More whistleblowing protection for those working with children and young people

16th November 2016

PCaW welcomes the House of Lords debate (November 8) on the Children and Social Workers Bill which gives those working with children and young people more whistleblowing protection – but we would like to see this protection for all workers, across all sectors.

Baroness Wheeler (on behalf of Lord Wills) raised the issue of the need to amend the PIDA (Public Disclosure of Information Act) to provide extra protection for those working in public bodies providing social services and children’s services, and local authorities, in relation to looked after children and children at risk and social workers.

Baroness Wheeler said, ‘’Amendment 53 provides improved protections for whistleblowers who are job applicants in the organisations covered by the Bill. As we discussed in Committee, this is a critical gap in protections for whistleblowers as job applicants are not considered workers and so do not receive the protections afforded under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. If an individual is labelled a whistleblower, it can be difficult for them to get work because they can find themselves blacklisted— not through a formal, centralised database but informally.

‘’The excellent Public Concern at Work campaign has cited a number of such cases where an informal and insidious blacklisting of former whistleblowers has taken place in the recruitment and selection process.’’

PCaW would like to see this protection for all workers across all sectors.