Publications & Products
Volume 4, Issue 25

Employees Lack Awareness of Whistleblower Policies

Organizations don't do enough to encourage employee whistleblowers who could help uncover bad behavior, according to a new survey.

London-based law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP recently reported that nearly half of the 2,500 employees it recently surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany and France said their organizations don't have or don't publicize whistleblower policies. In addition, fewer than one in ten said whistleblowing is an import issue at their work.

Adam Siegel, the law firm's co-head of global investigations, recently told Bloomberg that organizational leaders should value whistleblowers and ensure that their employees know what structures are in place to report wrongdoing.

"Robust whistleblowing policies bolster [an organization's] argument that it has implemented adequate procedures to guard against bribery," says Siegel. "They also make it more likely that concerns will be raised internally."

Survey results also indicate that, of employees who said they would consider reporting wrongdoing, nearly 40 percent were concerned they'd face repercussions if they did.

‘It's surprising that employees continue to fear unfavorable treatment,'' says Caroline Stroud, an employment partner at the law firm. "[Leaders] need to create a culture in which employees are not only protected but genuinely encouraged to make disclosures to their superiors."

This article is from the Dec. 22, 2014 issue.

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