Tip-off is by far the most effective way of uncovering a fraud & this goes hand in glove with establishing a clear fraud policy & stating this in the staff handbook. But how is the employee protected & what about non employees?
Whistleblowers are protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) if they make a disclosure which is in the public interest, which includes reporting:
- Where someone’s health & safety is in danger.
- There is damage to the environment.
- A criminal offence has been committed.
- The company isn’t obeying the law.
- The company is covering up a wrongdoing.
Employees should tell their HR department or manager, if they can. Otherwise they should report the incident to a prescribed person – such as governing body. A list is available from www.gov.uk.
Employees & workers are protected if they make a qualifying disclosure (see above) which they believe is in the public interest. Employees rights are covered by claiming constructive dismissal. However, workers who are not employees are also protected & can claim “detrimental treatment”.
Encouraging tip offs is important in combatting occupational fraud & all businesses should be open to the fact that fraud doesn’t just happen to others. In many businesses it is a significant yet invisible overhead.