The purpose of this policy is to encourage staff that have any concerns about breaches of law, codes of practice, ethics or any other perceived wrongdoing to make known their concerns to the Company promptly and properly. The Company is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, honesty and professionalism in the workplace. The policy applies to employees and workers [extend to contractors and volunteers if desired] at all levels of the Company.
The policy sets out a procedure which it encourages staff to follow if they wish to report any matter. The Company understands that staff may not always feel comfortable discussing their concerns internally but reassures all members of staff that any matter raised will be treated with proper consideration. Staff should be reassured that no person who makes a bona fide report in good faith by following this procedure will be subjected to any detriment as a result of doing so. Should any person believe they have suffered any detriment by invoking the procedure they should inform ACAS immediately.
The policy and procedure comply with the requirements under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (‘PIDA’, incorporated into the Employment Rights Act 1996). Members of staff are particularly encouraged to follow the procedure set out below in order to ensure protection for themselves under PIDA if they have a concern about any wrongdoing at work, including the following:
- A criminal offence
- A failure to comply with legal obligations
- A miscarriage of justice
- A health and safety danger
- An environmental risk
- Concealment of any of the above
There may be other matters of concern that a member of staff wishes to raise and they can use the procedure for this purpose. It is not, however, appropriate to use the procedure for personal complaints which are more appropriately dealt with by way of a grievance. If a member of staff is unsure which procedure to use, they should discuss the matter first with the Nursery Manager. Allegations which are made in bad faith may render the individual making the allegation liable to disciplinary action.
The Company encourages you to raise any concern in the first instance with your line manager, either orally or in writing.
If the line manager feels unable to deal with your concern he/she may refer it to the nursery manager. If your line manager is the subject of your complaint or you feel unable to discuss it with them for any other reason (perhaps because the matter is too serious), you should raise the issue with the nursery manager.
A meeting will be arranged as soon as is reasonably possible to discuss your concern with you. Where appropriate, you may be asked to provide information and evidence substantiating your concern. You are entitled to bring a colleague or union representative to any meeting in connection with this policy. Both you and your colleague must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and any matter in relation to it under this policy.
You will be provided with a copy of any formal note taken of the meeting and you will be advised how the Company intends to proceed. You will also be advised of the likely timescale of any further investigation which may be necessary.
The Company understands the desire, in some cases, for anonymity. However, where a person making a disclosure wishes to remain anonymous, this is likely to impede any investigation. It is, of course, preferable to disclose a concern anonymously than not to disclose it at all but members of staff are encouraged to disclose matters openly. The Company will endeavour to ensure that your identity is kept secret, save where it is necessary to disclose this (for example to the regulator).
If you have any further worries about this, you may wish to discuss it with Public Concern at Work, an independent whistleblowing charity.
You will be advised of the outcome of the meeting and any investigation, although it may be necessary to keep some matters confidential from you (for example, where any disciplinary action has been taken against another member of staff).
In the event that you feel the matter has not been resolved satisfactorily, you may pursue the concern with ACAS.
The Company recognises there may be matters that cannot be addressed internally and which should be referred to external authorities. Where this becomes necessary the Company may make such a referral without your express consent.
Save in exceptional circumstances you should not disclose your concerns outside the Company unless you have first provided the Company with the opportunity to address the problem.
Disclosure outside [the Company should be to [the appropriate authority from the list below/specify regulator]. However, the Company hopes that most concerns raised on an internal basis will be fully resolved.
- Social Services
- Northampton County Council – Early Years