I am concerned about the possible consequences to my employment if I speak to the SFO. What is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and how can it help me?
Many employees are understandably concerned about the consequences of speaking out about their employer or wrongdoings in the workplace.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) was created specifically to protect employees who reasonably believe and report serious concerns of wrongdoing to the proper authorities (such as reporting a reasonable suspicion of fraud and corruption to the Serious Fraud Office).
PIDA is an employment law act that:
- protects workers' rights
- allows workers that are 'detrimentally treated' as a result of making a public disclosure to make a claim against their employer at an employment tribunal
If you follow the correct process and speak to us in good faith about information that you reasonably believe to be true, your disclosure can qualify you for protection from victimisation by the organisation - for example, from unfair dismissal or exclusion from promotion and other opportunities that your employer would have otherwise offered.
PIDA lists the SFO as the responsible body for public interest disclosures concerning serious and complex fraud.
PIDA protection applies if, at the time you raised your concern, you had a reasonable belief that the suspected fraud and corruption:
- was happening
- was going to happen
- or had already occurred
even if that belief does not turn out to be correct after further investigation.
Public Concern at Work (PCaW) - the whistleblowing charity
PCaW is an independent charity which provides confidential telephone advice to people who witness wrongdoing at work but are not sure whether or how to raise their concern.
If you are in this position, PCaW will help you identify how best to raise your concern, maximising the opportunity to address any wrongdoing, while minimising any risk to your personal position.
People who provide information about serious fraudulent activity within their place of employment should be aware that the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) sets out a framework for employees to make certain disclosures about malpractice. It also gives specific protection in relation to these disclosures. Further information about PIDA disclosures can be found on the Public Concern at Work website: http://www.pcaw.co.uk/law/pida.htm.