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Awareness of whistleblowing legislation alarmingly low

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Public awareness of the Protected Disclosures Act (PDA) is very low, according to research undertaken on behalf of the Ombudsman.

Research company UMR polled 1000 people in late March and early April. The research has a margin of error of ±3%.

“Just 9% of respondents said they were aware of the PDA, also known as the Whistleblowing Act, an alarmingly low number given the importance of the Act for all New Zealanders, yet 21% of all respondents said they have witnessed serious wrongdoing at their workplace or previous workplaces”, Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier says.

Only 40% of all respondents currently in work felt their jobs would be safe if they reported the wrongdoing, 34% said their job wouldn’t be safe and 27% were unsure. Lower paid workers were less convinced about their job security if they reported wrongdoing (31%).

Respondents who knew about the PDA were more likely to feel their job would be safe if they reported wrongdoing (62%).

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