Whistleblowing

Key Points

  • Workers are protected from suffering any detriment (including dismissal) as a result of having made a protected disclosure, or ‘blowing the whistle’.
  • Strict requirements must be met in order for the complainant to obtain protection against detriment or dismissal
  • There is no limit on compensation for breach of the whilstleblowing legislation (unlike for an unfair dismissal complaint)
  • This protection will not protect employees or workers committing misconduct or gross misconduct in trying to gather information for a whistleblowing claim.
  • There is no legal obligation to have a whistleblowing policy (the exception is large financial services firms subject to the FCA'S and the PRA's whistleblowing rules), but it is very helpful and useful for employers to do so.
  • Since 25 June 2013, whistleblowing allegations must be made in the public interest.
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group for Whistleblowing reviewed the current law and concluded in July 2019 that the framework is complicated, overly legalistic, cumbersome, obsolete and fragmented and should be overhauled
  • For a helpful overview of the law on whistleblowing, see Simpson v Cantor Fitzgerald Europe [2019] UKEAT 0016/18
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