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Press statement – Kings Speech: whistleblowing, employment rights and a duty of candour

Reacting to the Kings Speech today, Elizabeth Gardiner, Chief Executive of whistleblowing charity Protect said: “We welcome the introduction of a new #EmploymentRights bill, this is an opportunity for the government to fulfil its commitment to improve whistleblowers’ rights. Too many people in today’s workplace don’t have any protection if they speak up to stop harm.”

Press statement – former MP Johnny Mercer ‘Protector of whistleblowers’

The former Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer has had his application to withhold the names of whistleblowers rejected by a public inquiry. Mr Mercer, the former Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, has repeatedly refused to name “multiple officers” who told him about alleged special forces murders in Afghanistan.

Whistleblowing charity, Protect, advises BBC Casualty on whistleblowing storyline. 

The whistleblowing charity, Protect, is proud to have supported the BBC Casualty production team in understanding the practicalities of whistleblowing law for the drama’s most recent storyline “Breaking Point”. The multi-episode storyline features a controversial documentary exposé including secretly leaked recorded footage and an internal witch hunt for the whistleblower responsible.

Press statement – Johnny Mercer MP & whistleblower anonymity

The Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer has confirmed he is challenging an order to name the source of his claims about alleged war crimes by British special forces in Afghanistan. He could face jail or a fine. At Protect we believe it is paramount that the identity of these whistleblowers are protected.

Press statement – Sexism in the City

The findings of the Sexism in the City report come as no surprise. We hear everyday from whistleblowers reporting sexual and non-financial misconduct in the workplace whose employers are failing to address their concerns.

Whistleblowing charity, Protect, becomes accredited CPD provider. 

The whistleblowing charity Protect has been recognised as an accredited CPD (Continued Professional Development) provider for four of its instructor led training courses. With this quality of stamp of approval delegates to Protect’s training courses can attend training confident that they can develop and demonstrate their professional development enhancing their understanding and knowledge to help them make better decisions when receiving whistleblowing concerns.

More whistleblowers seeking help compared to last year. 

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.

Protect view on BBC Panorama – Midwives under Pressure

This is another damaging example of whistleblower concerns going unheard with devastating consequences. An effective speak up culture is essential for all organisations to catch problems before they escalate. This is all the more important in health settings where patient safety is at stake. But even more pressing is making sure there is an active listening culture to pick up concerns and ensure whistleblowers are recognised.

“Must do better” – government criticised for whistleblowing arrangements

We welcome this National Audit Office report into whistleblowing in the civil service. The report notes that whistleblowers are key to good government and challenge is critical to holding organisations to account. Recent scandals, including Greensill and Partygate, showed that people inside government knew about wrongdoing but may have been afraid to come forward.

News Round-Up 22 November

Your monthly whistleblowing news update. This month: McDonald’s faces up to two sex abuse claims a week, employment tribunal rules on parliamentary privilege challenge in foreign office whistle-blowing case and following Lucy Letby, 71% of doctors say whistleblowing damages careers.

Parliamentary Privilege creates a barrier to civil service whistleblowers

Josie Stewart, Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) whistleblower, who is bringing a claim that she was unfairly dismissed because she blew the whistle can’t rely on parts of her evidence because of Parliamentary Privilege.

UK introduces first anti-SLAPP law

As a member of the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition we have been closely following the progress of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECB2) through Parliament. Now passed into law this is the first anti-SLAPP provision in UK law. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, there’s still much more that could and … Read more

News Round-Up/18 October

Protect’s Environmental Whistleblowing Toolkit  New research by Protect shows that concerns about being fired or victimised at work are preventing people from calling out their employers on the climate crisis and the wider environment. (The Guardian) + Our new toolkit launched at the beginning of October, providing practical help for people considering blowing the whistle on … Read more

Whistleblowing charity Protect supports Labour’s proposed clarification to whistleblowing protection

Whistleblowing charity Protect supports Labour’s proposed clarification to whistleblowing protection Elizabeth Gardiner, CEO of Protect, the UK’s whistleblowing charity said:  Protect would welcome clarification of the law.  We know, from talking to whistleblowers every day, that it is difficult for anyone to be certain whether they have the protection of whistleblowing law when it comes … Read more

Environmental Toolkit press release

Fear of reprisals and victimisation hold workers back from reporting damage to the environment.   Workers say they’d hold back from raising issues about environmental damage because of fear of reprisals, concerns about providing proof and worries their concern wouldn’t be dealt with properly.  Only a third (36%) of workers believe they can raise environmental … Read more

