Whistleblowers to get more protection

By Jessica Tyson

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins is encouraging the public to share their views on proposed changes to the law which aims to protect people who speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace.

The proposed changes to the Protected Disclosures Act aim to protect whistleblowers from losing their jobs or being mistreated.  

Hipkins says the current legislation is weak, confusing and needs to change.

"The law needs to be strengthened, it needs to be fair and it needs to be easy to understand," he says.

“Most importantly, citizens who speak up in the public interest need to have confidence the law will protect them from punishment and reprisal."

Hipkins announced in February that the government was exploring whether the law and procedures to protect whistleblowers needs to be strengthened.

"Since then, the State Services Commission has undertaken a targeted consultation with a range of organisations from the public and private sector.  They have gathered perspectives on key issues, challenges and options for reform and published a summary of this consultation."

The next step in the review process is public consultation, which will run from today to December 7.