Whistleblowing procedures at work: what are the implications for human resource practitioners?



This paper explains why it is desirable for employers to have whistleblowing codes, and draws upon professional guidelines and empirical research to suggest the possible contents of whistleblowing policies and procedures. The paper discusses who and what should be covered and examines the issues of confidentiality and anonymity, reprisals and malicious allegations. It also highlights the need to provide advice and assistance to those who have concerns about wrongdoing at work. The author outlines the possible stages in a whistleblowing procedure, indicates how a concern should be raised and handled, and suggests how a procedure might be communicated and monitored. The paper concludes by emphasising that whistleblowing procedures provide an important safeguard against problems being overlooked and may be vital if legal pitfalls are to be avoided.