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Protection as a Whistleblower (Protected Disclosure) 

You are protected from being treated unfairly after whistleblowing. 

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of your whistleblowing, you can make a claim to the Employment Tribunal. You, as an employee, are protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) as a ‘whistleblower’ from mistreatment by your employer. 
 
You will have to show three things to claim unfair dismissal because of a protected disclosure (whistleblowing): 
 
that you made a disclosure. 
that you followed the correct disclosure procedure. 
that you were dismissed or suffered a detriment because of making the disclosure. 
 
It's worth noting that a claim must be brought for unfair dismissal within three months of your employment ending. However, it's still sensible to seek legal advice even if this time has lapsed. 
 
If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed because of disclosing any wrongdoing, you could have a possible claim for unfair dismissal and we can assist you to deal with this.  

What is Whistleblowing? 

The term ‘whistleblower’ refers to an employee who reports wrongdoing in their workplace which is in the public interest to do so. 
The wrongdoing that you disclose must be of a type listed below that occurred in the past, present or that you believe will happen soon. 
 
A criminal offence, eg fraud 
A breach of legal obligation, eg Company does not have the right insurance. 
A miscarriage of justice 
A danger to the health and safety of any individual 
Damage to the environment 
Deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above. 

Who should you inform? 

You can raise your concern with your employer (they may have a policy explaining the procedure you can take). However, you do have the right to report your concern to a lawyer or to a prescribed person or body. 
 
A prescribed person or body must be one that deals with the concerns you are raising. For example, reports of wrongdoing in a primary school can be made to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills. 
 
The information you give to your employer, prescribed person or body can be done anonymously. However, if you do give your name and ask for confidentiality, your employer/prescribed person or body should adhere to that. 
 
You should note, that if you do report your concerns to the media, in most cases you will lose your protected right. 

What can you expect? 

You can expect that your employer or prescribed person/body will listen to your concern and decide if any action needs to be taken. You won’t have any say in how the matter is to be dealt with and at this stage, your employer or prescribed person/body may not give you much detail as they should keep the confidentiality of the others involved. 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome? 

If the matter has not been dealt with to your satisfaction or is ongoing, tell someone else, such as a more senior member of staff or a prescribed person or body. 
 
You could also contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work or your trade union for more direction. 
 
Or speak to us and we will be able to provide you with advice. 
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