In a letter to Financial Times, Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton responds to an article about protection whistleblower, arguing for stronger protections in the UK.
Whistleblowers definitely need more protection in a post-Covid workplace as Alicia Clegg says in her article (Work & Careers, November 9). However, the proposed reforms of the law lack essential provisions that would make them effective.
Whistleblowers need to be empowered and embraced by the government. This can be done in two ways.
First, they should have their legal costs covered when facing employment tribunals — whether through legal aid or by allowing them to get reimbursed for legal counsel by employers when their case is successful.
Second, they should be allowed to work as a team with the government to prosecute the underlying wrongdoing. This would increase the resources used to stop wrongdoers and amplify the deterrent effect.
It’s unfortunate that many in the UK continue to reject the US approach, which offers whistleblowers protection and rewards and has proven to be overwhelmingly successful in stopping all kinds of wrongdoing that affect people’s lives.
Since whistleblowers are taking huge risks to their livelihoods by standing up for the public good, parliament owes it to them to craft strong whistleblower law reforms that show how much whistleblowers are valued.
Erika Kelton Partner, Phillips & Cohen Washington, DC, US