In order to make the engineering sector more globally responsible, our team has decided to create a government run organisation, called the Engineering Ethics Committee (EEC), that allows employees working in engineering companies to come forward confidentially about engineering malpractice/bad ethics within their company. Employees can sometimes feel that by coming to their superiors to address a problem that is clearly (environmentally) unethical would put them at a disadvantage in the company, i.e. not looked at for promotion or extra training, or even at risk of losing their job. If the workplace is somewhat corrupt, they of course also wouldn’t be able to go with this problem to the manager as the management in that case is the problem. This program is therefore put in place in order for employees to have somewhere to go to report these unfavourable situations without being afraid to get reprimanded for it.
EEC will be a hotline style organisation that employees can contact to report unethical practises within the workplace. This can be done via multiple avenues such as calling, sending a letter, an online chat function or filling out a form. In the form they will explain what they believe the issue is in their workplace. Once the form has been received and reviewed by the team at the organisation the team will reach out to the company within a maximum of a week and will explain what the issue raised by one of its employees was. If the concern raised by the employee is deemed serious enough, the company is then given a certain amount of time (depending on the case) to find a solution to the problem and then to effectively implement it. The company will have to contact the team by the deadline set to prove the issue has been resolved, the team will then also contact the original employee to confirm this. If the company has shown no efforts to try and fix the issue raised or not proposed an effective plan to try and resolve the problem, the company will then be fined by the organisation. These fines will be set high enough to deter companies from just paying the fine as it is ‘cheaper than solving the issue’, more fines are given until the issue is resolved so there is no way for companies to see ‘paying off the fine’ as the easier option.
The government will fund this organisation with the help of donations from engineering firms. The Grenfell fire cost the taxpayer over £40 million in legal fees and compensation, therefore, it is in the government's best interest to stop these failures from happening in the first place. Companies that pay into the organisation will become affiliated with us which they can display on their website and use for marketing purposes, much like how CSR works currently. The fines will also help fund EEC however the goal is to solve the issue before a fine is necessary so the organisation will not rely on this as a source of income in any way.
Our ultimate goal is to stop bad ethics in the workplace by confronting the company and enforcing change, in order to avoid catastrophic ethical failures as has been seen in the past.
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