UNICEF Aotearoa Whistle Blowing / Protected Disclosures Policy
This policy sets out the principles and process for addressing complaints of serious misconduct/wrongdoing involving other employees or management, and the protections that will be afforded anyone who makes such complaints, providing they are in good faith.
Misconduct/wrongdoing on the part of other employees
If you feel there has been any serious misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of another employee or management, you must report this as soon as possible to senior management.
Serious wrongdoing (as defined in the Protected Disclosures Act 2000) includes the following:
- an unlawful, corrupt, or irregular use of funds or resources of the organization; or
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to public health or public safety or the environment; or
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to the maintenance of law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences and the right to a fair trial; or
- an act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes an offence; or
- an act, omission, or course of conduct by a member of staff that is oppressive, improperly discriminatory, or grossly negligent, or that constitutes gross mismanagement.
UNICEF Aotearoa considers that an employee’s failure to disclose a conflict of interest may also constitute serious misconduct.
In the first instance all reports and concerns should be made to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). These discussions will be confidential, taken seriously and acted upon.
If the person reporting the serious misconduct or serious wrongdoing believes the CEO is, or may be, involved or that it would not be appropriate to report it to them given their relationship or association with a person who is, or may be, involved, then the staff member should raise the issue with a member of the Executive Team who will determine if the matter should be reported to the Board Chair or Deputy Chair.
Unless a complaint is made in bad faith, management and/or the Board will act promptly to investigate the validity of the matter raised. External expertise may be sought to assist with the investigation.
Any employee who reports or provides information in good faith will be afforded protection from retaliation.
The identity of anyone reporting serious misconduct or serious wrongdoing will remain confidential as far as practicable, having regard to UNICEF Aotearoa’s need to investigate complaints and to the principles of natural justice.
If a complaint is made in bad faith, the complainant may face disciplinary action, including dismissal (depending on the circumstances).
Staff are required to cooperate fully with any audits or investigations that may follow any such reporting.
The person under investigation has the right to an advocate of their choice or to seek professional help to represent their point of view. The process for investigating any complaint will, where appropriate, follow guidelines as for resolving other kinds of employment issues/formal investigations.
If the complaint is upheld against an employee, action by management or the Board could include disciplinary action (including dismissal), depending on the seriousness of the case.
No external disclosure is permitted except in accordance with the Protected Disclosures Act 2000
In case of retaliation
If you have reported or provided information to management on a situation involving serious misconduct or wrongdoing, and you feel retaliation is being taken against youby a staff member, you must report this to the CEO or, in their absence a member of the Executive Team.
If retaliation is perceived to come from the CEO you should approach a member of the Executive Team.