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UK: Government launches review of whistleblowing framework

The UK Government announced, on 27 March 2023, the launch of a review of the whistleblowing framework and published a policy paper titled 'Review of the Whistleblowing Framework: Terms of Reference', on the same date. In particular, the Government noted that the review will gather evidence on the effectiveness of the current regime in enabling workers to speak up about wrongdoing and protect those who do so. Moreover, the Government outlined that the evidence gathering stage of the review will conclude in Autumn 2023.

Additionally, the Government highlighted that the review will cover the following central topics, key to the whistleblowing framework:

  • who is covered by whistleblowing protections;
  • the availability of information and guidance for whistleblowing purposes (both on its website and that provided by employers); and
  • how employers and prescribed persons respond to whistleblowing disclosures, including best practice.

Furthermore, the policy paper details that the review will provide an up-to-date evidence base to inform the Government about policy choices to develop and improve the whistleblowing framework. In addition, the policy paper states that the review will consider how the whistleblowing framework currently operates, including the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) (amending the Employment Rights Act 1996) and subsequent legislative and non-legislative interventions.

Moreover, the policy paper specifies that the review will be led by the Department for Business and Trade.

You can read the press release here and the policy paper here.