We can’t give you legal advice if you are thinking about making a disclosure (‘blowing the whistle’), and we can’t advise what action your firm should or should not be taking.
You should contact a lawyer if you are unsure of your position. Trade bodies and unions may also be able to advise you.
Protect, a charity that supports whistleblowers, gives free, confidential advice.
The law and PIDA
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) created a right to compensate someone, enforceable by tribunal, if they come to harm or are dismissed as a result of making a disclosure in the public interest (whistleblowing).
PIDA amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 and was introduced to encourage and allow workers to speak up if they have concerns about wrongdoing in their workplace.
PIDA sets conditions about the subject matter of the disclosure, the motivation and beliefs of the worker, and the person(s) to whom the disclosure is made.
Types of disclosure
The scope of PIDA includes disclosures that, in the reasonable belief of the worker, are in the public interest.
They will usually show one or more of these things happening - either in the past, the present, or likely to happen in the future:
- a crime or breach of legal duty (regulatory, administrative, contract law or common law)
- a miscarriage of justice
- a danger to health and safety
- damage to the environment
- attempts to cover up such malpractice
We do not have to act on every disclosure we receive through PIDA. Our decision is based on various criteria designed to ensure the most effective use of the resources at our disposal in pursuing our statutory objectives.
The FCA is a ‘prescribed person’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), which provides the statutory framework for protecting workers from harm if they blow the whistle on their employer.
Under PIDA, workers may tell the relevant prescribed person about suspected wrongdoing they believe may have occurred, including crimes and regulatory breaches. Passing information like this is known as making a ‘disclosure’.
The work we do as a prescribed person to receive and follow up the disclosures whistleblowers make to us is also in line with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), which was published in June 2013.
We have always taken a wider approach to whistleblowing than PIDA requires, providing the same level of anonymity to everyone who discloses to us. Around half the disclosures we receive come from employees of regulated firms who are entitled to PIDA protection.