The group whistleblowing arrangements provide a valuable opportunity for employees to raise concerns, anonymously if they wish.
Every employee has a responsibility to ensure that they uphold our core values, adhere to the law and deliver against the important commitments set out in our business ethics policy and ethics code. One of the key methods of ensuring that we maintain high standards of ethics and integrity is to ensure that employees are able to report concerns that they may have about the business, or the activities of individuals, that they believe contravene our ethics code.
Hotline and case management channels allows all employees and former employees to raise ethical matters of concern online or via a free telephone service. Both channels are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are completely confidential.
Another area that has been improved is the way we select and appoint the people who carry out investigations. In addition to the internal audit team, we have appointed a wider network of investigators (all of whom have received additional training) with the integrity and expertise to deal with confidential matters relating to financial issues, ethical issues, bribery issues, or issues relating to any of our policies as they arise.
The ethics steering group will continue to oversee the successful implementation of Speak Out, monitoring its caseload and carrying out as well as carrying out regular review of cases being reported, investigation progress and resulting actions.