Financial Rewards and Whistleblowers: Money, Ethics and the Quest for Effective Encouragement to Speak Up

Symbolic Depiction of a Whistle Blower
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Tuesday 12 December 2023

02:00 PM - 04:00 PM


JA125, Jaguar Building, Coventry, University

Event details

This seminar will focus on financial rewards and whistleblowing from a comparative legal perspective. The comparison will be between the UK, the US and the EU.


The present contribution will touch upon the issue of financial rewards as a means to encourage whistleblowers to speak up about wrongdoings in their workplace. For over a decade there has been a discussion, at both academic and policy level, about the suitability and the effectiveness of monetary rewards as motivation mechanisms. The United States have successfully utilised such rewards and have seen a remarkable increase in the number of reports made to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The model introduced by the False Claims Act was further developed by the Dodd-Frank Act in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and it has recently been improved by the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act.

At the same time, the UK Financial Conduct Authority since 2014 has opposed to the adoption of a similar model on the basis that there has not been strong evidence confirming that financial rewards can improve reporting and strengthen whistleblower protection. The model was also declared as inconsistent with the UK culture.

In light of the fact that the EU Whistleblowing Directive neither allows nor prohibits Member States to introduce financial rewards when implementing the provisions of the Directive, it is worth revamping this discussion, in an attempt to determine whether the EU Member States (as well as the UK) should consider financial rewards as one of the mechanisms that would be used to promote whistleblowing.


Dr Dimitrios Kafteranis is an assistant Professor in Law at the Centre for Financial and Corporate Integrity at Coventry University. Dimitrios’ specialisation is on EU law, financial crimes, new technologies and whistleblowing. He has participated in national and international research projects (in Luxembourg as a PhD researcher) and he is now actively working for the EU funded TRACE project.