Whistleblowing policy

Why this policy exists

It is important that any fraud, misconduct, or wrongdoing by staff or others working on behalf of the charity is reported and properly dealt with. We therefore require all individuals to raise any concerns that they may have about the conduct of others in the charity or the way in which the organisation is run. This policy sets out the way in which individuals may raise any concerns that they have and how those concerns will be dealt with.


This procedure applies to everyone who works for and volunteers with Re-engage. This means employees, trustees, volunteers, agency workers, interns, and contractors.


The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 to provide protection for workers who raise legitimate concerns about specified matters in the public interest. These are called qualifying disclosures. A qualifying disclosure is one made by an employee who has a reasonable belief that:

  • a criminal offence;
  • a miscarriage of justice;
  • an act creating risk to health and safety;
  • an act causing damage to the environment;
  • a breach of any other legal obligation; or
  • concealment of any of the above;

is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed. It is not necessary for you to have proof that such an act is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed - a reasonable belief is sufficient. You have no responsibility for investigating the matter - it is the charity's responsibility to ensure that an investigation takes place.

If you make a qualifying disclosure, this automatically becomes a protected disclosure. This means that you have the right not to be dismissed, subjected to any other detriment, or victimised, because you have made a disclosure. We encourage you to raise your concerns under this procedure in the first instance.


  • Everyone should be aware of the importance of preventing and eliminating wrongdoing at work. Staff and others working on behalf of the charity should be watchful for illegal or unethical conduct and report anything of that nature that they become aware of.
  • Any matter raised under this procedure will be investigated thoroughly, promptly and confidentially, and the outcome of the investigation reported back to the person who raised the issue.
  • No employee or other person working on behalf of the charity will be victimised for raising a matter under this procedure. This means that the continued employment and opportunities for future promotion or training of the person will not be prejudiced because they have raised a legitimate concern.
  • Victimisation of an individual for raising a qualifying (protected) disclosure will be a disciplinary offence.
  • If misconduct is discovered as a result of any investigation under this procedure our disciplinary procedure will be used, in addition to any appropriate external measures.
  • Maliciously making a false allegation is a disciplinary offence.
  • An instruction to cover up wrongdoing is itself a disciplinary offence. If told not to raise or pursue any concern, even by a person in authority such as a manager, you should not agree to remain silent. You should report the matter to the Chief Executive or the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

This policy does not replace other Re-engage policies or procedures. For example, if an employee has a grievance about their working conditions, they should follow the guidance in the Re-engage Staff Handbook. Similarly, if an employee has a concern about the conduct of a fellow employee in the working environment (for example, that they are not treating colleagues with respect) they should raise these with their line manager, or if that is not possible, with the CEO, Chair of Trustees or through the Charity Commission’s whistleblowing policy whistleblowing@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk.

This policy applies to, but is not limited to, allegations about any of the following:

  • a criminal offence;
  • a miscarriage of justice;
  • an act creating risk to health and safety;
  • an act causing damage to the environment;
  • a breach of any other legal obligation; or
  • concealment of any of the above.

Re-engage recognises that the decision to make an allegation can be a difficult one to make. However, whistleblowers who make serious allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so have nothing to fear because they are doing their duty either to Re-engage and/or to those for whom Re-engage are providing a service.

Re-engage will take appropriate action to protect a whistleblower who makes a serious allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so from any reprisals, harassment, or victimisation.


All allegations will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal a whistleblower’s identity. However, if the allegation results in court proceedings, then the whistleblower may have to give evidence in open court if the case is to be successful.

Re-engage will not disclose the identity of a whistleblower to anyone other than those involved in the investigation/allegation and consent will be obtained before disclosing their identity to any other person or persons.

Anonymous allegations

This procedure encourages whistleblowers to put their name to an allegation wherever possible as anonymous allegations may often be difficult to substantiate/prove. Allegations made anonymously are much less powerful but anonymous allegations will be considered at the discretion of the CEO, Chair and/or Treasurer.

In exercising discretion to accept an anonymous allegation the factors to be considered are:

  • The seriousness of the issue raised
  • The credibility of the allegation; and 
  • Whether the allegation can realistically be investigated from factors or sources other than the complainant

Untrue allegations

No disciplinary or other action will be taken against a whistleblower who makes an allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so even if the allegation is not substantiated by an investigation. However, disciplinary action may be taken against a whistleblower who makes an allegation without reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so (for example, making an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain where there is no element of public interest).

