About the seminar
While the PIDA offers remedies to those who are victimised or dismissed for raising concerns, it still doesn’t change the culture of work so that a worker feels secure in speaking out. So at a seminar organsied by the IER on Tuesday 20th July 2010, academics, lawyers and trade unionists were asked the question: do industrial relations in the UK still preserve a culture of secrecy?
You can watch a short picture show of the event thanks to Ripon Ray
The seminar began with an excellent presentation from Catherine Hobby, who outlined the background to the introduction of the Act, before commenting on the Act’s strengths and weaknesses, on case law developments and on areas for future reform.
The cases summarised by Catherine where then discussed in more detail by Emma Tamer from Thompsons. Emma highlighted the legal framework of the Act in the context of the case law being developed by the courts.
Speaking from Public Concern at Work – an organisation established to assist whistleblowers – Francesca West spoke of the history of PCW and provided interesting statistics by sectors on the calls made to their helpline by whistleblowers. She then highlighted some best practice procedures developed by PCS in partnership with unions.
To finish the presentations, Gail Cartmail from UNITE highlighted work her union was doing, particularly in the NHS and encouraged delgates to become familiar with the model agreements and best practice procedures outlined in the report Speaking up for the NHS
During discussion it became clear that many of the delegates were whistleblowers themselves or were representing workers victimised following a whistleblowing disclosure. One delegate, Sarah Friday, shared her experiences as a victimised whistleblower in the rail industry in a chapter of a damning report on findings of the priorities of the privatised rail industry.
Buy IER’s Book by Catherine Hobby
You can pre-order a copy of the upcoming publication Public Interest Whistleblowing: Twelve Years of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 by Catherine Hobby here