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More whistleblowers seeking help compared to last year. 

Whistleblowing charity, Protect, sees calls rise by almost a quarter year on year. 

  • Legal charity worked on 3047 total cases, up 23% on 2022. 
  • 23% of calls come from the charity sector, with 24% from the public and 42% from the private sector. 
  • The top employers were health and social work (30%), education (15%) and financial services (7%) 
  • Three quarters of callers (73%) say they had faced victimisation or felt forced to resign after raising whistleblowing concerns. 

In 2023, Protect significantly impacted the lives of thousands of whistleblowers by providing practical and legal advice on how to safely and effectively raise workplace concerns. The UK’s leading whistleblowing charity worked on 3047 total cases, a rise of 23% on 2022. The majority of calls came from the private sector (42%) with a just under a quarter from the public (24%) and charity (23%) sectors. Calls came from every kind of industry/profession with most calls from health and social work (30%), education (15%) and financial services (7%). Health and social work saw the biggest rise, with calls jumping by 48% between 2022 and 2023. 

Most calls came from people with an annual income below £30,000 (44%), with 23% of calls coming from those earning between £30,000 and 50,000.  

At the time callers contacted Protect’s Advice Line: 

  • 2 in 5 of callers (41%) said their whistleblowing concern had been ignored by their employer. 
  • A fifth (21%) said their concern was under investigation. 
  • 15% of calls said their employer had told them their whistleblowing concern wasn’t valid. 

At Protect, the confidential legal Advice Line is central to the work of the charity. All advisers are legally trained and are supervised by a qualified solicitor. The charity has been providing legal whistleblowing advice for more than 30 years and believes that anyone blowing the whistle should understand their legal rights to be protected from harm by their employer. Anyone calling Protect’s legal Advice Line is connected to a dedicated adviser who helps them think how best to raise their whistleblowing concern and guides them through the law. The charity also provides online templates to support legal claims as well as ongoing telephone and email support. 

Elizabeth Gardiner, Protect’s Chief Executive said, 

“With high profile whistleblowing cases in the media – from the consultants at the Countess of Chester Hospital raising concerns about Lucy Letby, to the workers in Fujitsu trying to prevent the Post Office miscarriage of justice – it’s no surprise we’re seeing more calls to our confidential whistleblowing Advice Line.  

There’s often an assumption that whistleblowers are highly paid execs working senior roles in big firms. But what we find is that nearly half (44%) of callers to our Advice Line earn less than £30,000. These are often workers within hospital wards and small charities concerned about patient safety and the abuse of vulnerable people.   

We should be pleased that so many people are coming forward and speaking up in their workplace to stop harm. Whistleblowers are a valuable resource to employers and protect the public interest by holding organisations and governments to account.” 

Case study: 

Amal (not her real name) works for a charity providing wellbeing services to vulnerable adults. She called Protect following a serious incident where a service user had physically threatened her. Amal explained that her concerns about the charity’s building not being safe had been ignored. We advised Amal to contact the Health and Safety Executive which subsequently carried out an inspection of the premises. 

Amal said:  

“Protect really helped me at the beginning of my journey giving me free confidential advice and support that I could count on. They have a kind, professional, and friendly approach. I always felt reassured and protected. It helped to give me the confidence to move forward with whistleblowing.” 


Notes to editors:   

For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:  

Mark Ellis, Head of Commmunications 

0203 117 2520 ex. 1038 

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