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And the first employer pinged under the Protected Disclosures Act 2022 is…

… Auckland taxi company Communication and Training Services Limited.

An unjustified dismissal claim came before the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) and was heard by Member Sarah Blick, whose 27 October 2023 determination is here.

The dismissed employee, who was anonymised to PPK, was ordered to be reinstated, at least on an interim basis.

[60] The Authority notes here the purpose of the PDA 2022 is to promote the public interest by facilitating the disclosure and timely investigation of serious wrongdoing in or by and organisation and by protecting the people who disclose in accordance with the PDA 2022. This matter involves what PPK believes was a protected disclosure of alleged serious wrongdoing under the PDA 2022 and claims the respondents as receiver of the disclosure failed to protect PPK following its receipt. A personal grievance has been raised claiming the respondents facilitated retaliation through the disciplinary process following the making of the disclosure.

Organisations instructing lawyers to argue employees out of their whistleblower protection has long been a problem, and Leighton Associates would not exist but for a whistleblower retaliation event in 2017 involving a university (and an influence peddling ERA member). This determination is an early indication that whistleblower protection has improved under the new legislation. The PDA 2022 replaced the PDA 2000.

This may be of interest to the UK where the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998 is just as broken as New Zealand's PDA2000 was. A Bill to establish an Office of the Whistleblower is currently before the UK Parliament.

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