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Insight

Strengthening protection for whistleblowers

22/02/2013
The Government has proposed an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which is intended to strengthen the protection available to whistleblowers.The proposed amendment provides that if The Government has proposed an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which is intended to strengthen the protection available to whistleblowers.

The proposed amendment provides that if a whistleblower is subjected to a detriment by colleagues (e.g. bullying or harassment) on the grounds that he or she has blown the whistle, the employer will be vicariously liable for the colleagues' actions. Employers will, however, have a defence if they are able to show that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the detrimental treatment. 

The Government's announcement follows another proposed amendment to the Bill which will remove the requirement that protected disclosures in whistleblowing cases are made “in good faith”. Employment Tribunals will have a power to reduce any award made to the worker by up to 25% if the protected disclosure was not made in good faith.

These amendments to the Bill are due to be debated on 26 February 2013.

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