Whistleblowing is a term oft-used but seldom understood. Currently s43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 lists a very prescribed set of circumstances where someone can make a disclosure in the public interest – when the employer is breaching a legal obligation or committing a criminal offence. Following the case of Nurohamed v Chesterton this disclosure must relate to a significant proportion of the public in order to be in the public interest.
Last month, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) published a report about whistleblowing which found that over 75% whistleblowers suffered detrimental treatment after making disclosures. The report also found the definition of whistleblower was too narrow and that there was nothing in place to protect whistleblowers before or after making their disclosures, only to award damages after they suffer a detriment.
To address this, the report suggests the following should be introduced:
- A new definition of whistleblower to be defined by statute
- The new definition should extend to ethical and moral issues, not just legal ones
- NDAs should not be allowed to gag potential whistleblowers
- Internal and external mechanisms should be set up to protect whistleblowers
- The award for whistleblowing claims should be increased – current average of £15,000.00
Given the huge issues facing government right now, covered in our first article this month, as with the Taylor Report’s review of the gig economy and countless other government reviews left in the long grass until Brexit is resolved, file this this one under to be continued.