Bi-weekly News Round-Up/24 August

Lucy Letby Whistleblowing stops harm – but only when whistleblowers are heard. Could deaths have been avoided if concerns raised about Lucy Letby had been acted on sooner? This week Andrew Pepper-Parsons, Director of Policy at Protect, and Elizabeth Gardiner, CEO Protect, appeared on both Sky News and TalkTv. + Hospital bosses ignored months of … Read more

Protect’s Lucy Letby Statement

Protect’s Lucy Letby Statement:  Time to review how whistleblowing is dealt with in the NHS  Our thoughts are with the families whose lives have been torn apart by the despicable crimes of Lucy Letby. We welcome the Government’s inquiry so that improvements can be made to the system, including how concerns are raised and addressed. … Read more

Bi-weekly News Round-Up/03 August

The fight against gagging clauses   Abusing NDAs to silence whistleblowers benefits no one. The fight to reform the use of gagging clauses continues. (Campaign Live)   Whistleblower consequences  Yet again, we are faced with another story of whistleblowers being ignored. It is crucial to protect those who bravely speak up in order to create an … Read more

Bi-weekly News Round-Up/14 July

Reflecting on whistleblowing Sinead Farrelly: Whistleblowing, car accidents & a World Cup with a broken hand – BBC Sport Whistleblowing is rarely easy – Sinead Farrelly reflects on her experiences and life after speaking out.  BBC backlash  Huw Edwards was secretly investigated by BBC colleagues before scandal erupted (telegraph.co.uk) Huw Edward’s wife speaks up and … Read more

Bi-weekly News Round-Up/ 05 July

Whistleblower rewards  Whistleblower receives large compensation following detrimental effects of whistleblowing: bullying, harassment and intimidation. Hopefully a lesson learnt by Royal Mail to address whistleblowing concerns and support whistleblowers from the start.  (Personnel Today) NHS in need of change  NHS culture hitting a new low as senior members come forward expressing deep worries for the … Read more

72% of whistleblowers working in education say they faced some form of detriment or harm after whistleblowing

New research from the UK’s whistleblowing charity Protect shows too many whistleblowers working in schools are ignored and victimised for raising public interest concerns.  Schools should have a whistleblowing champion on the school board, training should be provided to all managers on how to properly listen and act on concerns.  Ofsted should be made a prescribed person … Read more

Protect Online Summer School

Elevate Your Expertise in Whistleblowing: Join the Upcoming Whistleblowing Training Summer School In the month of July, Protect is excited to announce our Whistleblowing Training Summer School, where you can unlock safe whistleblowing practices and become an invaluable asset in creating a robust speak-up culture. Are you passionate about or involved with fostering a culture … Read more

Impact Report 2022

Celebrating 30 years of supporting whistleblowers   In 2022 Protect advised almost 2,500 individuals and supported around 220 employers with their whistleblowing arrangements   Thursday 6th June 2023  The UK’s whistleblowing charity, Protect, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2023 and today publishes its impact report and annual report for 2022. Launching its report, the charity highlights:  Protect … Read more

World Whistleblowers Day 2023

Paying People to do the Right Thing: The pros and cons of adopting US-style whistleblower rewards programmes. Should there be a financial reward for whistleblowing? Does this encourage speaking out or is it an effective shortcut for regulators? Does it create a system where money and not the public interest is the motivation? A whistleblowing … Read more

Bi-weekly News Round-Up/ 11 May

NHS falls short on  staff training   Just one of 199 trusts analysed in England has a specific sexual harassment module, a failure on the NHS’ behalf to protect members of staff from harm. Training should be mandatory in order to prevent victimisation. (The Guardian)  More sexual harassment whistleblowers  Alleged behaviour of Tesco Chairman dangerously … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up/ 21 April

More on CBI sexual misconduct  See Protect’s comment on recent CBI sexual misconduct and Tony Danker’s firing. (HR Grapevine)   Tech in trouble  Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistle-blower, made the world aware of the harm tech companies can cause. Since, what has changed and how has whistleblowing helped change it?  (Lawfare)  + Some top US … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up/ 12 April

Whistleblowers against sexual harassment   NHS Chief has applauded staff speaking out against misogyny and harassment and intends to continue this encouragement. (The Times)  + Business Reporter describes new legislation working its way through Parliament and the impact this will have on an employer’s responsibility to tackle sexual harassment. (Business Reporter)  CBI in serious need … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 07 April

