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What do you have to do?

An article to look at the legal requirements for ethics in the construction industry

There are two stages to what you have to do to drive ethical behaviour in the industry.

The first is what you have to do legally. Over the years more and more legislation has come into place to govern this and improve ethical behaviours and practices. If you have worked in construction for a long period of time you will have seen massive changes, particularly in health and safety which has had a huge, positive impact on the industry.

Ethical wrong doing can cost an organisation a huge amount of money as well as put it’s reputation at risk, damage workforce morale and lose clients. Businesses have to start by looking at where the risks are and what action should be taken to make sure they are legally compliant.

The second stage in driving ethical behaviour is what you have to do morally. This is where your values and your moral compass come into play and this is where the ‘legal versus ethical’ discussions are to be had.

Being legally compliant is just part of the story, the second stage is what you feel you have to do based on your values and moral compass. This is where ethical leadership is needed which will be discussed in activity 2 this week.

What is classed as legal, may not be morally right, for example, in 2012, Lord Justice Leveson condemned the UK media for ‘unethical cultural indifference to the consequences of exposing private lives’. Intrusive behaviour was not illegal, only immoral.

This is just one example but if you reflect back you may be able to think of your own experiences of the ‘legal versus ethical’ dilemma.

Review this worksheet showing the key legal issues / offences in the industry and the legislation and guidelines in place to address these. This part of the course has been designed for reading off line, and as a handy printable guide to keep. You may want to save a copy from the download link at the bottom of this page, below the navigation bar. You will be tested on this at the end of the week.

Place your questions on this in the comments section below.

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Construction Ethics and Compliance

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