Work place ethics are those principles or standards of behavior that ensure there is proper conduct within the work place. This involves making moral decisions when faced with complex situations. Work place ethics are important for peaceful co-existence within the organization (Servais 2011).
They are aimed at making sure that employees of the organization are comfortable. Workplace ethics are important for those firms seeking to maximize profits. Forced labor, child labor and suitable working hours are some the issues facing organizations globally.
Forced labor can be best described as a situation where people are forced to work against their will. Forced labor is a form of slavery. This is due to the fact that it may involve some form of punishment.
Millions of people all over the world are subjected to forced labor (Bredeson 2012). Some organizations consider forced labor to be labor intensive. Forced labor is mainly practiced in industries that are not well regulated. Agricultural industries and manufacturing industries are some of the industries that practice forced labor.
Research conducted by the International Labor Organization shows that about 21 million people are subjected to forced labor worldwide. Women and young girls are the more affected as compared to men and young men (Servais 2011). This is because; they are more vulnerable and cannot be employed in those companies that require manual laborers.
Private firms have been found to practice forced labor. However, some governments mainly through the military have been found to exploit their citizens. China and Burma are some examples of countries whose governments encourage forced labor.
According to the International Labor Organization most cases of forced labor reported affect those people who are marginalized. Other people have been forced to work for some companies or individuals they owe money. Forced labor is more prevalent in Asia and Africa. Very few cases of forced labor have been reported in the Middle East (Servais 2011).
When children choose to work instead of going to school this is referred to as child labor. Assisting parents in doing household chores cannot be classified as child labor. Working during holidays to raise pocket money may also not be regarded as child labor. These activities equip children with some essential skills that they might help them in future.
High poverty levels have been attributed to be the main cause of child labor worldwide. Research conducted by the International Labor Organization estimates that about 200 million children between the ages of 5 to 17 years are illegally employed (Bredeson 2012). Children are employed in the agricultural and domestic industries. However, some are engaged in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution.
Child labor has numerous effects on children as well as the society. Children are unable to go to school. Child labor violates the international minimum wage laws. It also affects the well being of the children as some of the sectors the children work expose them to health hazards, therefore, endangering their lives. Child labor also exposes the children to activities that are illegal.
Recent research by the International Labor Organizations shows that child labor is rampant in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The government requires all children below the age of 18 not to be employed but rather be in school studying.
This is the time an employee spends in his or her work place. There are laws that have been put in place that regulate the maximum number of hours that a person can work. Governments have also enacted laws that seek to address this issue. Research has shown that if an employee works for many hours without a break, he or she is likely to suffer from stress. Workers should be given adequate rest time (bredeson 2012).
The International Labor Organization has established the maximum number of hours an individual can work per day, week, month and year. The International Labor Organization requires all organizations to give their employees a short break after working for some few months. This includes the annual holidays. The above conditions are aimed at ensuring the organizations get the best out of their workers. Another reason is to make sure that the physical health of employees is not put at risk.
Employees too have families that they would like to spend time with. Employers should give their workers paid leave at least once a year. An organization should consult with the labor unions before making any amendments to these laws. They should also give details behind such a move.
It is important for an organization to follow work ethics to the latter. This will reduce conflict with the employees, government and the society. The International Labor Organization is clear on its stand on the ethical issues discussed above. Child labor has been prohibited in most countries.
The International Labor Organization is against child labor. Forced labor is a form of slavery and should not be practiced anywhere in the world. Workers should be given enough time to rest and spend time with their families. The government should enact tough laws to deal with those organizations that do not follow these rules.
Bredeson, D. (2012). Ethics in the workplace . Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Servais, J. (2011). International Labour Organization (ILO). Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International