Procedure for making an allegation

The Charity’s nominated person for whistleblowing is:

Mrs Kitty Blackwell
Director of Fundraising and Communications
7 Bell Yard

It is preferable in the first instance for allegations to be made to an employee’s immediate line manager. However, this may depend on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the malpractice. For example, if the whistleblower believes that management is involved it would be inappropriate to raise it directly with them. The whistleblower may then make an allegation direct to any of the following:

  • The CEO
  • Chair of Trustees or another Trustee
  • The Charity’s nominated whistleblowing officer

If an allegation is made by a volunteer or third-party contractor, then a report should be made in the first instance in writing to the Charity’s nominated officer.

The person receiving an allegation will consider the allegation and may discuss this with either/or the CEO, Chair, Treasurer or any other Trustee. The outcome of this consideration will be discussed with the whistleblower and if they wish to proceed with the allegation, this will be investigated.


Whether a written or oral report is made it is important that relevant information is provided including:

  • The name of the person making the allegation and a contact point.
  • The background and history of the allegation (giving relevant dates and names and positions of those who may be able to have contributed to the allegation).
  • The specific reason for the allegation. Although someone making an allegation will not be expected to prove the truth of any allegations, they will need to provide information to the person they have reported to, to establish that there are reasonable grounds for the allegation.

Someone making an allegation may be accompanied by another person of their choosing during any meetings or interviews in connection with the allegation.

However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through a Re-engage procedure other than this whistleblowing policy, the right to be accompanied will at that stage be in accordance with the procedure followed.

Action on receipt of an allegation

The person receiving the allegation will record details of the allegation gathering as much information as possible, (within five working days of receipt of the allegation) including:

  • The record of the allegation
  • The acknowledgement of the allegation
  • Any documents supplied by the whistleblower

The investigator will ask the whistleblower for his/her preferred means of communication and contact details and use these for all communications with the whistleblower to preserve confidentiality.

If the allegation relates to fraud, potential fraud, or other financial irregularity the Treasurer will be informed within five working days of receipt of the allegation. The Treasurer will determine whether the allegation should be investigated and the method of investigation.

If the allegation discloses evidence of a criminal offence, it will immediately be reported to the Board of Trustees and a decision will be made as to whether to inform the Police. If the allegation concerns suspected harm to children, the appropriate authorities will be informed immediately.

If the issue is around suspected harm to vulnerable adults, the Vulnerable Adults Protection policy and Safeguarding Policies should be referred to.

All other issues will be investigated internally by the charity and referred to any other agency as considered necessary depending on any findings during the investigation and the nature of the allegation(s).


An acknowledgement of the allegation will be sent from either the Charity’s CEO, Chair or nominated officer in writing within 10 working days with:

  • An indication of how Re-engage propose to deal with the matter
  • An estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response
  • An indication of whether any initial enquiries have been made
  • Information on whistleblower support mechanisms
  • Indication whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not

Where the allegation has been made internally and anonymously, Re-engage will be unable to communicate what action has been taken.


Re-engage will take steps to minimise any difficulties which may be experienced as a result of making an allegation. For instance, if a whistleblower is required to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings Re-engage will arrange for them to receive advice about the procedure and advise on the support mechanisms that are available.

Re-engage accepts that whistleblowers need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, we will inform those making allegations of the outcome of any investigation.

Responsibility for the procedure

The CEO and the Chair of Trustees have overall responsibility for the operation of this procedure and for determining the administrative processes to be followed and the format of the records to be kept.


A register will record the following details:

  • The name and status (for example, employee) of the whistleblower
  • The date on which the allegation was received
  • The nature of the allegation
  • Details of the person who received the allegation
  • Whether the allegation is to be investigated and, if yes, by whom
  • The outcome of the investigation
  • Any other relevant details

The Register will be confidential and only available for inspection by the Board of Trustees.

The CEO will report annually to the Board of Trustees on the operation of the procedure and on the whistleblowing allegations made during the period covered by the report. The report will be in a form which does not identify whistleblowers.

Potential sanctions

Knowingly breaching this policy is a serious matter. Those who do so will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Volunteers, contractors, and other third parties may also be held personally liable for violating this policy.

Where appropriate, the Charity will involve the police or other law enforcement agencies in relation to breaches of this policy.

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.


7 Bell Yard


0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630