Example Of Essay On Develop A Revised Code Of Conduct

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Steve Jobs, Apple, Workplace, Supply Chain, Employee, Company, Human Resource Management, Ethics

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/13


Each company has a code of conduct for each member of the company. The code of conduct is a guideline for the company to ensure that they are not violating the rights of their employees and that they are taking care of their employees in order to ensure a high retention rate. However, a big company like Apple, which is well- known for its high-end products, has to expand their business, and this means putting up satellite branches in the key cities of the world where their products are in demand.
Apple is one of the companies that has encountered a lot of controversies regarding their suppliers in China, especially in Foxconn. This Apple supplier violated the human rights of their employees. In particular, Foxconn lets its employees work more than 8 hours per day. They also make their employees work overtime for unreasonable hours, provide them with an unsafe work environment, and hire minors as laborers. Apple does not have an explicit code of conduct for its employers; however, they provide a code of conducts for the suppliers to protect their workers.

Long Working Hours

The Chinese workers in a supplier company of Apple are experiencing long hours of work. According to Meyers (2012), workers are forced to work over 60 hours per week, not including their overtime. Though the number of suicides caused by the forced long hours of work has been reported and Apple is trying to take action on it, there are still workers who opt to work more than the hours required. Svensson (2012) said that this is a normal scenario in a developing country. Companies hire young and poor employees who will do anything to save up and earn for a living (Svensson, 2012).
In the code of conduct stipulated by Apple for its suppliers, it is stated that a work week shall consist of 60 hours per week, including overtime, and workers shall take at least one day off every seven days, except in times of emergencies or unusual situations. In addition, the supplier shall follow all applicable laws and regulations with respect to the number of working hours and the days of rest. All overtime shall also be imposed on a voluntary basis (Apple Inc, 2014).
Clearly, the first violation is that Foxconn’s employees are working over 60 hours, not including the overtime. Foxconn is taking advantage of their young employees because they know that these employees still have a very high level of energy. Another violation is the imposition of overtime on the employees when it is stated that overtime shall be voluntary.
The code of conduct made by Apple is undoubtedly made to protect the workers of the suppliers. If the young employees would like earn more, on their own will, then they have to be paid properly. Protecting the health of the employee is tantamount to protecting the company as well. Apple should consider the health welfare of their employees in order to realize the importance of limiting the employees’ working hours and allowing them to enjoy days off from their work. Aside from that, suppliers should be monitored to ensure that they are following the standard working hours in their country.

Unsafe Environment for Work

A safe working environment should be ensured to make workers feel secure and safe while performing their jobs. However, there were reports, which cited that workers were working in an unsafe physical environment. Pepitone (2012) gave examples of these situations, which include the absence of safety helmets, blocked exits, and the absence of working permits. According to Duell (2012), there were also injured employees who were poisoned by a chemical used in cleaning the screen of iPhones. As well, two explosions happened, which killed four people and left 75 injured.
This is an example of an unsafe physical working environment in a company. Apple’s policy on occupational health, safety, and hazard prevention states that suppliers “shall identify, evaluate, and manage occupational health and safety hazards through a prioritized process of hazard elimination, engineering controls, and/or administrative control” (Apple, Inc, 2014). Suppliers “shall provide workers with job-related, appropriately maintained personal protective equipment and instruction on its proper use” (Apple Inc, 2014).
In the reported accidents in the factory, the suppliers obviously failed to ensure that the working environment of its employees is safe. Apple has provided a good code of conduct for its suppliers; however, the suppliers keep on violating it.

Minors as Laborers

A report from RT (2012) indicated that Foxconn employs underage interns in their factories. These interns are aged from 14 to 16 years and work for three weeks in the company. In China, the legal age that a person can start working is 16 years old. As such, Foxconn’s hiring of underage interns is an obvious breach of the national law. In the investigation, they found that the employers take advantage of the interns because they are a cheap source of labor (RT, 2012).
Apple laid down a code of conduct in order to prevent underage labor and to ensure that the supplier shall employ only workers who are at least 15 years of age or the applicable minimum legal age, whichever is higher. Suppliers “may provide legitimate workplace apprenticeship programs for educational purposes that are consistent with Article 6 of the ILO Minimum Age Convention No. 138 or light work that is consistent with Article 7 of the ILO Minimum Age Convention Age No. 138” (Apple Inc., 2014).
The revised code of conduct should probably include the supervision of teachers who are responsible for the internship of the students who wish to undergo training in an Apple supplier. The absence of the person responsible for young adults in their internship makes them vulnerable to abuse.


Codes of conduct are formulated and implemented to protect the employees of a company. A violation of it is a betrayal of a promise of a positive future for them. Putting them in danger and taking advantage of them is a very unbecoming characteristic of a company, which should care for its employees.


Apple, Inc. Apple supplier code of conduct. (2014). Retrieved from
Duell, M. (2012). Forced to stand for 24 hours, suicide nets, toxin exposure and explosions':
Inside the Chinese factories making iPads for Apple. Retrieved from
Meyer, S. (2012). The controversy about Apple. Retrieved from
Svensson, P. (2012). Foxconn Apple factories violated Chinese labor laws. Retrieved from
Pepitone, J. (2012). Apple supplier audit finds major wage and overtime violations.
Retrieved from
http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/29/technology/apple-foxconn- report/index.htm?cnn=yes&hpt=hp_t1
RT. (2012). Foxconn fiasco: Apple supplier admits using child labor in China.
Retrieved from http://rt.com/news/foxconn-china-use-children-646/

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