HR fails whistleblowers due to training shortfall

HR professionals are not being
properly trained to deal with difficult cases where employees report suspected
malpractice among colleagues due to a lack of Government resources, a
conference was told today.

David Lewis, an employment lawyer
and author of Whistleblowing at Work, told an ethics and HR conference at
Middlesex University that HR professionals should play a central role in
company whistleblowing procedures.

But Lewis told Personnel Today that
HR is not well equipped to tackle the issue because of a training gap on these

He said the Public Interest
Disclosure Act (1999), which was introduced to protect workers who report
suspected malpractice among colleagues, was a bill without resources.

“There needs to be questions asked
about where the training is going to come from,” he said. “Why is legislation
being introduced without resources to implement it?”

Lewis called for a public interest
disclosures agency which would provide training, education and funding on how
to properly implement the bill.

A survey conducted by campaign
charity Public Concern at Work in May 1999 found over one quarter of
organisations expected human resources managers to lead investigations into
malpractice allegations.

By Giddeon Burrows

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