Most, least trusted jobs unveiled in ethics study

Amid Australia's heated property market, real estate agents are rated the least ethical occupation.

Amid Australia's heated property market, real estate agents are rated the least ethical occupation. Photo: AAP

Real estate agents are the least trusted professionals in the country, with emergency services personnel topping the ethics charts.

The latest Governance Institute of Australia Ethics Index shows the rising integrity expectations of the country.

Firies and ambulance service workers have retained their spots as the most trusted professions, with pharmacists following in third place.

Real estate agents are seen as the least ethical occupation, but the media is considered the least ethical sector.

The healthcare sector is rated the highest in integrity, but GPs who don’t bulk-bill are seen as somewhat unethical.

The number of people who said ethics was important in society has risen to an all-time high, due to an increase among Gen Xers and Millennials. This fell for Baby Boomers.

The public’s perception of politicians – across all levels of government – significantly improved compared to last year’s survey, the report reads.

But despite the positive gain, politicians still remain in the bottom five occupations.

Governance Institute chief executive Megan Motto said the gap between the value placed on ethical behaviour and the perception was growing wider.

“This indicates that there’s still plenty of work to do by organisations and individuals – both in the public and private spheres – to ensure good, ethical conduct and a positive culture remain top of the agenda,” she said.

The survey found implementing the stage three income tax cuts while delivering a slight raise to the JobSeeker rate is perceived as somewhat unethical, but breaking an election pledge is viewed more poorly.


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