Government proposes new vicarious liability protection for whistleblowers

The Government is amending the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to protect whistleblowers from suffering a detriment, bullying or harassment from another employee. 

Currently, workers who "blow the whistle" and make protected disclosures within the meaning of s.43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996 are protected from adverse treatment only in relation to their employer's activity. The amendment extends the protection offered to whistleblowers by introducing a provision that treats detrimental acts of one co-worker towards another as being done by the employer, making the employer responsible. The amendment includes a defence for employers that are able to show that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the detrimental treatment of a co-worker. 

This move follows an amendment made to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill by the Government to remove the good faith requirement for a whistleblowing disclosure. At present, individuals are protected only where the disclosure is made in good faith. 


Government amendment to whistleblowing legislation XpertHR reports on the removal of the good faith requirement for a protected disclosure. 

Policy on whistleblowing Use this model policy to provide a route for any worker to raise qualifying disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. 

Good practice guide on whistleblowing This XpertHR good practice guide provides guidance for employers on introducing effective procedures for reporting concerns about wrongdoing. 

Podcast: Whistleblowing We discuss various aspects of whistleblowing good practice, including: the benefits of whistleblowing; how to create a culture of openness in an organisation; drawing up and communicating a whistleblowing policy and procedure; the importance of providing training to individuals to whom disclosures may be made; and best practice around confidentiality.