Whistleblowing Essay

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AC 4001 – Interim Assignment – 2012/2013
Name: James Nicholas Anthony Cassin
Student No: 109444602
Word Count: 1988

I don’t agree with the statement provided that ‘whistleblowing’ is an enemy of business and creates suspicion and disharmony. This is simply the old traditional view of the idea of whistleblowing that there is a spy or snitch within the camp looking after his/her own interests. This old and traditional view is largely based on the case that employee’s within organisations had very little rights and they weren’t encouraged to be vocal about any misbehaviour or inappropriate dealings they would have witnessed within the organisation. The idea that whistleblowing is encouraging a widespread disunity within a firm is a purely ignorant view that the existing culture within the firm is appropriate and the people in the more important roles are somehow allowed to get off scott free for any misdemeanours they may have caused or have already been causing. It is fair to say that and according to the quote provided by James M. Roche that these kind of comments place employees under a blanket of fear and leads them to believe that within the firm they have no employee rights worthy that they can be heard. This culture of fear can be seen in article written by Hayes solicitors on ‘The Downside for “whistleblowing” employees in the health sector’. The article details how five employees of the Avondale Nursing Home in County Kilkenny were found by the Employment Appeals Tribunal to have been constructively dismissed in 2009 by their employer after raising their concerns over the welfare of elderly patients at the Nursing Home. The article goes on to further detail how the “whistleblowing” employees have gone on to suffer financial loss as a result of losing their jobs and their willingness to try and address the practices that were existing within the nursing home at the time. The nursing home in question has since closed when it was taken over by the HSE because the standards within the nursing were clearly not fit for its patients. The whistleblowers’ attempts were trying to help increase the working standards for the employee’s and living conditions for the patients however the employer ignorance to the idea of whistleblowing goes against what the Health Act 2007 is trying to implement. The article outlines how it is “clearly defeating the purpose of the act which is to protect employees who “whistleblow” on improper practices by their employer, and to protect their service users and the public.” The “whistleblower” under this act is defined as an employee of the organisation of the HSE, a health service, a person receiving assistance, or a health body who reports the organisation to an authorised person (within the organisation) or HIQA due to certain practices. Therefore it would suggest that an employee should have the confidence to report any misgivings or lack of ethics or standards that is evident within the workplace being complete in the knowledge that their evidence is treated with confidentiality and respect and will not be judged unfavourably for doing so. The “whistleblowing” employee is also protected from penalisation or unfair treatment by their employer in retaliation for making a protected disclosure according to the Act. The culture as seen in this article is quite evidently in favour of being close-minded and ignoring realities of poor standards within an organisation and as it turns out a major organisation like the HSE can still let standards slip very low and employee’s rights not being heard. For large organisations like the HSE there needs to be a support structure and environment in place where the idea of “whistleblowing” can be treated in confidence and and be used for the purpose of bettering the organisation’s work standards as well as the employee’s feeling that there working rights within the organisation are fully intact and that there is a clear willingness on the employer and the...
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