Routines for whistleblowing

Adopted by Forskerforbundet's Executive Board on 15 June 2021.

The purpose of the routines

The purpose of the initiative is to make sure that critical irregularities in the organization will be revealed, so that action can be taken to prevent or correct them. Forskerforbundet ensures a process for its members, and representatives or participants in activities organized by Forskerforbundet to feel safe to inform or reveal a wrongdoing in Forskerforbundet without this haveing negative consequences for the informer.

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is to report a wrongdoing or misconduct that is against the law, rules or acceptable conduct, so an action can be taken to improve the situation.

Who can use this option of whistleblowing?

Members or elected union representatives or a participant in any activity organized by Forskerforbundet can submit a complaint of misconduct. You can report conditions in the organization that you perceive as inappropriate or that you see that others find inappropriate. If you are informed about a situation, you will need to know who to contact and what to do.

What types of misconduct can you report?

  • Harassment
  • Discriminating
  • Fraud
  • Danger for health or safety

This is just a few examples of misconduct and is not intended as a complete list.

Harassment is omission or statements that has a purpose or effect to be offensive, intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating.

Someone that experiences this treatment and wants to report this, should first try taking it up with the person involved. If this isn’t possible because of repercussions or not in their best interest, a notification will be relevant and appropriate. Likewise, where such informing has been attempted and it has not led to improvement/change in what has been raised. The fact that one disagrees with a decision that has been taken is not justification enough for the conditions to be considered objectionable.

Who can you notify misconduct to?

Reporting should start at the lowest level such as with your local elected representative, unless the representative is the culprit. If the misconduct isn’t followed up, then it should be reported to the next level. If it isn’t followed up by your local representative, then you should notify Forskerforbundet's internal whistleblower committee led by the General Secretary.

If you do not have a local elected representative, then you can contact Forskerforbundet’s notification committee.

It is important that one doesn’t fail to notify because of being uncertain of which authority is correct. All agencies must contribute to ensuring that a notice is processed correctly and responsibly.

Notification content

Reporting misconduct should follow these guidelines:

  • The notification should be delivered in a reasonable, factual, calm manner.
  • The notification should be built on a justifiable base
  • The notice should include relevant, concrete information, including the affected persons involved, possibly witnesses, and other relevant information to support the issue.
  • Place, date, time and what happened should be included.

You can notify us anonymous, but it may be necessary to identify the involved person, to follow up the case.

Case management

After receiving a notice, the case manager has a deadline of 3 days to contact the affected party, and to send verification that the notice is received and record all relevant information about the incident. If the notice is submitted anonymously, it can be difficult to follow thru, but it must be recorded and followed up.

The person notified must inititate a preliminary investigation. Depending on the content of the notification and who is involved, it must be assessed how and at what level the incident is to be followed up and handled.

Both sides in the case must always be heard. The process must be held confidential, to protect all the parties and the event involved and the right to contradiction must be allowed.

All person submitting complaints, have the right to confidentiality.

The parties involved must be oriented on the process and about any delays.

If the notice can be confirmed or denied with a simple investigation, the case can be closed at the current level.

If the local representative can’t determine if the find has blameworthy conditions, then the case must be sent to Forskerforbundet’s internal whistleblower committee. Likewise, the whistleblower can raise the matter to the internal whistleblower committee if the person concerned believes the matter is not being followed up correctly.

Whistleblower committe

The investigating (whistleblowing) committee consists of the General Secretary and the organization’s two arbitrators. If the committee doesn’t have enough evidence to confirm or deny the case  by simple investigation, they can determine if the case should be closed or sent to an external attorney and reviewing committee.

The external committee is appointed by the Executive Board at the first meeting in the election period in addition to an external attorney and two experienced local representatives.

The purpose of the investigation is to find out whether there has been a breach of Forskerfobundet’s statues or guidelines, or whether there are other objectional matters which the association should investigate further. The process should not be too lengthy and proper case management must be ensured which also ensures that the case is adequately disclosed.

The external (whistleblower) committee must conclude a final report after investigating the situation. The final report is sent to the association’s internal whistleblowing committee for following up at the end of the case.

Closing the case

When the case has been reviewed and all analyzations have been presented, the results must be passed on to the affected parties. If there are objections, the association must take measures to solve the conflicts.

Initiative and reaction options

Which measures/initiatives/reactions can or should be taken depends on the seriousness of the case and on the roles of the affected person in Forskerforbundet. In the event of possible unlawful conduct, there must be consideration of reported the action to the police.

Forskerforbundet – local level

The local union representative has the possibility to reprimand and ban the person concerned from the local branch's events. If the problem persists, the case should be sent to Forskerforbundet’s internal whistleblowing committee for further follow up or actions.

Forskerforbundet – central level

The Executive Board can react by reprimanding and or banning the person concerned from future events under the associations’s auspice. In addition the Executive Board can decide on exclusion from Forskerforbundet’s in accordance with the Articles of Association § 18.

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