New whistleblowing rules for banks, building societies and some investment and insurance companies have now come into effect.
The rules have been introduced in response to the numerous scandals that have rocked the sector in recent years and aim to foster a culture where individuals feel they can come forward to raise their concerns about wrongdoing.
Under the new rules, relevant firms have an obligation to:
- Create and maintain an independent whistleblowing channel through which all types of disclosures can be made from all types of person (e.g. employees, self-employed workers, volunteers, agency workers and non-executive directors).
- Ensure that whistleblowers can make anonymous and confidential disclosures via the whistleblowing channel.
- Appoint a senior manager as a “whistleblowers’ champion”, who will be responsible for ensuring that the internal whistleblowing policies and procedures are effective.
- Present a report, at least annually, to the board about the internal whistleblowing system.
- Revise the text in settlement agreements to include a term stating that the agreement does not prevent the worker from making a protected disclosure.
- Inform their staff about the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulatory Authority’s whistleblowing services.
- Inform the Financial Conduct Authority if they lose an employment tribunal case with a whistleblower.
- Provide bespoke training to all UK-based employees, explaining what amounts to a “reportable concern” and how they can make disclosures.
- Conduct specific training for managers on how to recognise whistleblowing and how to protect people coming forward from detrimental treatment.
If you have any questions about how to comply with these new rules, please get in touch with your Employment Law Adviser.