Letters to the Editor: February 2020

Readers’ responses to stories on recruiter.co.uk.

Stand up for whistleblowers

We write in reference to the article, ‘Watch the law with whistleblowers, recruiters are warned’ (recruiter.co.uk, 11 November).

Protect is the UK’s leading whistleblowing charity. For the past 26 years we’ve been supporting individuals who call our free advice line seeking help about how to speak up about workplace wrongdoing. Choosing to speak up over a public interest wrongdoing is extremely hard, but thank goodness people do.

Annually, our advisers handle around 3,000 whistleblowing cases, varying from fraud, patient safety, school governance issues to food health & safety concerns among others. We celebrate whistleblowers and train businesses and organisations to recognise their worth.

As a publication targeting HR and the recruitment sector, we found the tone and language of both the headline and first paragraph discriminatory toward whistleblowers. We found the choice of words such as ‘serial whistleblower’ and ‘watch the law with whistleblowers’ and ‘fault-finding’ incendiary and suggestive that whistleblowers are troublemakers, when in reality they are public-spirited individuals who wish to see wrongdoing stopped. Such ‘fault-finding’ might just save an organisation thousands of pounds in litigation costs.

While the rest of the article reflects that ‘most businesses perceive this is an employee of integrity who was willing to stand up for what is right and will not tolerate cheats in their business they work for’, it only highlights to us that there is still much to be done, particularly in the HR and recruitment sector to educate the benefits of whistleblowers to an organisation. Surely everyone must agree whistleblowing is a good thing? Or is this all about paying lip service to accountability?

Francesca West, Protect CEO

Image credit | iStock

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