The trend for employees at transport and logistics organisations to use whistleblowing hotlines has accelerated following last year's Hollywood harassment scandals.
New research shows a 7% increase in calls in 2017 according to Expolink, European provider of outsourced speak up "whistleblowing" services.
Expolink's annual Whistleblowing Benchmarking Report includes an analysis of 8,281 reports raised by UK employees in 2017. Expolink hotlines cover over 600 major organisations worldwide employing 5.35 million people, including more than 20 of the UK and Europe's largest transport and logistics businesses.
John Wilson, Expolink's Chief Executive, said: "The tsunami of public whistleblowing that was unleashed in the autumn following revelations in Hollywood, and then elsewhere, has emboldened Britain's transport employees to increasingly report workplace problems, whether harassment or other issues.
"The rise is particularly notable in the transport and logistics sector where problems can include Health & Safety/Environmental Safety (HSES) issues, which account for more than 15% of all reports from this sector, almost three times higher than the UK average.
"However, the percentage of HSES reports has almost halved for the transport and logistics sector over the past year (HSES issues accounted for 28% of this sector's reports in 2016). This suggests employees are reporting HSES breaches less frequently, which employers need to look into, but a wider range of issues are being reported by employees within this sector.
"The nature of the transport and logistics sector presents organisations with unique challenges when it comes to promoting and managing a speak up "whistleblowing" service. Such challenges include the split of the workforce between warehouse, transport and back office environments. Nonetheless, the leading companies in this sector have successfully introduced a whistleblowing service, using a multi-pronged approach to ensure employees know where to raise their concerns, whether they are in an office or on-the-road."
Expolink's research has shown that in recent years employees have become more comfortable with speaking up and using whistleblowing hotlines where they see unsafe, dishonest or inappropriate activity. This trend has leapt forward since the autumn following the Hollywood and ensuing scandals, which has encouraged employees to examine their own organisations more objectively and speak up if they see unethical behaviour.
John Wilson added: "Readily available speak-up channels, combined with a culture of listening to employee concerns, is often the best defence for organisations against festering problems that could eventually lead to injuries, staff problems or even damage to the company's reputation. By having a whistleblowing service in place it helps to identify issues before they escalate, providing management is willing to listen, of course."
The top three issues most likely to be reported by UK employees on whistleblower hotlines (2017) in transport and logistics sector:
|Transport & logistics sector||UK average||Type of issue|
|27.6%||23.3%||HR (including Duty of Care, Grievance with Colleague or Manager, Gross Misconduct and Unfair Dismissal)|
|17.1%||14.4%||Bullying, Discrimination or Harassment (Including all forms of Discrimination, Sexual and Other Harassment, Victimisation and Abuse)|
|15.3%||5.9%||Health & Safety / Environmental Safety|
How UK employees were most likely to "speak up" in 2017:
|Transport & logistics||UK average|
|52.9%||60%||Telephone (Hotline Operator)|
|0%||1%||Post and Mobile App (mobile app introduced summer 2017)|