Site Loader

1.    Understanding
on Whistle Blowing Policy

 

As per
the first respondent, she mentioned that ‘Whistleblowing’ can be defined as the
reporting of the alleged misconduct, illegal acts of the employee or employer
or failure to act in a company.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The main objective of the policy is to
encourage employees and others who have serious concerns about any aspect of
the work in an organisation to come forward and voice their concerns and
grievances within the company.

Employees are generally the first person
to realise that there are something wrong happening in the company. ‘Whistleblowing’
can be classified as a positive act that can make a valuable contribution to
the company’s efficiency. The respondent also shared that it is not considered
as an illegal action for the employees to speak up. The company has the
responsibility to achieve the highest possible standards of service and the
highest possible ethical standards in corporate life and in all of the practices
they have in place. The employee should be aware of the whistleblowing policy
that the organisation has been practising if an employee is considering to raise
a concern.

 

2.    How
to implement a whistleblowing policy?

 

According to the respondent, the policy
can be implemented by having various channels to communicate the presence of
the policy to the employees. It can be done via emails, engagement bulletins, company
newsletters, briefings, and posters to ensure that the employees are aware of
the service and are encouraged to utilize the whistleblowing system.

The respondent also emphasized that employees
in the organisation will have to be encouraged to get to know more about this
policy and raise their concerns should there is any alarming issues happen.

Apart from this, the respondent also in
the opinion that leaders and top management must take responsibility for to
ensure the successful implementation of the whistle blowing policy. It is important
for senior executives to incorporate into their everyday planning and
communications, the definite message that ethics, integrity and compliance are
at the core of their corporate culture. For training, specifically, group
discussions led by internal managers is most effective to ensure management at
all levels is seen to view these issues with the utmost seriousness. It is
necessary to have all of the top management team endorse and support this
program for it to operationalise in the organization.

 

3.    Examples
of Whistleblowing practices in the organisation

 

The
respondent mentioned that there are quite a number of cases reported and
resolved in the company. However, the cases cannot be disclosed out of the
company by anyone due to the confidentiality. The respondent managed to share some
of the types of whistleblowing cases that were handled in the company were as
below :

a)    a criminal offence

b)    a breach of a legal obligation

c)    a danger to the health or safety of any
individual

d)    damage to the environment

e)    deliberate covering up of information

f)     disclosures related to miscarriages of
justice

g)    racial, sexual, disability or other
discrimination

h)    unauthorised use of public funds or
other assets

i)      possible fraud and corruption

j)      neglect or abuse of clients, or

k)    other unethical conduct.

This
above list is not exhaustive, it is more of a case to case basis handling.

 

4.    The
Challenges of Whistle Blowing Implementation

 

a)           
Building
a culture of trust and openness.

For a whistleblowing policy to work,
there must be a culture of trust and openness, coming from the very top. An
organization which does not encourage or tolerate alternative viewpoints can
never develop an effective whistleblowing policy.

 

b)           
Methods
and channels

There are various methods that can be
used for the submission or channel for informing of the grievances. The
channels include internal mail, complaint box, telephone, email or website,
while the person to whom complaints should be submitted could include a
designated officer, chairman of the audit committee, internal audit, legal or
compliance officer, or an external hotline managed by an independent outside
organisation. There are multiple methods and complaint channels, but the most
important aspect is that employees should have trust in the integrity of these
methods and the persons receiving the complaints.

 

c)           
Anonymity
versus non-anonymity

Some organizations which have
implemented whistleblowing policies specify that anonymous complaints will not
be investigated. While there is a case for arguing that anonymous complaints
are more likely to be frivolous, this fails to appreciate the real concerns
faced by whistleblowers, including threat to their livelihood. The key is not
the identity of the whistleblower but the seriousness of, and the evidence
supporting, the allegation. Knowing the identity makes it easier to investigate
complaints, so there is no harm in encouraging employees to reveal their
identity while giving them the necessary assurances, but to disregard anonymous
complaints is, in my opinion, inadvisable. As indicated earlier, many people do
not have trust in anonymity assurances given in a whistleblowing policy, so
this is an issue that will need to be addressed soon or later.

