Petition to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Leader Liberal Democrats, Leanne Wood Leader Plaid Cymru
Call for Edna's Law and a public inquiry into whistle-blowing
We call for: 1. Edna's Law to replace the Public Interest Disclosure Act which has failed to protect the public, the victims or the whistle-blowers. 2. A public inquiry into whistle-blowing in all sectors, ie including social care, construction, finance, education, local authorities, police, civil service, transport, military, NHS. We want it to expose wrongdoing and hold individuals and institutions to account for past cases of cover-ups and victimisation of whistle-blowers, and to recognise and compensate those who suffered detriment for doing the right thing. EDNA'S LAW: Would make it a criminal offence to fail to act on the genuine concerns of a whistle-blower and would hold individuals accountable. The wrongdoing would be made public in a criminal court and corrective action would be taken. Edna's Law would put the victims of silence first and would protect the protectors who report wrongdoing. The State would prosecute and uphold the public interest (instead of expecting the whistle-blower to become a legal expert in order to represent themself effectively at an employment tribunal against experienced barristers). Edna's Law would be a deterrent because it would create strong case law precedents. The whistle-blower would be a protected witness. It would be a criminal offence to harm a genuine whistle-blower. Bad companies and organisations would be held to account, resulting in real culture change. The whistle-blower would be compensated for loss of trust and loss of employment. NB this does not mean "rewards or bounties" as some organisations want - we simply want proper compensation for losses incurred because you can never put a price on human life or suffering. eg Would the life or suffering of a vulnerable child or adult be "worth" less than a banking loss? NO. A genuine whistler doesn't stand around thinking "How much will I get for reporting this?" and to suggest "rewards or bounties" is grossly insulting. A law that protects whistle-blowers protects us all, and that is what Edna's Law would do. Together we can break the shameful chain of complacency, ignorance, denial and silence so please sign and share this petition now. Here are just a few well-known cases of deaths and serious harm which were ALL preventable if whistleblowers had been listened to or if others had not been too scared to speak up: Mid Staffs, Bristol Babies, Jimmy Savile, Piper Alpha, Clapham train crash, Herald of Free Enterprise, Rotherham, Hammersmith Radiology. Imagine how much suffering could have been avoided if only someone had come forward years ago to tell the truth about various major cases now going through public inquiries and legal proceedings. All these are well documented but many more cases never make the news. Edna’s Law will break that silence. The reality for whistle-blowers includes harassment, physical assault, suspension, false counter-allegations, dismissal, loss of income, unemployment, ill-health, high legal fees, months or years of stress, loss of homes, broken relationships and family break-ups. Their relatives, even young children and terminally ill relatives, have been targeted for indirect reprisals at school and in healthcare. That shameful fact shows how low some will go to retaliate against those who speak up. All that is bad enough - but no action is taken on the wrongdoing or risks, which continue unchecked, covered up by employers, regulators and employment tribunals. Other workers see this and decide it is safer to stay silent so the cycle of wrongdoing continues. PIDA cases are said to be "an employment issue" so the employment tribunals may reject evidence claiming it is not relevant, even though the whistleblower's reported concerns clearly relate to the public interest. Would YOU report wrongdoing or risks if you knew what the consequences would be for you and your family? And if you knew that the law would not protect you? And if it still wouldn't stop the wrongdoing or risk anyway? Please sign the petition now to stop needless suffering and risk. The alternative would be to do nothing and just wait for the inevitable news of the next case of avoidable harm or death - which might affect YOU or your loved ones. People are suffering and dying today, and others being harmed or put at risk (even though they may not know it) because whistle-blowers are ignored and victimised and others are too scared to speak up. This affects everyone. Which will you choose? Please sign now. We hope we have already convinced you to sign. If you need more detailed information before you sign, please read on..... Background details and examples: Edna's Law is based on evidence from the first 1500 whistle-blowers who contacted Compassion In Care This has now increased to over 5000 who all confirm the need for this law. The evidence has already been given to many Government ministers and MPs. Edna was a defenceless elderly lady with no family. She died after terrible abuse in a BUPA care home even though it had been reported by no less than SEVEN care workers to Des Kelly. He was not at arm’s length, he was directly involved as the decision maker and the whistleblowers gave him personally the evidence in a formal meeting with the prescribed regulator under PIDA. Des Kelly also heard it afterwards in a court as he sat through every day of the employment tribunal of the BUPA7, as they became known. He rose to become "Sir Des Kelly OBE" and an advisor to the Government and CQC on elderly care, and head of the National Care Forum and on DEMOS. We often refer to him