Photo courtesy: Gino Sprio, http://www.ginosprio.com/
Whistleblowers UK (WBUK) is an organisation of whistleblowers and their supporters, established to provide advice and support to those who are considering acting on their conscience.
Who We Are
WBUK's members have come from many different walks of life, jobs and professions, and our numbers are growing. Almost all have risked a great deal to bring important information to the public's attention. Many with the courage to speak out have experienced great difficulties and faced personal retribution for exposing injustice or corruption.
Their backgrounds include the NHS and private medical care, military and security, financial and regulatory organisations, police and government. Some members have been in the media and are publicly known – others are not.
We are working to document the stories of all our members and are proud to publish the first set of interviews in our series: The Whistleblower Interview Project. In these interviews members discuss how and why they did what they did, what happened to them as a result, and what they feel now about what they've done. More interviews will be appearing shortly.
How We Can Help
We know that unfortunately whistleblowers are not protected. Our members have been there and they know that it can be a very lonely place. If you are considering blowing the whistle at work, it may be useful to talk confidentially with someone who will understand your situation from first-hand experience. Our members have pulled together their experience and the lessons they have learned to guide and support whistleblowers.
We have begun to assemble a network of pro-bono counsellors, lawyers and other professionals with whom you may also seek advice or assistance on legal, emotional and financial matters. Please see our What We Offer page for more information.
For sensitive cases where confidentiality is important please see our Read Me section.
Campaigning For Better Protections For Whistleblowers
The Public Interest Disclosure Act has failed to protect countless whistleblowers. The law allows for a whistleblower to report to an outside body, however it encourages disclosure to management first. When someone risks all to report abuse and their employer fails to act, the worker is left exposed and the abuse is more likely to be covered up. Internal complaints through managers are often ineffective and don't always result in a satisfactory resolution of the complaint.
The law creates a great incentive for whistleblowers to settle outside court and therefore acts to prevent the wrongdoing from entering the public domain. A whistleblower who refuses to settle risks incurring the legal costs of their employer. A gagged whistleblower cannot inform the public of the wrongdoing that prompted the disclosure in the first place. We support the notion of court awarded damages to whistleblowers who have suffered.
Protecting the vital role whistleblowing plays in combating corruption, injustice and abuse of power means real legislative protection for those who have the courage to stand up and expose wrong-doing. Many countries have better and tougher protection for whistleblowers and this is needed now in the UK. We are committed to a major effort to draft new legislation which will be written together with whistleblowers and offers protection to all whistleblowers no matter what industry they are in.
To assure our independence we do not accept funding from either national or local government, law firms, banks, business or the media. We are not interested in selling stories or making money from any disclosures (this includes any print, broadcast or online media outlet). For this reason, we have no association with “whistleblowers' agencies” and we are not connected to any print, broadcast or online media outlet.
We have no association with business-financed groups seeking compromise, in-house accommodation and gagging orders, where the whistleblower is exposed in front of the very people he or she has blown the whistle against.
These organisations frequently embroil whistleblowers for months in procedures with no satisfactory result at the end. Many of these organisations have long-term relations with employers and are seen to be significantly limited by accepting industry funding and, by implication, their proximity to companies and institutions that are widely perceived as not having defended whistleblowers rights.
Many whistleblowers are suspicious about employers making cosmetic changes from the top which don't change anything. For many whistleblowers employers can be very much part of the problem, not part of the solution.
We are not related to "whistleblowers.co.uk" or other similarly commercial organisations.
Interested In Helping Us?
Whatever your reason for visiting, thank you for taking the time and energy to read and understand what we are doing and why. We need your support. If you would like to talk to us, please contact one of the groups or the Centre for Investigative Journalism and we will put you in touch with members who can talk with you about how you can help.
If you are an experienced whistleblower, lawyer, counsellor or other professional who would like to help protect the whistleblowers of tomorrow, then please get in touch with a note about your background and rough idea of your availability per week or per month. Email: email@example.com
Whistleblowers UK would very much welcome volunteers to accompany whistleblowers to tribunal hearings or employment dismissal cases. If you might have some time to spare, do let us know. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support the Whistleblowers Interview Project
Please watch the interviews with whistleblowers that tell the story of some of the unreported heroes we've been able to meet and film. It costs us about £750 to hire a cameraman, room to film, and an editing facility to make one of these interviews. If you would like to support the project or contribute in any way, please visit our donate page or get in touch. Email: email@example.com
For media queries please also see our press page.
For more information, please sign up for our mailing list or contact us directly on 020 7040 8220.