If you see something at work that you feel is corrupt, illegal, unethical or undesirable, your first port of call should be to discuss your concerns with your line manager. However, if you can’t do that for whatever reason, then you can report this to Expolink, an independent reporting helpline. You’ve always been able to report your concerns by phone but now you can report these online as well. The way you can do this is:

Anonymity assured

We use Expolink to take these calls for us to make sure any whistleblower’s identity is kept confidential – they will never pass the caller’s details to us in Co-op without the caller’s permission. What they do is to make a note of the allegation and then report it to us for investigation.

If you’ve seen something you’re concerned about being corrupt, illegal, unethical or undesirable we want to hear from you. Small instances of bad practice could lead to much bigger problems if left unchecked. So please don’t think ‘it’s not worth bothering with’ if you have a genuine concern. It’s much easier to nip something in the bud early.

We can’t provide an exhaustive list but the sorts of things that we want to hear about include:

  • offer or acceptance of bribes
  • contaminated food products
  • a risk to health and safety
  • modern slavery
  • money laundering
  • breaches of regulations or policies
  • damage to the environment etc.

Whistleblowing – it’s not really for settling HR grievances

We have a separate policy for dealing with HR grievances and an Employee Assistance Programme (phone 0800 970 1030 or 0330 332 9996 from a mobile). Whistleblowing is for those things that could lead to us being hit with a fine because we’re breaching some regulations, or could harm our reputation if we’re shown to be doing something unethical or wrong. It’s not for settling a HR grievance issue.

While we can’t go into examples of where colleagues’ actions in highlighting wrong-doing have helped us make things right in the past (as I said, it’s confidential), rest assured that colleagues raising these issues have made a difference.

So please don’t be afraid to speak up – your concerns do matter.

Thank you,
Saleem Chowdhery
Director of Internal Audit


Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. I have a smart phone but can’t find the whistle please help.

  2. The link doesn’t work/website is blocked.

  3. Is being frogmarched into volunteering for charities an unethical and undesirable fig leaf for the wholesale abandonment of Co-operative values that mutually benefit the workers and members of the movement? And when I say frogmarched you have no chance of “Achieving” thus missing out on a pay rise and being first in the queue for outsourcing if you don’t comply.
    When did Co-operative values = charity rather than a means of getting rid of the need for hand outs by causing structural change in society?
    Did anybody read Richards Pennycooks letter to the Times proclaiming a co-operative alternative to capitalism?

    • Pauil, I’m unclear what comment you’re making about the ability to now whistleblow online as well as over the phone with your comment?
      If you have a grievance about something HR related then, as the article says, this is not the right place and you should follow that process. If your comment is about how you generally feel about working here then Talkback is coming soon and that’s the right place to share your views on what you think and feel in your role.

  4. Does my non-existent wage count as Modern Slavery?..

  5. Really? ^^

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