The typical whistleblower is a skilled worker or professional who has been working for less than two years, according to a report by pressure group Public Concern at Work.
The report, titled Whistleblowing: the inside story, was jointly compiled with the University of Greenwich and based on the experiences of 1,000 callers to the whistleblowing charity’s confidential advice line.
It found newer employees were most likely to blow the whistle, especially those with less than two years’ service, and that concerns were usually raised twice at most.
It paints a largely negative picture whistleblowing experiences, however. For example, 74% of whistleblowers said nothing was done about the wrongdoing they highlighted, 60% received no response from management and 15% were dismissed from their job as a result of raising concerns.
Public Concern at Work chief executive Cathy James said: “While organisations may be getting better at addressing wrongdoing, they are still shooting the messenger and overlooking crucial opportunities to address concerns quickly and effectively.”
In January the charity also set up an Independent Whistleblowing Commission to review whistleblowing in the UK and make recommendations for change. Its five members include Gary Walker, whistleblower and former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The commission is due to report by the end of the year and would like to hear from workers for whom speaking out inside their organisation has been a positive or negative experience.
Public Concern at Work is a supporter of Nursing Times’ Speak Out safely campaign, which is seeking to increase protection for whistleblowers.
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