24 June 2015
UK Whistleblowing Report (Public Concern at Work)
The whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work, recently released the UK Whistleblowing Report.
The report gathered data from all the cases Public Concern at Work listened to on their advice telephone line in 2013, where individuals called for advice on how to raise a concern about wrongdoing, risk or malpractice.
There was a 17% increase in the number of whistleblowing issues raised in the UK. The charity fielded 1,632 requests for advice in 2012 and 1,910 in 2013.
There was a 61% increase in health cases, a 57% increase in education cases and a 17% increase in care cases. The spike in health cases is linked to the Public Inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. More whistleblowing occurs in the education sector once the school year comes to an end, which is represented in this report by a spike in cases in July.
Worries about safeguarding children might also have been a factor in the increase in whistleblowing issues in the education sector. From 2012 to 2013 the number of cases concern about public safety (this includes the safeguarding of children) doubled. One of the largest numbers in the report comes from an increase of 97% in patient safety cases.
Other common concerns that arose from the report include financial malpractice and work safety.
Perhaps the most worrying stat to come out of this report is that 63% of the time when whistleblowers raised a concern they were either ignored or denied. Only 26% of cases had a positive outcome where the raised concern was either admitted, investigated or resolved. A third of the individuals who raised concerns were dismissed after doing so and 22% either disciplined or victimised by their employer as a result of raising their concerns.
In order to reduce the chances of negative outcomes, individuals should consider Slater and Gordon’s practical advice on whistleblowing and use our expert knowledge to help protect themselves from reprisals at work.
It is illegal for your employer to treat you unfairly or to outright dismiss you just because you have made a ‘protected disclosure’. If you are thinking about making a disclosure you should seek employment law advice from one of our employment lawyers.
Slater and Gordon’s expert employment solicitors can provide you with immediate legal protection anywhere in the UK.
For expert legal advice on whistleblowing call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we can call you back at a time that suits you.