Making a Protected Disclosure


Introduction

We are committed to the highest standards of openness and accountability. If you have concerns regarding our business’ performance, standards or conduct, you should be free to raise those concerns. Any concerns that are personal to your particular circumstances should be dealt with under our grievance procedure.

Aims and scope

The aims of this policy are: –

  1. to encourage employees to feel confident about raising concerns;
  2. to provide a method by which employees may raise concerns and know that they will be protected against victimisation as a result of raising a complaint;
  3. to ensure employees know how to pursue concerns if not satisfied with the response;
  4. to help the us to act within the law.

Certain disclosures are defined in as ‘qualifying disclosures’. Disclosures are qualifying disclosures where it can be shown that the business commits a ‘relevant failure’ by: –

  1. committing a criminal offence;
  2. failing to comply with a legal obligation;
  3. being responsible for a miscarriage of justice;
  4. endangering the health and safety of an individual;
  5. causing environmental damage; and
  6. concealing any information relating to any of the above.

These acts can be in the past, present or future, so that, for example, a disclosure qualifies if it relates to a criminal offence that has happened, is happening or is likely to happen.

The procedure

If you wish to report any concerns you should raise these with your line manager who will deal with the disclosure in confidence. If the issue relates to your line manager, you should report the matter to a more senior person in the organisation.

Where we are made aware of an issue, how we respond will depend upon the nature of the concern raised. An internal investigation may be appropriate or we may appoint an external agency or regulatory body to investigate your complaint.

We would expect that in almost all cases raising concerns internally would be the most appropriate course of action.

However, if for whatever reason, you feel that you cannot raise your concerns internally and you reasonably believe the information and any allegations are substantially true, the law recognises that it may be appropriate for you to raise the matter with another prescribed person, such as a regulator or professional body or an MP. A list of the relevant prescribed people and bodies for this purpose and the areas for which they are responsible is available from Public Concern at Work.

You may wish to take advice before raising a concern externally.

Right not to suffer a detriment

The law gives employees the right not to suffer a detriment for making a protected disclosure. We take very seriously any concerns which are brought under this legislation. In the event that you feel that you are suffering a detriment as a result of making a protected disclosure, please alert management as soon as possible so that steps can be taken to assist you.

We encourage employees to avail of this procedure if they are concerned about any wrong doing at work. We understand that concerns may be raised in good faith that may not turn out to be true or capable of being substantiated. However, if the procedure has not been invoked in good faith, then the employee who raised the issue may be liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.