Whistle Blowing Policy (confidential reporting)

1. What is Whistle blowing?

In this policy ‘Whistle blowing’ means the reporting by contractors of suspected misconduct, illegal acts or failure to act within Old Windsor Logistics Ltd.

The aim of this Policy is to encourage contractors and others who have serious concerns about any aspect of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd.’s work to come forward and voice those concerns.

 

Contractors are often the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong within the business. ‘Whistle blowing’ is viewed by Old Windsor Logistics Ltd as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to the businesses efficiency and long-term success. It is not disloyal to colleagues or Old Windsor Logistics Ltd to speak up. Old Windsor Logistics Ltd is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of service and the highest possible ethical standards in public life and in all of its practices. To help achieve these standards it encourages freedom of speech.

If you are considering raising a concern you should read this Policy first. It explains:

  • the type of issues that can be raised

  • how the person raising a concern will be protected from victimisation and harassment

  • how to raise a concern, and

  • What Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will do.

 

2. What is the aim of the Policy and when does it apply?

 

2.1. Aims of the Policy

The Policy is designed to ensure that you can raise your concerns about wrongdoing or malpractice within Old Windsor Logistics Ltd without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal.

It is also intended to encourage and enable you to raise serious concerns within Old Windsor Logistics Ltd rather than ignoring a problem or 'blowing the whistle' outside.

 

This Policy aims to:

  • encourage you to feel confident in raising serious concerns at the earliest opportunity and to question and act upon concerns about practice

  • provide avenues for you to raise those concerns and receive feedback on any action taken

  • ensure that you receive a response to your concerns and that you are aware of how to pursue them if you are not satisfied

  • reassure you that you will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if you have made any disclosure in good faith.

 

2.2. Scope of this Policy

This Policy is intended to enable those who become aware of wrongdoing at Old Windsor Logistics Ltd affecting some other person or service, to report their concerns at the earliest opportunity so that they can be properly investigated.

 

2.3. Who can raise a concern under this Policy?

The Policy applies to all:

  • contractors of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd

 

2.4. What should be reported?

 

Any serious concerns that you have about service provision or the conduct of contractors or members of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd or others acting on behalf of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd that:

  • make you feel uncomfortable in terms of known standards;

  • are not in keeping with Old Windsor Logistics Ltd policies;

  • fall below established standards of practice; or

  • are improper behaviour.

 

These might relate to:

  • conduct which is an offence or a breach of the law (a criminal offence has been committed or failing to comply with any other legal obligation)

  • disclosures related to miscarriages of justice

  • racial, sexual, disability or other discrimination

  • health and safety of the public and/or other contractors

  • damage to the environment

  • possible fraud and corruption

  • neglect or abuse of clients, or

  • other unethical conduct.

This list is not exhaustive.

 

3. Protecting the Whistle blower

 

3.1. Your legal rights

This Policy makes it unlawful for Old Windsor Logistics Ltd to dismiss anyone or allow them to be victimised on the basis that they have made an appropriate lawful disclosure in accordance with the policy.

Rarely, a case might arise where it is the contractor that has participated in the action causing concern. In such a case it is in the contractor’s interest to come into the open as soon as possible. Old Windsor Logistics Ltd cannot promise not to act against such a contractor, but the fact that they came forward may be taken into account.

 

3.2. Harassment or Victimisation

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd is committed to good practice and high standards and to being supportive of you as a contractor.

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make.  If you honestly and reasonably believe what you are saying is true, you should have nothing to fear because you will be doing your duty to your employer, your colleagues and those for whom you are providing a service.

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation of a whistle-blower (including informal pressures) and will take appropriate action to protect you when you raise a concern in good faith and will treat this as a serious disciplinary offence which will be dealt with under the disciplinary rules and procedure.

 

3.3. Support to you

Throughout this process:

  • you will be given full support from senior management

  • your concerns will be taken seriously, and

  • Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will do all it can to help you throughout the investigation

If appropriate, Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will consider temporarily re-deploying you for the period of the investigation.

For those who are not Old Windsor Logistics Ltd contractors, Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will endeavour to provide appropriate advice and support wherever possible.

 

3.4. Confidentiality

All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal your identity if that is your wish.  If disciplinary or other proceedings follow the investigation, it may not be possible to take action as a result of your disclosure without your help, so you may be asked to come forward as a witness. If you agree to this, you will be offered advice and support.

