Supporting Whistleblowers everywhere
WhistleblowersUK is assisting people all over the country who have disclosures that they wish to make or have made. Issues brought to WhistleblowersUK include failure to meet statutory targets, unexplained high death rates, price fixing, under staffing in prisons, delayed emergency services response times, corrupt behaviour, changes to sell by dates, misreporting of emissions, dispensing and prescribing errors, financial misconduct, safeguarding issues and procurement and contract discrepancies.
Disclosures have been made from members of staff from the public, private and charity sectors. Small organisations, multinational companies and large public sector services have had members of staff make disclosures that are in the public interest to be investigated. WhistleblowersUK is proud to support whistle-blowers everywhere.
If you are concerned about something in your workplace and you are thinking about whistleblowing and are worried about what might happen if you do, or have already blown the whistle and are experiencing difficulties, get in touch.
Making way for change
Office for the whistleblower
Current regulatory bodies do not adequately support whistleblowers or hold wrong-doers to account. In our experience regulatory bodies, e.g. Police, Financial Conduct Authority, do not provide adequate support for whistleblowers nor do they hold those who act unlawfully against whistleblowers sufficiently to account.
Even the recent change in the NHS, the creation of the National Guardian’s Office, has by no means rectified the situation.
We propose a largely self-funding independent organisation (this is optional as, although very possible, government funding would be simpler), reporting to the Home Office (to be determined) that acts on behalf of all potential and actual whistleblowers.
The Office would have statutory powers to carry out its functions, including access to all relevant documentation, etc., and act as the overseer of all regulatory bodies dealing with cases of whistleblowing.
Almost all whistle-blowing cases are dealt with in Employment Tribunals as cases of wrongful dismissal. These tribunals do not have the specialist expertise and knowledge adequately to determine just outcomes in whistle-blowing cases.
We propose specialist training and accreditation of lawyers and Tribunal members before they are allowed to sit in judgement of cases involving Protected Disclosures.
criminal sanctions for those who act unlawfully against whistleblowers
Under the current law whistleblowers are entitled to present a complaint to an employment tribunal that they have been subjected to a detriment if they suffer detriment as a result of making protected disclosures. In practice this is often of little value as the costs of litigation are so high and the awards in tribunals relatively low.
There are no sanctions for those who cause the detriment other than the possibility of litigation costs and financial penalties imposed on the organisation at a tribunal. There is no personal responsibility for wrong-doing. It seems that senior staff are able to cause detriment to whistleblowers with impunity, and they do.
We propose a new offence be created of causing detriment to people who have made protected disclosures, punishable by a substantial fine and/or imprisonment and the power to order compensation be paid to the whistleblower. This compensation to be paid by the convicted person and is different from other compensation awarded to the whistleblower.
In many cases the compensation paid is limited solely to that relevant to employment and does not take into account the often considerable personal and financial hardships suffered as a result of the behaviour of the management of the organisation.
We propose that Tribunals should award exemplary damages additional to that reflecting loss of earnings and future opportunities, as recognition of the unlawful detriments caused.
Compensation for whistleblowers
Whistleblowers often suffer great hardship, financially and in their personal lives. It is very important that they should receive full compensation for this detriment.
We should also recognise that they have brought to light criminal activity or wrong-doing that will have resulted in benefits to individuals and society as a whole. For example, protection of the vulnerable from abuse, fraud prevention, tax recovery and exposing corrupt practices. These actions that benefit society should be encouraged and recognised by way of financial compensation, and perhaps other forms of recognition, separate from that awarded by the tribunals. The amount can be determined by the Office for the Whistleblower from its funds. Other awards are determined in the usual way.
These proposals are intended to challenge the secrecy that obscures whistleblower cases, ensure regulatory bodies do their jobs effectively, add expertise to relevant legal processes, bring to account those who persecute whistleblowers and ensure whistleblowers are properly recognised for their selflessness and sacrifice in speaking up about crimes and injustice.
Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of a fair society.
Use the form below to contact us regarding your legal enquiry. Please be as detailed as possible. Include your industry along with any specific document requests. To help us best service your enquiry, we recommend that you first describe the issue you’re having before telling us what you want to achieve. You may also email or call us to make an appointment.
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