The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) is a UK law that protects whistleblowers who disclose information about wrongdoing in the workplace. In this blog, we will explore the importance of PIDA for UK businesses and provide guidance on how to comply with it.
What is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA)?
The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) was enacted in 1998 to protect employees who report wrongdoing in the workplace. PIDA provides legal protection to whistleblowers who disclose information about malpractice, corruption, or other illegal activities in their workplace. The act covers the private and public sector.
Why is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) important?
By adhering to the standards outlined by PIDA, businesses can establish a culture of transparency and accountability in the workplace, improving employee confidence. Knowing robust, reliable processes are in place will encourage employees to come forward with information about wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. Without PIDA, employees would be less likely to report misconduct, and companies would be less accountable for their actions.
How does PIDA protect whistleblowers?
Whistleblowers play a critical role in preventing fraud, corruption, and other illegal activities in the workplace. PIDA protects whistleblowers in several ways.
Firstly, it makes it unlawful for employers to subject whistleblowers to any form of detriment, such as dismissal, demotion, or harassment. Whistleblowers who experience such retaliation can bring a claim against their employer in an employment tribunal. They have the right to claim compensation for any financial losses they have suffered because of the retaliation.
Secondly, PIDA provides whistleblowers with protection against criminal prosecution or civil liability for making a protected disclosure. This means that an employee cannot be sued or prosecuted for disclosing information about malpractice or wrongdoing in the workplace, provided they have made the disclosure in accordance with the requirements of PIDA.
Why should UK businesses be aware of the Public Interest Disclosure Act?
PIDA affects how UK businesses handle whistleblowing cases and stipulates certain requirements for their whistleblowing policies. Companies that fail to comply with PIDA could face legal action, resulting in financial and reputational damage.
Additionally, whistleblowers are often the first to identify issues in the workplace, such as fraud or corruption. By ignoring whistleblowers or failing to protect them, companies risk allowing these issues to escalate, leading to more significant financial and reputational damage.
By following the guidance and requirements mandated by PIDA, businesses are taking positive steps towards cultivating a workplace culture committed to identifying and eradicating misconduct.
PIDA is a vital piece of legislation that protects whistleblowers and promotes transparency and accountability in the workplace. UK businesses should be aware of their obligations under PIDA and take steps to comply with it by establishing robust whistleblowing policies and mechanisms to protect whistleblowers. By offering whistleblowing training, an independent whistleblowing hotline, and having an effective whistleblowing investigation process, companies can create a culture of openness and honesty that benefits both employees and the business, whilst also ensuring they are PIDA compliant.
Protecting whistleblowers begins at the point of making a report.
Safecall, as an independent whistleblowing service provider, ensures employees have a secure avenue to report wrongdoing.
All our call handlers have more than 25 years’ experience and are skilled in speaking with and interviewing people, from all walks of life, often in difficult and emotional circumstances; giving people the time and space to relay important information in their own words.
Offer a range of communication methods
Not all workers will want to report a concern using the internet or an app. Not only is offering multiple means of reporting an issue of accessibility, but the quality of a report can be determined by the form in which it is made.
Safecall are able to file concerns made in writing, over the phone, or online.
Each of these methods can be used with anonymity and security – 24/7, 365 days a year. Our systems and availability ensure whistleblowers can make a report in the way which is most comfortable for them.
Training for employees and managers
Training provided by a whistleblower hotline vendor gives staff at all levels a better understanding of the importance of whistleblowing, the reporting procedures, and the responsibility that firms have towards members of staff who speak up.
Ensuring managers, and other senior members of staff, are trained sufficiently to identify unacceptable behaviour, and support whistleblowers throughout the entirety of the complaints and investigation processes, is a crucial step towards creating a workplace where everyone is afforded dignity.
Utilising an independent investigator helps demonstrate your firm’s commitment to fair investigation and appropriate action. This will improve employee confidence in your whistleblowing policy.
Whether it be a review of existing policies, or taking control of an investigation, independent whistleblowing investigation support providers improve the integrity of your investigation.
Establishing a culture of accountability protects your employees and your reputation. Safecall’s investigation and support services improve the rigor and efficacy of your assessment process.
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