Whistleblowing policy

1. What is Whistleblowing? In this policy ‘Whistleblowing’ means the reporting by employees of suspected misconduct, illegal acts or failure to act within Whole Brain Learning of this Policy is to encourage employees and others who have serious concerns about any aspect of Whole Brain Learning’s work to come forward and voice those concerns. Employees are often the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong within Whole Brain Learning.

‘Whistleblowing’ is viewed by Whole Brain Learning as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to Whole Brain Learning’s efficiency and long-term success. It is not disloyal to colleagues or Whole Brain Learning to speak up. Whole Brain Learning is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest possible ethical standards in public life and in all of its practices. To help achieve these standards it encourages freedom of speech.

If you are considering raising a concern you should read this Policy first. It explains: the type of issues that can be raised how the person raising a concern will be protected from victimisation and harassment how to raise a concern, and what Whole Brain Learning will do.

2. What is the aim of the Policy and when does it apply?

2.1. Aims of the Policy The Policy is designed to ensure that you can raise your concerns about wrongdoing or malpractice within Whole Brain Learning without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal. It is also intended to encourage and enable you to raise serious concerns within Whole Brain Learning rather than ignoring a problem or 'blowing the whistle' outside.

This Policy aims to: encourage you to feel confident in raising serious concerns at the earliest opportunity and to question and act upon concerns about practice provide avenues for you to raise those concerns and receive feedback on any action taken ensure that you receive a response to your concerns and that you are aware of how to pursue them if you are not satisfied reassure you that you will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if you have made any disclosure in good faith.

2.2. Scope of this Policy This Policy is intended to enable those who become aware of wrongdoing affecting some other person or service, to report their concerns at the earliest opportunity so that they can be properly investigated.

The Whistle Blowing Policy is not intended to replace existing procedures: If your concern relates to your own treatment as an employee, you should raise it under the existing grievance or harassment procedures If a client has a concern about services provided to him/her, it should be raised as a complaint

2.3. Who can raise a concern under this Policy? The Policy applies to all: employees employees of contractors working for Whole Brain Learning, for example, agency staff, builders and drivers employees of suppliers those providing services under a contract or other agreement with Whole Brain Learning in their own premises, for example care homes, and voluntary workers working with Whole Brain Learning

2.4. What should be reported? Any serious concerns that you have about service provision or the conduct of officers or members of Whole Brain Learning or others acting on behalf of Whole Brain Learning that: make you feel uncomfortable in terms of known standards; are not in keeping with the Whole Brain Learning policies; fall below established standards of practice; or are improper behaviour.

These might relate to: conduct which is an offence or a breach of the law (a criminal offence has been committed or failing to comply with any other legal obligation) disclosures related to miscarriages of justice racial, sexual, disability or other discrimination health and safety of the public and/or other employees damage to the environment unauthorised use of assets possible fraud and corruption neglect or abuse of clients, or other unethical conduct. This list is not exhaustive.

3. Protecting the Whistleblower 3.1. Your legal rights This policy has been written to take account of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 which protects workers making disclosures about certain matters of concern, when those disclosures are made in accordance with the Act’s provisions and in the public interest. The Act makes it unlawful for Whole Brain Learning to dismiss anyone or allow them to be victimised on the basis that they have made an appropriate lawful disclosure in accordance with the Act.

Rarely, a case might arise where it is the employee that has participated in the action causing concern. In such a case it is in the employee’s interest to come into the open as soon as possible. Whole Brain Learning cannot promise not to act against such an employee, but the fact that they came forward may be taken into account.

3.2. Harassment or Victimisation Whole Brain Learning is committed to good practice and high standards and to being supportive of you as an employee. Whole Brain Learning recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make. If you honestly and reasonably believe what you are saying is true, you should have nothing to fear because you will be doing your duty to your employer, your colleagues and those for whom you are providing a service. Whole Brain Learning will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation of a whistleblower (including informal pressures) and will take appropriate action to protect you when you raise a concern in good faith and will treat this as a serious disciplinary offence which will be dealt with under the disciplinary rules and procedure.

3.3. Support to you Throughout this process: you will be given full support from senior management your concerns will be taken seriously, we will do all it can to help you throughout the investigation If appropriate, Whole Brain Learning will consider temporarily re-deploying you for the period of the investigation.

3.4. Confidentiality All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal your identity if that is your wish. If disciplinary or other proceedings follow the investigation, it may not be possible to take action as a result of your disclosure without your help, so you may be asked to come forward as a witness. If you agree to this, you will be offered advice and support.

3.5. Anonymous Allegations This Policy encourages you to put your name to your allegation whenever possible. If you do not tell us who you are it will be much more difficult for us to protect your position or to give you feedback. This policy is not ideally suited to concerns raised anonymously.

Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful but they may be considered at the discretion of Whole Brain Learning. In exercising this discretion the factors to be taken into account would include: the seriousness of the issue raised the credibility of the concern, and the likelihood of confirming the allegation from other sources

3.6. Untrue Allegations If you make an allegation in good faith and reasonably believing it to be true, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, Whole Brain Learning will recognise your concern and you have nothing to fear. If however, you make an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action that could include disciplinary action, may be taken.

4. Raising a Concern 4.1. Who should you raise your concern with? Raise concerns directly with the oversight officer (Adapted from Nottingham Council)