New guidelines available for the introduction of whistleblowing arrangements

BSI British Standards has published a code of practice for whistleblowing arrangements.

The publicly available document sets out good practice for the introduction, revision, operation and review of effective whistleblowing arrangements.

Research has shown that while one in four employees are aware of misconduct at work, more than half (52%) of those stay silent.

With increasing emphasis on the role that whistleblowing plays "both as an instrument of good governance and a manifestation of a more open culture", this code of practice has been developed to be of assistance to organizations across the private, public and voluntary sectors, said BSI.

Whistleblowing is the popular term used when an employee raises a concern about a possible fraud, crime, danger or other serious risk that could threaten customers, colleagues, shareholders, the public or the organization’s own reputation.

As an early warning system, whistleblowing can help alert employers to risks such as:

A danger in the workplace
Fraud in, on or by the organization
Miss-selling or price fixing
Offering, taking or soliciting bribes
Dumping damaging material in the environment
Misreporting performance data
Medical negligence in a hospital
Supplying food unfit for consumption
Wanton neglect of people in care.