FEATURE12 May 2021

Essential safeguards: A guide to whistleblowing

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Julie Corney, standards and compliance manager at the Market Research Society, writes about new guidance on whistleblowing. 

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The MRS Standards team has continued to add to the essential safeguards series of guidance, with the aim of guiding our members in the prevention of harm, a key construct of the MRS code. The latest addition to the series covers whistleblowing.

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is the act of disclosing information about wrongdoing in the workplace. This could mean highlighting possible unlawful activities in an organisation, failures to comply with legal obligations, or miscarriages of justice, or reporting on risks to the health and safety of individuals or to the environment.

Such activities could be a violation of a law, rule or regulation, or a threat to public interest, such as fraud, health and safety violations, or corruption.

By ‘blowing the whistle’, individuals may highlight illegal activity in the workplace, and may protect others in future.

Whistleblowing and the law

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 provides legal protection for individuals who disclose information to expose acts such as criminal acts. The equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland ...