Whistle-blower protection in the US and the UK: Monetary Rewards vs Doing the Right thing

Lecture given by Dr Stelios Andreadakis, School of Law, University of Leicester.

Whistle-blowers and their role as accountability and fraud prevention mechanism have been in the centre of attention recently. The existing legislative framework gives emphasis to encouraging whistle-blowers to step up and share their concerns, but there are numerous instances of retaliation practices from the side of the employers against the whistle-blowers. As a result, potential whistle-blowers do not feel adequately protected under both legislation and corporate policies as well as assured that their career progression will not be harmed.
In the USA, whistle-blower programmes provide financial incentives for reporting suspected activities or violations to the authorities, on the premise that offering cash rewards encourages an open culture of speaking up. In the UK, there are concerns that such incentives might lead to inappropriate reports being made. At the same time, there is the perception that protecting corporate interests is inextricably associated with the ethos of the company. A corporate culture based on honesty, integrity and transparency will provide sufficient incentives to employees, who are eager to blow the whistle, because ‘this is the right thing to do’.
An assessment of the two incentives methods will be provided, in an attempt to make recommendations towards the improvement of the framework of protection internationally and the establishment of a robust system of incentives instead of the existing culture of silence coupled with dismissals and retaliation practices.

The seminar is open to all interested parties. Refreshments will be served. For questions, please contact Alla Pozdnakova (alla.pozdnakova@jus.uio.no).


Published Sep. 7, 2015 2:13 PM - Last modified Aug. 3, 2018 10:12 AM