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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Employee Insubordination: Unethical and Illegal requests

Q: Email from Alana N. with 4 separate questions. This is question #4


A: If an employee is asked to carry out a specific task (by senior management) which is deemed unethical and goes against company’s procedure it is well within their right to refuse this task not so? 

An employee should ALWAYS refuse to perform any task that is illegal or unethical. However, "ethics" can be subjective, meaning that different people will have different views on what is right or wrong, so this can be a tricky situation for an employee if the matter does go to court. 

I have never come across a case involving an unethical request, but for illegal requests see:  Showboat Entertainment Centre v Owens [1984] ICR 65 

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