5. Protection under the policy
5.1 The Council is committed to good practice and high standards of conduct and wants to be supportive of all its employees. If you raise a genuine concern under this policy, you will not be at risk of losing your job or suffering any form of retribution as a result. Providing you are acting in good faith, it does not matter if you are mistaken.
5.2 The Council recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make. If you reasonably believe that what you are saying is true and that raising your concern is in the public interest, you should have nothing to fear because you will be doing your duty to your employer and those to whom you are providing a service.
5.3 The Council will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation (including informal pressures) of an employee who raises a genuine concern which is in the public interest and will take appropriate action to protect you when you raise a concern under this procedure. Any member of staff who harasses or victimises a whistleblower may not only be personally liable but may be subject to disciplinary action.
5.4 Any investigation into allegations of potential malpractice will not influence or be influenced by any disciplinary or redundancy procedures that already affect you as an employee.
5.5 The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') (and as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013) 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 only covers protected disclosures under six categories, namely; crime, illegality, miscarriage of justice, damage to health and safety, damage to the environment, and 'coverups' about these issues.
5.6 Employees who raise concerns or who are the subject of an investigation can access confidential counselling via Human Resources.