The whistleblowing legislation in the UK does not require employers to have a whistleblowing policy in place, but there are good reasons to have one.
Implement a Whistleblowing Policy
Implementing a clear policy encourages a culture where concerns can be raised early, which makes it easier for employers to address these concerns and potentially prevent serious regulatory breaches and reputational damage. Discovering and resolving wrongdoing early also reduces the chances of issues escalating to the point that they are reported to regulatory bodies or the press.
Employees that are looking to raise concerns are often concerned about retaliation, either from the subject of the report or the organisation itself. Laying out the arrangements clearly in a dedicated whistleblowing policy reassures employees that the organisation welcomes their concerns. The reporting person can be confident that the organisation has procedures to handle concerns raised confidentially and most importantly that they will be protected and supported.
Outline Types of Concern
A good whistleblowing policy will clearly outline the types of concerns which should be raised, how to raise them and what to expect once concerns have been raised. This encourages employees to raise concerns with confidence.
Promoting and Publicising
Promoting and publicising your policy is essential. Advice from government, regulators and agencies offering sector certification is to encourage employees to raise concerns, and to make it easy and safe for colleagues to do just that. A key part of this is ensuring that your policy is well publicised and easily accessible to the whole of your workforce.