Whistleblowing laws to be reviewed

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary promises changes and investigation into whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Pida) is protecting whistleblowers at work.

Whistleblowing legislation is to be overhauled and a government consultation held to investigate whether the Pida is failing to protect those who speak out from being victimised, harassed and even sacked by their employers.

This follows the former chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), Gary Walker’s claim that he was gagged, threatened and prevented from raising patient safety concerns on the termination of his employment.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the health secretary said that gagging clauses which have prevented hundreds of NHS whistleblowers speaking out are to be outlawed. In response to questions about the excessive use of gagging clauses in NHS compromise agreements to silence departing staff, he said ‘we are just going to ban them…We will make sure there is a specific clause in compromise agreements saying that nothing in them can prevent people speaking out on issues such as patient care.

Compromise agreements are regularly used by employers to ensure that departing employees waive their rights to pursue any claims against their employer on the termination of employment.
Our employment law solicitors regularly advise senior executives and employees on the terms and effects of compromise agreements, particularly in relation to whistleblowing, discrimination, redundancy and unfair dismissal claims.
If you are a whistleblower and would like advice on your rights at work, please contact our expert employment lawyers, based in Canary Wharf today for a confidential discussion on 020 7956 8699 or email info@rllaw.co.uk.