 

3.5. Anonymous Allegations

This Policy encourages you to put your name to your allegation whenever possible. If you do not tell us who you are it will be much more difficult for us to protect your position or to give you feedback. This policy is not ideally suited to concerns raised anonymously.

Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful but they may be considered at the discretion of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd.  In exercising this discretion the factors to be taken into account would include:

  • the seriousness of the issue raised

  • the credibility of the concern, and

  • the likelihood of confirming the allegation from other sources

 

3.6. Untrue Allegations

If you make an allegation in good faith and reasonably believing it to be true, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will recognise your concern and you have nothing to fear.  If however, you make an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action that could include disciplinary action, may be taken.

 

4. Raising a Concern

 

4.1. Who should you raise your concern with?

This will depend on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the wrongdoing.  You should normally raise concerns with:

  • Manager

  • POC (Person of Contact)

If, exceptionally, the concern is about the Manager of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd your concern should be raised with the Leader of POC (Person of Contact) who will decide how the investigation will proceed. This may include external investigation.

 

4.2. How to raise a concern

You may raise your concern by telephone, in person or in writing.  The earlier you express your concern, the easier it is to take action.  You will need to provide the following information:

  • the nature of your concern and why you believe it to be true

  • the background and history of the concern (giving relevant dates)

Although you are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of your suspicion, you will need to demonstrate to the person contacted that you have a genuine concern relating to suspected wrongdoing or malpractice within Old Windsor Logistics Ltd and there are reasonable grounds for your concern. 

You may wish to consider discussing your concern with a colleague first and you may find it easier to raise the matter if there are two (or more) of you who have had the same experience or concerns.

You may invite your trade union, professional association representative or a friend to be present for support during any meetings or interviews in connection with the concerns you have raised.

 

5. What Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will do

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will respond to your concerns as quickly as possible.  Do not forget that testing your concerns is not the same as either accepting or rejecting them.

The overriding principle for Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will be the public interest.  In order to be fair to all contractors, including those who may be wrongly or mistakenly accused, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take.

The investigation may need to be carried out under terms of strict confidentiality, i.e. by not informing the subject of the complaint until (or if) it becomes necessary to do so. In certain cases however, such as allegations of ill treatment of others, suspension from work may have to be considered immediately. Protection of others is paramount in all cases.

Where appropriate, the matters raised may:

  • be investigated by management, internal audit, or through the disciplinary/grievance process

  • be referred to the police

  • be referred to the external auditor

  • form the subject of an independent inquiry

Within ten working days of a concern being raised, the person investigating your concern will write to you:

  • acknowledging that the concern has been received

  • indicating how Old Windsor Logistics Ltd proposes to deal with the matter

  • supplying you with information on staff support mechanisms  

  • telling you whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not.

The amount of contact between you and the officers considering the issues will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of your information.  It is likely that you will be interviewed to ensure that your disclosure is fully understood.

Any meeting can be arranged away from your workplace, if you wish, and a union or professional association representative or a friend may accompany you in support.

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will do what it can to minimise any difficulties that you may experience as a result of raising a concern.  For instance, if you are asked to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings, Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will arrange for you to receive appropriate advice and support.

You need to be assured that your disclosure has been properly addressed.  Unless there are any legal reasons why this cannot be done, you will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation.

 

6. The Responsible Officer

The Monitoring Officer has overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this Policy.  

7. How the Matter can be Taken Further

 

This Policy is intended to provide you with an avenue within Old Windsor Logistics Ltd to raise concerns. Old Windsor Logistics Ltd hopes you will be satisfied with any action taken.  If you are not, and you feel it is right to take the matter outside Old Windsor Logistics Ltd, the following are Old Windsor Logistics Ltd prescribed contacts:

  • your trade union

  • the police

  • other relevant bodies prescribed by legislation – Old Windsor Logistics Ltd will be able to advise you who you can contact

If you raise concerns outside Old Windsor Logistics Ltd you should ensure that it is to one of these prescribed contacts.

You should not disclose information that is confidential to Old Windsor Logistics Ltd or to anyone else, such as a client or contractor of Old Windsor Logistics Ltd, except to those included in the list of prescribed contacts.

This Policy does not prevent you from taking your own legal advice.

 

8. Review of the Policy

Old Windsor Logistics Ltd Policy Committee will review this Policy annually.

 

Daniel Sheehy 

MD

© Old Windsor Logistics 2020