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PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE – WHISTLEBLOWING

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					PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE – WHISTLEBLOWING
1.   Policy Statement

     We are committed to ensuring that management malpractice is
     prevented and immediately dealt with if it should arise. Workers are
     encouraged to disclose (“blow the whistle”) on any management
     malpractice of which they become aware.

     We will make every effort to deal consistently with such disclosures in a
     fair, objective and discreet manner. Any employee who has concerns
     about malpractice within the workplace will not be punished or
     victimised for his or her disclosures of confidential information in good
     faith.

     Any victimisation or harassment of the employee for having raised
     legitimate concerns will be dealt with as a disciplinary offence.

2.   Legal Position

     The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) inserted provisions into
     the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA). The public interest disclosure
     provisions provide special rights and protection for workers (not just
     employees) who disclose wrong doing by their employers, whether
     internally or externally. This policy encourages employees and workers
     to raise issues internally in order to promote better relations between
     ACB and its members of staff over wrong doing in the work place. The
     purpose of having the policy is to reduce the fear that employees or
     workers may have in telling their line managers or others about
     problems relating to matters such as health and safety or criminal
     activities for fear of being dismissed or victimised. The provisions of
     PIDA apply not only to employees and workers but also to third party
     contractors whose work is controlled by ACB.

3.   Qualifying Disclosures

     There are limits on the matters about which an employee can complain.
     PIDA inserts a new provision into the ERA. Section 43B provides that a
     „qualifying disclosure‟ means any disclosure which in the reason or
     belief of the workers tends to show one or more of the following:-

      A criminal offence;
      A failure to comply with a legal obligation;
      A miscarriage of justice;
      The health and safety of any individual who is endangered;
      The environment is being damaged;
      Information relating to any of the above areas is being deliberately
       concealed.
      Discussion
4.   Procedures for Disclosure

     If you become aware of any information which comes under the heading
     of a qualifying disclosure and this causes you concern, you may wish to
     raise the matter informally with your line manager and discuss with him
     or her the next steps which should be taken to bring the matter to the
     attention of senior management. If you prefer, you may disclose the
     information informally to your manager, or to the appropriate level of
     management within ACB.

     ACB will ensure that any disclosure made is kept as confidential as
     possible; however, you should be aware that it may be necessary to
     divulge such information during the course of any investigation. If an
     investigation into the allegations is thought necessary, employees
     should be informed that the allegations will be put to the person
     accused of the wrong doing.

     Employees should be informed of the progress and outcome of any
     investigation into the allegations.

     If an employee or worker or other person protected by PIDA is unhappy
     in the way in which the disclosure is received or dealt with, they should
     be advised to immediately raise that concern with senior management,
     and if necessary at the highest level with ACB. ACB is committed to
     ensuring that no employee/worker/other person is subjected to any
     detriments or victimised, by reason of having made a protected
     disclosure in good faith, and will do everything within its power to
     investigate the matter fully and take the appropriate action against any
     wrong doer.

     Line managers should be aware that employees are protected by PIDA
     against suffering from a detriment, for example dismissal, by reason of
     having made the disclosure.

     However, if you believe that a disclosure is made maliciously or with
     some ulterior motive (such as a grudge against a fellow employee), this
     may be treated as a disciplinary matter to be dealt with under the
     disciplinary procedure.

				
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Description: PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE – WHISTLEBLOWING