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Changes to Whistle Blower Rules
The Whistleblowing laws are getting plenty of attention at present as the government tables a number of changes to the current rules.
At present, to gain protection an employee must have raised complaints “in good faith” otherwise they are not entitled to the protection. Last week the government tabled a change to this, removing the “good faith” requirement but introducing an ability for tribunals to reduce the compensation payable to employees by up to 25% if the complaints were not raised in good faith.
Further changes were announced yesterday in amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
Currently employees/whistle blowers are only protected from acts of harassment by their employers. The change will mean that such acts done by co-workers will now give rise to a liability on the part of the employer. However, there will also be a defence introduced where the employer takes all reasonable steps to protect staff from such harassment.
Its probably too early to change whistleblowing policies at this point, but if the changes survive the parliamentary process, it would be wise to bring whistleblowing policies up to date. Especially as other changes being introduced to unfair dismissal qualifying periods will mean more cases are likely to have whistleblowing elements within them.
The government announcement can be read at the following link.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-protection-for-whistleblowers-announced
We will run a half day seminar giving a simple but complete breakdown on all of this years changes in April. Simply email Urmi@sherbornesllp.co.uk with the word Seminar if you require details.