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Agency whistleblowers receive new guidance from watchdog

New guidance has been issued by the Competitions and Markets Authority for whistleblowers who want to report anti-competitive practices by their employers. 

In recent years the CMA has taken action against three examples of anti-competitive practice in the property sector and in September last year it issued a warning to all companies, giving the example of five Somerset estate agencies fined over £370,000 after they all fixed their minimum commission rates at 1.5 per cent 

Now the CMA has issued guidelines for future whistleblowers in agencies and elsewhere.

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It says: “We understand that it may be a significant decision to come forward and report potential wrongdoing or malpractice by your employer. If you contact us, we handle your details and the information you provide sensitively and in confidence. In particular, we would seek to protect your identity from the organisation you are reporting against.”

The authority says if a whistleblower prefers to report an issue anonymously, it should do so via a mobile telephone call using a withheld number, or a new email address that does not identify the individual, or online via the CMA website. 

When the CMA receives a whistleblower’s complaint, if it is serious enough the authority will investigate, contact the company or companies involve, and in theory prosecute those people involved if it is thought that a criminal offence had been committed.

You can see the new guidelines here.

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