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29 Apr 2014

As of earlier this month (6 April 2014), disclosure of information to a Member of Parliament by a whistleblower may be protected.

Whistleblowing law protects workers that disclose information about malpractice at their workplace or former workplace provided certain conditions are met. The conditions concern the nature of the information disclosed and the person to whom it is disclosed. If these conditions are met, the Employment Rights Act protects the worker from suffering detriment as a result of having made the disclosure.

The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2014 added MPs to the list of ‘prescribed persons’ to whom disclosure may be made. Other than MPs, the list comprises mainly regulatory bodies.

Each prescribed person may receive information in respect of specified matters relevant to its function. This means disclosure to that person will generally only be protected if the whistleblower reasonably believes the information relates to one of those matters.

MPs are unique among prescribed persons. Disclosure to an MP may be protected in relation to any matter for which any other person is prescribed. This encompasses a vast range of matters relating to the functions of almost 70 regulatory bodies.