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Whistle-Blowing
Policy

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Whistle-Blowing Policy

 

Policy Statement

 

Whistleblowing is raising a concern about malpractice within an organisation.  Play Inclusion Project is committed to delivering a high-quality service, promoting organisational accountability and maintaining public confidence.

 

This policy provides staff and volunteers protection from victimisation or punishment where they raise a genuine concern about misconduct or malpractice in the organisation.  The policy is underpinned by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which encourages people to raise concerns about misconduct or malpractice in the workplace, in order to promote good governance and accountability in the public interest.  The Act applies where a worker has a reasonable belief that their disclosure tends to show one or more of the following offences or breaches:

 

  1. A criminal offence,

  2. The breach of legal obligation,

  3. A miscarriage of justice,

  4. A danger to the environment, or

  5. Deliberate covering up of information tending to show any of the above. 

We at Play Inclusion Project support measures that protect whistle-blowers from any form of victimisation. We have a procedure to ensure concerns are dealt with effectively and efficiently and will do all that we can to preserve the confidentiality of the person/s who has raised a concern.

 

Whistle-Blowing Procedure

 

  • Staff and volunteers should feel free to make a disclosure of evidenced misconduct in regard to another employee or volunteer without fear of retaliation.

  • Play Inclusion Project has a duty to protect staff or volunteers who make a disclosure.

  • Staff and volunteers have a duty to disclose concerns regarding misconduct in regard to another employee to protect the charity, the service offered and service users. 

  • All concerns will be treated with confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal a staff member or volunteers’ identity. However, while making all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the concern, at a certain stage in the investigation it will be necessary to make the origins of the concern known to the person or persons the allegations is against. 

  • Staff or volunteers who fail to make disclosures of evidenced misconduct may face disciplinary action.

  • A list, though not exhaustive, of actions constituting misconduct and gross misconduct can be found in the employee handbook.

  • Employees should make a signed, dated, written disclosure regarding the evidenced misconduct within one year of the day they became aware of the misconduct.

  • In consultation with the Management Committee the Charity Manager will consider the disclosure and take action which is deemed appropriate under the law and individual circumstances.

  • If staff or volunteers feel they have been retaliated against for disclosing information they may file a signed, dated, written complaint within thirty days of the date of becoming aware of the adverse action being committed.  The complaint should include:

    • Name and work address of the complainant

    • Name and title of the person the complaint is against

    • Specific details of suspected adverse action

    • Dates suspected adverse actions have occurred

    • A clear and concise statement of facts forming basis of the complaint

    • A clear and concise statement of how the complainant’s disclosure is related to the suspected adverse action

    • A clear and concise statement of the remedy sought by the complainant

  • Adverse action can include:

    • Disciplinary suspension

    • Decision not to promote

    • Decision not to increase salary

    • Decision not to hire

    • Termination 

    • Involuntary demotion

    • Rejection during promotion

    • Performance evaluation where deemed as unsatisfactory

    • Involuntary resignation

    • Involuntary retirement

    • Involuntary reassignment to a position with demonstrably less responsibility/status

    • Unfavourable change in the general terms and conditions of employment

    • Offensive, offending or threatening behaviour in any form.

  • Within sixty days of receiving the complaint the Charity Manger will consider the complaint, conduct an investigation consistent with the law and individual circumstances and provide the complainant with a signed, dated written reply containing the following information:

    • The factual findings of the investigation

    • The conclusions of the investigation

    • A timely, specific remedy consistent with the findings (where applicable)

  • Remedies can include:

    • Back pay

    • Promotion

    • Reinstatement

    • Reassignment

    • Removal of detrimental information from files

    • Correction from files

    • Appointment

    • Change in terms and conditions of employment

    • Any other action deemed consistent with the findings by the Charity Manager

  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the reply or it is not within sixty days, they may request an appeal meeting with the Charity Manger and Chairperson.

  • A signed, dated, written request for appeal should be made to the Charity Manager within two weeks of the reply being received or should have been received.

  • The Charity Manager will issue to all involved a signed, dated, written decision within 45 days of the appeal meeting.  This will include:

    • The factual findings based on the evidence and arguments presented at the appeal meeting

    • A discussion of the facts

    • A conclusion

    • A timely, specific remedy consistent with the findings (where applicable)

  • The decision at this meeting will be final.

  • A complaint will not be accepted from the same complainant which is wholly or partly the same as one currently being considered or previously determined.

  • This policy does not prohibit personnel action taken regardless of disclosure of information.

  • The complainant should keep the details of any correspondence or meetings carried out under this policy as confidential.

  • When a disclosure/compliant is made regarding the Charity Manager all correspondence should be directed to and all replies received from the Chairperson.  The appeal meeting will be held with the chairperson and one other member of the Management Committee.  If a compliant is made against the Chairperson, the appeal meeting will be held with the Charity Manager and one other member of the Management Committee and when consulting the Management Committee, the Chairperson will not be present. 

  • We at Play Inclusion Project accept that deciding to report a concern can be very difficult and uncomfortable.  If a member of staff or volunteer makes an allegation in good faith, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against him/her. If, however, a member of staff or volunteer makes an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, disciplinary actions may be taken against them.

Ofsted Whistle – Blowing Hotline:

Telephone: 0300 123 3155, 

Email: whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

Post: Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD.

Updated October 2022

By Joanne Barnes

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