What is Whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’.

A worker can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including:

  • someone’s health and safety is in danger
  • damage to the environment
  • a criminal offence
  • the company isn’t obeying the law (like not having the right insurance)
  • covering up wrongdoing

If a worker feels that they are unable to bring the issue to the attention of their employer they are allowed to blow the whistle externally to a prescribed body. Most employers would, I’m sure, prefer that they be approached first by their worker to give them a chance to rectify the matter, rather than they hear about an issue in their organisation from an external agency. How you respond to Whistleblowing allegations from workers will determine how confident your employees are about bringing matters to your attention.

  • have a whistleblowing policy in place
  • consider having a contractual clause that directs employees’ actions if they feel that they need to whistleblow
  • respond appropriately if you receive a whistleblowing allegation
  • investigate all whistleblowing allegations and then decide what course of action is warranted

NB a worker can’t be dismissed because of whistleblowing. If they are, they can claim unfair dismissal – they’ll be protected by law as long as certain criteria are met.

Need help ensuring that your Whistleblowing Policies and Procedures are fit for purpose?

Received a Whistleblowing allegation and not sure how to handle it?

Call Metis HR now on 01706 565 332 or use our contact form and we’ll contact you as soon as possible. We’ll give you professional HR advice on what you need to do next to fulfil your obligations in law and to act in the best interests of your organisation. Remember your first confidential consultation is at our expense.

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