Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle

PCS demonstration outside DWP Leeds in 2012. Leeds is not affected by this round of closures.

Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report.

A statement from PCS said: “Despite these indictments DWP took little action to address these concerns, and Enrico sought to have these concerns taken up as a Whistle Blowing complaint by the Civil Service Commission. Due to the lack of proper internal investigation by the department, they refused to consider the Whistle Blowing complaint until the DWP responded to the concerns internally.

“Meanwhile Enrico was concerned by media reports of claimants having cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by the Dept. despite DWP’s failures to address these serious issues. Enrico contacted the CPS to ask them to disclose the NAO report to the court in order to ensure a just decision could be made.

“It was the contacting of the CPS and requesting that the NAO report, something which was already in the public domain, was shared with the court, which was used by DWP as their justification for Enrico’s dismissal.

“PCS believe that in contacting CPS, Enrico’s actions were part of ongoing Whistle blowing action to seek to address a clear and legitimate concern, and that he should have been provided with Whistle Blower protection and therefore not dismissed.

“PCS is supporting Enrico in challenging his dismissal and are taking legal advice on his behalf to seek his re-instatement via an Employment Tribunal.

“Any PCS branches wishing to pass on messages of support to Enrico and his branch in opposing what we believe is an unfair and unwarranted dismissal can email either pcs-preston-office-dcs@dwp.gpn.gov.uk or leeds@pcs.org.uk”

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