Whistleblower guidance marks decade of Public Interest Disclosure Act

Employers have been urged to adopt a new code of practice launched to mark the 10th anniversary of landmark legislation designed to protect staff who blow the whistle on organisations’ wrongdoing.

The guidance was published by BSI British Standards and charity Public Concern at Work (PCAW) a decade on from the introduction of the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

That law protects workers from detrimental treatment or victimisation by their employer if, in the public interest, they speak out about dodgy practices.

PCAW director Guy Dehn said the code would provide valuable guidance to employers on how to set up the right whistleblowing procedures.

“The organisations involved [in drafting the code] all said it would prove very helpful and practical,” he said.

Dehn praised the impact of the Public Interest Disclosure Act in boosting workplace transparency.

“The culture is much better, individuals are more likely to blow the whistle on wrongdoing, and organisations are more likely to actively promote their whistleblowing procedures,” he said.

But the law needed some “tinkering”, he said, as there was still too much secrecy in claims brought under the Act. However, Dehn said he was not in favour of recent Home Office proposals that said whistleblowers could be rewarded for coming forward – as they are in the US – by getting a 15-30% cut of any money recovered.

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