United Kingdom whistleblower law permits all UK citizens to report frauds against the U.S. Government under the False Claims Act, or violations of the provisions of the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act.
What disclosures are currently protected?
The primary whistleblower law in the UK is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (“PIDA”). Protection against retaliation is available to whistleblowers who disclose criminal offenses and other legal violations to appropriate authorities (which does not include the media).
However, there are some serious flaws in PIDA including that (1) companies are not required to implement whistleblower mechanisms, (2) there is no reverse burden of proof for whistleblowers, (3) there are no reward provisions for successful whistleblowers, and (4) there is no centralized whistleblower office or reporting procedure. Therefore, where applicable, whistleblowers may be better off reporting to U.S. regulators.
Can United Kingdom whistleblowers receive rewards?
There is no law in the UK providing whistleblowers rewards, however, they may receive rewards through U.S. laws
Recent updates and future legislative developments
Because the UK left the EU before the required implementation date of the Whistleblowing Directive, the UK does not have to incorporate its requirements into national legislation. Nonetheless, UK legislators have urged the need for an update to PIDA in accordance with international best practices.
Can/should UK whistleblowers report to U.S. officials?
No law in the UK currently prohibits its citizens from reporting frauds against the U.S. government under the False Claims Act, or violations of provisions of other statutes including the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act. Therefore, UK whistleblowers can and should report relevant violations to U.S. officials under these laws.