At the Byline Festival this Friday I will be chairing a panel entitled – Whistleblowing: A Practical Guide.
The panellists will be:
Eileen Chubb, of Compassion in Care.
Eileen used to be a carer and she called out neglect in BUPA care homes in the late 90’s. She has a new proposal to protect whistleblowers called Edna’s Law.
Nick is a top gynaecologist who reported dangerous conditions in Northwick Park Hospital in the late 90’s. He was hounded out of his position but cleared his name despite being offered very little protection. He remained anonymous at the time.
Chris is a very high profile NHS whistleblower.
I’m only chairing this panel because of my research into how councils have been defrauded by banks.
The same products that are currently bankrupting councils have been offloaded onto Small Businesses.
The fraud and coverup is sophisticated and widespread.
My colleague Kam Sandhu at Real Media spent a lot of time in direct contact with the national network of ‘misselling’ victims. She put me in touch with Steve Middleton who told me about the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and the way employees in financial services simply can’t report wrongdoing. The legal system is structured to silence them and allow the wrongdoing to continue.
The regulatory system in this country, be it for finance, health, care homes, or anything else is structured to allow business to flourish but not to protect employees, or society.
There are different schools of thought as to how to remedy this situation.
In the US publicly quoted companies are subject to strict SEC rules. This means if they are caught doing wrong they have to pay huge fines. 10-15% of the fine can go to the whistleblower. This incentive scheme doesn’t exist in the UK and so lots of evidence of wrongdoing never gets to the authorities and prosecutions rarely take place. \
In that sense, British citizens are less protected than Americans.