Whistleblowing commission report
In February 2013, Public Concern at Work launched the Commission to review the effectiveness of whistleblowing in UK workplaces to make recommendations for change. The Commission which is an independent body made up of industry and academic experts has made 25 recommendations for improving whistleblowing across UK workplaces.
The primary recommendation of the Commission is for the Secretary of State to adopt a Code of Practice that could be taken into account in whistleblowing cases before courts and tribunals.The Commission has published a draft Code which sets out clear standards for organisations across all sectors to enable them to have clear whistleblowing arrangements. The Code of Practice is designed to help regulators to assess and inspect whistleblowing arrangements. The Code of Practice can now be picked up by organisations who are looking to achieve the highest standards in ensuring that workers are encouraged to speak up and when they do, that they are listened to.
THE KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION:
- The Secretary of State to adopt the Commission’s Code of Practice detailing whistleblowing arrangements in the workplace. This Code of Practice to be taken into account by courts and tribunals when whistleblowing issues arise. (Rec 1)
- Regulators to require or encourage the adoption of this Code of Practice by those they regulate. (Rec 2)
- Regulators should review the licence or registration of organisations which fail to have in place effective whistleblowing arrangements. (Rec 3)
- Regulators to be more transparent about their own whistleblowing arrangements and annually report on their operations. (Rec 5)
- Specific provisions against the blacklisting of whistleblowers. (Rec 10)
- Strengthening anti-gagging provisions in the law. (Recs 17 & 18)
- Specialist training for tribunal members to handle whistleblowing claims effectively. (Rec 21)
- Strengthening and clarifying the legal protection for whistleblowers contained within the Public Interest Disclosure Act. (Recs 8-20)
- Updating and broadening the definition of worker to include: student nurses, doctors, social workers and health care workers; volunteers and interns; priests; foster carers; non-executive directors; public appointments; LLP members and all categories of workers listed under the Equality Act 2010. (Rec 10)
EVIDENCE CONSIDERED BY THE COMMISSION
- The Commission gathered evidence by launching a public consultation in March 2013.
The Commission received 142 responses from employers, regulators, MPs, campaigning organisations and whistleblowers.
- Research into 1,000 whistleblowing cases by Public Concern at Work and the University of Greenwich, “Whistleblowing: the inside story”, published May 2013.
- Research into the financial services sector by Public Concern at Work and Slater & Gordon, “Silence in the City”, published June 2013.
- The YouGov Survey into whistleblowing attitudes and experiences amongst UK workers, published June 2013. A Public Concern at Work and EY business survey, published September 2013.
- For enquiries, please contact Shonali Routray on 020 3117 2520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.