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. How can health workers blow the whistle?   Protect’s view on whistleblowing in the health sector. (The Carer UK)  The importance of whistleblowing in charities  Answering the big question; why is whistleblowing in charities SO important? (Shoosmiths)  Horse meat 2.0   Farmers Weekly is intent on stamping out food … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 31 March

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Government finally launches review into whistleblowing framework  Sybille Raphael, Legal Director at Protect, comments on the government review ‘The UK can be proud of having led the way on whistleblowing protection, but our law was passed in 1998 and now needs updating’. (Personnel Today)  + Ian King … Read more

Government to review whistleblowing framework

Protect welcomes the long-awaited government review of the whistleblowing framework in the UK. We have been calling for this for many years, and have drafted our own Bill of all the changes that are needed. Protect (then called Public Concern at Work) was instrumental in drafting the UK’s whistleblowing law – the Public Interest Disclosure Act … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 22 March

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Sexism, racism and homophobia rife in Met Police and whistleblowers not welcome  The culture of not speaking up has become ingrained in the Met Police because those who do come forward are not believed and those who speak up learn the hard way that there are adverse consequences … Read more

Protect comments on Casey report into the Met Police

Louise Casey’s report into the Met Police reveals a culture of institutional racism, sexism and homophobia and that whistleblowers are not welcome. The report notes: “The prevailing culture in the Met does not encourage reporting of wrong-doing, rather those who experience it fear the consequences of being ostracised, moved or removed for speaking out.” Elizabeth … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 16 March

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Whistleblowers against sexual harassment   Protect’s head of Policy, Andrew Pepper-Parsons, featured in last weeks Times article commenting on the CBI sexual harassment allegations. (The Times)  + TikTok’s handling of complaints about sexual misconduct is criticised by staff. (Financial Times)  + The government is supporting a private members … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 09 March

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Environmental whistleblowing  From 2010-2019, The Environment Agency (EA) visited 403 of England’s 7,000 sewage waste sites. The EA excuses the infrequent practises claiming they have other methods to scrutinise the compliance of these areas. Several EA and water company insiders knew the system would be a bad … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 01 Mar

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Environmental whistleblowing  Careful considerations are to be made when purchasing sustainable or eco-friendly alternatives as EU crackdown sheds light on inflated safety claims. 54% of claims are found to be ‘vague, misleading or unfounded.’ (The Guardian) + A group of researchers have raised a complaint against Tesco … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 22 Feb

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Environmental whistleblowing  ClientEarth argues the Financial Conduct Authority acted unlawfully when approving prospectus of UK oil and gas company Ithaca Energy PLC, so filing case against UK financial Regulator for failing to describe climate-related risks. (ClientEarth)  + New legislation to crack the whip on unproven environmental assertions … Read more

Whistleblowing Scanner Assessment for SMEs

Firms not doing enough to support whistleblowing has led Protect, the UK’s whistleblowing charity, to launch an online assessment tool for small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs) London – 20th February 2023 Protect, the UK’s leading whistleblowing charity, today launches its Whistleblowing Scanner, an online assessment tool for smaller organisations to test their whistleblowing culture, as … Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 15 Feb

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Whistleblowers fighting sexism, harassment and abuse.  A “closing of ranks around unacceptable behaviour” in the TSSA union was found by Baroness Kennedy in her independent inquiry – a sure way to silence potential whistleblowers. “Wilful blindness” and sexist behaviour was reported throughout leadership. (The Guardian) + McDonald’s has … Read more

European Court backs LuxLeaks Whistleblower in his decision to expose tax avoidance in the public interest

LONDON, 14 February 2023: Protect, the UK’s leading whistleblowing charity, has applauded a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to rule in favour of ‘Luxleaks’ whistleblower, Raphael Halet. In a judgment published this morning, the court has reversed a previous decision by the lower chamber – which upheld the decision of the ... Read more

Weekly News Round-Up / 07 Feb

Your weekly dose of what’s up in whistleblowing. Whistleblowers at the heart of government. Boris Johnson prioritises animal charity during Afghan evacuation. (The Guardian) + Josie Stewart came forward this week during an interview claiming the Civil Service has become “dangerously politicised”, as well as calling for an external body allowing Civil Servants to safely … Read more