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Attitudes to whistleblowing over the years

Attitudes to whistleblowing over the years

Protect has been commissioning YouGov to conduct research into public attitudes of whistleblowing bi-annually since 2007. Below are the results of our research for 2011, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2021.

Raising concerns

The number of respondent who stated they were willing to raise concerns if they witnessed wrongdoing in their place of work has stayed roughly the same over the 2010s. The number fell from 85% in 2011 to 83% in 2013 and 81% in 2015, but recovered in 2018 to 84%.

1 in 10 UK workers, across all four surveys from 2011-2018, say that they have witnessed possible corruption, wrongdoing or malpractice in the last two years.

There has also been a recovery in the number of respondents who then raised the concerns they witnessed with the 2015 results showing a fall of 7% (2015 had 59%) climbing to 64% in 2018.

Respondents willing to raise concerns

Awareness of the law

Awareness of PIDA

There has been a steady increase in awareness of whistleblowing issues, rising from 26% in 2013, 33% in 2015, 38% in 2018 and 48% in 2021. However, there is much work to be done to promote the law.

In 2021 52% of respondents were either unaware or believed that there was no protection for whistleblowers.

Awareness of employer’s policies

There has been a slight decrease in awareness of employers’ whistleblowing policies which remains low. In 2021 43% of respondents said their employer had a policy in place, this has fallen from 46% in 2018 and 48% in 2015.

In 2021 the majority, 57% stated that either their employer either had no policy or were unaware of whether a policy was in place.

Awareness of employer’s policies