What is whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the process whereby an employee is offered legal protection where they raise a concern about the organisation they work for. The concern raised must be in the public interest and could be about malpractice, wrongdoing, risk or illegal proceedings, which harms, or creates a risk of harm, to individuals, the wider community or the environment.
Our role in whistleblowing
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 names Environmental Standards Scotland as a prescribed person. This means that anyone who has concerns that their employer is not properly handling its environmental responsibilities can report the matter directly to us. This could include, for example, telling us about a failure to comply with, or properly implement, legal obligations in respect of the environment, or any gaps in the law which have caused, or have the potential to cause, environmental harm.
If the information you provide meets certain criteria, you may be protected by whistleblowing law. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, individuals are offered protection against any negative treatment they may suffer as a result of making a disclosure which is in accordance with the whistleblowing legislation.
How to raise a whistleblowing issue
Your place of work may have its own whistleblowing policy that you can use to make a disclosure.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable reporting directly to your employer, or if you have already reported directly to your employer but the wrongdoing has continued or the issue has not been investigated appropriately, you can disclose this directly to Environmental Standards Scotland through our Whistleblowing secure inbox.
What we will do
If you raise a concern with us, authorised staff will securely and confidentially assess what you have told us. Our next steps may include:
- contacting you with specific questions in relation to the information you have provided;
- investigating whether we hold any other relevant information about the employer or area you have made a disclosure about;
- confirming to you whether the disclosure is being treated as whistleblowing;
- Confirming to you whether the disclosure is for us to investigate, or, signposting you to an alternative prescribed person by providing you with the list of prescribed persons if not.
The information you provide to us, and your identity will be treated as confidential. Without your consent, we will never explicitly reveal your identity to your employer. If you wish, you can request that the report is recorded anonymously.
If you are unclear on our role in this area or wish to speak to us confidentiality about any of your concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us through our Whistleblowing Secure inbox.
Further information on our approach to whistleblowing can be found in our Whistleblowing Policy.