Protected disclosure or "Whistle Blowing" Policy The Organisation recognises that effective and honest communication is essential if concerns about breaches or failures are to be effectively dealt with and the Organisation’s success ensured. This policy is designed to provide guidance to all those who work with or within the Organisation (including casual and temporary staff) who may from time to time feel that they need to raise certain issues relating to the Organisation with someone in confidence. Public interest raises genuine concerns under this policy will not under any circumstances be subjected to any form of detriment or disadvantage as a result of having raised their concerns. The victimisation or harassment of an individual making a protected disclosure is a disciplinary offence. This policy applies where you reasonably believe that one of the following sets of circumstances is occurring, has occurred or may occur within the Organisation and that your disclosure is in the public interest: - a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed- a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he or she is subject- a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur- the health and safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered- the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged- abuse of a resident or service user- information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed. Procedure If you believe that any of the above practices are happening in the Company the following procedure should be followed: - First raise the issues with your line Manager, who will treat the matter in confidence. - If it is not appropriate to raise the issues with your line Manager, you should raise the issue with a more senior member of management, or, if not possible, another member of management at the same level. - It is likely that an investigation will be necessary and you may be required to attend an investigatory meeting and/or a disciplinary hearing (as a witness). - At the investigation meeting you will need to explain fully the nature and extent of what you believe is the problem. - Depending on the nature of your complaint, it may not be possible to find an immediate solution but your concerns will be investigated as quickly as is reasonably possible and you will be advised of the outcome of the investigation in due course. - Where it is necessary for you to attend a disciplinary or investigative hearing as a witness appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that your working environment and/or working relationship is/are not prejudiced by the fact of the disclosure. - If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this procedure you may raise the matter with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you have the right to express your concerns to the relevant Prescribed Person designated by the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014 or any statute or statutory instrument which subsequently supersedes this legislation. - If you reasonably believe that the relevant failure as listed in any of the above practices relates wholly or mainly to the conduct of a person other than someone in the Organisation or any other matter for which a person other than the Organisation has legal responsibility, then you should make that disclosure to that other person. - Also, you may make such a disclosure to Public Concern at Work, the leading authority on public interest whistleblowing, if you consider that it has an interest in the matter and, despite the best efforts of the Company, you believe that disclosure within the Company is inappropriate or as noted previously has been unsuccessful. Disclosures made to legal advisors in the course of obtaining legal advice will be protected. If any disclosure concerns information which you do not substantially believe is true or is made in bad faith (for instance in order to cause disruption within the Organisation), or indeed if the disclosure is made for personal gain, then you may become subject to action under the Disciplinary Procedure, which could include dismissal for gross misconduct. While the Company hopes that such disclosures will never be necessary, it also recognises that it may find itself in circumstances which are new to it. Each case will be treated on its own facts.