Employment Law experts
7th September 2016

New regulations came into effect today for the financial sector regarding whistleblowing in the workplace. As part of the FCA’s campaign to encourage whistleblowers to come forward they have issued new roles, including:

  • appointing a Senior Manager as their whistleblowers’ champion
  • putting in place internal whistleblowing arrangements which are able to handle all types of disclosure from all types of person
  • putting text in settlement agreements explaining that workers have a legal right to blow the whistle
  • telling UK-based employees about the FCA and PRA whistleblowing services
  • presenting a report on whistleblowing to the board at least annually
  • informing the FCA if it loses an employment tribunal with a whistleblower
  • requiring its appointed representatives and tied agents to tell their UK-based employees about the FCA whistleblowing service

These changes are only applicable to FCA regulated firms, who should ensure their current policies incorporate these rules to satisfy both the FCA and the general employment law principals on whistle blowing.

These rules echo the whistle blowing rules which are already in place under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 covering all employees, in any business.  Employees are protected from suffering detriment if they blow the whistle – a detriment could be anything from dismissal down to being given different and ‘less worthy’ work or even being given a poor reference at the end of their employment. A worker only needs to show that he or she made a disclosure, that they followed the correct disclosure procedure and that they were dismissed or suffered detriment as a result of making the disclosure.

It is imperative that employers have a clear and publicised policy so any potential whistleblower is comfortable making a disclosure if they believe there is any wrong doing or malpractice taking place in their workplace, and that the employee is not treated any differently following the disclosure.

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