Whistle Blowing Policy
Whistle blowing occurs when an employee provides certain types of information,
usually to their employer or a regulator, which has come to their attention through
work. The whistle blower is usually not directly, personally affected by the danger or
illegality, although they may be. Whistle blowing is ‘making a disclosure in the public
interest’ and occurs when a worker raises a concern about danger or illegality that
affects others, for example, members of the public.
Policy Aims
The aims of this policy are to:
provide a means for employees, board members or contractors to express
legitimate concerns and have them addressed
ensure that issues are resolved quickly and satisfactorily in order to protect
the users of our services.
This procedure will not require proof that suspicions are well founded. Persons who
express their views in good faith in line with this guideline will not be penalised for
doing so.
This policy applies to all employees, board members and contractors of the LEP and
has been designed to enable them to raise concerns internally and at a high level
and to disclose information which they believe shows malpractice or impropriety.
This policy is intended to cover concerns which are in the public interest and may at
least initially be investigated separately but might then lead to the invocation of other
procedures e.g. disciplinary. These concerns could include:
financial malpractice or impropriety or fraud
failure to comply with a legal obligation or statutes
dangers to health & safety or the environment
criminal activity
improper conduct or unethical behaviour
attempts to conceal any of these.
Our Policy
The LEP wants to create a culture whereby employees, board members and
contractors can feel confident about raising concerns about any form of wrongdoing
within the workplace.
Whistle blowing is only for the purposes of raising concerns about possible
wrongdoing. Grievances, complaints and discipline issues should be raised using the
appropriate procedure. Whistle blowing is the means by which employees can raise
concerns if and when, for whatever reason, they feel inhibited about going through
normal line management.
In most cases issues will be resolvable at an informal level without recourse to this
procedure. Where an individual has a concern, they should first raise it with their
manager or the manager with which they have been working. If the manager is
themselves implicated, then it should be raised with another manager or the CEO.
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If the matter is not resolved, the employee should contact the next appropriate senior
person (for example, the Chairman or member of the Board).
When a concern is first raised, the person voicing it will be interviewed by the person
to whom they express the concern. An assessment will be made regarding any
further action that may be needed. This meeting will be recorded.
If the manager feels that there is not a ready solution and a resolution cannot be
reached quickly, the matter will be brought to the attention of another manager. The
responsibility of ensuring that action is taken and of monitoring the situation will be
that of the other manager.
The LEP will respond to concerns raised by an employee who must not forget that
testing out concerns is not the same as either accepting or rejecting them. Where
appropriate, the matters raised may:
be investigated by management or through the disciplinary process
be referred to the police
be referred to the external auditor and/or
form the subject of an independent inquiry.
In order to protect individuals and those accused of misdeeds or possible
malpractice, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is
appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. The overriding principle that the LEP
will have in mind is the public interest. Concerns or allegations that fall within the
scope of specific procedures (for example, discrimination issues) will normally be
referred for consideration under those procedures.
Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation.
If urgent action is required, this will be taken before any investigation is conducted.
Usually within 10 working days of a concern being raised, the responsible person will
write to the member of staff:
acknowledging that the concern has been received
indicating how the LEP proposes to deal with the matter
giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response
telling them whether any initial enquiries have been made
supplying them with information about staff support mechanisms
telling them whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not
telling them how frequently the LEP will keep them up to date on progress of
the investigation.
The amount of contact between the person considering the issues and the employee
will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and
the clarity of the information provided. If necessary, the LEP will seek further
information from the employee.
The LEP will take steps to minimise any difficulties that an employee may experience
as a result of raising a concern. For instance, if they are required to give evidence in
criminal or disciplinary proceedings the LEP will arrange for them to receive advice
about the procedure.
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The individual raising the concern is expected to continue their normal duties or role
throughout any investigation unless deemed inappropriate.
The LEP accepts that the employee needs to be assured that the matter has been
properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, it will inform them of the
outcome of any investigation.
When the matter is resolved, all those involved in the issue should be informed of the
outcome. In any case, the matter will be dealt with promptly and confidentially.
Immediate steps should be taken to remedy the situation and a final solution should
be reached within 28 days.
Individuals should be assured that their concerns will be treated seriously and
sensitively. Individuals who wish to use this procedure but who feel nervous about
doing so may be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative to any
meeting that is arranged.
Employee’s 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 the LEP 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 individual that has participated in the action
causing concern. In such a case it is in the individual’s interest to come into the open
as soon as possible. The LEP cannot promise not to act against such an individual,
but the fact that they came forward may be taken into account.
Harassment or Victimisation
The LEP is committed to good practice and high standards and to being supportive of
employees. It recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one
to make. If an individual honestly and reasonably believes what they are saying is
true, they should have nothing to fear because they will be doing their duty to their
employer, colleagues and those for whom they are providing a service.
The LEP will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation of a whistleblower
(including informal pressures) and will take appropriate action to protect an individual
when they 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.
Throughout this process:
individuals will be given full support from senior management
individuals’ concerns will be taken seriously, and
the LEP will do all it can to help the individual throughout the investigation.
If appropriate, the LEP will consider temporarily re-deploying the individual for the
period of the investigation.
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All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal
the identity of the whistle blower if that is their wish. If disciplinary or other
proceedings follow the investigation, it may not be possible to take action as a result
of the disclosure without the individuals’ help, so they may be asked to come forward
as a witness. If they agree to this, they will be offered advice and support.
Anonymous Allegations
This policy encourages individuals to put their name to your allegation whenever
possible. If they do not tell the LEP who they are it will be much more difficult for their
position to be protected or for feedback to be given. 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 the LEP. 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.
Untrue Allegations
If an individual makes an allegation in good faith and reasonably believing it to be
true, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, the LEP will recognise the
individual’s concern and they have nothing to fear. If, however, they make an
allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action that could
include disciplinary action, may be taken.
There may be some concern that the procedure may be abused by individuals
making malicious complaints about colleagues. Serious or persistent abuse of the
system will not be tolerated and will be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure.
This policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered
malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to question financial or business
decisions taken by the LEP nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which
have already been addressed under harassment, complaint, disciplinary or other
The CEO has overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this policy.
A record of any concerns raised and the outcome (but in a form that does not
endanger a member of staff’s confidentiality) will be maintained and will be reported
as necessary to the Board.
External Avenues
This policy is intended to provide individuals with an avenue within the LEP to raise
concerns. The LEP hopes that colleagues will be satisfied with any action taken. If
they are not, and if they feel it is right to take the matter outside the LEP, the
following are possible contact points:
Public Concern at Work (tel: 020 7404 6609), a registered charity whose
services are free and strictly confidential
Acas or a Trade Union
the local Citizens Advice Bureau
relevant professional bodies or regulatory organisations
the police.
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Disclosures may also be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office who will
investigate under their own procedures.
Alternatively, an individual can report the matter directly to the Cities and Local
Growth Unit in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the
Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, at the following email
address: [email protected] or by writing to: LEP Policy Deputy
Director, Cities and Local Growth Unit, Fry Block, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P
4DF. You should clearly mark your email or letter as “Official - Whistleblowing”.
If an individual does take the matter outside the LEP, they should ensure they do not
disclose confidential information. They should check with the contact point they have
Records of whistle blowing matters (including complaints, investigations, reports and
meetings) will be retained setting out the nature of the issue raised, the employer's
response, any action taken and the reasons for it. All proceedings and records will
be kept confidential and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.
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