New EU Directive will leave UK whistleblowers behind, claims PCaW
The charity Public Concern at Work (PCaW) has claimed that UK whistleblowers could be left behind EU standards following the decision by the EU to introduce a comprehensive whistleblowing Directive.
This will require all organisations to have reporting channels for whistleblowers and to respond to whistleblowing issues raised in a timely manner, elements that are missing from current UK whistleblowing legislation, PIDA (the Public Interest Disclosure Act) – now 20 years old.
Workers, the self-employed, shareholders, volunteers, unpaid trainees and contractors, subcontractors and suppliers will also be protected, along with job applicants.
If a whistleblower suffers retaliation, they would have access to free advice and adequate remedies (for example, measures to stop workplace harassment or prevent dismissal); and the burden of proof would be reversed in such cases, so that the person or organisation must prove that they are not acting in retaliation against the whistleblower. Whistleblowers will also be protected in judicial proceedings, in particular through an exemption from liability for disclosing the information.
PCaW has called on the UK government to urgently review and amend the PIDA legislation “so that the public interest is protected and workers feel safe to raise concerns about wrongdoing risk or malpractice”.