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Protect victory in Utilities Act amendment

We are delighted our Government lobbying has paid off with an amendment to Section 105 of the Utilities Act 2000. This Section was introduced to protect national security interests and commercial secrets but lacked any protection for whistleblowers in the regulated energy sector from speaking out about wrongdoing – and if they did – they could have faced fines or jail for up to two years. The new Government amendments now allow whistleblowers to raise concerns and be protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). In addition, they will not face prosecution by pursuing a legal claim at an employment tribunal.

Protect Chief Executive Liz Gardiner said, “We’re pleased that this overly-restrictive law has been amended so that whistleblowers can speak up without fearing of committing an offence. This is a step forward for whistleblowing in the energy sector, but the Government needs to review similar restrictions on whistleblowers still present in numerous other acts”.