NSPCC suspends whistleblower

Children’s charity the NSPCC has suspended one of the
employees who told Community Care about staff reaction to
the charity’s restructuring plans, writes Lauren

Social worker John Power, who is also the British Union of
Social Work Employees’ representative for the charity’s
helpline, was suspended from work last week for forwarding
confidential information.

The e-mail sent by Power to Community Care included
extracts from the charity’s intranet chat page. That chat
page has since been closed down.

BUSWE general secretary Steve Anslow said the union would be
disputing the charity’s action against Power on the grounds
that the information was already in the public domain.

The extracts revealed the disappointment and shock of employees
across the country about the NSPCC’s plans to scrap 18
projects. Staff were angry not only about the prospect of
redundancy or relocation, but the gap in service provision for
vulnerable children that they felt would be left following the
projects’ closures. They were also unhappy about the
NSPCC’s “consultation” process.

The NSPCC earlier dismissed suggestions that staff would be
sanctioned if they spoke out against the alignment and consultation
process, as “nonsense”.

“We have been entirely focused on communicating with individual
members of staff and giving them opportunities to raise concerns
with us directly,” it said in a statement in November.

The NSPCC declined to comment on Power’s case, saying that
it was not the charity’s policy to comment on disciplinary
action relating to individual members of staff.

The final alignment plans agreed at the end of November revealed
little change from the proposals and confirmed 88 redundancies.
Anslow said the union was still in meetings with the NSPCC to try
to reverse at least some of the decisions.












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