Whistleblowing Policy

We expect all staff to help us uphold our values of transparency and respect. This means any concerns about dishonesty, wrongdoing or malpractice at work should be reported immediately, and this policy explains how to make a disclosure under the Whistleblowing Policy.

This policy applies to all Search Laboratory employees but also anyone working on Search Laboratory’s behalf, including agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third-party representatives and business partners.

What is whistleblowing?

You’re a ‘whistleblower’ if you report wrongdoing that’s in the public interest. For example, when:

  • A criminal offence has been, or is likely to be, committed; including bribery, tax evasion, fraud or other criminal activities;
  • A person has failed, is failing, or is likely to fail, to comply with a legal obligation;
  • A miscarriage of justice has happened, is happening or is likely to happen;
  • The health and safety of an individual has been, is being or is likely to be damaged;
  • Damage to the environment has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur
  • A breach of legal or professional obligations has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur;
  • Information showing any of the above has been, is being, or is likely to be, deliberately concealed.

You should raise concerns about any of these, involving any person, immediately.

How to raise a concern

Let your manager know your concerns. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or if you believe your manager (or any of the company’s managers are involved in the wrongdoing), you should raise this with a Director.

We will arrange a meeting with you as soon as possible, which you can bring a colleague or Trade Union representative to (as is the case for any meetings under this policy). Your companion must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and any subsequent investigation.

Whistleblowing outcome

A Director will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and appropriate action will be taken. As far as possible, your manager will let the know the outcome of the investigation and any action taken. If disciplinary action is to be taken though, we won’t be able to disclose the outcome of this to you.

If you’re not satisfied with how your disclosure has been dealt with you should raise your concerns with a Director. The Director will arrange for an investigation to be carried out and take any necessary action.

Confidentiality

If you want to raise your concern confidentially, we will make every effort to keep your identity secret. Completely anonymous disclosures are difficult to investigate though, and we will discuss how your concerns will be handled before proceeding. The matter may need to be reported to the relevant external authority, and please be aware Search Laboratory reserves the right to do this without your consent.

Protection and support for whistleblowers

We will provide the highest levels of support to whistleblowers who raise genuine concerns, even if they turn out to be mistaken.

We will not tolerate the victimisation of any person who discloses wrongdoing under this procedure. Any such victimisation will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform a Director or HR immediately.

Anyone found to be making false or malicious allegations would be subject to disciplinary action.

External disclosures

This policy provides an internal mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying any wrongdoing in the workplace. In some circumstances it may be appropriate for you to report your concerns to an external body or regulator. Please seek advice from the Operations Director before reporting a concern to anyone external.

Grievances

This policy and procedure should be used to disclose information that relates to wrongdoing at work which is in the public interest. To raise a personal grievance, you should follow the company’s grievance procedure.

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