The introduction of the Public Interest Disclosure Act means that workers can now 'blow the whistle' on illegal, corrupt or dangerous practices in the workplace without the risk of retribution. They can also complain to an employment tribunal if they have been dismissed or demoted for airing legitimate concerns over in-house crimes, misdemeanours and cover-ups.
And if, as a result of making a protected disclosure, a worker is penalised or sacked they could be entitled to a hefty payout.
Staff must use internal channels first, but if they fear disclosure to bosses will cost them their job, they may tell a third party. What's more, disclosure for financial gain is not protected.
While prudent organisations have been implementing formal internal procedures for raising concerns about workplace malpractice, those persisting with corporate messenger-shooting may find they are shooting themselves in the foot.