UK Parliament Introduces Bill to Establish Office of the Whistleblower
A bill introduced in the UK Parliament seeks to establish an independent Office of the Whistleblower, which would build upon the current statutory framework and improve whistleblower protections and support.
The Office of the Whistleblower Bill, introduced on January 28th by Baroness Susan Kramer, incorporates the recommendations and guidance offered in the 2019 report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing, of which Baroness Kramer is co-chair. The APPG on Whistleblowing concluded that the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) “has not lived up to expectations and has failed to provide adequate and comprehensive protection to whistleblowers or the public.” The report went further, stating: “Every Whistleblower headline exposes another failure of existing legislation and as we look to the future, we must ensure that the UK is a secure and ethical place to do business and to work.” The report offered a 10 Point Plan to address and correct the failures of PIDA. Baroness Kramer’s bill incorporates the report’s recommendations.
The Bill would give the Office of the Whistleblower the powers to: give direction to and monitor activities of relevant bodies; act as a point of contact for whistleblowers; form and maintain a panel of legal firms and advisory bodies to advise and support whistleblower; maintain a fund to support whistleblowers; provide financial redress to whistleblowers whose disclosure is deemed by the Office to have harmed their employment, reputation or career; and to publish an annual report to Parliament regarding its activities.
If enacted, the Secretary of State will have one year from the Bill’s passage to establish the Office of the Whistleblower. The full text of the Bill can be found here.
Constantine Cannon is a proud sponsor of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing.