1. What this policy is about
Your Homes Newcastle is committed to creating and maintaining a culture of openness within its organisation so that if individuals have seen, heard or suspect wrongdoing in the workplace or know of a serious accident waiting to happen, feel encouraged and confident to raise their concerns at an early stage.
This policy is intended to cover concerns that are made in the public-interest. If the concern is of a private nature such as employment matters, pay disputes, bullying or discrimination which aren’t public interest matters should be pursued through the Grievance or Dignity at Work Procedures.
This policy applies to all employees, workers engaged on casual contracts, contractors and agency staff.
This policy supplements and does not replace the Complaints Procedure, Grievance Procedure, and any other procedures established to deal with aspects of harassment or health and safety concerns. The Whistleblowing Procedure can be found here.
We are strongly committed to fairness and equal opportunities for all. This policy meets the requirements set out by the Equality Act 2010 and aims to prevent unlawful discrimination on the grounds of disability, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion and beliefs, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships.
This policy has been written in-line with YHN’s Business Strategy aligning with the third objective of ‘Strong business fit for today, ready for tomorrow’ and its values of Ready, Amazing, Revolutionary and Energetic. It also reflects best practice and ensures YHN adhere to legal requirements.
2. Our approach
It is appreciated that those ‘speaking up’ and reporting concerns may be apprehensive in doing so. Your Homes Newcastle want to give reassurance that disclosure made can be done without fear from possible reprisals or detrimental treatment as a result of voicing concerns.
Your Homes Newcastle will not tolerate victimisation, harassment, bullying or any other detrimental treatment of any person covered by this policy who has made a disclosure under it. Complaints about such behaviour may be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.
Disclosures under this policy
The policy is intended to cover concerns that fall outside the scope of other policies and procedures. These include:
- Conduct related to criminal activity;
- Miscarriages of justice;
- Practices endangering health and safety, including risks to the public;
- Practices damaging the environment;
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation;
- Unauthorised use of YHN or Council funds;
- Financial malpractice, impropriety or fraud;
- Any attempt to prevent disclosure of the above, or
- Other conduct which gives cause for concern.
The malpractice can be past, present or prospective. It may have occurred inside or outside of the United Kingdom.
Your Homes Newcastle encourage reporting of suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible. No action will be taken against those raising genuine concerns even if the concern raised is not confirmed by any subsequent investigation.
The reporting of untrue allegations made maliciously or for personal gain, may result in disciplinary action being taken.
Confidentiality and anonymity
Disclosure made under this policy will be treated as far as reasonably practicable in a confidential manner. If confidentiality is not reasonably practicable, for instance because of the nature of the information, this will be explained to the person making the disclosure. It may be possible to be supported by a trade union or another representative.
Your Homes Newcastle hope staff will feel comfortable to voice any concerns openly, however disclosures can be made anonymously. Concerns expressed anonymously cannot be dealt with as effectively as open disclosures as they are often more difficult to investigate.
This policy will be made available to all staff via the intranet. All managers will be required to undertake an e-learning module on LMS as to their role in supporting this policy and the appropriate action to take in the event of any disclosure being made to them.
Breaching of this policy
YHN may invoke the Disciplinary Procedure if it is found that any whistle-blower has suffered any form of detrimental treatment.
Reporting, monitoring and review
This policy will be reviewed three years from its published date, or sooner if required.
For policy queries or more information, contact the HR Team.