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If an employee believes that there is malpractice or wrong doing  such as illegal, improper or negligent behaviour within the work place, they can ‘blow the whistle’ on the behaviour and report this to the relevant authorities without any repercussions on their employment and with their employment rights protected.

The purpose of the legislation regulating whistleblowing is effectively to persuade employees to speak out against any malpractice being carried out by the company, boss or anybody within the workplace without them then facing the repercussions of being victimised by their employer. The protection afforded ensures that the individual  cannot be victimised by their employer and are afforded protection which ensures that they do not lose their job or miss out on any opportunities that they otherwise would have been offered such as a promotion.

Who is afforded protection?

A whistleblower’s employment rights are protected if they:

  •  are a worker,
  • believe that malpractice in the workplace is happening, has happened or will happen,
  • are disclosing information that falls within the ‘qualifying category’,
  • are reporting the information to the right person in the right way and in doing so are making a ‘protected disclosure’.

What falls within the qualifying category?

The disclosure made must fall within one of the following qualifying categories:

  • criminal offences
  • failure to comply with a legal obligation
  • miscarriages of justice
  • threats to an individual’s health and safety
  • damage to environment
  • deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above-mentioned

What is protected disclosure?

To be protected under the legislation, the disclosure must be in the public interest and should be made to the right person in the right way. Additionally, the following attributes must exist:

  •  the disclosure must be made in good faith
  • the employee must reasonably believe that the information is substantially true
  • the employee must reasonably believe that they are making the disclosure to the right prescribed person.  This could include their superior, employer or alternatively to the relevant public bodies such as the police.

For these types of claims, there is no need for the employee to have been employed for a certain duration and on a successful claim there is no limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded.

For more information, Contact us on 0800 644 1544 for a free consultation.

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