POLICY * Title: Whistleblowing For Rehab Workers (Ireland)

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1 POLICY * Title: Whistleblowing For Rehab Workers (Ireland) Applies Jurisdiction: Effective from: ALL Scotland Poland England Ireland Netherlands Wales November 2015 Division: All This policy applies to all Rehab Group (Rehab) businesses within Ireland from November operating This policy has been put in place to: 1. Encourage all our staff to raise any concern they have about possible malpractice 2. Provide guidance on how to raise a concern easily and safely 3. Reassure staff that they can report relevant wrongdoings without fear of reprisal. Speaking Up Are you aware of any incidences of inappropriate behaviour, illegality or malpractice within our organisation? If you have concerns, that you feel aren t being dealt with, we want you to speak up and tell us about them. As a staff member you are in a unique position to identify and raise concerns at an early stage, before any possible harm is caused to our service users, our staff, our activities and/ or our reputation. All of us at one time or another will have a concern about what is happening at work. Usually these are easily resolved. However, when the concern feels serious because it is about possible fraud, danger, malpractice, or wrongdoing, that might affect negatively on others, such as our services users, customers or the organisation itself, it can be difficult to know what to do. You may be worried about raising such a concern and may think it best to keep it Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 1 of 7

2 to yourself, perhaps feeling it s none of your business or that it s only a suspicion. You may feel that raising the matter would be disloyal to colleagues, managers or to the organisation. You may decide to say something but find that you have spoken to the wrong person or raised the issue in the wrong way and are not sure what to do next. The Board and Chief Executive are committed to running the organisation in the best way possible and to do so we need your help. We have introduced this policy to reassure you that it is safe and acceptable to speak up and to enable you to raise any concern you may have about malpractice at an early stage and in the right way. Rather than wait for proof, we would prefer you to raise the matter when it is still a concern. If in doubt - raise it! This policy applies to all those who work for us; whether full-time, part-time, or sessional, employed through an agency, contractor, or as a subcontractor. If you have a whistleblowing concern, please let us know. If something is troubling you that you think we should know about or look into, please use this policy. If, however, you wish to make a complaint about your employment or how you have been treated, please use the Grievance policy or Dignity and Work policy - which can be obtained from your manager or HR contact or the company s SharePoint pages. This Whistleblowing policy is primarily for concerns where the public interest is at risk, which includes a risk to the wider public, customers, staff or the organisation itself. Important your responsibilities in reporting abuse It is important to note that there are mandatory requirements relating to the onward alerting of situations you are aware of whereby a child or vulnerable adult is being / has been, or is at risk of being abused. When a staff member is alerted or becomes aware of such a situation, that staff member has clear obligations for onward reporting internally and also to alert external bodies such as the Gardai and Health Service Executive. These obligations are documented in Child Protection/ and Adult Protection policies. Each company has statutory obligations to work with the relevant bodies to address any raised alerts. For further detail and guidance on how to raise such a concern please refer to the, Child and Adult Protection policies available on the Policy page of SharePoint. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 2 of 7

3 Our Commitment to You This policy is in place to enable you to raise or disclose genuine concerns about practices in the workplace at an early stage and in the right way. The motivation for making your disclosure is irrelevant, provided that you reasonably believe that there is information showing that relevant wrongdoing has occurred. Fairness Provided you are raising a genuine concern, it does not matter if you are mistaken. Concerns raised in good faith and with reasonable belief will not result in any changes to your employment status or any disciplinary action or negative impact on you. We will not tolerate the harassment or victimisation of anyone raising a genuine concern and will consider it a disciplinary matter to victimise anyone who has raised a genuine concern. However this assurance will not be extended to someone who maliciously raises a matter they know is untrue. Such false disclosures will be treated very seriously and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. This approach is taken to protect all staff and recognises the effect such false disclosures can have on the individual concerned. Confidentiality With these assurances, we hope you will raise your concern openly; however, we recognise that there may be circumstances when you would prefer to speak to someone confidentially first. If this is the case, please say so at the outset. If you ask us not to disclose your identity, we will not do so without your consent unless required by law. You should understand that there may be times when we are unable to resolve a concern without revealing your identity, for example, where your personal evidence is essential. In such cases, we will discuss with you whether and how the matter can best proceed. Please remember that if you do not tell us who you are (and therefore you are raising a concern anonymously) it will be much more difficult for us to look into the matter. We will not be able to protect your position or to give you feedback. Accordingly, you should not assume we can provide the assurances we offer in the same way if you report a concern anonymously. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 3 of 7

