To be protected, there must be a disclosure of information (i.e. not just a mere allegation) that the worker reasonably believes is in the public interest and shows either
Disclosures can be protected if they are made to an employer, other responsible person, legal advisor, prescribed person (e.g. the HSE) and in some circumstances other external people or organisations.
If you believe that you have been dismissed or subjected to a detriment because you are a whistleblower our whistleblowing lawyers can
We know that money will be tight if you have lost your job because of whistleblowing. We assess whether we might be able to offer a Damages Based Agreement (where you pay us a percentage of the compensation you receive) to bring an Employment Tribunal claim or identify whether you can use existing legal expenses insurance to pay your legal fees. In other cases, we will fix fees where possible so that you can be certain how much you will spend.
Our employment lawyers are based in our London office but can also see you at our Watford Office.
To qualify for protection, a whistleblower must disclose information (i.e. not merely make an allegation) that in his/her reasonable belief is in the public interest and tends to show either that
A dismissal is automatically unfair if the reason, or principal reason, is that the employee made a protected disclosure. All employees are protected from dismissal no matter how long they have been employed.
Any worker is protected from detriment on the ground s/he made a protected disclosure. A detriment might include demotion, a warning or harassment from other colleagues (for which an employer is vicariously liable). Employees are protected from dismissal if the principal reason for dismissal was that s/he made a protected disclosure. Workers can include casual staff and some contractors who are otherwise treated as self-employed. A member of an LLP was found to be a worker for the purposes of whistleblowing legislation.
The motivation of a whistleblower is no longer relevant to whether or not a disclosure is a protected disclosure, though disclosures made in bad faith can result in reductions to compensation. Whistleblowing for personal gain can still result in protection provided that you reasonably believed that the disclosure was in the public interest and it is made to your employer, in the course of obtaining legal advice or to a prescribed person. A salesman who whistleblew about accounting irregularities affecting his commission was found to be protected.
There is no need for qualifying service for a worker to be protected by whistleblowing legislation: an employee dismissed on day 1 will be unfairly dismissed if the principal reason was that s/he made a protected disclosure.
Whistleblowing outside the employer organisation still attracts protection from victimisation if