Whistleblowing details to be passed on to regulators under government plans

Under plans set out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), employment tribunal will have to pass on details of whistleblowing incidents to the relevant regulators, such as the Health & Safety Executive and the Serious Fraud Office.

DBIS said the measure is designed to make it easier for regulators to assess whistleblowing claims and decide whether further action needs to be taken.

“This consultation aims to create a clear mechanism for keeping regulators informed, whilst ensuring that unsubstantiated allegations against companies are not made public,” the DBIS said.

Employees who blow the whistle on what they see as malpractice by their employers do so under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Should they bring a subsequent case to the Employment Tribunal, it would focus on the position of the claimant rather than the detail of the concern they had raised.

The government wants to change this practice.

Lord Young, employment relations minister, said: “This is an important step forward in improving the flow of information between tribunals and industry regulators. This change in the rules will help provide an early warning system for patterns of unlawful, fraudulent or dangerous behaviour emerging within an industry.”

One change envisaged by the consultation process is that once a whistleblowing claim is lodged at tribunal, a copy will be passed to the relevant regulator. The government hopes the changes will come into effect in April 2010.

View the consultation document online

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