 

d)           
Improprieties
which are covered

There is a need to be clear about what
are the types of improprieties that management and the board view as
sufficiently serious. This will also in a way help prevent false complaints
that could be encountered. Improprieties could potentially include accounting
irregularities, theft, fraud, corruption or dishonesty, harassment, unethical
behavior, improper conduct, workplace safety hazards, and breaches of
legislation. A good place to do this is in the code of conduct, and a robust
whistleblowing policy and comprehensive code of conduct go hand in hand. One
thing that is important is not to be too narrow in specifying improprieties,
for example, focusing purely on accounting irregularities and financial fraud.
Improprieties that can cause serious harm to the organization may not be
directly financial in nature, for example, breaches of safety standards or harassment
of staff. The whistleblowing policy should also spell out consequences of fake
or false complaints which have no basis.

e)           
Investigation,
follow up and reporting procedures

Once a whistleblowing policy is in
place, one should be prepared to receive complaints. This is important because
it is good to have a practice to develop procedures for investigating
complaints, following up, and reporting by the person charged for the
investigation rather than having to “make it up as you go along” when a
complaint arises.  This could be done to the
management or the board, and also feedback to the whistleblower (if he or she
is identified). The board, or an appropriate board committee, should be kept
informed about investigations into all serious allegations.

 

f)            
Types
of prohibited punishments

The whistleblowing policy/code of
conduct should specify prohibited punishments against whistleblowers, such as
discrimination, harassment, intimidation, demotion, and termination. It should
also be clear that appropriate punishment will be meted out against those who
take such reprisal actions.

 

5.    Conclusion

 

Our discussion were concluded that
whistleblowing is an important tool in the organisation. This is vital to
address employee grievances in a more professional way so that the issues can
be resolved accordingly. All employers should adopt a whistleblowing policy
that encourages employees to draw attention to wrongdoing or risky behaviour.
In the case of legal action being taken against a company as a result of
internal wrongdoing, having and promoting a strong whistleblowing policy may
act in part as a legal defence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respondent 2 : Kartikesu
A/L Thangarajoo

 

1.           
Understanding on Whistle Blowing Policy

 

The
second respondent is employed to an information technology company. There is
also whistleblowing policy in place for this company. According to this
respondent, whistleblowing is a tool that provides protection to whistleblowers
who voluntarily come forward to report or reveal information on corruption
activities. The policy also encourages the employees to disclose corruption
related activities that happens in the company. The whistleblowing policy is
important to combat corruption and other wrong doings by encouraging and
facilitating disclosures of improper conduct in the company, to protect persons
making those disclosures from detrimental action, to provide for the matter
disclosed to be investigated and dealt with and to provide for the remedies
connected therewith.

 

Whistleblower protections are provided in two
important areas which is on confidentiality and against retaliation. However, the identity of the whistleblower may
have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the
law and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense. This
includes protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment
action such as termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments
and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower who believes he or she is being
retaliated against must contact the Industrial Relation or Employee Relation
unit of Human Resources department immediately. The right of a whistleblower
for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal
wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated. All reports of illegal and
dishonest activities will be promptly submitted to the Industrial Relation or
Employee Relation team who is responsible for investigating and coordinating
corrective action.

 

Whistleblowing can be used as an avenue
for maintaining and promoting integrity by speaking truthfully about what is
right and what is wrong. It is an approach that combines many things, it
asserts rights, protects interests, influences justice, and rights wrongs. In
other words, whistleblowing can be defined in a number of ways. In its simplest
form, whistleblowing involves the act of reporting wrongdoing within an
organization to internal or external parties. Internal whistleblowing entails
reporting the information to a source within the organization. External
whistleblowing occurs when the whistleblower takes the information outside the
organization, such as to the media or regulators.

