Whistleblowing—UK regulatory issues

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Whistleblowing—UK regulatory issues
  • Employment Rights Act 1996 and Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • FCA whistleblowing requirements—SYSC 18
  • Application of SYSC 18
  • Reportable concerns
  • Internal arrangements
  • Reporting of concerns by employees to the FCA or PRA
  • Whistleblowers' champion
  • Settlement agreements with workers
  • UK branches of foreign banks
  • More...

Whistleblowing—UK regulatory issues

BREXIT: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 (‘IP completion day’) marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Following IP completion day, key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see: Brexit and financial services: materials on the post-Brexit UK/EU regulatory regime.

Employment Rights Act 1996 and Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), as amended by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA 1998) and as further amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2016, any agreement between employees and their employer is void in so far as it purports to prevent the employee from making a protected disclosure. A disclosure qualifies as protected if it is a disclosure of information:

  1. which the worker reasonably believes is made in the public interest and tends to show one or more of certain types of wrongdoing including criminal offences, failing to comply with legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, endangerment of health or safety, damage to the environment, or deliberate concealment of any of these things (a 'qualifying disclosure'), and

  2. made in one of the protected manners e.g, to the worker's employer (or in some circumstances to another

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