The Government have stated they will be reviewing reforms linked to whistleblowing to “ensure that they remain fit for purpose”.
This was announced after Protect, a company which offers confidential whistleblowing advice, reported that a fifth (20%) of employees who did report whistleblowing were dismissed by their employers last year. Over two-thirds (68%) of the issues raised were linked to PPE, a lack of social distancing and failure to observe Government guidelines in the workplace.
The report also highlighted that this is a particularly dangerous trend, especially as the number of whistleblowers being dismissed is growing. Between September 2019-March 2020, a fifth of employees were dismissed for whistleblowing (21%) but this has now grown to 26% during the same period a year later.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated that this treatment is “unacceptable” and “no worker should lose their job for whistleblowing”, and that they will be reviewing whistleblowing reforms accordingly.
The spokesperson added that the government was considering the scope and timing of the review and that it was planning to introduce a single body to enforce workers’ rights – including whistleblowing protections – as part of its employment bill.
A report published by the Equality and Employment Law Centre in December found that whistleblowers who also claim to be victims of discrimination were more likely to lose their case at an employment tribunal.