Topic: Whistleblowing

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Limited Liability Partnerships members’status as workers

This post was co-written by Lesley Harrold,  Senior Knowledge Lawyer (Pensions), Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)

Employment Status

Since its introduction in 2000 the limited liability partnership (“LLP”) has become a popular corporate vehicle for professional services providers in the UK, especially legal and accountancy firms, many of which have converted from traditional partnerships to LLPs. An LLP combines the flexible structure of a partnership with the advantage of limited liability for its members, which arises from it having separate legal personality.

The UK has different categories of employment status:  Self-employed, employee and worker.  Whilst partners in a traditional partnership … Continue Reading

Whistleblower protection in the Netherlands: House for Whistleblowers

Introduction

The legislative proposal known as ‘House for Whistleblowers’ is pending in the Netherlands. The proposal introduces an independent and impartial governmental institution that investigates wrongdoing and assists employees in disclosure proceedings: the House for Whistleblowers. In addition, the proposal introduces several rules to protect whistleblowers. The situation under current Dutch law and under the House for Whistleblowers Act will be described below.

Current protection under Dutch law

In the Netherlands there is currently no specific legislation on whistleblowing. Protection of employees depends largely on self-regulation. Under the Dutch Corporate Governance Code, companies listed on the stock exchange must have … Continue Reading

Top 30 whistleblowing statutes – from Ralph Nader to Edward Snowden

In the 1970s, a particular brand of cigarettes geared towards women used the tag line “you’ve have come a long way baby,” and today, the same could be said for the term “whistleblower.”

In the early to mid-20th century, individuals who reported illegal activity were often referred to in pejorative terms such as “rats” and “snitches.”

But in 1970, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who would later gain greater fame as the independent party candidate who threw the 2000 presidential election into turmoil, coined the term “whistleblower,” and since that time, it has since evolved into a positive term—someone of … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing – What protection do Québec employees have?

Employees owe a duty of loyalty towards their employer. This well-known principle of labour and employment law is particularly set out in statutory law, namely in Section 2088 of the Civil Code of Québec which prohibits any act which may impair or infringe upon the legitimate interests of the employer.

An exception to this principle exists when there are overriding considerations that justify the disclosure of confidential information or the performance of certain acts that may normally be construed as disloyal. This exception, commonly referred to as “whistleblowing”, stems from the employee’s freedom of expression, a fundamental right guaranteed by … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing: what protections do employees have?

French employment law does not provide for a comprehensive and consistent set of rules for the purpose of protecting whistleblowers. Instead, French employment law tackles issues arising out of whistleblowing situations through a relatively meagre set of legislative provisions resulting principally from recent awareness on the subject.

Specific regulations: limited protection

Under currently applicable legislation (which is quickly evolving), no employee can be disciplined, dismissed or discriminated against for having reported, in good faith, the following:

  • Moral and sexual harassment;
  • Discrimination;
  • Corruption;
  • Facts representing a serious risk to public health or environment;
  • Facts relating to the safety of certain pharmaceutical
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Whistleblowing – what protection do employees have in Venezuela?

There is no legal protection for whistleblowers in Venezuela and it is not common in practice.

However, many transnational and local companies in Venezuela have policies and code of conducts protecting those who step up and expose Corruption, fraud, mismanagement, breaches of legal obligations. Some of these companies have hot lines through which employees are able to file a complaint with no obligation to say their names.

In those companies were no policies on whistleblowing protection are in force, workers who are willing to expose Corruption, fraud, mismanagement and/or breaches of legal obligations have no:

  • Accessible and reliable channels to
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Whistle-blower exposes corruption in the South African Police Service

This article was written by Lara Kerbelker, an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa

The Labour Court recently handed down judgment in a matter where a colonel in the SAPS was transferred to a functionally non-existent post after he exposed corruption in the unit.

Colonel Roos was employed as an internal auditor in the Crime Intelligence Division of the SAPS.  He was appointed to conduct an investigation into fraud and corruption in the Secret Service Account by the Head of Crime Intelligence.  After Colonel Roos disclosed proof of wide ranging corruption, his investigation was abruptly stopped, and he was … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing – what protection do employees have in Germany?

Although we saw a legislative initiative to introduce a whistleblowing act in 2011 and despite numerous revelations in the food sector and the NSA scandal in 2013, there is still no general law on the protection of whistleblowers in Germany.

Few explicit statutory whistleblowing rights and duties

Whistleblowing is lawful where statutory provisions give an employee the right (or impose a corresponding duty on the employee) to “blow the whistle”. However, there are only a few laws that explicitly stipulate reporting rights or duties for specific situations, such as

  • the German Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz – BDSG) allowing
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Whistleblowing – what protection do employees have in the UK?

This post was co-written by Lindsey Hooper, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)

Due to recent scandals in the UK around insider dealing, interest rate fixing, blacklisting and cartels, the subject of “whistleblowing” has become a hot topic, with organisations becoming increasingly concerned about malpractice and the legal and reputational consequences of its discovery. Set out below is a brief overview of the whistleblowing legislation in the UK.

What is a protected disclosure?

In the UK workers enjoy certain employment protection rights if they make a disclosure of information which is protected under the relevant UK whistleblowing legislation. For a … Continue Reading

Gagging orders in the NHS and whistleblowers

This post was contributed by Amanda Sanders

The UK Government Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced in the press in March that gagging orders which prevent whistleblowers in the National Health Service (NHS) from raising concerns about patient safety are to be banned.  Employees who leave their NHS posts will be given a new legal right to voice their concerns about public interest issues including patient safety and death rates. He has said that “compromise agreements” which prevent staff from discussing matters that could embarrass their employers when they move on will be outlawed from now on.  This is seen as … Continue Reading

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