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:
- By phone: 0800 374199
- Online: https://wrs.expolink.co.uk/coop
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.
Director of Internal Audit