Our impact in 2020
In 2020 we supported a record number of whistleblowers needing advice on their legal rights and how to raise their concerns – 3,845 in 2020 compared with 3,188 in 2019. Overall we saw an increase of 20% in cases over the year.
Whistleblowers contacted us for support over new Covid-related concerns such as a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), social distancing and furlough fraud.
The advice we give to individuals has the potential to stop wrongdoing and harm in their workplaces – with an impact on an estimated 10 million workers.
Our Advice Line handles more than 3,000 cases each year which, if not acted on, could harm or affect other people. But 2020, as we know too well, was not an ordinary year. Within days of the first lockdown in March, our Advice Line was up and running for whistleblowers needing help. Our Advisers worked remotely, at times under extreme pressure, and continued to do so throughout the year. In June 2020, cases were up 74% on June 2019 with many Covid-19 related concerns.
The sectors our 2020 callers work in
Training and Consultancy
The insight gained from our day-to-day Advice Line work is invaluable, giving us a window into difficulties that can arise from whistleblowing. This in-depth knowledge influences our work supporting and advising business clients and shapes our training and best practice.
In 2020, our Business Support team moved our training and consultancy to successful online offers, helping businesses in all sectors improve their whistleblowing arrangements and make our workplaces safer.
We produced guidance for regulators dealing with whistleblowers and highlighted the gaps in whistleblowing arrangements in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Our report, Silence in The City 2 looked at whistleblowing in the finance sector.
Over the year we worked with almost 300 employers, encouraging them to test the effectiveness of their arrangements through our unique Whistleblowing Benchmark tool, and providing training and consultancy. The employers we work with have over 1.3 million workers between them – improving their whistleblowing arrangements means more workers can speak up and stop harm.
What employers say about us
“The staff at Protect have always been professional and helpful. The support provided through the development and delivery of training was exemplary, both in personal attendance here in Scotland for courses for selected personnel on two occasions, and in the development of our Intranet based ‘Moodle’ Package, which is a mandatory training package for all officers and staff.
This, coupled with the provision of the ongoing Advice Line and a Whistleblowing Benchmark review of our new processes has ensured that Police Scotland is best placed to facilitate and support anyone who wishes to report wrongdoing within our organisation.”
Clarke L Callaghan, Chief Inspector, Professional Standards, Police Scotland