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However, a good proportion of employees are not aware of what to do if they witness or discover wrongdoing in the workplace.
The findings reveal there seems to be low investment in the training and promotion of whistleblowing processes and policies even among those organisations that have such things.
The whistleblowing survey, conducted by an independent third party, was commissioned by UK-based Safecall – an independent, specialist whistleblowing and compliance services provider.
The majority of respondents - some 83% - have a whistleblowing policy in place, although 17% do not. While there is no legal requirement for an organisation to have a whistleblowing policy, under the Corporate Governance Code, if a listed company does not have one in place, then senior management must be able to explain why they don’t have one.
On a positive note, HR managers are overwhelmingly aware of the EU Whistleblowing Directive, although a minority – just over 20% - said they were not aware of the Directive and therefore the possible impact on their business.
This suggests that nearly two years of awareness activity by both public and private sectors has largely worked.
Joanna Lewis, MD at Safecall, said: “Awareness and adoption of whistleblowing processes and policies seem fairly high, which is great to see. However, it’s when you start delving into the mechanics and trust of such processes that we see some worrying trends.
“There are organisations that have put whistleblowing reporting systems in place but are not bought into actively encouraging reports. A minority of organisations – even if they do have whistleblowing reporting channels in place – see whistleblowing as a tick-box exercise with no benefits to the revenue, morale or profit of the organisation.”
The findings show a large minority of organisations - some 43.5% - are not bought into, or at worst, completely unaware of the benefits of actively promoting whistleblowing.
Lewis said: “While progress is being made, more needs to be done to persuade some HR management teams that whistleblowing has multiple lasting benefits to both themselves and their organisation.”
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