South West London Vineyard is committed to being open, honest, and accountable. We actively encourage a free and open culture in all dealings between members of the congregation, volunteers, staff, trustees & workers. Tackling problems is vitally important to maintaining the overall health & well-being of the church and achieving its charitable aims.
This policy is written in the context of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and other legislation, which protects employees and workers who ‘blow the whistle’ on malpractices within their organisation.
The Whistleblowing Policy sets out the framework for dealing with allegations of illegal and improper conduct. South West London Vineyard is committed to the highest standards of transparency, probity, integrity, and accountability.
This policy is intended to provide a means of making serious allegations about standards, conduct, ﬁnancial irregularity or possible unlawful action in a way that will ensure conﬁdentiality and protect those making such allegations, in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so, from being victimised, discriminated against or disadvantaged.
This policy does not replace other policies and procedures such as the Complaints Policy, the Grievance and Harassment and Bullying Policies and other speciﬁcally laid down statutory reporting procedures. This policy is intended to ensure that South West London Vineyard complies with its duty under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
This policy applies to everyone who works for or volunteers at South West London Vineyard. This means employees, workers, ofﬁce holders, volunteers, interns, and contractors.
This policy does not replace other South West London Vineyard policies or procedures. For example, if an employee has a grievance about their working conditions, they should use the South West London Vineyard Grievance Policy or, if they felt that their manager or a colleague was treating them unfavourably, they should use the Harassment and Bullying Policy. Similarly, if an employee has a concern about the conduct of a fellow employee in the working environment (e.g., that they are not treating colleagues with respect) they should raise these with their line manager, or if that is not possible, with the Senior Pastors, Trustees, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland or through the Charity Commission’s whistleblowing policy.
This policy applies to, but is not limited to, allegations around any of the following:
- a criminal offence
- a miscarriage of justice
- an act creating risk to health and safety
- an act causing damage to the environment
- a breach of any other legal obligation
- the unauthorised use of public funds
- possible fraud and corruption
- sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, or bullying or intimidation of employees, customers or service users
- abuse of authority
- spiritual abuse
- other unethical conduct
- concealment of any of the above
You do not need to have proof that such an act is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed. You do, however, need to hold a reasonable belief of such an action having been, being or likely to be carried out.
If you feel unable to whistle blow internally, the matter may be reported directly to the relevant regulator, such as Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland, the Charity Commission or Protect
Reporting an allegation should be made in the first instance, preferably in writing, to Senior Pastors, Neil or Kate Woodward (email@example.com) or, if the concern relates to them, to the SWLV Trustees (firstname.lastname@example.org).
South West London Vineyard recognises that the decision to make an allegation can be a difﬁcult one to make. However, whistleblowers who make serious allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so should have nothing to fear because they are doing their duty either to the church and/or to those for whom the church or they are providing a service.
South West London Vineyard will take all appropriate action to protect a whistleblower who makes a serious allegation, in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so, from any reprisals, harassment, or victimisation.
All allegations will be treated in conﬁdence, and every effort will be made not to reveal a whistleblower’s identity unless the whistleblower otherwise requests. However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through other South West London Vineyard procedures such as the Disciplinary Procedure the relevant confidentiality will apply.
Similarly, if the allegation results in court proceedings, then the whistleblower may have to give evidence in open court if the case is to be successful.
South West London Vineyard will not, without the whistleblower’s consent, disclose the identity of a whistleblower to anyone other than a person involved in the investigation/allegation.
South West London Vineyard will take steps to minimise any difﬁculties which may be experienced as a result of making an allegation. For instance, if a whistleblower is required to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings the Church will arrange for them to receive advice about the procedure and advise on the support mechanisms that are available.
South West London Vineyard accepts that whistleblowers need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, we will inform those making allegations of the outcome of any investigation.
You can read our full policy here: Whistleblowing
If you would like to contact the Trustees, you can do so here: email@example.com