It’s important that, as an employee, your right to blow the whistle is protected. Doing so can highlight wrongful behaviour by your employer and expose issues in the workplace to ultimately protect the public.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act, introduced in 1998, created specific rights and protection for whistleblowers. If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, you should know that not all disclosures are protected. To qualify for protection, the disclosure must be made in the public interest, to an appropriate person or body, and tend to show one or more of the following:
- A criminal offence;
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation;
- A miscarriage of justice;
- An endangerment of health or safety;
- Damage to the environment; or
- Concealment of information showing any of the above.
Employment Law services for employees:
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I cannot recommend Joe Milner at the Tunbridge Wells office highly enough. He was extremely helpful and reassuring and settled my claim quickly and efficiently. What a delightful chap to do business with.
The expertise of Loch Law made me feel in very safe hands. Caroline was thorough at explaining the legal situation, giving clear advice and was committed to getting me a fair outcome.
What is whistleblower protection?
Whistleblower protection is a legal safeguard put in place as part of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1988, to protect those who report wrongdoing by their employers or colleagues. To receive protection, the whistleblower must meet a specific set of criteria.
Having done so, the whistleblower is protected from retaliatory behaviour and discrimination such as termination, demotion and harassment. The purpose of whistleblower protection is to encourage those who have knowledge of wrongdoing that is of interest to the public to come forward without fear of retribution.
Which disclosures are covered as part of whistleblower protection?
To attract protection, the disclosure must be a "qualifying disclosure".
This means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the person making the disclosure, is in the public interest and tends to show one or more of the following:
- a criminal offence
- failure to comply with a legal obligation
- a miscarriage of justice
- the health or safety of an individual has been endangered
- damage to the environment, or
- concealment of information showing any of the above.