UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act

For nearly 20 years, the UK’s whistleblower protection law has been praised as among the strongest in the world – including by whistleblower advocates themselves. The truth about the law, however, does not support the myth.

Far from being the gold standard, the UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act contains many loopholes and flaws that leave employees open to career ruin, financial losses, character assassination and huge legal fees. Whistleblowers also have suffered defeat in courts that often favor the rights of employers over those of workers.

These are among the findings of a report by Change of Direction partner Blueprint for Free Speech and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The report is the most in-depth study ever done on the law, which prominent whistleblower activists mistakenly have labeled a “model” that is “admired worldwide.”

“Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK: A New Blueprint” is serving as a road map for reform. Change of Direction activists will launch a major campaign in 2017 that aims to strengthen legal rights for whistleblowers in the UK. In particular need of improved protections are National Health Service employees who have suffered extreme reprisals for disclosing poor care in hospitals and clinics.