4 Raising a Concern Internally Step one If you have a concern about malpractice, we hope you will feel able to raise it first with your manager or team leader. This may be done verbally or in writing. If you don t feel that step one is an appropriate option for you please consider step two. Step Two If you feel unable to raise the matter with your manager, for whatever reason, please raise the matter with a senior manager. Step Three You can report your concern to an Independent Reporting Service available to you provided by; This independent reporting service has been established, in order to facilitate and support staff members in raising genuine concerns, where they don t feel it is appropriate to report to an internal staff member. Safecall provides an independent confidential reporting line, available 24/7 365 days, where your concern can be raised. This can be done by using one of the following options: a. Confidential Whistleblowing Hotline b. Via the web: c. Via All of these three options (a, b, and c) are independently operated by Safecall and staffed by trained and experienced personnel. They provide a safe, secure and effective method for staff to raise genuine concerns. Calls will be treated in the strictest confidence. The hotline is for use for matters that are not already covered by the Rehab Group Grievance Policy & Procedure. The Safecall Whistleblowing hotline and website reporting service is open Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 4 of 7

5 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. When a report is made to Safecall, they will notify authorised contacts within two days; and nominated Board representatives. At all stages reports provided will be treated in a strictly confidential manner. It is important to note that if your reports related to any of the listed contact personnel your report will be provided to an alternative contact person. Seeking External Independent Advice If you are unsure whether to use this policy or you want confidential advice at any stage and you are a member of a union you can contact your union for advice. External Reporting While we hope this policy gives you the reassurance you need to raise your concern internally with us, we recognise that there may be circumstances where you can properly report a concern to an outside body. In fact, we would rather you raised a matter with the appropriate regulator, such as: Health Service Executive, Solas, and Charities Regulator Authority. Investigating a Whistleblowing Disclosure Once a concern has been raised internally or via the external independent service, a confidential report will be issued, by an appropriate authorised contact within two working days, and sent to the nominated members of the Board for information. Where you have provided your name we will acknowledge receipt of your concern within ten working days. We will assess it and consider what action may be appropriate. This may involve an informal review, an internal inquiry or a more formal investigation. We will tell you who will be handling the matter, how you can contact them, and what further assistance we may need from you. When you raise the concern it will be helpful to know how you think the matter might best be resolved. If you have any personal interest in the matter, we do ask that you tell us at the outset, for example if you or your relatives are involved. If we think your concern falls more properly within our Grievance/ Dignity at Work or other relevant policies, we will let you know. Whenever possible, we will give you feedback on the outcome of any investigation. Please note, however, that we may not be able to tell you about the precise actions we take where this would Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 5 of 7

6 infringe a duty of confidence we owe to another person. Individuals who report the disclosure via the external independent provider will be able to get feedback via a confidential website provided by the whistleblowing service provider, even if you choose to remain anonymous. While we cannot guarantee that we will respond to all matters in the way that you might wish, we will strive to handle the matter fairly and properly. By using this policy you will help us to achieve this. If at any stage you experience reprisal, harassment or victimisation for raising a genuine concern please contact Chairperson of the Board, Rehab Group (contact details given at the end of this document). If you are not satisfied If you are not satisfied with the way in which your concern has been handled, you can raise it with the Chairperson of the Rehab Group Board, (contact details given at the end of this document). Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 6 of 7

7 External Reporting Hotline/ web report Contact if you are not happy with the way your disclosure has been handled Chairperson Rehab Group Board Roslyn Park Beach Road Sandymount Dublin 4 All correspondence issued to the Chairperson that relates to a disclosure should be marked Private & Confidential. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:4.00 Page 7 of 7

8 POLICY * Title: Applies Jurisdiction: Effective from: Rehab Whistleblowing Policy for Service Users, Trainees, Families, Volunteers, Work Experience Students, Interns and Members of the Public ALL England Scotland Ireland November 2015 Division: All Poland Netherlands Wales This policy applies to all Rehab Group Services from November Speaking Up Are you aware of any serious incidences of inappropriate or dishonest conduct within our organisation? If you have concerns, that you feel aren t being dealt with, we want you to speak up and tell us about them before damage is caused to our service users, our staff, our activities or our reputation. We describe this activity as whistleblowing. What is Whistleblowing? Whistleblowing involves the disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the person making disclosure, tends to show wrongdoing. A new Act (the Protected Disclosures Act 2014) has been adopted which protects employees and other workers in the public service who are whistleblowers. Service users, families, volunteers and members of the public do not come under that Act. However, Rehab intends to use certain of principles set out in the Act to provide protection to Service Users, Trainees, Families, Volunteers, Students, Interns, and Members of the Public in the event of whistleblowing by them. The protection Rehab seeks to provide includes: Confidentiality if appropriate; * Rehab Group may amend, replace or withdraw this policy, and/or any related procedures or guidelines, from time to time at its absolute discretion, you will be informed of any changes that are implemented. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 1 of 9

