Encouraging people to speak up and expose wrongdoing is a major factor in fighting unethical and criminal behaviour. The mere presence of a whistleblowing system may be enough to put people off committing any illegitimate activity, thus significantly reducing the risk of harm to others.
Numerous healthcare employers now encourage staff to speak up in their workplace. Employers recognise the benefits of being made aware of wrongdoing within their organisation at an early stage, as this gives them the opportunity to address problems before it can lead to loss of standards, reputation, profit, stakeholders and customers.
Whistleblowing can also reduce the commercial costs of addressing and correcting criminal activities. Nonetheless, deciding to speak up, report a concern or ‘blow the whistle’ can be a life changing experience.
Many workers who have shared concerns about wrongdoing in the workplace can lose their jobs or opportunities for promotion have been withdrawn. Many experience being isolated at work or have suffered personally for having made a report.
Because of this, it’s important that potential whistleblowers are aware of the serious risks they could face when speaking up and that they take steps to minimise those risks.
Transparency Ireland has published a guide "Speak Up Safely" which can be download to help workers make an informed decision before sharing concerns about wrongdoing.