Guest blog from Halima, Protect Legal Advisor
As a legal secondee from Baker McKenzie, I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous support Protect offers to those seeking help. Day in, day out, the team works with individuals in challenging situations, and the advisers do their best to inform and counsel on the complex legalities and practicalities of whistleblowing. My time with the team so far has reaffirmed the notion that being charitable doesn’t always have to be financial, it can be the giving of time, expertise, or kindness – each plays a part in helping others, and on many occasions, it’s a listening ear and guidance that callers seek.
It may seem as though simply explaining the tribunal process, reading a claim form or discussing how to approach regulators is hardly much help, but it is often these types of requests that people make.
“The whistleblowing help line is absolutely vital for people who find themselves in a really difficult position in the face of really complicated law and I think they (Protect) de-mystify whistleblowing and make it really clear to people what path they can take.” – Beth Hale, Partner, CM Murray LLP.
Where the support needed is beyond our expertise, the team does not shy away from enlisting the help of solicitors, barristers and other legal organisations. The ultimate goal, irrespective of whether the help comes directly from us or someone in our network, is that the caller leaves Protect confident in their employment rights and well advised on their next course of action.
I often have to remind myself of what a privilege it is to be in a situation where I know, understand and can apply the law. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and I feel a sense of responsibility to share the knowledge I have acquired with others who need it, especially where it can make a positive difference. We must remember that the impact of whistleblowing extends far beyond the individual, it can protect countless others, and so helping whistleblowers to raise their concerns about wrongdoing or malpractice in the workplace serves us all. And so, this Pro Bono Week, I urge all those with knowledge and experience in the legal field to offer their time and expertise to someone in need, whether through joining Protect’s Legal Support Network or doing pro bono work with another organisation close to their heart – it can make a huge difference to the individual and have a ripple effect on society as a whole.