Earlier this week, myhrdept wrote an article covering how bullying and harassment in the workplace were commonplace in some companies (See the story HERE.) Today, we look at one action that can cause hostility in the workplace, Whistle blowing.
Margaret Hodge, the Chairman for The Public Accounts Committee says that whistle blowing was a crucial source of intelligence to help identify wrongdoing. “However, far too often whistle blowers have been shockingly treated, and departments have sometimes failed to protect some whistle blowers from being victimised,” she said. This has a profound impact on confidence and trust in all types of businesses, and results in employees being less likely to blow the whistle for fear of the consequences.
A survey of staff at the Ministry of Defence revealed that just 40 per cent of respondents felt they would not suffer retaliation if they raised a concern, while in the Department of Health only 54 per cent felt confident that they could speak out.
“The Departments’ own attempts at changing whistle blowing policy and processes for the better have not been sufficiently successful in modifying a bullying culture, or in combating unacceptable behaviour, such as harassment of whistle blowers within their organisations,” Mrs Hodge said. The report says that departments should be more rigorous in ensuring that whistle blowers are protected and supported and have their welfare monitored and recommends regular reporting back to whistle blowers on how their concerns are being addressed.
Employees and workers are required and strongly encouraged to use a Whistle blowing policy & procedure before considering raising matters externally to the Company. Concerns raised externally which prove to be unfounded and risk damage to the good name of the Company could under some circumstances result in action being taken against the whistle blower, including prosecution and/or dismissal in serious cases. It is therefore in the interests of both Company and whistle blower to address issues internally whenever possible and only to report matters externally as a last resort and if reasonably considered absolutely necessary.
Are your procedures robust enough to deal with bullying or discrimination? You can download all relevant policy and procedures here, or alternatively, if you would like more advice on how to implement an effective process within your company, you can email email@example.com or call one of our HR Consultants on 01628 820515
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