Not a fair trade

People tend to be quite rude about accountants and lawyers, as you may have noticed. In fact, they’re the standard target of most business jokes (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). But it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that even those plying their trade in these fine professions seem to have a bit of a downer on their own companies.

Nearly 40% of staff in professional services firms think their employer is unfair, according to a new Fairness Index compiled by GfK and GoodCorporation (which provides businesses with an independent assessment of their practices).

Their survey found that professional services scored the lowest fairness rating of any industry, coming bottom of the pile in almost half of the 25 categories on offer. Surprisingly, given some of the salaries on offer, almost 50% of their staff felt their pay was unfair, while the industry was also criticised for the way it treats its suppliers, looks after disabled customers and stamps out bullying. Painful reading if you’re a CSR manager at one of these firms.

A slightly shamefaced Lord Sharman, the former global head of KPMG, said he was disappointed to see his old industry doing so badly.  ‘For an industry that spends much of its time advising others on how to run their businesses, this was a very poor performance indeed,’ he said gloomily.

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