Essex County Council Whistleblowing Hotline Case Study
Essex County Council (ECC) serves a population of 1.4 million people across 1,300 square miles, a hugely diverse county with one of the UK’s newest cities (Chelmsford) and England’s oldest recorded town (Colchester).
- Following an annual survey of the councils employees, the councils wanted to introduce an Anti-bullying Hotline and Filtering Service to reduce workplace harassment and bullying
Expolink were already providing the Council’s whistleblowing service. As a separate facility, Expolink also worked with ECC to develop and set up the Anti-bullying Hotline and Filtering service.
The anti-bullying link line operates by phone or by email, to give choice and to make the service widely accessible. Expolink receive the call (or email contact), reassure the caller, and check basic information before matching the caller with an ECC Anti-bullying Link.
Expolink carried out specific training with their operators on ECC’s agreed framework of responses to ensure a professional and effective service.
- Find out whether callers are centrally employed ECC staff
- Identify a caller’s location and Directorate
- Enquire whether the caller believes there is a diversity-related element to the matter, and if so, whether they would prefer a Link who identifies with this, where possible
- Then match the caller with an appropriate Anti-bullying Link from a supplied list, by gaining both parties’ agreement before passing on contact information
- Expolink can advise on the aims and role of the Anti-bullying Link service, to help a caller decide whether they wish to progress the referral.
- Where a caller works on ECC premises but is not directly employed by ECC, Expolink can also direct someone to other non-Council support services.
This solution enables the Council to monitor uptake easily, to co-ordinate and support its Anti-bullying Links, ensuring service availability and a manageable distribution of calls.
The Council can track the overall picture and distribution of contacts from across its main service areas (Directorates). Above all, EEC has an effective and impartial mechanism of providing proactive support, demonstrating it is serious about tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace.