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London 20 July 2010. PCaW is an independent charity, founded in 1993. We provide: free confidential advice to people concerned about wrongdoing in the workplace who are unsure whether or how to raise their concern ,

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slide1

London

20 July 2010

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

slide4
PCaW is an independent charity, founded in 1993. We provide:

free confidential advice to people concerned about wrongdoing in the workplace who are unsure whether or how to raise their concern,

train organisations on accountability, whistleblowing and risk management,

campaign on public policy, and

promote public interest whistleblowing laws.

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

slide5
Helpline - statistics

Over 18,000 calls to date - a third are from the health and care sector

35% are public, 44% private and the remainder voluntary sector or unknown

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

Source: Where’s whistleblowing now? PCaW 2010

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Helpline - statistics

Breakdown of types of wrongdoing

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

Source: Where’s whistleblowing now? PCaW 2010

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Positive / Negative

Gives employee confidence on whether / how to raise a whistleblowing concern

Helpful to a manager confronted with a difficult whistleblowing concern

Assurance to Board / regulator that staff are encouraged to raise any significant issues

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

slide9

Policy is written for the ‘silent majority’offering them a safe alternative to silence

  • Approach is that they should raise concerns openly
  • Distinguish whistleblowing from grievances & bullying
  • Provide internal and external options
  • Avoid any defensive legalistic terms in the policy

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Good whistleblowing arrangements provide staff with a clear message that there is a safe alternative to silence. They:
  • Deter wrongdoing

Detect wrongdoing early

Make management work

Demonstrate an accountable organisation

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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A leadfrom the top

  • Safety valve communication channel outside the line
  • Default is open reporting but respect confidentiality
  • Provide internal and external options
  • Avoid defensive legalistic terms
  • Distinguish whistleblowing from grievances and bullying
  • Access to independent advice
  • Promote policy effectively

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Audit Commission whistleblowing performance audits:
  • Minimal – Policy has been communicated to staff and parties contracting with the body
  • Good – Policy is publicised within the body and demonstrates the body’s commitment to providing support to whistleblowers
  • Excellent – Track record of effective action in response to whistleblowing disclosures. Periodic reviews of the effectiveness of the arrangements and also effective arrangements for receiving and acting upon information from members of the public

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Committee on Standards in Public Life
  • ICAEW – Guidance for Audit Committees (2004)
  • British Standards Institution – Whistleblowing Arrangements: Code of Practice
  • Speak up for a Healthy NHS

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Policy conforms to good practice

Buy-in (those in charge)

The right start (practical implementation)

Communication & confidence (staff)

Briefing / Training (designated officers & managers)

Logging concerns (formal)

Reviewing the arrangements

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), praised by Lord Nolan for ‘so skilfully achieving the essential but delicate balance between the public interest and the interest of employers’:
  • signals a change in the culture
  • applies to workplaces across public, private and voluntary
  • is not prescriptive
  • provides strong civil sanctions against reprisal

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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The legislation
  • promotes & protects public interest whistleblowing
  • focuses on wrongdoing that threatens the public interest
  • encourages open rather than anonymous whistleblowing
  • has a stepped disclosure regime that emphasises internal accountability, strengthens regulatory oversight and recognises public accountability

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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The actual disclosure is reasonable

  • Genuine suspicion
  • Valid cause to go wider
  • Substance to the concern
  • Internal disclosure
  • Regulatory disclosure
  • Public disclosure

Lord Nolan’s praise for ‘so skillfully achieving the essential but delicate balance between the public interest and the interest of the employees’.

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Over 9,000 tribunal claims to date
  • The number of claims has increased from 157 in 1999/2000 to 1,700 in 2008/9
  • 70% of PIDA claims settle
  • Of the remainder 78% were lost and 22% were won
  • Highest tribunal award is £5 million
  • PIDA retains support of business, union and regulatory interests

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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We analyse all judgments emerging from the employment tribunals – 3,000 to dateWhere do the cases come from?

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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What the surveys say
  • 86% of UK employees believe that people in their company feel free to report a case of suspected fraud, bribery or corruption. In Europe this figure is 57%
  • Negative media portrayal of whistleblowers is virtually nil now compared to 1997
  • The term “whistleblowing” is increasingly seen in a neutral to positive frame

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1. Ernst & Young – Survey into Fraud Risk Mitigation – UK Report

2. Karin Wahl-Jorgenson, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies – study commissioned by Public Concern at Work, Where’s whistleblowing now? 10 years of legal protection for whistleblowers

3. YouGuv survey 2007 & 2009, commissioned by Public Concern at Work, Where’s whistleblowing now? 10 years of legal protection for whistleblowers

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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Recent developments
  • Regulatory referral – in force on April 2010
  • A compromise on open justice
  • Individual consent required
  • The Bribery Act
  • adequate procedures
  • Guidance to be issued in Autumn 2010

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609

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What next?
  • Promotion of the law
  • Public interest test
  • Non-Executive Directors
  • Professional bodies
  • PIDA outside of the Employment Tribunals – professional bodies
  • Pre-employment/blacklisting

©PCaW 2010 - 00 44 20 7404 6609