because all the evidence is available on what he did, there is no "grey area" or room for interpretation, it is all documented fact in the public domain. Shocking documents are continuing to come to light and will be published in the near future. All those who have harboured him will also be held to account. He is just one of many wrongdoers who have never been held accountable for their actions and now hold senior positions - this is at the root of why whistleblowers are still victimised or ignored, because wrongdoers like Des Kelly escape accountability. The BUPA7 lost their jobs but the wrongdoing was not put right, the abusers continued abusing, and Edna died. Four years later it was revealed that people had continued to suffer in that home. Imagine how much preventable suffering that was. Failures in legal protection demonstrated by the BUPA7 case left a toxic legacy, because it told BUPA and other employers that they could get away with ignoring concerns and victimising whistleblowers in spite of the Public Interest Disclosure Act which had just come in at that time. This sent a strong message to other workers to stay silent for fear of ending up unemployed like the BUPA7. PIDA failed the BUPA7 and it still fails today's whistleblowers as comments on this petition demonstrate. Employment tribunals hear PIDA cases but have no power to make sure problems are put right - so whistle-blowers lose their jobs and still the wrongdoing and risks they reported continue unchecked. The 2015 Francis Review and the new National Guardian will do nothing to protect whistleblowers or encourage anyone else to raise concerns because the recommendations rely on policies, procedures, employers and regulators – which include the very same people who have “got away with” cover-ups, ignoring concerns, and victimising whistle-blowers for many years. The Francis "Freedom to Speak Up" review in 2015 was an expensive public relations sham, and held no wrongdoers to account. We say it never intended to and here is why: Robert Francis is on the CQC, which has invited Des Kelly's input even though Des Kelly had ignored seven whistleblowers and had deliberately put an abuser in at least three BUPA care homes. The CQC has ignored multiple whistle-blowers, eg the abuse at Winterbourne View and Old Deanery, and many more. Is that so surprising when they have included in their press releases a significant contribution from Des Kelly, the man who could have prevented Edna’s death but chose not to? Instead he deliberately gave Edna’s worst abuser access to other defenceless people to torment. Compassion In Care and Private Eye joint investigations have proved that the CQC lied and misled the public for many years but no-one was held accountable. The CQC falsely claimed it had closed 100 care homes, an outright lie as it was only two. They have been complicit in re-registering care homes as "new" under slightly different names, but the same ownership, in order to hide bad inspection reports. Now the supposedly "independent" new National Guardian for the NHS is to be overseen by.....you guessed it......the CQC. It's like the story of The Emperor's New Clothes - the evidence, in this case of wrongdoing and complicity, is there in plain sight for all to see, but most are scared to point it out or just can't believe what they see. But Robert Francis and many others in Parliament and the care sector know it is true because we have presented the evidence. Many are "Guilty By Association", because by praising and harbouring wrongdoers, they are complicit in the wrongdoing. This isn't a fairy story. People are suffering right now so we're speaking up loud and clear that Edna's Law is needed to protect the public. Whistleblowing helplines paid for by employers can never be independent - they protect the employer, not the employee because they make their income by selling policies and procedures to employers so their loyalty is to their customer. After Mid-Staffs, Robert Francis spoke a lot about "changing the culture" but clearly it didn't work, because he was shocked by how many people told him they still felt unable to speak up. Many trusted the Francis Review and hoped it would be a turning point. But as whistle-blowers, we have already been failed by his “policies and procedures”and “Guardian” approach. We have been contacted by people in roles designated "whistleblower supporter" who then lost their own job after reporting concerns themselves. We know it doesn't work, it has never worked before and it can never work in future. We don't need any more expensive hot air about "changing the culture" - we need to change the reality and bring in Edna's Law. More than 900 callers rang Eileen's helpline after BBC Panorama "Behind Closed Doors" Thousands more calls/emails have come in since the Francis Review. Many of these whistleblowers still experience lasting detriment, so cannot put their names publicly to the petition yet, though a lot of others have left public comments on the petition which shows how widespread this is. You might ask "Why didn't they just speak up in their workplace?" But how can we expect workers to report wrongdoing when they have seen what happens to those who do? Would you? Please help us break the shameful silence and ensure accountability – by signing Edna’s Law now. Thank you. For more information: http://www.thewhistler.org/edna-s-law.html Edna's Law demonstration Breaking The Silence Parts 1, 2, 3 Part 4 is now in preparation. BBC Newsnight Hammersmith Radiology BBC Panorama - "Behind Closed Doors" Beyond the Facade - story of the BUPA 7 We are sending this to all party leaders so that we can continue building support for the long term change that is needed.
