Whistleblowing is a vital component of compliance. They help us raise the alarm on negligent, crime and safety issues which would otherwise go unnoticed.
It is important to report problems or potential illegal activities to management. After all, 42% of corporate fraud was uncovered by whistleblowing in the past year!
Shying away from blowing the whistle
There have been many reports from past whistleblowers having faced persecution for speaking up against corrupt organisations. Last year, a BA employee who had won a discrimination case against the company accused them of penalising her for speaking out.
More and more people are starting to ‘blow the whistle’ on unfair behaviours and this is leading to more fair policies. One way you can ensure that whistleblowers remain protected is to classify them as a ‘whistleblower’.
Whistle blowing considerations
A whistleblower is someone who exposes wrongdoings in an organisation. You’ll only be protected by the law though if you’re exposing criminal offences, regulatory breaches, health or safety (including environmental) breaches, or cover ups. If not, then you won’t be protected by law.
If you feel that it’s too late to report a potential concern, know that you can contact us and raise the incident regardless of when it happened – whether past, present or future.
Whistleblowing channels should be used as a way to report true injustices, not just gripes or anything else. You might be considering raising a formal complaint. Make sure you know what you’re entitled to by checking your grievance procedures first. If they don’t cover the issue, please discuss it with your manager or HR instead.
There are restrictions on whistleblowing law, but they often include cases where someone might feel they’ve been personally wronged.
Your company handbook should explain how to make a report and to whom. In most cases, your first port of call will be your manager if you’re unsure.
But you may also be encouraged to report your concerns to an HR representative, a legal advisor, senior management, or the board via one of the many whistleblowing support lines.
You are not there to investigate the scene, you’re a witness and an observer. This doesn’t mean that you should delay reporting to gather additional evidence because doing so will tip off the suspects and disrupt the whole investigation.
If people don’t believe in you and if no one does anything about it, or if information is being suppressed, then you have to get someone else involved. You may also have to take the press into confidence about the situation.
If you suspect wrongdoing, unethical behaviour or anything else, there may be a chance for you to report it and not get in trouble. Though the process might seem daunting, whistle blowers usually have the law on their side.
These are the requests whistleblowers often make and such a positive response can help shed light on issues that many people didn’t know about.
Despite being popular in the UK, there are no award programmes to encourage whistleblowers. Often the desire to do good outweighs any financial reward, which encourages people to act altruistically.
Some might question why rewarding whistleblowers for reporting companies that are non-compliant in critical industries is important. After all, the responsibility to comply lies with the company. But not only does it reward employees who go “above and beyond” their duties, but it also sends a message to other employees about the importance of compliance and reassures them that coming forth will result in rewards.
As the use of whistleblower rewards has become more prevalent in recent years, it not only helps uncover fraud faster but also helps bring about a new era of greater accountability.