1.1 The University of East London is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability. In conducting its affairs it takes account of the requirements of the funding bodies for the proper use of public funds, and of the standards in public life set out in the reports of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
1.2 The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA), effective from 2 July 1999 and updated in 2013, gives legal protection to employees against being dismissed or penalised by their employers for publicly disclosing concerns falling into certain specified categories (but not others). All staff should be aware that it is a fundamental term of every contract of employment that an employee will faithfully serve his or her employer, and will not disclose confidential information about the employer's operations, which is calculated or likely to destroy the mutual trust and confidence on which the employment relationship is based. However, where an individual discovers prima facie evidence of serious malpractice, impropriety or wrongdoing within the organisation, then the information should be disclosed without fear of reprisal.
1.3 The purpose of this policy is to offer advice to staff about how such "public" disclosure should be made to enjoy the protection of the Act and how each case will then be handled.
1.4 It should be emphasised that the policy, in accordance with PIDA, is concerned with alleged malpractice, impropriety or wrongdoing in the workplace. It is not designed to provide a route through which individuals can publicly question financial or business decisions taken by the University. The policy is also not designed to be used to obtain a rehearing of matters which have already been addressed under harassment, grievance, complaints, or disciplinary procedures.
1.5 It is hoped that members of the University will use this policy rather than air complaints or raise allegations outside the University.
1.6 This policy may not be the most appropriate means to address the concerns that you might have. It may be appropriate to discuss this with your line manager or trade union representative as there may be a way of reaching a resolution without recourse to these procedures. Members of the University Executive Board are fully committed to being receptive to constructive criticism and it is possible to raise issues with them without fear of reprisals.
1.7 As required by the Articles of Government, the Board of Governors shall have regard to the need to ensure that all staff of the University have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or any privileges they may have at the University.