About this Policy
We are committed to honesty and integrity in our church life and we expect all involved to maintain high standards. Any suspected wrongdoing, including “covering up”, should be reported as soon as possible.
This policy covers all ministers, officers, volunteers, employees and [casual workers] who are appointed by the Parochial Church Council.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
What Is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the reporting of suspected wrongdoing or dangers in relation to our activities. This includes bribery, fraud or other criminal activity, miscarriages of justice, health and safety risks, damage to the environment and any breach of legal or professional obligations. It also includes the following matters specific to this workplace.
How to Raise a Concern
If a child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk you should contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 07785 621319 or the Police on 999 in accordance with the PCC’s Safeguarding Policy. In an emergency, call emergency services on 999 and then the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser as soon as practicable. If you have received a direct allegation of abuse, but the child/adult is not in immediate danger you should contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser without delay, and in all circumstances within 24 hours.
Otherwise, we hope that in many cases you will be able to raise any concerns with the person to whom you are responsible. However, where you prefer not to raise it with that person for any reason, you should contact a Churchwarden or the Rector. Contact details are at the end of this policy.
We will arrange a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss your concern. You may bring a friend, colleague or union representative to any meetings under this policy. Your companion must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and any subsequent investigation.
We hope that whistleblowing concerns can be voiced openly under this policy. Completely anonymous disclosures are difficult to investigate. If you want to raise your concern confidentially, we will make every effort to keep your identity secret and only reveal it where necessary to those involved in investigating your concern.
The aim of this policy is to provide an internal mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying any wrongdoing associated with church activities. In most cases you should not find it necessary to alert anyone externally.
The law recognises that in some circumstances it may be appropriate for you to report your concerns to an external body such as a regulator. We strongly encourage you to seek advice before reporting a concern to anyone external. Public Concern at Work operates a confidential helpline. Their contact details are at the end of this policy.
Protection and Support for Whistleblowers
- We aim to encourage openness and will support whistleblowers who raise genuine concerns under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken.
- If you have raised a safeguarding concern with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) then the DSA will usually liaise with the Rector about your support.
- There is a confidential diocesan counselling service available to all clergy and readers in the diocese, as well as their spouses/partners. For further details, please visit the Diocesan website, http://www.cofesuffolk.org/ministry-development-support/clergywellbeing
The PCC may on request be able to arrange access to this service for the PCC’s volunteers [and employees].
- Whistleblowers must not suffer any detrimental treatment as a result of raising a genuine concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the Churchwarden OR Rector immediately. If you are an employee and the matter is not remedied you should raise it formally using our Grievance Procedure.
- You must not threaten or retaliate against whistleblowers in any way. If you are involved in such conduct you may be subject to disciplinary action. In some cases the whistleblower could have a right to sue you personally for compensation in an employment tribunal.
- However, if we conclude that a whistleblower has made false allegations maliciously or with a view to personal gain, the whistleblower may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Public Concern at Work operates a confidential helpline. Their contact details are at the end of this policy.
Contact details are listed on the Contact Us page [here].
Public Concern at Work (Independent whistleblowing charity)
Helpline: (020) 7404 6609
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST SAXMUNDHAM
Charity Registration Number 1171576.
Approved by the PCC on: – 19th February 2018
Date of review: – February 2019