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How To Effectively Raise Concerns In The Workplace

Anybody who’s worked for any stretch of time will tell you that working life is rarely straightforward. There are plenty of problems that can arise, and plenty of issues that can affect your emotional, personal and physical health.

But sadly, many of these problems go unnoticed. This is largely due to the fact that workers are either too scared or nervous to come forward, fearful of losing their position. And it’s understandable, after all. Taking a concern to your managers or even the authorities is daunting.


This is known as whistleblowing, and contrary to popular belief, it does not put your job in jeopardy. In fact, you’re legally protected just as long as you follow due course, and you raise a concern that’s real, tangible and in the public interest.

So what is there to be afraid of? Nothing, really. It’s a shame to discover then, that thousands of employees don’t report workplace problems, for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is retaliation – fearing the actions of another colleague, who may act violently in return. Though much like fearing for your job, this is a non-issue. Lawyers can give whistleblower protection against retaliation at work, so don’t be afraid to come forward!

If you believe you have a genuine concern with your work situation, then you must be sure it’s complaint-worthy. Certain cases – like bullying, harassment and discrimination – aren’t covered by whistleblowing law. You’re only protected if your concern affects the business at large, or affects the public.

This includes reporting criminal offenses, like fraud. If your company is breaking the law, perhaps by not obtaining permits, insurance or paying taxes, you have every right to come forward. Additionally, if your workplace isn’t safe and people’s lives are in danger, don’t hesitate to make your voice heard.

You have several channels to take when reporting the issue, too. You can either go directly to your employer, who will then review the case and decide if any action is needed. You can go anonymously if you wish, but your employer may not be able to take things further if they don’t have all the information.

Alternatively, you can contact a lawyer, or consult a specialist organization. This organization must be one that deals with the problem you’re reporting. For instance, if you have health and safety concerns then a health and safety body must be informed.

Throughout all stages of the process, you can request to remain as anonymous as possible, though this might be difficult. If you blow the whistle, be prepared for a few people to find out it was you that did it – factor this into your decision.

And then, if you are treated unfairly after whistleblowing, you can take action. You can take your case to an employment tribunal if you feel discriminated or mistreated. If you want to press charges of unfair dismissal, you have a short amount of time from the end of your employment to do so.

But these cases are few and far between. More often than not, an issue is reported then dealt with amicably. As such, I highly encourage you to raise any concerns you may have in the workplace as soon as possible. Things will only get worse if you don’t!

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