Whistleblowing

Raising concerns with your employer about something that you believe they or perhaps a manager is doing wrong can be a daunting prospect.

Danielle Wright

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You may fear that your manager or your employer will look to dismiss you or do something in retaliation for you raising concerns.

Depending on what it is that you are reporting, and as long as it is reported to the appropriate person, then the issue you are raising could amount to “whistleblowing” or as it is formally known, raising a protected disclosure.

What amounts to blowing the whistle/a protected disclosure?

There are 6 types of complaint that can amount to a protected disclosure:

  • that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
  • that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject,
  • that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
  • that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
  • that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged, or
  • that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

Am I protected if I blow the whistle?

If you do blow the whistle then you are protected from being subjected to a detriment or being dismissed for having done so. Examples of detriment include, not being given overtime, having your pay deducted, or being bullied/treated badly. The two events have to be connected so it is not enough to say you blew the whistle and something bad happened afterwards, the something bad happening has to be because you blew the whistle and not coincidental.

What if I am dismissed for whistleblowing?

If you are dismissed for whistleblowing, then you will have a claim for unfair dismissal. This is one of the few examples of not needing to have worked for 2 years to make a claim for unfair dismissal, and so regardless of how long you have been employed, if you are dismissed because of whistleblowing you will be able to make a claim.

How much can I claim?

A lot will depend on your loss of earnings arising from your dismissal, although the amount of compensation is uncapped, unlike normal claims for unfair dismissal which are capped at a maximum of 1 years’ salary.

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