The FCA and PRA have announced a new package of rules aimed at formalising whistleblowing procedures within certain financial institutions. The rules will be implemented on 7 September 2016; however firms covered by the new regime must comply with the requirement to appoint a ‘whistleblowers’ champion’ by the earlier date of 7 March 2016.

Background

Following the LIBOR scandal in 2013, whistleblowing has fast risen up the regulatory agenda. In June 2013, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recommended that banks should put in place mechanisms to allow workers to raise concerns internally and appoint a senior person to take responsibility for the effectiveness of these arrangements. Earlier this year, the PRA and FCA consulted with firms on whether such measures should be introduced. The new rules, which are contained in a package of publications from the PRA and FCA, are intended to be applied alongside the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) and the Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR).

The FCA recognises that many of the firms covered by the new rules already have rigorous internal whistleblowing procedures in place. The new regime aims to build on and formalise those good practices and encourage individuals to raise concerns and challenge poor behaviours in the industry.
Continue Reading New rules on whistleblowing for UK financial institutions

This post was also written by Claudia Röthlingshöfer.

Welcome to Reed Smith’s monthly global employment law blog post. This month’s post covers the protection afforded to whistleblowers around the world.

France

Under French law, employees cannot be sanctioned, dismissed or be subject to direct or indirect discriminatory measures (especially concerning salary, training, reclassification or appointment)

For employers wanting to bring an employment relationship to an end, whether for disciplinary or performance related reasons or simply because it is not working out, it is often difficult to judge the right time to have a ‘without prejudice’ conversation with an employee. Get it wrong and the contents of that discussion may be used by an employee in a subsequent Tribunal claim as evidence of an admission of guilt or constructive dismissal. The recent EAT case of Portnykh v Nomura International Plc gives some useful guidance as to when the ‘without prejudice’ rule applies.
Continue Reading Settlement discussions – when can employers safely use the ‘without prejudice’ rule?

The sun may have finally decided to make an appearance but this is no indication of a relaxing summer break for employment specialists!

A number of key employment law provisions came into force on 25 June 2013, with 29 July 2013 as the next key date for legislative reform. We take a look at what employment-related legislative changes are in store this summer.

Continue Reading UK Legislative Reform – No Summer Break

The UK Court of Appeal has ruled, in the case of NHS Manchester v Fecitt & Others, that an employer cannot be vicariously liable for acts of victimisation by its employees against whistleblowers. The Court also clarified the correct test for determining whether a worker has suffered a detriment on the ground of making a protected disclosure (ie. whistleblowing). The Court decided that to avoid liability under the whistleblowing legislation, the employer must show that the employee’s protected disclosure did not materially influence (i.e. more than trivially influence) the employer’s treatment of that employee.

The whistleblowing legislation provides protection in two ways. First, dismissal of an employee is automatically unfair if the principal reason for dismissal is that they have made a protected disclosure. Second, workers have a right not to be subjected to a detriment by their employer on the ground that they have made a protected disclosure. This case concerned the second of these protections. 

Continue Reading UK court rules employers not vicariously liable for employees who victimise whistleblowers