Whistleblowing is when someone raises concerns about wrongdoing within a public, private or government organisation. This is usually illegal, unethical, or harmful activity such as fraud, corruption, misconduct, harassment, discrimination or health, safety or environmental violations.
Raising the alarm
Whistleblowing can occur internally when a report is made within the company in which the illicit activity is taking place. Or externally, by alerting the media, police or government departments for example. Activity may be from the past, present or going to happen and must be done in good faith.
It's not just employees 'blowing the whistle'
The whistleblower is closely connected with the organisation in which they are exposing. So in addition to current employees, it is also past employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, job applicants, trainees etc who can raise the alarm.
There is an EU Directive all about whistleblowing
The EU has put a new directive in place to ensure better protection for whistleblowers across the EU. It requires companies in the EU with over 50 employees to implement internal reporting channels.