What is Whistleblowing? How does it affect me?

Whistleblowing can help organisations to solve many issues that otherwise might escalate, avoiding harm to the organisation and its stakeholders
Whistleblowing can help organisations to solve many issues that otherwise might escalate, avoiding harm to the organisation and its stakeholders

Whistleblowing is becoming increasingly important for companies due to the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Companies across the European Union are now required to provide whistleblowing channels and protection for whistleblowers.

Who is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is anyone who reveals information about illegal, immoral, illicit, unsafe, or fraudulent activity within a private or public organisation. Whistleblowers may use various internal or external channels to communicate information or allegations they may have.

A majority of whistleblowers report within the organisation to a supervisor, human resources, compliance, or a neutral third party. A whistleblower could also share information about a company’s wrongdoing with external entities, such as the media, government, or law enforcement.

Risks faced by a Whistleblower

Whistleblowers often risk retaliation against themselves for blowing the whistle on a company or individual. The most common form of retaliation is an abrupt termination of their employment. Some employees may see sudden increases in their workload or may have their work hours cut down drastically. Several countries have come up with laws to protect whistleblowers and regulate whistleblowing activities.

Knowing when to blow the whistle

Whistleblowers can voice their concerns when they witness:

  • criminal activity or someone employee engaging in fraud.
  • theft or unethical or racist or sexist behaviour
  • someone’s health and safety are in danger.
  • risk or damage to a company’s assets or to the environment.
  • subversion of justice.
  • a company failing to comply with the law or covering up wrongdoing.

However, if an employer decides the whistleblowing was deliberately false, after an investigation, they could take disciplinary action against the employee.

If you need expert advice on how to proceed with Whistleblowing or what to do in case you are falsely accused of something you did not do, the ABAC® team can assist you.

Arm yourself with ISO 37002 Whistleblowing Management System

The ISO Whistleblowing Guidelines assist organisations in creating whistleblowing management systems based on trust, impartiality, and protection principles. The guidelines are adaptable, and their use will vary with the size, nature, complexity, and jurisdiction of the organisation’s activities.

The ISO Whistleblowing Guidelines can improve an organisation’s existing whistleblowing policy and procedures and compliance with applicable whistleblowing legislation. It is meant to secure the following outcomes for you:

  • Encouraging and facilitating reporting of wrongdoing
  • Making sure wrongdoing is dealt with properly and in a timely manner
  • Improving organisational culture and governance
  • Giving whistleblowers the support and protection they might need
  • Reducing the risks of wrongdoing

At ABAC®, we can provide you with training and certification for ISO 37002 Whistleblower Management System, ISO 37000 Governance of Organisations, ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems (ABMS), ISO 37301 Compliance Management System and ISO 31000 Risk Management – Guidelines. ABAC® works with clients of all industries, sizes, and organisation types to develop robust programs using the latest techniques and best practices that help foster an ethical business culture.

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