HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 cc613-4W
Mr. Pickthall

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 are. [138560]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The Department recognises that it has an obligation under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 to ensure that all employees are able to raise matters of concern about malpractice or illegal acts (whether it has been committed or is likely to be committed), such as,

  • unlawful conduct;
  • a failure to comply with any legal obligation;
  • a miscarriage of justice;
  • financial malpractice;
  • danger to the health and safety of any individual at work;
  • damage to the environment; and
  • concealing of information in relation to any of the above.

The Department's employees have been provided with guidance on how to raise their concerns. While employees are encouraged to raise their concerns with their line manager, they can raise their concerns wherever or at whatever level they feel appropriate within the Department. Employees can also raise their concerns to an appropriate authority outside of the Department.

The Department's guidance clearly states that employees who raise concerns will be protected from discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation.