Lush is committed to promoting a culture where people feel comfortable talking about their concerns, including highlighting instances of illegal or unethical malpractice. We want to make sure that the workplace is a positive place to be and welcome suggestions on how to improve our working environments. If you have reason to believe that malpractice is taking place, you are encouraged to raise this in accordance with this policy.
What is Whistleblowing?
You’re a whistleblower if you are a worker and you report certain types of wrongdoing - usually something you’ve seen at work. The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest - this means that it must affect others, e.g. the general public. As a whistleblower you are protected by law - you shouldn’t be treated unfairly or lose your job because you ‘blow the whistle’.
When to use this policy
The aim of this policy is to provide a mechanism for reporting, investigating and remedying instances of malpractice in the workplace which applies both to our business and those in our supply chains. You can raise concerns at any time about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the near future.
Malpractice can cover breach of legal obligations, environmental damage, acts of bribery, financial irregularity concerning tax, cash or procedures including facilitation of tax evasion, modern slavery and any attempt by somebody to conceal these things.
In most cases you should not find it necessary to alert anyone externally (such as a regulator) and we strongly encourage you to seek advice before reporting a concern to anyone externally.
Whistleblowing differs to raising a personal grievance (bullying, harassment, discrimination or such like), which isn’t covered by whistleblowing law. If you are a Lush employee and have a concern about the way you are being treated as an individual, rather than a concern about malpractice within the workplace, you should follow the grievance procedure instead. This can be found within our Grievance Policy.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, as amended, prevents you from suffering a detriment or having your contract terminated for ‘whistleblowing’ and we take very seriously any concerns which you may raise under this legislation.
Qualifying Disclosures are where it can be shown that the organisation commits a ‘relevant failure’ by:
● Committing a criminal offence;
● Failing to comply with a legal obligation;
● Committing a miscarriage of justice;
● Endangering the health and safety of an individual;
● Risk or actual environmental damage;
● Concealing any information relating to the above.
How to raise a malpractice concern
All malpractice concerns should be reported to [email protected]. Please be clear that you are intending to “whistleblow” rather than raise an individual grievance.
If you would like external advice on how to raise your concern, Public Concern at Work is an independent charity who provide confidential advice on whistleblowing. They can be contacted on 020 7404 6609.
Lush’s Employee Assistance Program, Health Assured, are also available for free and confidential advice on 0800 030 5182.
What happens next
The initial enquiry will be reviewed and directed to the relevant team depending on the nature of your enquiry. We will then consider how best to proceed - this may include an investigation, and/or interviews with yourself and anyone who is suspected of being involved in the malpractice. The aim with all investigations is to make sure they are as fair and proportionate as possible.
If you have requested to remain anonymous we will take all reasonable steps to ensure this is the case. Anonymity would only be broken where it is reasonably necessary in order to allow for thorough investigation, or to deal with the malpractice. If this happens we will endeavour to ensure that you are not put at a disadvantage as a result and would address any negative behaviour in accordance with our disciplinary process. We will keep you informed of the investigation and any action taken in relation to your concern.
Other staff must not threaten or retaliate against whistleblowers in any way. If you are a Lush employee and are involved in such conduct, you may be subject to disciplinary action. In some cases the whistleblower could have a right to sue you personally for compensation in an employment tribunal. If malpractice is discovered to have taken place anybody responsible within the company will be subject to the disciplinary procedures as set out in our Disciplinary Policy.
Protecting your data
As part of the Whistleblowing process, we may be required to record your personal data, and we will therefore have to request your consent in order to proceed. We will only collect data that is relevant to the process and it will only be held until the report has been fully investigated and resolved.
All personal data is held securely and access is restricted to those individuals who are directly involved in the whistleblowing process. For further information on how Lush handle your personal data please refer to the Lush Privacy Notice on the Lush website.
Consequences of breaches to this policy
You will not be penalised by us for raising a genuine concern. However, if you are a Lush employee and you fail to comply with this policy or we conclude that you have made false allegations maliciously or with a view to personal gain, you may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including your summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct and in the case of non-employees, termination of the relationship.
Status of this policy
This policy does not form part of your contract of employment, and we reserve the right to amend it at any time. Updated versions will be made accessible to all employees.