Startling statistics reveal that despite 51 percent of UK employers claiming confidence in their ability to handle workplace misconduct effectively, just 27 percent of their employees share the same sentiment.

A staggering 91 percent of UK employees are apprehensive about facing retaliation for blowing the whistle on wrongdoing within their organisations.

These findings emphasise the critical need for companies to establish secure and efficient whistleblowing policies.

The latest research, conducted by Personio, Europe’s leading HR software company for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), surveyed 150 employers and 350 employees from various UK companies.

With the UK currently undergoing a review of its whistleblowing laws and new legislation set to take effect across European countries this year, organisations must prepare to implement safe and anonymous whistleblowing channels.

While 75 percent of the surveyed UK employers claim to have whistleblowing policies in place, a concerning 27 percent of employees admit to having no knowledge of their organisations having such policies.

Anonymous electronic reporting

Presently, 45 percent of UK employees report misconduct in person to their HR manager, while 34 percent opt for anonymous electronic reporting. However, the survey results indicate a shift in preferences, with only 34 percent of employees wishing to continue reporting misconduct in person in the future, while 45 percent express a desire to report whistleblowing incidents anonymously via electronic means.

Personio has recently launched Personio Whistleblowing as part of its comprehensive HR software solution. This platform enables employees and external parties to easily, securely, and anonymously report wrongdoing.

Personio Whistleblowing ensures confidentiality and establishes reliable two-way communication channels without disclosing the whistleblower’s identity. This approach grants whistleblowers full control over the information they provide, while simultaneously offering case managers a central point of contact for swift and effective handling of cases, ensuring companies remain compliant with legal requirements.

A valuable asset

Maria Angelidou-Smith, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Personio, commented on these developments, saying, “We all know that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. By offering a channel for safe and anonymous whistleblowing, employees will feel empowered to speak up against wrongdoing.

“As awareness and urgency for official whistleblowing guidelines continue to gain momentum in the UK, organisations now have an opportunity to get ahead. Providing effective whistleblowing policies as part of the overall employee experience will help foster and build a more transparent, safe, and positive company culture.”

As the spotlight on whistleblowing intensifies, it is increasingly evident that organisations need to prioritise the creation and enforcement of robust whistleblowing policies to address the concerns of their employees and ensure ethical practices within the workplace.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.