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Whistleblowing, safeguarding and complaints

Co-operatives UK is committed to the highest standards of openness and accountability. Read our Whistleblowing, Safeguarding and Complaints policies and how to raise concerns.

Whistleblowing

Co-operatives UK is committed to the highest standards of openness and accountability. In line with that commitment, we want our employees, members and wider stakeholders to feel safe and confident to speak up openly and to raise concerns about actions and behaviours that go against our values, the law and ethical conduct. Co-operatives UK takes malpractice or misconduct seriously and is committed to a culture of openness, trust and respect in which every stakeholder can report legitimate concerns and be assured of protection against victimisation, discrimination or disadvantage.

Co-operatives UK has adopted a whistleblowing policy that you can read in full here. It sets out the aims of the policy, the areas it covers and the process we will follow once a concern is raised.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To enable Co-operatives UK to act quickly against any potential malpractice to ensure it conducts its business with the highest standards of integrity and honesty at all times
  • To identify risks that Co-operatives UK may not know about
  • To remind members, stakeholders and the public to speak out in confidence if they have concerns and to be assured that they do not need to provide evidence for their concerns to be raised
  • To raise awareness of the importance of preventing and eliminating wrongdoing at work. Employees, member and wider stakeholders should be watchful for illegal or unethical conduct and report anything of that nature that they become aware of
  • To be reassured that any person raising concerns will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation having made a disclosure in good faith
  • To highlight that there are other routes to raise concerns if a person feels that they cannot speak up

Any person that raises concerns under this policy can be assured that any matter raised will be investigated thoroughly, promptly and confidentially, and the outcome of the investigation reported back to the person who raised the concern.

How to raise a concern

If you wish to raise a concern, having read the Whistleblowing Policy, you can send an email to [email protected] or leave an answerphone message on 0161 214 1799. Only our Whistleblowing Officer has access to this account and phone number.

For Co-operatives UK employees, where concerns are of a personal nature, they should be reported using other more appropriate procedures.

Safeguarding

Co-operatives UK is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and accepts our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of everyone with whom we may have a business relationship. Co-operatives UK takes a broad view of safeguarding and believes that anyone, at any time, could be considered ‘vulnerable’.

Co-operatives UK has a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, unlawful discrimination and restraint. This includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial or material abuse, neglect and acts of omission, and discriminatory abuse.

We believe that everyone, regardless of age, ability or disability, gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or gender status have the right to be protected from abuse and poor practice. We will always respect the rights, dignity and worth of those we come into contact with, including vulnerable adults and young adults at risk. Additionally, we recognise that ability and disability can change over time, so that some people may become additionally vulnerable to abuse, for example where they have increased dependency on others or increasing communication difficulties.

Co-operatives UK has adopted a safeguarding policy that you can read in full here. This policy is applicable to all Co-operatives UK employees and any members, contractors or third parties running programmes or activities with us or on our behalf. The policy sets out our commitments, our responsibilities and the procedure we will follow when a concern is raised.

How to raise a concern

If you believe that a young adult at risk or a vulnerable adult with whom we have a business relationship is being, or is at risk of being, abused, you must report this immediately to your manager or to the Lead Safeguarding Officer (john.atherton@uk.coop 0161 214 1765). If you are concerned that someone is in immediate danger, please contact the police straight away.

This policy should be read in conjunction with our whistleblowing policy. If you have concerns relating to safeguarding or the welfare of a vulnerable adult or young adult at risk, we prefer that you raise those concerns immediately using the procedure set out in this policy. If you would prefer to raise these issues anonymously you can do so using our whistleblowing policy.

Complaints

At Co-operatives UK, we always seek to provide a high-quality service to everyone we deal with and to work in a way which is open, builds trust and is respectful. In order to do this we need you to tell us when we get things wrong.

We also know that, whilst we always strive for excellence, sometimes we will fall short of expectations. Any expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a formal response, whether or not it is justified, will be dealt with as a complaint.

We will listen to complaints, treat them seriously, resolve them as quickly as possible and learn from them so that we can continuously improve.

We hope that you are able to resolve your concern easily through a telephone call or email to the Co-operatives UK person that you have been speaking to. However, if your concern cannot be dealt with informally, Co-operatives UK has adopted a complaints policy which you can read in full here. It sets out the scope of the policy, what is covered by it and the process we will follow once a complaint is made.

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