Written with our partners at:
What's a whistleblowing policy and when do you need it?
You should have a whistleblowing policy in place.
All employees, contractors, consultants, officers, interns, casual and agency workers are covered by this policy.
It sets out what they should do if they have reason to believe that something dangerous, unlawful or unethical is going on at work and it is affecting (or risks affecting) them or other colleagues. This might be caused by internal conduct within the business, or issues arising from the actions of third parties such as suppliers, service providers, and clients.
When you report these kinds of concerns, it’s called ‘whistleblowing’.
This template includes all the statutory requirements, as well as optional elements for you to consider. It provides examples of the type of conduct that would typically give rise to a whistleblowing right for (or indeed, an obligation on), those duty-bound by the policy. These include activities such as criminal activity, endangering the health or safety of others, damage to the environment, failure to comply with mandatory professional qualification criteria, etc.
Our experts recommend that you do not give the policy contractual status in any employment contract that you put in place, but that you do reference it in that contract, making clear that the employee is expected to comply with the policy and that you have the right to update or revise it, in your discretion and when you want to.
What else might you need?
Take a look at our guide to whistleblowing for more information about how to handle these circumstances.
If the reported complaint is about the behaviour or others towards an employee or other workers, our Bullying and Harassment Policy or Grievance Policy contain the relevant guidance on how to proceed. These types of behaviour are not covered by this whistleblowing policy. They should be contained in separate documents that you will also need to adopt within your business.
For a quick and friendly expert view on your position, especially if an employee has triggered your whistleblowing arrangements, or you believe they might, simply select our Speak to a Lawyer feature and we’ll rapidly match you with the right expert to get you the help you need.