Whistleblowing has been an important part of governance scandals, from Enron through NHS to accounting problems at Tesco and scandal in the US bank, Wells Fargo .
It also has many implications for companies and other organisations on a day-to-day basis. Information technology has vastly increased the amount of information available to employees, and the scope for its misuse, without necessarily making easier the discovery and appropriate reporting of issues within an organisation. Notwithstanding the funding cuts which have impacted on the flow of whistleblowing cases reaching Employment Tribunals, new developments continue to arise, including the publication by BIS of new guidance for employers in 2015 and new whistleblowing provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015; the EU’s Market Abuse Regulation, which took effect in the UK in July 2016, introduced new whistleblowing measures having relevance to the financial sector, the first whistleblowing regime to apply on an EU-wide basis.
This webinar looks at the background to the whistleblowing policies which companies and other organisations may wish to adopt in the appropriate facilitation of whistleblowing, and the extent of the protection available to employees under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (as amended). Some consideration will also be given to the treatment of whistleblowing in the US and to organisations outside the private (commercial) sector).
The topics covered will include:
- The nature and characteristics of whistleblowing; and some practical examples
- The legal regime under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, relevant parts of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and some significant cases
- Whistleblowing and internal controls, best practice for whistleblowing codes and the establishment of whistleblowing policies, including a look at:
- p>* The BSI’s “Whistleblowing Arrangements Code of Practice”
- The role of the whistleblowing charity “Public Concern at Work” and its publications
- Relevant parts of the UK Corporate Governance Code and FRC Guidance on audit committees
- Recent developments in whistleblowing law and practice
- Internal procedures for whistleblowers’ allegations and the protection of employees, with reference also to the Charity Commission’s Operational Guidance on this
- Implications of the Bribery Act 2010 for whistleblowing procedures
- “Prescribed persons” and the FCA hotline