Blowing the Whistle - am I protected?

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A “whistleblower” is the term given to a person who reports wrongdoing – usually within a large organisation. The activity in question may be considered immoral, illegal or against the organisation's own code of conduct. The decision to blow the whistle may be a difficult one depending on the circumstances and often the person who feels that they want to report the wrongdoing may not be aware of the options available to them.

There have been many high profile cases of whistleblowing down the years and often the identity of the whistle blower is not known until many months or years after the disclosure was made public.

Some whistleblowers of course have become infamous. Possibly the most famous case of whistleblowing is Watergate, that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation but there have been many more cases of whistlebowing that made the headlines; Karen Silkwood, about whom a film was made, was an Oklahoma nuclear plant worker who blew the whistle on safety violations at the plant.

She later died in mysterious circumstances.

However many instances of whistelblowing are more mundane . But what can you do if you suspect wrongdoing in your company?  The law that protects whistleblowers from reprisals is the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The Act makes sure that if you do report any kind of wrongdoing your rights as an employee will still be protected.

The Act also means that demoting or bullying you as a result of you blowing the whistle is illegal.

Deciding who to go to with your information can also be confusing. High profile cases became famous because of the involvement of the media.

As a first step it is always good advice to consult a senior member of your team or your Manager (unless you suspect that they are involved in the wrong doing). If you cannot go to them it may be possible to consult an appointed person within your organisaiton. Find out who they are if you are unsure.

It is vital that any disclosures are reserved for actual wrongdoing and not used as an excuse to raise a grievance against your employer. Posting on social media that you have been overlooked for that promotion you wanted is not acceptable whistleblowing and your rights would not be protected under the Act in this instance. It is always a bad idea to post anything negative about the company you work for on any social media channel!

If you need further help go to your HR department or get some training.There are good online training course available which are suitable for all levels of employee.

About Engage in Learning

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What we do

Engage in Learning is a UK based supplier of interactive eLearning courses and solutions helping organisations improve their safety, compliance and performance. We sell to businesses of all sizes and our prices offer great value however many employees you need to train.

You can edit our mobile compatible courses to include your own policies, procedures or other information so they are completely relevant for your learners. You can access courses through your own LMS, our free Learning management system (up to 500 learners) or we can supply a dedicated Totara system for you. Courses include features such as built in translation, remote update and the great bookmarking and navigation.

If you have had reliability problems with eLearning in the past try ours, we constantly monitor students connection to the LMS avoiding all the frustration and annoyance of learners losing their place or certifications. Attitudes aren’t changed by courses that preach – by audio tutors telling people that they must change their behaviour and attitude, that this is the right way to behave, that it’s important to behave this way.

Behavioural psychologists support that view and assert that behaviour change is effected by learning experiences that include: Observation and imitation of people participants consider to be good examples. Guided practice with tailored feedback on performance given in digestible chunks. Positive reinforcement. Practice in applying and using the new knowledge in a variety of scenarios. Engage in Learning courses combine all these elements focusing on achieving permanent change in participants’ attitudes and behaviours.

We provide high quality interactive leanring solutions in 6 key areas:
Compliance, Leadership, Health and Safety, Customer Service, Business  and IT/Project Management.



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