2.           
How to implement a whistleblowing
policy?

 

The practice for this company is that
all complaints or disclosures received would be placed before a Whistleblowing
Committee for its action. The Whistleblower Committee in the company compromise
of the Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Directors.

The committee have the rights to determine the legitimacy of the disclosure,
direct further action and determine who should conduct the investigation such
as engaging with the external expertise, management or Group Internal Audit. If
any of the Committee members is the suspect being involved in the improper
conduct, he or she will automatically abstain from attending the meeting. If the
Head of Group Internal Audit (or other assigned investigator) is tasked to
investigate, he or she must take all reasonable steps to ensure that
investigations regarding the disclosure are fair and unbiased. They will also
keep detailed records of all evidence gathered, interviews conducted and
all records received which affect the outcome of this investigation.

Once there is any grievances or
wrongdoings happened, it has to be reported via the available channels. For
this company, the matter can be reported through emails, letter or verbal
reporting. The industrial relation team is responsible to resolve this matter
through proper investigation and inquiries.

 

3.           
Examples of Whistleblowing practices in
the organisation

 

Examples of whistleblowing practices in
the organisation is illegal or dishonest activities of violations of employee
rights, state or local laws, billing for services not performed or for goods
not delivered, and other fraudulent financial reporting. If an employee has
knowledge of or a concern of illegal or dishonest fraudulent activity, the employee
is to contact his or her immediate supervisor or the Human Resources department.
The employee must be aware of the policy and have a basic understanding to
avoid baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report
of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of
employment. Therefore, the employees must be very mindful with their
surrounding and the consequences of their action.

An
employee from the company shall not be held criminally or civilly liable under
any policy for the disclosure of company secret to external parties. An employee
who files a report for retaliation by an employer for reporting a suspected
violation of law may disclose the issue to the attorney of the individual and
use the information in the court proceeding, if the individual files any
document containing the trade secret under seal does not disclose the company
information.

 

4.           
The Challenges of Whistle Blowing
Implementation

 

When
discussed further, the respondent also shared the challenges the company faced
during the implementation of the policy in the company. Whistleblowing has been
promoted with an idea to promote
awareness about various wrongdoings that happened in the company, it has now
grown to become an enormous potential to be used as a mechanism for exposing
and controlling organizational misconduct. On the other hand, there are always
costs associated with the decision to blow the whistle. The issue that rise
from this is that there will be a handsome amount of money to be invested to
resolve the cases reported. The dilemma of whether or not to blow the whistle
is not only faced by those in the working environment but also external people
which may be involved indirectly. Common ethical decisions in a first part-time
job include the use of employee discounts, honesty in reporting hours worked,
and reporting misconduct by co-workers. Apart from that, the rejection by coworkers
is common. It would seem then that the issue of whether or not to blow the
whistle on wrongful conducts by fellow employees could start when you are still
young, and such situations will only become more difficult as the years go by.

The respondent also mention that
whistleblowers face possible civil liability and disciplinary action especially
if their complaints turn out to be wrong, even though they may have reported
concerns in good faith and reasonable belief. A whistleblowing policy should,
as best as possible, provide the necessary protection to employees under such
circumstances.

 

5.           
Conclusion

 

As a
conclusion, it is observed that the whistleblowing is a must have practice in
any organisation. The increase in the awareness of the positive role that
whistleblowing play in promoting corporate accountability and corporate
governance has led many companies to legislate provisions to regulate
whistleblowing. It is also equally important to protect the honest
whistleblowers from retaliations. It is inevitable that when the policies are
enacted, their provisions will be interpreted by the relevant parties. There is
an independent department to oversee this function and they will be able to
regulate the fundamental issues on whistleblowing. Consequently, whistleblowing
becomes gradually acceptable as the better alternative to any disclosures
within the company.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Myrtle!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out