One employment expert has suggested whistleblowing laws encourage businesses to handle concerns raised by their staff.

Francesca West, senior policy advisor at charity Public Concern at Work, made the claim on the back of the release of statistics which indicate some workers are scared of speaking out.

A survey by the Royal College of Nurses revealed eight out of ten nurses would worry about victimisation if they voiced their concerns about happenings in the workplace.

Ms West said: "The law is very important and it is an important part of the whole process, but it is not always going to be a guarantee that whistleblowing always works perfectly."

She said these laws should act as a "backdrop" for businesses to try and enforce good HR strategy and practice.

The Public Disclosure Act 1998 offers protection to whistleblowers if they follow guidelines set out in the Act.