Could New Whistleblowing Rules Affect You?

Could New Whistleblowing Rules Affect You?

By Stephanie Dixon
18 April 2016

A whistleblower (whistle-blower or whistle blower) is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public.

New rules came into effect on 7 March 2016 in the financial services sector encouraging individuals to blow the whistle on wrongdoing following proposals from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority.

The objective is to formalise whistleblowing arrangements and minimise retaliation against whistleblowers. The approach taken in financial institutions could be broadly applied to other organisations in other sectors. Would you be you ready for the changes?

The potential financial, commercial and reputational risks of not supporting whistleblowers can significantly outweigh the concerns many businesses have about the extent to which they want to encourage staff to report wrongdoing. Since the introduction of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, whistleblowers have had enhanced employment protection rights once they have reported any of the categories of wrongdoing specified in the Employment Rights Act 1996. Employees dismissed for making a whistleblowing report can bring tribunal claims for automatic unfair dismissal for potentially uncapped compensation. Unlike ordinary unfair dismissal, there is no minimum length of service required for this type of claim. Workers who have made whistleblowing reports can also pursue claims if they suffer retaliation, for example demotion, loss of pay or disciplinary action, because they have blown the whistle.

Our experience shows that businesses use a variety of methods for recording their employee relations (ER) case load. The majority of them often have a reactive case management process in place. Establishing a proactive approach can provide greater compliance and consistency including ensuring all employees are treated equitably, from email alerting, real time dashboard, to built in policies so that required timeframes are adhered to in conjunction with steps and stages to be undertaken.

On a daily basis when visiting businesses, I typically see that ER cases are managed via spreadsheets with one of the common challenges being how to keep on top of the cases when people are based geographically all over the world.

ER Tracker is configured around your policy and gives your organisation a proactive approach to employee relations case management including managing whistleblowing - get in touch if you'd like a demo.