On St George’s Day I got to thinking about facing dragons and often People Professionals need to face all sorts of dragons!!  In a perfect world the need to face a dragon would not be there, as employer and employee would be working in perfect harmony.  Do I hear a wry chuckle?

In that perfect world there would be a culture where communication between employer and employee is frank and honest. Employees would feel free to speak up about issues. There would be no fear of retribution or harassment.  Going back to my favourite book of the moment, Frederick Laloux’s Re-inventing Organisations, some of us are regrettably still stuck in the Impulsive – Red paradigm.  In this type of organisation as Laloux puts it there is a “constant exercise of power by the chief to keep troops in line.  Fear is the glue of the organisation.  Highly reactive, short term focus.  Thrives in chaotic environments.”  So this is where People Professionals need to step up to the plate and have the Courage to Challenge.

Going back to an organisation that uses power over its people – fear is never far away.  So there is real fear about speaking out.  Thankfully this, as you know is covered by the The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998.  This piece of legislation provides protection to “workers” making disclosures in the public interest and allows such individuals to claim compensation for victimisation following such disclosures. Further protection is given by The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA) which came into force in July 2013.

Are you now rushing to check your list of policies?  Well rest easy, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published Whistleblowing Guidance for Employers and Code of Practice.

Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have a whistleblowing policy, it is good practice.  The BIS Guidance gives useful tips on what to include in a policy and how best to communicate the policy to employees.  The ACAS site is good and so is this one.

If you are riveted by all things legal, do remember that we are just agreeing the dates for the CIPD Advanced Award in Employment Law in London and on the Isle of Man.

For those of you close to London we have two Circle of Peers Casuals, one on 6th May and one on 10th June from 17:00 onwards at the Wine Bar in the Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall.