This study investigates the effect of ethical leadership on positive and negative discretionary behaviours, and management of perceived organisational politics levels. Specifically, the role of ethical leadership in organisational politics through the mediating role of social loafing was examined. Three hundred academics responded and completed the questionnaire. Ethical leadership theory was used alongside group engagement and collective effort models. Structural equation modelling, and regression analyses through bootstrapping techniques were directed to assess the model and the hypotheses. Statistical findings verified that ethical leadership stimulated employees to reduce their tendency to loaf and general social loafing levels, which subsequently enhanced employee ability to deal with perceived organisational politics in the workplace, be it positive or negative. Thus, by mitigating employee social loafing intentions, an ethical leader creates a transparent organisational environment and drastically improves employee efficiency by decreasing costs which would impact the company's bottom lines. Our findings expand the existing theory on ethical leadership, social loafing, and organisational politics by asserting the mediating effect of social loafing as a consequence of strategies constructed by an ethical leader reflected at the workplace organisational politics levels. Theoretical and practical implications for organisations and managers are discussed.