global insurance management

Whistleblowing Update


Feb 27 2013

Whistleblowing Update

Action required:           Read and ensure your CPD record in your Training Log is updated.

With recent press coverage about issues in the running of the NHS being raised and then ignored, or worse, dealt with by suspensions, it is worth reminding everyone about “Whistleblowing” and how it works in our industry.

Overview

Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’.

A worker can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including:

  • someone’s health and safety is in danger;
  • damage to the environment;
  • a criminal offence;
  • the company isn’t obeying the law (like not having the right insurance);
  • covering up wrongdoing.

Legislation and Regulation

Whistleblowing is covered in the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), and seeks to encourage the adoption of appropriate internal procedures to allow a firm’s staff to raise concerns if necessary. 

Under PIDA, any clause or term in an agreement between a worker and his employer is void in so far as it purports to preclude the worker from making a protected disclosure (that is, "blow the whistle").

The FSA encourages firms to have internal procedures that set out a process for raising concerns (particularly about matters relevant to FSA authorisation) internally in the first instance, and provide guidance on options for raising concerns externally. 

The FSA has also indicated that they would take very seriously any evidence that a member of an authorised firm’s staff had been subject to detrimental treatment for making a disclosure under the terms of PIDA, either internally or externally.  Firms are expected to have a culture which supports and promotes standards of good compliance, and any behaviour to suppress concerns could call into question the fitness and propriety of the firm or Approved Person(s) involved.

Our procedures

We have a procedure in place to cover the process for raising concerns and this is monitored and maintained by the individual responsible for compliance issues.  It includes the following:

  • Any individual raising concerns will be supported and protected from reprimand;
  • However, false or malicious allegations will be dealt with accordingly;
  • Any concern raised will be dealt with openly, as it aims to improve the workings of the firm and reduce any risk that the firm may face;
  • For both the firm and the individual, any findings in relation to the above activities or any imposed obstruction to the openness to report concerns, could bring into question the fit and properness of the party concerned.

If you are not sure of the firm’s procedure for raising concerns, you should contact the Director responsible for compliance issues.

Contact Points

Concerns in relation to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 may be raised on a confidential basis (if wished) either with:

  • the firm’s Director or Partner responsible for compliance issues; or
  • Public Concern at Work on 020 7404 6609 [England] or 0141 550 7572 [Scotland]; or
  • The FSA direct on 020 7676 9200

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