Petition to Conservative Government, Theresa May MP
Remove employment tribunal fees from sexual harassment claims at work
When I reported to my male employer that someone at work had made me feel uncomfortable on several occasions, his first response was "well he is male." I had confided in my employer, after weeks of saying nothing to him, for him to just brush off my claim like it was to be expected because "he is male." When he eventually asked me if I wanted him to say anything, I felt silly for mentioning it in the first place because of how he reacted and I said no. Due to various reasons, including that incident, my relationship with my employer was damaged and I left my job. My feeling was that he managed a situation that was a big deal to me, so very poorly. He has also since claimed that I could be making it up. This hurts more than any accusation that could be thrown at me; why on earth would I make something of that nature up? Since I've left my employment and had time to reflect on how poorly treated I was, I have been looking into employees rights. I was still in my probation period and had no rights or protection whatsoever. So that's that. However, I was astounded to find that since 2013 the government introduced fees of up to £1200 for employment tribunals. Since that time fewer and fewer people are taking their employers to tribunals; there was a 79% fall in the first year with women and low paid workers the worst affected. In that, an 80% fall in women persuing sexual harassment claims. In 2016 'The Telegraph' reported that ACAS had seen a decrease in the number of sexual harassment claims going to tribunal. That's great right? Wrong. The number of calls regarding this issue had actually risen. So why are women too scared to take their claim to the next step? It's because they are scared to report sexual harassment to their employer for fear of losing their job or treatment getting worse, they do not think their claims will stand up against their employers or that they will even be believed and then add to that over £1000 of fees. Workers must pay either £160 or £250 to lodge the complaint and then pay a further £950 for a hearing. Women are already sceptical about reporting sexual harassment so add in a fee, that most likely equates to more than a months wages, and where is the incentive to get justice? I think it's important to note what sexual harassment at work includes. It can be inappropriate comments or jokes, unwanted touching, hugging or kissing and demands for sexual favours. Even if what has happened seems like it might be trivial, if it is unwanted attention and you're uncomfortable, it IS harassment and it shouldn't be happening. I am petitioning for cases of sexual harassment at work to go to tribunal for free. I do not want to take away from the seriousness of other employees rights, however, how can anyone be allowed to physically touch or comment on another human being in a sexual manner with absolutely no fear of the consequences? This is happening far too often, more than we even know because we, especially as women, are still too scared to talk about it in fear that it will not be taken seriously. Please consider this change.
Petition to Carole Woodhead, Sajid Javid MP
Ask Hermes parcel delivery to provide ethical working conditions and status for couriers
My relative is an incredibly hardworking mother who tirelessly works to provide for us. Her employer, Hermes, the parcel delivery company for whom she works as a courier have worked to twist the law and contracts to enable her with 'self employed status.' However, she has no freedom to decide how to complete her work, has no consistent source of work, often being forced to work seven days a week purely to keep her job with no guarantee of security after over a decade of loyalty to the company, with no right to sick pay or holiday. Trouble with your car? No more work. Health problems? No more work. Numerous attempts at legally challenging the company on the status of couriers have been legally halted by management, but we ask Hermes to question whether in 2016, as a company developing broadly across Europe, with a revenue of €12m in the past financial year, this is an ethical and responsible way to treat their workers. Hermes have featured on complaints documentaries about the standard of their customer service, but ask yourself, if you worked for a corrupt company with no compassion for workers, would you strive for the best? With a Conservative government claiming to support those striving to work, will you support Hermes couriers in fair treatment?
Petition to Department for Work and Pensions, UK gov, David Noyes, CEO Carnival UK, Carnival Corporation & plc
Who should pay if a viable company does not look after a worker's welfare during a redundancy procedure - the tax payer, the NHS. Please support me in a change in the law, to ensure the company takes responsibility
Since I was 'made redundant', I have been unable to work - government pay for my welfare, the health service pay for my psychiatric care and hospitalisations. The people of the UK pay for something that may have been avoided had Carnival UK acted responsibly towards an employee and given them redundancy counselling support whilst being made 'redundant'. This was not a redundancy made because a company was failing - this was point scoring for management, reorganising for the nth time. I believe that there should be a legal difference made, within the laws covering redundancy, between jobs removed by companies because of financial pressures and those changed due to the fluctuating needs of the ever changing management structures. Any company coming within the later should be made by law to offer and pay for redundancy counselling support. I worked for the cruise company Carnival UK (P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises) for 13 years. They decided in yet another round of reorganisation that my job was not needed (they employed someone as my manager, redefined my role (ie reduced) and then (a week into the 'at risk' process) made it non existent when I tried to accept the lower paid role). They had been removing quite a number of employees on their old pension scheme and so I had asked my department boss to make sure that I had emotional support if my time came - my job was my world, I knew I wouldn't deal with it well. When the time did come they refused to support me, telling me that I must pay for any counselling out of my redundancy agreement. Sadly I began a downward slope of depression before my time had come to an end with Carnival and of course well before I had been given any monies to pay for counselling. To offer a little more background - for a variety of reasons separate to this petition, I believe I was treated unlawfully - however there is a very limited time frame to take any action through the Employment Tribunal and I was too unwell, after a suicide attempt I was in a Psychiatric Hospital. My state of mind has kept deteriorating and, nearly five years later, I continue to struggle and rarely leave my house . I was given a basic minimum redundancy, Carnival told me quite a while back that I was outside of the time frame for claiming the full redundancy payment initially offered - even though they were aware of my resulting illness and my mental incapacity to make any agreements. Should UK tax payers cover the cost of this corporation's actions. Should I have become a burden to the National Health Service, because a corporation would not support their employee's needs. Had I been given the correct support and counselling, it is likely that I would be in employment now and not claiming benefits from the country. I believe the employment laws should be changed, these rich corporations and companies should be made to act more responsibly and offer even a basic support.