In order to be transparent and ensure our people can access this vitally important information anywhere, we have made this page publicly available. For more information on this subject, we would advise colleagues visit our SFRS "Raising concerns" page on our internal SharePoint site.
Our approach to addressing concerns aims to promote our values: integrity, dignity and respect, leadership, equality, diversity, and inclusion, and putting our communities first.
The routes to raise concerns provide opportunities to stop poor practice at the earliest stage, and before serious incidents take place or it becomes normalised. They aim to ensure the wellbeing and safety of those that work within Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Surrey County Council (SCC), as well as the people we serve. Raising concerns is about safeguarding and protecting, as well as learning from a situation and making improvements.
Whilst it may not always feel easy, the freedom to raise concerns without fear means that employees should feel confidence in "doing the right thing".
Being asked to cover up any risk, inappropriate behaviour or action is wrong. If you are asked not to raise or pursue any concern, even by a person in authority such as a manager or senior manager, you should raise your concerns to an alternative appropriate manager or raise through a reporting mechanism.
Advice on raising concerns
- Make dated notes your concerns and retain them
- Raise your concerns anonymously, speak with HR or an appropriate manager
- Deal with the matter(s) promptly
- Do nothing
- Be afraid to raise your concerns
- Try to investigate the matter in full yourself
- Use the whistleblowing procedure to pursue a personal grievance.
Options/routes to raise concerns
1. SFRS/SCC Grievance process
- Attempt to deal with the issue locally with line management. This may be done in collaboration with the SFRS Fairness and Respect Policy.
- Mediation/restorative conversations (this can be found on the SFRS SharePoint page).
- Employees should raise with their line manager at the earliest opportunity if they are concerned about something. Hopefully this can be discussed and resolved informally, but should it not, the formal grievance process can start.
- Grievance Stage 1 form - send to SFRS Employee Relations
An external investigator will be considered in all SFRS cases involving bullying and harassment.
2. Speak up Service
Speak up is the new service available for SFRS employees. The service is utilised by other emergency service partners and overseen/managed by Crime Stoppers. Don't worry - just because it is managed by Crime Stoppers doesn't mean that it's for crimes only or that the inappropriate behaviour you are reporting will result in a criminal charge.
This 24/7, 365 day a year service is available for all of our people. It is a bespoke service offering the option of both anonymous and confidential reporting which includes our unique two-way online reporting service enabling questions to be passed back even to those colleagues who wish to remain anonymous.
How do I use it?
Call 08000 223 818.
Report online. FRS Speak Up | Crimestoppers (theiline.co.uk)
There is a two-way facility on all online forms which allows further questions be put to the person that provided information if they have remained anonymous. This way, they can gather all of the relevant information.
Any time-critical or out of hours reports will be reported to the Duty Gold Commander to ensure fast and appropriate action is taken.
3. Whistleblowing line - Navax Global
To access the external, independent and completely confidential service provided by Navex global call them on 0800 069 818 (access code can be found on the internal SFRS SharePoint 'Raising Concerns' page) or make a report using this link - EthicsPoint - Surrey County Council. Guidance on how to complete this can be found by searching 'Raising Concerns' on the SFRS SharePoint Hub.
(The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 came into force in July 1999, and its aim is to give statutory protection against victimisation and dismissal, to workers who speak out against corruption and malpractice at work. Workers are often in the best position to know when the public's interest is being put at risk and the legal protection of the Act should allow workers to raise these concerns without fear of reprisal.).
4. Incident reporting and recording
For SFRS use this link to report: OSHENS
It is essential that all workplace health and safety incidents are recorded so that we can establish whether we need to implement additional precautions to keep colleagues safe at work. We require that all accidents, health and safety incidents or concerns, instances of abuse, threats or violence and near miss incidents be recorded in the online accident book, OSHENS.
If you have been injured at work, or seen or been involved in a near miss incident, abuse/threat/violence or a dangerous occurrence, or if your doctor has certified that you have a work-related reportable disease (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Occupational Dermatitis, Hand Arm Vibration, Occupational Asthma, Tendonitis/Tenosynovitis, Cramp of Hand or Forearm), you must report it on OSHENS.