This July the Government published the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013, commonly known as the “Whistleblowing Bill”. The aim of the bill is to combat corruption and promote a culture of public accountability and transparency. The Bill encourages workers to disclose information relating to wrongdoing in the workplace by offering protection against penalisation should they make a protected disclosure / blow the whistle.
When the Bill is enacted, likely to be later this Autumn, a whistleblower’s protection will include protection from dismissal or any form of penalisation by their employer. If an employee is found to have been dismissed unfairly for having made a protected disclosure, employers could be faced with compensation payments of up to 5 years remuneration. The usual service level of 1 year for cases of unfair dismissal will not apply to Whistleblowing cases.
In preparation of this new legislation, employers are advised to start reviewing their internal policies and procedures and to start considering establishing a robust whistleblowing policy to suit their business. Should you require assistance, Bright Contracts will be providing template policies and guidance on how deal with whistleblowing complaints.