Whistleblowing: Speak up SafelyJuly 20, 2023
A trustworthy and confidential whistleblowing process that is available to every employee provides clear evidence of businesses that are truly committed to protecting workers and delivering top-rated support. CEO David McCormack looks into the facts around whistleblowing and how mobile technology is helping workers break the silence with confidence.
Employees need to have certainty that their concerns about wrongdoing in their workplace will be dealt with appropriately. Equally, employers should encourage them to use whistleblowing services to register their worries or complaints anonymously and safely.
What is whistleblowing?
The UK government defines whistleblowing as: ‘The act of drawing public attention, or the attention of an authority figure, to perceived wrongdoing, misconduct, unethical activity within public, private or third-sector organisations’.
The government highlights the plight of whistleblowers, who often face reprisals from their employer, may suffer reputational damage as a result of the whistle being blown, or from colleagues who may have been involved in the illicit activities.
Focus on care
All employers should adopt a whistleblowing policy that encourages employees to draw attention to wrongdoing or risky behaviour. In the case of legal action being taken against a company as a result of internal wrongdoing, having and promoting a strong whistleblowing policy may act in part as a legal defence.
According to the charity Compassion in Care, which has worked with thousands of whistleblowers over two decades, most whistleblowers are from junior, low paid frontline roles.
Whistleblowers generally have already lost trust by the time they seek support and do not trust giving their information in writing.
The act of speaking-up with a complaint or concern is significant. Combined with the nature of the concern, whistleblowing frequently carries emotional side effects. The whistleblowing process and policies should therefore include the provision of easy access to mental health and emotional support.
Workers and managers sometimes feel ill-equipped to deal with colleagues or team members raising serious concerns, so access to training on this, and how to provide mental health support, and all grievances and grievance procedures, are also essential elements of a scoping support programme.
Research has found that workers want an accessible technology platform to help them access workplace information, training and health support.
A customised digital mobile employee support, benefits and rewards focused on employee resources, training and development, engagement, benefits and rewards, is the ideal delivery method.
We provide our Engage Employee Benefits app as standard to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company.
The app has an average of 100,000-plus user sessions each month and user engagement averaging well over 80 percent. It includes My Training, My Health, My Money, My Discounts, and My Work features – including a secure and confidential in-app whistleblowing function where temporary workers and employees can register concerns or worries about their employer, workplace or colleagues.
For more information on how you can incorporate this service into your own business, find out more here.