Whistleblowing refers to disclosing information in the public interest. An individual is covered under the whistleblowing law if the information they disclose is safe for the general public and they also need to make sure that they disclose the information to the right authority.
This law protects the right of a whistleblower so that they easily let out the details of the malpractices they find their organization is practising without the risk of getting fired. As every organization has a different code of conduct and ethics, the organizations have the right to decide how they want to deal with the whistle blow disclosures; it is their choice if they want to make a special cell for this purpose or if they just want to appoint few members who will look into such members.
Type of law protects you when whistleblowing
Every employee of every organization is protected under the whistleblower law including the agents who are under the training period. Students, nurses, midwives who have work experience also are covered under this law.
Responsibility of Employer
- It is the duty of the employer to create a workplace where the employees feel safe while working and the working of the organization should be transparent and understandable for the employees.
- The management needs to understand that the employees whistle blow information then it will be for the benefit of the organization as it will help them to improve the working performance of their employees as well as the organization as a whole. So, the organization should treat their employees as valuable assets.
- The employer should promptly work and investigate the information that the whistleblowers provide so that they do not feel unheard and can talk about the same with their managers. When whistleblowers feel that the organization takes action on the information they provide then they become a crucial source of information to the organization.
- If the whistleblower rather going to the third party discloses information to the top information, then the management will be able to maintain better control in the organization and it helps them to improve the reputation of their organization among their competitors.
- The management should arrange a meeting with the whistleblowers for the disclosure of full information and prepare records, a summary of the information the whistleblowers provide.
- The management can allow the whistleblowers to come to the meeting with their trade union leaders or their legal advisors so that they feel safe and comfortable while disclosing complete information in the meeting.
- The management should also assure the employees their workplace, work position will not get different after they disclose the information and also make sure that they will not be mocked by the management or their colleagues.
- The management should also maintain a track record of the nature of information and the number of whistleblowers in their organization. These track records will them to get proper feedback from their employees in the surveys.
- The top management can also provide training, regularly mentor, and inculcate trust among the employees so that they do not hesitate to talk to their superior employees.
Disclosing and Promoting Policy
Policies in favour of the employees will be of no use if the employees do not know the provisions of the policy. So, it is the duty of the management to acquaint the employees with various policies that the management lays for the welfare of their welfare.
The management can take the help of the trade union leaders for this purpose. These leaders can tell the provisions of the various policies, employees’ rights, how these policies will help the employees to make an open work culture in their respective offices. The employees will beforehand know the repercussions of becoming a whistleblower in the organization.
The management or the trade union leaders can have regular meeting sessions with their employees for promoting their policies. The management can also mention details of these policies in the handbooks made for the employees. The management can make posters and circulate the same in the organization for increasing the awareness of the policies among the employees.
They can also provide information regarding the same on the company’s website so that the employees can have access to the information whenever they want.
Disclosure to Authorities
The employees of the company can disclose the information within their organization also but if they feel that it will not be suitable for their future, then there are various prescribed persons known as regulators and professional organizations/bodies where they can disclose the information without any fear of future. These bodies are sub-divided into several commissions and people should decide the commission according to their information. These commissions have different policies and procedures for the complaints that the whistleblowers make.
These commissions also make sure the whistleblowers do not have any personal motive or gain for disclosing the information, and also if the whistleblowers got to the media then they will not be able to protect their rights under the whistleblower policy. The employees can also whistleblow to any legal advisor, government minister, or any other information but they need to make sure that they do not have any personal gain in doing the same.
Unfair Treatment to the Whistleblowers
Unfair Treatment can be in various ways such as
- The employees are getting threats of losing their jobs or
- They are not getting proper training for their work or
- They are getting mocked by their employer regularly.
If the whistleblower feels that they are receiving unfair treatment after disclosing the information they can contact the specialized authority for conciliation. The helpline number of the authority is easily available and they can also find further information via their website. There are various guidance cells, trade unions and agencies also where they can seek help. These agencies help the employees to get easy conciliation from their employers.
Whistleblowers can improve as well as damage the reputation of the company. It depends on the employers how they treat the whistleblowers and the information they provide.