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Whistle Blowing Policy



 

Throughcare Housing & Support Whistle Blowing Policy

Introduction
The Whistle Blowing Policy is intended to help employees who have major concerns over wrong doing within the company, relating to unlawful conduct, malpractice or dangers to young people / children.

Specific examples should include:

  • A criminal offence has been committed
  • A miscarriage of justice has been / is likely to occur
  • A health or safety of any individual has been / is likely to be endangered
  • The environment has been / is likely to be damaged
  • Sexual or physical abuse of staff or a young person / child
  • Discrimination of any nature is occurring to staff or young person / child
  • Any other form of improper action or conduct is taking place
  • Information regarding any of the above is being deliberately withheld or attempts are being made to withhold.

This Whistle blowing Code is primarily for concerns where the interests of others or the organisation itself are at risk

Aims of the Whistle Blowing Code

  • Encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns and to question and act upon their concerns
  • Provide ways for employees to raise concerns and get feedback on any action taken
  • Ensure employees get a response to their concerns and they are aware of how to pursue them if they are not satisfied with any actions
  • Reassure employees that if they raise concerns in good faith and reasonably believe them to be true, they will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation

If more appropriate procedures are available, this policy will not be used e.g. grievances, harassment and complaints of misconduct.

Whom does the Whistle Blowing Policy cover?
All employees of Midland Homes Throughcare Housing & Support may use this code; this includes permanent and temporary staff. It also covers agency staff and staff seconded from a third party.

What Assurance does staff get?
If a member of staff raises a concern under this code they will not be at risk of losing their job or suffering any form of retribution as a result, provided that:

  • The disclosure is made in good faith
  • The member of staff reasonably believes that information and any allegations contained in it are substantially true.
  • They are not acting for personal gain

MHTHS will not tolerate the harassment or victimization of anyone raising a genuine concern, however we recognise that staff may nonetheless want to raise a concern in confidence under this code. If a member of staff requests protection of their identity by keeping this confidence the company will not disclose it without the consent of the member of staff. If the situation arises where the company are unable to resolve the concern without revealing staff identity (for instance evidence may be needed in court) it will be discussed with the member of staff whether and how to proceed.

The Legal Background
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (herein referred to as the whistle blowers Act) protects employees against detrimental treatment or dismissal as a result of any disclosure of normally confidential information in the interests of the public.

The act covers protected disclosures under six categories, namely: - crime, illegality, miscarriage of justice, damage to health & safety, damage to the environment and cover up’s regarding these issues.

Protection is given to all employees whether given to the employer or to a body prescribed by the Secretary of State for purposes of receiving such information. A list of prescribed bodies is available on the governments website along with a useful guide on the act. MHTHS has introduced this code and procedure in line with this act.

How should an Employee Raise a Concern?

  • Concerns should be raised in writing and given to the manager
  • The background and history of the concern should be included
  • The reason why they are troubled about the concern should be included.

How will the Company Respond

  • The company will assess initially if they feel the concern is valid
  • The employee will be informed of the outcome of the initial findings
  • Pending the findings of the initial assessment there may be an internal inquiry
  • The employee will be informed of who is handling the inquiry and if requested a written summary will be completed
  • If urgent action is required this will be carried out before any investigation is completed

Where appropriate the matters raised might:

  • Be investigated by management or through the disciplinary procedure
  • Be referred to the police
  • Be referred to an external auditor
  • Form the subject of an independent inquiry

Within four weeks the employee will receive written confirmation of:

  • Acknowledgement that the concern is being dealt with
  • An indication of how the company propose to deal with the matter
  • Supply an estimate of the time scale for a full investigation to be completed
  • Indicate whether other agencies will be involved and to what level.

If an employee is unsure whether to use this code independent advice can be taken by contacting the independent charity Public Concern on 020 7404 6609

An employee who is not satisfied with the action taken by the company and feels it right to question the matter may take further advice from the agencies: -

The Citizens Advice Bureau and /or law centre/or law firm
Relevant professional bodies or regulatory organizations
A relevant voluntary organization
The Police and / or Health and Safety Executive
This Code is reviewed on a regular basis and at least once a year to ensure it’s continuing effectivenes


   
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