In Focus
HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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One in three Singapore workers prefer more ethical employers over high salary

One in two Singaporeans think their management would ignore unethical behaviour.

The EY Asia Pacific (APAC) Fraud Survey 2017 showed results of an overwhelming number of employees are confused about what to expect from compliant organisations because of unclear and inconsistently delivered policies.

According to EY, more than two in five (44%) in APAC and a third (33%) in Singapore say they would accept a lower salary if it meant working for an ethical employer. This was the result of 1,698 employees from large businesses in 14 Asia-Pacific territories, including 105 from Singapore surveyed by EY.

Furthermore, 85% of APAC respondents (Singapore 76%) want their organisation’s corporate compliance policies to be simplified and localised to make them more understandable. They think existing policies are too long and use unnecessarily complex language or legal jargon.

Thirty-nine percent in APAC (Singapore 40%) say their organisation’s code of conduct in its current format has little impact on how employees actually behave.

“Corporates need to simplify their compliance protocols to help employees to follow them. Else employee frustration with discrepancies and inconsistencies in how compliance programs are executed can create major stumbling blocks to managing effective compliance programs and bringing fraud, bribery and corruption under control,” Rueben Khoo, EY Asean Leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services said.

Sixty-one percent of APAC respondents and 80% of Singapore respondents say they have a whistleblowing hotline within their organisation. Despite this, the survey showed they do not trust their organisation will protect their anonymity or follow-up with proper remedial actions when it comes to reporting unethical acts.

Meanwhile, nearly half of all respondents (APAC 49%, Singapore 42%) think that their senior management would ignore unethical behaviour to achieve corporate revenue targets. A shocking 83% of millennials in APAC and 69% in Singapore say they would look for a new job if their organisation was involved in a major fraud, bribery or corruption case, the survey finds that millennials (age group: 25-34 years old) do not fully understand what constitutes unethical behaviour.

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