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Speak Up Facility

Introduction

Channel 4 is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and behaviour in everything we do. That includes not just compliance with applicable laws and regulation, but aspiring to work in a manner consistent with the best ethical principles and practices. This extends to all channel 4 staff as well as programme-makers and online producers (‘Producers’) when carrying out their work for Channel 4.

This Speak Up facility is designed to encourage you to speak up if you have any concerns around unlawful or unethical behaviour when carrying out your work for or on behalf of Channel 4.

The facility is aimed at providing Producers with a confidential process whereby they can escalate concerns to senior Channel4 management to investigate. We are committed to dealing with everything that is reported promptly, fairly and confidentially.

Examples of when to use this facility include concerns over:

  • Malpractice, Fraud, Bribery or Corruption;
  • Other criminal offences or illegal acts;
  • Conduct which has endangered, or is likely to endanger the health & safety of an individual;
  • Conduct that has damaged, or is likely to damage the environment; and
  • Concealment of information relating to any of the above.

Important note: This facility does not apply to personal employment issues which should be escalated within your company. This would include disputes about pay, hours or conditions in the workplace. In those circumstances you should raise the matter with your employer through their own internal procedures.

Where to get advice

In general, you should first discuss any concerns with your line manager at your company. However, if you believe this is not appropriate then there are a number of other sources of help, depending on the circumstances:

  • Does your company have a HR department you can talk to?
  • Can you talk to a senior company manager or executive above your line manager?
  • Does your company have a comparable Speak Up facility you can use?
The Channel 4 Speak Up facility

For situations where you are uncomfortable using the procedures outlined above or where you believe that your company has not adequately addressed your concerns, the Channel 4 Speak Up facility provides you with a further route.

Speak Up Principles

If you choose to use Speak Up:

  • Your confidentiality will be respected and the information you provide will be shared only with those responsible at Channel 4 for investigating the matter;
  • All concerns that are raised will be investigated appropriately and as thoroughly as possible; and
  • While you may chose to remain anonymous, this may in some circumstances limit Channel 4’s ability to fully investigate your concerns and report any findings to you.

No-one raising a concern will be disadvantaged as a result of speaking up so long as:

  • The issue is raised in good faith;
  • The concern is genuine and not malicious; and
  • You are not committing a criminal offence.

Channel 4 will not tolerate any retaliation against an individual for raising a concern, making a report or assisting in an investigation. Anyone who knowingly conceals wrongdoing, attempts to victimise, harass or deter a person raising a concern, or anyone raising a concern that they know to be false or malicious, will face appropriate action by Channel 4. This could result in summary dismissal in the case of Channel 4 staff, termination of the relevant contractual relationship with Channel 4, or the matter being handed over to the appropriate authorities to investigate further.

What should Speak Up be used for

Typically this would be used for situations of suspected or actual:

  • Malpractice, fraud, bribery or corruption;
  • Other criminal offences or illegal acts;
  • Conduct which has endangered, or is likely to endanger the health and safety of an individual;
  • Conduct that has damaged, or is likely to damage the environment; or
  • Concealment of information relating to any of the above.

How do I raise a concern?

The first line communication is to our Speak Up facility which is managed by an external company called Expolink. Expolink pass on the details of matters raised to Channel 4’s internal Evaluation Group (see below). The Evaluation Group will then communicate with you directly.

Please quote ‘Channel 4’ as the company name in your communications with Expolink, so that your concerns can be correctly escalated.

On receipt of a communication by Expolink, you will be taken through a scripted process by them to extract as much detail about the problem as possible.

No counselling or advice will be given to you by Expolink except referral to C4’s Evaluation Group. Expolink does not filter, grade, or verify the content of communications, and makes no value judgement on the content of the communication. Details of all communications received by Expolink will be passed on to C4’s Evaluation Group.

Communications to Expolink are treated on a strictly confidential basis.

Anonymity

When reporting an issue through the Speak Up facility you will be given the option to remain anonymous; however disclosing your name will make it easier to conduct a thorough investigation should one be required. Your name will be kept confidential internally unless we are required to disclose it as a result of legal proceedings or a court order. If you choose to remain anonymous you can continue to communicate with C4 through Expolink, and will be given a case number to quote in your communications.

C4 undertake never to put undue pressure on an individual to obtain details which may enable them to be identified, if they have chosen to remain anonymous.

How to contact Expolink?

Calls

Expolink’s phone lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can choose to either speak to an agent or to leave a secure voice message. You will be given a unique log number in case they wish to call back later with more details.

Phone: 0800 374 199

E-mail

Reports can also be made by e-mail to:

channel4@expolink.co.uk

Website

Reports can also be made using Expolink’s secure website:

https://wrs.expolink.co.uk/Channel4

What happens next?

Expolink will summarise the matter and pass on details of your communication to the Evaluation Group. The details of the matter will then be reviewed by the Evaluation Group, which for the purposes of issues concerning production companies will be drawn from the following Channel 4 employees:

  • The Group Finance Director
  • The Head of Human Resources;
  • The Head of Business Assurance;
  • Channel 4’s General Counsel; and
  • The Deputy Chief Creative Officer.

The Evaluation Group may wish to interview you to obtain more details or an understanding of the issues. The purpose of the interview will be to obtain as much information as possible in order to inform potential next steps. You may bring a trade union representative or a work colleague of your choice to any meetings under this policy. Your companion must respect the confidentiality of your disclosure and any subsequent investigation.

The Evaluation Group will recommend next steps that may include one or more of the following:

  • Internal investigation by Channel 4 Business Assurance
  • Investigation by external investigators appointed by Channel 4
  • Reporting of the matter to the police or an appropriate public authority.

You will receive a response and feedback as soon as is practicable and no later than 28 working days, after the Evaluation group has considered your matter.

If you remain anonymous the feedback will be sent to you via Expolink.

If any member of the Evaluation Group believes that they have had any previous involvement, conflict or interest in the matter being reported, they will stand down. In such cases Channel 4 may appoint a designated alternative provided they are a senior manager.

Resolving an issue

Once a decision has been reached as to which action(s) will be taken, you will be given feedback on this at the conclusion of the investigation. You will be told, as far as is possible, what action Channel 4 has taken. We may not be able to fully report back in all instances, for example if the matter has been referred to the police.

Results of investigations will be routinely reported up to the Channel 4 Board’s Audit Committee on a confidential basis.

Every effort will be made to give your call a quick response and to deal with your question or concern promptly, especially when circumstances make it time critical.