9 Protection from negative impact to the individuals as a result of making the disclosure. We have put this policy in place for the following reasons: To encourage Service Users, Trainees, Families, Work Experience Students, Interns, Volunteers and Members of the Public to report serious concerns as soon as possible, in the knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated, where appropriate, and that their confidentiality will be respected under principles similar to those provided by the Act ; To provide Service Users, Trainees, Families, Volunteers, Work Experience Students, Interns and Members of the Public with guidance as to how to raise those concerns; To reassure Service Users, Trainees, Families, Volunteers, Work Experience Students, Interns, and Members of the Public that they can report relevant wrongdoings without fear of reprisal. What kind of information might be disclosed The type of information we have in mind is information about a danger, illegality or wrongdoing which may negatively affect others, such as users of our services, customers or Rehab itself. That includes information about the following matters: Financial mismanagement or corruption Unsafe and or poor service provision The possibility that a criminal offence or activity has been, is being or is likely to be committed Miscarriages of justice Breaches of legal obligations The possibility that the health and safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered The possibility that damage to the environment has been, is being or is likely to be committed Gross mismanagement of public funded services Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 2 of 9

10 Improper conduct or unethical behaviour Attempts to conceal or destroy information relating to any of the above. Making a disclosure of this kind is voluntary. However we would strongly encourage you to do so if you have a concern. It is important to note that there are mandatory requirements relating to the onward reporting of situations you are aware of whereby a child or vulnerable adult is being / has been, or is at risk of being abused. When an individual is alerted or becomes aware of such a situation that individuals have clear obligations for onward reporting both internally and to external bodies such as the Gardai/ Police and Social Services. These obligations are documented in Rehab s Child Protection Policy and the Adult Protection Policy. Please contact the listed Rehab Whistleblowing Contact Person for guidance. Rehab Group has statutory obligations to work with these bodies to address any raised alerts. For further detail and guidance on how to raise such a concern please refer to the Rehab Group, Protection Policy available on the Policy page of Sharepoint. In addition to the above policies the Rehab Group has a complaints and compliments policy. This policy is in place to create a climate and process where positive and negative feedback on its services and activities is encouraged and responded to. Feedback is welcome from service users, trainees, families, and all other stakeholders. Details of this policy are available at all Rehab Group services and on the Rehab Group website. There are a number of differences between complaints and issues raised through whistleblowing. Generally, disclosure under this Whistleblowing Policy should be used for more serious matters. Complaints typically have a localised / individual impact where whistleblowing issues typically have a wider impact. If an issue is raised through whistleblowing, and it is believed by the Board member and the Rehab Whistleblowing Contact Person or designee to be better suited to be managed through the complaints process, this guidance will be provided. This should not be seen as a method to divert whistleblowing issues but as a channelling to the most effective route to resolution. All issues raised through whistleblowing but not managed in the whistleblowing process will have regular oversight by the Rehab Whistleblowing Contact Person until they are resolved. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 3 of 9

11 Raising a Concern In order to obtain protection under Rehab s Whistleblowing Policy, you must disclose in accordance with the principles set out in the Act. By way of general guidance you should note the following: 1. Your concerns must be based on reasonable belief 2. The motivation of your disclosure is not relevant 3. You do not have to state formally that you are disclosing under the Rehab Whistleblowing Policy for Service Users, Trainees, Families, Volunteers, Work Placement Students, Interns and Members of the Public but you must identify that you are raising a concern on the activity. Who to make a Disclosure to In the first case we hope that you will be able to make a Protected Disclosure to Rehab. You can do this in the following way; o To an independent Reporting Services available to you provided by This independent reporting service has been set up by Rehab, in order to facilitate any individuals in raising genuine concerns, which they don t feel is appropriate to report to an internal staff member. Safecall provide and independent confidential reporting line, available 24/7 365 days, where your concern can be raised. This can be done by using one of the following options: a. Confidential Whistleblowing Hotline b. Via the web: c. Via Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 4 of 9

12 All of these three options are independently operated by Safecall and staffed by trained and experienced personnel. They provide a safe, secure and effective method for Rehab s stakeholders to raise genuine concerns relating to Rehab. Calls will be treated in the strictest confidence. The Whistleblowing hotline and website reporting service is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. When a report is made to the Safecall, they will notify authorised Rehab contacts within 2 days; this will include a nominated executive from the Board and nominated Board representatives. At all stages reports provided will be treated in a strictly confidential manner. It is important to note that if your reports relate to any of the listed contact personal your report will be provided to alternative contact person. Please note that the independent reporting service is only available for disclosure under the Rehab Whistleblowing Policy and should not be used for complaints under the Complaints Procedure referred to above. In addition to the above options disclosure can be made in the following ways: 1. Protected Disclosure _in_the_workplace_.html 2. Good Faith Reporting ment/good_faith_reporting/ The good faith reporting process in the HSE provided the following contact number: Disclosure to a Minister of Government on whom any function relating to the public funded service is conferred or imposed by or under enactment. Disclosure to legal advisor, this may include barrister, solicitor, trade union official or official of an excepted body (ref Section 6 of the Trade Union Act, 1941) Disclose in other ways e.g. media. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 5 of 9

