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Whistleblowing Support Services

Understanding whistleblowing

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing involves the reporting of wrongdoing – such as, misconduct, fraud, or unethical behaviour within an organisation. It serves as a critical tool for uncovering issues that may otherwise go unnoticed, ensuring accountability and fostering a culture of integrity.

Importance of whistleblowing

Whistleblowers play a crucial role in protecting organisations from internal and external risks. By stepping forward, they help identify problems early, enabling organisations to address them before they escalate, thereby safeguarding the organisation’s reputation and operational efficiency.

Legal framework and protection

To be covered by whistleblowing law, a worker who makes a disclosure must reasonably believe two things. The first is that they are acting in the public interest. This means in particular that personal grievances and complaints are not usually covered by whistleblowing law.

The second thing that a worker must reasonably believe is that the disclosure tends to show past, present or likely future wrongdoing falling into one or more of the following categories:

  • criminal offences (this may include, for example, types of financial impropriety such as fraud)
  • failure to comply with an obligation set out in law
  • miscarriages of justice
  • endangering of someone’s health and safety
  • damage to the environment
  • covering up wrongdoing in the above categories

Whistleblowing law is located in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998). It provides the right for a worker to take a case to an employment tribunal if they have been victimised at work or they have lost their job because they have ‘blown the whistle’.

Employer obligations towards whistleblowing

As an employer, it is good practice to create an open, transparent, and safe working environment where workers feel empowered to speak up. While the law does not mandate having a whistleblowing policy, having one in place demonstrates an employer’s commitment to listening to workers’ concerns. Clear policies and procedures for handling whistleblowing indicate that the organisation values and welcomes information being brought to the attention of management. This approach not only fosters trust but also helps in identifying and addressing issues promptly.

ESP Solicitors whistleblowing services

Empowering whistleblowers, safeguarding your organisation

Whistleblowing is an increasingly common way in which fraud, regulatory breaches, and other malpractices are uncovered. Employees, increasingly aware of their ability and responsibility to shape corporate culture for the better, are stepping forward to make disclosures.

Recognising this shift, sophisticated organisations now provide dedicated channels for employees to raise concerns. Failing to provide a mechanism to raise and properly assess concerns is not an option, as the consequences of overlooking a legitimate issue can be severe.

A rigorous approach to whistleblowing protects against damage to reputation and negative publicity to regulatory investigations, fines and compensation claims. Such an approach will have a demonstrable impact in terms of identifying and deterring malpractice of all types and instilling confidence in organisational leadership.

Here’s how we can help:

Confidential and independent employee concerns service

We offer a reliable, confidential, and independent fixed-cost service designed to directly receive employee concerns. Monitored only by qualified lawyers operating at the highest standards of integrity, this service ensures whistleblowing concerns will be individually assessed and reported on within 24 hours. Our assessment considers both standard and bespoke criteria, identifying business risks tailored to the organisation and its specific environment The service aims to allow discreet reporting on an anonymous basis, including outside regular working hours. All data is securely held and can be tracked over time, enabling regular reporting and the identification of high-risk business areas. 

Lawyer-led corporate investigations

Our high-quality, lawyer-led teams specialise in urgent, in-depth corporate investigations We provide reliable and comprehensive reports including legally privileged, non-disclosable formats, equipping your board to make fast and effective decisions to protect the organisation. With extensive experience in conducting whistleblowing investigations in large and complex organisations, we thrive under tight timescales, often running in parallel to third-party and regulatory investigations. 

Employment law advice

Receive unlimited, specialist employment law advice via your own dedicated legal advisory team – helping you to tackle every ER matter, no matter how complex.

Specialist immigration employment law support

We’re here to help you spend less time tackling extensive immigration legislation and more time prioritising projects to drive meaningful change.

Employment tribunal support

When presented with a claim against your business, it’s vital that you have access to specialist, expert advice and employment law support to help ensure the best outcome for your business.

Online HR resources

Access an extensive online HR resources portal containing hundreds of compliance and best practice documents, templates, alongside learning and development tools.

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Log and manage all ER cases – as well as escalate matters to your personal legal advisors – all in one place via our market-leading, cloud-based ER case management system, MyHRCases.

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Complete our online CPD-accredited courses to upskill your line managers in subjects including unauthorised absence, discrimination and appraisals.

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For employment law news, HR guidance and industry trends – we have you covered. Stay up to date with the latest advice and relevant insight designed to further upskill HR and ER professionals.

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