Whistleblowing is raising a concern about malpractice within an organisation.
The policy provides individuals in the workplace with protection from victimisation or punishment where they raise a genuine concern about misconduct or malpractice in the organisation. The policy is underpinned by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which encourages people to raise concerns about misconduct or malpractice in the workplace, in order to promote good governance and accountability in the public interest. The Act covers behaviour, which amounts to:
- A criminal offence
- Failure to comply with any legal obligation
- A miscarriage of justice
- Danger to health and safety of an individual and/or environment
- Deliberate concealment of information about any of the above.
Conditions for raising concerns
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 legislation and this policy offers protection only if the:
- Internal disclosure is made in good faith and there is reasonable suspicion that the alleged malpractice has occurred is occurring or is likely to occur.
- Disclosure to a Regulator (e.g. Ofsted and LSCB,) meets the above criteria and the member of staff concerned honestly and reasonably believes the allegations are substantially true.
For protection under the legislation external disclosure must also meet one or more of the following conditions:
- The employee believed s/he would be victimised if s/he raised the matter internally
- There is no prescribed regulator and the employee believed the evidence would be concealed or destroyed
- The concern had already been raised with the employer or regulator and had not been dealt with adequately or appropriately
- The concern is of an exceptionally serious nature.
An employee or volunteer who, acting in good faith, wishes to raise such a concern should normally report the matter to the manager who will advise the employee or volunteer of the action that will be taken in response to the concerns expressed. Concerns should be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible with the support of the Local Authority Designated Officer if necessary.
If an employee or volunteer feels the matter cannot be discussed or resolved with the manager or the owner he or she should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or OFSTED on 0300 123 3155 for advice on what steps to follow.
Steps to take if concerned
If you are concerned about a colleagues practice then:
- Speak to your Manager
- If still not happy with the outcome contact the Committee
- If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome contact your Local Authority Designated Officer on 01708434343
A disclosure in good faith to the manager will be protected. Confidentiality will be maintained wherever possible and the employee or volunteer will not suffer any personal detriment as a result of raising any genuine concern about misconduct or malpractice within the organisation.