Government proposals on whistleblowing will ensure that public interest issues are not lost in drawn-out employment tribunal cases, a leading charity said today.
Under plans set out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, information about claims made under whistleblowing legislation which comes to light during employment tribunal cases will be passed on to a relevant regulator, even if it is not considered by the tribunal itself.
Cathy James, acting director of Public Concern at Work, said: ‘We hope that this proposal will lead not only to the detection of malpractice in the workplace, but will also act as an effective deterrent.’
Under current law, employees who have been dismissed for blowing the whistle on malpractice can bring claims to an employment tribunal under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). However, the tribunal will only examine the position of the individual, not the substance of the concern. This means that information about actual, previous or anticipated malpractice can be lost.
The consultation proposes that as soon as an individual lodges a whistleblowing claim, a copy of the claim form should be passed on to the relevant regulator listed in the PIDA, thereby improving the flow of information.
James said the proposal would ensure that public interest issues are not lost in ‘employment battles’ and will ‘encourage responsible organisations to address wrongdoing early’.