13 If you choose to make disclosure directly to the media it may be harder for you to be eligible for protection from the consequences of disclosure. In particular: You must reasonably believe the information disclosed is substantially true rather than reasonably true which is the case when making a report to any of the other listed disclosure options; You must have used and or considered internal options before going to another person or body; Disclosure must not be made for personal gain. We encourage you to contact Rehab or the independent reporting service first before going to another person or body as we hope it will allow us to address your concerns and make it unnecessary to go elsewhere. Investigating a Whistleblowing Disclosure Once a concern has been raised internally or via the independent reporting service, a confidential report will be issued within 2 working days. The report will be sent to a named member of the Rehab Group Board. The Board member will be supported in this function by nominated members of the Rehab General Management Team (GMT) or designate. Depending on the specific nature of the disclosure raised, one of the following actions will be taken: 1. If the disclosure you have raised relates to a matter that is criminal in nature then the Board member(s) will determine on receipt of the initial report if the Gardaí/ Police need to be notified Rehab is committed to investigating all reports made under this policy as swiftly as possible, but will adhere to all directions from the Gardaí/ Police in this respect. 2. In instances where a disclosure is deemed to warrant an external investigation, an external investigating team will be appointed. The team will be given terms of reference and updates on the investigation will be provided to the Board, advising it of progress in the investigation and of recommendations. 3. In instances where an internal investigation is deemed appropriate, the Board will appoint a team comprising of senior managers who are best Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 6 of 9

14 placed to investigate the disclosure. In selecting this team, it is important to note that it will not include any staff member involved in the alleged report who may be clearly conflicted in dealing with the complaint. Once selected the team will be given terms of reference and will provide updates on the investigation to the Board, advising them of progress in the investigation and of recommendations. 4. The Board may take whatever steps it considers appropriate, including a decision that an investigation into the disclosure is not immediately warranted but that the situation merits ongoing monitoring. 5. The Board may deem that no action is required. Acknowledging Your Disclosure If you raise your concern with Rehab personnel, providing that your concern has not been made anonymously, the organisation member will acknowledge your disclosure as soon as is practicable. Where possible, we will keep you informed of progress with the matter. Sometimes the need for confidentiality may prevent us giving specific details of the investigation and/ or outcome such as disciplinary action taken as a result. Individuals who report the disclosure via the independent reporting service will be able to get feedback via a confidential web-link even if they choose to remain anonymous. Our Commitment to You This policy is in place to enable you to raise or disclose genuine concerns about practices in Rehab at an early stage and in the right way. The motivation for making your disclosure is irrelevant, provided that you reasonably believe that there is information showing that relevant wrongdoing has occurred. Fairness Concerns raised in good faith and with reasonable belief will not result in any changes in the service you receive or negatively impact on you, or on a person connected to you. Rehab is committed to protecting people who have raised an issue in good faith from reprisals, victimisation, including harassment and retaliation. This is the case even if investigations later disclose that the allegations Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 7 of 9

15 are untrue. However this protection will not be extended to you if it is established that you raised a matter that you knew was not true, or one where you did not have reasonable grounds to believe the information you supplied was accurate. Such false disclosures will be treated very seriously and appropriate action will be taken. This approach is taken to protect all staff and recognises the effect such false disclosures can have on the individual concerned. Confidentiality All information received from whistleblowers, including your identity, will be treated in the strictest confidence. We will not disclose your identity without your consent. The only exception to this is if we are legally required to reveal your identity or if your disclosure raises an issue that we cannot properly address or prevent without revealing your identity. Any personal or sensitive data that is provided to us will be handled in line with Rehab s Data Protection policy. While concerns can be raised anonymously, we would encourage you to identify yourself when you are raising an issue. This is because it allows us to more fully investigate your concern by obtaining additional information if required. It also means that we can keep you informed of progress in the investigation and actions taken where possible. If you are not satisfied If you are not satisfied with the way in which your concern has been handled, you can raise it with the Chairperson of the Rehab Group Board. Contact details are at the end of this document. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 8 of 9

16 External Reporting Hotline/ web report Contact if you are not happy with the way your disclosure has been handled Chairperson of the Board Rehab Group Board Roslyn Park Beach Road Sandymount Dublin 4 All correspondence issued to the Chairperson that relates to a disclosure should be marked private and confidential. Ref No.:COR-GOV-001 Version No.:3.00 Page 9 of 9

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