New draft regulations to prevent discrimination against applicants who speak up

Hospital doctors

Staff who speak up about patient safety issues and seek new jobs in the NHS will be protected under new draft regulations proposed by the government.

The new regulations seek to prohibit an employer from treating an applicant less favourably than another based on their previous history of raising concerns. Under existing legislation, ‘workers’ are protected against detrimental treatment, while the new amendments to the Employment Rights Act 1996 will extend this to include applicants.

Applicants will have the right to submit a complaint about discrimination to an employment tribunal (within three months) with cases outside of that time considered at the discretion of the tribunal.

The regulations follows a consultation which concluded in May 2017 to which NHS Employers responded. The regulations are still under review and NHS Employers will work with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure employers understand how the new regulations will work in practice when they come into force.

Find details on the new draft regulations on the DHSC website.

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