Expert Report Highly Critical of UK Whistleblower Protection Laws, Calls for Urgently Needed Reforms

A recent report published by Blueprint for Free Speech and the Thomson Reuters Foundation has found that UK law “does not–and cannot–adequately protect whistleblowers.” The report, entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK: A New Blueprint,” closely examines the UK’s existing whistleblower protection legislation, specifically PIDA (the Public Interest Disclosure Act), concluding that the law is outdated, “broken”, and in need of several major updates. In addition to outlining PIDA’s shortcomings in terms of protecting whistleblowers in the UK, the report’s authors offer specific solutions to ameliorate the law.

The authors cite twenty key problems with the UK’s whistleblower protection law–and in turn propose solutions for each of those problems. Broken areas of the law include:

Proposed reforms include, respectively:

Several of the proposed reforms outlined in the report are based on successful existing policy from around the world; especially worth noting is the tremendous effect that rewards systems for whistleblowers have had on the success of whistleblower protection laws in the United States. The 1986 False Claims Act profoundly improved the state of whistleblower protection in the U.S.—in fact, since its implementation, the Federal Government has recovered over $42 billion thanks to whistleblowers coming forward to expose fraud and corruption.

According to Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, “these whistleblower reward laws have proven to be an absolutely critical tool in detecting and prosecuting corruption and fraud—thereby saving the U.S. government billions of dollars, in some cases even saving lives.”

Head here to learn more about the current state of whistleblower rewards in the U.S., and how those laws can also apply to whistleblowers around the world.

You may also view the entire report here.

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