Employment law: calls to increase whistleblower protection

Present employment laws do not sufficiently protect whistleblowers

A new study has implied that present employment laws fail to sufficiently protect and compensate whistleblowers.

According to Blueprint for Free Speech (BFS), the Public Interest Disclosure Act (Pida) fails to include clear-cut measures to protect employees if they get sacked, or are harassed at work for reporting any wrongdoing, such as abuse, corruption, or if they report a crime.

The study by the BFS suggests that the present employment laws do not have enough power behind them to penalise anyone that may retaliate against whistleblowers and they are only offered legal protection after proving proof that they have become the victim of harassment because of their conduct.

International whistleblower expert, Dr Suelette Dreyfus, who was also the co-author of the report said: “Pida has not kept pace with our understanding of how to protect whistleblowers, or with increasingly advanced tactics for retaliation.”

She went on to say that the current law “is not providing the protection it should”, despite being considered “internationally as a gold standard when it was passed in 1998”.

At a recent awards ceremony in London, the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the BFS hosted the Blueprint for Free Speech prize evening, which highlighted the courage and honesty of whistleblowers and the positive impact they show in the public’s interest.

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