G4S employees who have concerns about behaviour which is contrary to the group standards are encouraged to raise their concerns
To ensure compliance with our business ethics code and policies we provide whistle-blowing facilities so that any practices which do not comply with these standards can be reported confidentially and investigated thoroughly.
G4S requires all businesses to provide employees with a facility to report concerns locally to a senior manager. These might include fraud, theft, harassment, discrimination or non-compliance with regulations, legislation, policies or procedures.
Employees who have concerns about behaviour which is contrary to the group standards are advised to raise their concerns, anonymously if they wish, with their local human resources or finance director in the first instance. Alternatively they can raise concerns through the local business telephone hotline or email address which all businesses had in place by the end of 2011.
Employees can also report serious concerns at a corporate level through the global employee hotline service (Safe2Say). The Safe2Say service is 24-hour confidential hotline with toll free calls, dedicated multi-language capability and an internet-based case tool for the effective investigation and response to employee concerns.
All concerns reported via Safe2Say or received through other means at a corporate level are reviewed directly by the head of internal audit. Where our investigations reveal evidence of unethical conduct, disciplinary action is taken which may range from a formal reprimand to termination of employment.
Our achievements in 2012
The priority for 2012 was to ensure that the whistle-blowing reporting operates fully at both a local and corporate level. The numbers of calls received has been monitored and the focus has been on ensuring that all employees are aware of the hotline facilities and information on their appropriate use. Steps have been taken to promote the group Safe2Say hotline as well as the local hotlines.
We have also improved the reporting and investigation of serious issues raised by ensuring that these are routinely provided to the head of internal audit.
The chart below shows an analysis of the whistle-blowing concerns raised at group level over the last two years.
In 2012 there was a 46% decrease in issues raised by employees through whistle-blowing at a corporate level. Over 60% of the calls relate to HR issues with the remainder relating to ethical or financial, tax or regulatory issues. Over 95% of the issues raised during 2012 have to date been investigated and, where required, action taken.
The reduction in whistle-blowing at a corporate level reflects the full year operation of local business telephone hotline/email services which receive and deal with less serious employee calls. In many cases the calls are of a routine nature, such as requesting information. This is particularly the case in our Asia Middle East Region where our India business, which employs over 120,000 staff, set up a new state of the art employee welfare hotline call centre in August 2011. This is a highly professional call centre with six full time agents and a quality manager who handle and follow-up concerns with a clear escalation process.
Our priorities for 2013
In terms of whistle-blowing, in 2013 we plan to:
- Further enhance the promotion of hotline services to employees
- Introduce a grading system so that it is easier to identify the importance of calls received and ensure that they are appropriately investigated and reported.