We are an organisation that provides services operated by external contractors. What protection can our organisation provide to workers employed by contractors who make protected disclosures directly to us instead of their employer?
Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, contractors (on a contract for service) are included under the definition of ‘worker’ and are entitled to the protections provided by the Act by their employer i.e., protection from penalisation, protection of identity etc.
We would suggest that the first step any contracting authority would take is to ensure that the contracting company has up-to-date Protected Disclosures policies and procedures in place and is aware of its duties in this regard.
It is also important for the contracting authority to state that it will not tolerate any kind of retaliation or penalisation of people who make reports of wrongdoing. Information on the support and guidance available from the Speak Up Helpline should be made available to all of the organisation’s staff, contractors and stakeholders.