In March 2021, the FCA launched a whistleblowing campaign called “With Confidence, with Confidence”, encouraging people working in the financial services sector to come forward and raise concerns about possible misconduct and highlighting its commitment to protecting their identity. The FCA has also committed to preparing a report on any concerns raised and providing updates to a whistleblower every three months if requested. To be eligible for PIDA protection, the person speaking must make a “protected disclosure,” which includes three main elements: If both “employer” parties set conditions, it is not a question that does so more substantially, but whether the targeted party has done so to an extent that can be described as “significant” (Day v Health Education England [2017] EWCA Civ 329). The UKSC rejected the allegation that there was an employment contract and also concluded that the judges were not Crown employees. However, they should be protected from whistleblowers in order to give effect to their right to discrimination in the exercise of their right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Articles 10 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This result led to increased interest in whistleblowing, which led to two protective laws entering parliament in 1995 and 1996. Although both failed, Richard Shepherd`s similar bill received support on the condition that it be part of the Employment Rights Act 1996. It was introduced in the House of Commons in 1997, transferred to the House of Lords in 1998 before coming into force in early 1999. As part of the above-mentioned process, two new bills were introduced in Parliament. The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill has failed, but the second – the Office of Whistleblowers Bill – is still active. It would require the government to establish an office of whistleblowers, which would be responsible for managing arrangements to facilitate expression.

It would have the following powers: However, this does not extend to service as a member of the Navy, Army or Crown Air Force (Article 192 of the ERA) and persons deployed for the purposes of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ are also expressly excluded from protection (Article 193 of the ERA). The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998 (PIDA), the law that protects whistleblowers from negative treatment or dismissal if they raise their concerns, is a right of day one. This means that an employee or employee can assert a legal claim under PIDA as a whistleblower from day one. This is different from other employee rights, which require the employee or employee to have two years of service. PIDA is not only one of the first comprehensive whistleblower protection laws in Europe, but has also contributed to the implementation of effective whistleblowing systems in the UK. As a result, UK companies have overtaken their continental European counterparts in the race to prepare for the introduction of the EU Whistleblowing Directive (which, as mentioned above, remains relevant for UK companies operating in the EU). There is no minimum service requirement to file a whistleblower claim (protection is a “first day right”) and, significantly, there is no cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for whistleblower claims (as opposed to standard unfair dismissal lawsuits). Given that the UK implemented its whistleblower protection law more than two decades ago, UK companies are actually better placed than many of their continental counterparts to meet the requirements of the EU Whistleblower Directive.

According to the Whistleblowing Report 2021, around 73% of UK companies use a whistleblowing system, compared to 63.4% in Switzerland, 63.2% in Germany and only 54.1% in France. Protection by whistleblowing legislation is granted to workers, agency workers, members of limited liability companies, judges and non-employees. The most important whistleblower law in the UK is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (“PIDA”).