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How should business react to new whistleblowing law?

03 / 07 / 2013
Amendments to laws made to protect so-called whistleblowers have come in as of June 25th. Businesses need to adapt their policies to keep their approach in line with the law.

What you need to know
In short, a policy needs to be implemented where employees can unveil instances of misconduct that are considered to be "in the public interest" while employers can ensure that these disclosures can be made safely.

On the other hand, businesses need to explain to employees that instances where they feel they have been unfairly dismissed will no longer be covered by their policies.
What's more, employees need to know that their disclosures cannot be made "in good faith", meaning they need more than just the promise that they don't mean to hurt others when making a claim.

In fact, there have been regulations in place to protect employees who want to reveal instances of illegal activities within their businesses but lately these haven't seemed to be working.

Why you need to know it
The government has had to adapt quickly as many cases across industries have arisen recently where people have been held back from releasing information on misconduct.

Perhaps the most high profile example of late is that of the American Edward Snowden, who released details of US internet and telephone surveillance which were classified.

Yet the UK has had instance of its own to contend with, the most shocking of which was that of NHS gagging orders. It was revealed that staff had gained payments on the agreement that they would keep quiet after witnessing misconduct, which could be harmful to patients, in their workplace.

While many will have been appalled that the public's money was spent hiding malpractice in the NHS, it is not the only case recently where people's cash has been spent in a way other than intended.

Earlier in June, the Daily Telegraph used a Freedom of Information request to reveal that £28 million of BBC licence fees were spent on keeping staff quiet about cases of bullying or harassment that they had seen.