2. Policy objectives
2.1 Employees are often the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong within the Council. However, they may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or the Council. In these circumstances it may be easier to ignore the concern rather than report what may just be a suspicion of malpractice.
2.2 This Policy is designed to:
- Encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns and to question and act upon their concerns;
- Provide guidance on how to raise those concerns and be given feedback on any action taken.
- Reassure employees that if they raise concerns and reasonably believe them to be in the public interest, they will be protected;
- To advise and remind employees that the detrimental treatment of colleagues who blow the whistle may be considered a disciplinary matter.
2.3 There are other procedures in place to enable employees to raise a grievance or complaint relating to their own employment. The Whistleblowing Policy is intended to cover major concerns that fall outside the scope of other procedures. These can include:
- Conduct which is an offence or a breach of law;
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation;
- Disclosures related to miscarriages of justice;
- Racial, sexual, disability or other discrimination against another employee or service user;
- Health and safety risks, including risks to the public as well as other employees;
- Damage to the environment;
- The unauthorised use of public funds;
- Possible fraud, bribery or corruption including but not limited to theft of property, financial irregularities, misuse of Council property and systems, conflicts of interest or supplier rewards;
- Sexual or physical abuse of another employee or service user
- Individuals intentionally circumventing the councils' internal controls, for example failing to observe the Council's Constitution (including the Council's Contractual and Financial Procedure Rules);
- Employment of an officer without relevant qualifications or other conduct which gives you cause for concern.
This list is not exhaustive.
2.4 Any serious concerns that you have about any aspect of service provision or the conduct of staff or Members of the Councils or others acting on behalf of the Council can be reported under this Policy. This may be about something that:
- Makes you feel uncomfortable in terms of known standards, your experience or the standards you believe the Councils subscribes to; or
- Is against the Council's Procedural Rules and Policies; or
- Falls below established standards of practice; or
- Amounts to improper conduct.
However, if you have a general concern about service provided to you, it should be raised as a complaint to the Council.