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41% of Whistleblowers’ Covid concerns – including public safety disclosures – ignored by employers

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

Research by Protect has found that 41% of employees with Covid-19 concerns were ignored by their employers and 20% of whistleblowers were dismissed for raising concerns.  Other findings include: (i) Managers were more likely to be dismissed for raising Covid-19 concerns, with 32% of managers compared with 21% of non-managers losing their jobs; (ii) Furlough fraud came mostly from very small organisations – 76% of callers described the company size as between 1-49 employees. As the furlough leave scheme draws to an end, Protect say that its report, ‘The best warning system: Whistleblowing during Covid-19’ demonstrates the role whistleblowers can play in revealing where employers are fraudulently claiming public money. The report makes a number of recommendations including the introduction of a legal standard on employers to have whistleblowing arrangements in place, including a requirement to give whistleblowers feedback on the concerns raised and a penalty regime where an organisation can be fined or sanctioned for breaching the whistleblowing standards.

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