- ABOUT THIS POLICY
1.1 Carers’ Support East Kent is committed to identifying and remedying malpractice.
1.2 Carers’ Support East Kent recognises its legal obligations with regard to ensuring that employees, volunteers, and stakeholders are protected by law against any victimisation or other adverse consequences arising from the reporting of a concern about possible malpractice.
1.3 There are existing procedures in place to enable any employee, volunteer, service-user, or stakeholder to raise concerns under the Complaints & Compliments Policy, Grievance Policy, or Safeguarding Policy. The Whistle-Blowing Policy is intended to cover major concerns that fall outside of the scope of other procedures.
2. WHAT IS COVERED BY THE WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY
2.1 The Whistle-Blowing Policy is intended to cover matters of public interest with regard to malpractice – i.e. malpractice that has affected, is affecting, or could affect, the public. Personal grievances are not within the scope of this Policy.
2.2 This Policy covers the means by which concerns can be raised when anyone reasonably believes that malpractice has occurred, is occurring, or is at risk of occurring in respect of:-
- Improper conduct or unethical behaviour
- Activity which would bring the organisation into serious disrepute
- Failing to comply with any legal obligation, or any illegal activity under criminal or civil law
- The unauthorised and/or improper use of funds /Financial malpractice
- Dangers to the health and safety of any individual within the work environment
- A miscarriage of justice
- Attempts to conceal any of the above criticism
2.3 This is not an exhaustive list and any other matter of serious concern raised under the Whistle-Blowing Policy will be given consideration.
3. HOW TO ‘BLOW THE WHISTLE’
3.1 Anyone who has a serious concern, that they feel should be raised under the Whistle-Blowing Policy should report this to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
3.2 The Chair of the Trustees should be contacted via the following email address:-
If you do not have access to e-mail, please write to:
Chair of the Board of Trustees Carers’ Support East Kent
Carers’ Support East Kent
Kent CT13 9ND
Please ensure the envelope is marked “Private and Confidential – URGENT”
If you are unable to e-mail or write, you can contact the Administrator at Carers’ Support East Kent and ask that your contact details are passed to the Chair in confidence to request a telephone call. You do not have to give any information to the Administrator, except for your contact details.
To ensure the protection of all, the nature of the concern need not be addressed in the email. Instead a request to arrange for a telephone conversation with the Chair, or to meet with the Chair, should be stated.
4. THE INVESTIGATION
4.1 Any and all concerns raised under the Whistle-Blowing Policy will be investigated by the Chair of the Trustees. A written response to the initial telephone conversation or meeting will be provided to the Whistle-Blower, detailing the action that the Chair is intending to take.
4.2 According to the nature of the concern, this investigation may need to be referred to others within the organisation, or externally. If this is the case, the
Whistle-Blower will be provided with written confirmation of actions intended to be taken by the Chair, and details of who is to be involved.
5. THE OUTCOME
5.1 The Chair of the Trustees will ensure a full written response is provided to the Whistle-Blower at the end of the investigation. This will detail the investigation, and all actions taken during, and subsequently.
5.2. The Chair of the Trustees will share a copy of this written response with the Board of Trustees, and the Chief Executive Officer.
6.1 The need to report concerns of malpractice super-cedes the duty of confidentiality that an employee has to the employer.
6.2 Consideration must be given to the ‘need to know’ when disclosing personal details relating to an individual without their expressed consent. i.e. is it necessary, in this case, to give personal details concerning an individual in the interests of reporting malpractice?
6.3 It is recognised that where there is a perceived need to ‘whistle-blow’ this will sometimes necessitate a breach of the duty of confidentiality owed to the organisation and to individuals. In this respect the ‘whistle-blower’ will be protected from any possible negative repercussions of a breach of this duty.
7. PROTECTION OF WHISTLE-BLOWERS
7.1 The law gives protection to those who ‘blow the whistle’. In this respect Carers’ Support East Kent will take all reasonable steps to protect anyone who reports a concern under this Policy. If concerns are reported in good faith but are not confirmed by subsequent investigation this will represent the end of the matter.
7.2 In any event or outcome of an investigation of a concern raised in good faith, Carers’ Support East Kent will ensure that those who have blown the whistle are not subject to any detrimental treatment including victimisation, disciplinary action or criticism that could be construed as arising from the reporting of concern
8. PROTECTION OF THE ORGANISATION AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
8.1 It is essential that Carers’ Support East Kent can ensure that all stakeholders and the wider public are reassured that the organisation is operating within legal boundaries and good practice standards are maintained. Concerns that are subsequently proven to have been raised by someone who has acted maliciously or in bad faith will therefore not be subject to the protection of individuals as described above.
8.2 Any attempt to wilfully misrepresent or tarnish the organisation’s reputation without reasonable cause may result in disciplinary action being taken, up to and including dismissal.
9. AWARENESS OF THE WHISTLE-BLOWING POLICY
9.1 Awareness in relation to this Policy is incorporated in the Induction Programme for all employees, with the procedure for the reporting of a concern under this Policy made clearly available to all employees, volunteers, Trustees and stakeholders.
10. RELATED POLICIES