannot afford a babysitter while
she is at work, so the baby stays with her in the office.
6. RJW Ltd have their main office on the edge of an economically-deprived area predominantly
inhabited by people of West Indian origin. The company prefers to hire white, male, middle class
7. RJW Ltd has regular, compulsory medical check-ups for its employees. The company nurse believes
that one of the workers, Charlie Higson, drinks a lot when off duty. She reports this to Charlie's
manager, who then dismisses him.
8. Ron Smith and Emma Addams are sales executives for RJW Ltd. They both have the same
qualifications and the same experience. Mr Smith receives £40,000 a year and Mrs Addams
receives £34,000 a year.
9. Office assistant Tony White thinks his boss treats him badly. He wants to complain, but has no idea
how to go about doing so. Nobody else seems to know what he should do either.
10. Factory-floor workers at RJW Ltd find it difficult to make ends meet. The cost of living is rising all
the time, and the money they receive has not kept up with the rate of inflation.
11. Canteen assistant Anne Watkins oversleeps one morning and is two hours late for work. She has
worked for RJW Ltd for 6 months and has never been late before. The canteen manager sacks her
the moment she arrives.
12. Ellie McKenzie, a machine operator for RJW Ltd, works 12 hours a day with only 20 minutes for
13. Six months ago the company advanced one of its employees some money. When the employee
became ill and was unable to pay back the money, the company insisted on using his children to
work to pay off his debt.
14. Delivery driver Michael Blair is exhausted: he hasn't had a holiday for two years. The company says
it cannot afford to give him the time off work.
15. Production assistant Richard Mann slipped on some oil on the factory floor, fell headlong through
a glass panel, caught his arm in some unguarded machinery and was electrocuted by some
exposed electrical wires.
16. Factory-floor workers have been told that a new quota system has been put in place: anyone who
does not satisfy this quota will have their salaries reduced.
17. Accountant Audrey Jensen is delighted because she's just discovered she's going to have a baby.
Her boss is not so happy: 'Sorry Audrey, you're fired,' he says.
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