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Written by International Compliance Association on Sunday November 27, 2022
Whether you call it a whistleblower hotline, an ethics helpline, or a speak-up line, the avenues for reporting unethical behaviour and other workplace concerns have a history of being overlooked or misunderstood.
Only recently are companies across the U.K. and Europe looking at their whistleblowing processes as more than an exercise in meeting minimum expectations to avoid scandals. Instead, providing clear resources and channels for raising concerns is becoming an essential element of their risk and compliance programmes.
Many U.K. firms already instil a working culture that informally encourages speaking up about actual or perceived wrongdoing, misconduct or workplace safety. However, understanding what the introduction of regulations requires, misunderstanding what receiving a report means, and difficulties around whistleblower protections have been obstacles in the past to formulating and applying consistent processes and procedures.
The proposed U.K. Whistleblowing Bill will bring U.K. protections in line with the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, which aims to:
For organisations, reports will help senior leadership teams and company boards learn about, acknowledge and combat issues before they escalate into reputational, regulatory or legal penalties. Furthermore, as a new generation of workers increasingly looks to work for companies able to prove their integrity, clear whistleblowing processes will play a part in acquiring and retaining top talent.
With the right strategy and understanding of both regulations and what employee resources are needed, maintaining an effective whistleblowing procedure will help to make U.K. organisations better, safer, and more attractive places to work.
To learn more about the history of U.K. whistleblowing, an overview of what the Bill aims to address, and tips on best practices for whistleblowing programmes, download the NAVEX U.K. Whistleblowing e-book today.
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