4 in 10 U.K. employers support whistleblowers

Finance minister recommends laws to protect whistleblowers
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|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/23/2008

Only 40 per cent of businesses in the United Kingdom have policies in place to help whistleblowers, according to a recent report.

U.K. businesses do not make the top 10 list of countries that accommodate whistleblowing, coming 16th out of 33 and behind the United States. The list was released by consulting firm Grant Thornton International.

Brazilian businesses top the list, with 85 per cent making some provision for staff who report business malpractice. Scandinavian economies Denmark and Sweden follow, while even countries such as the Philippines and Armenia have a better rate of whistleblower support than the U.K.

"U.K. businesses currently adopt a reasonably weak stance on whistleblowing. Yet informants that report illegal or wrongful activities including rule breaking, criminal activity, cover-ups and fraud can save businesses millions," said Alysoun Stewart, head of Grant Thornton's entrepreneurial advisory group

Britain's finance minister recently announced plans to provide greater powers to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), allowing increased protection for whistleblowers.

Increasing the powers of the FSA will aim to change attitudes towards whistleblowing and act as a preventative measure against corruption.

Whistleblowers in the U.K. are currently protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which protects against dismissal and discriminatory treatment, provided that the whistleblower has acted in good faith and has not gained personally from the disclosure.

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