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Whistleblower Protection

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Estimated Completion, not stated

Whistleblowers are less likely to report workplace misconduct when their employers do not provide clear internal reporting channels. And in some settings, whistleblowing carries connotations of betrayal rather than being seen as a benefit to the public. Ultimately, societies, institutions and citizens lose out when there is no one willing to cry foul in the face of corruption. Whistleblowers are invaluable in exposing corruption, fraud and mismanagement.

Whistleblower Protection

THE PROBLEM

Corruption often goes unchallenged when people do not speak out about it. Witness accounts offer invaluable insights into corruption, and are powerful tools in the fight against it. From exposing multi-million dollar financial scams to dangerous medical practices, whistleblowers play a crucial role in saving resources and even lives.

But for some, blowing the whistle can carry high personal risk – particularly when there is little legal protection against dismissal, humiliation or even physical abuse. Controls on information, libel and defamation laws, and inadequate investigation of whistleblowers’ claims can all deter people from speaking out.

Whistleblowers are less likely to report workplace misconduct when their employers do not provide clear internal reporting channels. And in some settings, whistleblowing carries connotations of betrayal rather than being seen as a benefit to the public. Ultimately, societies, institutions and citizens lose out when there is no one willing to cry foul in the face of corruption.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE SUMMIT?

The Summit communique included:

“We commit to make it easier for people to report suspected acts of corruption, to protect “whistleblowers” from discriminatory and retaliatory actions, and to promote action including by law enforcement agencies where credible information is provided. We support the role that the media, including investigative journalists, the business community, and civil society can play in complementing and reinforcing corruption reporting systems including effective monitoring and follow up.”

At the Anti-Corruption Summit the UK stated: “The UK is committed to providing effective protections for whistleblowers and made recent legislative changes to make the system more transparent. The UK will review the effectiveness of these changes”.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE?

There is little public information available on the intended timelines for reviewing the recent legislative changes, and there is also little clarity over which legislation is to be reviewed.