Ten years of Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 claims: what can we learn from the statistics and recent research?

Lewis, David B. (2010) Ten years of Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 claims: what can we learn from the statistics and recent research? Industrial Law Journal, 39 (3). pp. 325-328. ISSN 0305-9332

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Abstract

Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) came into force in July 1999 as Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) 1996. However, the latest report from Public Concern at Work (PCAW) 1 reveals that in 2009 only 23% of those surveyed were aware that legal protection existed. 2 Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) stated that their employer had a whistle-blowing policy and almost 9 in 10 respondents (87%) indicated that they would raise a concern about possible corruption, danger or serious malpractice. In relation to who would be approached outside the organisation, the majority of respondents stated that they would go to the regulator or the police. More than one in four respondents (28%) ‘did not know where they could raise their concern externally’. 3 While these findings are interesting, it should be noted that research throughout the world demonstrates that there is often a significant gap between responses to hypothetical questions and actual behaviour in relation to the reporting of suspected wrongdoing. 4 The purpose of this note is to comment on the research contained in the PCAW report and the recently published statistics on the outcomes of applications to the employment tribunal. 5 The media headlines were that there had been a 10-fold increase in applications between 1999/2000 and 2008/09 (157 in 1999/2000 compared to 1,761 in 2008/09). Clearly, a momentum is starting to build up; yet, it is impossible to say whether a total of 9,035 applications over 10 years is evidence that the legislation is working well or otherwise. A study commissioned by PCAW from Cardiff University covering the period January 1997 to December 2009 found that 54% of the national newspaper stories represented whistle-blowers in a positive light, while only 5% of stories were negative. The remainder (41%) were neutral. 6 The most commonly reported.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Law > Law and Politics
ID Code:6937
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Deposited On:27 Jan 2011 12:22
Last Modified:31 Oct 2014 14:34

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