The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 was designed to protect employees who make certain disclosures of information in the public interest and to allow those employees who "blow the whistle" on any of the instances of wrongdoing that are set out in the Act, to complain to an employment tribunal if they suffer any form of detriment for doing so.
Alongside the act, employees have the protection set out in the Civil Service Code.
Registers of Scotland is committed to ensuring high standards of conduct in all that it does, these standards are reinforced by the Civil Service Code. However, wrongdoing can occur and it is important that employees know what to do if, in the course of their work, they come across something that they think is fundamentally wrong, illegal or endangers others within the department or the public. The policy, procedures and frequently asked questions will guide employees through the process of raising a concern, which is sometimes referred to as ‘blowing the whistle’.
The following principles underpin the whistleblowing and raising a concern policy:
- employees are encouraged to raise any concerns they may have about wrongdoing as soon as they notice it
- employees raising a concern will be afforded protection as detailed in the procedure
- all genuine concerns will be handled responsibly, professionally and in a positive manner
- help and support will be available to employees where concerns are raised under the relevant Whistleblowing and Raising a Concern Procedure.
Scope of policy
This policy applies to all employees, contractors and temporary staff of RoS.
Key areas covered by this policy and its procedures include:
- what is a relevant concern
- how to raise such a concern
- how it will be handled
- confidentiality and anonymity
- provision of protection and support to employees
Raising a concern and support
If an employee experiences something in the workplace which they consider to be in conflict with the Code they should in the first instance raise their concerns with their Line Manager and follow the Whistleblowing Procedure. In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to raise the concern directly with the Nominated Officer. The Nominated Officer at RoS is Janet Egdell and details of how she may be contacted are set out below:
Telephone: 0131 659 6111 ext. 3781
Registers of Scotland
153 London Road
Employees can also raise a concern direct with the Civil Service Commission. However, where appropriate the Commission expects civil servants to have raised concerns within their own department first. If a concern is raised directly with the Commission, without it being raised within the department first, the Commission will ask why it is not appropriate to raise the matter internally first. The FAQs for civil servants provide details on how to contact the Commission. Further information on the Civil Service Commission can also be found on the Civil Service website.
Employees may also contact Public Concern at Work the whistleblowing charity. You may view further information on their work and how they can support you at www.pcaw.org.uk
March 2017 (Reviewed)