Whistleblowing policy

Raising Concerns Externally

7.1 We hope that this policy gives you the confidence and reassurance to raise matters internally. We recognise however that you may feel unable to do so for a number of reasons.

7.2 Disclosure to a Regulator

7.2.1 You will be protected if you raise a qualifying disclosure, so long as you believe it to be substantially true, with one of a number of prescribed regulators. See Appendix A for where you can obtain advice on Regulators. We would rather you raised a concern with one of these regulators, if you feel you cannot raise it with us, than not raise it at all.

7.3 Disclosure to the Wider Public

7.3.1 You will also be protected if you make a qualifying disclosure to any other person or body. This policy does not offer advice on these conditions as we encourage raising concerns internally as the preferred option.

7.3.2 In circumstances where an employee decides to raise the matter externally, protection under this policy and under employment law will only cover a disclosure made in accordance with Section 43 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended) . This means that the disclosure must fall under one of the categories listed in Section 3 and must be made in one of the following ways:

  • in the course of obtaining legal advice;
  • to a prescribed regulatory body (see Appendix A) provided the disclosure is made in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest and the employee reasonably believes the prescribed body is responsible for the matter of concern and that the information and allegation/s are substantially true;
  • to other third parties (including the media) where the employee makes the disclosure:
  • in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest and that the information and allegations are substantially true, and
    • does not make the disclosure for personal gain, and
    • has already raised the matter with the Council or prescribed regulator, unless the employee reasonably believes that he/she will suffer a detriment, or there is no prescribed regulator and he/she reasonably believes that evidence will be concealed or destroyed if he/she makes the initial disclosure to the Council, and
    • in all of the circumstances it is reasonable to make the disclosure.
  • the disclosure is of an exceptionally serious nature and the employee makes the disclosure:
  • in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest and, that the information and allegations are substantially true, and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council – Whistleblowing Policy January 2020 Version 5
  • does not make the disclosure for personal gain, and
  • in all of the circumstances it is reasonable to make the disclosure.

If an employee is unsure whether or how to raise a concern or wants confidential advice, contact can be made with the independent charity Public Concern at Work on 020 7404 6609 or at helpline@pcaw.co.uk. Their lawyers can provide free confidential advice on how to raise a concern about serious malpractice at work.