Company secretarial services and corporate support provider London Registrars (http://www.london-registrars.co.uk/) reveals that approximately 70% of FTSE 100 companies are failing to facilitate whistleblowing in the workplace, says a new study from Middlesex University.
Researchers analysed the public availability of information on how to go about whistleblowing (internally reporting misconduct, wrongdoing or suspect practices of an employee or organisation) by checking the websites of all of the FTSE 100 listed companies. The research found that only just over a third (31%) of companies had information on how to facilitate whistleblowing within the organisation available publicly.
The researchers behind the study claim that failing to make it clear how to blow the whistle on suspect company practices or employee misconduct puts the company at the potential risk of lawsuits and, as a result, potential financial cost and damage to the company’s reputation. If the company whistleblowing policy is not made readily available, employees are unlikely to actively search it out themselves for fear of alerting their superiors. The findings revealed that even those companies which did make their whistleblowing policy publicly available created some confusion by referring to the policy by different names, from a “speak up” policy to a “public interest disclosure”.
Professor David Lewis of Middlesex University was quoted in ICSA Magazine: ‘This is such a missed opportunity for companies to identify and deal with damaging issues before they get out of hand…Every year we see high profile cases of fraud or malpractice across all types of business, but if people are unaware of, or have no confidence in, whistleblowing procedures they will either keep quiet or raise their concerns via the media or on the internet. Whether you are FTSE 100 or a SME, private or public, whistleblowing policies and procedures which are effective, clear and accessible at all times are essential. If these do not exist or are hidden from view people will have no confidence that they can report their concerns.’
London Registrars advises on all forms of company compliance, from the responsibilities of the company to overall corporate governance. Find out more at http://www.london-registrars.co.uk/.