We aim to deliver support of the highest standards to our beneficiaries and to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and kept safe. However, we recognise that, even in the best-run organisations, things can go wrong.
What is whistleblowing?
A whistleblower is a member of staff/Trustee who reports certain types of wrongdoing.
This procedure applies, but is not limited to, allegations about any of the following:
- conduct which is an offence or breach of the law;
- alleged miscarriage of justice;
- serious Health and Safety risks;
- the unauthorised use of public funds;
- possible fraud and corruption;
- sexual, physical or verbal abuse, or bullying or intimidation of employees, customers or service users;
- abuse of authority;
- other unethical conduct.
The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others, for example the general public.
As a whistleblower you have specific substantial protection in law, if you were to be treated unfairly or lose your job, because you ‘blow the whistle’.
You can raise your concern at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the near future.
What to do if your concern doesn’t qualify as whistleblowing
If your concern does not fall with the list above and you are a staff member or volunteer, you should use the Grievance policy, to raise your concern. If you are not a staff member or volunteer, you should use our Complaints or Bullying and Harassment policies.
Reporting your concern
If you see or hear about something that you think is wrong, you should report it to the Secretary and they will take action to respond to your concerns: email@example.com
However, we recognise the possibility that an individual may feel unable to do so in which case a report should be made to another of the Trustees.
Whether you provide information verbally, or in writing, it should contain as many relevant facts and detail, as are available. Such as:
- your name and how you wish to be contacted, such as a telephone number or email or postal address;
- background – relevant dates and the names and positions of anyone who may be able to contribute information;
- you will not be expected to prove any allegation, but you do need to provide information to establish the basis for it.
If you aren’t sure what to do or are afraid to report your concern, Protect is a charity that supports whistleblowers by providing advice on their website. You can contact them by phone, email or by writing to them.
All allegations will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal your identity unless you wish this to be done.
However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through other procedures such as court proceedings then you may have to give evidence in open court, if the case is to be successful.
We encourage whistleblowers to put their name to an allegation wherever possible, as anonymous allegations may often be difficult to substantiate/prove. Allegations made anonymously are much less powerful but anonymous allegations may be considered, taking into account the following:
- the seriousness of the issue raised;
- the credibility of the allegation; and
- whether the allegation can realistically be investigated from factors or sources other than the complainant.
No action will be taken against a whistleblower who makes an allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so, even if the allegation is not substantiated by an investigation.
However, action may be taken against someone who makes an allegation without reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so. That is making an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, where there is no element of public interest.