Whistle Blowing if you’re an ETC of PWD charity employee, volunteer or other stakeholder
Read how to report serious wrongdoing at a charity you work for.
Whistleblowing for employees– speaking out if you suspect wrongdoing
The responsibility for employees, volunteers or other stakeholders to report to the Charity Commission
If you’re an employee of a charity, volunteer for it or are formally associated with it in another way, and you suspect serious wrongdoing within the organisation, for example criminal offences, malpractice/misconduct or health and safety breaches, you should usually raise this with your employers/ the charity first, following ETC of PWD’s Whistle Blowing policy.
If ETC of PWD fails to deal with your concerns appropriately or you continue to suspect serious wrongdoing, you can report this to the Commission – anonymously if you wish to do so. In reporting your concerns to the Commission, you may be protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. To find out more, read the Commission’s whistleblowing guidance.
What to Report:
You should report an incident if it results in, or risks, significant:
- harm to people who come into contact with your charity through its work
- loss of your charity’s money or assets
- damage to your charity’s property
- harm to your charity’s work or reputation
The main categories of reportable incident are:
- protecting people and safeguarding incidents – incidents that have resulted in or risk significant harm to beneficiaries and other people who come into contact with the charity through its work
- financial crimes – fraud, theft, cyber-crime and money laundering
- large donations from an unknown or unverifiable source, or suspicious financial activity using the charity’s funds
- other significant financial loss
- links to terrorism or extremism, including ‘proscribed’ (or banned) organisations, individuals subject to an asset freeze, or kidnapping of staff
- other significant incidents, such as – insolvency, forced withdrawal of banking services without an alternative, significant data breaches/losses or incidents involving partners that materially affect the charity
It is the responsibility of the charity trustees to decide whether an incident is significant and should be reported.
Protecting people and safeguarding incidents
Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a key governance priority for all charities.
A charity should be a safe and trusted environment and trustees must take reasonable steps to protect the people who come into contact with their charity through its work from harm. These people include:
- the charity’s beneficiaries, including adults at risk and children
- the charity’s staff , volunteers and other stakeholders
It may also include other people who come into contact with the charity through its work. This might be, for example, people who attend an event run by the charity who are not beneficiaries, staff or volunteers.
In some instances, charities may have a specific duty of care for certain people that come into contact with them through their work.
For those charities providing activities and services to children or adults at risk, the term safeguarding has a particular meaning under UK legislation and practice guidance and may require reporting of incidents to statutory safeguarding agencies.
The Commission uses the term safeguarding as the range of measures in place to protect the people who come into contact with charities through their work from abuse and mistreatment of any kind (including neglect).
Failure by trustees to sufficiently manage safeguarding risks is of serious regulatory concern to the Commission and may be considered to be misconduct and/or mismanagement. It can also damage public trust and confidence in charities and impact upon the sector as a whole.
For further information about trustee duties in relation to safeguarding, you should read the Charity Commission’s guidance Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees.
Who to contact at ETC of PWD if you have a Whistle Blowing Concern.
Unless your concern is about an urgent Safeguarding risk, then you should first register your concern with the charity in writing to the Safeguarding Manager.
ETC of PWD:
Or by email to the Chairperson:
For further details please see the ETC of PWD Whistleblowing Policy