A new report examining the way whistleblowers are protected by the legal system has exposed significant shortcomings in legislation and the way in which the Employment Tribunal system operates.
The report, commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Whistleblowing is based on research carried out by a team from the University of Greenwich, who looked at 600 whistleblowing cases heard at Employment Tribunals over four years.
The report finds that:
- Whistleblowing cases continue to have a low success rate.
- Whistleblowers suffer more and longer than before.
- Legal support matters for whistleblowers but less whistleblowers than before have access to legal representation.
- There is an important gender dimension for whistleblowers.
- Whistleblowing cases commonly include a discrimination claim, yet those are the least successful – whistleblowing cases.
Introducing the report Mary Robinson MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group, called for significant reform, “The APPG has concluded, using the evidence available, that it is time for a root and branch reform of the legislation setting out a 10 point plan including the introduction of a body capable of tackling and challenging wrong-doing.
This office will be tasked with the review of PIDA and the development of legislation that addresses the substantive issues to ensure that protecting those who speak up and wrong-doing is addressed at the earliest opportunity. This body will also need to review international best practice and look to make best practice our practice. The APPG calls for new whistleblowing legislation with an Office of the Whistleblower as the bearer of its implementation.”