The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a new consultation seeking views on how the Government implements their recently added reporting requirement: a power in the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill to enable the Secretary of State to require persons prescribed under section 43F of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to report annually on whistleblowing issues. The conclusions of this consultation will influence secondary legislation developed under the new power in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.
Since 1998, there has been a number of high profile issues like the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal, the financial collapse, and the Snowden leaks, focussing the spotlight on whistleblowing. In initial exploratory work and public discussions held in the UK, BIS found through a call for evidence that the confidentiality duty that binds prescribed persons and lack of legal obligation to investigate a disclosure means whistleblowers do not always have confidence that their reports are investigated.
To address this, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is introducing this new power to enable the Secretary of State to make
regulations to require prescribed persons to report annually on whistleblowing issues. The reporting requirement is meant to ensure more systematic processes in the way public interest disclosures are handled and provide reassurance to whistle-blowers that action is being taken.