Public Disclosure

We handle all the legally required functions of employers in accordance with the Public Disclosures Amendment Act. Apart from providing clients with internal policy documents, we communicate on behalf of our clients and advise on appropriate action to resolve the issue.

Protected Disclosures

Signing up

When signing up our client receives signage examples and can print and display in their preferred way. – Signage includes a QR code which, if scanned, takes the person directly to the reporting portal of our website.

Our client is also provided with a company policy, which needs to be communicated with all staff.

Clients are required, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that signage is displayed. This is a combined effort and the more both parties input the better the end result.

Protected Disclosures

Reporting

A simple step-by-step process…

  1. An employee notices or experience unethical behaviour and scans the QR code, which bring them directly to the reporting portal on our site
  2. He/she completes the user-friendly form and reports the information to our network
  3. He/she is provided with a unique ticket number which they keep as proof that they have made a disclosure
  4. We communicate the disclosure to the client and await further instructions
  5. We inform the employee that the disclosure has been acknowledged
  6. Once we get feedback from our client on the intended action, we process the follow up letter to the employee
  7. We keep record of the complete process. – In matters where employees claim they made disclosures we will provide the records, or the confirmation that no disclosures were made.

 

Legal Info on Public Disclosures

From the Act

Meaning of “protected disclosure”.

A “qualifying disclosure” means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, tends to show one or more of the following:

  • that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
  • that a person has failed, is failing, or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subjected,
  • that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
  • that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
  • that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged, or
  • that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

Disclosure to the employer or other responsible people.

A qualifying disclosure is made in accordance with this section if the worker makes the disclosure in good faith:

  • to his employer, or
  • where the worker reasonably believes that the relevant failure relates solely or mainly to—
  • the conduct of a person other than his employer, or
  • any other matter for which a person other than his employer has legal responsibility, to that other person.

A worker who, in accordance with a procedure whose use by him is authorised by his employer, makes a qualifying disclosure to a person other than his employer, is to be treated for the purposes of this Part as making the qualifying disclosure to his employer.

Extension of the meaning of “worker” etc. for Part IVA.

For the purposes of this Part “worker” includes an individual who is not a worker as defined by section 230(3) but who:

  • works or worked for a person in circumstances in which—
  • he is, or was introduced, or supplied to do that work by a third person, and
  • the terms on which he is, or was engaged to do the work are, or were in practice substantially determined not by him but by the person for whom he works or worked, by the third person or by both of them,
  • contracts or contracted with a person, for the purposes of that person’s business, for the execution of work to be done in a place not under the control or management of that person and would fall within section 230(3)(b) if for “personally” in that provision there were substituted “(whether personally or otherwise)”,
  • works or worked as a person providing general medical services, general dental services, general ophthalmic services or pharmaceutical services in accordance with arrangements made—
    • by a Health Authority under section 29, 35, 38 or 41 of the National Health Service Act 1977, or
    • by a Health Board under section 19, 25, 26 or 27 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, or
      (d) is or was provided with work experience provided pursuant to a training course or programme or with training for employment (or with both) otherwise than—
    • under a contract of employment, or
      (ii) by an educational establishment on a course run by that establishment; and any reference to a worker’s contract, to employment or to a worker being “employed” shall be construed accordingly.

For the purposes of this Part “employer” includes:

  • in relation to a worker falling within paragraph (a) of subsection (1), the person who substantially determines or determined the terms on which he is or was engaged,
  • in relation to a worker falling within paragraph (c) of that subsection, the authority or board referred to in that paragraph, and
  • in relation to a worker falling within paragraph (d) of that subsection, the person providing the work experience or training.

In this section “educational establishment” includes any university, college, school, or other educational establishments.

Right not to suffer detriment.

  • A worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that the worker has made a protected disclosure.
  • Except where the worker is an employee who is dismissed in circumstances in which, by virtue of section 197, Part X does not apply to the dismissal, this section does not apply where—
    •  the worker is an employee, and
    • the detriment in question amounts to dismissal (within the meaning of that Part).

Complaints to the employment tribunal.

  • A worker may present a complaint to an employment tribunal that he has been subjected to a detriment in contravention of section 47B.”

Unfair dismissal.

An employee who is dismissed shall be regarded for the purposes of this Part as unfairly dismissed if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that the employee made a protected disclosure.

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