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05 March 2014

Linklater’s ‘Listen Up!’ campaign: dealing with whistleblowers in the workplace

Linklaters’ employment team launched their ‘Listen Up!’ campaign today, examining how organisations deal with whistleblowers in the workplace and the key role played in the control and management of business risk.

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What is whistleblowing?

According to “Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’”.

Whistleblowing depends heavily upon the relationships between the employer and their employees. If the employee doesn’t feel like they can trust their employer they will contact “a prescribed person or body”.

Linklater’s ‘Listen Up!’ Campaign

To launch this Linklaters are hosting a panel discussion today with NHS whistleblower, Gary Walker and CEO of Public Concern at Work, Cathy James. Linklaters are also “launching interactive training tools for managers working within businesses to support them in understanding the importance of their role in hearing and picking up on important information and acting on it appropriately.”

The campaign aims to take the emphasis away from encouraging employees to speak up. Instead they want to make sure that if an employee does talk to their manager they are ready to hear serious issues and know what to do with the important information.

Linklaters make a key point about the vital importance of preparation and internal relationships when it comes to dealing with problems in the workplace. It is impossible to prepare for every eventuality. However, communications professionals need to be able to encourage and identify links, or the lack thereof, between managers and their employees, as well as being aware of the legal issues surrounding acts like whistleblowing.