Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is a term that is often used by people but which is not always properly understood.

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What is a Protected disclosure?

The law relating to whistleblowing was introduced into the UK in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This made it unlawful for an employer to treat an employee badly or dismiss them because they have made a “protected disclosure.”

For an employee to have the protection of whistleblowing legislation, the disclosure they make has to be a qualifying disclosure. This means that they have to disclose information which they reasonably believe to be in the public interest, and which tends to show one of the following:

A criminal offence
Breach of a legal obligation
A miscarriage of justice
Danger to the health & safety of an individual
Damage to the environment
Or the deliberate concealing of information about any of these things.

Protected disclosures should usually be made directly to your employer first but they can be made to other specified bodies such as the Environment Agency, HMRC, HSE, the Food Standards Agency and the Serious Fraud Office.

Making a report

If you have seen or suspect some wrongdoing at work and you are thinking about reporting it, you can speak to us first or get free confidential advice from the whistleblowing charity, Protect, at www.protect-advice.org.uk.

Whistleblowing claims

If you have been dismissed or treated badly as a result of whistleblowing, we can act on your behalf in bringing a claim. This is a very complex area of law but we will guide you through it and support you along the way. 

You will need to act quickly as there is 3-month time limit for bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal. The 3 month period will begin to run from either the date on which you were treated badly (or subjected to a detriment) or, in unfair dismissal case, from the date on which your employment ended

There is no qualifying period of service for bringing a whistleblowing claim, and the usual cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in an unfair dismissal claim by an Employment Tribunal does not apply.

Fancy a chat?

We're here to help if you're interested in finding out more about our Whistleblowing services. Get in touch with Kim Cross on kimcross@vinelaw.co.uk or call us on 01945 898090 for a no-obligation chat.

Our payment options

Paying for legal services at a time when things are perhaps going wrong at work, or if you have lost your job, is often a worrying prospect for clients. We offer a range of payment options to give you as much choice as we can.