Legislation to protect partners under whistleblowing laws is ‘unnecessary’ following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month, the government said today.
In Clyde & Co LLP and another v Bates van Winkelhof in May, the Supreme Court ruled that members of LLPs should be treated as ‘workers’ in the context of whistleblowing cases.
The case highlighted the lack of formal protection enjoyed by LLP members. However the department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) said today that: ‘In light of [the Supreme Court] decision, the government believes that further legislative change will not be necessary in respect of the status of members of LLPs.’
The statement appeared in the government’s response to a consultation entitled Whistleblowing Framework Call for Evidence. It also announces that the government will bring in statutory protections for student nurses under secondary legislation through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
Non-executive directors, public appointments, volunteers, interns and those working in the armed forces and national security services will also not be included in the scope of legislation.
Other measures to be brought in include a duty on regulators to publish information about whistleblowing concerns raised with them; improved government guidance for those facing a whistleblowing dilemma and help for businesses to achieve best practice. The government will also review the employment tribunal regulatory referral process.
Cathy James, chief executive of whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work, said: ‘These reforms do not go far enough. This is a clear missed opportunity for the government to strengthen the law that protects whistleblowers. We are disappointed that only a handful of the Whistleblowing Commission’s recommendations are being adopted by government.’
The government will begin implementation of the non-legislative changes following the publication of the response. It aims to introduce the secondary legislation by April 2015.