Whistleblowing and protected disclosures protect workers who believe that they have been subjected to a detriment at work because they have disclosed information about their employer within certain specified categories.
If a worker is subjected to a detriment – for instance, dismissed for raising concerns internally or with an external body (e.g a regulator) – then he/she may be able to bring a claim in an employment tribunal. A dismissal made in response to a protected disclosure will be an automatically unfair dismissal.
The employee needs to make a “protected disclosure” – this means the information he discloses must be within certain specified categories, being;
- information relating to a breach of a legal obligation by the employer;
- miscarriages of justice;
- threats to health and safety or the environment;
- information relating to crimes; or
- the concealing of evidence relating to any of the above
The employee must have a reasonable belief that the disclosure he makes is true and he must act in good faith in making the disclosure. These types of claim are presented to an employment tribunal, do not require any qualifying period of employment, and the compensation that can be awarded is not subject to any upper cap (as with unfair dismissal). Compensation is not awarded for injury to feelings as with discrimination claims.
The law is complex and claims can be very difficult. We can assist and advise you if you believe you have such a claim and we would urge you to contact us on 01922 645 429 before taking action.